Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare casts a large shadow over an otherwise quiet week for gaming, as is the way whenever a new Call of Duty stands up. Some other excellent games from the last few years are getting re-releases or making their way to new platforms, seeking new audiences. What will you be playing this week while binging on all the leftover candy from Halloween?
Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare
PS3/PS4/Win/X360/XB1 (November 3)
After thoroughly working through historical warfare, modern warfare, and history-meets-the-present warfare, the latest outing of gaming’s dominant first person shooter takes an exoskeleton-powered leap forward into combat’s future. In Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, cybernetically enhanced soldiers fight on behalf of private military contractors, changing the face of 21st century geopolitics.
In addition to high-tech weaponry, Advanced Warfare also showcases high-tech motion capture, featuring Kevin Spacey as head of the Atlas PMC. This is one of the most high profile actors in a game yet, pointing toward a future when big game releases’ hype could be fueled by all the star power of a major Hollywood film.
The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth
Linux/Mac/PS4/PS Vita/Win (November 4)
In 2011 when the word “roguelike” started to saturate the gaming collective consciousness, Edmund McMillen’s The Binding of Isaac stood out for its accessible-but-punishing gameplay, charming art style, and dark sense of humor. Rebirth gives that game a graphical overhaul, long-requested multiplayer, and boatloads of new content that eclipses the original release and its substantial expansion, Wrath of the Lamb. (Fair warning: the trailer below is strange, and slightly NSFW)
The game is roughly modeled after the dungeons from the original Legend of Zelda, but infused with a bottomless variety of items, characters, monsters, and bosses to make every playthrough unique. This new edition changes the visual style to that of a pixellated SNES game from its original flash, which McMillen has admitted was a hindrance to performance that he would not have used if he knew the game would get so popular.
PS3/PS4/PS Vita/Win/X360 (November 4)
MotoGP 14 came to Europe first, in summer 2014, and now it’s set to burn rubber on North American shores. The latest entry in the popular motorcycle racing series features all of the teams, riders, and circuits from the 2014 MotoGP World Championship, including all three classes of bikes that compete.
The PlayStation 4 edition is the first effort from developer Milestone on the latest generation of hardware. Accordingly, the game builds upon the foundation of MotoGP 13, with improved sights and sounds, and a new physics engine to give every one of those skidding spin-outs maximum fidelity when you take a corner too hard.
BioShock Infinite: Complete Edition
Xbox 360, PS3 (November 4)
The last hurrah of Irrational Games, BioShock Infinite was one of the most anticipated releases of 2013. This new edition includes the Clash in the Clouds arena combat expansion and both parts of the Burial at Sea downloadable content that took you back to the first BioShock‘s undersea city of Rapture, along with some DLC weapons packs.
Many criticized the dissonance between Infinite‘s thematic ambitions and its conservative reliance on violent gunplay, but no one would argue against the fact that BioShock Infinite is a gorgeous piece of work, even a year later. Creative lead Ken Levine has been refining BioShock’s role-playing game/shooter fusion since System Shock 2, so Infinite also plays beautifully, even if it doesn’t quite live up to its narrative promise.
What else is coming:
- Harvest Moon: The Lost Valley (3DS/Nov. 4) — Long before FarmVille, there was Harvest Moon, the quirky fusion of a Japanese RPG and an agriculture simulator. This latest version, the third for the series on Nintendo 3DS, contains all the standbys like building a farm, crafting tools, and wooing a spouse from the local villagers.
- Rocksmith 2014 (Xbox One, PS4/Nov. 4) — It’s like Guitar Hero, but you can play with an actual guitar. This remake of the 2011 game came to the previous generation of consoles in 2013, but now PS4 and Xbox One owners get a chance to work on their shredding chops.
- The Hungry Horde (PS Vita/Nov. 4) — Practically every game that comes out these days has “zombie survival” somewhere in its genre description, but The Hungry Horde inverts that formula by putting you in charge of the zombie masses, “recruiting” more humans in a race against the clock as the military threatens to bomb you from undeath back into regular old death.
- The Swapper (Wii U/Nov. 6) — This puzzle platformer from Finnish indie studio Facepalm Games made waves on PC in 2013 for its haunting atmosphere and interesting use of cloning mechanics, and it has been making the platform rounds ever since. Now Wii U owners can enjoy this mind-bending sci-fi treat.
- Pier Solar and the Great Architects (Wii U/Nov. 6) — This RPG oddity was developed by dedicated homebrew fans in 2010 for the long-defunct Sega Genesis. It started making its way onto more contemporary platforms earlier in 2014, so now more people can enjoy this loving throwback to the ’90s.