This week in gaming: Master Chief, Batman, and an Assassin walk into a bar

week gaming master chief batman napoleon bonaparte walk bar assassins creed unity
This upcoming week is one of the biggest in fall 2014’s jam-packed calendar of anticipated, AAA releases. Not one, but two new Assassin’s Creed games lead off a week that also includes entries from popular franchises like Halo, Lego Batman, and World of Warcraft. Get ready to kill a lot of humans, aliens, and minifigs.

Assassin’s Creed Unity

PS4/Win/XB1 (November 11)
Ubisoft’s historical murderthon takes its first native leap into the latest generation of hardware with Assassin’s Creed Unity. This time around you skulk through the alleys, rooftops, and crowds of French Revolution-era Paris, meeting (and perhaps stabbing) the likes of Robespierre, Napoleon, and the lascivious Marquis de Sade.

Unity promises to be the biggest Assassin’s Creed ever, with a nearly one-to-one replica of 18th century Paris as your playground. Aside from the expected graphical improvements, the game promises to add new levels of customization, more sophisticated AI, and a much richer and more integrated multiplayer mode — coperative, rather than competitive — than those that have been a part of the series since Brotherhood.

Assassin’s Creed Rogue

PS3/X360 (November 11)
Just in case owners of the older consoles might feel left out on Tuesday, Ubisoft surprised everyone with the announcement of one last hurrah on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, to be released on the same day as Unity. Assassin’s Creed Rogue puts a spin on the series’ usual formula by casting you as a former assassin who has joined the Templars — the series antagonists — to hunt down his former brothers.

The action will be set during the Seven Years’ War, bridging the gap between Assassin’s Creed IV and III. Gameplay will be similar to IV with a mix of ship-based exploration of the North Atlantic and on-foot exploration of the colonial Americas.

Halo: The Master Chief Collection

XB1 (November 11)
Halo: Combat Evolved changed everything for competitive first person shooters at the turn of the millennium. Before the franchise steps into the next generation with Halo 5: Guardians, the series is looking back over its genre-defining past with this remastered collection of the first four games.

The high-definition overhaul is particularly notable in the first and second games, which defined the original Xbox in 2001 and introduced console gamers to the thrill of online competitive play in 2004, respectively. All four campaigns and their multiplayer modes have been collected into a single place, letting you play through linearly, picking and choosing, or by going through themed playlists, such as running through all of the Flood missions.

Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham

XB1, X360, PS4, PS3, Wii U, Vita, 3DS, PC (November 11)
The Lego Batman series takes to the stars with an interstellar adventure to protect Green Lantern rings from the evil Brainiac. The whole Justice League comes together for the biggest Lego game set in the DC Comics universe yet.

The game offers hundreds of unlockable characters, ranging from DC mainstays like Wonder Woman and The Flash to much deeper cuts like Man Bat and Polka Dot Man. A few new faces to the DC universe also join the fun, like writer/director/geek Kevin Smith and talk show host Conan O’Brien.

What else is coming:

  • Tetris Ultimate (3DS/Nov. 11) — One of the most revered video games of all time turned 30 this year, so this ultimate edition, jam-packed with variant gameplay modes, is the perfect celebration for people to clear blocks on the go with their 3DS.
  • Tropico 5 (X360/Nov. 11) — Break out the illegally imported cigars for this tropical dictatorship sim that first hit PCs in May.
  • Terraria (PS4/Nov. 11, XB1/Nov. 13) — It’s like Minecraft if it were a 2D SNES side-scroller. This crafting and exploration has built up a large following since its initial PC release in 2011, and a hefty body of content to keep new fans occupied for a long time to come.
  • World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor (PC/Nov. 13) — The next expansion to Blizzard’s definitive MMO digs into the franchise’s mythology by taking you back to Draenor, the orcs’ ancestral home.

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