By Jared Cornelius
With September done and the first month of huge fall releases out of the way, October is looking to make a strong showing in its first week. The release calendar for the 7th was at one point a singularity for every major title that wasn't named Call of Duty. Dragon Age Inquisition, and Shadow of Mordor were slated for this week but both publishers decided moving would be in everyone's best interests. But no fear as we're still left with a huge, diverse calendar. From single player horror, to re-releases, and best of all your free games if you subscribe to PlayStation Plus or Xbox Live Gold.
After the disastrous Colonial Marines you'd think that Sega would've abandoned trying to making a good Alien title, but there still may be hope in Creative Assembly's Alien Isolation. The game has you play as Ellen Ripley's daughter Amanda, who's searching for clues about her mother's disappearance. While investigating Amanda runs afoul of the same cosmic horror as her mother and ends up on a space station menaced by a single Xenomorph. The first person horror game is taking cues from modern PC horror hits like the Slender and Amnesia series by making the game more about the chase than combat. Taking the Xenomorph head on will be a death sentence, with players encouraged to run, hide, and stealth through encounters with the ever hunting alien. Players will encounter other survivors on the station as well who may be friend, foe, or prey. If you'd like to know more about Aliens Isolation our very own Patrick Dane wrote a review that you can check out here. Aliens Isolation released Tuesday on PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, and PC.
Why not ring in the start of the spookiest month by trick or treating early with Double Fine's Costume Quest 2. The sequel to gaming luminary Tim Schafer's 2010 role playing game puts you in control of fraternal twins Wren and Reynold who travel through time and do battle with an evil dentist. Costume Quest's plays a great deal like a traditional role playing game with turn based combat, with active time combat reminiscent of the Paper Mario series that rewards you for well-timed blocks and strikes. Costume Quest's real charm lies in the titular costumes, with the child characters putting on a Halloween costume and transforming from a child in a dinosaur costume to an actual dinosaur, it's a bit like the Final Fantasy job system without the over complication. Double Fine's games usually have a lot of heart and little moments so this might be the perfect Halloween game for the whole family. Costume Quest 2 released Tuesday on Steam, PlayStation 3, and PlayStation 4, Wednesday on Xbox 360 and Xbox One, and Thursday on Wii U.
It's time for another sports upgrade with 2K's reigning basketball champion NBA 2K15. With no competition to speak of the NBA 2K series has cleaned up in the wake of EA's "Live" series floundering and this year doesn't look to be any different. 2K seems to be pushing a features with "My" in front of it, including MyCareer create a player mode, MyPark multiplayer mode, and MyTeam which sounds suspiciously like the Ultimate Team Mode in EA games. The MyTeam mode has you paying real life money for cards to play online games with so yeah, microtransactions in sixty dollar games. NBA 2K15 released Tuesday on PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, and PC.
If you Sony faithful felt left out thanks to last weeks release of Forza Horizon 2, have no fear, Evolution Studios is here to save the day with Driveclub. Evolution made waves in the beginning of last generation with the arcade racing series Motorstorm and are hoping to make a bigger impact with their new racing franchise. Like Horizon, Driveclub is less focused on simulation elements and focuses more on the fun and freedom of going fast in expensive virtual cars. Driveclub is also heavy on social and interactive elements with the game wanting you to join a club and race online for virtual money. It also purports to have roads and tracks from around the world which were inspired by the real thing, so who knows maybe they modeled your neighborhood. Driveclub released Tuesday for PlayStation 4. If you're a PlayStation Plus subscriber you'll get a paired down version of Driveclub to try with a few tracks and cars unlocked.
Remember that little indie game Minecraft? If you've been living under a rock, Microsoft purchased it from creator Marcus "Notch" Persson for 2.8 billion dollars. So in the wake of that news why not go buy a boxed copy for the PlayStation 4 and give Microsoft money for a game on a Sony machine. You know the drill on this one, get resources, build things, blocky characters. If you already own the PlayStation 3 version you can upgrade digitally for only $5. Minecraft is available for PlayStation 4 Tuesday with a Vita version hitting later this year.
It looks like Microsoft is trying to make up for a lack of content this week by pushing some old games. Forza 5, Ryse Son of Rome, and Dead Rising 3 are all getting upgraded editions. All three contain various pieces of downloadable content and are marked down from $60 to $50 dollars, not much of a bargain for launch games if you ask me. I wouldn't recommend any of these considering the regular editions are around $30 to $35 dollars. While we're on the subject of re-released Microsoft games, they're also putting out a boxed copy starter pack for their world builder/toy box game Project Spark. It's somewhere in-between Little Big Planet and Disney Infinity in terms of gameplay and world building, but you can download and try it for free on Xbox One, so I'd recommend you try before you buy.
A new month means new free games if you're a subscriber to Xbox Live Gold or PlayStation Plus and this month Sony has a particularly strong lineup of current titles and some classics. PlayStation 4 users get the aforementioned paired down version of Driveclub, 2D indie darling Dust: An Elysian Tail, and masochistic platformer, Spelunky which is cross-buy so it'll be available on PlayStation Vita and PlayStation 3 as well. PlayStation 3 gets developer Rocksteady's first stab at the Batman franchise with Batman Arkham Asylum, and classic Capcom beat'em-up Dungeons and Dragons: Chronicles of Mystara. As for the PlayStation Vita, it's cross-buy heaven with grid based tactics game Rainbow Moon available for PlayStation 3 and Vita with puzzler Pix The Cat being cross-buy for Vita and PlayStation 4.
Microsoft's Games With Gold program is giving you a brand spanking new title with developer Firma's Chariot, a co-op platform title on Xbox One. Xbox 360 users get EA's first person shooter Battlefield Bad Company 2 free until the 15th where it'll be replaced by the excellent 3rd person action game, Darksiders II.
That's it for this week, you can let me know what you're playing by tweeting me @John_Laryngitis, I respond to every tweet so come over and say hi. You can check out my other regular column, Typing on The Dead: Bleeding Cool's Walking Dead recap which just got a brand new edition last week.
Jared Cornelius is some guy from the Jersey coast who ate at the amazing Revolving Door in Newport RI this week. If you'd like to find out more about my awesome meal, follow me on Twitter @John_Laryngitis