2010 has already been a fantastic year for gamers, with an abundance of quality releases throughout the first half of this year. However, the fall holiday season is typically the time of year when the biggest franchises hit store shelves, and 2010 appears to be no different. With that in mind, Gaming Union has compiled a list of the top ten games scheduled for release this fall. It's important to note that we only included announced games on this list - rumored entrances such as Resistance 3 are off the table.
Below is our top ten anticipated games of fall 2010, in alphabetical order.
Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood
Platform(s): PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC
Release Date: Nov. 16th, 2010
Developer: Ubisoft Montreal
Assassin's Creed II was easily one of 2009's best games on any platform. It took the technical foundations - such as incredibly realistic animations, detailed environments and smooth performance - laid out by its predecessor, and added varied missions and interesting characters to help create a complete experience - something more than a tech demo.
Brotherhood is a continuation of AC II's plot, one that takes Ezio to Rome, the heart of renaissance Italy. The game also features an online multiplayer mode, a first for Assassin's Creed, that is surprisingly unique. Players are tasked with eliminating other player controlled assassin's, making use of diverse abilities and classes to do so. There's a lot to look forward to when Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood ships this November.
Call of Duty: Black Ops
Platform(s): PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC, Wii
Release Date: Nov. 9th, 2010
There's a couple obvious reasons, unrelated to core gameplay, as to why anticipation behind Call of Duty: Black Ops is especially high. For one, the previous installment in the COD franchise, Modern Warfare 2, happens to be one of the most successful games of all time, so naturally a substantial number of people are eagerly awaiting the next big thing. Second, since Modern Warfare 2's release, there have been massive changes to the primary Call of Duty team over at Infinity Ward.
These two factors have given Black Ops developer Treyarch an opportunity to step out of Infinity Ward's shadow and establish themselves as a top tier studio. With that in mind, Treyarch has been keeping their cards close for Black Ops, other than revealing the Cold War setting and minor multiplayer details. All eyes will be on Black Ops come November.
Release Date: Sept. 21st, 2010
The PC gaming market is in an unusually prominent position as of late with the release of StarCraft II. Civilization V's upcoming release is set to continue the trend of PC in the spotlight, as Civilization is one of the strongest non-Blizzard produced PC franchises around.
The latest installment in the acclaimed turn-based strategy series introduces a variety of new mechanics, as well as throwing out several others. Hexagonal tiles, one unit limit per tile, self defense for cities, AI controlled city-states, and a revised religion system are all noticeable changes from Civilization IV. Civilization V is set to consume many lives when it hits store shelves this September.
Platform(s): Xbox 360 (Kinect)
Release Date: Nov. 4th, 2010
Microsoft's long awaited reveal of its entry into the motion control arena, Kinect, was met with a mixed reception by enthusiast gamers, who generally felt the device lacked system seller software. However, there was one game that managed to capture the imagination of gamers and tentatively attain the position of flagship Kinect product, Dance Central.
Developed by Harmonix, the team that created Guitar Hero and Rock Band, Dance Central uses the full body motion tracking technology, unique to Kinect, to create a realistic and above all fun dance game, unlike anything seen in gaming so far. While many "core" gamers remain lukewarm to the concept of dance games, there is an undeniable appreciation for the innovative way Harmonix have utilized Kinect. Dance central has the rare potential to further broaden the gaming audience.
Release Date: Fall 2010
Developer: Junction Point
What happens when the most iconic cartoon character of all time meets one of gaming's most iconic designers? Epic Mickey. Warren Spector, the man who produced classics such as Deus Ex and System Shock, as well as a self professed cartoon history buff and Disney fanatic, was approached by Disney to make a game that celebrated the company's storied past.
The end result is Epic Mickey, a game that blends conventional platforming and adventuring elements with Spector's signature emphasis on player choice. The game has a couple things going for it which could make it a huge success. First, being on the Wii allows Epic Mickey to reach the casual, family audience that would be particularly interested in Mickey Mouse. Second, Warren Spector's stellar record in game design has given the game great depth. What's not to love?
Gran Turismo 5
Platform(s): PlayStation 3
Release Date: Nov. 2nd, 2010
Developer: Polyphony Digital
To say legions of racing fans have been eagerly awaiting Gran Turismo 5 would be an understatement. Polyphony Digital's debut on the PlayStation 3 has been delayed seemingly countless times (in development since 2004), making comparisons to Duke Nukem Forever surprisingly relevant.
Fortunately, Gran Turismo 5 is finally ready to greet fans, on November 2nd to be exact, unless the notorious perfectionist Kazunori Yamauchi finds something else to add. The game already features over 70 tracks, approximately 1,000 cars, real-time damage, online multiplayer, 3D support, the full NASCAR license, Top Gear, and PlayStation Eye head tracking. Will Gran Turismo 5 be the definitive racing game experience? All signs point to it.
Platform(s): Xbox 360
Release Date: Sept. 14th, 2010
Bungie's farewell to the beloved Halo franchise for the foreseeable future (likely ten years) has sent expectations for Halo: Reach sky high. Combined with the general feeling of franchise fatigue that set in after 2009's real-time strategy spinoff Halo: Wars and expansion pack Halo 3: ODST, fans are hungry for a true evolution of the series.
Will Halo: Reach deliver? While impressions from the multiplayer beta were positive, Reach appeared to be only a marginal improvement on Halo's traditional formula. Singeplayer largely remains a mystery. Bungie will need to deliver more than space combat to blow people away, but seeing as we're talking about one of the top tier studios in gaming, odds are they have a few surprises in store.
Kirby's Epic Yarn
Release Date: Fall 2010
Developer: Good-Feel and HAL Laboratory
Nintendo had a very strong showing at their E3 2010 press conference, announcing several new titles for the hardcore audience that had been painfully absent in recent years. In particular, the announcement of a new Kirby game, Kirby's Epic Yarn, the first console platformer in the series since 2000's Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards, was met with widespread approval.
Kirby's Epic Yarn features a unique art style that makes the environment appear stitched together. This style also extends to the mechanics - Kirby can manipulate the environment, enemies, and obstacles by pulling at different pieces of yarn. It all comes together into a gorgeous, seamless experience that should definitely be on your radar this fall.
Platform(s): PlayStation 3
Release Date: Nov. 16th, 2010
Developer: Media Molecule
The original LittleBigPlanet spawned its own genre, the user created (Play. Create. Share.) genre. The concept of a game built around user creativity was a risky endeavor for Sony, but one that paid off handsomely with over 3 million copies sold, over a million levels published, a PSP version and a genre extension in ModNation Racers.
Media Molecule had originally stated their wish to make LittleBigPlanet a persistent platform that would not require retail updates, but due to the grand scope their ambitions, as well as reaching a wider audience, LittleBigPlanet 2 was born. The sequel takes creativity to an entirely new level by providing users with the tools to create any kind of game they can imagine. No longer restricted primarily to platformers, LBP 2 supports shooters, top-down racers, real-time strategy games, and much more - the possibilities are endless.
Rock Band 3
Platform(s): PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
Release Date: Oct. 26th, 2010
Compared to 2007, when the music rhythm genre was on top of the world, there has been a sharp decline in the popularity of games such as Rock Band and Guitar Hero. This struggle has largely been attributed to a lack of innovation and saturation in the market. Seemingly endless Guitar Hero iterations over the past couple years have left the audience hungry for something new, Rock Band 3.
Harmonix have again taken the lead, completely changing the game with Rock Band 3's Pro Mode. Pro Mode features actual instruments, compatible with both Rock Band and independent musicianship, in the hopes of drawing established musicians, as well as those interested in learning the skills to become one. Coupled with a streamlined user interface and community options, Rock Band 3 is the evolution of the music rhythm genre Harmonix revitalized in the West. Need I say more?
Other Notable Games:
Fallout: New Vegas
Final Fantasy XIV
Medal of Honor