If you have a PlayStation 3, get this game! (Find out why in our full review.) Cinematic and striking, the Uncharted series hit its stride with its second entry, Among Thieves, and has kept trucking straight on into this latest release. With incredible set pieces, likeable and engaging characters, menacing villains, and extremely satisfying action, Uncharted 3 is a tight, gorgeous experience that should not be missed. Further, it has a robust multiplayer suite that offers both competitive and cooperative options, sure to keep you pulling you back throughout the busy holiday season. It hits stores Tuesday, November 1.
A high-definition retread of the recent Wii-based remake of classic N64 shooter GoldenEye 007, GoldenEye 007: Reloaded replaces Pierce Brosnan with Daniel Craig and the satellite super-weapon plot with something about banking and such. (More realistic, sure, but less exciting.) Regardless, the shooting action is intact and, on the PlayStation 3, the Move will be in full effect. The Wii version was one of the best Bond games in recent memory, and this promises the same content with a brighter, shinier coat of paint. The game will be available this Tuesday, November 1. The disc will not self-destruct. We hope.
(PC, PS3, X360)
Hitting just ten days before Skyrim, War in the North represents the other major fantasy property getting a game release this November: The Lord of the Rings. It's an action RPG, produced by Snowblind studios, blending beat'em up mechanics with upgradeable abilities. With three selectable characters to choose from and a plot that extends to many locations not present in the Peter Jackson films, Lord of the Rings: War in the North is the most ambitious Lord of the Rings console release since The Third Age, last generation. Oh, and it has cooperative play. The gate to Middle Earth opens this Tuesday, November 1.
(PC, PS3, X360)
It's time to celebrate twenty years of Sonic the Hedgehog. He's not quite old enough to drink away the memories of the last few years of Sonic games, but he's still planning to party in style, bringing out an entirely new entry that celebrates both his beginnings and how far he's come (stop chuckling). SEGA promises that, this time, things will be different. NCIS blends traditional side-scrolling levels with 3D fare, allowing players to control both the original version of everyone's favorite hedgehog and his modern incarnation in environments based on and inspired by classic series staples. It's offered at a discount, too: $50 on the 360 and PS3 (for which it comes out this Tuesday, November 1) and only $30 on the PC (Friday, November 4).
(PS3, Wii, X360)
NCIS may bill itself as a procedural drama, but CSI it ain't. People don't watch it for the investigations, but for the characters. The dysfunctional work/family mechanic is engaging to watch, and Abby Sciuto (played by Pauley Perrette, who you would seriously not believe is over 40 years old) is one of the most marketable characters on television. So, of course, the series is getting turned into a game (it only took them nine seasons). It's an adventure game that promises to bring you into the NCIS world and have you handle investigations using simple controls. It comes out this Tuesday, November 1. I know what I'm getting my mom for Channukah.
Everything Else: November 1
DLC Slated for release this week:
Hidden Gem of the Week: Sword of the Stars II: Lords of Winter
"Hidden Gem" might be a misnomer in this case. This is more about making right an oversight from last week. Sword of the Stars II is the sequel to the original Sword of the Stars (shocking, I'm sure). Built on a 4X framework, where the four "X"s stand for "explore, expand, exploit, and exterminate," Sword of the Stars would generally be placed in the company of classics such as the Master of Orion games or Imperium Galactica, as well as the more recent Sins of a Solar Empire.
Sins is a particularly apt comparison, in fact, because what distinguished both it and Sword of the Stars from their forebears was their real-time combat. Sword of the Stars was the first 4X game to offer a physical simulation of battles, which were contrasted against the game's otherwise turn-based nature. Lords of Winter introduces a new race and updated graphics engine, but otherwise offers more addictive 4X gameplay for those who enjoy that sort of thing. You know who you are. It came out as of Friday, October 28, exclusively on PC.
By Shelby Reiches
CCC Contributing Writer
*The views expressed within this article are solely the opinion of the author and do not express the views held by Cheat Code Central.*