Upcoming Games: The Risky to the Gritty

Ever since Epic Games added a battle royale mode to “Fortnite” in September 2017, the game has taken over the world — more than 100 million players have logged hours into the competitive multiplayer experience, and “Fortnite” streamers and creators on YouTube and Twitch have broken numerous view and follower records, garnering the attention of news stations, celebrities and businesses. But this “Fortnite” craze may soon wind down, as developers are releasing an abundance of new and promising games that offer everything from enthralling storylines to competitive multiplayer.

Here are the top five anticipated games coming out this fall.

 

  1. “Fallout 76” (Nov. 14)
Courtesy of Bethesda Game Studios

Developer Bethesda Game Studios has been an open-world giant for years, producing hits like “Fallout 3” (2008) and “The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim” (2011). However, “Fallout 76” is taking an alternate approach to the games we know and love: it will be solely multiplayer. Set in West Virginia 25 years after a nuclear strike, “Fallout 76” will have a map four times larger than that of “Fallout 4” (2015) and will offer crafting, perks and player options to opt in or out of player-versus-player and player-versus-environment. Bethesda is taking a risk by putting out an online RPG and venturing from its comfortable, single-player games that have received consistent remarkable reviews. But if this plan is implemented correctly, we could have something akin to “RuneScape” in Fallout form, captivating players’ interest for years to come.

  1. “Super Smash Bros. Ultimate” (Dec. 7)
Courtesy of Bandai Namco Entertainment

Super Smash Bros. has been a staple of casual hangouts since 1999. The game has evolved from its base model, with more maps, combos and characters (including Snake, who originates from the PlayStation). Players will be able to use returning characters, such as Link and Kirby, or experiment with new faces, such as Inkling and Ridley. With movement speed somewhere between that of “Project M” (2013); a mod for “Brawl” (2008); and “Super Smash Bros. for Wii U” (2014), players can expect high intensity gameplay. Developer Bandai Namco Entertainment has also added Echo Fighters, which mirror another character but use different taunts, animations and final smashes. Upon the release of “Ultimate,” friendly rivalries will emerge once again.

 

  1. “Spyro Reignited Trilogy” (Nov. 13)
Courtesy of Toys For Bob

When I got my hands on the “Spyro Reignited Trilogy” demo, I was instantly mesmerized by developer Toys For Bob’s ability to translate the original PlayStation’s Spyro the Dragon trilogy onto current-generation technology. The Toasty and Tree Tops levels featured beautiful graphics and receptive controls while still respecting the original game. The developers made a smart move by allowing players to switch between Stewart Copeland’s remastered and original soundtracks, allowing fans of the original series to be completely immersed in nostalgia whenever they desire. Considering the release date has been delayed, Toys For Bob will have plenty of time to touch up small details and release a game that fans of the original Spyro trilogy can be proud of and enjoy.

 

  1. “Call of Duty: Black Ops 4” (Oct. 12)
Courtesy of Treyarch

With the recent end of the multiplayer beta, developer Treyarch is clearly keen on creating a game that offers a completely new experience while remaining true to its series’ roots. “Black Ops 4” exhibits a brand new health system. Players have 50 percent more health. Rather than automatically regenerating health, players inject themselves with a syringe, a novel addition that alters the way gunfights play out. Along with a diverse array of weapons and maps, responsive controls, high-end graphics and crisp audio, the game’s multiplayer mode will bring competition and enjoyment back to Call of Duty. Though lacking a campaign mode, “Black Ops 4” will introduce Blackout, a battle royale mode in which the last player standing wins. Citing inspiration from games like “H1Z1” (2018) and “Fortnite Battle Royale,” gamers can get their hands on the Blackout beta in September 2018. Assuming Treyarch puts a new twist on the battle royale genre that differentiates it from the others that are so popular at the moment, Blackout is likely to see long-term success. Hopefully, “Black Ops 4” will provide the innovative and balanced gameplay mechanics that Call of Duty has desperately needed.

 

  1. “The Last of Us Part II” (Late 2018/Early 2019)
Courtesy of Naughty Dog

Developer Naughty Dog redefined adventure gaming with “The Last of Us” (2013). Enthralling storytelling, smooth gameplay, gritty animations and graphics coalesced to create one of the most memorable gaming experiences on the PlayStation. “The Last of Us Part II” is supposed to improve upon each of those elements, and the 2018 E3 gameplay trailer gave fans a taste of what’s to come. In the trailer, protagonist Ellie, who has grown up from her innocence in “The Last of Us,” witnesses brutal hangings, anxiously sneaks around enemies and escapes death by a hair. Animations and audio feel real — Ellie ducks and dodges when being shot at, and even the smallest movements are audible. Very little information has been released, but just under 12 minutes of gameplay have showcased the game’s cryptic, terrifying and detailed characteristics. Without a doubt, “The Last of Us Part II” is set to be one of Naughty Dog’s most ambitious games to date.

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