There are two kinds of gamers at the moment: gamers who’re waiting for Halo 4 and Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 to come out, and gamers who’re waiting for the first group to shut up about Halo 4 and Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 coming out. Well, if you’re one of the latter, you know there’s more to life than headshots. Here are a few dates for your calendar which mark the release of awesome games with very little shooting at all in them. If you’re in the first group, though, you’ve still got some time to kill before November- and those thumbs aren’t going to exercise themselves.
28 September – Dead or Alive 5 (PS3, Xbox)
For those of us unfamiliar with the fine art of fisticuffs, Dead or Alive 5 will be the newest instalment in the Dead or Alive series of fighting games. With fifteen characters, including guest star Akira Yuki of Virtua Fighter fame, there will be plenty to keep you busy as you brawl your way through a wide variety of stages new and old. In fact, producer Yosuke Hayashi has promised more immersive environments than ever before, with stages that are not only interactive but adaptable and fully destructible. More importantly, perhaps, the game features costume-specific breast physics. Tired of unrealistically rendered breasts? Me too.
28 September – FIFA 13 (PS3, Xbox, PC)
The FIFA series hardly needs an introduction, but for sports gamers everywhere it’s time to get with the times and pick up this year’s version. Along with more realistic game physics there are also a number of new passing options which mean that this instalment is more immersive- and more tactical- than ever before. EA Sports claim to have developed many new features in close cooperation with fans, making a number of important changes to Career Mode especially. The new ‘Better with Kinect’ feature also allows the player to control the game verbally- although you’d be well advised to watch your language. The referee doesn’t take kindly to swearing, and if the Kinect hears you, it’s a yellow card. How’s that for realism?
12 October – Pokémon Black/White 2 (DS)
In handheld gaming, the keenly awaited release of Pokémon Black 2 and Pokémon White 2 is sure to be on everyone’s mind this October. Most of us probably haven’t kept up with the Pokémon games beyond Red and Blue, but if you do happen to have played Black or White, you’ll soon find that this new release is a direct sequel to those two versions. Full of the classic gameplay style that must surely be familiar to everyone by now, Black 2 and White 2 introduce two new gym leaders, and revise the Unova map for a new adventure with different Pokémon. The graphics have come a long way, but coming to terms with 500 new Pokémon is a small price for reliving those heady days of youth.
2 October – Just Dance 4 (Wii, PS3, Xbox 360)
An ever-popular family classic, the Just Dance series is much less embarrassing than the dance games available when we were kids. With the support of the Wii remote, Kinect and PS Move however, there will be no need to dust off the dance mat. This instalment adds a new mode of play (dance battle mode) and has made expansions to the just sweat mode, a fitness trainer included in JD3. With more than 40 tracks ranging from Flo Rida and Rihanna to Will Smith and The B-52s, there is really no excuse not to join in. And if that doesn’t scare you… nothing will.
31 October – Assassin’s Creed III (WiiU, PS3, Xbox 360)
In the newest chapter of Ubisoft’s ever-popular Assassin’s Creed series, the player controls a half-Mohawk half-English assassin embroiled in the American Revolution. The action takes place over a period of 30 years, so players can expect a continuation of the detailed and immersive storyline which has characterised the series so far. Equipped with a map that is half again as large as the previous instalment’s, a bundle of new moves and features, and missions which range from platform to puzzle, Assassin’s Creed III is sure to be fas-assassinating.