October has always been a special month in gaming history. It’s right before Thanksgiving in the US, which gives game releases just the right amount of shelf-time to be considered as Christmas gifts. Things have changed a bit and we see some pretty good releases all year round these days, but October is still the busiest time of the year for gamers.
Despite two major releases – Final Fantasy XV and The Last Guardian – getting pushed to release later this year, we still have a very busy month ahead of us. Out of all the releases across platforms, these are our top picks.
Gears of War 4
The original cover-based shooter finally makes a comeback this generation. While it still retains the signature elements like the chainsaw gun, shooting mechanics and active reloads, the new game will also add brand new weapons like the Dropshot, and Buzzkill - a weapon that shoots out ricocheting saw blades. Even the horde mode has been scaled up with a new class system that consists of - soldier, sniper, scout, heavy, and engineer. We’ll have to wait and see how that turns out.
The good news is that Gears of War 4 will see a simultaneous Windows 10 release alongside the Xbox One version of the game and will support cross play. Look forward to the release on October 11, or on October 7 if you pre-ordered the Ultimate Edition.
(Also see: Gears of War 4 Beta Is Too Safe for Its Own Good)
EA’s biggest multiplayer franchise is back after a year’s sabbatical, and this time it has a fresh take on war. Based on World War 1, this year’s Battlefield takes a unique approach to multiplayer shooters by handling an era of war that’s seldom touched upon by games. Doing away with modern weapons, Battlefield 1 gives players an arsenal of bolt-action rifles, flamethrowers, and the dreaded mustard gas instead. You still have tanks at your disposal, but new to the series’ vehicles are battleships, biplanes and even horses.
Just when you thought multiplayer shooters were getting terribly repetitive, this comes along. You can read our first impressions of the open beta while you wait for its launch on October 21 for PC, PS4, and Xbox One.
Fatigued with GTA V? This could be the break you’re looking for. Developer Hangar 13’s debut title looks highly promising, by taking the Mafia franchise outside Grand Theft Auto’s shadow into a game that stands for so much more. Protagonist Lincoln Clay has to work up the mob chain by not just breaking up rival gangs, but also fighting prejudices against African-Americans in the 70’s.
Besides the intriguing plot and timeline of Mafia 3, the game is set in the fictional city of New Bordeaux, which is highly inspired by New Orleans. You can explore that in all its open-world goodness when the game launches October 7 on PC, Mac, PS4, and Xbox One.
Sid Meier’s Civilization VI
Taking a step back from the action releases this year, here’s a game that strategy fans have been anxiously waiting for. It brings players everything that they enjoyed about Civilization V, but with new elements as well.
Ed Beach, lead designer at Firaxis Games mentions: "The visual presentation of the game is inspired by the maps and tools of the Age of Exploration, and we've made several key gameplay changes such as expansive cities and active research that makes Sid Meier's Civilization VI an entirely unique experience while remaining true to what makes the Civilization series so special."
The PC game launches on October 21.
Everyone’s favourite mech-shooter is back and this time it promises longer legs. With a single player mode in place, the biggest complaint that the first game faced has been addressed, and even showcased on numerous occasions.
We did, however have some issues with the slower pacing of the game, but Titanfall 2 Game Director Steve Fukuda does seem to have an interesting explanation for it. But will Titanfall loyalists make a comeback to the franchise or will they be swayed by the shortly releasing Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare or EA’s own Battlefield 1? We’ll find out when Titanfall 2 launches on October 28 for PC. PS4 and Xbox One.
The king of the squared circle… wait, scratch that. The only game based around the squared circle, surely enough, has a new iteration this year as well. But now it’s more than just an incremental update with new animations and more refined systems for certain gameplay elements like tables and ladders.
If you’re still into wrestling, you can get your fix on October 11 regardless of the console you own - PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One.
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - Special Edition
We love Skyrim, it’s a sad fact that a lot of gamers never really got a chance to experience it in all its glory, especially if they were playing the abysmal PS3 port.
Things are different this time round. The Special Edition not only brings the game to a current-gen platform, but also gives it the visual upgrade that it always deserved. It’s a shame that PS4 users will not get the brilliant mods support that other platforms would but that doesn’t take anything away from the core experience.
Revisit Skyrim on October 28, on PC, PS4, and Xbox One.
Duke Nukem 3D 20th Anniversary Edition World Tour
Thought you were done with Duke, did you? The best game of the franchise - Duke Nukem 3D - makes a comeback this month with all the classic action in updated graphics. Don’t get your hopes up though, this is not an HD remake.
What you do get however, is an all new episode with 8 new levels from the original game designers. It’s admittedly more of a revisit to one of the games that set benchmarks in first-person shooters (and sexism in video games), than a 2016 fall blockbuster. But if you’re looking for some nostalgia, get Duke Nukem 3D 20th Anniversary Edition World Tour on October 11.
Besides the above-mentioned games, there’s also Rise of the Tomb Raider finally making an appearance on the PS4 in all its DLC glory and VR support. Then old-school gamers can throwback on immature hacking and slashing of Shadow Warrior 2. There’s Moto Racer 4 for racing fans who somehow don’t have access to Forza Horizon 3, and finally there’s Dragon Ball Z Xenoverse 2 to bring back some sweet childhood memories for all you millennials out there.
Let us know via the comments below what you’ll be playing this month.