Release Highlights: What to Buy?

2017  has been a wondrous experience, full of surprises in the land of gaming. So many great titles released and many announced for the future. To cover how truly great this year has been dignifies a second article. However, no game-day release compares to three franchise giants all being released upon the same day. On Oct. 27 Assassin’s Creed: Origins, Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus and Super Mario Odyssey all share a release. All long-awaited returns to their respective franchises, truly a momentous day within gaming. Whether one has been awaiting the return of the Assassin’s Creed series in the long-awaited setting of Ancient Egypt, engaging in the revels of WW2 and revisiting the Wolfenstein series, or returning to the roots of the game industry by supporting Nintendo’s next main-title Mario game for the new generation, some gamers will be forced to make a tough decision.

With all these prominent titans displayed in front of you, it begs the question: What to Buy? Naturally, as an avid fan of these franchises the answer becomes immediate. Though, within the flourish of underwhelming games appearing on the market, the skeptics await reviews. This article intends to alleviate the skepticism about these titles while providing the subsequent information for the one who has no connection to these franchises.

Assassin’s Creed: Origins

Returning from the hiatus of the franchise because of the loss of quality of games within it, comes the new hope of the series: Assassin’s Creed: Origins. Developed by Ubisoft Montreal and designed on the AnvilNext 2.0 engine, comes the long-awaited action-adventure stealth game that takes place in the highly anticipated setting of Egypt.

When discussing whether or not this game will be successful, the all-too-prominent Assassin’s Creed: Unity topic arises. This bug-ridden, horrendous addition to the series was a banner game of the newest engine. Although not the most recent addition to the series, it overshadows the later released Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate. Ubisoft saw the poor direction the Assassin’s Creed franchise was heading and decided to take a break to rediscover the essence of the series itself.

In Origins the player takes the role of a Medjay named Bayek in a time of turmoil within Egypt. While the current Pharaoh struggles to balance his expansive ideologies with the wrath of his sister’s coup, well-known historical figures such as Cleopatra and Julius Caesar are painted as threats to the Ptolemaic Kingdom that Bayek calls home. Through his connections with the Medjay, he soon discovers the organization is controlling the power and becomes the first Assassin.

Refocusing on the quality of the game, many systems of the previous installments have become improved within Origins. Staying true to the exploration essence, one can traverse on foot, boat, horseback, and even camel-back to uncover the secrets that lay within the land. The iconic Eagle Vision mode has been given roots as a companion eagle named Senu. This feature brings a more realistic light to highlight objects and enemies approaching, giving a breath of aesthetic to the game. An eagle is not the only companion Bayek controls. Throughout the game world there will be tamable beasts to help players on their trek through the ancient cities and outskirts of Egypt. The combat system has been completely revised from the previous titles to give freedom and strategy to the player during combat. All of these new features bring the series to the forefront of this marking, trying to define itself as a great action-adventure stealth game.

Assassin’s Creed: Origins will be available on Playstation 4, Xbox One, and Microsoft Windows.

Super Mario Odyssey

The game that needs no introduction, for it brings a familiar icon in gaming to the new age, Super Mario Odyssey returns the franchise to the 3-D exploration routes of series past. Developed by Nintendo and appearing exclusively on the Nintendo Switch, this new installment plans to bring back the essence of Super Mario 64 and Super Mario Sunshine. Discarding the recently improved, leveled-based stories of the past, an expansive, open world is granted to the player to explore on their very own odyssey.

Taking on the role of Mario, that lovably heroic plumber from the Mushroom Kingdom, the player will travel across different worlds on a hat-shaped ship called “The Odyssey.” The call to adventure is eminent when Bowser declares an arranged marriage with Princess Peach. To stop this unjust act Mario must leave the confines of his home kingdom and visit a plethora of others. Aided by the powerful, anthropomorphic hat, together they must seek out Power Moons to power the Odyssey to Peach’s rescue. Mario will have to travel through fantastical settings of wonder, including a beautifully rendered versions of a modern city.

Support from Cappy enhances the capabilities of Mario more than any other Super Mario game. Access to the classic repertoire of moves, such as triple jumping or wall climbing, are now supplemented by Cappy. By throwing his cap, Mario may unlock the powers of possession and command the selected target. “Capturing” a target opens up the special abilities of the object or creature possessed, allowing Mario to traverse by unexpected and exotic means. In addition to the additive feature of possession, Cappy can also be used as a projectile weapon, or even a temporary platform on which to jump. Honoring the plot established within the game, a player may invite another to join in on the journey. The second player takes control of Cappy, allowing them to Capture enemies and attack independently of Mario.

Coins of the previous installments offered little use within the grand scheme of things, however in this game they offer customization. Coins collected can be cashed as currency for many changes to outfits and hats, offering a personal touch upon the Italian plumber. A whole slew of rewarding 3-D, optionally multiplayer, open-world platformer is released to the new age and honoring the giants of the past.

Super Mario Odyssey releases exclusively on the Nintendo Switch.

Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus

A sequel continuing the storyline of the re-imagined series comes Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus. Slotting in as the 11th game within the universe, The New Colossus is the 3rd installment of the Machinegames line of Wolfenstein and is also a continuation of the story formed by Wolfenstein: The New Order from 2014. Complexities of numbering aside (something Assassin Creed fans understand well), this is a well anticipated first-person shooter, action-adventure game set in the dark history of World War 2.

Delving into the historical fantasy realm of Wolfenstein ensures a refreshing delve in past events. This game is about a notorious struggle of power of the U.S. special forces and the most malicious men to exist, the Nazis. A twist is set upon the world of the Nazis developing many advanced technology to ensure their goals are met, creating a grim outlook of a reversal of dimension when comparing it to our history. Nothing but praise has been awarded to the updated franchise and the new installment ensures the awarded legacy will continue on to the new era.

A grim era is set upon the world, America has been occupied by the Nazi regime – a superpower toppled over by the victors of the Second World War. Americans are not to be deterred by major threats of totalitarianism, history shines true as they take a stand against the oppressors. Taking the reins of William “B.J.” Blazkowicks, the player must (with the help of the militant resistance) organize a second American Revolution against the dreaded Nazi regime. However, revolution is never a smooth process, for William is being hunted. Referred to as “Terror-Billy” by the Nazis, Frau Engel carefully hunts this resistance leader to weaken the morale of the revolution and cease any form of uprising.

Gameplay follows that of the previous installments; missions will involve fighting through the Nazi threat while making use of cover. Used to gain tactical advantage during combat through means of stealth or lean and shooting highlights the necessity of this function. Ambushing is key in getting around unnoticed by unsuspecting enemies. A diverse set of weapons to choose from and attachments to equip let players fight the Nazi regime with their personal tools. An amazing historical journey true to the theme of freedom, this first-person action-adventure shooter promises to grant a story worth getting invested in and tactful combat to keep the player engaged.

Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus releases on Playstation 4, Xbox One, and Microsoft Windows, with plans of release on the Nintendo Switch in 2018.