360, PS3, PC
EU: November 20
Agent 47 has been out of sight for some time, at least in
the gaming world (let's just ignore the Hitman
film), but he's about to make his long-awaited return in Hitman Absolution.
Gaming's top mercenary is ready for his most ambitious adventure to date with
Absolution, which delivers a wider-open world for your meticulous assassination
attempts, with a slick new Instinct mode that feeds essential information to 47
on the fly. And the Contracts mode, with its sharable custom kills, is an
intriguing substitute for what could've been a generic online mode. Just check
9 reasons we're excited feature for even more on this killer quest.
PlayStation 3, Vita
EU: November 23
Undoubtedly Sony's take on the winning Super Smash Bros.
formula, PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale cobbles together a rogues gallery
of iconic heroes from a variety of franchises – including PaRappa the Rapper,
Ratchet and Clank, Big Daddy from BioShock, and Nathan Drake from Uncharted. Releasing
on both PlayStation 3 and Vita (a purchase of the former also yields the
latter) with cross-play support, Battle Royale's big aesthetic hook beyond the
disparate characters is the way it amusingly blends multiple franchises with
its slick backdrops, though here's hoping that the actual combat manages to live
up to that of its clear inspiration.
Nintendo 3DS, DS
Everyone's favorite oddball animated series is finally
getting a proper game adaptation in the form of Adventure Time: Hey Ice King!
Why'd You Steal Our Garbage?!, a title befitting such a bizarre/amazing show.
The colorful 2D platformer is headed to both Nintendo 3DS and the O.G. DS
thanks to WayForward, which has hit some definite highs in the genre in the
past (see A Boy And His Blob). In addition to the standard edition, a limited
release packed inside Finn's Enchiridion handbook from the series is also
available only on the 3DS side, which also comes with a sword-shaped stylus,
poster, and beastiary booklet.
EU: February 22,
It's been a big couple of months for the Shin Megami Tensei:
Persona franchise. First, the sparkling Persona 4 Arena ushered the series into
the fighting genre with spectacular results, and now Persona 4: Golden revives
one of the best-loved role-playing entries with a super-sized PlayStation Vita
iteration. We gave the original PlayStation 2 release a very strong review
back in 2008, and Golden aims to update it for old fans and new players alike
with remastered visuals, a much larger amount of voiced dialogue, additional
cinematics and story elements, a new character, and even an online dungeon
rescue system. So much Persona!
EU: November 23
Arriving six years after the last Family Guy console game,
Back to the Multiverse marks Activision's first crack at the Fox animated
series, and they've got Heavy Iron Studios (SpongeBob: Truth or Square) behind
the wheel of this third-person co-op shooter. Taking the role of either Stewie
or Brian Griffin – or pairing up for some tag-team action – you'll blast
through a cel-shaded world inspired by the popular "Road to the Multiverse"
episode, and it's sure to be packed with breezy pop culture references. Back to
the Multiverse also features a local four-player multiplayer mode, which
expands the playable roster to 10 familiar characters from the show.
Power Rangers: Super
EU: November 9
We've seen a trend of licensed Kinect-based fighters of
late, between Dragon Ball Z for Kinect and The Avengers: Battle for Earth, and
Power Rangers: Super Samurai only seeks to continue that holiday barrage. From
what we've seen of screenshots and fuzzy convention videos on YouTube, Namco
Bandai's adaptation of the latest in a very long line of Power Rangers
properties seems to blend on-rails hack-and-slash action with mini-games that
put you alongside the colorful combatants. It's probably meant for youngsters,
but then again, nostalgia might propel this one into the homes of more than a
Rise of the
Guardians: The Video Game
360, PlayStation 3, Wii, 3DS, DS
EU: November 23
Based on this month's Dreamworks Animation CG flick, which
itself adapts William Joyce's series of The
Guardians of Childhood children's books, Rise of the Guardians: The Video
Game serves up a four-player action experience (on consoles) with drop-in
multiplayer, wherein you'll play as the likes of Jack Frost and heroes based on
Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy. Team attacks and
upgradeable abilities are a core part of this licensed battler, which will also
be released for Wii U come December.
Crashmo (Fallblox in
Nintendo 3DS (eShop)
Pushmo (Pullblox in Europe) is one of the rare Nintendo 3DS
greats that isn't spawned from an existing franchise, but it's about to become
one itself, thanks to the impending release of sequel Crashmo (Fallblox in
Europe) on the eShop. As in the original, you'll push and pull large blocks to
navigate to the top – this time to save birds instead of small children – but
now, the blocks will crash down to earth when you remove the supporting pieces,
which should significantly change the feel of the action while playing with
familiar mechanics. Like its predecessor, Crashmo also seems sure to be one of
the best values on the system thanks to a bite-sized price.
PlayStation 3, Vita
EU: November 30
The release schedule drops off dramatically after
Thanksgiving, save for a couple of notable December releases, but at least
everyone's favorite lombax and robot duo are around to close out the month.
Like Quest for Booty before it, Ratchet & Clank: Full Frontal Assault is
designed as a "fun-sized" series adventure (and appropriately priced
as such) – though it has a much different feel than your average entry. Taking
cues from the likes of Orcs Must Die!, FFA loops
in base defense gameplay, and can be played individually or in co-op. And
it's cross-play compatible between PS3 and Vita, with both download and retail
versions available on the former for $19.99. Buying either PS3 release yields
the Vita download, which is also sold separately.