CBR Games Roundup: October, 2008

Here we are again with the second edition of CBR’s Games Roundup. This time around we’re looking at some of the biggest titles that will be hitting store shelves during the month of October. With over 100 games scheduled for release, there are a ton of titles to choose from for all platforms.

As always, please keep in mind that this list is not inclusive of every release for a given month, release dates are always subject to change, and some games are released on certain platforms before others. That said, let’s dive in to this month’s smorgasbord of gaming goodness.

Fracture (PS3 / Xbox 360)—October 7 - Website

In this third-person action game, global warming has gotten so bad that the United States has split into two factions fighting over how to deal with the problem. The main feature of the game is the ability to deform the terrain around you with various weapons. Players can create or destroy barriers and cover, solve puzzles, and reach previously inaccessible areas of levels through manipulation of the environment. The game will also feature multiplayer modes that take advantage of this feature.

Saints Row 2 (PC / PS3 / Xbox 360)—October 14 - Website

Despite being dismissed by some as a GTA clone, the first “Saints Row” became a success on the XBox 360, selling over two million units. The second chapter of the game picks up five years after the original, and things haven’t gone so well for the Saints in that time. Players will be tasked with putting the band back together and retaking Stilwater. In addition to standard multiplayer, “Saints Row 2” will also feature online co-op, where a buddy can jump in and out of a player’s game at will.

Dead Space (PC / PS3 / Xbox 360)—October 14 - Website

EA’s new survival horror game takes place aboard a stranded mining ship in deep space. Engineer Isaac Clarke has been sent to repair communications on the ship, but upon arriving finds that it has been overrun by an alien horde known as the Necromorphs. EA has endeavored to create a deep backstory and world for the game, which suggests they may be starting a new franchise with this one.

CBR spoke to Senior Producer Chuck Beaver about the game in August, and you can read that interview here.

SOCOM: Confrontation (PS3)—October 14 - Website

The SOCOM series of third-person shooters has been a pioneer of online play since the early days of the PS2. Confrontation is no different, as this online-only game for the PS3 will feature up to 32-player matches over seven huge maps, including a few that long-time players may be familiar with.

The game will be released as a digital download via the Playstation Store, and in two retail versions, one of which will come bundled with a Bluetooth headset.

Rock Band 2 (PS3 / Xbox 360)—October 19 - Website

In September, “Rock Band 2” arrived on the Xbox 360, but those looking for the full instrument bundle had to wait until this month, when the bundles arrive for both the PS3 and the Xbox 360. Several of the “Rock Band” features have been improved this time around, including a drum trainer and a “no fail” mode.

Wii and PS2 owners will have to wait another month, as the game is currently scheduled to be released on both consoles in November.

Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia (DS)—October 21

In this third installment of the Castlevania series on DS, players will take on the role of Shanoa, champion of the Order of Ecclesia, as they battle Dracula and his minions. The Belmonts have disappeared, and it’s up to the Order to hold the fort until they return.

The game is darker in style than its DS predecessors, but many of the features will be familiar. The combat revolves around a glyph system. Players collect glyphs and can equip up to three of them at a time, giving Shanoa primary, secondary and special attacks. Different combinations of glyphs will create different attacks, and there are over 100 combinations in all.

Spider-Man: Web of Shadows (Multi)—October 21 - Website

The wall-crawler will have to team up with hero and villain alike to save Manhattan from a symbiote invasion. Spidey has the ability to choose whether or not to access the powers of the symbiote, donning the red and blue or black costumes according to what that choice is. Each suit has its benefits, and using the symbiote brings consequences as well. How players approach certain choices will affect who they team up with during the game as well as the resolution of the storyline.

Check out CBR’s interview with “Web of Shadows” writer Brian Reed here, as well as what the game’s developer, Shaba, had to say here

Far Cry 2 (PC / PS3 / Xbox 360)—October 21 - Website

The latest entry in the Far Cry series ditches the previous lead character and allows players to choose their own character from eight different mercenaries. The game takes place in Africa, and the story will have players trying to take out an arms dealer who is fueling both sides of a civil war.

Multiplayer for “Far Cry 2” will feature up to sixteen players, and the game will ship with a whopping fourteen maps.

Little Big Planet (PS3)—October 21- Website

Possibly the most anticipated PS3 release since its launch, “Little Big Planet” finally makes its debut this month. Part puzzle game, part platformer, part level editor, “Little Big Planet” is hard to describe. The game features cute characters that appear to be hand-crafted, with names like “Sackboy,” who the players will control as they navigate through levels by running, jumping, grabbing and manipulating the’ environment. After completing a few levels, players will unlock creation tools, which is where “Little Big Planet” expects to shine. Players will be able to create their own levels and then share them with the world. Likewise, they’ll also be able to download other people’s creations. The game will feature a ton of assets for level creation, and users will also be able to import images into the levels they are creating.

Sadly, the ability to create levels with friends online won’t be available at launch, but will be patched in later. All of the other online features will be available, however, so players can still play online with friends and share content back and forth.

Fable 2 (Xbox 360)—October 21 - Website

Peter Molyneux’s epic sequel to the first “Fable,” this new tale takes place 500 years after the original story. As in the last game, players can choose to be either good or evil, which will be reflected in their actions. The character’s appearance will change over the course of the game, and their actions will have long-term ramifications in the game world. Players will be able to have families and own property, and they will be accompanied by a faithful dog that will learn new behaviors as the game goes on.

One of the most talked about features of "Fable 2" is its online co-op mode. While in the game world, friends who are online will appear as orbs in the world, and a player can pull a friend into the game by simply clicking on one of the orbs. The actions of a visitor also affect the game world of the host, so players will have the ability to set some ground rules, such as whether or not friendly fire will be allowed.

Bioshock (PS3)—October 21 - Website

Almost a year after the game released on the Xbox 360, “Bioshock” finally makes its way to the PS3. It’s not just a port, however, as the game has some new features, including a “Survivor Mode,” whereby enemies are tougher and resources are scarcer, forcing players to strategize more and use everything available to them. Also available through downloadable content will be “challenge rooms,” in which players have to solve puzzles to complete objectives, like saving a Little Sister.

Guitar Hero World Tour (PS2 / PS3 / Xbox 360 / Wii)—October 26 - Website

Originally titled “Guitar Hero IV,” this latest iteration of the game brings in additional instruments for the first time. A microphone and drum kit will accompany the guitar in the bundled version of the game, however the biggest addition to the game may turn out to be its music creation feature. Players will be able to use the guitar and drums to create their own music, which can then be uploaded and shared with others.

Fallout 3 (PC / PS3 / Xbox 360)—October 28 - Website

“Fallout 3” is a post-apocalyptic RPG from the developers of “Oblivion.” Set 36 years after “Fallout 2,” “Fallout 3” will have players taking on the role of a survivor who leaves the relative safety of an underground vault to go in search of his (or her) father (voiced by Liam Neeson). Players will be able to take either a first or third-person perspective, and combat can be approached from a real-time or more of a turn-based standpoint, using a system known as VATS to target specific parts of an enemy. The game also features a unique character creation system, with players making attribute choices that bring the character from childhood to adulthood.

For those unfamiliar with the Fallout series, you can play the original “Fallout” game for free over at GameTap.

Motorstorm: Pacific Rift (PS3)—October 28 - Website

The follow-up to Evolution Studios’ three-million selling racer “Motorstorm,” “Pacific Rift” builds on every facet of the original game. The number of tracks has been doubled from 8 to 16. The environments will have much more diversity than the desert setting of the first game, including jungles, beaches and volcanoes. A new vehicle class is also being introduced, as players will now be able to crush their opponents with monster trucks. Combine that with the 16-player online and 4 player split-screen offline multiplayer, and “Pacific Rift” may turn out to be the best racing game on the PS3. Not to mention, it’s absolutely gorgeous.

Ninjatown (DS)—October 28 - Website

A “Tower Defense” type game featuring the Shawnimals line of plush toys, “Ninjatown” has players defending their home against Mr. Demon and the Wee Devils, who come out of the Dark Forest to terrorize the village. Players will manage resources and construct Ninja Huts in the path of their enemies, which spawn different types of ninjas to battle attackers.

Click here to see what Shawnimals creator Shawn Smith and developer Venan had to say to CBR about the game.

If you want to follow the adventures of the Wee Ninjas, a Ninjatown comic was released by Devil’s Due Publishing and can be ordered over at www.devilsdue.net.

Command and Conquer: Red Alert 3 (PC)—October 28 - Website

“Command and Conquer: Red Alert 3” is a real-time strategy game that pits three world superpowers against one another. The universe of Red Alert is a parallel one in which Einstein traveled back in time to stop the rise of Hitler. While he succeeded, an unintended consequence was that the Soviet Union became the biggest threat to the world. In this third installment, another time-traveling debacle brings a new power into being: the Empire of the Rising Sun.

Like previous iterations, the game features live-action cut scenes featuring some very familiar actors, including Jenny McCarthy, George Takei, J.K. Simmons, Jonathan Pryce and Andrew Divoff, among others.

An Xbox 360 version of the game is scheduled to release next month.

Note: If you want to see what Red Alert is all about, you can download and play the original for free at this link. Just be sure to read the installation guides for XP and Vista, as the game was originally configured for an earlier version of Windows.

Release Date Changes

  • ”Legendary” is now scheduled to be released on October 21 (previously announced for September 30)

  • ”Mega Man 9 “for the Xbox 360 released on October 1 (previously slated for September)

So brings to a close the October edition of the CBR Games Roundup. If we didn’t include your most anticipated game of the month, head on over to the boards and let us know about it! And don’t forget to keep an eye out for exclusive interviews with game writers and developers on the games listed above, as well as upcoming releases.

Lastly, a big thanks to those in the Games forum who gave suggestions and feedback for this month’s list.

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