Editorial

PC Games for the Single Players in October

PC

With the consoles out of the way, attention turns to PC. Although each of the games on this list will also be available on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, PC gamers will be able to enjoy them with the benefits that invariably come from high-end rigs, mouse-and-keyboard support, and the ability to mod games.

ROAD RAGE

Seeking to bring back something resembling the glory days of Road Rash, Team 6 Games Studios is currently putting the finishing touches on Road Rage, a motorcycle-based brawler.

Players slip into the leather jacket of the newest recruit of a motorcycle gang determined to cause havoc in the streets of Ashen. Story details are thin on the ground, but the developers are promising a huge amount of gameplay diversity, with over 90 missions included and set to take place across a sprawling open-world environment. As expected from the concept, races will be included, but players will also engage in gang brawls, which will make use of a wide array of melee weapons, ranging from katanas and baseball bats to chainsaws and whips.

Additional gameplay options will arise from customisable rides, as a variety of bikes will be available to choose from.

Road Rage may not be the prettiest game releasing this month, but if Team 6 can polish the gameplay to match the arcade fun that the concept promises, it could be one of the most surprising titles of 2017. Furthermore, with a history stretching back to 2001 and almost 100 games for various platforms developed since then, the developers certainly have the experience to put in a solid effort.

Whether Road Rage can live up to its promise remains to be seen, but it will certainly offer something different from the AAA releases on October 24.

THE EVIL WITHIN 2

Officially unveiled at Bethesda’s E3 press conference earlier this year, The Evil Within 2 is a sequel to the game that saw Resident Evil creator Shinji Mikami return to the survival-horror genre after almost a decade.

Unfortunately, while Mikami is acting as producer on The Evil Within 2, directorial duties have been off-loaded to John Johanas, who previously helmed the first two pieces of downloadable content for the earlier game. Those expansions suggest that Johanas will prefer a stripped-back approach to gameplay design, but the more action-oriented focus of The Evil Within seems to be returning. However, this sequel is following the pervasive trends of large environments and player agency, with a multitude of gameplay options being implemented, allowing either action or stealth.

Detective Sebastian Castellanos returns for this new adventure, which takes on a personal bent as his daughter (long thought dead) has been captured by a shady organisation that hopes to use her brain to reshape reality. In the three years since the previous game, Sebastian has been dismissed from the police force and taken to drinking to deal with his woes, and he will have to face off against these demons if he hopes to rescue his daughter.

While the first game focused on gore-horror, the writing team has aimed to implement more psychological elements into this new entry, offering something different for fans who may have felt burnt out on the one-note approach to horror. Furthermore, the restrictive cinematic aspect ratio has been jettisoned in favour of a more traditional 16:9 layout, alleviating one of the most frequently-criticised elements of the previous game.

The Evil Within 2 has been flying under the radar since its announcement, yet is shaping up as one of the most promising horror experiences of 2017. The game is scheduled to release on October 13 for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.

MIDDLE-EARTH: SHADOW OF WAR

Middle-Earth: Shadow of War is the hotly-anticipated sequel to 2014’s critically-acclaimed Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor. Picking up immediately following the story of the previous title, and building on some of its most well-received features, this sequel promises to be a genuine treat for fans.

Players once again step into the shoes of the human ranger Talion and his ghostly companion Celebrimbor, with their shared abilities bolstered thanks to a freshly-forged Ring of Power. With Talion’s vengeance sated in the previous game, the new tale is greater in scope, with the duo deciding to lay siege to Sauron’s forces in an effort to overthrow the dark lord.

Doing so is no easy task, however, and so Talion embarks on an epic quest to garner the support of the Orc tribes. NPCs are again affected by the Nemesis System, a novel AI mechanic that has particular enemies gaining skills and strengths depending on how they have been defeated in previous battles. While the system was designed to force players to adopt new battle strategies, its implementation in this sequel is much broader as it applies also to Followers, whose behaviour will change depending on how Talion interacts with them.

Despite the promise of being a bigger and better experience than its predecessor, Middle-Earth: Shadow of War’s hype cycle (which includes a stunning live-action trailer) has been interrupted by controversy. The inclusion of microtransaction-based loot boxes has attracted considerable criticism, while the development team’s attempt to commemorate a deceased staff member through DLC was poorly advertised, leading to unclear messaging and backlash against the publisher, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment.

Nevertheless, Middle-Earth: Shadow of War is a far more ambitious project than its predecessor, and that helps it to stand out among the crowded October release schedule. The originally-planned August launch date may have given the game more breathing room, but late is always better bug-ridden.

Middle-Earth: Shadow of War is scheduled for release on October 10 on PC, as well as PS4 and Xbox One, while a mobile companion version is already available.

HONOURABLE MENTIONS

The other big releases of October have already been canvassed in the PlayStation and Xbox previews, but PCs are host to a range of smaller games this month also. Inmates is a tense psychological horror title out on October 5, Deadbeat Heroes is a comic-book-inpired brawler available on October 10, and Warbanners is a turn-based strategy game set for release on October 18.


 

While you’re here, why not let us know what you’ll be playing this month!

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