Do you smell what the Rock Band is cooking?

by Drew Nordman

September started with a bang as Konami delivered one of the best reviewed video games of the the past decade. Despite its bumpy road to release, Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain currently sits at 94 (out of 100) on review aggregate Metacritic. If this truly is the last Metal Gear game created by Hideo Kojima, I can rest easy knowing that he knocked it out of the park. That being said, Fall has just begun and there’re still a metric ton of games on the horizon as we approach the holiday season. Here are some of my most anticipated titles to keep an eye out for in October.

Brought into the limelight during the mid to late 2000s by such franchises as Guitar Hero and Rock Band, the rhythm gaming genre was a phenomenon that left gamers thunderstruck (AC/DC pun intended). For those unfamiliar, it’s a pretty novel concept; you and your friends/family pick up mock guitars or drums and rock out to some the greatest songs in modern history through the rhythmic and well-timed pushing of buttons. Unfortunately, it was a novel concept that proved to be a bit too novel for its own good. In 2009, the industry saw a steep decline in popularity of rhythm gaming when no less than four different music titles were on the market at the same time. Variety may be the spice of life, but when all of the games in a genre start to blend into one big homogenized mess, you’ve got a problem on your hands. The good news is, as with many things in life, the gaming industry goes in cycles. After a five year break from the core game, Rock Band developer Harmonix has come back to the series with fresh eyes, adding many features that address the issues that made its predecessors go stale so quickly. Instead of iterating upon itself with sequels year after year, Harmonix aims to have Rock Band 4 be a long term platform for new and existing content. By updating it regularly with free and paid patches to introduce new features, while providing new songs in the form of downloadable content, it sounds like they’re making some great strides towards giving the franchise some much needed staying power. Look for Rock Band 4 to hit shelves on October 6th for PS4 and Xbox One.

While not necessarily a new game, PS4 exclusive Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection compiles all three titles in the critically acclaimed Uncharted series and gives them a graphical facelift. I won’t beat around the bush here because I respect this series too much. This collection is a must own for any self respecting gamer, even if you’ve played them already. If you happened to miss out on this masterful trilogy when it was first released on PS3, Uncharted is the perfect combination of Indiana Jones, Tomb Raider, and a Joss Whedon script. It’s got daring globe trotting adventure, cursed ancient relics, dastardly vaguely european villains, and is packed to the brim with enough one liners and quips that it would make Spider-Man blush. On top of all of that, it’s easily one of, if not THE most cinematic video game franchise of all time. With Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End recently announced to be coming out on March 18th, you have just enough time to play through all three and be caught up for what’s sure to be a dang masterpiece. The hype is real, people. The hype is real. Pick up all three for the price of one on October 9th.

This last entry is a bit of a wild card. Ever since I was a kid, I’ve been a huge Transformers fan. Unfortunately for my childhood, the movies in recent years have not done the franchise justice. Transformers: Devastation looks to be a pulse pounding action adventure and real return to form for fans of the old series. Instead of using the modern designs from the movies that are mostly indistinguishable hunks of metal, developer PlatinumGames has opted to use the aesthetic from the original and glorious G1 series. The cell shaded graphics are so slick that even screenshots look like they could be framed and hung on my wall. What makes me even more excited is that it’s developed by PlatinumGames whose past titles have never been anything short of frenetic and immensely enjoyably. Action and Transformers fans alike should look out for Devastation on October 6th for PS4, Xbox One, PS3, Xbox 360 and PC.

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