If you own an XBox 360, chances are you're an avid gamer. I know this because: A) I'm psychic. B) It's either that or you accidentally purchased one, thinking it was the coolest looking toaster oven you'd ever seen. In either case, you'll be interested in what goes on or in your XBox – forget the toast already, it's not happening.
Several upcoming game titles are just around the corner and sure to give every XBox fanboy a serious case of gaming gastritis – I hear toast is good for that. Oh never mind.
If zombies don't frighten the hell out you then you are one. And if the very thought of brain-craving undead corpses doesn't scare you, then how about… ZOMBIE CLOWNS!? Go on, I'll wait while you change into a clean pair of underpants. Arriving in stores in mid-November, Left 4 Dead 2 is set in a dark hellish amusement park world where carnival performers become infected with the dreaded zombie virus (I thought clowns were the living dead?) and set out in search of creamy Cranial cottage cheese conveniently located in the skulls of innocent carnival goers. I knew my childhood fear of carny folk was justified. Look for it in stores, and cold dead hands, the week before Thanksgiving. Yum!
The US Armed forces are back (did they ever leave?) for more good old fashion American ass-whooping air superiority and tank on tank action. In the game, you reprise the role of "Soap" McTavish, the detergent-named dude from the previous title, out to save the world once more from yet another menacing evil (is there any other kind of evil?) threatening the free world. The game is set in various new environments including a polar military base level, with lots of new enemy combatants to deal with – and I don't mean polar bears. The graphics look amazing! COD: MW2 arrives November 10.
If Zombies and war on terror aren't your bag, take a trip back in time working as a killer-for-hire in Assassin's Creed II. The second installment of Ubisoft's popular hit is set in the Italian Renaissance, or 15th century to be more precise. As the title suggests, you aren't here to help Leonardo Davinci paint frescos. Instead you'll be tasked with various assassiny tasks like killing people, killing more people, running for your life from vengeful Templars, again with the killing. You get the idea. If the second title is as entertaining as its predecessor, it should offer loads of entertainment. Look for it November 17.
Comic book fans (oops, I'm sorry… graphic novel) will look forward to some gratuitous violence and butt-kicking evil villains, while playing as your favorite super hero. Arriving in stores later this month on the 15th. My Spidey sense is tingling. Then again it could be that darned rash.
I am personally looking forward to this game. I played the first title on the PC many years ago and it offered endless hours of unintended comic fun by exploiting the games quirky A/I structure. One well placed shot at a car full of mobsters would trigger a bloodbath shootout between lawn enforcement and the mob, with innocent civilians caught in the crossfire. What fun. My personal favorite past time was to ride the L train, shooting down at passing cars and pedestrians, causing the former to promptly run over the latter in mad rush of panic. Forget Ruby of Rails, this was manslaughter on rails. Ah, memories.
Mafia 2 won't arrive in stores for several months, unfortunately, but do keep it on your playlist.
Bungie is cooking up another sequel to its you-know-what franchise. You know… that game with the things. And the aliens. Where they shoot each other with laser cannons and everything blows up. Halo! Yeah, that's the one. If you haven't played the first two titles you owe it to yourself to do so, because Halo was more or less, the platforming defining game for XBox. Halo 3 ODST arrives this month, on Sept. 22. Be there.
The only thing remotely as entertaining as wiping out aliens with big laser rifles in Halo 3 is wiping out more aliens with even bigger laser rifles in Mass Effect 2. The original Mass Effect was an outstanding game title, and a huge hit. I don't know if the sequel will live up to that standard but I do know where I'll be on the day of its release in the spring of 2010. Guess.
Gearbox software has had this game in development for some time now and from the looks of it they have something. What makes this game unique, or so they claim, is that combines role-playing with action shooter. Two great genres that I hope go together like peanut butter and chocolate, rather than transmission fluid and scotch whiskey (it's actually quite smooth). Borderlands arrives in stores October 20.
I can almost hear the waves of "Oh damn, another military combat game?" coming from my readers, but do be patient. Operation Flashpoint is different. It's a full-on tactical shooter with squad level command and an amazing level of realism. More than a game, this is a training simulator designed to prepare you for the day when China unleashes its military against the United States in a fight for global supremacy. What? That day is totally coming! October 6, to be exact. Look for it.
Forget the Beatles Rock Band. What everyone wants under their Christmas trees this year is Activision's DJ Hero. Who wouldn't want to live out their fantasy of standing on a DJ platform, spinning music on turntables for an audience of sweaty stoned clubbers, as they bump and grind in drunken rhythm on the dance floor. But enough about my childhood. DJ Hero offers all the arsenal of turntables and effects you need to get your DJ on, and comes with an online multiplayer component to compete with other players in a head-to-head style DJ shootout. So don't be a hippie. Get DJ Hero, this October 27.