It’s the end of August and the weather is getting colder. It's time to pull out the sweaters and resist the pull to go out. While you may want to head out into the sun and enjoy the final days of summer it doesn't take much to get you to stay in. For Xbox owners your going to have some great excuses not to get off the couch. As I write this we are just weeks away from the final installment in Bungie’s control over the Halo franchise. Halo Reach is set to hit store shelves on September 14th, however a leak of the game this month may push that release date up. Microsoft has yet to comment on either.
The Halo franchise launched the original Xbox. Combined with Xbox Live, it changed the way people play on-line and the way video games are played. In some form or another people have been playing it in some form or another for nearly a decade. This is Bungie's final hurrah. After Reach, the intellectual property is moving to 343 Industries.
The story of Reach goes back wards instead of forward, focus on the battle that launched the very first Halo game. There promises to be plenty of nuggets for everyone who played through the entire story, and show off a fight that was discussed through the games but never seen.
Halo Reach from Bungie.
Halo Reach from Bungie.
Now if you don't have an Xbox you're in luck because Reach is just the first of many games players are drooling over. If your hands cramp up from all that multi-player mahem, with the new jet packs and hologram drops, you have the arrival of Fallout: New Vegas.
This is one of the games that I'm the most excited for. I loved Fallout 3 played the hell out of it, and all of it's DLC expansions. I have been looking for from moving from the ruins of D.C. to the Las Vegas strip for months. I have seen some videos of the new game, and it's getting pretty positive reviews overall, despite most testers only getting an hour or so with it. There is the promise of a deeper story, better partner AI, and the graphics have gotten an upgrade. Those are some of my biggest complaints about Fallout 3 since your partner was really just a walking repeating killing machine. I hated having to re-load a save because my loyal Ghoul side kick kept getting killed by a batch of RadScorpions. While there was some soft edges in Fallout 3 it looks like New Vegas cleans most of them up. Plus you can gamble, spending your scavenged caps on blackjack and roulette. It may just be me, but I'm itching to put my survival skills to the test in the new game. The raiders will never know what hit them.
So if you get tired of exploring the wastes and shooting giant lizards and super-mutants, there is the one more early Christmas present for players.
I'm talking about Call of Duty: Black Ops.
The Vietnam era is a new one for the franchise, and while there has been a lot of focus on the single player campaign, along the Huong River, with the addition of alot of stealth elements, it's the multiplayer that is going to make or break this game. Modern Warfare 2 was billed as the biggest game release ever. No matter what Black Ops does it will have that shadow cast over it. The question is if the people at Treyarch can produce their own title, taken out of the 50's and make it work. Either way no matter what your vice there is plenty to look forward to as we count down to 2011. The new year is making a name for itself with the promise of Gears of War 3.