The video games industry always ramps up around the holiday season, with developers pumping out top-quality title after title, and this November provides some of the finest playing experiences of the year.
As stores and online retailers begin to announce their holiday savings and Black Friday deals, which seem to arrive sooner every year, gamers should keep a close eye on price drops to snag the latest releases.
From expansive re-issues to brand new stories and reimagines franchises, there is no shortage of games to be played in November, just a shortage of discretionary income and time.
Assassin’s Creed Unity (Xbox One, PS4, PC) and Assassin’s Creed Rogue (Xbox 360, PS3) – Nov. 11
One of Ubisoft’s flagship franchises set the stage yet again to release two immersive storylines simultaneously between current-generation and past-generation systems with Assassin’s Creed Unity and Rogue.
Unity takes place in France and Paris particularly during the French Revolution of the 1780s and ’90s, and features a full cooperative experience where up to four players can work on an assassination mission together. Seamlessly integrating drop in and out cooperative play, the new setting and new parkour movement system is exclusive to the One, PS4 and PC.
The past-gen effort, Rogue, tells the story of an Assassin turned Templar during the Seven Years’ War in 18th-century North America. As the protagonist Shay Patrick Cormac, players will hunt down assassins in locations like New York City, using new weapons and utilizing naval combat across rivers and the Atlantic Ocean. PC players will get to enjoy Rogue sometime in early 2015.
Halo: The Master Chief Collection (Xbox One) – Nov. 11
All Halo fans sorely remember that 343 Industries and Xbox promised them a new game this year, but even though it’s not Halo 5, The Master Chief Collection is a majestic slew of classic titles to indulge in.
From the 2001 groundbreaking Halo: Combat Evolved and nostalgic multiplayer experiences that veteran gamers shared on Halo 2 to the expansive matchmaking and climactic events of Halo 3 and 4, there are countless hours of single-player, cooperative and multiplayer gaming.
Halo enthusiasts who pick up The Master Chief Collection also receive access to the unannounced Halo 5: Guardians beta, providing a lucrative incentive for gamers reluctant to splurge on the compilation disc.
Grand Theft Auto V (Xbox One, PS4) – Nov. 18
Rockstar Games would have been silly not to put out the reality-bending Grand Theft Auto V on current-gen consoles. The silly thing now is how much more authentic it looks and how much more there is to do in Los Santos.
Enhanced visuals that make the glistening beaches look like something on the Travel Channel and increased pedestrian and motor traffic make one of the most beautiful and best games on past-gen consoles look even better on current ones.
Additions also include a new first-person player mode, classic cars from throughout the Grand Theft Auto series, and players who bought the past-gen release enjoy new activities for all three protagonists.
The current-gen release of the game that broke seven Guinness World Records for sales also brings a ton of extra goodies for Grand Theft Auto Online players like new jobs and support for up to 30 players in free-roam or competitive multiplayer, who can transfer their past-gen accounts over.
Unfortunately, PC gamers still have to wait till 2015 for Grand Theft Auto V to release. Even though most console gamers have played GTAV in some capacity or another, Rockstar is making it mighty enticing for fans to dive back into the crazy, crime-ridden streets of Los Santos.
Dragon Age: Inquisition (Xbox One, PS4, Xbox 360, PS3, PC) – Nov. 18
With a history of top-notch games on previous platforms, the Dragon Age franchise is prepared to set the bar on current-gen consoles for fantasy role-playing games when EA and Bioware release Inquisition.
Dragon Age: Inquisition is massive. The game is set in a world named Thedas that is gargantuan compared to any entry in the franchise and features an expansive and heroic single-player campaign, an exciting loot-focused cooperative multiplayer mode, and an extremely simplified, but creative crafting system that allows players to comprehensively customize armor and weapons.
Inquisiton’s ridiculous amount of things to do, whether they be quests, exploring or customizing, makes the complete game experience an insurmountable 200 hours long, a time that should be long enough to occupy the most hardcore Dragon Age fans and attract new ones to the franchise.
Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire (Nintendo 3DS) – Nov. 21
The Pokémon franchise has stuck to the same monster-catching formula for decades now, but along its journey has reinvented and improved with new titles and re-releases of old ones. Developer Game Freak is reinvigorating the 2002 Game Boy Advanced classics with a new look and new features in Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire.
The new games provide nostalgic handheld gamers the same Ruby and Sapphire storyline with the new 3-D look that debuted in Pokémon X and Y, adds a host of new interactive touch-screen tools to find new Pokémon and navigate the Hoenn Region, and even updates the game world with new areas and interesting story twists.
These enhancements add to the already heralded gameplay of one the most successful handheld game franchises in history and make Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire worth every penny for gamers who wish to visit Hoenn in a new light.