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Monday, October 8, 2012

This Week in PC Gaming: October 8th

Here's a look at some of this week's PC releases.

Bethesda, Arkane Studios
Full release
Tuesday, October 9th | $59.99

From the website: "You are the once-trusted bodyguard of the Empress. Framed for her murder and driven by revenge, you must become an infamous assassin, known only by the disturbing mask that has become your calling card."

Dishonored is a first-person action/stealth hybrid set in the bleak, industrial city of Dunwall. The player seeks to uncover the truth behind his betrayal by carrying out several assassination missions. That sounds kind of Assassin's Creed-ish on the surface, but you can approach each mission from multiple angles. Apparently it's possible to complete the game without killing anyone, so it seems like there could be a lot of replay value here. In addition, Dishonored's gameplay includes supernatural elements that range from teleportation to possession of other people and animals.

Even though the game releases tomorrow, there are a bunch of reviews floating around already (Joystiq, Polygon). Looks pretty solid.

If you're balking at the idea of paying $60 for this one, don't worry. According to reddit, GreenManGaming's 25% off code works for pre-orders of Dishonored, and it should continue to work through Friday. Pick up the game here, and apply promo code GMG25-EVFWS-4Z4ZN to bring the price down to $45.

XCOM: Enemy Unknown
2K Games, Firaxis
Full release
Tuesday, October 9th | $49.99

XCOM: Enemy Unknown is a modernized remake of a strategy title from 1994 that involves defending Earth from an alien invasion. While shooting and space aliens might seem like a departure for Firaxis (of Civilization fame), the game's turn-based tactical gameplay should be right up their alley.

Watching the E3 trailer below I honestly had no idea how the game would play: is it a third-person squad shooter, an RTS, or what? Thankfully, the "interactive gameplay trailer" gives a better idea of XCOM's gameplay, and you can also download the demo on Steam. From what I can tell, levels involve controlling a squad of soldiers in turn-based combat: after first moving and attacking with your guys, you watch as the enemy retaliates. Each individual soldier gains new abilities and perks as you progress through the game, so it's important to keep each one safe - once they're gone, they're gone.

I'm not familiar with the original 1994 title, UFO: Enemy Unknown, so I don't know how true the 2012 remake is to the original. Judging by the reviews from Ars Technica and Joystiq, this one might be worth checking out. I did notice a caveat at the bottom of the Ars review stating that keyboard/mouse controls were a little iffy, which makes me sad.

Of Orcs and Men
Focus Home Interactive, Cyanide, Spiders
Full release
Thursday, October 11th | $39.99

Of Orcs and Men takes the traditional fantasy plot and turns it on its head. Instead of controlling a Human in this RPG, you control an elite Orc warrior and his Goblin sidekick who are tasked with killing the leader of the "Empire of Men."

According to this interview, the PC version of the game was developed alongside the console version and isn't a port - we'll see about that. Both the orc and goblin main characters fight side by side and the player can switch between the two at any time (as well as customize skills/armor/weapons for each). Of Orcs and Men should provide between 15 and 25 hours of gameplay.

This one doesn't seem like a must-buy to me, and I'm hoping that it isn't simply a bland, generic RPG from a different perspective. The $40 price tag is definitely easier to swallow than 50 or 60 bucks, but I'd wait for some reviews before rushing out to buy this on day one.

Other Noteworthy Releases

Note: this list is not comprehensive but should cover most major titles. Check back every Monday for a new list of PC releases.


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Tom's Hardware Reviews
Ars Technica
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