October is typically one of the months where you look at the games that are releasing and say “Wow”, as it sits firmly in the middle of what is, for games, the “Holiday” release window. This year was no different, with some of the year’s biggest titles arriving. Leading the pack were games like Batman: Arkham City, Dark Souls, Rage, Forza 4 and the game that must surely take the award for most advertised game of the year, Battlefield 3. I think pretty much everyone was happy when the game finally hit shelves, just to see an end to the near ubiquitous advertising it had received.
Of course others were happy to see the shooter arrive because they wanted to actually play it. The game saw a fairly solid critical and commercial reception in general. Whilst I’m not really a fan of what I’ve played of the single player, the multiplayer seems to be where the game shines.
Outside of the big releases there were other things going on, mostly in the realms of previews and reviews. Probably our biggest review came when we took a look at Nathan Drake’s latest adventure in Uncharted 3. There were obviously reviews for the bigger titles mentioned above, as well as a huge range of titles such as Castlevania: Harmony of Despair, Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One, Dance Central 2, Supremacy MMA, X-Men: Destiny and PSN release of Hydrophobia which had the Prophecy subtitle added to it.[drop2]Slotting more into the preview category there were a ridiculous number of games that we got to cast an early eye over. This was probably down to things that spilled over from September’s EGX, my time at Microsoft’s “The Gathering” event and just developers generally feeling like they wanted to show their games off. Titles like Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, Hitman: Absolution, Ghost Recon: Future Soldier and Skyrim all cropped up, as well as the Vita based adventure of the aforementioned Mr. Drake.
Moving swiftly into the world of gaming news, the biggest story that broke in the tenth month of the year was the formal announcement of Grand Theft Auto V. Although confirmation of the next game in series from Rockstar was hardly unexpected it was nice to finally get a few details about the title. Of course, the details were very few and far between in October; all we got was the fact that a trailer would be arriving at some point. The trailer itself didn’t arrive until November, so you’ll have to wait until tomorrow to hear about that.
On more of a negative note, there was a lot of news about issues with the Batman: Arkham City launch. Issues cropped up not just with the various pieces of DLC that came bundled with some editions of the game but with the game itself. There was a lot of initial confusion but the main issue seemed to have been that many of the codes included in copies of the game for the Catwoman content didn’t work. On top of that, there were many reports that those who had managed to get the DLC to load were finding that it corrupted their save data.
In the wider world the UK saw the warmest October since 2006, with the average temperature sitting a comfortable two-degrees above the average. In tech news Apple announced the highly anticipated iPhone 4S, just one day before Steve Jobs sadly lost his battle with pancreatic cancer. Looking back at footage from the announcement, the one empty chair in the front row seems particularly depressing.
In other deeply depressing news, the war in Afghanistan marked its tenth anniversary on the 7th, with the death title amongst the allied forces rising to 2,670. Sticking with armed conflict, ousted Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi was captured and killed in the town of Sirte. This ultimately lead to the end of the Libyan civil war on the 23rd, after continuing for over eight months.
Finally in what may consider happier news, although others may feel will lead to the ultimate demise of our species, the UN decided to select the 31st as the symbolic date of the global population reaching 7 billion.
So that’s it for another month, we’ll be back tomorrow with our round up of November.