It’s been fairly slim pickings in video games for a couple of months, so your favorite devs and publishers have teamed up to make sure you’re never bored again. Starting in September, and going through November, they’re just pumping out game after game after game. The best part of all is that a huge chunk of them are looking to be amazing.

We’re an easily excitable bunch here at The Escapist, and we’re looking to share some of our excitement with you with this handy guide to the games you absolutely don’t want to miss this September. The amazing game release action really heats up in October, so stay tuned for our most anticipated games over the next couple of months.

Without further ado, in order of release date, check out the games that will consume our evenings, weekends, and lunch hours for September!


The Sims 4


Releases September 2, 2014 (NA), September 4, 2014 (EU, AUS) on PC. Developed by The Sims Studio and Maxis. Published by EA.


sims 4

Greg says: The first Sims was a revelation. There was very little direction or anything to win in the game created by Will Wright, but it was amazingly addictive to manage the life of your characters. Concentrating the experience of life into bars of wakefulness, hunger or the need for a bio break was not something I ever considered would be a fun game, but The Sims accomplished this easily. I had a roommate who was just as addicted as I was to the game in 2000, and we would jockey for game time on my PC. It wasn’t unusual that fall to wake up and see that my buddy had been playing all night long.

I don’t know for certain if The Sims 4 will recreate that same feeling of compulsive play that its predecessors engendered in me, but what I’ve seen definitely has me excited to delve back into a fake life. The feature additions, such as moodlets and the custom creation tools for furnishings and characters, all seem to make the franchise more interesting, and I imagine all the hullaballoo over the lack of pools and children will blow over once fans get their hands on The Sims 4. And knowing me, I’ll be one of them staying up until 6 in the morning playing it.


Gauntlet (2014)


Releases September 3, 2014 on PC. Developed by Arrowhead Game Studios. Published by WB Games.


gauntlet

Schuyler says: If you’re a fan of RPGs, then this month is going to be exciting for you. September is giving us a reboot of the classic Gauntlet, the RPG that took co-op to another level. It’s been nine years since the last installment in the beloved franchise, it’s about time for us to get back into the game. This time around they’re keeping the parts that brought us to the series initially, which is an anomaly in recent games. From the looks of the upcoming Gauntlet they’re building on everything that came before it, making the experience even more immersive. This reiteration lets us, once again, choose to be one of four classic classes to battle the hoards of baddies, you can choose to be either the Warrior, Valkyrie, Elf, and Wizard. These may seem familiar to you because they are the archetypal characters that have appeared in your favorite Gauntlet games of the past. Instead of including different classes, ala Diablo, they draw you back in with the promise of knowing that you’ll at least start out knowing what you are capable of. There are many games coming out this September but remember that you only need to remember one of them, go out and get Gauntlet, because it’s that security blanket that we’ve all been missing.


Destiny


Releases September 9, 2014 for PS4, Xbox One, PS3, and Xbox 360. Developed by Bungie. Published by Activision.


destiny

Paul says: Chances are you’ve already heard all about Destiny, Bungie’s latest first person shooter slash RPG slash MMO that’s taking consoles by storm this September. But just in case you’ve been living in an underground bunker for a science experiment on social isolation the past year, here’s the low-down: In the far future, humanity has colonized the solar system with the aid of a mysterious entity known as The Traveler. However, an event known as “The Collapse” has reduced humanity to a fraction of its former glory, and now the Traveler lies sleeping over the last bastion of civilization.

You play as a Guardian, one of the warriors empowered by The Traveler, and with the help of your Ghost (a small floating robot voiced by none other than Game of Thrones‘ Peter Dinklage), you’ll take to the stars in the hopes of reclaiming what was lost and defeating the hostile aliens seeking to end humanity once and for all.

While there have been some grumblings that Destiny looks to be just a next-gen Halo, after extensively playing both the alpha and the beta, something about it just hits all the right buttons for me. It’s got the right amount of sci-fi action, the RPG system is robust enough to offer you customize your character without being confusing, and there’s plenty of incentive to explore its environments for secrets and loot – I was constantly finding new gear and weapons that were just beyond the Beta’s level cap and was eager to keep searching for more. The MMO aspects of the game are handled well, you’ll often encounter other players during your explorations but you never feel as though the game world is crowded. It remains to be seen just how open world or extensive the final game will be, but either way Destiny is definitely a day one purchase for me.


Disney Infinity 2.0: Marvel Super Heroes:


Releases September 23, 2014 on Wii U, PS4, Xbox One, PS3, Xbox 360, PC, Vita, and iOS. Developed by Avalanche Software. Published by Disney Interactive Studios.


disney infinite marvel super heroes

Janelle says: Disney Infinity brought a magically memorable experience to consoles back in 2013, albeit with a few missteps. With Disney Infinity 2.0, Disney is looking to do Infinity right. Players will now have a wide array of attacks and movement orientated skills, allowing them to traverse 2.0’s focus on vertically orientated game design. Your virtual Toy Box is still the centerpiece hub of your Disney Infinity 2.0 universe and will also be undergoing changes and enhancements. These will include auto-generating content, ready made plans released on a daily basis, and a more fine-tuned control structure. With all the new bells and whistles packed into Infinity 2.0, early adopters of the original shouldn’t feel left in the dust. Infinity 2.0 will be backwards compatible, allowing Toy Box saves, characters, and power discs from the original game to be imported and used.

Disney Infinity 2.0 will launch complete with a whole new cast of characters, including Marvel Super Heroes. Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, Hulk and Hawkeye are just some of the new characters to be available at launch, in addition to classic Disney favorites such as Maleficent, Tinker Bell, and Aladdin.


Defense Grid 2


Releases September 23, 2014. Developed and published by Hidden Path Entertainment.


defense grid 2

Josh says: Tower Defense is one of those genres that is at once wildly entertaining and endlessly frustrating. They all start off easy enough, but as you progress, you get to those levels that take you a dozen tries to complete. Defense Grid, developed and released by Hidden Path Entertainment in 2008, was incredibly well received by critics and fans alike. A Kickstarter project was created for the sequel, but it failed to meet its $1 million funding goal, and it turned into basically just a map pack for the original. Fortunately for fans of the game, the team wasn’t put off by the failed Kickstarter, and eventually found someone to financially back the sequel, which will be published by 505 Games.

The journey from the moderately successful release of Defense Grid to the launch of Defense Grid 2 is so fascinating, in fact, that former Escapist Editor-in-Chief wrote a book about it, which you can get free by pre-ordering the Special Edition.

I haven’t played Defense Grid extensively, but the hours I did spend with it were glorious, in a “why is this tutorial so hard” sort of way. If you like a bit of challenge with your classic Tower Defense game, definitely plan to check out Defense Grid 2 when it hits in September. In addition to the obvious adjustments – new maps, new towers, and new enemies – there are now multiple modes to play in, as well as competitive and cooperative multiplayer. It’s slated to release for PC, Xbox One, and PS4, so you have some options on how you play it.

Hyrule Warriors


Releases September 26, 2014 on Wii U. Developed by Omega Force, Team Ninja, and Nintendo SPD. Published by Koei Tecmo and Nintendo.


hyrule warriors

Jim says: A Nintendo/Koei mashup has been in the cards for a very long time. The two companies have always had a friendly relationship, to the point where they were practically working together on the promotion of Samurai Warriors 3 for the Wii. Their partnerships have sparked rumors in the past, with there once being talk of a Dynasty Warriors game featuring Pokemon. Sadly, it’s looking like that will never happen (apparently there’s something unseemly about mowing down thousands of Pikachu with a battleaxe), but we got what is either the next best thing or something far superior. Hyrule Warriors is easily among this Dynasty Warriors‘ fan’s most hotly anticipated titles of the year, and I am still struggling to deal with the idea of an Omega Force hack n’ slash game set in the Legend of Zelda‘s world.

So far, it’s looking like [/i]Hyrule Warriors[/i] will be a fantastic tribute to the Zelda series, with throwaway references to Majora’s Mask, Ocarina of Time, and other titles in the long and stories series. Koei seems to want to throw everything into this game, and if it all goes well, this could be a game that’s as sincere in its homage as it is silly in its button-mashing nonsense. On sheer novelty, this is worth checking out, but if you’re into hack n’ slash action, it’s looking like Hyrule Warriors will be a damn fine game in its own right.

As well as the sheer concept, the currently confirmed roster of playable characters is fantastic. Link, Zelda, Impa, Midna, Ganondorf, and even lesser known characters like Agatha and (my personal favorite) Zant are joining the battle, alongside some original characters of Omega Force‘s own design. If we can just get Skull Kid and Tingle, this could be my perfect video game! In any case, I am trying to reign in my excitement for this most delicious of crossovers, and I fully expect to put my social and personal life on hold for at least a few weeks once this beautiful bastard makes its appearance. Get me some!


Massive Chalice


Releases September 28, 2014 for Linux, Mac OS X, Microsoft Windows, and Xbox One. Developed and published by Double Fine Productions.


massive chalice

Justin says: Justin says: Double Fine has had a lots of success on Kickstarter even before their tactical RPG Massive Chalice. Let’s face it, they basically kicked off the crowd-funding craze that’s swept through video game development the last few years. Certainly Kickstarter and other such sites were around before then, but throw the words Double Fine, Tim Schafer and Adventure Game together and the gaming crowd-funding scene saw its first major multi-million success. Weathering a bit of criticism for having not yet released that first game, Double Fine returned to Kickstarter roughly a year later for a new project Massive Chalice. Billed as X-Com meets Final Fantasy Tactics with a lineage and progression system drawing influence from the likes of Game of Thrones, Massive Chalice sold itself on some big ideas and clever gameplay mechanics. The real core of the game is managing the strategy versus the tactical. Your heroes will level up and grow more powerful, but they’ll also age and even permanently die. So it’s important to balance their time in the field and foster the next generation of adventurers to take up mantle. If you’re a fan of X-Com or more character management JRPG’s like Suikoden, then catch Massive Chalice towards the end of September.


Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor


Releases September 30, 2014 for PC, PS4, Xbox One, PS3, and Xbox 360. Developed by Monolith Productions. Published by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment.


shadow of mordor

Greg says: I’ll admit I was not very interested in another game set in Tolkien’s universe. Since Peter Jackson’s film adaptations, let’s just say there’s been a glut of games that were good, but not especially great. And all the talk of Shadow of Mordor didn’t gel with my interpretation of Tolkien’s lore – why would a Gondorian ranger be a wraith? Was he one of the Nine? The gameplay seemed too action-heavy for my tastes; I was ready to write Monolith’s game off as a cheap cash-in.

Then I got my hands on Shadow of Mordor before E3 and I freaking loved it. The Nemesis system creates a dynamic web of orc captains and chieftains in the land of Mordor just as Sauron is growing in power before the start of the War of the Ring. It allowed some truly emergent gameplay, and all the journalists I spoke to had wildly different and evocative stories to tell of their playthrough. The developers captured the essence of Tolkien-esque evil in the naming of individual orcs, and the voice acting was superb in creating vivid villains. Top all that with the reveal that the wraith inhabiting the main character is actually Celebrimbor, the elven smith who unwittingly helped Sauron craft the One Ring, and suddenly Shadow of Mordor topped my “do want” list for this very crowded fall of gaming. Being bad is going to feel good.

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