Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood
(Nov. 16 for 360, PS3, PC)
A direct sequel to the acclaimed Assassin's Creed II, Brotherhood introduces multiplayer to the franchise for the first time, while also including a 15-hour solo campaign. The parkour-influenced action-adventure mostly takes place in 16th-century Rome -- the largest open world yet in the AC series -- where returning hero Ezio Auditore must lead his reorganized Brotherhood against the evil Templars, whose members include the Pope.
Call of Duty: Black Ops Watch trailer
(Nov. 9 for 360, PS3, PC, Wii, DS)
Whereas previous games in the massively successful Call of Duty franchise took place in modern times or during WWII, the new Black Ops is set during the intervening years, in the middle of the Cold War. This being a first-person shooter, that cold war gets hot fast, with fighting in locations ranging from Vietnam to Laos to Cuba. The game was developed by Treyarch, who also were responsible for 2008's Call of Duty: World at War.
Castlevania: Lords of Shadow Watch trailer
(Oct. 5 for 360, PS3)
The 24-year-old vampire-hunting series gets a complete reboot for the current-gen platforms after falling on hard times with a few poorly-received recent installments. Developed in part by Metal Gear Solid creator Kojima Productions, the story-driven action-adventure Lords of Shadow is not the first 3-D installment in the series, but it is quite possibly the darkest, goriest, and most mature Castlevania release yet, closer to God of War than to previous releases in the series. The vocal cast includes Patrick Stewart, which is never a bad thing.
DC Universe Online Watch trailer
(Nov. 2 for PS3, PC)
A MMORPG set in the DC Comics universe? Why hasn't anyone thought of this sooner? Actually, Sony has been developing DCUO for years, with the title finally expected to arrive in November. Players can customize their own superhero or supervillain and embark on adventures penned by DC writers like Geoff Johns, doing battle with or against the likes of Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, and The Joker. Of course, for the privilege of running around the DC universe, you'll need to fork over a not-so-super $15 monthly fee in addition to the purchase cost of the software.
Dead Rising 2 Watch trailer
(Sep. 28 for 360, PS3, PC)
Looking to kill horde after horde of invading zombies? Look no further than Capcom's Dead Rising 2, which is unsurprisingly similar to Dead Rising, but with the action shifted to the Las Vegas-like Fortune City. Oh, and this time, there can be up to 7,000 zombies on screen at once. Fortunately, you can construct new weapons from found objects as the game progresses, and a new co-op mode means that you can invite a friend to the zombie-killing party, or -- literally -- a zombie-killing game show.
Fallout: New Vegas
(Oct. 19 for 360, PS3, PC)
Speaking of Las Vegas-like cities, this semi-sequel to Fallout 3 takes place in the real thing -- well, if the real Las Vegas were to have survived a nuclear apocalypse, that is. No characters re-appear from the previous title; instead, the action-RPG New Vegas places you in Nevada as a courier who has just survived an assassination attempt. To add to the Vegas authenticity, there will be gambling mini-games scattered throughout the open world, which includes a vast desert area in addition to the mostly intact Vegas strip. The vocal cast includes Zachary Levi, Felicia Day, Danny Trejo, Kris Kristofferson, Matthew Perry, and Mr. [New] Vegas himself, Wayne Newton.
Medal of Honor Watch trailer
(Oct. 12 for 360, PS3, PC)
It's modern warfare, but not Modern Warfare. Although it shares a name with the 1999 game that launched the series, the new Medal of Honor does not share a setting; this ultrarealistic first-person shooter reboot is the first title in the franchise not to take place during World War II. Instead, as in the fourth Call of Duty release, the action shifts to the current century: the early stages of the War in Afghanistan in 2001. MoH has already earned its share of controversy for allowing players to play as Taliban soldiers during multiplayer mode.
Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit
(Nov. 16 for 360, PS3, PC)
Not to be confused with 1998's Need for Speed III: Hot Pursuit, this new Hot Pursuit is both a franchise reboot and a throwback to the original NFS release. Play as either a racer or a cop in this high-speed chase game that takes place in an open world ; both sides have unique weapons at their disposal, and an array of licensed exotic vehicles to choose from. (In this world, even the police drive Lamborghinis.) Falling somewhere in between an arcade game and a simulation (unlike GT5, which falls squarely in the latter camp, and the same developer's Burnout Paradise, which is more of the former), Hot Pursuit will also include multiplayer modes for up to eight racers.
Rock Band 3
(Oct. 26 for 360, PS3, Wii, DS)
While Rock Band 2 offered only modest improvements to the original hit music game, the third numbered installment incorporates the vocal harmonies first introduced in the Beatles version, and adds a brand-new instrument to the mix: keyboards. The result is that up to seven people can perform at once, and the setlist can feature songs (like, er, "Sister Christian") that wouldn't be possible in the prior versions. That keyboard controller, by the way, is a fully functional MIDI keyboard, and the game's new Pro Mode requires actual knowledge of the instrument. Don't worry -- there are still easier modes for beginners, but while they've added an optional keytar controller, there's still no cowbell.
Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II Watch trailer
(Oct. 26 for 360, PS3, PC, Wii, DS)
This sequel to 2008's poorly-reviewed Star Wars: The Force Unleashed hopes to rectify that title's much-maligned gameplay mechanics (especially the targeting system) while diving deeper into the storyline of Starkiller, the game's dual-lightsaber-wielding protagonist (and Darth Vader's secret apprentice). The action this time takes place a year before the events of A New Hope, and adds a few recognizable faces to the cast of characters -- including Boba Fett and Yoda. Play it, you will.
Vanquish Watch trailer
(Oct. 19 for 360, PS3)
No numerals or colon in the title? That can mean only one thing: it's actually an original game. A new, futuristic third-person shooter from Shinji Mikami, best known as the creator of the Resident Evil series and now working with Platinum Games, Vanquish tasks the player with leading an American military effort to recapture a solar energy-harvesting space station after Russian forces seized it and used it to annihilate San Francisco. The new title plays like a cross between Gears of War and Platinum's previous title, Bayonetta; expect a lot of crazy, frenetic action. In space.
What do you think?
What games are you most looking forward to this fall? Let us know below.