In the gaming world, “Fortnite” is currently the unconquerable king. The popularity of the game has spilled out beyond gaming, appearing in the form of pop culture references and memes, and even headlines about teens who have become addicted and parents hiring “Fortnite” tutors.
This fall, however, a wave of major releases poses to upset the singular fixation of gamers on the battle royal genre, and some classic series have responded by incorporating their own versions of its well-received combat into their own games.
Although many amazing games are set to hit shelves this fall, seven in particular (appearing in order of their release dates) are highly anticipated and backed by fan followings much larger and older than “Fortnite.”
1. “Assassin’s Creed Odyssey” (Oct. 5)
The Third Crusade, Italian Renaissance, Colonial era, French Revolution, Victorian London and ancient Egypt are just a few of the historical periods and locations that set the scene for the “Assassin’s Creed” game franchise.
Part of each game’s charm is the increasingly stunning graphics, the large, open world layout of interactive maps, loose geographic and historical accuracy and evolving combat system.
“Assassin’s Creed Odyssey,” the newest and 1th major addition to the series, launches players into a Spartan Peloponnesian War fantasy.
A particularly interesting addition to the release is the choice to play either a male or female descendant of a Spartan warrior, and a storyline that allows love interests of either of those genders. “Odyssey” is set to drop on Oct. 5.
2. “Call of Duty: Black Ops 4” (Oct. 12)
Similar to “Fallout 76” (featured later in the list), “Call of Duty: Black Ops 4,” aside from the cut scenes in its “Zombies” game mode, will focus largely on multiplayer and cut down on the storyline that drove past games in the franchise.
There will be no classic “Campaign” game mode, and various forms of online multiplayer will include a new “Blackout” match that mimics the large-scale, every-man-for-himself style of combat popularized in “PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds” and “Fortnite. The next addition to the “Call of Duty” series will drop Oct. 12.
3. “Battlefield 5” (Oct. 19)
The “Battlefield” series has taken a page from the success of “Fortnite,” and in its most recent addition, EA DICE is incorporating a strikingly similar multiplayer mode, which involves a ring of fire (rather than a storm) that forces players into close quarters combat.
“Battlefield 5” is all about expansive player versus player combat and has developed even more character customization than its predecessors. The graphics are stunning, and it stays true to historical World War II with a time-accurate selection of rifles, heavy artillery, bunkers, planes and tanks. The game joins the ranks of others being dropped this fall on Oct. 19.
4. “Red Dead Redemption 2” (Oct. 26)
“Red Dead Redemption” fans have been waiting eight years for this much-anticipated sequel. For those unfamiliar with the massively popular series, imagine “Grand Theft Auto” combined with the Wild West.
Rockstar Games, the company behind the series, also created “Grand Theft Auto,” and the upcoming “Redemption” sequel will boast a map larger than any other that the company has created.
The massive map is packed full of adventures and interactions that allow players to immerse themselves in the world of frontier justice as a cowboy hunting down criminals. “Red Dead Redemption 2” will release on Oct. 26 and promises to contend for game of the year.
5. “Hitman 2” (Nov. 13)
As its name suggests, the “Hitman” franchise revolves around Agent 47, an assassin with a characteristic bald head. The character’s hits take him around the world to beautifully animated and interactive locations where disguise, strategy and stealth must be mastered to eliminate various targets.
New features include multiplayer that allows assassins to play together when carrying out hits and non-player character artificial intelligence that guarantees character reactions are realistic and detailed. “Hitman 2” is set to sell on Nov. 13.
6. “Fallout 76” (Nov. 14)
The “Fallout” series has been running since 1997 and has garnered a massive following, each game forcing players to survive and thrive in a post-apocalyptic environment, and the upcoming addition promises an experience unlike all of the others.
“Fallout 76” has transformed the “Fallout” world into a massive online multiplayer experience where there is not a single non-player-character in sight.
Every character encountered is a real, online player, and those who are online will have to work together to either restore civilization or destroy it. The map will be four times the size of the map in “Fallout 4” when the monstrous addition to the long-running series releases on Nov. 14.
7. “Super Smash Bros. Ultimate” (Dec. 7)
“Super Smash Bros.” already has a cult following, and the “Ultimate” extension of the game keeps all the features loved by loyal fans in the past while bringing it to the Nintendo Switch.
A renowned classic fighting game, “Super Smash Bros.” allows players to pit beloved characters from across the gaming universe against each other in matches of two to eight across a variety of exciting maps.
The draw of the game is not necessarily the new features that it offers but rather the rejuvenation of nostalgic maps and the inclusion of more characters than ever before from every Nintendo release. Nintendo’s “Ultimate” addition to the “Super Smash Bros.” universe will be released on Dec. 7.
Fall 2018 seems as if it will be a rough season for gamers’ wallets, but the opportunities and gameplay time are endless for lovers of first-person shooters, large-scale combat and expansive role-playing games.
In the next few months, game franchises will duel for the top of the hill and the top of the sales charts, bringing a potential storm toward the reigning popularity of “Fortnite” in the process.