It’s November! And for some reason, there’s already a bunch of Christmas decorations out. Taking in that holiday spirit and all the deals that are coming up for consoles and in stores. Here’s a slew of amazing games that are coming out this year. I have to say this month looks amazing, not only is the long-awaited Death Stranding coming out. But there’s the even longer awaited Shenmue III. Everything else is just plain stunning I can’t wait to play Planet Zoo, Lost Ember and Pokémon Sword and Shield.
Blacksad: Under The Skin by Pendulo Studios & YS Interactive – November 5th
Blacksad: Under the Skin is a spin-off of the original French comic of the same name. It follows an anthropomorphic black cat P.I. and war vet named John Blacksad that solves crime. Written by Juan Díaz Canales and Juanjo Guarnido, think of this game along the lines of a furry noire.
The gameplay will be heavily choice-based and the story will supposedly be able to branch off in many different directions. In addition to your choices, you’ll also be equipped with Blacksad’s feline instincts. It’ll allow him to slow down time and detect clues that other’s can’t. You’ll need to use your newfound evidence to form conclusions and open up new dialogue trees. This particular story is set between the second and third books in the series. Where you’ll be investigating the death of a boxing club owner who died under mysterious circumstances. And, yes, the entire cast is made up of anthropomorphic animals.
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC – Steam Store, Mac
Planet Zoo by Frontier Developments – November 5th
Classic management simulation games have been making a comeback. I’ve been particularly pleased with the spiritual successor of Theme Hospital – Two Point Hospital. If you liked the former do yourselves a favour and check out the latter. Now here we have Planet Zoo which looks to be a massive upgrade from its humble beginnings of Zoo Tycoon.
Graphics and environments have progressed leaps and bounds and even the gameplay has evolved to focus on conservation. This time you’re not merely buying and placing animals down for profit. In Planet Zoo you’ll need to care for the animals themselves. Playing zoo manager and zookeeper, you’ll need to make sure that your animals are just as comfortable as your guests in order to succeed. Each species will have its own requirements that you’ll need to satisfy, as well as their own genome, which can be modified to change its life expectancy, size, health and fertility. There are more than 50 animals that will out at release.
Platforms: PC – Steam Store
Death Stranding by Kojima Productions – November 8th
Arguably the biggest release we’ve been waiting for in 2019. But now that it’s here and some of the reviews are out, I’m even more confused than ever. I guess you’re really just going to have to play the game to figure it out. Death Stranding is Hideo Kojima unleashed and it features a stellar cast with Norman Reedus, Mads Mikkelsen, Léa Seydoux, Tommie Earl Jenkins, Lindsay Wagner to name a few. So from what I’ve pieced together from the trailers and the opening reviews I’m going to try briefly summarise the game for the purpose of this article. Just go with me on this.
The United States has been attacked by terrifying alien ghost things codenamed BTs. The country’s last president has died and the cities are all fragmented. You, Sam Porter Bridges are the only man who can help by being a deliveryman/internet set up dude. The reason why? The BTs are allergic to your bodily fluids. Don’t worry you’re not alone on your journey because you’ll have with you a handy dandy bridge baby.
That’s kind of what I got from the game but of course, you know deeper with overarching themes and deep relationships and such. It is a Kojima game after all and it’s pretty hard to pin down exactly what the story is. But we do know that the theme is connections. So far from what I garner from the reviews, I guess you’re either going to love it or not get it at all. And that’s okay.
Platform: PS4 (PC in Summer 2020)
Doctor Who: The Edge of Time by Maze Theory – November 12th
*Cue Tardis landing sound*. I think we can all agree that VR games have been kind of a hit and miss over the years. But setting a VR game in the world of Doctor Who might just prove to be a good fit. We’re with Jodie Whitaker’s Doctor and the good people at BBC have had her voice your travels. Along with an AI companion named Emma, you’ll be trying to retrieve some time crystals. I’m not sure what time crystals are but you can be sure that it’s probably important to stop some universe imploding event. You’ll use the Sonic Screwdriver to solve puzzles and battle some of the Whoverse’s most memorable villains. The Daleks and the Weeping Angels. I’m not sure I’m ready to see the Weeping Angels in full VR. Whatever you do, don’t blink.
Platform: PS4, PSVR, PC – Steam Store (Vive & Oculus), Oculus Quest
Romancing SaGa 3 by Square Enix – November 11th
JRPG fans unite because for the first time this 90s classic is getting a Western HD-remastered release. Back in 1995, this game came out on the Super Nintendo in Japan. You chose from a lead cast of eight central characters, recruiting additional NPCs to your party along the way. Gameplay-wise Romancing SaGa follows a tactical turn-based combat system, with up to six characters in a team. In this HD-remastered edition all that appears to remain the same but with optimised graphics, new dungeons, scenarios as well as a game+ function. It’s an epic adventure about the end of the world and a child of destiny.
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC – Steam Store, iOS, Android
Pokémon Sword and Shield by Game Freak – November 15th
It’s been a while since we’ve last got a main Pokémon game but this one seems worth the wait. Pokémon Sword and Shield is being set in a brand new region, Galar and will feature not just new Pokémon but a new mechanic called Dynamaxing and something called Poké Jobs. Visually stunning, Pokémon Sword and Shield has embraced full-sized avatars and large expansive 3D environments. In this version of the game, you’ll be facing off against Team Yell and of course your long-time rival Hop. Controversially Sword and Shield won’t be getting the full 800 something Pokédex available but I think given how many characters there are now it makes sense.
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order by Respawn Entertainment – November 15th
2019 is a great year for Star Wars fans, thanks to the release of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker and of course this latest game Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. Set at the height of the Empire’s power between Star Wars: Episode 3 and 4, the Fallen Order follows the young Padawan, Cal Kestis as he struggles to survive post-Order 66. Along your journey, you’ll be exploring and meeting a wide cast of characters across the Star Wars Universe. This includes a friendly droid BD-1 (because what’s a Star Wars game without a droid) and Cere a former Jedi Knight.
The game looks absolutely cinematic and features some intense looking third-person lightsaber combat. Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is touted as being a melee centric game with “thoughtful combat”. You’ll be using a mix of your lightsaber as well as your Force abilities to create different melee combinations. Respawn has been interviewed saying that the combat will very similar to that of Sekiro.
Jumanji: The Video Game by Funsolve – November 15th
Another Jumanji movie, Jumanji: The Next Level, is on the way. And just ahead of its release we’re getting an actual video game about the movie… that’s about the video game. Featuring the four main characters – Dr Bravetone, Ruby, Mouse and Professor Oberon, you’ll be playing as one of those characters to explore and battle through the world of Jumanji. Each of the main characters has their own set of unique abilities. Whoever you or your friends don’t pick will become AI companions alongside you. We’re not sure what storyline the game is following, either The Next Level or the previous Welcome To The Jungle. But we do know that you’ll be spending your time trying to recover jewels, solve puzzles and basically survive. It looks like a fun, light action-adventure multiplayer game to play with your friends.
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC – Steam Store
Shenmue III by YS Net & Neilo – November 19th
The first Shenmue was released 20 years ago on the Dreamcast. It followed the story of a young Ryo Hazuki whose looking to discover what happened to his father. Set in 1980s China, Ryo is convinced that his father has died amongst mysterious circumstances. After two long games of detective work, Ryo appeared to be closing in on what happened when the series abruptly ended, leaving his story unfinished. After a mess of development hell that spanned about a decade, eventually, Shenmue III asked for and received crowdfunding multiple times and by the end of 2018, it raised 7.2 million USD from 81,087 backers. Finally, in November 2019 this whole story can come to fruition with the final completion of Shenmue III.
Lost Ember by Mooneye Studios – November 22nd
I’ve been following Lost Ember for quite a while and finally, we’re getting a release date. The game showcases the story of the fall of mankind through the eyes of its other earthly creatures. You play as a shape-shifting wolf that can the land, sea and air, looking through the eyes of different animals you’ll find a story of loyalty, despair and betrayal. Along the way, your spirit guide will narrate the tale of what happened to the lost human civilizations that once settled in these wildlands. If the visuals and story aren’t enough to pull you in, Lost Ember‘s soundtrack is just amazing.