PC games to look out for in September, October, and November


Mafia 3
Release date: October 7

The Mafia series fantasizes the Coppola-fied depiction of mob life in exquisitely detailed slices of American history, but Mafia 3's take on organized crime down south in the hazy bayous of New Bordeaux is an interesting spin on the popular rise-through-ranks trope. After a post-heist betrayal by the Italian Mafia, protagonist and Vietnam War veteran Lincoln Clay sets out for revenge by shaping his own criminal empire to rival his former partners. New Bordeaux teems with character mirroring the legendary 1960s legacy of its real-life New Orleans counterpart, including a trendy French Quarter housing whiskey bars and jazz-infused dives. Side-activities such as racing and car collecting are typical of the open city genre, but Dave's impressions came away positive for developer Hangar 13's dedication to pushing forward a nuanced narrative with every action.

Gears of War 4
Release date: October 11

After some initial uncertainty, we’re now assured that Gears of War 4 will be coming to PC—as long as you have Windows 10. It’s great to have the lumbering bro-dudes of Gears back on PC, and from the sound of it, Gears 4 might be one of the first big releases to honor Microsoft’s often-stated “commitment” to PC gaming. PC versions of Gears 4 are said to have unlocked frame rates, 4K textures, and more fiddly knobs and options than a 300 pound armored giant can comfortably carry. Plus, the multiplayer footage we’ve seen, which runs at 1080p/60fps, looks smooth. We'll dig into the port when we get it—hopefully it's better at launch than some of Microsoft's previous efforts.

Battlefield 1
Release date: October 21

When they release in the same year, Battlefield and Call of Duty lock horns for dominance of the rest of the holiday herd. Battlefield 1 has certainly turned enough heads its way with its market-diverging World War I theme and accessible take on the Great War's rapidly evolving weapon (and horse) technology. It's in position to stand apart via its series-staple scale paired with the new Behemoth-class vehicles and an intriguing capture-based Operations mode reenacting military campaigns spanning multiple maps. Recently, Tyler and James took a close look at the classes and weapons in the alpha, and for fun Wes asked a war historian about their accuracy.

Civilization 6
Release date: October 21

What’s great about the Civilization series is that even if you don’t like the changes that comes with new editions, there’s nothing so dated about the old ones that they’re unfun—if you like Civ 5 or Civ 4 and their expansions and mods they’re still great. So we're pleased Firaxis takes a few risks here, the biggest change being that cities will now be formed of distinct districts, with wonders now requiring their own tiles. There are also redesigns coming to victory conditions and how research works. Read Chris’s hands-on for more.

Farming Simulator 17
Release date: October 25

The mundane-job-simulator fad and its dozens of jokey spin-offs seems to have thankfully died down. Left behind are the genre games that, when done well, promise zen-like experiences like driving long-haul trucks and carefully guiding a train into a station. We haven’t been big fans of all the previous Farming Simulator games, but this most recent iteration has had some very nice looking trailers. There’s also the fact that we can now play as hard-working farm lady avatars, which is nice. Farming Simulator 17 should watch out, though: the farming sim genre could be about to get much more competitive. What a time to be alive.

Dark Souls 3: Ashes of Ariandel
Release date: October 25

The first of two planned expansions, Ashes of Ariandel leaves the converging lands of Lothric behind for some much colder scenery. It’s unclear exactly where we’re headed or why, but based on the trailer, it’s somewhere thematically similar to the original Dark Souls’ Painted World, with some huge wolves and antlered knights thrown into the mix. There are new spells and weapons to try out, and some new multiplayer options, but the details—in true Dark Souls fashion—are still pretty vague. We really liked Dark Souls 3, so we’ll take up any excuse to explore another dreary, twisted fantasy realm filled with horrific monsters.

Gwent: The Witcher Card Game
Release date: October 25

It’s a testament to Witcher 3’s top-notch world-building that Gwent, a minigame invented to give tavern-keepers and town drunks something to chat about, became a phenomenon of its own. It’s this kind of attention to detail that helped Witcher 3 earn the number 1 spot in our Top 100. CD Projekt made it official that Gwent will compete with the likes of Hearthstone and Elder Scrolls: Legends as a stand-alone card battle game. How a mini-game became popular enough to deserve its own game is a weird story, already chronicled expertly in stories by Phil and Wes.

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyim Special Edition
Release date: October 28

You've probably played it before, but Bethesda wants to give you reason to spend another season holed up for another 200 hours of Skyrim exploration. This is more of a treat for console gamers who don't have amazing mods to install or entire fan-made expansions like Enderal to play. But in the long run this could be a great thing for Skyrim's still-vibrant mod scene: the Special Edition is a 64-bit application, meaning it's no longer bound to using only 4GB of RAM as the original Skyrim was. We expect the Special Edition to break compatibility with thousands of mods, but given time this should make for an even more mod-friendly game.

On the next page, November and more...

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