My Fall Preorder Lineup

Or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Preorder

I’ve gradually grown to love “preordering” upcoming titles before they’re released. Originally I viewed the practice as a way for desperate Gamestop employees to harass you at the register, by running through all the additional games they’d like you to buy beyond the one you were actually holding. As I started buying most of my games online, I became more willing to drop a bit of pre-release coin in exchange for various discounts and bonuses.

Today, I’m a straight-up preorder addict. I buy upcoming titles on Amazon as soon as I know I want them, without regard to whatever preorder bonuses may or may not materialize. (More than once, I’ve ordered games so far in advance that they’ve been delivered to a previous address several months after I moved.) Every release date is like a little mini-Christmas, and the UPS guy is my own personal Santa in brown short-pants. Here’s a quick run-down of the titles I’m expecting to show up on my doorstep between now and the end of 2012.

Game: Borderlands 2
Platform: Xbox 360 / PS3 / PC
Release Date: September 18, 2012
How I Feel About It:   Cautiously Optimistic

Released in 2009, the original Borderlands received a fair amount of acclaim for its distinctive visual style and its skillful integration of RPG elements into solid first-person shooter gameplay. Also, from what I heard, when experienced at its finest, the four-player co-op bordered on transcendental. Unfortunately, this was never my experience, as the difficulty scaling was so aggressive that to play with anyone a few levels above or below you was either prohibitively challenging or pointlessly easy. Furthermore, the bare-bones plot and repetitive mission structure left me pretty unsatisfied with the single-player experience. Still, there was a whole lot about Borderlands that reeked of promise, and if its sequel can fix some of these missteps while building on the potential of the original, it could turn out to be one of the best games of the year.

Game: XCOM: Enemy Unknown
Platform: Xbox 360 / PS3 / PC
Release Date: October 9, 2012
How I Feel About It:   Sporting a Raging Nostalgia Hard-On

If you’ve ever spent any time talking to a PC gamer, chances are they’ve mentioned XCOM at some point. Originally released in 1994, XCOM was a turn-based tactical strategy game that revolutionized the genre, while simultaneously keeping my friends and I up playing into the wee hours, terrified that at any moment a Cryssalid would burst out of the monitor of my Tandy desktop and impregnate us with its zombifying alien toxins. This upcoming remake of the original has been lovingly developed by the capable hands at Sid Meier’s Firaxis Games, the folks behind the Civilization series. All signs point to this game being a slam dunk, and for the developers’ sake I sure hope so… should it disappoint, an army of XCOM fanboys stand at the ready to unleash a flood of impotent Internet rage.

Game: Dishonored
Platform: Xbox 360 / PS3 / PC
Release Date: October 9, 2012
How I Feel About It:   Skeptical, But Intrigued

Dishonored is a first-person stealth/action-adventure game developed by Arkane Studios and published by Bethesda Softworks. I hadn’t heard about this game at all until this year’s E3, and I’m still a bit skeptical. If there’s two things that first-person games tend not to excel at, it’s stealth and melee combat. (Fans of the Thief games would probably disagree with me here.) Still, the impressive screenshots and industrial-era setting—along with the fact that it’s one of the few new games this year that’s not a sequel—piqued my interest enough to go with Dishonored as my impulse buy for the fall.

Game: Assassin’s Creed III
Platform: Xbox 360 / PS3 / PC / Wii U
Release Date: October 30, 2012
How I Feel About It:   Brimming With Revolutionary Bloodlust

Being a New Englander, any game where you run around revolutionary-era Boston murdering Redcoats is going to get four out of five stars from me just for showing up. Sure, the Assassin’s Creed series started to get a little stale after Ubisoft released a second follow-up to Assassin’s Creed II, but it’s still a rock-solid franchise, and everything I’ve been hearing about this game indicates that the developers have taken nothing for granted. For now, I’m going to allow myself to revel in unchecked enthusiasm for this game, fully confident that it’s going to turn out to be phenomenal.

Game: Halo 4
Platform: Xbox 360
Release Date: November 6, 2012
How I Feel About It:   Glad It’s Not Call of Duty

I never thought of myself as a huge Halo fan, usually preferring to scratch any competitive multiplayer itches with the Gears of War games. However, my friends and I have recently gone back to playing Halo 3 during our weekly online play-date, and I was quickly reminded of what an amazing game it is. As someone who is thoroughly bored of the whole Call of Duty thing, I’m picking Halo 4 over Call of Duty: Black Ops II as my preferred multiplayer shooter for the holiday season. (If my friends are reading this… you now know what to tell your wives you want for Christmas.)

As you can see, I’ve got my work cut out for me for the rest of 2012. (I’m actually glad Bioshock Infinite got pushed off to February.) Looking at this lineup, it makes me wonder what kind of space is left in the marketplace for the Nintendo’s new console (the “Wii U”), which they just announced will be available November 18. Regardless, there will probably be no U for me… my dance card is full.

2 thoughts on “My Fall Preorder Lineup

    • Sweet! I’ve been thinking we might want to ease up on the Thursday night Halo 3 this month, so we don’t get burnt out before November. Maybe we go back to Gears 3 for a bit, or even CoDBlOps?

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