Is it just us, or does time start moving faster as you get older? A year seemed to be an eternity when we were children, but now they go skipping by in the blink of an eye. October has arrived, and 2021 is almost over. It’s been a momentous year in the video gaming world, with the new PlayStation and Xbox consoles beginning to find their feet and the concept of streaming games rather than owning them starting to make headway with players. We’re not here to write 2021’s epitaph, though, because it’s not over yet.
There are still several fantastic-looking games scheduled to arrive before 2021 is over, and some of them could still be contenders for the biggest sellers of the calendar year. Perhaps some of your friends or family would be interested in getting them as Christmas presents. Maybe you’d be more interested in owning them yourself! No matter what consoles or platforms you own or what your preferred taste in games might be, there’s probably still at least one great game in the pipeline for you before we ring in the new year. If you don’t know what’s coming, allow us to be your guides! Here are the big-name releases you (or the gamer in your life) should be looking forward to.
Far Cry 6
As we write this article, Far Cry 6 is only 24 hours away. That means it will have become available by the time you read this, and we’re sure it’s already attracting rave reviews. Far Cry is one of those gaming franchises that never misses, with Far Cry 5 seen by most reviewers as the best game in the series thus far. That means the benchmark for its long-awaited sequel is high, but we feel confident in saying that it won’t disappoint anybody. We’ve been promised the biggest and most feature-loaded Far Cry game so far, and the fictional location of Yara is effectively a more chaotic and dangerous version of Cuba. Amazon has this one pegged as a launch title for its Luna platform, so expect to see it heavily promoted everywhere.
Here’s another series that keeps going from strength to strength. The latest version of Battlefield is scheduled to land on October 22nd. It’s the first “full” version of Battlefield since Battlefield V in 2018, but it’s been partially trailed this year by an online slots game based on the series. That’s an increasingly popular way of promoting video games, although the biggest video-game themed online slots game of all time is still Capcom’s Street Fighter II. That’s not really our field of expertise, so we can’t tell you whether the online slots version of Battlefield tells you anything about this game or not. What we can tell you is that there’s no single-player campaign mode. That didn’t work out so well when Call of Duty tried it, but perhaps Battlefield 2042 will be the exception that proves the rule. Multiplayer mode is always what’s driven the Battlefield games along, so maybe the inability to play it solo won’t matter.
Call of Duty: Vanguard
It takes some studios years to come up with sequels to their hit games. Just look at how long it’s taking Rockstar to produce the next Grand Theft Auto game. Activision might have many problems at the moment, but the speed at which it turns around games isn’t one of them. Call of Duty: Vanguard will arrive on all platforms on November 5th. That’s Guy Fawkes night in the United Kingdom, and this game promises to bring plenty of fireworks. Call of Duty isn’t exactly known for its cheerful settings, and that trend isn’t going to change here. Our setting is Stalingrad during the deadliest days of the Second World War. You’ll be spending a lot of time on the war’s eastern front, but you’ll also get to experience the western front and the Pacific theatre. Lucky you! We doubt there’s going to be anything especially new here if you’ve played a Call of Duty game before, but “more of the same” tends to be what most COD players are after. Those who won’t buy a Call of Duty game unless it comes with a zombie mode will be pleased to know that the feature has made the cut.
There aren’t many games that have the potential to blow a big Call of Duty release out of the water, but a new Halo release might just do it. The fact that it’s an Xbox exclusive means it won’t break any sales records, but it will almost certainly be responsible for a spike in sales of the Xbox Series X – or, at least, it will be if anyone’s able to get their hands on one of the ever-elusive consoles. If it weren’t for the cursed events of last year we’d have got our hands on this game already. It was supposed to be a launch day release for the new Microsoft console, and it was a huge blow to the new console when it wasn’t available. Some of the blame for that has to fall on 343 Industries. Previews of the game failed to impress fans in 2020, so the developer went back to the drawing board to make changes. We haven’t seen another preview since, so we can only hope that all of the feedback was heard and acted upon. A full year of work has been done on the game since then, so there’s probably reason to be cautiously optimistic. It probably doesn’t matter, though – millions of people will buy it no matter what the reviewers say.
All of these big-name games fall under the same loose category of shooters, so it looks like we’ll be spending the dying months of 2021 blowing things up and desperately trying to survive. That suits us just fine. We know and love all four of these series, and we’re excited to see what they’ll look and feel like now that developers have had time to get to grips with the latest console technology and PC capabilities. Three months is just about enough time to pick these games up and play them to death – and by the time you’re done, we’ll have the first big launches of 2022 to look forward to!