Here are just some of the games we’re following this month!

X-Com: Enemy Unknown

If this week you felt the force of a million geeky voices all crying out in glee and then suddenly becoming silent, it’s because they are all playing the new X-Com: Enemy Unknown game from Firaxis. Yes, Firaxis, the same company that brought you the Civilization series. Why is this game important and why should you care about it? Because it’s a really bold move for a developer to release a turn based strategy game at a time when real time strategies and first person shooters are guaranteed money makers. Firaxis is banking on support from loyal fans in order to fuel the initial purchases and hopefully word of mouth will bring it into the mainstream consumer market. If the gamble pays off, there is a glimmer of hope that more niche titles that cater to gamers could be on the horizon. Needless to say, industry eyes are fixed on how well this game does in the next quarter.

X-Com’s story is based around recruiting and leveling up your team and HQ while fighting off aliens attempting to destroy the earth. It is primarily a single player game but the multiplayer mode allows you to pick a team of alien bad guys and square off against your friends. Oh, if you watched GI Joe as a kid, you’re going to love the base management aspect of this game!  Look for our review of X-Com soon.

Wii U Release Titles

November 18th is the announced release date of Nintendo’s new WiiU console and if you were waiting to see what games will be available on launch day, wait no further. Of all of the games on the list, I am really only excited about the new Super Mario Bros. U, Epic Mickey 2 and oh… I dunno, let’s throw Assassin’s Creed 3 in there. Not a bad haul considering the Wii didn’t get a Super Mario Bros. platformer until almost three years after its release. I am a little disappointed with the lack of a Pikmin or Smash Bros Brawl game. Nor is a Mario Kart on the radar yet.

I can’t really tell if I’m excited about the Wii U yet and the consensus I get from other gamers is that the Wii U will likely be a slow burn before it picks up in sales. I’m certainly going to pick up a Wii U around the release date but I’m curious to know your thoughts? Post on the comments below if you are going to pick one up or wait until the reviews come out.

Return of the LAN Party

A game that might just revive the LAN parties of yore is generating a lot of buzz this month. Artemis is a cross platform starship bridge simulator for you and up to 6 of your friends. The idea behind Artemis is to have each player control one station of the ship while a projector or TV allows the Captain to see the main screen and bark out orders. What makes this game so exciting is how you can use any device, iPhone, iPad, Andoid or PC and play the same game together. The game costs $40 but that also includes licenses for 6 other players.

Folks, I have been dreaming of a game like this for years! Some games like World War 2 Online have tried to emulate the concept of a multiple crew vehicle being controlled by a single captain, but none have catered to turbo nerds like me who want it to be set in space. Oh, and click here to watch the nerdiest, awesomest in-game footage of the game I could find.

Borderlands 2 DLC Released Today!

I have yet to see a sci-fi game without a clichéd, “master-blaster”, bad guy… you know the one I’m talking about, the intelligent weakling riding on the shoulders of a powerful, dumb brute in order to murder things. Well, now you can play the cliché as a class in the new DLC for Borderlands 2. The Mechromancer is a “pet class” which means she can summon and control a giant robot named Deathclap. The mechromancer sends the robot off to murder while she builds up a pool of “Anarchy” points which can be spent to buff herself, other players or the robot in some interesting ways. From what I have read, the class is one of the better ones available for the game and you don’t have to go too deep into the skill lines to tap into some cool gameplay changing skills. Since I am currently away from my computer for a business trip, I can’t give you a full and honest review but from what I’ve seen from early pictures, the character design looks awesome and her voice work is – as always – super well done.

That’s it for news this week, and remember if you’re going to geek out, GEEK HARD!

Last Column: A Quick Look at Borderlands 2 (Video).