October is here and the month brings a non-stop train of game releases. It is perhaps the busiest month in gaming this year, with major titles fighting for space in the tight window of four weeks. Kicking off things on October 5 is Assassin’s Creed Mirage, Ubisoft’s next chapter in the long-running assassin’s saga. This time, the game opts to shrink its scope and return to its roots with a more stealth and assassinations-based approach. The last three AC titles had adhered to a Witcher 3-style expansive RPG style, drawing criticism for open-world bloat.
Later down the month, we’re getting perhaps the biggest exclusive release on PlayStation this year. Marvel’s Spider-Man 2, featuring both Peter Parker and Miles Morales as playable Spider-Men, releases October 20. On the same day, we’re also getting the next Mario game from Nintendo. Super Mario Bros. Wonder, Nintendo’s first side-scrolling entry in the series since 2012’s Super Mario Bros. U, will feature a dynamic level design that can be interacted with to affect gameplay.
On October 27, Remedy Entertainment will release Alan Wake 2, the survival horror absurdist sequel to 2010’s Alan Wake. Remedy never shies away from making it weird and expect Alan Wake 2 to build upon its predecessor’s David Lynch-inspired nightmarish mystery. October also sees big-name releases like Detective Pikachu Returns, Forza Motorsport, and Sonic Superstars. It is indeed a jam-packed month.
Here are our picks for the biggest games coming to PC and consoles in October 2023.
Assassin’s Creed Mirage
When: October 5
Where: PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X
Old-time fans have been yearning for a condensed Assassin’s Creed game since the franchise shifted towards an open-world RPG format for years. The ninth-century set Mirage seems to be the cure for that itch, putting you in the shoes of Basim Ibn Ishaq, a cunning thief who joins the enigmatic ‘Hidden Ones’ clan and trains under his mentor Roshan to become a prolific assassin, navigating the bustling streets of Baghdad via seamless parkour. Stealth is back in trend, letting you blend in with civilians as you devilishly stalk targets and strike like a snake when the chance presents itself by brandishing hidden blades. Perform air assassinations, eavesdrop and pickpocket NPCs, or send out your eagle to scope out locations from above to become a versatile assassin.
Gone are the complicated levelling systems bloated with numbers and stats, and Assassin’s Creed Mirage instead presents an arsenal of tools — throwing knives, traps, smoke bombs, and more — which can be upgraded in efficacy to best suit your playstyle. Pick up contract jobs if you’ve got time to kill, or simply rest on benches and beds to fast-forward time until night for more sneaky executions. Ubisoft has indeed gone back to its roots this time, which is amusing to think, considering this game started life as an Assassin’s Creed Valhalla DLC, before becoming its own thing to fill a gap in its release schedule.
Detective Pikachu Returns
When: October 6
Where: Nintendo Switch
Detective Pikachu Returns is a sequel to the 2016 game Detective Pikachu, which was a critical and commercial success. In it, players will take on the role of Tim Goodman, a young man who is searching for his missing father. Along the way, he will be helped by Pikachu, a talking Pokémon who is a detective. Together, they will solve a series of mysteries and uncover the truth about Tim’s father’s disappearance. The game is set in Ryme City, a bustling metropolis where humans and Pokémon live together in harmony. The game features a large open world that players can explore, as well as a variety of puzzles and challenges to solve. It is a fun and interactive game that is sure to appeal to fans of the original game as well as anyone who enjoys a good mystery.
One of the things that makes Detective Pikachu Returns so enjoyable is its charming and witty dialogue. Pikachu is a hilarious character, and his interactions with Tim are always entertaining. The game also features a number of other memorable characters, including a talking Psyduck, a detective Chimchar, and a fashion-conscious Mr. Mime. The puzzles in Detective Pikachu Returns are challenging but fair. They require players to use their problem-solving skills and their knowledge of the Pokémon world to progress. The game also features a number of minigames that are sure to keep players entertained.
When: October 10
Where: PC. Xbox Series S/X
One of the most anticipated games in the racing genre this year, Forza Motorsport aims to build on the success of Forza Motorsport 7 with improved handling and more realistic car physics. You’ll be able to compete in over 500 cars on 20 well-known racetracks. You’ll also be able to customise your builds with fuel and tire strategy as you take on the competition.
Developer Turn 10 also says that “no two laps feel the same” on Forza Motorsport, thanks to driving conditions including dynamic weather and changes to lighting based on the time of day, as well as on-track scoring. You can also gain up to 800 performance upgrades and take on other players in the Featured Multiplayer events while being protected by Forza Race Regulations.
Lords of the Fallen
When: October 12
Where: PC, PS5, Xbox Series S/X
Another promising souls-like gracing this year is Lords of the Fallen, a reboot of the eponymous 2014 game, that’s heavily selling its next-gen, Unreal Engine 5-powered visuals. In it, you play as a fabled Dark Crusader, tasked with venturing the tarnished lands to thwart the demon God Adyr’s resurrection — a feared return that would bring darkness to the kingdom of Mournstead. Drawing from FromSoftware’s games, RPG foundations are crucial to your journey, as you build a character from a choice of nine classes — ranging from Rogue, Knight, and Fire Apprentice — which may eventually devolve into something outlandish and hybrid based on what weapons or spells you pick up on the way. Expect fast and challenging combat that keeps you on the edge of your seat, as you’re mesmerised by the colossal boss battles that suck you in with epic music.
The coolest thing differentiating Lords of the Fallen from Souls games is the inclusion of a blue-tinted lamp that lets you intermittently step between two parallel worlds. We’ve got the realm of the living Axiom, and Umbral, a realm of the dead which is teeming with all kinds of corrupted, overtly vicious monsters. Opening these tears in space unveils hidden pathways, alongside solutions to puzzles that are otherwise inaccessible. Repeated deaths are a core part of the souls-like experience, and so every time you die in the living world, you’ll wake up in the Umbral realm, essentially serving as a second chance. Fall once again, however, and you’ll be forced to backtrack all the way from the last checkpoint.
When: October 17
Where: PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X, Nintendo Switch
Sonic is a revered franchise with a legion of dedicated fans who swear by the classic games in the series. The iconic blue hedgehog returns to zoom and jump through intricate levels in Sonic Superstars. Following the open-world 3D approach of Sonic Frontiers, Sonic Superstars will go back to a side-scrolling design. The game will feature four playable characters and follow their adventures through mazy levels as they take on Doctor Eggman, Fang the Hunter, and Trip the Sungazer.
Sonic Superstars’ campaign will also feature local co-op for up to four players who can jump in and out of the game. The platformer will also include a PvP feature for both local and online play. The game comes out across PC and consoles on October 17.
Hellboy Web of Wyrd
When: October 18
Where: PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X
Replicating a bold, comic book art style faithful to Mike Mignola’s works, Hellboy Web of Wyrd looks to be a mighty fine rogue-lite. The titular crimson-coloured demon with an indestructible hand is thrust into a fascinating, ever-changing dimension when a B.R.P.D. agent goes missing, leading to encounters with nightmarish creatures and homunculi, all the way to tanky bosses that guard doorways. Unlike the fast-paced affairs seen in Hades, combat is significantly slower and methodical here, coaxing you into memorising attack patterns to better dodge or parry them, and anticipating long wind-ups before hits land.
And of course, dying in the Wyrd realm sends you back to the starting point, where you can chat with other agents to progress questlines, before repeating the cycle and uncovering the larger conspiracy that surrounds the Butterfly House. Throughout your runs, you acquire charms that grant bonus perks like causing increased injury or the ability to reflect enemy damage back, which should help overcome challenges in the long term. Then again, roguelites are notorious for their steep difficulty curve, so it’ll take some trial and error before you have a good sense of what boons are actually superficial.
Marvel’s Spider-Man 2
When: October 20
Developed by Insomniac Games, Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 is a sequel to 2018’s Marvel’s Spider-Man and follows Peter Parker/Spider-Man and Miles Morales as they team up to stop the monstrous new threat in town, the symbiote Venom. Peter is now a more experienced Spider-Man, still struggling to balance his personal life with his superhero duties. Meanwhile, Miles keeps procrastinating on his college entrance essay, while trying to carve his unique identity as Brooklyn’s saviour. The open-world map has also doubled in size, expanding past the East River to include the Queens and Brooklyn boroughs.
To help cover that distance, we’ve got deployable Web Wings that help both Spider-Men glide across cities seamlessly — feel free to web swing every now and again for better momentum. Furthermore, players can switch between either hero instantly, regardless of where they’re located to complete tasks or take on tenacious baddies terrorising civilians. Yep, there are several of them ranging from Kraven the Hunter to Mysterio, and more. This sequel promises to deliver even more action and adventure than the first game and is sure to be a hit with fans.
Super Mario Bros. Wonder
When: October 20
Where: Nintendo Switch
Super Mario Bros. Wonder marks the first traditional 2D side-scrolling entry in the last 10 years, introducing absurd power-ups that turn you into an elephant, for one. Despite the more-HD aesthetic, the Flower Kingdom’s got all the classic Mario jazz such as secret items, coins, green pipes, and snoozing Goombas to stomp upon, as you storm through levels. But wait, what’s the goal here? Well, the villainous Bowser is back and has magically merged with a castle, turning into a horrendous aircraft, of sorts, wreaking havoc across the kingdom.
Scattered around its seven key zones are Wonder Flowers, which upon interaction, completely change the look of your world in an almost trippy animation causing pipes to come alive, tossing a stampede of enemies at you, or even tilting the camera to limit your chances of success. There are three main power-ups this time: the Elephant Fruit lets you slap foes around with your trunk, Drill Mushroom to burrow into the ground, and the Bubble Flower to blow light floating bubbles to capture and defeat enemies from afar. What’s even better is that Super Mario Bros. Wonder doesn’t limit you to using Mario — you can play as Princess Peach, Princess Daisy, Luigi, and Toad. Support for multiplayer is also included.
When: October 26
Where: PC. PS5, Xbox Series S/X
This upcoming first-person slasher title lets you step into the shoes of Jack as he fights against an AI cult in a post-apocalyptic cyberpunk world. The events of Ghostrunner 2 take place a year after the fall of the Keymaster in the first title and will let you explore the world around Dharma Tower. The game introduces interactive boss fights, a completely reworked player progression system, and new game modes that weren’t present on Ghostrunner.
This upcoming title will feature a synth-wave soundtrack that will help set the mood as you take on challenging enemies as a cyber ninja. You can take advantage of new katana combat mechanics that will allow you to take on your cyberpunk opponents. They will prove to be more challenging as they can now respond based on the skill you use as you fight to defeat your enemies and attempt to save humanity.
Alan Wake II
When: October 27
Where: PC, PS5, Xbox Series S/X
13 years have passed since the best-selling novelist Alan Wake was trapped in the nightmarish Dark Place, fighting to stay sane and writing an ending to his horror story. For the uninitiated, Alan’s stories/writings manifest as reality around him, though for some reason he hasn’t been able to write a happy ending yet. Meanwhile, in the real world, we follow FBI agent Saga Anderson, who’s on a mission to investigate a series of ritualistic murders in Bright Falls. Both our protagonists’ fates intertwine when Saga stumbles upon pages from Alan’s horror story, with the locale soon spiralling into a nightmarish affair where either character’s actions have a direct effect on the other’s realm.
Unlike 2010’s linear-fashioned take, Alan Wake II is more open and follows a survival horror style that’s similar to the new Resident Evil remakes, brimming with puzzles and environmental storytelling. Players can experience the story through both characters’ perspectives — in any order — while dealing with crazed cultists and supernatural entities using limited resources such as firearms to a simple bright torchlight. And oh, the game’s writer Sam Lake also tags along for the adventure as Saga’s on-field partner.
EA Sports UFC 5
When: October 27
Where: PS5, Xbox Series S/X
Featuring a new Real Impact System, the upcoming EA Sports UFC 5 is set to arrive later this month and promises “realistic blow-by-blow damage”. You’ll be able to see fighters get bloodier as their features deteriorate with each new impact in the game. You’ll be able to get a close representation of pay-per-view events inside the Octagon — the eight-sided competition ring.
As you play EA Sports UFC 5, you will see realistic knockout replays of the ends of your fights in slow motion from various angles. Two new features called doctor’s check and doctor’s stoppage centred around player injuries will prompt the referee to pause the match for a more realistic in-game experience.