Welcome to November, the mild hangover after October’s proverbial keg stand of awesome games. Even for a quieter month, if you gave the November’s game release calendar a thwap with the ol’ broom, a few huge AAA-tier games would drop to the ground. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, Super Mario RPG, and more will kick up a cloud that overshadows the arrival of smaller games — potentially great ones, even, from developers you might’ve heard of and new indie creators alike.
We don’t want to let these games slip by (and you’d probably like to know about them, right?), so as we do each month, we’ve rounded up a handful of notable game launches that you shouldn’t overlook. Stay tuned near the end of every month for our next batch of video game deep cuts.
RoboCop: Rogue City
A RoboCop game in the year 2023? And it’s half decent? Polygon’s review calls out that RoboCop: Rogue City is a solid first-person shooter that attempts (with decent success) to serve as the RoboCop 3 film that we should have gotten, and is filled with underdog charm and personality. It even has Peter Seller, who played the original RoboCop, voicing the titular action character in this game.
The Talos Principle 2
Portal walked so 2014’s The Talos Principle could run. But now, after a long wait, The Talos Principle 2 is sprinting on a gorgeous, puzzle-filled path of its own. This sequel builds on its foundation, with fantastic, stop-you-in-your-tracks environments and visuals, a story that’s a stirring crash course in philosophy. Of course, it’s also packed with puzzles that’ll likely have you scratching your head before figuring out a clever solution.
If you’ve only seen video clips of Thirsty Suitors, you might think it’s a game consisting entirely of the quirkiest quick-time events imaginable. Those scenes, where your character is prepping South Asian-inspired dishes, or petting a dog don’t represent all that you can do in the game. The game’s director Chandana Ekanayake describes the game as “a baby Yakuza,” in the sense that it’s filled with an eclectic variety of activities that’ll leave players guessing. You can skateboard, cook, and then hop into turn-based battles — all delivered in a maximalist package, as our review points out.
Song of Nunu: A League of Legends Story
League of Legends’ most recent spinoff comes in the form of Song of Nunu, a game developed by Tequila Works that’s friendly for all ages. Between fun (if occasionally frustrating) platforming sections, the game expands into a third-person adventure that incorporates brawling as Willump, the big yeti, and solving environmental puzzles with Nunu’s magical flute. It’s a heartwarming game that succeeds in more closely examining characters from League of Legends’ MOBA experience. Read our full review to learn more.
Teardown (PS5, Series X)
Teardown is a physics sandbox for pure destruction. Not since Red Faction: Guerilla have I had so much fun breaking, well, everything in sight. The game, which originally debuted on PC in 2022, includes a story more where you’re given missions that both expand your arsenal of weaponry and puts your expertise with explosions to the test. The fact that they’re time-based missions amps up the excitement. Beyond the missions, its free play mode never gets old, and can serve as some good ol’ stress relief when you want to blow everything up without the usual real-world repercussions.
It cannot be denied that The Invincible has some of the most stunning looks of any 2023 game. In addition to the graphical swagger of this adaptation of Polish author Stainisław Lem’s book of the same name, I’m taken by this title’s blend of calm-but-eerie atmosphere, the rad “atompunk” tech you’ll use to find missing crew members, and being stealthy to avoid facing down intimidating robots.
Jurassic Park Classic Games Collection
Limited Run Games is cracking open the gates of Jurassic Park so that gamers with modern consoles have a chance at the handful of titles that debuted during the franchise’s heyday in the early to mid 1990s. The Jurassic Park Classic Games Collection includes multiple versions of the original game, made for 8-bit, 16-bit (both SNES and Sega Genesis), and portable systems. It also includes Jurassic Park Part 2: The Chaos Continues and Rampage Edition for the Genesis.
I want to give a special shoutout to how frightening Jurassic Park for the SNES (the 16-bit version in this collection) was for me to play as kid. The game’s first-person mode that switched on while indoors successfully captured the dread of the famous velociraptor kitchen scene.
Gangs of Sherwood
Even though Gangs of Sherwood sounds like the name of a Netflix show that I would absolutely skip, a playable version sounds like fun. It’s a third-person action game set in a futuristic dystopia inspired by Robin Hood. Gameplay-wise, it looks like Dragon’s Dogma, with its multiple classe, each with different fighting styles and weaponry, mixed with Bayonetta-like action games, given that Gangs of Sherwood features a combo counter and a grading system. You can play this game alone, or with up to four players teaming up for some co-op.