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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 14 December 2018

Here's why September will be a good month for gamers 

Looking at the month, here are some newly released video games to get excited over

Neymar in Fifa 19. Courtesy EA
Neymar in Fifa 19. Courtesy EA

Gamers, it’s time to get through as much of your backlog of Steam, PS Plus and Games with Gold titles as you can before the end of the month, because a slew of new releases (and a new online service) launch in September.

Destiny 2: Forsaken (PS4, Xbox One, Windows) – September 4

Launching almost exactly a year after the base game, this first full expansion for Destiny 2 brings not only new content but also big changes to gameplay and the much-hyped death of a central character. There are brand-new destinations to explore, exotic weapons and armour and even a new weapon type – the bow. New powers, including nine additional supers, will hopefully make fans feel like the ultra-powerful space wizards from the days of the original Destiny. We are excited to see what this story and raid has to offer. Destiny 2 is already a very different game from what it was on Day 1, with Bungie taking many player complaints and suggestions to heart. The developer will be hoping that Forsaken will be Destiny 2’s The Taken King, revitalising the game and drawing in new players while giving the die-hards more than enough gear and rewards to keep grinding until the next content drop.

Spider-Man (PS4) September 7

It’s hard to believe it’s been more than two years since we saw the first glimpses of Spider-Man at E3 2016. A year later, developer Insomniac Games showed off gameplay that excited even those who aren’t fans of Marvel’s mouthy web-slinger. An open-world action adventure set in – where else? – New York City, this game may well do for Spider-Man what the Batman: Arkham games did for the Dark Knight.

Shadow of the Tomb Raider (PS4, Xbox One, Windows) – September 14

In this sequel to Rise of the Tomb Raider, Lara Croft heads to Central and South America, where she accidentally triggers a Mayan apocalypse – to be fair, which fictional archaeologist hasn’t done that at least once or twice? It’s the third game in the rebooted series that launched in 2013, and the first with Eidos Montreal as development lead instead of Crystal Dynamics. Fans who prefer to play the Arabic localised version of the game will be happy to know that former Miss Lebanon Nadine Wilson Njeim is back to voice Lara. Shadow will allow players to change combat and puzzle difficulty independently instead of having a single difficulty setting. It’s a great idea which, if executed well, may pop up in other games.

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NBA 2K19 (PS4, Xbox One, Windows, Switch) – September 11

FIFA 19 (Xbox One, PS4, Windows, Switch, PS3, Xbox 360) – September 28

Two giants in the world of sports games present annual updates. NBA 2K19 promises a new story mode, gameplay updates and a soundtrack curated by rapper Travis Scott as it celebrates the franchise’s 20th birthday. FIFA 19 brings the Champions League back to EA Sports’ flagship game for the first time in over a decade, and also features the return of protagonist Alex Hunter and an overhauled player control system that EA promises will “revolutionise what you can do with the ball at your feet”.

Nintendo Switch Online - Date to be confirmed

Nintendo finally joins Sony and Microsoft by charging for online play, with the launch of Nintendo Switch Online. It will cost US$3.99 (about Dh15) a month, $7.99 for three months or $19.99 a year. Beyond the access to multiplayer features, NSO has a few other perks. The most important of these, and the one Switch addicts have been clamouring for since the console’s launch, is the ability to back up your saves to the cloud. No longer will you have to worry that if something happens to your Switch, the 120 hours you poured into The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is gone forever. You also get access to 20 classic Nintendo Entertainment System games, including Mario Bros, Super Mario Bros, Super Mario Bros 3, The Legend of Zelda, Donkey Kong and Balloon Fight. Nintendo says more games will be added regularly. Subscribers also get access to special offers and enhanced smartphone app capabilities. It’s been almost 16 years since Microsoft launched Xbox Live and about 12 since the PlayStation Network went live, but you know what they say: better late than never.