Some of the most high-profile, hyped video games of 2019 are arriving this November. But that pales in comparison to the biggest news of the month, which is that Google is entering the video game market. And how does the search engine behemoth plan to win the modern-day console wars? In counterintuitive fashion: by eliminating the console entirely.
The Google Stadia promises the sort of combined convenience, high-quality graphics, and portability that most industry observers didn't expect for another two years. Is it everything that the company's PR department is hyping it to be? Or is it too much, too soon? And how will everything perform when massive waves of users are logging on simultaneously from all over the world?
Here are the biggest video game news items and release dates for November 2019.
XBox Gold Free Games
Sherlock Holmes: The Devil’s Daughter (November 1 to November 30)
Originally released in 2016, this game places you into the role of England's greatest detective. What it lacks in gameplay it makes up for in clever plotting as you inspect crime scenes and hunt for clues.
The Final Station (November 16 to December 15)
A horror game with side-scrolling shooter mechanics, this game places you in the role of a train conductor, who must defend his train's passengers from a post-apocalyptic hellscape, where infected, monstrous humans roam free.
Xbox 360 (backwards compatible)
Star Wars: Jedi Starfighter (November 1 to November 15)
Originally released for the Xbox in 2002, this classic Star Wars game puts you in the cockpit of an experimental, cutting-edge starship. You are pitted against the Trade Federation from the prequel trilogy; the game takes place before and during the events of Episode II: Attack of the Clones.
Joy Ride Turbo (November 16 to November 30)
This is a kart racer with weapons, but the real highlight of this game is the stunt parks. They function as Tony Hawk-esque free-form areas, where you can explore and practice your tricks.
Playstation Plus Free Games
Nioh (November 5 to December 3)
A Japanese folk tale brought to life, Nioh places you in the role of William, an ethnically Irish samurai in 17th century Japan. The beta for Nioh 2 starts this November, with the full sequel release planned for March 2020.
Outlast 2 (November 5 to December 3)
A disturbing horror game, Outlast 2 stars a husband and wife who are captured and tormented by an end-of-days cult. Outlast 3 is reportedly in development.
Blizzcon (November 1 to November 2)
The company responsible for the Warcraft, Starcraft, Diablo, and Overwatch franchises has big announcements planned at its annual summit. Hopefully, we'll get a peek at Diablo IV or Overwatch 2. Blizzard even cancelled a Starcraft shooter to focus their attention on those two titles, so hopefully, that sacrifice pays off.
Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 (November 5)
The sixth entry in the popular party game franchise, the latest Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games takes us to the Land of the Rising Sun. For players over the age of 30, who remember the console wars of the early and mid-'90s, it still feels weird to see Mario and Sonic in the same game, engaged in friendly competition.
Red Dead Redemption II - PC release (November 5)
The original Red Dead Redemption was never ported to PC, which disappointed many fans who wanted the opportunity to max out the game's graphics and mod the gameplay. Thankfully, Rockstar Games has decided to port Red Dead Redemption 2, widely considered the best game of 2018 onto PC. Expect to see some extensive roleplaying on Twitch moving forward.
Death Stranding (November 8)
Hideo Kojima, the creator and visionary behind the Metal Gear franchise, is back with a new game called Death Stranding, about life, death, and the ways we connect and disconnect ourselves from other people in society. It's heady, artsy stuff for an action game. But for Kojima, it's pretty par for the course.
Pokémon Shield (November 15)
The latest pocket monster RPG, in which you star as an up-and-coming Pokémon trainer, has two separate editions. Pokémon Shield and Pokémon Sword are being released simultaneously. Each will have exclusive Pokémon, different Gyms, and different Gym leaders to battle, although the core narrative experience is the same.
These are the Pokémon exclusive to the Shield version of the game:
- Galarian Ponyta
Pokémon Sword (November 15)
These are the Pokémon exclusive to the Sword version of the game:
Each version of the game also comes with an exclusive, legendary Pokémon. The Shield game will have Zazamenta, and the Sword game will have Zacian.
Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order (November 15)
The much-anticipated Star Wars game is set between the events of Episode III and Episode IV, and follows a Jedi who escaped Order 66 and the subsequent Jedi Purge. It looks like a highly cinematic game with lots of combat; think Uncharted, but with lightsabers instead of pistols.
Shenmue III (November 19)
It took well over a decade of development to get this game completed, boxed, and shipped; it will be the first console game in the Shenmue franchise since 2001. It was ultimately the fans who got the project up and running; the developers raised over $7 million via crowdfunding to continue the story of Ryo Hazuki and his efforts to find the man who killed his father.
Google Stadia (November 19)
Google is debuting the Stadia, a cloud service that the company claims will run off the Google Chrome browser, with 4k resolution at 60 frames per second. Even with a high-speed Internet connection, that's a bold claim, and could affect the way new games are marketed and released should it be successful.
The service will cost $9.99 per month and will be initially rolled out in 14 countries, including the United States.