Cyberpunk 2077, the dystopian action RPG from the team that brought us The Witcher III, has been delayed again—this time from November to December. It's the inevitable result of balancing quality with quantity; the ongoing pandemic has forced the team to crunch at odd, long hours to get the game out the door. Its release on nine different platforms has also made bug testing particularly arduous.
But never mind that, because November is also the launch month for both the Xbox Series X and the PlayStation 5. There will be thousands of words written on their respective specs and countless side-by-side comparisons of games running on each platform. But to the average consumer, It'll ultimately come down to the games they want to play—and, in light of the upcoming holiday season, the consoles' price and availability
Here is your video game news roundup for November 2020.
XBox Live Gold Free Games
Aragami: Shadow Edition (Nov. 1-Nov. 30)
Critically acclaimed at the time of its release, Aragami is a supernatural stealth game about an undead assassin who teleports and attacks from the shadows.
Swimsanity! (November 16-December 15)
This is an underwater shooter with a multiplayer focus—local or online. Play the campaign or run the leaderboards; Swimsanity is simple yet appealing and irrepressibly fun.
Xbox 360 (backwards compatible)
Full Spectrum Warrior (Nov. 1-Nov. 15)
This game started its development as a training tool for the U.S. Army, and eventually became a retail release in its own right. It's a real-time strategy game, and you play as an army squad that's rooting out terrorism in the fictional country of Zekistan.
Lego Indiana Jones (Nov. 16-Nov. 30)
Relive the iconic scenes from Raiders of the Lost Ark, Temple of Doom, and The Last Crusade, all animated with Lego mini-figures and that signature whimsical style.
PlayStation Plus Free Games
Middle-earth: Shadow of War (Nov. 3)
If you want to escape to Middle Earth for a bit—and, based on the state of the world, we wouldn't begrudge a mental health break—this game is like a living, breathing extension of Peter Jackson's franchise. It is the sequel to Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor and takes place, canonically, between Jackson's two film trilogies.
Voidheart Edition (Nov. 3): Here it is: the cumulative Hollow Knight edition that you've been waiting for. The core game and four content packs are now compiled in a single definitive volume. Definitely check it out.
Bugsnax (November 12)
This game is for early PS5 owners with a PlayStation Plus subscription. You chase and capture bugs, which will no doubt take full advantage of the PS5 controller's "haptic feedback."
Google Stadia Free Games
Sniper Elite 4 (Nov. 1)
Maybe it has something to do with the lack of high-budget stealth games on the market, but three sequels deep, Sniper Elite still feels fresh. Or maybe it's just the explosive X-Ray headshots. Yeah, it's probably the headshots.
The Gardens Between (Nov. 1)
Released in 2018, this critically acclaimed puzzle game allows you to travel forwards and backwards in time.
Hello Neighbor: Hide & Seek (Nov. 1)
This is a horror game with a disarming title. You sneak into your neighbor's house, concerned that he's hiding something sinister in his basement.
Republique (Nov. 1)
Another smaller stealth title, this game sees you guide a girl named Hope out of a medical facility, where an oppressive government is experimenting on her.
Risk of Rain 2 (Nov. 1)
An alien shooter, Risk of Rain 2 is best played with others; up to four players can team up to take on a level, which increases in difficulty every five minutes.
Sundered: Eldritch Edition (Nov. 1)
Featuring massive boss battles and an awesome upgrade system, Sundered has different endings, depending on whether you want to sacrifice your humanity to gain the mightiest powers.
Xbox Series X Launch – November 10
Microsoft has spent its marketing campaign focusing on the hardware aspects of its latest console and connecting those figures to real-world gameplay performance. The Xbox Series X will have far shorter loading times, owing to its solid-state drive, and it will run at 120-fps animation and 8K resolution. If you bought an Xbox One game recently, you won't have to buy it again on the new console; a free "Smart Delivery" will upgrade it for the new hardware.
Halo Infinite was originally supposed to launch with the system, but unfortunately, due to COVID-19, that's been delayed until 2021. The Xbox Series X will retail for $499. The Xbox Series S, a digital-game-only version of the console that plays next-gen software at lower resolution, will retail for $299.
Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla – November 10
Assassin's Creed games succeed and fail based on the time periods they portray and the attention to detail within that portrayal. Black Flag focused on the golden age of piracy. Origins focused on ancient Egypt. And now Assassin's Creed will explore the age of Vikings. Set in 873 AD, the game casts you in the role of a Viking who gets caught up in the Templar/Assassins narrative arc during an invasion of Britain.
Yakuza: Like A Dragon – November 10
This may be the eighth release in the Yakuza core franchise, but if you've completely missed out on this series, now is an excellent time to catch up. You can still roam the neighborhood and sing karaoke, but there's a brand new protagonist and turn-based battle system, which replaces the prior beat-'em-up game mechanics.
Just Dance 2021 – November 12
Remember the rhythm game fad from the late '00s? Guitar Hero. Band Hero. DJ Hero. Rock Band. These days, they're all relatively inactive, with the exception of Just Dance, which releases its latest installment this month. Among the featured artists: SZA, Ariana Grande, Justin Timberlake, Lizzo, Billie Ellish, Harry Styles, and The Weeknd. Get ready to dance.
PlayStation 5 Launch - November 12
In an arms race—strictly looking at the specs—the new Xbox might have the new PlayStation beat. But specs don't always equate to real performance. And the PlayStation 5 has an additional trick up its sleeve: a new DualSense controller with haptic feedback, which is a fancy way of saying that this controller is next-level responsive. It doesn't just vibrate; it vibrates at different frequencies and in different places, in 1:1 response, with the action taking place on-screen. The PlayStation 5 comes pre-installed with a game called Astro's Playroom, which shows off these brand new sensory functions.
The PlayStation 5 retails for $499. And just like Microsoft, Sony will also be offering a digital-game-only budget version, which will retail for $399.
Demon’s Souls (PS5) – November 12
A remake of the classic Demon's Souls, this game is a PlayStation 5 exclusive. Because there is no lower-end PS4 version, this will be one of our first chances to see what the PS5 hardware is capable of when cross-platform performance isn't a factor. It promises to retain the fundamentals of the original title while adding new weapons, armors, and items. It also promises to use the PS5's new haptic feedback to enhance the game's swordplay.
Spider-Man: Miles Morales – November 12
The followup to 2018's critically beloved Spider-Man, this game follows Miles Morales as he dons the Spidey suit and fights the latest villains to threaten New York City. It retains the spot-on web-slinging from the last game and adds Miles' electric "Venom" and invisibility powers into the mix. It is a PlayStation exclusive, and it will appear on both the PS4 and the PS5.
Game and Watch (Super Mario Bros.) - November 13
Meanwhile, in the midst of this new console war, Nintendo continues to do as Nintendo does. On November 13, it will release a retro Game & Watch system, which was the first handheld the company made back in 1980. It will only play the original Super Mario Bros., and this release is part of that game's ongoing 35th anniversary celebration.
Call of Duty: Black Ops – Cold War – November 13
It's Call of Duty. At this point, the series is well-worn enough that players know exactly what they'll be getting. This particular installment is set in the 1980s during the Cold War; you're an American CIA officer who's hot on the trail of a Russian spy. But after that's done with, the real attraction is the customizable multiplayer, which will be integrated with the battle royale game Call of Duty Warzone, released earlier this year.
Kingdom Hearts: Melody of Memory – November 13
If the release of Kingdom Hearts III is any indication, you might be waiting a while to play Kingdom Hearts IV. To tide you over, Kingdom Hearts: Memory of Melody is a rhythm game that features music from across the franchise and is equipped with both local and online multiplayer modes. It's for die-hard fans, for sure, but when it comes to Kingdom Hearts, die-hard fans aren't too hard to find.
Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity – November 20
Canon-wise, this hack-and-slash game takes place 100 years before Breath of the Wild, and it will portray the "Great Calamity" that's only been discussed and alluded to. If you liked 2014's Hyrule Warriors, this is the same type of gameplay, with some additional puzzle-solving and world building mixed in