The killer PC games of holiday 2014: A comprehensive guide

lords of the fallen hero

The Witcher 3 was delayed until February 2015. Battlefield: Hardline was delayed until February 2015. Batman: Arkham Universe was delayed until February, 2015. Evolve delayed until February 2015.

Sure, February 2015 is shaping up to be a rocking month for PC gamers, but after the deluge of delays, are there any games left to launch this year ?

Yes. Oh yes—in fact, there's a lot of them. Read on to find out about the most intriguing PC games coming out by the end of the year, in helpful chronological order of release. From new Borderlands to new Civilization to Alien: Isolation and beyond, there's a veritable flood of gaming goodness inbound. 

September 2014 PC games

Wasteland 2 - Sept. 19

wasteland 2

I'm going to decide arbitrarily that fall starts Friday, September 19, with the release of inXile's post-apocalyptic CRPG Wasteland 2, a Kickstarted, 25-years-in-the-making sequel to the legendary Wasteland. (After all, we PC people didn't get to experience a certain shooter-that-must-not-be-named last week.)

Are you prepared to survive in a post-nuclear Arizona, where battle tactics mean the difference between life and death, and every decision ripples with ramifications far into the future? I bet you aren't. For more information, check out PCWorld's far-reaching interview with Brian Fargo, head of inXile.

Cannon Brawl - Sept. 19

cannon brawl

Imagine playing Worms, but you're piloting a steam-powered airship and everything takes place in real-time—that's Cannon Brawl.

I love Cannon Brawl.

Gauntlet - Sept. 23

gauntlet

It's been almost 30 years since the original Gauntlet landed in arcades. Thirty. Years.

If you're feeling nostalgic, or just looking for a great co-op game, this updated Gauntlet looks like it'll deliver. Featuring four-player co-op, with each person taking on one of four different classes, Gauntlet will have you alternately screaming at and embracing your friends. But mostly screaming at them.

Ancient Space - Sept. 23

ancient space

Despite the fact that this game comes out next week, we still don't know that much about it. It's a space-based, real-time strategy game about venturing into the frontiers, with a voice cast featuring numerous people from classic science fiction TV shows (Firefly, Battlestar Galactica, Star Trek). And it's a strategy game with Paradox's name on it, so if past games are any indication it'll probably be good?

But yeah, that's all we know.

Stronghold Crusader II - Sept. 23

stronghold crusader ii

The Stronghold series is one part real-time strategy game, one part city builder. While most entries take place in medieval Europe, Stronghold Crusader II returns players to the deserts of the Middle East for the first time since 2002. The game seemed to offer an alluring blend of city-building and castle-raiding during an E3 preview. And did I mention you can shoot diseased lion corpses at your foes to spread illness?

Neverending Nightmares - Sept. 26

neverending nightmares

Developer Matt Gilgenbach's previous game, Retro/Grade, is one of those weird mysteries: It was critically-acclaimed and had tons of positive word-of-mouth, but few sales.

In the wake of Retro/Grade's failure, Gilgenbach sank into depression and OCD. Neverending Nightmares takes on the guise of a horror game, but it's really a psychological exploration of Gilgenbach's struggle. It's also absolutely horrifying. Like, at one point you pull a vein out of your arm.

The Vanishing of Ethan Carter - Sept. 25

vanishing of ethan carter

Here's what the Steam page for detective adventure game The Vanishing of Ethan Carter says: "Experience, in non-linear fashion, a story that combines the pleasures of pulp, private eye, and horror fiction, all of it inspired by writers such as Raymond Chandler, Algernon Blackwood, Stefan Grabinski, and H. P. Lovecraft."

I like all of those things.

Sherlock Holmes: Crimes & Punishments - Sept. 29

sherlock holmes

I have a soft spot in my heart for Frogware's Sherlock Holmes titles. They're always a bit janky and weird, but there's just something about playing through the exploits of the world's most famous detective that I find deeply satisfying. The latest installment will put your detective skills to the test in six varied new cases.

Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor - Sept. 30

middle earth shadow or mordor

Sure, Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor looks only vaguely like it has anything to do with the Lord of the Rings license.

Regardless, it's fun. I got to play about an hour of the game earlier this month and really enjoyed my time with it, even if it still feels like a thinly-skinned Assassin's Creed more than a real Lord of the Rings game. There's no telling whether that enjoyment will hold up over the game's entire length, but right now I'm excited to dive in and experiment with the game's Nemesis system, which pits you against procedurally-generated boss enemies—ones that hold grudges and remark on your past battles.

Read on for the most intriguing PC games being released in October and beyond.

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