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'Pokemon Sword/Shield,' 'Star Wars' top fall game releases

By Wade Sheridan

Sept. 6 (UPI) -- The fall video game season is here, bringing highly anticipated sequels, updated franchises and original titles that may set new industry standards.

Here are some noteworthy games coming through November for the PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, PC, Google Stadia and mobile devices.

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September

Monster Hunter World: Iceborne on Friday (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC)

The packed fall video game season begins with a revisit to Capcom's best-selling 2018 hit, Monster Hunter World, in the form of a new expansion known as Iceborne. The new content will bring players to the new, icy Hoarfrost Reach area that is smothered in snow and littered with new beasts to defeat and capture. A new base of operations and story mode are also a part of the package. Monster Hunter World has received updates and events in the past, but none quite as big as Iceborne. Capcom will hopefully breathe new life into the game and justify Iceborne's hefty $40 price tag.

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NBA 2K20 on Friday (PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, PC)

The annual NBA 2K series returns with more refinements made to the basketball simulation. This year the game adds WNBA integration, new facial animations for players and a new MyCareer: Story mode produced by LeBron James. New Los Angeles Lakers star Anthony Davis graces the cover of NBA 2K20 with the Legend Edition of the game featuring Miami Heat legend Dwyane Wade following his retirement last season.

Gears 5 on Tuesday (Xbox One, PC)

The struggle against The Swarm continues in Gears 5 as Kait Diaz takes center stage as the lead character. This sequel to the popular Xbox series promises more epic battles and blood in the story mode along with Escape, a new co-op mode centered around three players working together to take out enemy hives from within. Also packed in is the series' signature competitive multiplayer mode, Horde mode and a Map Builder that players can use to craft their own Escape levels that can be shared with friends. Joining the fight is actor and former WWE star Dave Bautista who will appear in Gears 5 as a playable character. Other guest characters include Sarah Connor and the T-800 from film Terminator: Dark Fate.

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Borderlands 3 on Sept. 13 (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, Google Stadia)

Borderlands is back after fans have waited five years for a new game and even longer for a new mainline entry in the series. Borderlands 3 will once again take players on a cooperative, first-person shooter experience filled with copious amounts of loot that range from firearms equipped with self-propelling shields and a rifle that spawns volcanoes. This highly-anticipated sequel will also take players beyond the chaotic world of Pandora and into new planets filled with unique environments and enemies. The story mode, meanwhile, tasks Vault Hunters with taking down the zealous Calypso Twins. The mayhem and colorful action of the Borderlands series has never looked more fun to play.

The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening on Sept. 20 (Nintendo Switch)

A beloved classic is reborn in an all-new version of 1993's The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening. Players will be transported to the imaginative Koholint Island where Link will transverse through puzzle-filled dungeons and encounter new enemies, some even from the Super Mario series. At the heart of this title is the art style which breathes new life into Link's Awakening, giving fans of the original game something refreshing and different to experience.

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Mario Kart Tour on Sept. 25 (iOS, Android)

Mario Kart Tour, the biggest iOS and Android game release of the fall, brings the beloved racing series to mobile devices for the first time. Tour, like other best-selling Mario Kart entries, promises fun, frantic and competitive races featuring the cast of Super Mario across a number of courses brimming with traps and hidden shortcuts. Tour will additionally offer courses based on real-world locations and a variety of karts, characters and gliders that can be collected and upgraded. Finding the right combination will help racers reach the finish in first place.

October

Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Breakpoint on Oct. 4 (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, Google Stadia)

Ghost Recon Breakpoint, following in the footsteps of 2017 predecessor Ghost Recon Wildlands, delivers a diverse open-world with barren deserts, high-tech cities, and snow-covered mountains that players can explore with friends. This military-shooter sequel introduces The Wolves, former Ghost soldiers who have gone rogue. Players will be placed behind enemy lines and hunted down by The Wolves and their leader, Colonel Cole D. Walker who is portrayed by Punisher and Walking Dead star Jon Bernthal. Breakpoint challenges players to survive as they must contend with injuries and rough terrain while taking on The Wolves. Publisher Ubisoft is also promising plenty of post-launch content in form of new story content, modes and gear for the game that should give Breakpoint an extended life.

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WWE 2K20 on Oct. 22 (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC)

The world of professional wrestling will come alive in WWE 2K20 which features a female cover star for the first time in the form of Raw Women's Champion Becky Lynch. The Man's career along with that of Charlotte Flair, Sasha Banks and Smackdown Women's Champion Bayley will be highlighted in the game's Women's Evolution story mode coming to the 2K Showcase. Lynch's fellow 2K20 cover star Roman Reigns will also have his career in playable form with the Roman's Reign 2K Tower. Other highlights for this next entry in the annual series is a horror-themed expansion pack that will be released at a later date that is headlined by The Fiend Bray Wyatt. The expansion will also include scary recreations of WWE stars such as Demon King Balor and a Frankenstein-like version of Braun Strowman.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare on Oct. 25 (Playstation 4, Xbox One, PC)

Call of Duty, after going to the past and the future, is returning to the present with Modern Warfare for a more realistic approach. Publisher Activision has said that Modern Warfare's single player campaign will be raw, gritty and provocative as players take on the role of a Tier One operator. Fans of Call of Duty's signature multiplayer modes are also being treated to free maps and content updates that will be released post-launch.

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The Outer Worlds on Oct. 25 (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC)

Developer Obsidian Entertainment has teamed up with the original creators of Fallout to deliver The Outer Worlds, a new sci-fi role playing game.The single-player adventure will take users on an expansive journey through space where certain choices will have far-reaching effects on the rest of the galaxy. Players wanting a new Fallout-like experience or those who were burned by the less-than stellar Fallout 76, should feel right at home with The Outer Worlds.

Luigi's Mansion 3 on Oct. 31 (Nintendo Switch)

Nintendo has set the perfect Halloween release date for Luigi's Mansion 3, another spooky adventure featuring Mario's brother. This third entry will once again feature Luigi and his trusty vacuum taking on a number of ghosts and ghouls. This time, players will have access to a new multiplayer mode and the ability for a partner to join in on the fun as Gooigi, a slime version of Luigi who can easily slip through obstacles.

November

Death Stranding on Nov. 8 (PlayStation 4)

Death Stranding is gaming auteur Hideo Kojima's latest project and his first title since wrapping up the Metal Gear Solid series in 2015. The game, in true Kojima fashion, appears to contain long, film-like cutscenes that spin a complex, enthralling and somewhat bizarre narrative that will be broken up with gameplay segments. Players will be taking control of Sam Bridges who is portrayed by Walking Dead star Norman Reedus. Sam is tasked with traveling across a barren United States in the near future as he attempts to reconnect cities with each other and save mankind from extinction. Complicating matters are invisible, spectral creatures that will attack and kill Sam. Kojima, in keeping things unique, has equipped Sam with a baby that will alert players when a creature is nearby in order to avoid them.

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Need for Speed: Heat on Nov. 8 (Playstation 4, Xbox One, PC)

Need for Speed races back to the world of illegal street racing in Heat, the next entry in the long-running car series that introduces the Miami-like Palm City. The new location is filled with fast cars, neon lights and an aggressive police force. Drivers will be competing throughout the day and night with each cycle consisting of different events to take part in. Daytime will allow players to race in the sanctioned, Speedhunter Showdown while night races will take place on the streets. Winning will open up options to customize a full-roster of high-performance cars from paint jobs to engine upgrades.

Pokemon Sword/Shield on Nov. 15 (Nintendo Switch)

Pokemon Sword and Shield finally answers the prayers of pleading fans and delivers a fully-featured, Pokemon role-playing game on console as opposed to portable devices like the Nintendo 3DS. The games will be taking place inside the new Galar Region where Pokemon live and work alongside humans. The region also features the expansive Wild Area where players can explore and find new Pokemon depending on the time of day and weather. Also unique to Sword and Shield will be the ability to transform Pokemon during battle into giant, more powerful forms of themselves during a process known as Dynamaxing. Additionally, up to four players can team up online or locally through multiple Switch systems to take on powerful Dynamax Pokemon together. The excitement behind the first made-for-console Pokemon is sure to bring in old and new fans alike, making Sword and Shield one of the best-selling games of the year.

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Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order on Nov. 15 (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC)

Publisher Electronic Arts is looking to reinvigorate it's foray into Star Wars video games with Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. The game is a third-person action-adventure title which takes place after the events of Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith. It stars Cal Kestis, a young Padawan who was able to survive The Emperor's Jedi purge with Order 66. Cal, as he fights to survive, hopes to rebuild the Jedi Order and take back the galaxy from The Empire. Gameplay involves players wielding a lightsaber as Cal who can unleash impressive combos and Force powers in order to defeat a variety of foes. Fallen Order looks to be what Star Wars fans have wanted for the franchise's new video games, and it's releasing just before the latest film in the series, The Rise of Skywalker.

Doom Eternal on Nov. 22 (PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, PC, Google Stadia)

Return to hell with Doom Eternal, a new action-packed thrill ride from developer id Software that takes place following the events of 2016's Doom. This bloody and visceral adventure sees the Doom Slayer returning to earth to fend off a demon invasion. Players will have to shoot, cut and decapitate their way through hell-raising ghouls and transverse through a fiery hellscape. Doom Eternal maintains the series' signature breakneck speeds and gory violence, allowing the fall gaming season to end with a bang.

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