This week’s Content Drop has more PC game releases to add to your November 2019 haul. We’ll see new games such as the long-awaited but highly controversial Shenmue 3, as well as Sniper Ghost Warrior Contracts, Lost Ember, and Narcos: Rise of the Cartels. We’ll also have expansions to existing games such as Age of Wonders: Planetfall – Revelations, Battletech: Heavy Metal, and Prison Architect: Psych Ward.
For the other games that will be releasing this November 2019, check out the monthly PC game releases listing. As for the rest of the games launching this year and beyond, you can view our full release dates list.
- Release Date: November 19
- Developer: Ys Net
- Publisher: Deep Silver
- Store: Epic
There’s no denying that the Shenmue franchise has played a pivotal role in many a gamer’s experiences. When the first two games released for the Sega Dreamcast in 1999 and 2001 respectively, no one knew what to expect. Then, we saw the development of teenage martial artist Ryo Hazuki’s journey. Seeking vengeance for the death of his father, Ryo encountered many trials and tribulations along the way. Shenmue and Shenmue II led players down a path that, while borrowing heavily from tropes, also provided a breath of fresh air for the action-adventure genre. Pioneering mechanics such as quick-time events (QTEs) and open-world gameplay, both games earned a cult following despite becoming commercial failures during their original run.
That led to various ports for the Xbox and, later on, high-definition remasters for the PC and newer consoles. But, fans still awaited a continuation of Ryo’s story. Enter Shenmue III which caused quite a stir. Partly, it was because fans will see a beloved franchise taking a brand new step forward. And, of course, it’s also due to the controversy surrounding it.
Originally backed via Kickstarter, Shenmue III set a record of $6.33 million by the time the crowdfunding campaign finished in 2015. Developer Ys Net and creator Yu Suzuki started working on the project, and that’s also when Sony and Deep Silver arrived to pitch in. Issues during Shenmue III‘s piled up and it seemed that fans would have to wait longer owing to delays. Then, Epic Games arrived on the scene in June 2019.
When it was announced that Shenmue III would become a timed-exclusive for the Epic Games Store (and those who want to play it on Steam would have to wait for a year), many were disappointed. Communication problems also arose such as refusing to refund backers, something which was, eventually, corrected.
From a promising start to a rocky development cycle with lots of ups and downs, Shenmue III and its dedicated followers went through it all. Once Shenmue III officially launches this week, we’ll see if all the wait, and the frustrations, were worth it.
Age of Wonders: Planetfall – Revelations
- Release Date: November 19
- Developer: Triumph Studios
- Publisher: Paradox Interactive
- Store: Steam
When I reviewed Age of Wonders: Planetfall last August, I considered it worth a try for an avid 4X strategy gamer. Featuring numerous alien races and techs and with a refreshing new take on Triumph Studios’ franchise, it delivered a solid experience. I did notice several technical issues, as well as a campaign that became repetitious to a fault.
That brings us to Age of Wonders: Planetfall – Revelations, the first expansion to the base game. Revelations promises to deliver an additional 10 hours of content solely through its additional campaigns. You’ll follow the exploits of a Syndicate runaway and his Kir’ko companion who’s seeking the ancient knowledge of the Es’teq Dynasty. The people which once ruled the galaxy are but myth and in their stead are the Heritors.
Revelations adds the Heritor secret tech, one which allows you to wield entropic powers of death and life-leeching from opponents to fuel “essence charges.” These charges can be used to unleash new, devastating attacks, or bolster your defenses. Revelations also provides a unique feature in anomaly sites which you can explore with a hero. These so-called archaeological dig sites can hold bountiful resources, while Tomb Worlds are protected by scattered remnants of Reapers, Megasows, and the Forgotten NPC faction. You can expect our review of Age of Wonders: Planetfall – Revelations within the day.
Sniper: Ghost Warrior Contracts
- Release Date: November 22
- Developer: CI Games
- Publisher: CI Games
- Store: Steam
Sniper Ghost Warrior Contracts eschews the traditional gameplay of its predecessors, ones known for linear missions with their storylines. In Sniper Ghost Warrior Contracts, you’re playing in your personal “Siberian sandbox” with the game’s five gigantic maps. Examples include the windswept Altai Mountains and the industrial zones in Kolchak Harbor.
The goal is quite simple: pick a map and complete the contracts therein. There are 10 “target contracts,” which require you to kill the VIPs in those maps. There are also additional contracts such as gathering intel or rescuing a POW.
The game doesn’t end there. Because Sniper Ghost Warrior Contracts features sandbox-style gameplay, you’re free to do what you wish in each of these maps. You could go gung-ho to take out an entire base if that’s your style. Or, you can approach objectives as stealthily as possible while interrogating soldiers for info. You can choose from various gadgets and even different ammo types such as tagging bullets, EMP bullets, or ones that lure enemies to a location.
At the end of each mission in Sniper Ghost Warrior Contracts, you’re judged accordingly based on several factors. Your corresponding reward is then handed out, allowing you to unlock various weapons, items, or perks. Then, the cycle begins anew. You can expect our review of Sniper Ghost Warrior Contracts within the week.
Other Content Drops this week
Railroad Corporation (Nov. 18) – Produce and trade goods, all while connecting your settlements by railroad. The game leaves Steam early access this week.
Football Manager 2020 (Nov. 19) – The next iteration of the long-running management sim for football fans (seen above) arrives this week. Find it on Steam.
Narcos: Rise of the Cartels (Nov. 19) – Based on the hit series from Netflix, play as either the DEA or the Narcos drug traffickers in this turn-based strategy game. Find it on Steam.
Still There (Nov. 20) – An adventure-puzzle game where you need to repair a space lighthouse and interact with a quirky AI computer. Find it on Steam.
Battletech: Heavy Metal (Nov. 21) – The expansion adds eight new mechs to the game. Seven of these are classic designs and one is completely new and exclusive to the expansion. Find it on Steam.
Asteris & Obelix XXL 3: The Crystal Menhir (Nov. 21) – Play as the dynamic duo via two-player co-op in this continuation of the adventure series. Find it on Steam.
Prison Architect: Psych Ward (Nov. 21) – The first expansion for Prison Architect lets you redesign your facility to care for (or manipulate) convicts who’ve pleaded insanity. Find it on Steam.
Black Future ’88 (Nov. 22) – This action-roguelike has some synth-punk themes. Oh, and your character only has 18 minutes to make it through various levels before their heart explodes. Don’t worry, because you’ll get to redo your progress all over again with new weapons and perks. Find it on Steam.
Lost Ember (Nov. 22) – In a lush, forgotten world, choose different animals to explore the land, seas, skies, and even underground, so you can uncover its mysteries (seen below). Find it on Steam.
Next week’s Content Drops
Next week’s Content Drops and PC game releases include the artsy puzzler Weakless and the top-down, retro-style action game Blaster Master Zero 2. We’ll see you then.
Note: All release dates are for North America.