From Lake to Metroid Dread: the most exciting video games for autumn 2021 | Games

Lake

An indie game set in a beautiful lake town with a small cast of locals. Driving around and delivering mail in 1980s Oregon is not exactly the usual video game fantasy, but this looks like a calming, intriguing tale about a woman temporarily escaping urban life to revisit her roots.
Out 1 September; Xbox, PC.

Life is Strange: True Colours

Emotional … Life is Strange: True Colours. Photograph: Square Enix

Alex Chen moves to Colorado to start a new life in an achingly hipster town, but soon finds that this place has its problems, too – and must reckon with the death of her brother. A coming-of-age story in which you can read people’s emotions and make choices that influence the interpersonal dramas that unfold.
10 September; Xbox, PC, PlayStation 4/5, Nintendo Switch.

WarioWare: Get It Together!

This is a wonderfully surreal party game that caters to the attention span of the internet age, with quickfire challenges that have you racing to squeeze toothpaste or collect gems or tweeze armpit hair from marble sculptures. Stuffed with micro-homages to classic games, WarioWare can always be trusted to surprise you.
10 September; Nintendo Switch.

Deathloop

Deathloop video games
Art deco violence … Deathloop. Photograph: Bethesda Softworks

An assassin is stuck in an eternal cycle of trying to kill his targets in this time-travelling art deco shooting game. A violent puzzle-box that asks you to use a creative selection of weapons, superpowers and your wits to figure out how to escape the time loop – all while another assassin is hunting you down, too.
14 September; PC, PlayStation 5.

Far Cry 6

It’s hard to get excited about yet another open-world shooter, but the presence of Breaking Bad star Giancarlo Esposito as the villain and an intriguing Caribbean setting certainly helps. You can recruit a dachshund called Chorizo to aid in your island-liberation efforts, which is a perfect illustration of Far Cry’s entertaining tonal juxtaposition.
7 October; PC, Xbox, PlayStation 4/5.

Metroid Dread

The first 2D Metroid game in nearly 20 years, this creepy sci-fi adventure takes well-armed bounty hunter Samus Aran to an abandoned space station, where she is pursued by spine-chilling robot death machines. Think Alien, but through a Japanese lens.
8 October; Nintendo Switch.

Battlefield 2042

Battlefield 2042
World in climate crisis … Battlefield 2042. Photograph: EA games

Up to 128 players at a time can participate in enormous battles in a world ravaged by climate crisis in this futuristic multiplayer shooter. Huge maps set from polar oilfields to Singapore provide all the ingredients for heroic stories that emerge from the chaos, as you try to avoid tornadoes, sandstorms and getting shot.
22 October; PC, Xbox, PlayStation 4/5.

Solar Ash

A chromatic, abstract sci-fi game that has you surfing through sand and clouds and climbing the bodies of titanic alien creatures. From the makers of 2016’s Hyper Light Drifter, known for its stylised palette and beautiful movement, Solar Ash sounds like a club chillout room and looks as if it belongs in MoMA.
26 October; PC, PlayStation 4/5.

Forza Horizon 5

Watch the trailer for Forza Horizon 5

Part racing game, part tourism simulator, Forza Horizon 5 will take players to Mexico, where they can drive around together under dramatic skies and through extraordinary scenery, and race around Mayan ruins. If you’ve gone two years without a holiday, this might be the adventurous sightseeing that you need.
9 November; PC/Xbox.

Halo Infinite

Halo Infinite.
Jaw-dropping spectacle … Halo Infinite. Photograph: Xbox Game Studios

Games in this long-running series of science-fiction shooters have varied in quality over the past two decades, but you can always count on them to provide jaw-dropping spectacle, fun weapons, and a grand fate-of-the-galaxy space opera storyline that you’ll probably forget about as soon as you start shooting aliens.
Release date tbc; PC, Xbox.