Here are the best games to look out for in December 2020
December is another weird month due to Cyberpunk 2077.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year! No, not Christmas, we’re talking about the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X finally being in the sweaty hands of gamers all around the world (if you can get one, that is). Now that the sheen has worn off though, you might be looking for some new games to play.
The only problem is everyone seems to be cowering in fear of Cyberpunk’s oft-delayed release. Path of Exile’s expansion has been pushed back to January 2021. So has the early-access release of Everspace 2. That doesn’t mean there’s nothing on the radar for December, though, so let’s have a look at some of the most exciting games releasing just before Santa’s annual visit.
One thing to note – we won’t be mentioning the behemoth that is Cyberpunk 2077 again, as we all know everyone will want that. Totally not me being bitter about it being pushed back again. Not one bit.
The Bold and The Beautiful
Imagine Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey and Breath of The Wild got freaky one night and had a baby. You’re somewhere close to what Immortals Fenyx Rising looks be to when it launches for PC, PS5, XSX, PS4, XBO, Switch, and Stadia on December 3. The graphics are bright and bold, combat looks incredibly satisfying, and there’s plenty of open-ended exploration to seek out.
Inspiration in Greek mythology means there’s tons of opportunity for compelling storytelling. You’ll bump into Zeus, Prometheus, and Aphrodite, as well as other Greek gods along the way, so there’s no telling where the narrative will take you.
One of the greatest JRPs of the last decade gets a gorgeous upgrade when Dragon Quest 11 S: Echoes of an Elusive Age – Definitive Edition hits PC, Ps4, and Xbox One on December 4. Received well by critics and gamers alike, Dragon Quest 11 takes you on a stunning journey to save the world of Erdrea from evil. It uses a similar system to DQIX, so there are no random encounters – all enemies are on-screen as you explore, meaning you can choose whether to jump into battle or not.
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You’re looking at 50-120 hours depending on how you play, so you’re bound to get plenty of mileage from DQXI once it gets its claws in. Character and enemy designs also come from Dragon Ball creator Akira Toriyama, so everything is incredibly distinctive to look at. Which is a good thing, seeing as there’s a freeform camera you can sweep around during battles.
Sword of the Necromancer launches on PC, PS4, Xbox One, and Switch on December 10. Taking visual inspiration from the SNES and GBA Zelda games, this dungeon-crawling RPG has you reviving defeated enemies and making them fight alongside.
Rogue-like gameplay sees procedurally generated weapons giving various effects and attributes, and you can level up the main character as you see fit. If you need the next fix of games like Enter the Gungeon, and Binding of Isaac, Sword of the Necromancer might just fit the bill.
Games With a Message
Also known as ‘2020 Sucks: The Game’, Orwell’s Animal Farm is a PC-exclusive launching December 10 and follows the plot of the seminal 1945 novel of the same name. It’s just as depressing as the source material, featuring a farm that has been taken over by the animals.
You’ll assign various tasks, upgrade buildings, figure who must make sacrifices, and decide which of the animals are more equal than the others. Honestly, after the crap we’ve been put through this year, Orwell’s Animal Farm might be a bit much for some, but for others, it’ll be a stark examination of some of the modern day’s problems.
Woodsalt, on the other hand, looks fantastic. There’s no other way to put it. Releasing December 9, this beautiful looking game is set at least 1000 years into the future and tasks you with probing into conspiracies on the distant planet of Nu-Terra.
There are branching storylines to discover, side-plots to uncover and a host of secret endings to see as you try to reveal the truth of everything happening around you. It’s all wrapped up in a gorgeously creepy art-style that captures the attention in an instant, too.
Dontnod is a fantastic developer with a unique pedigree in storytelling. Their work has spanned from 2013’s Remember Me through to this year’s Tell Me Why, and now they’re rounding out the year with Twin Mirror.
Releasing December 1, Twin Mirror’s first episode, Lost on Arrival, sees you investigating environments, speaking to various characters, and unlocking multiple endings. The kicker is that you’re not just navigating the real world – you’re also exploring main character Sam’s ‘Mind Palace’ to discover clues. Oh, and you also converse with your inner voice, The Double, who seems to be a dick with his own objectives.
Remember how Puyo Puyo Tetris was one of the best puzzle games when Nintendo’s Switch launched? Well, Puyo Puyo Tetris 2 is set to scratch that ‘just one more go’ itch again when it comes out on Xbox Series X, Xbox One, PS4, and Switch on December 8.
It puts a spin on the traditional Tetris and Puyo Puyo gameplay cycles with lots of unique characters to choose from, all of which have different abilities to take advantage of. A new Skill Battle Mode has been added from last time, so it’s not just a FIFA/Madden-style refresh of the last game either.
I’m not going to lie to you here, Temtem is Pokémon for PS5. It’s basically a Ditto – not quite a perfect replication of what it’s trying to be, but JUST different enough for you to be a little suspicious. Luckily, that’s a good thing in this case, as the previously PC-exclusive title launches for PS5 on December 8.
The list of creatures to catch and battle is much smaller than Nintendo/Game Freak’s world-beating behemoth, but it does a few things of its own to set it apart. For a start, it’s an MMO, so the world around you feels so much more alive. There’s also a stamina bar when battling which forces you to play strategically.
Turns out Cyberpunk (I’m not counting name-dropping it as a mention) isn’t the only Keanu-starring title launching this winter. John Wick Hex, based on the outstanding action films, puts you into the shoes of the brutal assassin-for-hire as you dismantle a challenger to the High Table’s throne across the US and Switzerland.
It released in October 2019 for PC and Mac, along with PS4 in May 2020, but now it’s also hitting Xbox One and Switch on December 4. Gameplay is as violent and evocative as the movies are, with close-range takedowns, stunning firefights, and lots of creativity in how you approach each level.
At one point, Medal of Honor was one of the best shooters on the market. Sadly, between the rise of both Call of Duty and Battlefield, as well as a couple of missteps into modern-day settings, the franchise has had quite the fall from grace.
Respawn Entertainment, developers of Titanfall 2, Apex Legends, and Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, look to change that opinion with MoH: Above and Beyond. Developed for VR on PC, it releases on December 11 and takes you back to the series’ roots with battles from World War 2. There’s also multiplayer to enjoy, so you’ll get to destroy Nazis and friends alike with true-first person precision.
Like November, December is another strange month for gaming. There’s not much on coming out for your shiny new PS5 or XSX, and CD PROJEKT RED seems to have everyone cowering in their wake. Even Nintendo’s Switch doesn’t seem to be getting any attention. Fingers crossed this mini-drought ends early into next year.
- If you want a PlayStation 5 this holiday, scalpers seem to be holding all the stock
- Don’t blow vape juice into your Xbox Series X for clout, you dummies
- You can now use the PlayStation 5 controller when playing on Steam
- Don’t worry, it looks like Bethesda games won’t be Xbox exclusives after all
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