It’s Chrisssssstmas! Well not quite, but it is December so we’re in the home straight and the last of the holiday releases are upon us. Let’s have a quick look at what you might want to add to your list for Santa.
Xbox Series S|X, Xbox One, PC – December 8
It’s finally time, after a 13-month delay, Master Chief returns in what promises to be his biggest adventure to date. 343 Industries finally showcased the campaign last month and, I must admit, it looks pretty insane, with some of the best looking boss designs we’ve seen and a world that is begging to be explored.
The multiplayer (currently available in beta) is free-to-play for the first time, although the battle pass has already come in for some scrutiny, with 343 Industries actively reviewing on the back of user feedback. The campaign is included Day 1 on Xbox Game Pass and Xbox Game Pass for PC as you would expect, so no excuses not to jump in to this one.
As one of our Playlist games for December, expect many battles in the arena as we’re all hyped that Master Chief is finally back!
Xbox Series S|X, Xbox One – December 16
The Gunk is the latest game from Image & Form Games, the creators of the beloved Steamworld series. This 3D explorative adventure sees the player assume the role of Rani, one half of a tag-team of space haulers looking to find resources on an untouched planet that they have landed on by chance.
What they find is a toxic gunk parasite that they must battle to undercover mysteries and heal the planet. The game boasts engaging exploration, corruption & regrowth, intimate narrative, and music and atmosphere as its key features. It certainly feels like the kind of game to hunker down with over the Christmas period when in lands.
Being an Xbox exclusive at launch, this is also a day 1 release on Xbox Game Pass.
PS5, PS4 – December 2
Solar Ash is the next game from developer Heart Machine, creators of indie classic Hyper Light Drifter, and is published by Annapurna Interactive who’s track record speaks for itself. Although not a direct sequel, this 3D sci-fi action adventure is set in the same universe as Hyper Light Drifter.
Solar Ash promises a “vivid and highlight stylized world” and some “massive enemy encounters”. If the trailers are anything to go by, it looks like Heart Machine have another hit on their hands.
Nintendo Switch – December 9
Revealed to be releasing on Nintendo Switch back at August’s Indie Showcase, Loop Hero finally hits the Switch to take over your life over in the run up to Christmas.
One of the biggest indie hits of 2021 when released on PC in March, this was viewed as a “perfect Switch game” – and here we are. The world has descended into an endless time loop and the player needs to make use of their deck and resources to plot a way to break it. It’s hard to describe exactly what Loop Hero is with deckbuilding, RPG, and roguelite elements at play but it definitely looks addictive and fun – what more could one ask for!
Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PS5, PS4 – December 12
What better way to spend Christmas than to weed out all of the imposters amongst all of your family and friends. The mobile hit finally hits Xbox and PlayStation just in time for Christmas, also landing on Xbox Game Pass on day one.
It’s been a long wait as these console versions were announced very early in the year, but hopefully it will be worth it.
Best of the rest
As usual, it can be slim pickings for release but there are few more worth noting: Chorus (Xbox Series S|X, Xbox One, PS5,PS4) – December 3, Final Fantasy XIV Endwalker (PS5, PS4) – December 7 and Big Brain Academy: Brain vs. Brain (Nintendo Switch) – December 3.
Let us know what’s on your Christmas list in the comments below.