10 Games To Play This Holiday Season
With just a little more than a month left in the year 2016, what better way to spend the winter time than wrapped in a comfortable blanket and playing an excellent video game? There are no lack of exciting activities during this time of the year, but if you’re like me and enjoy relaxing in the comfort of a warm fireplace (or portable heater), then here’s a list of some great games coming out this quarter that you and your friends/family can enjoy; something that either the veteran gamer or the new player could find entertaining.
Final Fantasy XV
After its first reveal almost 10 years ago, fans of the Final Fantasy series can finally look forward to writing the latest entry onto their Christmas wish list. From what we’ve seen so far of Final Fantasy XV, Square Enix has really changed their outlook on modern JRPGs with this entry. Though FFXV will be a JRPG at heart, there have been many subtle design choices that have factored in modern design paradigms, so FFXV will be an interesting entry to say the least. All of that aside however, Final Fantasy XV delivers action paced combat with the leveling and progression aspects of an RPG, so I would venture to say fans of either genres could find something worthwhile in FFXV.
Final Fantasy XV is slated for world-wide release on November 29th, for the PS4 and the Xbox One.
The sequel to the critically acclaimed stealth action-adventure game Dishonored, is now out for those who are wanting to scratch an itch to stealth around and assassinate targets in a multitude of creative ways. The series wouldn’t be nearly as well regarded if it didn’t offer multiple ways of a sand-box method of approaching a mission, unique abilities and weapons that can let you pull off some satisfying maneuvers and great environmental aesthetics of a dystopian, steampunk world. If any of that sounds appealing, then I would recommend you pick up Dishonored II this holiday season (and its predecessor, if you haven’t played it already).
The Last Guardian
The Last Guardian is another entry that had dedicated fans waiting for years. If you’ve heard of the games Ico and Shadow of the Colossus for the PS2, The Last Guardian serves as a spiritual successor to these games, and appears to share similar themes and gameplay design from the earlier entries. The Last Guardian plays out as an action-adventure game, where you control a young boy who befriends a bird/mammal hybrid creature and must work together in order to escape individuals who seem to be pursuing you both. Directed by Fumito Ueda, I can say with confidence that it will deliver a unique story-telling experience, chock full of thematic richness and emotional power.
The Last Guardian will be released in North America on December 6th, and on December 7th for Europe, on the Playstation 4.
Pokémon Sun & Moon
Here’s a series that shouldn’t need any prior introduction. Game Freak and Nintendo will be releasing the latest entry for the 7th generation of Pokémon games, Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon. As with every other Pokémon game, Sun and Moon will put you in the shoes of a young trainer and detail your adventure as you become one of the greatest trainers around. The game will take place in the Alola region (loosely based off of Hawaii). Besides the standard features we’ve come to expect in a Pokémon game, Sun & Moon look to add Alolan forms of previous generation of Pokémon; so you can expect to see some familiar faces.
Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon will both be released for the Nintendo 3DS in North America on November 18th, and on November 23rd for Europe.
Watch Dogs 2
Sequel to 2014’s Watch Dogs, Watch Dogs 2 is coming this holiday season so you can hack your way through in an open world game set in San Francisco. Similar to other open world games like Grand Theft Auto, Watch Dogs 2 allows you to spend your time however you wish, and complete missions in the way that you want. Your primary weapon is not your gun, but your phone, which allows you to hack the variety of devices that you might come across during your time in Watch Dogs 2. If playing in an open world game with a predisposition on electronic security and warfare appeals to you, then Watch Dogs 2 should be on your wish list.
Watch Dogs 2 is out now for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, and will be released on November 29th for PC.
World of Final Fantasy
It’s a little unusual for Square Enix to release two Final Fantasy titles for consoles in the same year, but earlier this season we received World of Final Fantasy. Set in the world of Grymoire, the land is populated with characters from classic Final Fantasy titles. It retains the traditional turn-based battle systems we’ve come to expect from Final Fantasy games. The two sibling protagonists hold a power known as Mirages which allows them to capture and tame the monsters of the land, using them in battle. Most characters are rendered in a chibi art style, but don’t be thrown off by the aesthetics as World of Final Fantasy has enough gritty RPG mechanics to sink a good portion of your time in. If you’re looking for something similar to Pokémon but in a different world and setting, look no further than World of Final Fantasy.
World of Final Fantasy is now available for the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita.
Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2
If you ever wanted to try playing as a hero in Dragon Ball Z, Xenoverse lets you do just that. Set in the world of Dragon Ball, it plays as a fighting role-playing game where there is a hub world where you can interact with characters and travel, but fights primarily take place in an arenas taken from notable locations in the Dragon Ball universe. There are 68 playable characters, and the game comes with a variety of different play modes such as co-op and online PvP.
Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 is now available for the PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.
A new IP developed by Ubisoft, Steep is a video game that focuses on open world winter sports. Steep is set in the Alps which will be free for the player to explore however they wish, and gives some degree of control over camera angles and the types of activities that you can perform, including snowboarding, skiing, wingsuit flying and paragliding. The main aspect of Steep is exploration, racing, and performing the toughest tricks that you can, but will have a lot of other components such as an online feature that allows you to see your performance data compared to other players, and many more. If emulating gliding down a freezing hill in comfort of your own home sounds even a bit appealing to you, Steep may be a game you wish to pick up.
Steep will be released on December 2nd for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.
For those wanting to scratch a face-paced shooter itch, Titanfall 2 is the sequel to Titanfall and primarily focuses on first person shooting and piloting gigantic Titans, mecha units used for combat. The biggest change from the first game is that Titanfall 2 has a meaty single player campaign this time around, and one that isn’t just for filler or to get players used to the mechanics of the game. The switching between the mobile but fragile Pilot, and the powerful yet slow Titans, gives the game an innovative flavor and sets it apart from other modern shooters like Call of Duty. If you’re looking for something in the futuristic vein of FPS, then Titanfall 2 might be the game for you.
Titanfall 2 is now available for PC, Playstation 4 and Xbox One.
Sid Meier’s Civilization VI has roots in the earliest days of video gaming, so it’s come a long way since then. It is a turn-based 4X Strategy game that allows you to manage growing a lowly starting settlement into a global national force, and showcases that growth through the ages of the ancient era, all the way to the information age. For veteran players, the biggest merit of Civilization VI is that they’ve added many features from the previous games such as Religion and Culture, and combined into a new package. There are also some new gameplay changes (for better or for worse, that is subjective). New players may be daunted by the amount of information that CIV6 throws at you, but in reality, it’s quite easy to get into and even someone relatively new to 4X games can enjoy Civilization VI.
Civilization VI is now available on PC.