The end of year is on the horizon, but before everyone clocks-off and takes some much-needed time for themselves, there are some huge games arriving just in time for the holidays. We take a look at the biggest and most exciting games coming your way this December:
Release date: 2 December 2016 (Xbox One, PS4, PC)
It’s been quite a long time since we’ve had a new extreme sports game, which is unfortunate because it is a niche that has a passionate following. Steep fills that void, giving fans a number of different activities and challenges in four different disciplines: skiing, snowboarding, paragliding, and wingsuit flying.
While the game is open world, players can switch to mountain mode to access “drop zones” that act as fast travel spots, or cut your own path by traveling around the mountainous terrain to find new challenges. Steep also focuses on online gameplay with players sharing the same game world and competing in activities at the same time through seamless multiplayer. You can compete in races and challenges against other players or group up with friends to pull off wild stunts.
Super Mario Maker for 3DS
Release date: 2 December 2016 (3DS)
Super Mario Maker was a hit on the Wii U giving players the tools to create their own Mario levels. The robust level creation tools helped reinvent what it means to play a Super Mario game, and allowed players to create levels themed after New Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros. 3, Super Mario Bros., and Super Mario World. Now it is coming to the 3DS allowing players to create and play on the go.
Super Mario Maker for Nintendo 3DS won’t be the exact same as its console counterpart, though. Naturally being on the 3DS means it loses significant power. With that comes a less feature-rich game because the game will be unable to share courses online, use mystery mushroom costumes (or play levels with those costumes), and a slightly less powerful level creation tools.
That doesn’t means the 3DS version won’t be worth checking out, though. Players can connect online to download select courses from the Wii U version to give players access to a near-unlimited amount of courses to play. The game also includes 100 Nintendo-designed levels with new challenges to conquer. The most significant feature is the ability to collaborate via local wi-fi with other Super Mario Maker for Nintendo 3DS owners on levels designs before completing a level.
Dead Rising 4
Release date: 6 December 2016 (Xbox One, PC)
Open-world, weapon crafting, and zombie killing action is returning with Dead Rising 4 – the next instalment in Capcom’s fan-favourite tongue-in-cheek undead series. Dead Rising 4 features also sees the return of Frank West, the photojournalist protagonist from the original game. Set 16 years after the first game, it will once again be set in Willamette, Colorado, and will feature massive environments, thousands of zombies, and of course, tons of weapons to create, such as exo-skeleton suits and electrified hammers. The countdown clock from previous games has also been removed, which is a sigh of relief for those who want to take their time in smashing their way through Dead Rising 4 when it launches this month.
The Last Guardian
Release date: 7 December 2016 (PS4)
While it looks incredible, The Last Guardian has been delayed so many times that gamers have kind of just slid it to the back of their minds. But, the anticipated release is finally set to see the light of day this December (maybe), and it’s a game that should be on everyone’s wishlist. As the spiritual successor to Fumito Ueda’s Ico and Shadow of the Colossus, The Last Guardian follows in the footsteps of those quiet, minimalist adventures about boys exploring desolate worlds to save girls. It’s a third-person adventure game with platforming, combat, and puzzle elements.
The Walking Dead: A New Frontier
Release date: 20 December 2016 (PC, PS4, PS3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, iOS, Android)
Telltale’s award-winning episodic game series continues, as The Walking Dead gets a new arc set almost four years after the previous season. A New Frontier follows Season 2’s heroine Clementine, who is now a teenager, and newcomer Javier. Players will take control of Javier as he tries to find the family that was taken from him by the devastating zombie attack. But while both Clementine and Javier will be playable characters, according to Telltale, “you may not be playing each character within the same frame of time.” If the storytelling and tension is anywhere near the previous episodes, this will be one exciting release to look out for in December.
Don Bradman Cricket 17
Release date: 22 December 2016 (Xbox One, PS4)
Cricket fans have had slim-pickings when it comes to video games lately, but thankfully, Don Bradman Cricket 17 is arriving on Xbox One and PS4 just before Christmas, with a PC version available a few weeks later. The game, which comes from Australian developer Big Ant, features fully motion-captured players; stadium, player, team and logo creator modes; and for the first time in a cricket game, female players. Of course, gameplay has also been bolstered from the past instalment, with improvements to the battling, bowling, and fielding mechanics, while the career mode and visuals have also seen a step-up.
What game are you most excited for this month? Let us know by tweeting @MenStuffZA and commenting below.