We are fast approaching the end of the year and… well it’s a bit of an awkward one. This is the second year straight we have been in the middle of the COVID pandemic, and it’s still wreaking havoc on game development schedules. December has always been a sparse month for releases, since cutting it this close to the holidays is always gambling with your sales. However, this year the AAA sector is particularly thin, offering up Halo Infinite and very little else.
Luckily, as always, the indie scene is here to fill in the cracks, and they are joined by a splattering of AA releases as well, hyped up from the beginning of this new console generation. If you are looking for a new title to try out, or a gift of games to give your loved ones this holiday season, check these titles out.
Mechajammer (Dec 2 – PC, Mac, Linux)
Mechajammer is an isometric turn-based strategy RPG with a sci-fi grindhouse aesthetic. Nestled between the gore and ultraviolence is an open system that grants you several ways to play, from stealth builds to lone gunmen, to leaders of offworld armies.
Justice Chronicles (Dec 2 – PC, XBO, XSX)
Xbox is not particularly known for its JRPGS. That’s why this title is so interesting. Justice Chronicles is a game in the vein of Dragon Quest, which is to say a fairly standard anime-styled fantasy with beautiful sprite art, front-facing battles, and interesting mechanical systems layered over the top. If you are looking for that style of game on your Xbox, this midrange indie title might be worth checking out.
Solar Ash (Dec 2 – PC, PS4, PS5)
On the Playstation side of things, we have Solar Ash, an exploration platformer that takes place on the edge of a black hole. You’ll journey through the Ultravoid, a rift in space and time that is swallowing whole worlds. Amongst these celestial ruins and the monsters therein lie the secrets of this dying universe. You’ll have to navigate broken laws of physics and save other lost-souls adrift in the darkness in order to overcome your own despair and maybe, just maybe, find a way out.
Chorus (Dec 3 – PC, PS4, PS5, XBO, XSX)
Chorus was another early killer app announced for next-gen consoles. It’s a revival of an often overlooked franchise, the space dogfighter, with a layer of RPG progression put on top. You play as Nara who is out on a quest to destroy the cult that created her. She and her sentient Starfighter will explore ancient sci-fi ruins and discover the secrets of their origin, all while participating in high-speed space-combat.
Big Brain Academy: Brain VS Brain (Dec 3 – Switch)
What’s better than training your brain every day? Proving that you are smarter than your friends! Big Brain Academy’s mind-strengthening minigames go competitive in this new entry that allows four players to go against each other to see who has the biggest galaxy brain.
Danganronpa Decadence (Dec 3 – Switch)
The definitive Danganronpa collection is coming to Switch. This title includes Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc Anniversary Edition, Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair Anniversary Edition, and Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony Anniversary Edition along with a brand new game, Danganronpa S: Ultimate Summer Camp, a much less violent board game with special scenes between characters that interact across game timelines. If you are a fan of this classic SpikeChun killing game, or if you’ve never had a chance to experience the murder mystery of the world’s most talented high schoolers, Danganronpa Decadence is a title you absolutely want to keep your eyes on.
Wolfstride (Dec 7 – PC, Mac)
Wolfstride is an RPG that fully embraces the manga aesthetic. While the overworld is more pixelated, battles, menus, characters, and much more all look like moving manga panels. Even the story feels manga-inspired, as you get into a mech and vie for the championship slot of the Ultimate Mech Tournament. It’s like Megalobox meets G Gundam, which was enough to sell us.
Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker (Dec 7 – PC, PS4, PS5)
Endwalker finishes the story of Hydaelyn and Zodiark, and will bring our heroes to a familiar locale in Final Fantasy history, the moon! This is the much-awaited conclusion to the story that began with A Realm Reborn and will set the stage for the next adventure for Final Fantasy XIV, beyond its original story arc. It’s a good time to be an FFXIV player and an even better time to get into it for the first time.
Halo Infinite (Dec 8 – PC, XBO, XSX)
We don’t really have to explain this one. Halo is one of the most venerated first-person shooters in the gaming industry and its push onto next-gen platforms is going to be a massive event for PC and Xbox owners. Its multiplayer has already had public betas and has been received well, and 343 Industries promises that this is going to be one of the most intense Halo stories yet, facing Master Chief with challenges unlike he has ever seen before.
Monster Rancher 1 & 2 DX (Dec 9 – PC, Switch, IOS)
In celebration of the franchise’s 25th anniversary the original Monster Rancher titles are coming back to PC, IOS, and Switch. While they may not have their original disc system that allowed you to turn your own DVDs and CDs into monsters, it will have new monster types, new rebalancing, and much much more. It even finishes some content that never got into the original release and opens up players to online play. It’s a wonderful blast from the past for Monster Rancher fans.
Wytchwood (Dec 9 – PC, PS4, PS5, XBO, XSX)
Wytchwood is a game based on one thing and one thing only, crafting. You play as an old witch in the woods who travels the countryside collecting magical ingredients and brewing fantastic potions. Your potions have the power to change the world, and it may just be up to you to pass judgment on the unsuspecting mortals around you.
Syberia: The World Before (Dec 10 – PC)
Syberia was one of the very first blockbuster point and click puzzle adventure games for PCs in the new millennium, a franchise that has largely been lost to time. However, now it is coming back, with full next-generation technology, voice acting, and stunning graphics that really make these clockwork environments come to life. This title might be slipping through the fingers of the mainstream gaming community, but if you were an adventure game player back in the 00s this is one of the biggest releases of the year.
Asteroids: Recharged (Dec 14 – PC, PS4, PS5, XBO, XSX, Switch)
Asteroids is the latest classic arcade game to get revised, remixed, and remade for modern consoles. Part of the Atari Recharged collection, this will introduce the classic rock busting formula to new power-ups, co-op play, online play, as well as new enemies that might do more than just float like rocks in space.
Aeterna Noctis (Dec 15 – PC, PS4, PS5, XBO, XSX, Switch)
Aeterna Noctis is marketing itself as a “true Metroidvania.” It shares a ton of its DNA with Symphony of the Night right down to its main character looking like Alucard. It will sport sixteen different areas all connected together in one labyrinth for you to explore. It will also have a deep and complex weapons system, crafting system, and much much more.
Alfred Hitchcock – Vertigo (Dec 16 – PC)
Now, this is an interesting new release. It’s a narrative adventure game based on one of the classic stories from the master of suspense himself, Alfred Hitchcock. There’s not a whole lot we know about this one, but the idea of new games being modeled after old classics of cinema is something we haven’t seen explored often.
Five Nights at Freddy’s: Security Breach (Dec 16 – PC, PS4, PS5)
The biggest Five Nights at Freddy’s game ever is finally going to be released. Gone are the small survival mini-games. Instead you have a full entertainment complex to wander around, animatronic mech suits to climb in, bosses to fight, and much much more. This is the closest to AAA that FNAF has ever come, and it’s sure to be a pleasure for the lore diggers out there.
Which of these titles caught your eye and what titles are you looking forward to in 2022? Let us know in the comments.