As December comes in, gift-givers tend to find themselves at a loss as to which hot new video game they should buy for the gamer in their family. Here is a quick guide to figure out which new gaming release will give the greatest holiday joy to gamers, and which will end up roasting with chestnuts over an open fire.
- For the adventurer: Assassin’s Creed III (Xbox 360, Playstation 3), Dishonored (Xbox 360, Playstation 3, PC), and Borderlands 2 (Xbox 360, Playstation 3, PC)
Assassin’s Creed III may put the franchise to a temporary rest, but it still offers plenty of entertainment for followers of Desmond’s story, as well of those new to the series. Rated Mature for violence, the game features several expansive open-world areas for main character Connor to explore. Primed with story missions, challenges, collectibles and multiplayer, ACIII is sure to give players hours of game play to spare.
Dishonored is a breath of fresh air to most first-person titles. Players suit up as former bodyguard Corvo, as he sneaks and assassinates his way through a vast conspiracy meant to topple the government and imprison him for it. Rated Mature for violence and some language, this game is a tad on the short side, but carries a strong story with the ability to get different endings by replaying missions.
Borderlands 2 is definitely a first-person-shooter on its face, but carries more of an adventuresome feel as players can delve into one of four character classes and attempt to defeat the villainous Handsome Jack. Despite its cel-shaded art style, the game is rated Mature for violence, language, and strong humor. However, this game is absolutely packed with side quests, boss fights, and huge environments that promise hours upon hours of game play.
- For the First-Person Shooter fans: Halo 4 (Xbox 360, Playstation 3) and Call of Duty: Black Ops II (Xbox 360, Playstation 3)
First-person-shooters didn’t have much beyond sequelitis this year, but these two titles are reliable for any shooter fan in the family. Halo 4 once again reprises Master Chief as he battles Covenant baddies in the new setting of the ravaged Forefunner planet Requiem.
Black Ops II shifts players between recurring character Alex Mason (from Black Ops) and his son David as they scurry to stop a cyber terrorist from unleashing calamity upon the globe. Both games are rated Mature and have fairly short campaigns, but make it up with vast multiplayer modes that keep the action fresh.
- For those who like something a bit different: Persona 4: Golden (PS Vita), Sleeping Dogs (Xbox 360, PS3, PC), XCOM: Enemy Unknown (Playstation 3, Xbox 360, PC)
For the JRPG and dungeon-crawler fans, Persona 4: Golden offers arguably one of the best handheld experiences for the PS Vita since its debut. Players get to navigate shadow worlds in their quest to find the culprit behind numerous murders in the town of Inaba. Literally packed with weeks of content, this game will have many occupied for months to follow after the holidays.
Sleeping Dogs was perhaps a sleeper hit of the game release schedule this year. With a strong blend of violence and plot, the game delves into the seedy underground of Hong Kong with protagonist undercover cop Wei Shen as he attempts to topple the reigning Triads. Although this game doesn’t offer much beyond its campaign, the story and experience is worth the money.
XCOM: Enemy Unknown was another title that unfortunately got swept away with the score of fall game releases, but is well worth the time and money. An action-filled, turn-based strategy game, players get to command the XCOM military organization against a global alien threat. With highly addictive game play and multiplayer modes, XCOM offers up an experience vastly different than the rest of the typical holiday game releases.