It’s been a heck of a year guys. We have had delay after delay, the rise of cloud gaming technologies, the release of next-gen gaming consoles, not to mention just… everything else that is happening in the outside world. As we head into the holidays, game releases usually slow down and we get a small break until a few weeks after New Year’s Day. Not this year though! December is the month of the forgotten games, delayed again and again but still wanting to meet a 2020 deadline. Not to mention this is the month where all the last-gen releases get ported to new technology. So let’s take a look at the last few releases 2020 has for us, and look forward to a… shall we say… interesting 2021.
Chronos: Before the Ashes (Dec 1 – PC, PS4, XBO, Switch, Stadia)
As a rule, we don’t usually put ports on these lists, but there is something special about Chronos: Before the Ashes. Originally a proof of concept VR game, it released in 2016 and largely went unnoticed until the IP was bought up by THQ Nordic. They then completely remade the game, removing the VR element, changing up certain mechanics and environments, and connecting the story to their well-received shooter RPG Remnant: From the Ashes.
In case you missed it the first time, it’s a dungeon-crawling RPG where your character ages one year every time you die. Each year you age brings with it a change in stats. You are fast as a child, strong in your youth, crafty in your middle age, and wise in your older years. Your abilities change and evolve as time moves on, and you’ll have to master both the dungeon and your own ticking clock to make it to the end.
Empire of Sin (Dec 1 – PC, Mac, PS4, XBO, Switch)
Here’s our first victim of COVID delay on this list. Empire of Sin has been slated for release several times this year, but now it looks like it’s finally going to hit the shelves. It’s a sim game with XCOM style grid-based/turn-based combat where you get to build your own crime empire in 1920s Chicago. How will you control the streets and who will you trust with your loyalty?
Twin Mirror: Lost on Arrival (Dec 1 – PC, PS4, XBO)
Dontnod has been busy. They just released Tell Me Why, a provocative supernatural thriller about the trans experience earlier this year, and now they are releasing an even bigger project with Twin Mirror: Lost on Arrival. A psychological thriller, you take control of investigative journalist Sam Higgs who returns to his hometown for his best friend’s funeral only to find that the town holds darker secrets than he first thought. This will include Dontnod’s classic cinematic gameplay, but will also include quite a bit of puzzle and deduction gameplay, including a special mode where Sam can internally recreate crime scenes. Essentially, he has a mind palace, similar to modern-day portrayals of Sherlock Holmes.
Worms Rumble (Dec 1 – PC, PS4, PS5)
The classic turn-based physics shooter, Worms, is being updated for the modern age, and what does that mean? Real-time combat! Fight your enemies on massive complex maps using all your favorite Worms weapons, from the Holy Hand Grenade to the Sheep Launcher. It’s a neat little multiplayer combat game to keep you busy over the holidays.
El Hijo – A Wild West Tale (Dec 3 – PC, Stadia)
Stealth indie games are pretty rare. Isometric stealth indie games are even rarer. However, that’s exactly what El Hijo is going for, where you take control of a young boy in the Wild West, far outgunned and overpowered by everyone around him. You will have to be sneaky and use trickery and traps to overcome your adversaries. It’s a completely non-violent game, as everyone might wish harm on you, but all you want to do is see your mother again. Just get by unseen and everything will be fine.
Haven (Dec 3 – PC, XBO, PS5, XSX)
This new RPG from the makers of Furi puts you in the shoes of a couple stranded on an alien planet. Leaving everything they knew behind, they must find a life for themselves while running from pursuers and dealing with the harsh realities of their new world. The game is designed for co-op play, with lovers Yu and Kay unlocking their full potential when they work in tandem. If you have a special someone to play with, it’s highly recommended you take them on this journey. Of course, you can play solo if you haven’t found that special someone yet.
Immortals Fenyx Rising (Dec 3 – PC, PS4, XBO, PS5, XSX, Switch, Stadia)
One of the first titles advertised as a killer Stadia app, Immortals Fenys Rising is coming to all platforms this December. It’s a huge open-world action game set in the world of Greek mythology. You play as Fenyx, a demigod on a quest to save the gods of Olympus from a dark curse. You’ll face magical beasts, earn the ancient powers of the Greek pantheon, and take on the Titans, all while customizing Fenyx to your specific playstyle.
Morbid: The Seven Acolytes (Dec 3 – PC, PS4, XBO, Switch)
Morbid is a top-down sprite-based Souls-like described as a “Horrorpunk Action RPG that is all about Lovecraftian horrors and Cronenbergian gore.” Not entirely sure you need more summary than that really. You’ll be dodge rolling and managing your stamina through a world filled with the most gruesome and screwed up monstrosities sprite artists could come up with. Add to that a blessing system, a Diablo-style inventory and forging system, and environments that feel alive, changing as you walk through them, and you have a formula for one of the most anticipated indie games of this month.
Phogs! (Dec 3 – PC, PS4, XBO, Switch, Stadia)
In Phogs! You play as a cute little double-sided wiener dog going on a puzzle adventure through a bright, cartoony, and bizarre world. You’ll bark, bite, bounce, stretch, and generally work together with your other head to make your way through three worlds themed around the things that dogs love mode: Food, Sleep and Play. This is another title meant to be played co-op, but with a single-player mode just in case.
Crumble (Dec 4 – PC)
What do you get when you take the speed of Sonic, the platforming of Mario, the free form open swinging of Spider-Man, and a world that keeps crumbling behind you? You get Crumble a new high-speed 3D platformer that is looking pretty sweet to the speedrunning community these days. You only have one goal, get to the end of a stage as fast as you can before the world falls apart behind you. How fast can you go?
Call of the Sea (Dec 8 – PC, XBO, XSX)
An upcoming first-person adventure game set in the 1930s South Pacific, you play as Nora who is exploring a mysterious island to find her missing husband. This is a game all about solving puzzles and unraveling mysteries, and it’s notable for being one of the first big indie titles to be showcased as a killer app for the Xbox Series X (even though it’s also multi-platform). Every new console needs their art-games and this is Microsoft’s.
Monster Sanctuary (Dec 8 – PC, PS4, XBO, Switch)
Monster Sanctuary has a simple and brilliant pitch: what if you took Pokémon but made it a 2D Metroidvania? You’ll get to catch, train, and evolve your monster party, but you’ll also use them to unlock new areas and explore a huge interconnected world. You can even take your favorite monster parties online and battle against other trainers.
Puyo Puyo Tetris 2 (Dec 8 – PC, PS4, XBO, PS5, XSX)
So maybe Tetris Effect: Connected wasn’t your style. Maybe you don’t want to zone out to a calm and meditative puzzle experience. Maybe you are out for blood! You want to clear lines and pop Puyos faster than anyone else. You want to crush your opponents! That’s what Puyo Puyo Tetris 2 is for. It’s the definitive puzzle experience, with new story modes, new missions, and brand new game modes like the skill battle mode which gives you neat RPG esque powers to drop even more trash on your opponent’s field.
Cyberpunk 2077 (Dec 10 – PC, PS4, XBO, PS5, XSX, Stadia)
Here’s the big one. Delay after delay after delay it’s finally coming out, CD Projekt Red’s cyberpunk opus Cyberpunk 2077. Look, this title has been on this list four times before, so you already know why we are so hyped. Let’s just cross our fingers and hope that we don’t get another apology on a yellow background. It’s almost here guys. Pray to Keanu that nothing goes wrong.
Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond (Dec 10 – PC)
We are experimenting more and more with putting AAA style games into VR and the results are looking good. Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond takes the classic World War II shooter experience and brings it to VR platforms. Aside from standard cover-based shooting, you’ll drive vehicles, infiltrate enemy strongholds, and apparently assassinate people by smashing decorative busts over their heads.
MXGP 2020 (Dec 16 – PC, PS4, XBO, PS5, XSX)
Another victim of delays, MXGP has been the subject of some controversy in the racing world. Many are saying it’s a copy-paste or a glorified expansion of MXGP 2019. Others are looking forward to its track creator and career mode. Quick cash-in or evolution of the franchise? We will find out this December.
Override 2: Super Mech League (Dec 22 – PC, PS4, XBO, PS5, XSX, Switch)
Override 2 is a neat little action/fighting game where you get to get into a giant robot, customize it, and then beat the crap out of other mechs. It’s an arena battler, where movement and combos are key, though you can also get by with a little bit of mashing. The open beta just closed and it was pretty fun. So if you are looking for a new competitive multiplayer obsession, check this out!
Garlic (Dec 30 – PC)
Finally, we have Garlic a precision platformer with Japanese humor aesthetic. Our garlic headed protagonist need to brave deadly dungeons in order to seduce the Cyber Goddess. It makes little sense and it’s filled with visual gags and incredible animation for a mono-color platformer. It will be sure to give you some laughs along with some finger-cramps right before the New Year.
That’s all the game releases in December that we have for you. If there are any you are looking forward to, leave them in the comments. Happy gaming this holiday season and we will see you in 2021.