I come to you today with important news: there is in fact more than one video game out this month.
Yes, that one video game is quite a biggie, and it's definitely the one most will be picking up this December, but that doesn’t mean everyone is champing at the bit to play it. Maybe you’re not interested in the Deus Extra RPG that is Cyberpunk 2077. Perhaps you want gangsters, underwater puzzles, two-headed dogs!
So, if you’re one of those people, and you're looking for a new game to play over the festive period, look no further than this list of the top 10 video games to play on PC this December.
If you like moving images set to words and music, you can have a watch of this video. But if you prefer text, then read on.
Cyberpunk 2077 (December 10th)
Alright, I know I just gave it the hard sell for the other 9 games on this list, but Cyberpunk 2077 is still the most anticipated game of the year – probably the most anticipated game of the last couple of years, really. But what more can be said about it at this stage? Even if you’ve no interest, you’re likely well up on everything there is to know about CD Projekt Red’s open-world, role-playing FPS.
You’re well aware that you can ride around the California-like Night City on one of Keanu Reeves’ motorbikes; you know that you’re able to choose your character’s nipples and teeth; and, even though the marketing has shown a teeny amount of bloodshed, you’ve already heard that you can get through the game without killing anybody.
I get it. You’re not interested in talking about it anymore. You just want to play it. And, thankfully, you don’t have long to wait, now that we've had the last ever delay (touch wood).
Immortals Fenyx Rising (December 3rd)
Immortals Fenyx Rising might very well be the best Christmas game on this list, because it offers something that all the others don’t: fun for all the family.
This cartoon-y action-adventure will teach the young’uns about Greek mythology without talking down to them; narrators Zeus and Prometheus, while not exactly a modern Morecambe and Wise, will still give mam and dad something to chuckle at with a few cheeky one-liners; and the puzzles and combat are challenging enough to test players of any age.
Is it as revolutionary as Breath Of The Wild? No. Is it enough fun that you’ll enjoy your time with the game and everything it has to offer (like weapons that don’t break after a few hits)? 100 percent
Haven (December 3rd)
Video game romances are often just dressed-up versions of lust, where sex is a reward for players that positively impact the fuck meter by selecting the blue words instead of the red ones. Sci-fi RPG-cum-visual novel Haven is different, though. For instance, its central relationship is already established by the time you start the game.
So, while Kay and Yu obviously love each other, they’re past the honeymoon period. There are squabbles over what they’ll cook for dinner, tiffs over who was meant to sort the electricity, that type of thing. It's more relatable.
The big ol’ beasties you fight across the fantastical planet are a tad less recognisable, of course. Still, the real-time tactical battles look interesting, as does this beautiful, alien landscape.
Unto The End (December 9th)
Unto The End takes inspiration from the likes of Limbo and Inside, but places more of a focus on combat. This isn’t a 2D hack n’ slasher, though: Unto The End is about reading, and reacting to, what your enemies are doing, rather than blindly swinging your sword. Most fights can end after two or three hits, so blocking is paramount to your success.
Although, your bartering skills are just as important, as some fights can be completely avoided if you offer an attacker something worthwhile.
If that wasn’t enough to pique your interest, it’s also quite snowy and who doesn’t love a white Christmas?
Empire Of Sin (December 1st)
Imagine, for a moment, that you weren’t able to down as much Blossom Hill as humanly possible on the 25th. Frightening, I know. But, in the prohibition era of the 1920s, that was something the general public had to deal with. It was a dark time before affordable wine.
In strategy management game Empire Of Sin your aim is to build a business empire, and flood the streets of Chicago with illegal booze. Naturally enough, you’ll butt heads with other criminal masterminds, which can result in some XCOM-style, turn-based shootouts. Alternatively, you can try to play peacekeeper and strike up deals with them during sit-downs.
Empire Of Sin is an ambitious mashup of genres, with a setting that will cater to anyone who loves Scorsese films. The amount of systems at play can definitely make things feel a bit muddled, though, and there are certainly some bugs at launch, but with a few patches we think Empire Of Sin could have you excited to peddle as many bottles as you drink over the merry season.
Phogs! (December 3rd)
Like Brothers: A Tale Of Two Sons, but probably even more emotional, Phogs sees you controlling both ends of a cutesy, yet obviously just plain wrong, two-headed dog. Stretching, biting and barking your way through levels, you have to solve puzzles that obviously flummox stupid one-brained pups.
If you fancy, you can also play this in co-op, with you controlling one head and your loved one controlling the other. It’ll likely end with both of you arguing over who’s in control of what head, but what would Christmas be without those needlessly heated discussions over the most trivial things?
El Hijo - A Wild West Tale (December 3rd)
Instead of night vision goggles and a rucksack full of camo to suit every occasion, this stealth game gives you toys such as… well, actual toys. You play as a six-year-old boy, so you have wind-up soldiers, bottle rockets and a slingshot to get around guards. I’m sure the developer discussed silenced pistols and piano wire, but I think they made the right choice in the end.
El Hijo - A Wild West Tale looks sits somewhere between Metal Gear Solid and Untitled Goose Game, being much more playful than the former and more serious than the latter. I now want nothing more than Hideo Kojima to make weighty western revolving around a large bird.
Call Of The Sea (December 8th)
Call Of The Sea is a gorgeous-looking first-person puzzler that places you on a lush island paradise in search of your missing husband. In all likelihood, however, all is not as seems, as developer Out Of The Blue has said they were inspired by H.P. Lovecraft while making the game.
Don’t go thinking this is a horror game, though. It's more like a mystery for you to unravel rather than a game that'll make you jump.
Medal Of Honor: Above And Beyond (December 12th)
If you’ve got a VR headset and a hankering for something Band Of Brothers-y, there’s always Medal Of Honor: Above And Beyond. The first game in the series since 2012’s Warfighter, Above And Beyond takes players to the war-torn Europe of the 1940s to shoot some Nazis (again).
As you progress in the game – and this is the part that might interest people as much as the actual game – you’ll unlock little interviews that Respawn have conducted with veterans and survivors of the Second World War.
Probably not what you want if you’re looking for frivolous entertainment over the festive period. Still, you can only watch Cars 3 so many times before you need something a little meatier.
The Game You Missed From Earlier This Year (January 1st - November 30th)
You hardly played everything that came out in 2020. I know I didn't. Missed Desperados 3 when it came out? Now’s your chance to play cowboy. Didn’t catch the triumphant return of Streets Of Rage? Get on it. Let Paradise Killer pass you by? Right that wrong.
While there are some wonderful video games out this December, don't forget that this has been a pretty decent year for video games, and now's a good time to make a dent in that backlog of yours.
Whatever you end up playing over December, I hope you have a lovely time with it. But, do tell us what you're looking forward to getting your hands on in December. Is it all about Cyberpunk for you or have you got your eye on something else?