2015 is almost over, and we’ve had some cracking games to contend with along the way. Now with December upon us, the train of release is coming to a slow crawl. However, some (hopefully) excellent games are still on their way and will keep us Single Players company over these winter months.
Just Cause 3
Release: December 1 (PS4, Xbox One and PC)
Announced just over a year ago, four years after the release of Just Cause 2, Avalanche Studios are finally releasing their third game of the open-world, action-adventure series this month. After some juggernaut releases of a similar genre in 2015, Just Cause 3 has serious competition to live up to.
With Rico Rodriguez back as the protagonist, he will be assisted by his trusted grappling hook and parachute as well as the addition of a wingsuit to allow for more effective gliding around the enormous map. There seems to be a larger emphasis on “verticality” this time around, meaning that Rico will be discovering secrets in large underground areas as well as an improved climbing aspect for the vertigo-inducing skyscraper missions. The Mediterranean island setting will see even more destruction and chaos compared to the previous installments as well with an infinite amount of C4 gifted to the player and a huge array of fully customizable weapons and vehicles also available to Rodriguez. Along with the freedom on offer in Just Cause games, a huge selling point is the fact that you will definitely just have a lot of fun no matter what you do, and Just Cause 3 looks to be no different.
Dragon Quest Heroes: The World Tree’s Woe and the Blight Below
Release: December 3 (PC)
Originally released for Playstation 4 in October, Dragon Quest Heroes comes to PC in December. Also published by Square Enix along with Just Cause 3, this title comes from the developers of Dynasty Warriors, and the title crosses over that series with the world of Dragon Quest. Therefore, Heroes features a hack-and-slash mechanic as per Dynasty Warriors with the characters and enemies from Dragon Quest.
The perfect combination for some, an interesting and exciting prospect for many others, the PS4 version released to a great reception from fans and media alike, despite the fact that the mash-up of RPG elements and the chaotic action of the combat seemed to be a recipe for disaster. However, much like Hyrule Warriors which used a similar model, Dragon Quest Heroes does in fact work well and the power of the PC can create beautiful and seamless action sequences to go with the fantastical storyline.
Xenoblade Chronicles X
Release: Decmeber 4 (Wii U)
Released in Japan earlier this year, this role-playing Wii U exclusive is the most recent addition to the Xeno series and acts as the spiritual successor to Xenoblade Chronicles, which released back in 2011/2012 (depending on your region). Much of the action is spent with or alongside Skells, which are large humanoid robots with the power to fly, transform and be extremely effective in a fight. Much like other Japanese RPGs, the combat system is quite hectic on-screen with lots of information in your HUD, but mastering the system and performing effective use of your special attacks (known as Arts) is the key to success.
What will appeal mostly to Western players though is the world in which Xenoblade Chronicles X is set. Despite the lesser power of the Wii U compared to the Xbox One or PS4, the world is larger than even that of games like Witcher 3 and Fallout 4. Situated on the planet of Mira, exploration is something the developers Monolith Soft are looking to bring to the player more than anything, made easier by your controllable Skells with their flying ability. The story is also relying on sci-fi tropes as opposed to the fantasy worlds in which JRPGs are usually set. If you have often been put off by Japanese games due to an inability to relate to the cast, gameplay or story, or the linearity of the world, then this may be the game to change your mind.
These are some titles we’ll be playing this month, as well as catching up on the huge releases from this fantastic year of gaming. What will you be playing this Holiday season? Look out for our End of the Year Awards soon and as always keep up to date with the latest Single Player news on Twitter (@Official_OnlySP) and Facebook