Christmas has come and gone and the new year is upon us. That means a whole lot of expectations will be riding on the games. After a year of mostly rehashes and release delays the pressure is on starting now. So let’s take a look at some of the great single player experiences you don’t want to miss for January.

Dying Light

Release Date: January 27th
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One and PC

Perhaps the most in demand title, Dying Light, has a little bit of a wait as it comes near the end of the month (Jan 27th) but video samples suggest it will be worth your restraint. On the surface it sounds a like a been there done that title. Open world, post apocalypse, zombie outbreak, blah blah blah. Plus it’s made by the same folks as Dead Island, which are fun games but flawed too. So why the interest? The introduction of parkour environment scaling appears to be making all the difference. From the way you get around to the attacks you employ against your foes, being an agile survivor looks to be enough to make this formula another go.

There are a lot of weapons, over 100, but bear in mind the game is focused on melee action. You’ll use the daylight to scavenge supplies, set traps, and rescue people. When the sun does go down the dead become a sight more wily. Their senses are keener and mobility increases. Thankfully the player gets a night sense of their own to avoid and distract the undead pursuers.

Supposedly if you get the DLC you’re looking at 50 hours of gameplay. How much with no DLC? I wish I could tell you but it sounds like an intense take on the genre and a lengthy enough campaign to pick it up or at the very least keep it on your radar. (PS4, Xbox One, PC)

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Life is Strange

Release Date: January 30th
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PS3, Xbox 360, PC

Ever thought to yourself “life is strange”? The folks at DontNod who brought you Remember Me agree. With the release of the first episode of this adventure mystery, single players can hope to find something that is finally, refreshingly, innovative game that is focused on a narrative.

That narrative will follow the two main characters Max and Chloe as they look into the disappearance of a fellow student in the fictional town of Anchor Bay, Oregon. Upon returning home after 5 years Chloe will discover that her newfound ability to rewind time can be a blessing and a curse since her choices on how to use the power will affect the story’s outcome.

This production is in collaboration with Square Enix so there’s no telling what could happen. Hopefully it will follow, in some small measure, the episodic narrative awesomeness that Telltale has brought to the industry. That time rewind feature definitely reminds us of a similar feature in Remember Me which was quite well executed so we’re expecting this game to shine even if RM did disappoint a little in the combat department. (January 30th: PS4, PS3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PC)

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Raven’s Cry

Release Date: January
Platforms: PS4, PS3, Xbox 360, PC

Chalk this pick up to personal favoritism and a genuine need to inform the public about something that’s sure to be fun even if it doesn’t end up being the greatest quality production. I’m thinking that will be it in a nutshell when it comes to the pirate romp Raven’s Cry.

Reality Pump and Topware have been at this labor of love since releasing the pirate themed DLC Pirates of the Flying Fortress for Two Worlds II. Two Worlds II was undeniably difficult to love for its oversights, and yet there was a lot to love about the world and its many handy customizable RPG elements. That’s what brought it some rock solid sales and a kind fan base. Raven’s Cry looks to try something a little different than fantasy.

This open world and open sea adventure seeks to re-create the golden age of piracy in the Caribbean. Delicate attention paid to details are what makes the GRACE engine really shine, so the intent by the developers to create a realistic portrait of that time period should make exploration as entertaining as questing.

The main story line comes in at 25 hours without side quests. You’ll seek vengeance for your family as the hook-handed Christopher Raven, the man who is just as deadly on land as at sea. Sail alone or put together a fleet, either way you’ll “sail with the devil” in January. (No word on exact date of release)

Have fun with this one, do a little nuts-going on the high seas, hook a few people with your hand, but don’t expect Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag. (PS4, PS3, Xbox 360, PC)

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There you have them, some good times for all kinds my friends. Game safely, game on, and happy new year!

David D. Nelson
David D. Nelson is a polymath with a BA in English working as an independent writing and editing professional. He enjoys gaming, literature, and a good hat.

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