LOADING... Top Video Game Releases – Dec '21
Whether you’re buying them for your fine self or yeeting them across the globe to Santa’s grotto as gifts for a loved one, December is all about splashing out on video-game sexiness. But with this incessant, whimsical spending spree comes the pitfalls of potentially purchasing something utterly Wasteful And Not Kool.
And yes. Those last four words should be read as an acronym.
What to do, then, in the face of this perilous time of the year? Fear not: fat man Claus isn’t the only bringer of presents in these parts! Enter LOADING…, Robot-Republic’s genderless, formless provider of the very best video games is here to reach into its sack, sacking off the timewasters and dishing out the finest trimmings for you to feast your eyes on.
What’s coming up this month to close off the year 2021? Read on…
Solar Ash Loading by: 2nd December
Delayed, yes, but looking to be more than worth the short wait, Solar Ash sprints and grinds its way from Annapurna Interactive and Heart Machine, the creators of award-winning action RPG, Hyper Light Drifter. Where Class-A drugs might see you face some horrendous side effects, Solar Ash presents you with maddened fantasy worlds from the safety of your sofa (and all without the risk of jailtime!)
Combining break-neck speeds, acrobatic delirium and Jet Set Radio-style choreography, there’s a real sense of artistry to playing Solar Ash properly; you battle enormous beasties by scaling them, dancing around them like living landscapes and defeating them – all to quite the fanfare. It’s a quirky premise to say the least, but it is stunning to behold with novel gameplay – get it on the Christmas list!
Chorus Loading by: 3rd December
You’d think with a ship name like The Forsaken, you’d be prepared for some terrible things to occur whilst you’re on board. And yet, here we are regardless: taking control of Nara, a competent space cap’n, in an old-skool arcade shoot-‘em-up with all of the bells and space whistles of the current gen. Graphically, you’ll struggle to find a better flagbearer for this genre.
Combat is, of course, the focal point of this space-age shooter, offering some sincerely challenging encounters and decent depth of strategic choices, which removes the need to mindlessly button bash. Outside of combat, you’ll get to zip about the mysterious galaxies, sniffing out secrets – a welcome distraction to main quest. Suit up and ship out this December.
Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker Loading by: 7th December
For those unfamiliar with Hydaelyn and Zodiark’s storyline, you may not want to add this to your wishlist; after all, this is the fourth and final expansion for the super popular MMORPG. But for everyone else, this hardly needs much of an introduction! Needless to say, however, this is unmissable for those still embroiled in the battles and bad-assery this series brings.
Implementing two new jobs – Reaper and Sage (and not the kind you might find on your Christmas turkey! – a lovely gardening sim called Island Sanctuary and, at a later date, some 24-player raid chaos, this expansion is well worth the gil – which, should you need help making in-game, we have the perfect guide for!
Halo Infinite Loading by: 8th December
As a seasoned gaming journo, I am able to write with objectivity when necessary – and given that Halo Infinite might be one of the most anticipated releases this year for everyone but me, this is one of those exact moments. Halo is not a series I am enamoured by, but my WORD, does this iteration look delicious…
Character-drive narrative coupled with the classic combat long-term fans have come to love and expect give Infinite a genuine sense of heft – something this fifth main title desperately needed. But with that knowing nod to players from the past comes the concern that this isn’t necessarily going to be a game newcomers will enjoy half as much as Halo fanatics. Time will tell, but one thing’s for sure: the open-world vibe works wonders and every inch of it feels alive and kicking. Mastery of the Chief!
Five Nights at Freddy's: Security Breach Loading by: 16th December
FNAF is the video-game horror genre’s version of Marmite: some deem it a horror masterpiece, whereas others find it a very bizarre blend of kid-friendly visuals with anything-but-kid-friendly goings on. This time around, we are Gregory – the latest little boy locked up with the murderous animatronic monstrosities from the warped imagination of Steel Wool Studios.
For a series that has lost traction over recent years, Security Breach appears to be doing everything right to get the heart-hurtling atmosphere back without relying too heavily on the mostly tired tropes of Help Wanted and its predecessors. Allowing complete movement around the mall where the game takes place, the ability to sprint the fluff out of harm’s way could be a saving grace – quite literally!
And just like that, 2021 plummets down a pit and expends its last life, game-overing itself just in time for the long-awaiting sequel: 2022. We’ll be back with LOADING… in time for January, but enough about that for now: enjoy the holiday season, stay safe and enjoy whichever video games you find yourself unwrapping later this month – you’ve earnt it!
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