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December games roundup: 'Tis the season to grind through the backlog

December games roundup: 'Tis the season to grind through the backlog
PHOTO: Gameloft

Due to a new work routine and genuinely being caught up with IRL stuff, I totally missed out on games released in November and generally November itself. Things have seemed to quieten down, and I am looking to get back to writing more gaming-related articles.

Speaking of quietening down, December will be a pretty quiet month when it comes to game releases, so it will be a good time to catch up on that backlog, but if you are looking for new games to play, here are our picks that might be up your alley as well.

SteamWorld Build

Release Date: Dec 1

Platform: PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, Switch

The latest entry to the beloved post-apocalyptic steampunk franchise SteamWorld will be quite an interesting take on the franchise as SteamWorld Build combines the mechanics of city-building and dungeon delving where you will be tasked to construct a thriving town above ground while mining resources and dealing with monsters below.

In SteamWorld Build, you play as an architect of a SteamWorld mining town where you are also in charge of keeping your steambot citizens happy with ample accommodations, nourishment and, of course, entertainment. But to achieve that, you will have to delve into the abandoned mine under your town to not only gain access to its ores but also the ancient tech that will help you inch closer to your goal.

However, as expected, getting the materials you need will not be a walk in the park as the mines are filled with monsters that terrorise and tear apart your miners, so you will need to equip them with weapons.

SteamWorld Build will be available on Xbox Game Pass on day one and for those of you who own the SteamWorld Complete Bundle on Steam, you will get a 20 per cent discount.

Disney Dreamlight Valley

Release Date: Dec 5

Platform: PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, Switch

The holiday season is supposed to be cosy and magical, and Gameloft's Disney Dreamlight Valley will be sure this December live up to those expectations as the game leaves early access and makes its way to a full release.

Disney Dreamlight Valley is essentially Disney's version of Animal Crossing and sees you being magically transported to the titular magical valley where you will have to restore it to its former glory as Night Thorns have begun sprouting all over the place and causing villagers to lose their memories.

Throughout its time in early access, the game has received a healthy helping of new content, which added new biomes and many of Disney and Pixar's beloved characters. These include but are not limited to Ariel from The Little Mermaid, Buzz Lightyear from Toy Story, Simba from the Lion King and more.

Other than helping your favourite characters rebuild their homes, you will also be busy collecting a wide range of cosmetics and customisations to add a much-needed sparkle to your avatar, home and villages.

Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora

Release Date: Dec 7

Platform: PC, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S

If you are a fan of James Cameron's epic science fiction movie franchise, Avatar, then you will be overjoyed to know that Ubisoft's open-world action-adventure game based on said franchise, Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora, will be released this month.

This first-person shooter is set in the never-before-seen Western Frontier of Pandora, and you play as a Na'vi who was abducted by the Resources Development Administration (RDA) and raised and trained as a soldier to serve their sinister purpose. You wake up fifteen years later after being in suspended animation and find yourself a stranger in your very own birthplace.

Throughout your adventure, you will reconnect with your lost heritage, discover what it means to be Na'vi and band together with the various Na'vi tribes to fight back against the RDA. If there is one you can expect from Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora, it is that you will find many of Ubisoft's signature open-world tropes similar to the Far Cry and Assassin's Creed series, such as plenty of outposts to takeover, collectables to find and completing missions the way you see fit.

On top of that, the game will also support two-player cooperative multiplayer, so you can team up with a friend to explore this beautiful yet strange new world together.

Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader

Release Date: Dec 7

Platform: PC, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S

Usually, when a game is set in the Warhammer 40,000 universe, you would expect to play as either a hulking tank of man, a technologically advanced alien race or some form of grotesque monster raining down death and destruction on everything around you.

However, Owlcat Games has taken a very different approach this time because Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader is a classic roleplaying game with turn-based combat where your main focus is to showcase your diplomacy and mercantile skills.

As the title suggests, you play as a Rogue Trader, an individual that reigns over their very own merchant empire and explores the fringes of Imperial space with the blessing of the Emperor Himself. Bestowed with a Warrant of Trade, Rogue Traders are endowed with privileges and power beyond imagination and the task of expanding the borders of the Imperium.

Your adventure sees you exploring the vast Koronus Expanse-a treacherous region of unexplored space where you will discover lost and forgotten worlds and planets claimed by humanity. These planets can either be claimed for your empire or plundered for their riches. The choice is yours.

However, there will be times when you will be forced to face your do battle against the deadly and treacherous Chaos cults and alien Xenos, so you will have to rely on your strategic and tactical skills and make full use of the talents of your companions that include a mighty power armoured Space Marine, a lethal Aeldari Ranger, and even a courageous Sister of Battle.

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