The Y Geek Squad gives filling stockings a fighting chance for the festive season with this lot of games.
Arguably the most Hollywood-ised game of all time, Just Cause 4 brings everything you’d expect from a Just Cause game: blood, violence, action and a lot of blowing stuff up. Its greatest strengths, however, also lead to its weakness: it is indistinguishable from its predecessors but for a more elaborate map and modified graphics. You still play the role of Rico Rodriguez – a part-human, part Wolverine mutant that can glide around cities and land some cinematic scenes to bring the game alive. There are sequences that are awe-inspiring, with graphics resembling those of real movies. This latest attempt at a new Just Cause game by Avalanche Studios suffers from a lack of imagination. But, that doesn’t mean it’s still not one of the better third-person shooter games out there. We’re just a bunch of sore keyboard warriors cum critics after all.
Platforms: Windows, Xbox One, PS4
Creative to say the least, Persona Dancing: Endless Night Collection is a worthy contender for the best dance game of the year. While its core lies in the narrating sequences from the role-playing anime game, Persona, it does its job in a rather amusing way: with dance. Players can control the various Persona characters to act out their scenes from the original game by making use of the d-pad and controller face buttons to match the inputs displayed on the screen. Perfect scores mean the story is narrated crisply and without any hitches – but failing to do so may result in a tedious repeat of the level. Typically Japanese but with an added touch of Western dance, this is a must-have for dance enthusiasts and anime buffs.
Platform: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Linux
Real gamers will tout Subnautica as a wild twist to the Unreal game that hit the shelves back in 1998 – but in a good way. While the latter sets its missions on an alien planet and involves a lot of shooting, Subnautica does the same but in the oceans of an unknown planet. The game heavily relies on exploring the waters and the many, many creatures that lie underneath and often requires you to murder them mercilessly (humans, eh?). The ultimate aim, however, is to protect the underwater base you’ve created using the existing resources from the planet and manage the resources you’ve scalped from the poor aliens. If you’re not into too much violence, you can undertake the exploring missions, which will allow you to have a more relaxed adventure and catch a glimpse of the unknown worlds underneath the oceans of the planet.
Platform: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Android, iOS
Appealing to the entomophobia (also known as insectophobia) in you, Earth Defense Force 5 pits you against life-sized creepy crawlies that’ll scare the living bejesus out of you. Trust us when we say this: unlike games of today that spew gorgeous graphics and detailed cities, this game makes use of the PlayStation 4’s computing power – all of its cores and RAM – to render the vast number of enemies for you to attack. It’s unreal – there are moments when you’ll come across several hundreds of giant ants, spiders, slugs, and a plethora of other alien creatures. And, more often than not, you’ll find yourself inclined to shooting aimlessly around you until your ammo runs out or until the enemies are eliminated. It’s an arduous task but one that’s incredibly satisfying. It’s not the most Christmassy game out there, but it should keep the kids glued to the television (if that’s what you’re after).
Platform: Android, iOS
Taking us back to the early 2000s with its graphics and gameplay – which seemingly is straight out of the Game Boy Advance SP era – the Nintendo Switch-based Dragon Marked for Death game injects a dose of nostalgia to a market that we didn’t particularly ask for. Yet, with an intriguing storyline, human-dragon protagonists evoke a sense of desperation in their fight against a kingdom that destroys their village. With Japanese-inspired music, the game claws into our list of top games for December. Also, with the prices of the Nintendo Switch dropping over the festive season, it only makes sense to invest in one. Fans of games from the early Nintendo epoch will admire this one.
Platform: PC, Mac, Linux