December 1 – SteamWorld Build (PS5/PS4/Xbox One/Xbox Series X|S/Switch/PC)
December 1 – Dragon Quest Monsters: The Dark Prince (Switch)
December 1 – Batman: Arkham Trilogy (Switch)
December 5 – Disney Dreamlight Valley (PS5/PS4/Xbox One/Xbox Series X|S/Switch/PC)
December 5 – Skater XL (Switch)
December 5 – Fallout 76: Atlantic City – America’s Playground
December 5 – A Highland Song (Switch/PC)
December 5 – The Lord of the Rings: Return to Moria (PS5)
December 5 – Sonic Dream Team (Apple Arcade)
December 7 – The Sims 4 For Rent Expansion (PS4/Xbox One/PC)
December 7 – LEGO Bricktales (Meta Quest 2/Meta Quest 3/Quest Pro)
December 7 – Arizona Sunshine 2 (PS5/PSVR2/PC/Quest)
December 7 – Warhammer 40,00: Rogue Trader (PS5/Xbox Series X|S/PC)
December 7 – Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora (PS5/Xbox Series X|S/PC)
December 7 – The Day Before (PC Early Access)
December 14 – Granblue Fantasy Versus: Rising (PS5/PS4/PC)
December 14 – House Flipper 2 (PC)
December 14 – Five Nights At Freddy’s: Help Wanted 2 (PS5/PSVR2)
December 14 – Pokemon Scarlet & Violet: The Indigo Disk (Switch)
December 16 – Paranoid (PC)
Hey, you did it. You got through another year. So did we! It’s been a long 12 months (aren’t they all) but here at WellPlayed we’re thrilled you’ve chosen to pack your jorts full with us one last time before we usher in a new year and we get to start this whole dance over again. December is a little leaner than most of 2023 has been, a small miracle really because half the team still hasn’t touched Tears of the Kingdom and the whole team is weirdly fanging for The Day Before later this week.
Regardless of what you’re playing this month though, from our jorts-clad family to yours, Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, live, laugh, love, game on. You get the point. Go watch our new series, as a little gift to us.
The CRPG. The computer role-playing game. Or does the C stand for classic? Undeniably, the genre elicits titans of story, of which three now bear the moniker of Baldur’s Gate. The developers over at Owlcat Games have already thrown a Baldur’s Gate killer at us courtesy of 2021’s Pathfinder: Wrath Of The Righteous. But now, in the year of a behemoth GOTY contender within this same genre, Owlcat brings us a complex and choice-driven CRPG in the Warhammer 40k universe. More than a few nerds feel a tickle on the back of their neck. Rogue Trader is an earlier edition of the 40k miniature game ruleset with a focus on roleplaying, and I’m eager to see how this gruesome and hopeless, techno-theocratic far future universe translates into a wild, party-driven RPG adventure. Big shoes to fill at the end of 2023.
Now let’s travel across the Pacific and see what those RPG geniuses at Square Enix are cooking up this holiday season? What’s that? They’ve got a special jorts stuffer to hang over the home theatre unit this festive season? That’s right, Dragon Quest is back, making for a whopping third title from this series to drop over the last 12 months! Mixed receptions aside, the monster collecting and battling cycle of the Monsters spin off series has been long overdue for a localised release. Without a Pokémon title this year, The Dark Prince is sure to scratch a lot of itches for the JRPG monster-battler crowd.
Between the uptick in DQ localisation and a phenomenal Baldur’s Gate 2 sequel, teenage Nathan would have an invigorated thirst for the future if he knew the exciting heights that role-playing games had yet to achieve. What a year, what variety.
To say December’s release schedule doesn’t hold a great deal of interest to me is less a reflection on the content and more on how high the bar was set through the preceding months of a stellar year. What’s even more interesting to me, the one title on this list I do have somewhat of an interest in resides on a platform I’ve never used.
Apple Arcade does have its uses, even more so with the recent addition of AAA titles running on modern iPhone 15s (but why, though?), yet I’ve only once before considered the subscription service worthwhile. That, for those curious, was the Hades-inspired TMNT: Splintered Fate. Now I potentially have a second reason to maybe (just maybe) buy an Apple TV, as Sega is about to drop a new Sonic that arguably looks set to deliver some colourful mayhem. Maybe that’s wishful thinking, but the improvement in quality in recent years for the blue blur has been more than welcome. I did eventually come to enjoy Sonic Frontiers despite some unfortunate design choices.
So what could possibly go wrong with Sonic Dream Team? It seems as though the development team had Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater on the brain during development, but I’m all for making Sonic easier to handle during those ‘gotta go fast’ moments, and enemies seem less likely to stop you dead in your tracks, as is tradition. Maybe there’s hope for a fun ride after all. Anyone got a spare iPhone 15?
In a rare act of kindness, December is quite lean, meaning I can focus on eating turkey and sleeping. In saying that, the cheeky days off for Christmas make for the perfect opportunity to get stuck into a big, open-world game.
Weeeell, would you look at that, Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora is dropping in the first week of December, how perfect is that? I was lucky enough to preview the game recently, and I came away with a few questions and a need to play more. Plus, taking flight on the back of an Ikran is similar enough to the big red bastard piloting a sleigh around the world, so it makes sense, yeah? Sure, why not.
Huh, so it’s actually releasing in a few days? Like, absolutely confirmed to definitely, 100% hit Steam and be purchasable? The WellPlayed crew have been listening to Zach’s desperate ramblings about The Day Before for what seems like an eternity, and now the time has come to see if his obsession has been warranted. Do I have a great deal of faith in The Day Before? No. Will I be jumping in as soon as it goes live? You bet your arse I will be. Curiosity is a hell of a thing.
After several delays, a trademark dispute, and constant questioning as to whether it would ever release, it looks like the answer to the latter is yes, with the much-hyped The Day Before set to launch in Early Access on December 8 Australian time. Not only am I keen to dive into a new zombie MMO with mates, but I am looking forward to drinking not one but two blue heaven milkshakes courtesy of Buddy Watson. Am I expecting the game to be good? Not really. But I am hopeful that it’s fun enough and proves the doubters wrong in some capacity. Another game that intrigues me is Paranoid, the 80s psychological horror from Madmind Studio, the developer that gave us Agony. And Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora is worth checking enough, even if just for the gorgeous visuals and big blue peeps.
The Jorts Before.
Is that anything?
What games are you keen for in December? Does the end of another year fill you with hope or dread? Be sure to let us know in the comments below and on social media.