Our Favorite Games From December

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Video game releases tend to slow down in December, but there were still plenty of ones to love. Here are our favorite games from December.

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Steep

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It’s been ages since we got a big winter sports sim, and Steep scratched that itch nicely.

You can get the game for PS4, Xbox One, and PC.


Hearthstone Mean Streets of Gadgetzan

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We enjoyed the distinct style and mood of Heathstone’s latest expansion.

You can get the expansion for PC.


The Last Guardian

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We thought it would never come out, but then it did come out, and you can watch Trico poop. We loved this beautiful tale of camaraderie between two unlikely companions.

You can get the game for PS4.


Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun

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This game was an unexpected stealth gem where the most fun comes from making your characters work together.

You can get the game for PC, Mac, and Linux.


Frog Fractions 2

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After a two-year goose chase, Frog Fractions 2 finally appeared inside another game. We found Frog Fractions 2 the perfect culmination to its lead-up.

You can get the game by purchasing Glittermitten Grove for PC.


Super Mario Run

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This mobile game feels like a Mario game, and it’s great for gaming in short doses.

You can get the game for iOS, with an Android build coming in the future.


The Walking Dead: A New Frontier

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The first two episodes of Season 3 of Telltale’s episodic zombie feelings game is tense, solid, and off to a great start.

You can get the game for PS4, Xbox One, PC, and mobile.


Shantae: Half-Genie Hero

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The fourth installment in this series has gorgeous visuals, rich music, and varied, silky gameplay.

You can get the game for PS4, Xbox One, Wii U, PS Vita, and PC.


Astroneer

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This early access survival game will kill you in all the best ways.

You can get the game on PC and Xbox One.


Forza Blizzard Mountain Expansion

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Forza Horizon 3's wintry expansion is almost too real.

You can get the expansion for PC and Xbox One.


One Shot

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This indie game knew our names, somehow.

You can get the game for PC.


Let It Die

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This free game is fun but clunky.

You can get the game on PS4.

If you buy any of these games through the retail links in this post, our parent company may get a small share of the sale through the retailers’ affiliates program.

DISCUSSION

The Last Guardian seemed like fitting closure for the Ueda trilogy. I’ve been a frothing-at-the-mouth fanboy since ICO (though I cannot claim I was savvy enough to purchase it on day one; a good friend of mine introduced me to it a few months after it had launched, back when we were in college), and while TLG is not without its faults, it managed to successfully recapture the wonder of wandering a derelict castle that ICO presented, whilst also carrying over some of the more innovative (and at times, frustrating) gameplay elements of Shadow of the Colossus.

TLG was rough in spots (technically and emotionally), but I’ll never forget the feeling of playing through the game with my wife, both of us alternately praising Trico and howling at those moments when he or the boy seemed in jeopardy (no spoilers, I promise).

I’ll definitely be playing through it again; just have to get through Final Fantasy XV first. I had my doubts about it, as XIII was a very poor experience for me (I’m an “old hand” in terms of the series; wound up purchasing the first one in 1990 and never really looked back—apart from VIII, which I really didn’t care for), and I was worried the franchise was going to continue down the “look how moody and badass Lightning is” route in terms of character design.

While Noctis is definitely a bit of an angsty emo kid in some ways (and he’s got reason, given the plot to this point), he’s not completely buried in his own navel—and his compatriots manage to keep things pretty level, and even light at times. I’m happy with what I’ve played so far (about fourteen hours in, and only to the third chapter; I’m doing all the hunts and wandering around as much as possible)—though I could do without the cries of, “Imperials! Above us,” every five damn seconds.