Game publishers unleashed most of their heavy hitters in October and November, as massive games like Call of Duty: Modern Warfare III, Super Mario Bros. Wonder, Marvel’s Spider-Man 2, and Assassin’s Creed Mirage commanded huge audiences. December’s release calendar, by contrast, can’t help but look rather thin.
But that doesn’t mean it’s empty. In fact, in addition to Ubisoft’s large-scale new “Avatar” game based on the movie franchise, there’s a pair of much-anticipated blockchain games set to launch in December—including Symbiogenesis from Square Enix, the maker of Final Fantasy. Here’s a look at what we’re excited to play as the year winds down.
Dragon Quest Monsters: The Dark Prince (Dec. 1)
It’s been a dozen years since we got a Dragon Quest Monsters game in the States, but Square Enix is bringing the latest entry to Switch to kick off December. Dragon Quest Monsters: The Dark Prince brings the Dragon Quest spinoff series into the modern era, delivering a hybrid of classic fantasy role-playing action with the monster-battling chase of Pokémon. It’s been a busy time for RPGs on Switch, with Super Mario RPG and Persona 5 Tactica just dropping, but here’s one more to soak up your attention.
Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora (Dec. 7)
About this time last year, we wondered whether anyone still cared about “Avatar.” We quickly found out that they did when the sequel film “Avatar: The Way of Water” dominated the box office yet again. So we’re less skeptical about the potential for Ubisoft’s latest video game adaptation of the James Cameron sci-fi fantasy franchise, which serves up gorgeous, open terrain on planet Pandora and lets you soar through the skies, battle military aggressors, and explore freely. Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora is launching on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, and PC.
Gamers may gripe over the prospect of NFTs and tokens in games, but some of the world’s biggest game publishers see a future in the space. Notably, Final Fantasy and Kingdom Hearts maker Square Enix has been making moves in the blockchain world for years now, and the company is gearing up to release its first original Ethereum NFT game, Symbiogenesis. The story-driven PC game is set to begin rolling out in December following the initial mint of just 500 Ethereum NFTs, making this an intriguing experiment from an industry giant. Read our preview to learn more about what to expect from Symbiogenesis.
Shrapnel Early Access (December)
Symbiogenesis isn’t the only anticipated blockchain game players will get a first taste of in December. Shrapnel is one of the buzziest crypto games on the horizon, as the first-person shooter serves up flashy “AAA” graphics and frenzied competitive blasting—all paired with the prospect of user ownership of unique items and the ability for players to monetize their in-game creations. We got a promising taste of the PC game back in March, and now developer Neon is set to unlock early access for players who buy a key.
Edited by Ryan Ozawa.