Games released in Christmas 2021


Photo courtesy of Xbox Game Studios

The gaming holiday season tends to run from late November to late December, as that is when most people are buying games, whether for themselves or as gifts for family and friends. So here are three games that release in November and December, as well as an honorable mention for early 2022.

“Halo: Infinite” is an open-world first person shooter, made by 343 Industries and published by Microsoft. Set in the year 2560 on a Halo ring called “Installation 07, or “Zeta Halo,” the player steps into the boots of “Spartan John-117,” the Master Chief. Armed with a variety of weapons and vehicles, the player will fight their way through forces of the “Banished” faction on the “Halo,” and put an end to their plans. Along the way you will encounter various bosses and beings such as the “Spartan Killer Jega R’Domnai; Escharum,” the second in the command of the “Banished” under the “Warmaster Atriox;” and the mysterious being only known as the Harbinger. “Halo: Infinite” releases Dec. 8, 2021 on Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S and PC.

“Minecraft” is an open world sandbox survival game, created by Mojang Studies and published by Microsoft Games Studios. It is a world of blocks, where one can build anything they can think of within the limits of the game. On June 8, 2021, Mojang released the 1.17 Update, also called the Caves and Cliffs Updates Part 1. Now, during the 2021 Holiday season, Mojang will release 1.18, the Caves and Cliffs Part 2. In this update, there will be several new biomes, a new form of inventory management and a brand new boss. The brand new boss is known as the “Warden.” Residing in a new biome, known as the Deep Dark, it is the first ever mob in “Minecraft” that is completely blind, navigating by the sound of the player’s footsteps or blocks being placed. “Minecraft 1.18” releases on PC, Nov. 30, 2021.

“Pokemon Brilliant Diamond” and “Pokemon Shining Pearl” are a pair of remastered versions of “Pokemon Diamond” and “Pokemon Pearl,” which were released on the Nintendo DS system in 2007. In this game, the player will play as a Pokemon Trainer. This Pokemon Trainer will travel to various  cities in the Sinnoh region, an island region based off the Japanese island of Hokkaido, and battle in arenas called Pokemon Gyms. Each Gym has a Gym Leader, an elite Trainer who specializes in a specific Pokemon type. For example, Gym Leader Roark specializes in Rock type pokemon, while Gym Leader Byron specializes in Steel type pokemon. During the course of the game, the player battles Team Galactic, one of many teams throughout the franchise that seek to disrupt the way of life in the region. However, the ultimate goal of the game is embodied in the catchphrase of the Franchise: “Gotta catch ‘em all,” where the player has to catch one of every Pokemon in the game. “Pokemon Brilliant Diamond” and “Pokemon Shining Pearl” introduce new concepts into the classic games, such as turning the sprites — the 2D images of the people and creatures — of the original into 3D models, bringing the Fairy type introduced in “Pokemon X and Y” into the games and also introducing Pokemon from the third game of the trilogy that was the original games these remastered ones are made from: “Pokemon Platinum.” “Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl” released on the Nintendo Switch on Nov. 19, 2021.

“Elden Ring” is an open-world third person action role playing game, made by Fromsoftware and published in the west by Bandai-Namco. An open world game is a game where its playable area is less limited by loading screens and is instead more seamless. Made by the creators of “Bloodborne,” “Demon’s Souls,” “Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice” and the “Dark Souls” series. Elden Ring is a new take on the formula created by Fromsoftware Inc., which in the past has mixed together various elements of gaming history, with every enemy having a moveset that you can learn the cues for and react to, even having major boss fights in each area. In “Elden Ring,” Fromsoftware has combined it with the open world aspects of similar games like “Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.” There are two unique aspects that stand out  in “Elden Ring” compared to other games. The first of these is the “Ashes of War” system; these are items you earn from boss fights or find out in the open-world, and will give your weapons unique abilities. They can also be used to change the damage type on your weapon. The second of these is the “Spirit Summons,” dynamic summons that you can bring into combat in certain areas. These are unique in that they are dynamic, they will follow you wherever you need to go and they aid you in combat, but they can also leave the area of the map that you summon them in. In previous games, summoned allies were restricted to the area of the map in which you summoned them. With boss fights across the open world, in dungeons below the stony cliffs, treasures to find and enemies to slay, “Elden Ring” releases February 25th, on PC, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PS4 and PS5.