The first month of the year is usually not too generous when it comes to major new game releases, but that doesn’t mean one should overlook January entirely. No siree, Bob. As it happens, there will be a few good games coming out in the next few weeks and we’re more than happy to give you a quick roundup so you’ll know what to play while you’re waiting out the winter. Given that the number of new releases isn’t exactly huge, I hope you won’t mind if we’re also including games that are a bit older but only coming out this month on other platforms. Right, let’s get to it then.
Keep beating that dead horse
Assassin’s Creed Chronicles: India? If you’re anything like me you’re probably tired of the yearly Assassin’s Creed games, however, the Chronicles series might be worth looking into as it puts an interesting spin on the tried and true formula of the regular games. Unlike its AAA brethren, AC Chronicles: India is a 2.5D side-scroller with some interesting art choices. Last year’s Chronicles: China received mixed to positive reviews so one can only assume that India will at least end up being an above average game. I guess we’ll only know for certain when the game releases on January 12 for the PS4, Xbox One, and PC.
Also on the 12th, console gamers can finally experience Gone Home, the highly acclaimed interactive storytelling game initially released on PC back in 2013. An additional console port comes in the form of The Banner Saga, yet another smaller title (this one courtesy of former Bioware devs) that managed to attract quite a few gamers and receive good ratings. Gone Home: Console Edition and The Banner Saga will launch both on the PS4 and Xbox One come January 12.
PC gamers will be glad to know that Dragon’s Dogma will finally become available on Steam on January 15 and will even feature various improvements to boot. Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen is an enhanced edition of the original 2012 action RPG developed and published by Capcom. Dark Arisen is the definitive edition of the open-world game and comes complete with all the DLC that was released since the original launch, as well as a new area to explore, new items and more. Given last year’s success of open-world games like The Witcher 3, Fallout 4 or Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain on the PC, it’s a pretty sure bet that Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen will do very well on Steam among fans of the genre.
A brand new coat of paint
Resident Evil Zero is jumping on the remastered bandwagon on January 19 with an HD version that’s set to release on the Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3, PS4, and PC. The original title launched way back in 2002 for the Nintendo CameCube and was generally well received, with reviewers praising the dark atmosphere and level design. Needless to say, the original game is a bit dated by today’s standards, but here’s hoping that the improved graphics can put Capcom’s classic survival horror game back on the map.
Last year’s release of Homeworld Remastered Collection was apparently a pretty big success and now Blackbird Interactive together with Gearbox Software are preparing to launch the next chapter subtitled Deserts of Kharak. Though technically a prequel to the original RTS game, Deserts of Kharak is the first new Homeworld game in over 16 years and a bit of a departure from its predecessors. Whereas the first two Homeworld titles were primarily known for their massive space-based battles, Deserts of Kharak brings things closer to the surface with ground-based gameplay. If you’re a fan of RTS games definitely make sure to pick this one up when it releases on January 20 for the PC.
The 3DS is getting some love, too
January is clearly the month of remakes and ports, though not only for larger consoles and PCs. The 3DS is also getting some love on January 21 with the release of Hyrule Warriors Legends, initially known as simply Hyrule Warriors when it came out back in 2014 for the Wii U. The 3DS port comes right off the bat with all the previously released DLC, a brand new chapter to the story inspired by Legend of Zelda: Wind Walker and more.
Speaking of the 3DS, fans of the handheld console may also want to keep an eye out for Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam on January 22, Final Fantasy Explorers on January 23, and Lego Marvel’s Avengers on January 26. Unlike the first two games, Lego Marvel’s Avengers will release on pretty much every other platform out there as well, including the PC, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3, PS4, PS Vita, and the Wii U. In addition, January 26 will feature another interesting new release in the form of The Witness, a PS4 and PC open-world 3D puzzle game that looks like a spiritual successor to Myst.
Show me the good stuff
Rise of the Tomb Raider, one of the best Xbox games of 2015 will be heading to the PC on January 28. The game has received plenty of praise since it first came out back in November so PC gamers have very little to worry about when it comes to the quality of the game. As for the port quality, we’ll just have to wait and see. The situation looks pretty promising, though, as Crystal Dynamics and Square Enix are known for being quite capable of handling a good PC port. All things considered, Rise of the Tomb Raider looks to be the biggest release for PC in January so make sure you don’t miss out.
Before we leave
We’re wrapping things up with Bombshell, a PC exclusive developed by Interceptor Entertainment and published by 3D Realms, the creators of well-known franchises like Duke Nukem and Shadow Warrior. Apparently, this was initially meant to be a Duke Nukem game until a lawsuit forced the creators to changed the name and the protagonist. The titular Bombshell is a female ex-military officer while the game itself will play like an isometric action RPG that seems to draw quite a bit of inspiration from Diablo. You can check out Bombshell for yourself when it launches on Steam on January 29.
Last but not least, there’s also something for console gamers on the 29th as 11 bit studios and Deep Silver are bringing the highly acclaimed war survival game This War of Mine to the PS4 and Xbox One. The console versions will be released under the name This War of Mine: The Little Ones and will feature brand new missions and characters.