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Halo Infinite, FFXIV: Endwalker & 6 More New Games to Play in December 2021 – CBR

2021 is wrapping up and fans are already thinking about their favorite games of the year, but December still has some major releases in store. Though these games won’t be eligible for this year’s Game Awards, they’re sure to have gamers talking and keep them busy this holiday season. While December tends to be a slower month for video games, there are still AAA and indie games to look forward to — including what is perhaps the most-anticipated game of the year.

From long-awaited sequels to incredibly promising indies, here are the eight games releasing in December 2021 that gamers should look out for.

RELATED: The Game Awards: What You Need to Know About 2021’s Game of the Year Nominees

Solar Ash

Key art for the indie game Solar Ash

Releasing December 2 for PC, PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5

Fans of publisher Annapurna Interactive and Heart Machine’s previous game Hyper Light Drifter won’t want to miss out on the studio’s next game. Solar Ash is an action platformer where players control a voidrunner in her adventure to save her planet. While running through a black hole as Rei, players will have to avoid obstacles and fight enemies with her sword, though combat is secondary to traversal. Like Hyper Light Drifter, Solar Ash has a distinct style full of vibrant colors, old-school simplicity and modern graphical capabilities.

Big Brain Academy: Brain vs. Brain

Releasing December 3 for Nintendo Switch

Over a decade after Nintendo’s last entry in its puzzle series, Big Brain Academy: Brain vs. Brain is reviving its unique mental testing gameplay for Switch. Brain vs. Brain takes advantage of the hybrid console’s touchscreen capabilities, which helped the series thrive when it debuted on the Nintendo DS, though there’s also the option to play using traditional controls in docked mode. The new game includes a variety of modes, including four-player matches where players can compete using different difficulty options, allowing parents and children to play together.

RELATED: The Game Awards 2021: Why God of War Ragnarök Deserves to Win Most Anticipated Game

Danganronpa Decadence

Key art for Danganronpa Decadence

Releasing December 3 for Nintendo Switch

Fans looking for a way to celebrate the series’ tenth anniversary will want to check out Danganronpa Decadence, which combines four games into one convenient package. The collection features the three main series games (Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc Anniversary Edition, Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair Anniversary Edition and Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony Anniversary Edition), as well as this year’s Danganronpa S: Ultimate Summer Camp.

For those unfamiliar with the series, the Danganronpa games follow groups of high school students who must balance normal teenage things like school and romance with a vicious killing game where series mascot Monokuma forces them to murder one another. Blending adventure, visual novel and dating sim elements with plenty of pink blood, Danganronpa has been praised for its storytelling and unique sense of style.

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Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker

Releasing December 7 for PC, PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5

Previously scheduled to release in November, Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker was pushed back by a couple of weeks. Endwalker is the long-running MMORPG’s fourth major expansion, which will conclude FFXIV‘s current storyline and add brand-new classes in the form of Sage and Reaper. However, while Endwalker is the final chapter in the arc that started with 2013’s A Realm Reborn, the developers have assured fans that this is not the end of FFXIV — which is good to hear considering how good Endwalker already looks.

CBR was able to preview some of Endwalker‘s new content, and while we didn’t see any new quests or story content, we found a lot to love about the new classes and settings. FFXIV has come a long way since its disastrous 2010 launch and subsequent reboot, and Endwalker seems to be another step forward in the game’s redemption story.

RELATED: How FFVII Remake Part 2 Could Improve On the Original’s Most Terrifying Encounter

Halo Infinite

Releasing December 8 for PC, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S

Perhaps the biggest release of 2021, Halo Infinite is finally launching after a year-long delay out of the Xbox Series X|S’ launch window. While Infinite‘s multiplayer beta surprised launched in November as part of Xbox’s twentieth anniversary celebration, players will finally be able to play the campaign when the game fully releases. Infinite will continue Master Chief’s story from previous entries in the iconic first-person shooter franchise, this time allowing players to explore a semi-open world as they take on enemies like the Banished.

Luckily for fans who have been waiting years for the next installment in the Halo series after a couple of divisive games, Infinite already seems to be off to a strong start. Despite some complaints about the battle pass system and progression — issues the developers have already promised to fix — Halo Infinite‘s multiplayer has already received high praise for its smooth and exciting gameplay.

RELATED: How Halo Infinite’s Boss Fights Have Learned From Previous Games

Shovel Knight Pocket Dungeon

Key art for Shovel Knight Pocket Dungeon

Releasing December 13 for PC, PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch

Yacht Club Games is expanding the franchise it created with its 2014 indie hit Shovel Knight with Pocket Dungeon, a puzzle-adventure spinoff that puts a new twist on the falling block puzzle genre. Pocket Dungeon combines the gameplay popularized by iconic titles like Tetris and puts a dungeon crawling spin on it. The game turns the familiar grid layout of similar games into a dungeons, where players will have to fight enemies to clear the board using a variety of playable characters, each with their own special abilities.

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Five Nights at Freddy’s: Security Breach

Key art for Five Nights at Freddy's: Security Breach

Releasing December 16 for PC, PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5

Freddy Fazbear and the rest of his animatronic friends are back in the next entry in the survival horror series, Five Nights at Freddy’s: Security Breach. The new game trades the usual Chuck E. Cheese-like pizza restaurant setting for a shopping mall, where the young protagonist Gregory finds himself trapped overnight. Players must help Gregory survive until 6AM with the help of Glamrock Freddy, the only animatronic who isn’t corrupted by the sinister Glitchtrap.

Like other Five Nights games, this is sure to include plenty of challenges and scares to keep players up at night, though unlike past games, Security Breach will have free-roaming and combat, finally allowing player to fight back against the terrors that lurk in the night.

The Gunk

Key art for the indie game The Gunk

Releasing December 16 for PC, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S

While SteamWorld fans will have to wait a while for the recently-announced SteamWorld Headhunter, developer Image & Form has a game releasing this month. The Gunk follows Rani, who arrives on an alien planet and discovers it’s been corrupted by a mysterious black slime. Players will have to use Rani’s power glove to remove the gunk, restore the environment and learn more about the world, all while fighting corrupted monsters to survive. The Gunk may be a departure from the 2D post-apocalyptic steampunk games Image & Form is known for, but the various genres the SteamWorld games have played with are a good sign that the developers will be able to deliver an exciting third-person action-adventure.

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