Typically, the main video game publishers make sure their top titles hit retailers by the end of November, just in time for the annual Christmas season shopping frenzy. The reasoning is simple: they want to give prospective buyers plenty of opportunities to hit up retail stores, make certain the games are well stocked and not release so late as to be completely lost in the holiday shopping shuffle.
As a result, when it comes to December, not a lot of top-tier titles tend to be on the release list, but the odd gem may be found that makes for a tasty treat in the waning days of the year. That’s the good news; the bad news is, many of the titles are either downloadable content for games already out or have tenuous, before-the-end-of-the-year release dates referred to only as “Q4.” With that in mind, here are some of the more notable titles that are scheduled to hit stores in December.
World of Warcraft: Cataclysm (Collector’s Edition)
Dec. 7, 2010
“Cataclysm” adds a variety of new content while offering players the opportunity to rediscover Azeroth and experience the game from a whole new perspective. Players are be able to adventure as two new, playable races (goblins and worgen), the level cap has been bumped to 85, they’ve been given the ability to take on new quests and dungeons in new zones and experience dramatic changes to familiar aspects of the game in the wake of a world-shattering disaster. The face of Azeroth will be altered as the corrupted Dragon Aspect Deathwing awakens from his subterranean slumber and erupts onto the surface, leaving ruin and destruction in his wake. According to the press release, “As the Horde and Alliance race to the epicenter of the cataclysm, the kingdoms of Azeroth will witness seismic shifts in power, the kindling of a war of the elements, and the emergence of unlikely heroes who will rise up to protect their scarred and broken world from utter devastation.”
The Collector’s Edition includes an “Art of the Cataclysm” book, an exclusive in-game pet, a behind-the-scenes DVD, a special edition mouse pad, special trading cards and a soundtrack featuring 10 epic new tracks from “Cataclysm.”
Dead Rising 2: Case West (360 release)
Following up on the events of “Dead Rising 2,” “Case West” brings Frank West back into action in an epilogue to the harrowing story of the zombie assault on Fortune City. “Dead Rising 2: Case West” has Frank teaming up with Chuck Greene in co-operative play, allowing players to delve deeper into the reasons behind the Fortune City outbreak.
X-Men: The Arcade Game (available on 360 LIVE Arcade and PS3)
tentative December release
There is no website available for this downloadable game
Wolverine, Storm, Cyclops, Dazzler, Colossus and Nightcrawler must battle through Brotherhood of Evil Mutants in this action-packed beat ’em up based on the comic book franchise and the 1992 game. The original game featured six X-Men characters brawling through the Sentinal forces and evil mutants. The press release stated that the action “has been conformed for more modern widescreen HDTVs, allowing all six mutant heroes to be on-screen at one time, and Xbox Live integration allows all your friends to join you in a cooperative strike on Magneto’s armies.”
There are a host of other titles also slated to release before the end of the month but few have dates stamped in stone. Gamers, however, can take heart and look forward to a January that appears to be a bit robust with titles like “LittleBitPlanet 2,” “Dead Space 2,” and a DS “Kingdom Hearts” title all on the schedule. And while Sony Online has yet to set a firm release date for “DC Universe Online,” it is expected that the massively multiplayer title will launch in early 2011.