GameOn: Holiday Shopping List 2017

Jason Savio

It’s that time of the year again: holiday songs, holiday cheer and … video games! The holiday shopping season is when all the heavy hitters in the gaming world come out to play. You’ll see the biggest titles and the most anticipated releases lining store shelves this month, and they are all calling out for your hard earned money. But what is treasure and what is trash? Whether you’re looking for someone on your list or maybe just wanting to treat yourself ‑ in no particular order ‑ here’s a rundown of some of the most promising choices you can make.

Star Wars Battlefront II
Star Wars has become synonymous with the holiday season over the past couple years, thanks to the release of the new movies and smart marketing by Disney. Part of this marketing plan is the revitalization of the Battlefront series. The relaunch first hit two years ago, just in time for The Force Awakens, and the next installment is here for The Last Jedi. Battlefront takes you to the front lines in epic fights familiar in the world of Luke Skywalker, spanning the prequel, original and sequel trilogies. This time around, a single-player story campaign is included to let you play as an elite Imperial Special Forces soldier. Pretty cool, but not as exciting as getting to ride on a tauntaun.

Lego Marvel Superheroes 2
What would the holidays be without Legos? This is a game for everyone, no matter what age you are. Another second installment in a popular game franchise, Lego Marvel Superheroes 2 takes even more of your favorite heroes and villains from the House of Ideas and turns them into block figures. Adventures spanning the Marvel universe and different timelines are promised, including a trip to Planet Hulk and New York City 2099, where a futuristic web crawler is swinging around.

South Park: The Fractured But Whole
If the title isn’t a hint, this is a game aimed at more mature gamers, so if you’re looking for a gift for someone younger, this is not the one to get. But if you grew up watching South Park, you know exactly what you’re getting yourself into here. Meant to be a sequel to 2014’s Stick of Truth, The Fractured But Whole features Cartman, Butters and the other foul-mouthed fourth-graders protecting South Park as their superhero alter egos. Tired of Marvel superheroes? Cartman and friends can help with that.

Super Mario Odyssey
It wouldn’t be a complete video game shopping list without something from Nintendo. Super Mario Odyssey is sure to give Nintendo Switch a boost and the Mario franchise itself some new life. The synopsis may be familiar, as Mario is once again trying to save Princess Peach from Bowser, but there are some neat new features, too. Mario’s hat has become a character of sorts with the name “Cappy.” With his newly named hat, Mario has gained new moves that are meant to spice things up. He is also now in a quasi real-world element, too, running around in a New York look-alike environment called New Donk City.

Assassins Creed Origins
The time-spanning series is taking a crack at ancient Egypt, setting up what it sure to be an interesting experience. Pyramids, mummies and pharaohs are all on the table in what many fans are hoping is a strong installment that carries on the tradition of the popular series. The entire country of Egypt is available for you to wander, opening up endless possibilities for historic action.