Getting a new gaming PC is like opening Pandora’s box when it comes to deciding what to play. With frequent releases on Steam, an endless stream of free games in the Epic Games Store, tons of indie arthouse games on itch.io, and countless other launchers and storefronts to install and choose from, it feels like a Netflix effect. low paralysis of your choice.
It may be the most obvious first choice, as it’s undoubtedly the biggest game release of the holiday, but Halo Infinity’s open world promises to be both a technical test of PC hardware and a compelling title thanks to some fun recurring solo campaigns. Combine this with the free-to-play online multiplayer that launched early and Halo is back, darling!
Now there are some drawbacks and key features missing at launch, but there is still a lot to enjoy in Halo Infinity’s current form. Hopefully it will only get better from here as they eventually expand it with campaign co-op and continue to enhance the multiplayer.
FORZA HORIZON 5
What happens when you mix a host of cars, Playground Games’ open world arcade racing franchise and the beautiful landscapes of Mexico? With AI Drivetar, you get the best racing game of 2021 based on your friends list to challenge you. Part of the fun of Forza Horizon 5 is that you can play it however you want. Want to embrace your hardcore motorsport site? There are cars and courses for that. Do you want it down in the mud and mud? He’s here too. Do you like to take it easy and enjoy the bus ride? The Rewind feature makes it easy to undo all the careless mistakes that can cost you a run. Forza Horizon 5 offers a great pick-up-and-play experience and there is plenty to experience in all cars and environments.
This isn’t a terrible season for you to indulge in one of the best indie hits of the year. Inscription is a horror-themed card game with a mix of rogue-like loop progressions. However, the real trick is how the game keeps changing things on you as the story progresses. We’re not getting into spoilers here, but be prepared for some unexpected twists.
Even if you’re not a fan of card games or escape rooms — whether you’ve played a few games of Magic: The Gathering or just made escape rooms with friends at their peak a few years ago — you should try Encoding. It may not put your PC’s graphics to the test, but if you have a decent screen with quality black levels, you can really enjoy it while playing cards and sacrificing little monsters to fight your creepy AI opponent. Hiding in the shadows, immerse yourself in the creepy aesthetic. ,
BACK 4 BLOOD
Back 4 Bloods is the spiritual sequel to the Left 4 Dead series of four-player co-op zombie shooters. It not only retained a title with similar style, but also retained some of the original Left 4 Dead developers from Turtle Rock Studios. Now Back 4 Blood mixes the classic, collaborative FPS action from Left 4 Dead with modern versions of power-ups based on the card system. The cards make each session feel a little different and keep you on your toes while you take hordes of zombies down and have to adapt to luck. Aside from the maps, the characters are full of weapons and jokes the stars of the series. Get together with three friends and blast zombie after zombie until you can get full.
AGE OF EMPIRES IV
The Age of Empires series is long past its college life and struggles through a mediocre job living in a shoddy apartment, but Age of Empires IV is a charming new sequel that feels like its roots. . Anyone who has played the classic RTS before will be here at home, although judging by the conversation in The Verge’s Slack channels, home is a pretty addictive one. Age of Empires IV Expertise scratch after scratch, base construction, squad placement and massive battles. The campaigns are pretty close, but be sure to try playing like the Mongols for a new twist on the old formula – with hit-and-run strategy and dynamics as the new keys to the game.
There is no better game than Death’s Door from 2021. It’s quite a pleasure to watch, with a beautiful world that is beautifully animated, but the gameplay is partly Zelda, partly Dark Souls, and everything feels satisfying when it’s in action. The Nintendo Switch release came out just last month, but playing it on a PC works wonders to make this beloved virtual space as engaging and captivating as possible to ensure the visuals are as juxtaposed as possible. . Do not sleep on this indie hit. It’s a great way to spend a dozen hours of your time, and come on – the hero crow is so cute.
HOT WHEELS: UNLEASHED
Imagine that you are a kid again and you have unlimited budget to build and run races on the most amazing Hot Wheels track you could ever imagine. Now, even better, you’re an adult, and instead of shoveling all your money and floor space into plastic lanes and 1:64 molded metal cars, you can play Hot Wheels: Unleashed. But before you copy it in the form of children’s video games, look at the dedication that the developers at Milestone have put into all of these toy car models. There are 60 cars that you can assemble and race, each lovingly presented with its own little toy details, with visual damage to the vehicle that resembles the way real Hot Wheels wears. Add these visual styles to high-speed split-screen racing and you have a fun arcade race that looks and plays great on an upgraded PC.
ALIENS: FIRETEAM ELITE
If a game like Back 4 Bloods sounds appealing to its cooperative chops, but you find zombies a bit boring, check out Aliens: Fireteam Elite. It’s a three – player shooter that sets you up against the xenomorphs of the big aliens franchise. There is a touch of RPG idle buff to choose from in your class loading, but in the end, it’s fun to shoot aliens with friends. Keep your tasks open and your strategy tight as these sour monsters love to swarm.
Few games have received as much criticism and anticipation from fans for a sequel as the original Psychonauts. Now, 16 years later, the classic double fine action adventure game is finally getting its following. Like the original, Psychonauts 2 is full of charm, excellent voice acting, and fun writing that, while being light-hearted, also tackles some deeply personal themes. It feels like an old game, for better or worse, but with a great design that’s extremely unique. Psychonauts 2 takes you on a journey of delightful staging and thoughtful empathy. Don’t miss it, especially if you already have a subscription to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate or PC Game Pass.
Few games show a sense of speed and agility like Boomerang X. First-person action games are about keeping pace while flying around arenas via your character’s boomerang. Throw it at enemies to shoot them, then jump towards it for an air combination reminiscent of the visceral air stunts of the old Quake Rocket Jump. Boomerang X’s visual style and lighting ensure that each area is fun to explore and the enemies keep it fresh and challenging. While the Boomerang X is also available on the Nintendo Switch, I think it’s a better experience to play it with a mouse and a keyboard. You get more precise controls and it really feels like a shooter from a bygone era with a lot of new ideas.