Gaming season: Best video games, gear for gifting
Video games for adults and kids, as well as the latest hardware for the holidays.
It’s blockbuster season for video games.
Here are some of the most anticipated games and machines for the holiday season.
“Call of Duty: World War II” ($60; for PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One). Activision’s best-selling first-person shooter game returns to a World War II setting. The help of a war historian was enlisted to help create accurate weapons and locations for the game, from the Normandy landings to the Battle of Hürtgen Forest. The game follows a young soldier from Texas as he makes his way across Europe with his unit.
“Star Wars Battlefront II” ($60–$80; for PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One). The last “Star Wars Battlefront,” in 2015, was criticized for a dearth of content, so for this sequel, EA listened closely to players’ feedback. The resulting game has nearly three times the content of the previous game, with more heroes, maps and vehicles, as well as redesigned space battles.
“Super Mario Odyssey” ($60; for Nintendo Switch). The first major Mario platforming game for the Nintendo Switch, this game follows Mario as he traverses dozens of colorful worlds in search of his beloved Princess Peach. “Odyssey” is less linear than previous 3-D Mario games, rewarding exploration and introducing players to new mechanics — for example, Mario can use his iconic cap to “possess” other characters or objects, allowing him more freedom to explore. So far, reviews for the game have been rapturous.
“Assassin’s Creed: Origins” ($60; for PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One). After a year off in 2016, the action-adventure franchise has returned with a game that transports players to ancient Egypt. Players can explore the beginnings of the Brotherhood of Assassins, a renegade group fighting for freedom, and the game’s combat system has been overhauled.
Nintendo Switch ($300). This console has been a hit with hard-core and casual gamers alike. As Nintendo’s first new home console since the Wii U in 2012, the Switch remains in tight supply, even after being in stores for several months. Reviews for the Switch have been unanimously positive, praising its streamlined design and ability to seamlessly switch between at-home and on-the-road play without affecting how the games look and act.
Microsoft Xbox One X ($499). Microsoft is hoping its new Xbox One X console can become the ideal partner to 4K televisions that promise better picture quality and higher resolutions. The One X has been touted as the most powerful console on the market, with more memory and bandwidth to allow for better-looking games and faster loading times.
5 games for kids
Fun picks for younger gamers. All are available at major retailers.
“Lightseekers” ($70 for a starter pack). You don’t need a console for this game — just a tablet and some of the figures, used as controllers, and the interactive trading cards.
“Metroid: Samus Returns” ($40). Part II of the Nintendo Game Boy classic, this game follows bounty hunter Samus Aran as he takes on Metroid.
“Lego Ninjago Movie Game” ($60). Take on the persona of your favorite Ninjago heroes and fight to defend your home from Lord Garmadon.
“Monster Hunter Stories” ($41). In this exciting game, you become an explorer, warrior and zoologist and befriend a variety of monsters.
“Mario & Luigi SuperStar Saga + Bowser’s Minions” ($40). This classic game gets updated with new details and attacks, with plenty of challenging puzzles.
— Tribune News Service