New on Steam: 4 invigorating mid-December releases that shouldn't be missed
1. High on Life
To be fair, including this may be cheating, since it got quite a bit of attention earlier in 2022 during indie promo events. As far as complete and utter chaos in FPS games goes, High on Life sets a new bar, taking the over-the-top enemies, chatty weapons, and ridiculous stories you might expect from the Borderlands franchise to a new level.
If fish-like talking guns that launch their children at their enemies while incessantly yammering on at you and your enemies sounds like your cup of tea, you might want to make sure you don't miss this absurd save-the-world FPS, and if you're up for a bit of insanity right away, you can grab High on Life on Steam for US$59.99.
There are plenty of games out there about Greek and Norse mythology, but Blacktail takes us on a refreshing journey through Slavic folklore. Sure, it's a retelling that takes some creative license with the source material, but what game doesn't do that? Blacktail tells the story of a 16-year-old girl, named Yaga, who was ostracised by her people after being accused of witchcraft. Players join Yaga on her quest to find her missing sister, as she traverses a gorgeous, fairy-tale forest, guided by Black Cat and a mysterious voice who help her master her magical abilities and confront her past.
How the events play out and what the outcomes are for Yaga's people somewhat depend on your decisions and alliances throughout the game, giving the story a degree of flexibility not often found in story-driven titles. Blacktail features strong character progression, while the survival and crafting mechanics and slow, archery-based combat make every shot feel deliberate and important. While Blacktail usually costs US$29.99, it's on sale on Steam for $23.99 until January 5, 2023.
3. Immortals Fenyx Rising
Released for consoles all the way back in 2020, Immortals Fenyx Rising only made its way to Steam on December 15, 2022 as part of Ubisoft's move to put its games back on Valve's store. Immortals Fenyx Rising copies The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild's homework more than a little, delivering a light-hearted adventure that takes place in a beautiful, expansive, open-world filled with unique, yet familiar, characters and wildlife.
The verticality and diversity of the game's combat are satisfying, and the progression is rewarding, while the rudimentary puzzles — not to mention the story that revolves around saving the Greek gods — are a bit reminiscent of what you'd find in something like Darksiders 2. To add a cherry on top of an otherwise outstanding game, Immortals Fenyx Rising is 75% off on Steam, coming in at only US$15 rather than its normal US$59.99 price tag.
A controller, like the 8BitDo Pro 2 Wired Controller is a great, reasonably-priced addition to any gamer's arsenal, and it is available on Amazon.
4. Duelyst 2
Duelyst 2 is a fan-made revival of a popular, turn-based, tactical, collectible game featuring pixel graphics. Since the project's inception in 2020, the team has managed to attract developers from the likes of Rocket League, Warframe, and even the original Duelyst. As a turn-based strategy game, two players duke it out in a 1v1 setting, using minions, heroes, and spells to annihilate enemy units. Duelyst 2's central gameplay depends heavily on position-based combat, the deck players build, and the luck of the draw — literally, players draw two cards at the end of every turn.
If you loved the original Duelyst, you're undoubtedly already aware of the successor, and if you haven't, but you're after a free-to-play game that relies on forethought, planning, and mental fortitude, rather than how fast you can click on an enemy's head, check out Duelyst 2 on Steam.