Play catch-up, experience next generation gaming, or do both this January

The New Year is generally associated with a lull in the video game release calendar; a time to take our gaming gloves off, or in rare cases, satisfy the inner completionist in all of us, beating side missions and incomplete quests, picking up hard-to-get achievements, or pushing the limits of game physics. Nobody’s playing online, either. It’s the holiday season, and gamers are trading in their gamepads, mice and keyboards for some quality family vacation time (grudgingly, of course). All of this means that the games you bought in the last days of the epic Steam holiday sale will remain unplayed until the grind of everyday life takes over in the second week of January (or for all eternity, which is a more likely possibility). It’s also possible that you’ve bought one of two new gaming consoles (if you’re living in India, it’s a Playstation 4). January, this time, isn’t that time of the year where gaming takes a back seat. It’s that time when you’re experiencing the next generation of new content and catching up on the games you passed on playing.

If all goes to plan, you’ll have your PS4 on January 6, but even if you don’t (some retailers in the country aren’t exactly famous for delivering on their promises for pre-orders), you’ll still be able to play some new games while you wait for its arrival. To start with, PS3 fans of the Assassin’s Creed series will be able to step into the shoes of Aveline de Grandpre in the HD version of Assassin’s Creed: Liberation, a game that first appeared on the Playstation Vita in 2012. The remake will feature visuals comparable to Assassin’s Creed III, as well as updated audio, AI, facial animation and additional missions.

PC gamers have a treat coming to them in the form of Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, which will be available on Steam, starting January 9. The PC version will include all DLC missions, in addition to higher resolution support and more advanced tweaking options which will allow players to increase visual fidelity. It’s probably not a good idea to play this game without a controller, however, so keep one handy. Also on the PC are highly anticipated Kickstarter-funded titles The Banner Saga and Double Fine’s Broken Age. Both are different experiences — one a tactical roleplaying game, the other a point-and-click adventure. They’re very similar in the sense that there’s a strong chance players will feel more than just a little bit nostalgic revisiting genres of old. What’s more, both games will be available on multiple platforms, including Mac, Linux and iOS, while The Banner Saga will also be available on Xbox Live Arcade, and Broken Age additionally on Android and Ouya.

Finally, there’s a lot in store for new PS4 owners, albeit at a cost. The entire launch catalogue of the console will be available at costs starting at Rs.2,499 all the way up to Rs.4,299. The good news is that EA’s titles have received a Rs.500 price drop, of course. If you passed on the likes of Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, Battlefield 4, Call of Duty: Ghosts, FIFA 14, NBA 2K14 or Need for Speed: Rivals, you’ll be able to get your next-gen copies on day-one. Alternatively, you will be able to upgrade your PS3 games to their equivalent PS4 versions by redeeming the upgrade code that comes in the game’s packaging — an additional upgrade cost is applicable ($9.99/Rs.600). Then there are the PS4 exclusives such as Knack and Killzone: Shadow Fall (both have received only mixed reviews thus far, however). In terms of new releases, you’ll be able to pick up Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition this January — the game will feature visual upgrades as well as all DLC.