6 Video Games Coming Out in Mid-January

Who says there’s nothing to play in January? The brand new year has already given us the excellent music game Amplitude, and it’s got another week of fine releases lined up. Although none of the games are major AAA titles, a wide variety of genres is represented this week, from strategy games to side-scrollers and artistic narrative-based games. Read on to see which one you want to try the week of January 11, 2016.

1. Assassin’s Creed Chronicles: India

Coming January 12 to PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC

If you dig Assassin’s Creed but want a little something different from the franchise, check out Assassin’s Creed Chronicles. This offshoot is a series of side-scrolling action platformers that hinge heavily on the use of stealth. India is the second installment (of three) in the series.

This one takes place in India in 1841. You play as an Assassin on a mission to acquire an artifact during a war between the Sikh Empire and the East India Company. Much of the gameplay consists of you sticking to the shadows to sneak up on patrolling guards. If you’re in a pinch, you can use a number of abilities and items (like smoke bombs) that will help you slip past them.

The game is full of swordplay and drenched in blood, of which you’ll get an eyeful thanks to the dynamic camera that swoops in to capture the action. If the core Assassin’s Creed series has grown a little stale for you over the past eight years, Chronicles might be just the game to reignite your interest.

2. Gone Home: Console Edition

Coming January 12 to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One

Gone Home isn’t a traditional game like Super Mario Bros. or Halo. Gone Home is more like an interactive short story. You play as a young woman visiting her family’s new house after traveling through Europe for the past year. No one’s there when you arrive, so you take it upon yourself to explore the new dwelling and find out what your family has been up to since you’ve been away.

The result is a deeply touching narrative that unfolds as you make your way from room to room, opening drawers and closets, and inspecting the things you find, including letters, mix tapes, and keys to locked rooms down the hall. It’s such a well designed experience that you just might forget you’re playing a game at all.

3. The Banner Saga

Coming January 12 to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One

If you like Vikings and tactical role-playing games, The Banner Saga will be right up your alley. Set up basically like Final Fantasy Tactics, you and the opposing army take turns making moves in an effort to gain the upper hand and eventually victory. Which means it’s a fairly standard strategy game — though well done — but wrapped in a bleak story. Thankfully, the characters are wonderful, and the graphics and presentation are top notch. Give this one a shot if you think you’re up to the challenge.

4. Tharsis

Coming January 12 to PlayStation 4 and PC

What’s Tharsis? It’s a turn-based strategy game built around rolling dice and hoping for the best. You and your astronaut companions have gone on a mission to Mars. When you get there, you find yourselves with a crippled ship, two dead crew members, and a serious food shortage. Can you survive? Will you resort to cannibalism? These are the questions you’ll have to answer when playing Tharsis.

5. That Dragon, Cancer

Coming January 12 to PC

As you can probably tell from the title, That Dragon, Cancer isn’t your average video game. It was made by a husband and wife team whose son Joel was diagnosed with cancer at the age of one. He passed away four years later, and this game tells the story of what happened in between. If you’re interested in an art game that will probably make you cry, don’t miss it.

6. Zheros

Coming January 16 to Xbox One

Fans of old-school brawlers will want to check this one out. This game plays a lot like a classic Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles beat-‘em-up, with the cartoonish heroes (or zheros, as the case may be) pummeling their way through throngs of robotic baddies in each level. The game is set in a sci-fi future and sports local co-op, so you can bruise the bad guys with your friends. Looks like a fun one to check out, especially for Xbox Live Gold members, who get it for free between January 16 and February 15.

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