These Are the Games You Should Be Checking Out in January - Geek.com

January 2017 is here which means that it’s time to look forward to a new crop of fresh games!

Typically, January is a slow month for new game releases. However, this year will offer gamers a good selection of titles to try out, especially if they are fans of Japanese games. Even though there aren’t a lot of titles dropping this month, there is still a decent amount of variety to be found.

Resident Evil 7

Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC
Release date: January 20

Easily the most high-profile release of January, Capcom’s popular zombie-slaying franchise is reborn as a modern first person horror game. After Resident Evil 4 completely changed the familiar formula of the first three games, the series had grown stale. Now, Resident Evil 7 is aiming to reinvigorate the franchise in much the same way. Considering how Resident Evil had lost its way over the years, this hard reset is not only welcome but necessary.

On top of reanimating and updating the classic survival horror franchise, Resident Evil 7 may serve as the last hope for mainstream virtual reality gaming. Its position of being the first full-length AAA VR experience could bring in a new set of fans who have been on the fence about virtual reality gaming up to this point.

Whether one plays on a TV, PC monitor, or with a VR headset, Resident Evil 7 is sure to be one of the most talked about games of the first quarter.

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Hitman: The Complete First Season

Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC
Release date: January 31

Square-Enix tried something new with the latest Hitman game by releasing it as episodic DLC. Now, players can buy the full package instead of having to wait months in-between releases.

What makes the new Hitman so great is the way it lets players complete assassinations in any way they choose. One can carefully gather information on their target and construct a deadly trap for them without ever being spotted. Or, players can go come into a situation with all guns blazing. The game encourages users to try missions multiple times to test out all of the different approaches available.

With no new Splinter Cell in sight and Metal Gear Solid no longer being what it once was, Hitman is now the defacto AAA stealth title out there.

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Gravity Rush 2

Platform: PlayStation 4
Release date: January 20

Because it originally came out for PlayStation Vita, few people got to experience Gravity Rush. This is a shame considering how the game’s gravity manipulation mechanics provided a new and exciting way to play an action adventure game. Despite only being available to a limited audience, Gravity Rush was popular enough to justify a sequel — only this time for the PlayStation 4.

The gravity mechanic has been expanded upon to include three different modes: the original style, Lunar, and Jupiter. In Lunar mode, players become light and can make giant leaps. In Jupiter, players can make themselves extra heavy to cause more damage.

Gravity Rush 2 will be massive when compared to the original. Expect larger environments, more missions, a wider range of non-playable characters to interact with, and a longer play time (around 20-30 hours). Kat and company are returning in a big way this month.

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Yakuza 0

Platform: PlayStation 4
Release date: January 24

Japan’s answer to Grand Theft Auto, the Yakuza series is heralded for delivering a quirky mix of action, open-world gameplay, and memorable characters. Let’s not forget the ridiculous amount of mini-games and side quests to complete. Because of these factors, Yakuza 0 is definitely one of the most anticipated games of the month.

Though Yakuza 0 promises to have everything fans of the franchise expect, it does contain its fair share of updates. The game’s protagonists, Kiryu and Majima, will each have three different fighting styles that they can switch between during battles. Instead of using experience points to upgrade abilities in the skill tree, players must use money earned during battles or from their established businesses. However, it is possible to lose money in fights, so players have to think carefully before starting a brawl that could leave them flat broke.

With Yakuza 6 still a year away, Yakuza 0 will do a nice job of holding players over until then.

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Double Dragon IV

Platforms: PlayStation 4, Steam PC
Release date: January 30

Double Dragon was one of the most popular franchises from the NES and SNES eras. But aside from a remake a few years ago, the classic series has been all but forgotten by the larger gaming world. The beat ‘em up series is making its glorious return in January with Double Dragon IV. What’s more, it has the same graphics of its predecessors.

While we admittedly know little about Double Dragon IV, it is on this list purely because of the history of the franchise. Also, it’s always fun to see a brand-new game in a series that looks like something from 30 years ago (think of Mega Man 9 and 10). Again, we don’t know much about this game, but it should be one of the most enjoyable experiences of January.

Urban Empire

Platform: Steam PC
Release date: January 20

There have been some city-building games released over the years, but Urban Empire is doing things a bit differently. Instead of focusing on directly building a city in minute detail, Urban Empire is more about how savvy a player is at politics. If players want their city to grow and be prosperous, they’ll have to make the right political moves and ally with specific parties to get things done.

Spanning over 200 years of European history (1820-2020), Urban Empire starts off simple since all parties are invested in the growth of the city. However, as time progresses, factions form with specific political ideologies that have to be taken into consideration when trying to expand the city. Do players try to maneuver through the complicated political web or do they simply bribe their way toward their goal? Urban Empire should provide a very deep experience for those who try it out.

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Dragon Quest VIII

Platform: Nintendo 3DS
Release date: January 20

The eighth installment in the legendary Dragon Quest series was originally released for the PlayStation 2, but it will see new life on the Nintendo 3DS. This is a great opportunity for people to check out what has been dubbed the “Final Fantasy VII” of the Dragon Quest franchise.

Despite being an old game, Dragon Quest VIII on the 3DS will have new features. These include an expanded story, two new playable characters, new side quests, full voice acting, quick saves, and StreetPass functionality. It will also have slightly different graphics and even an alternate ending.

Dragon Quest VIII is one of the better JRPGs to come out in the last ten years and is well worth buying if you’re a 3DS owner.

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Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8: Final Chapter Prologue

Platform: PlayStation 4
Release date: January 24

It is unclear when Kingdom Hearts 3 will be actually be released, so another weirdly numbered remake will have to hold fans over until then.

Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8: Final Chapter Prologue contains three games in one package: Kingdom Hearts Dream Drop Distance HD, Kingdom Hearts 0.2: Birth by Sleep – A Fragmentary Passage, and Kingdom Hearts χ Back Cover. Each of these games are relatively short experiences that add more lore to the already labyrinthine Kingdom Hearts plotline. However, fans of the series will no doubt eat this one up.

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Tales of Berseria

Platforms: PC, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4
Release date: January 24

The Tales of series can be considered the Madden or Call of Duty of Japanese Role Playing Games due to how frequently new titles are released. Even though there is very little to differentiate one Tales of game from another, the series continues to deliver a solid and satisfying JRPG experience both for loyal fans and newcomers alike.

Unlike most games on this list, Tales of Berseria will also be released on a last-gen console: the PlayStation 3. However, this will be the final Tales of game for a last-gen system since all future installments will only be for current-gen consoles (and PC). Because of that, this game will close a chapter in the series’ history and will usher in a brand-new era for this beloved franchise.

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Personally, I’m very excited for Resident Evil 7, Gravity Rush 2, and Yakuza 0. I have Tales of Berseria on my radar as well, but I may save that for the summer since those three titles I just mentioned should keep me plenty busy.

What are you all looking forward to playing in January? What games did I miss? Let us know in the comments below!

These Are the Games You Should Be Checking Out in January – Geek.com

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