A screenshot frim Doom showing a huge monster.

December is a light month for North American releases, here’s what’s worth picking up

December is light on earth-shattering AAA releases in North America, but that might not be a bad thing for the industry.

BY CORY SPIERS: After a year that brought us a new Nintendo console, several hot AAA releases like Horizon Zero Dawn and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and plenty of controversy over microtransactions spurred on by the November release of Star Wars Battlefront II, a relatively quiet December might not be a bad thing for the industry.

December is light on earth-shattering AAA releases in North America, but those looking for last-minute Christmas gifts for the gamers in their lives will see a few new options popping up in the coming weeks.

Here is the full list of December releases, per Forbes.com.

  • Doom VFR (PSVR, Vive) – December 1
  • Gear Club (Switch) – December 1
  • Xenoblade Chronicles 2 (Switch) – December 1
  • Dead Rising 4: Frank’s Big Package (PS4) – December 5
  • Steep – Road to the Olympics (PS4, Xbox One, PC) – December 5
  • Destiny 2: Curse of Osiris – December 5
  • Bravo Team (PSVR) – December 6
  • Reigns: Her Majesty (PC, iOS, Android) – December 7
  • Hello Neighbor (Xbox One, PC) – December 8
  • Loco Roco 2 Remastered (PS4) – December 9
  • Fallout 4 VR (Vive) – December 12
  • PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (Xbox One) – December 12
  • Resident Evil 7: Gold Edition (PS4, Xbox One, PC) – December 12
  • Okami HD (PS4, Xbox One, PC) – December 12
  • Tiny Metal (PS4, Switch, PC) – December 21

The December releases are highlighted by the release of Xenoblade Chronicles 2 on the Switch, Destiny 2’s first DLC offering, HD remasters and a couple of new options for HTC Vive VR owners.

We got a reveal trailer for Doom VFR at E3 this past summer that featured plenty of the demon dismemberment, blood and big guns that we have come to expect from the series.

The new VR version of the ultra-violent demon slayer will launch for PSVR and Vive. The game will slow the pace a bit from the excellent 2016 reboot by putting players into the shoes of a scientist who was killed during the original Mars invasion.

The scientist’s consciousness is placed implanted into an artificial intelligence tasked with slaying demons and restoring the station to order.

Movement has long been a question mark in VR experiences. As other releases have done in the past, Doom VFR plans to use a teleportation movement system to help the players avoid motion sickness.

Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is the follow-up to the cult classic Xenoblade Chronicles that released on the Wii in 2010 in Japan, 2011 in Europe and 2012 in North America. The game was ported to the New 3DS in all regions in 2015.

The original Wii version of Xenoblade Chronicles boasts a gaudy 92 overall Metacritic score and an 8.9 user score.

Dead Rising 4 will come to PlayStation 4 for the first time with the release of Frank’s Big Package. The release will bundle the base game with all previously released DLC and content as well as a new mode called Capcom Heroes.

Dead Rising 4 released for Xbox One and Windows 10 in 2016 to lukewarm reviews from critics and users.

Destiny 2’s first expansion comes in the form of Curse of Osiris which promises a raise of the level cap, a 2-3 hour campaign and new strikes, adventures and crucible maps. Destiny 2 players have had since early September to plow their way through the content of the base game.

Vive users will be able to hit the Capital Wasteland in VR with the release of Fallout 4 VR midway through December and the hugely successful PC multiplayer battle royale game PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds will make its way to Xbox for the first time.

The PC version of PUBG has been wildly successful and the source of plenty of Twitch streams. At the time of this writing, PUBG has just under 1 million players playing with a daily peak of 2.6 million.

If you missed the excellent Resident Evil 7 early this year, the Gold Edition is the perfect time to strike. The $50 special version for all platforms features the base game as well as all of the add-on content including the Banned Footage DLC and the End of Zoe campaign.

RE7’s delayed Not a Hero DLC will be made available for free download on all platforms starting Dec. 12.

The 2006 PS2 classic Okami and the popular 2008 PSP puzzle platformer Loco Roco 2 will see HD re-releases in December. Okami HD will be available for Xbox One, PS4 and PC while Loco Roco 2 can be enjoyed only on PS4.