Hey Poor Player Holiday Buyers Guide 2022 – Xbox Games

Third Parties To The Rescue

Holiday Buyers Guide

Is it already that time again? With the Holidays closing in once more, we know a lot of you are looking for gifts for all the players in your lives, and maybe some things you’d like to get for yourselves too. If you’re not sure what to get, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. From November 3rd to November 18th, we’ll be bringing you guides to satisfy every type of player each weekday. Strap in and kiss your wallet goodbye.

Of all the main consoles, Xbox had the roughest year for first-party titles. Despite buying tons of new development studios in recent years to bolster its offerings, pandemic difficulties pushed almost all of them out of 2022. Thankfully, there were plenty of third-party games to fill the void, and one cool first-party title did manage to make it out in time. Let’s take a look at some games to consider when shopping this holiday season.

 

Dying Light 2 Stay Human

 

Holiday Buyers Guide

Also On: PS5, PS4, Switch (Via Cloud), PC

Our Review

While the development team’s claims of this being a 500-hour game perhaps were a bit hyperbolic, Dying Light 2 Stay Human did offer a ton of content on release and proved itself a worthy successor to the first Dying Light. With an exciting story, combat that’s significantly improved from the first game, and a huge world to explore, a playthrough is still going to take close to 40 hours. If you’re looking for a fascinating shooter-RPG, you’d do well to check out Dying Light 2.

 

Pentiment

 

Holiday Buyers Guide

Also On: PC

While we’re not quite ready to publish a review just yet, the early hours of Pentiment have me glued to my controller as I navigate through the story of artist Andreas Maler who gets caught up in a series of murders. While primarily a narrative game, and an interesting one at that, with decisions you make having long-lasting impact that can change things even many years later, the game’s art style is what really helps it stand apart. Looking like a painting from the 16th century where the game is set, it’s remarkable that you can stop moving and look at something that wouldn’t look out of place in a museum alongside works of that day. While I doubt Microsoft envisioned Pentiment as their big first-party holiday release, it answered the call.

 

A Plague Tale: Requiem

 

Holiday Buyers Guide

Also On: PS5, Switch (Via Cloud), PC

Our Review 

The rats are back and bigger than ever. While the first Plague Tale topped out at around 5,000 rats on screen at once, Requiem manages to push 300,000 at a time, thanks to the power of modern hardware. So if you’re hoping to go into this one and see less rats, run the other way. For those who enjoyed the first game, though, and only for them to be clear since the story is such a focus, Requiem is a fantastic follow-up which improves on the first game in nearly every way. From some of the best graphics, you’ll see anywhere to improved combat, larger areas which give the player more options to approach situations, and a story that holds together all the way through, seeing Amicia and Hugo through to the end of their adventure is well worth your time.

 

Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands

 

Holiday Buyers Guide

Also On: PS5, PS4, PC

Our Review 

For some, the Borderlands formula may have grown a bit stale, but Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands is arguably the best version of the series’ formula yet. By putting that gameplay loop in a different environment heavily inspired by Dungeons & Dragons, while adding unique gameplay twists, such as a class-based system which really works, this could be the game to bring some players back to the series and those who are still down for more should absolutely check it out.

 

Tunic

 

Holiday Buyers Guide

Also On: PS5, PS4, Switch, PC

Our Review 

At first glance, it’s easy to think Tunic is another Zelda clone. There are certainly plenty of those on the market, and even your fox hero’s outfit is clearly designed to evoke Link’s. While yes, that is a part of Tunic’s design, it’s perhaps the least interesting part. Instead, Tunic is a game all about exploration influenced by a unique manual system which has you unlocking your own instructions by playing the game within the game. It holds together beautifully and is one of the more memorable experiences I’ve had with any game in 2022. Make sure to check it out.

Andrew Thornton
Andrew has been writing about video games for nearly twenty years, contributing to publications such as DarkStation, Games Are Fun, and the E-mpire Ltd. network. He enjoys most genres but is always pulled back to classic RPG's, with his favorite games ever including Suikoden II, Panzer Dragoon Saga, and Phantasy Star IV. Don't worry though, he thinks new games are cool too, with more recent favorites like Hades, Rocket League, and Splatoon 2 stealing hundreds of hours of his life. When he isn't playing games he's often watching classic movies, catching a basketball game, or reading the first twenty pages of a book before getting busy and forgetting about it.

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