For those looking for new video games to give as gifts this holiday season, December's cupboard is a little bare. November is the big release month for publishers hoping to stock retail shelves in time for prolonged exposure to holiday shopping crowds.
But you can find a few new titles:
World of Warcraft: Cataclysm (Collector’s Edition) releases on Dec. 7, 2010, and builds on the foundation of the massive multiplayer online game and its first two expansions. There are two new playable races and new power levels, quests, dungeons and zones. And the folks at Blizzard have updated some of the established elements of the game, giving the base game a facelift.
At the heart of Cataclysm is the reawakening of the corrupted Dragon Aspect Deathwing, who rises up to the surface and leaves nothing but destruction in its wake. Blizzard’s press release states that “as the Horde and Alliance race to the epicenter of the cataclysm, the kingdoms of Azeroth will witness seismic shifts in power, the kindling of a war of the elements, and the emergence of unlikely heroes who will rise up to protect their scarred and broken world from utter devastation.”
The Collector’s Edition includes an art book, exclusive in-game pet, a behind-the-scenes DVD, special-edition mouse pad, trading cards and a soundtrack that features 10 tracks from the expansion.
On the downloadable front, Dead Rising 2 has a 360 content pack coming out, and Mafia II will have Joe’s Adventures available on the 360, PlayStation 3 and PC. Look for new releases on the 360 LIVE Arcade and the PlayStation Network, teasers and holiday gifts that Microsoft and Sony will toss out to draw attention to their platforms. Some of these are nice little one-off titles, or teaser levels of upcoming releases. A couple of years ago, Sony dropped a Gran Turismo teaser into the PSN that showed off the power of the system and one of its exclusive titles. Most of the games on LIVE and PSN are arcade-themed titles, but can be solid fun.
So even though most of what December has to offer in terms of new items are expansions, now might be a good time to get caught up on October’s and November’s releases. And those will still make great gifts.