Keeping track of all the latest video games coming out is an increasingly complex task, what with multiple PC storefronts, Xbox One, PS4, Switch, mobile, and more to keep track of, but don’t worry, I’m here to help. Every month I'll be running down the games you need to be keeping an eye on, from the big triple-A headliners, to the intriguing indies you might otherwise overlook.
As is usually the case, 2021 is getting off to a somewhat slow start, although there are still some worthwhile titles coming to test your nerves and reflexes. These include the trilogy-concluding Hitman 3 and Xbox Series X console-exclusive horror game The Medium. On the indie front, you can look forward to the new ninja game from Shovel Knight publisher Yacht Club Games, Cyber Shadow, the promising hack ‘n’ slash Gods Will Fall, and more.
Note: While I may have played demos or got early access to some of the games recommended in this article, in most cases I’m simply choosing games that look promising, and can’t vouch for the end product. Do wait for reviews before buying!
That said, here are the games you should be looking out for in January…
Hitman 3 (PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PS4, PS5 & Stadia, Jan 20)
Watch your neck, because Agent 47 is back for another round of murder and mayhem. Hitman 3 largely sticks to the blueprint laid down by the last couple games in the series, offering up a half-dozen new murder playgrounds including Dubai, Chongqing, China, and Dartmoor, England. The biggest change this time around is to the series’ tone – Hitman 3 cuts back on the goofiness in favor of a more serious story and austere visual style. The game should also provide a nice workout for next-gen platforms, as it offers 4K/60fps gameplay on both PS5 and Xbox Series X. Pre-order the game here.
Stronghold: Warlords (PC, Jan. 26)
The Stronghold franchise has had its ups and downs, but Stronghold: Warlords looks to be a sturdy return to form. As in earlier games in the series, Stronghold: Warlords is a real-time strategy game in which players have to build up their kingdoms and fortify against enemy attacks, but this time around you can also recruit and build up unique Warlords who will help you on the battlefield. It’s been over six years since the last fully original Stronghold game, but hopefully developer Firefly Studios has spent the time well. Here’s the Steam page for Stronghold: Warlords.
The Medium (PC & Xbox Series X, Jan. 28)
Is the first truly great Xbox Series X/S exclusive nearly upon us? The Medium promises to be the most ambitious game to date from the horror masters at Bloober Team (Observer, Layers of Fear), featuring a unique dual-world mechanic in which players navigate the “real world” and a dark spirit realm at the same time. Add some heavy Silent Hill vibes to the mix and you have a game a lot of survival horror fans would kill for. Pre-order the game here.
Cyber Shadow (PC, Xbox One, PS4 & Switch, Jan. 26)
Published by Shovel-Knight-creators Yacht Club Games, Cyber Shadow is another promising-looking 8-bit throwback. In the case of Cyber Shadow, the inspiration is Ninja Gaiden rather than Mega Man, with the game delivering all the jumping and slashing you could hope for. Thankfully, a few modern conveniences and evolved game design should make the game slightly less frustrating than those NES classics. Here’s the Steam page for Cyber Shadow.
Gods Will Fall (PC, Xbox One, PS5, Switch & Stadia, Jan. 29)
Jonesing for a new action-RPG to play while we all wait to find out how Diablo IV will turn out? Well, Gods Will Fall might just be the game for you. Inspired by Celtic myth, Gods Will Fall provides players with a team of eight randomized warriors on a quest to take down 10 cruel deities. The game also offers a certain degree of player choice, and since this is 2020, some roguelike elements. Yeah, there are a lot of games like this out there, but hopefully Gods Will Fall has hacked out a unique niche for itself. Here’s the Steam page for Gods Will Fall.
Olija (PC, Xbox One, PS4 & Switch, Jan. 28)
Olija is a new retro platformer with a simple hook…literally. See, in Olija your weapon of choice is the Harpoon of Legend, which can be used to skewer your enemies, but also instantly grapple around levels, allowing for some unique acrobatics and challenges. The game also promises an interesting story filled with unique and mysterious characters...and the ability to craft various hats. Sure, why not? Here’s the Steam page for Olija.
Full List of Games Worth Watching in January:
- Yaga (PC, Xbox One, PS4, Switch & Apple Arcade, Jan. 12)
- Scott Pilgrim vs. The World - Complete Edition (PC, Xbox One, PS4, Switch & Stadia, Jan 14)
- Writhe (Switch, Jan. 15)
- Hitman 3 (PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PS4, PS5 & Stadia, Jan 20)
- Teratopia (PC, Xbox One, PS4 & Switch, Jan. 20)
- Orange Cast (PC, Jan. 21)
- Atelier Ryza 2: Lost Legends & the Secret Fairy (PC, PS4, PS5 & Switch, Jan. 26)
- Cyber Shadow (PC, Xbox One, PS4 & Switch, Jan. 26)
- Stronghold: Warlords (PC, Jan. 26)
- Encodya (PC, Jan. 26)
- The Medium (PC & Xbox Series X, Jan. 28)
- Olija (PC, Xbox One, PS4 & Switch, Jan. 28)
- Sword of the Necromancer (PC, Xbox One, PS4 & Switch, Jan. 28)
- Gods Will Fall (PC, Xbox One, PS5, Switch & Stadia, Jan. 29)
- Re:Zero − Starting Life in Another World: The Prophecy of the Throne (PC, PS4 & Switch, Jan. 29)
And those are the games you should be keeping an eye on this coming month. What games are you planning to pick up in January? Did I miss anything you’re looking forward to?