Game of the Month - December 2023

What has been your primary game this past month? It could have been a recent title, a new discovery, or something from your backlog. Or perhaps an old favorite you returned to years later? Honorable mentions are also welcome, these would be other games that you enjoyed this past month, but not the one you spent the most time enjoying.

For December 2023 my game of the month is:

  • Cyberpunk 2077 - Repeat from last month, yep what a game, I am still hanging with my choom Panam, kicking ass and chroming up.

Honorable mentions:

  • Antihero - playtime decreasing overall, but still a weekly go to.
  • Rebel Inc: Escalation - Interesting insurgency fighting game.

What game defined December 2023 for you? What was your Game of the Month?

I’ve been playing the heck out of Wrath of the Righteous throughout most of December but decided to pause my 2nd playthrough (after I liberated Drezen) to beat the Through the Ashes DLC and get started on Rogue Trader.

In between I picked up the Twilight Struggle bug again and have been losing many hours a day playing randos online trying to raise my rating. 1600 will be mine again sooner or later!

December was a mishmash of me jumping from game to game trying to find something that clicked. In the end, Gran Turismo 7 takes the crown as most played, which was fortunate because I got all the bonuses they had in the week up to the 25th and then again the week after. Just collecting cars and doing some master licenses.

Other than that, I mixed it up with Rogue Trader and Elden Ring coming 2-3 in the list. Everything else was too little played to matter.

The game I’ve played the most in December was undoubtedly EA Sports WRC. That game has practically become a daily ritual for me and I continue to enjoy it immensely.

Other than that, I’ve been playing RE4 remake, Sea of Stars, Chants of Sennar and Case of the Golden Idol — all of which are fantastic games.

December was crazy. I played a lot of different stuff and because I’m having a really hard time picking a favorite. Between Rogue Trader (which would perhaps be my game of December if not for the bugs), Grim Dawn, Granblue Fantasy Versus Rising (fantastic and accessible fighting game), The Talos Principle (yeah, the first one, because I want to finish it before I play the sequel), Cocoon, Weird West, and even a little bit of Red Dead Redemption 2 (!!), it’s been a busy month.

But if I have to pick a game of the month, I’d say it’s Lies of P. In many ways, it’s the souls game I always wanted and didn’t know. I’m still somewhat early in the game though, and the only reason I haven’t played it more (in terms of time) is because I want to play when I’m able to fully dive into it and savor every moment.

I’ve been enjoying Chained Echoes ….

Chained Echoes …. Chained echoes …. chained ….

I’ve fallen once more down the Old World rabbit hole!

Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora I’m deliberately trying not to analyse all its systems, just exploring it. They’ve done a great job of making this strange and wonderful world. It’s not just better looking than previous worlds, it’s full of natural life too.

I’ve sunk 80 hours into Warhammer 40K: Rogue Trader so that’s got to be it for me. And to my credit, I’ve only rerolled my main character and restarted four times!

It has had quite a run for you though.

For me December probably goes to Against the Storm. Such a nice game. I also picked up and spent some time with Stellaris Nexus and Mechabellum. A good chunk of my vacation was spent on learning a bit about parametric modeling, and Freecad. That resulted in created some dividers for game counter trays for a number of wargames. The table where I would get a chance to possibly play any of those is currently occupied by a puzzle board on one half, and christmas things on the other so I didn’t managed to get a boardgame on the table during December, though a number were moved from being sorted in baggies to counter trays.

December it was two games that took up most of my time.

Satisfactory: Played this with 3 friends and sent off the last load into space. A fantastic builder game if you’re into that. It got very confusing with 4 people building but that was half the fun. The base was very impressive looking, the sense of scale and sprawling mechanism’s gave you a sense of accomplishment.

Against the Storm: I’m not very good at this game but having a great time. Definitely will be on my top 5 for the year.

Amarantus for me. Very good visual novel! Considering how much I liked Pentiment, it’s odd that I overlooked this one until now. It lacks the interesting specific time and place of Pentiment, which is what initially drew my interest. But both games kind of insist that I deal with the limited agency you’d expect in such situations, and both really made me care about the characters.

Also spent a fair amount of time back on Brigandine The Legend of Runersia which I find holds up well to replay

For me it’s a tie between Black Flag on the Switch and Taxinaut on the PC. Both have really gotten under my skin.

For me, it was Cyberpunk 2077 and it’s DLC, Phantom Liberty.
It took years to get there, but in it’s current iteration, I can only recommend it. The music, the city, the vibe - by now, the entire package has matured into an experience that merges some of the better parts of Deus Ex and Grand Theft auto into an impressive whole.

It’s an interesting place to visit, but an awful one to stay in.

An honorable mention goes to Blasphemous 2, mostly for the sheer amount of WTF moments and the fascinating soundtrack.

It’s a tie for me, too. At the beginning of the Steam sale I picked up Strikers 1945, my first Psikyo shoot-'em-up. It was love at first sight, from the enemy designs (W.W. II planes that turn into mechs) to bullets that actually shot at me, as opposed to covering the screen in impossible patterns. I’ve 1 CC’d it at the lowest two difficulty levels, Monkey and Child, and I doubt my skill level will let me progress much beyond that. But I’m still firing it up every few days just for fun.

I also got back into Octopath Traveler II and am really loving the art style and the combat system. Its brilliance comes from how it forces the player to use the full variety of attacks and skills, something that few turn-based combat systems manage.

I played two games this month:

Crusader Kings 3 is my top game, hours-wise, for sure. I can’t seem to give up playing the tutorial game I started in November. Maybe I’ll see what else it has to offer in January.

Cyberpunk 2077 made a valiant attempt to be my top game towards the end of the month, but holidays got in the way. I hope and sort of expect to wrap this up in January. It’s time and I’m ready. I just need to get to Dogtown and this one cyberpsycho over there…

Solasta again, since I’m still playing the Palace of Ice expansion with a co-op buddy. Still my favorite D&D game ever, I think. I’ve never seen an implementation that gets those systems so well.

I also dove back into Oxygen Not Included again, though I’ve struggled to find time to play it as much as I’d like. I also tinkered a bit with Dune: Spice Wars, which looks cool, and Against the Storm, which wasn’t my cup of tea.

Finished Mario 3 for the first time. I can see why it got so popular. Every level felt like something new.

I forgot to post in last month’s thread. It was Spiderman 2 and some rhythm stuff. Great months for gaming!

It’s been my busiest month of gaming this year, but it’s a three-way tie for me between The Finals, Against the Storm and BallisticNG. I’ve been hopelessly addicted to all of them, which is remarkable, really.

I was hooked on The Finals during the open beta so this was a no-brainer when it shadow dropped during The Game Awards. It’s one of the most dynamic and exciting multiplayer shooters I’ve played since Titanfall 2 and Splatoon. My only real issue with it is the AI voiced commentators.

I’m not very experienced with city builders but Against the Storm had me under its spell within an hour of firing it up on Game Pass. Then the cloud saves messed up so… thanks Microsoft, I only needed the slightest reason to buy this on Steam. I love how every settlement pans out differently depending on all kinds of variables which have to be carefully considered; it’s a game about adapting to difficult and unpredictable conditions. I also loves its gentle ambiance with the rain and music.

Contrast that with BallisticNG which is so fast that I can’t even look at what position I’m in without crashing. I’m not sure why, but none of the Wipeouts ever drew me in like this. The whole thing is so slick, exhilarating and fully featured. Some absolute bangers in it too.

Honourable mentions go to Little Misfortune, a simple but unpredictable adventure game elevated by the titular little lady and her excellent dialogue and delivery, and Lethal Company which I suspect will become one of my favourites of 2023/2024, but it’s in Early Access so… shhh.

For my tactical itch:

For my open world itch: