It’s a new year, which means new games to look forward to. January is pretty diverse, with different types of adventure games, retro-inspired titles, and action RPGs to check out. Here are some games that may be worth your while.
Monster Hunter Rise (PS4, PS5, Xbox One, XSX)
Xbox and PlayStation players will finally get their hands on Monster Hunter Rise when it releases for Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PS4, and PS5 on January 20th. Tasked with defending Kamura Village from the impending Rampage, players choose from one of 14 weapon types and, well, hunt monsters. Classic beasts like Rathalos, Mizutsune, and Pukei Pukei return, joining newcomers like Aknosom, Great Izuchi and Magnamalo.
Slay strategically, craft better armor and weapons from your prey, and then hunt tougher monsters – such is the Monster Hunter way of life. On Xbox Series X and PS5, there are options for 4K/60 FPS and even 1080p/120 FPS, along with 3D audio support. Despite the lack of cross-platform multiplayer, the new mechanics (like the Wirebug and Silkbind Skills) and monsters make it worth checking out.
After a fair number of delays, Luminous Productions’ upcoming action RPG Forspoken is finally releasing on January 24th for PS5 and PC. It stars Ella Balinska as Frey Holland, a New Yorker who discovers a mysterious bracelet that sends her to the realm of Athia. With the bracelet becoming sentient and named Cuff, Frey embarks on a journey to take down the once-peaceful Tantas and save Athia.
She can utilize dozens of different magic types, traverse the world with magical parkour, and fight off creatures corrupted by The Break (which she’s strangely immune to). Though the recent demo may have garnered mixed responses, it’s still worth seeing how Forspoken turns out at launch.
Dead Space is finally seeing a revival, courtesy of Motive Studio. The remake is based on the iconic 2008 sci-fi survival horror, which sees engineer Isaac Clarke boarding the USG Ishimura and encountering nightmarish Necromorphs. Along with vastly improved visuals in terms of environmental details, textures and volumetrics, Dead Space features Gunner Wright as the voice of Isaac, with the character now fully voiced, and Tanya Clarke as the voice of Nicole (whom she also played in Dead Space 2).
New rooms, routes, obstacles, the Peeling system for realistic limb damage, and a new Intensity Director for dynamically adjusting Necromorph spawns and effects while delivering some 1200 terrifying random events are also being added. Dead Space is out on January 27th for Xbox Series X/S, PS5, and PC.
Vengeful Guardian: Moonrider
If you enjoyed the Contra-esque Blazing Chrome, then JoyMasher’s action platformer Vengeful Guardian: Moonrider may scratch the same retro itch. Out on January 12th for PS4, PS5, PC, and Nintendo Switch, it’s set in a dystopian future where the Moonrider is awakened and decides to wreak havoc against its authoritarian masters. In addition to dashing and wall-jumping, Moonrider also wields various melee attacks, giving this more of a hack-and-slash feel. Explore the eight stages to discover chips that modify abilities, or take in the 16-bit-style pixel art and delectable soundtrack while fighting for your life.
Season: A letter to the future
Better known for the survival multiplayer title The Darwin Project, Scavengers Studio is going an entirely different route with Season: A letter to the future. After living in a village that doesn’t experience the changing of seasons, protagonist Estelle leaves to see the world before a mysterious event alters it forever.
Players will explore landscapes by bicycle, recording events and studying art while meeting people and helping them out. The purpose is to collect memories and learn more about what’s coming. Season: A letter to the future is out on January 31st for PS4, PS5, and PC.
On the surface, Stitch Heads’ Superfuse is all about being the hero and saving humanity. However, in truth, humanity is dominated by the superpower-wielding elite after leaving a dying Earth. As an Enforcer, you’re tasked with taking out the monstrous Corrupted at their behest, with the story present in a comic book format.
Launching into Steam Early Access on January 31st, Superfuse offers isometric action RPG gameplay. You choose two classes with various powers and skills and further augment them with different weapons, armor and boosters. The campaign can be played solo (even offline) or with up to four players in drop-in, drop-out co-op.
A Space For The Unbound
A Space for the Unbound offers gorgeous pixel art and a relaxing late 90s setting, but there’s plenty to unpack in the story. Focused on high-schoolers Atma and Raya in rural Indonesia who gain the ability to dive into minds, they must explore the world, interact with its people, and deal with bizarre events like meteors and giant cats.
Amid all this chaos, the slice-of-life pace and exploration of mental health issues make for an endearing experience. A Space for the Unbound is out on January 19th for PS4, PS5, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, PC, and Nintendo Switch.
Children of Silentown
How many games have a “very mean cat” messing with the main character as their selling point? Children of Silentown does, and it’s probably the least terrifying aspect of this dark adventure from Elf Games and Luna2. You control Lucy, who suspects something dire in the neighboring forests of her village, and it doesn’t help that people are disappearing without explanation.
Lucy sets out to investigate, solving puzzles and talking to people (before they suddenly disappear) in a point-and-click adventure, where singing may help out more than you’d expect. Launching on January 11th, Children of Silentown will be available for PC.
Cuddle Monster Games is no stranger to rogue-likes and bullet hell titles, as seen with Hell is Other Demons. However, its next game, Lone Ruin, is a twin-stick rogue-like shooter focused more on magic. You venture to the ruins of a magical city turned corrupted haven to investigate ancient magic, which has since twisted its people into terrifying creatures.
One lone ruin seems to hold the answers, but you’ll need to fight through multiple enemies and bosses to get to it. Various spells, from beams and ricocheting shots to magical slashes, and upgrades are available as one makes their way. On top of this is Survival Mode, a wave-based mode where the enemies get tougher and more plentiful over time. Lone Ruin is out on January 12th for PC and Nintendo Switch.
One Piece Odyssey
Based on Eiichiro Oda’s super-popular manga, One Piece Odyssey is a turn-based RPG published by Bandai Namco and developed by ICLA (of Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl fame). It features open areas and dungeons, with each Straw Hat Pirate having a unique ability for exploration (like Luffy sling-shotting across gaps or Zoro cutting down barriers).
The game launches on January 13th, 2023, for Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PS4, PS5, and PC. A demo will also be available on January 10th for consoles, if you want to try it before buying.