Anticipate your holiday gaming with these 7 events and easter eggs

By ·December 6, 2017 9:00 am

The holidays are coming up, and with them time to enjoy with family, friends, and new content in video games.

This time every year, many game developers gear up special events, characters, worlds, and special side plots to celebrate the season.

While we don’t yet know which games are going to get the holiday treatment this year, we can look to the past to get an idea of what to look forward to.

(Note: Some of these releases come out as purchasable DLC and are not incorporated into the main game)

Batman: Arkham City

Talking to a serial killer is not the most festive of holiday-related events.

This second installment in the Batman: Arkham series is an action-adventure game with stealth elements. As Batman, you can travel around town stealthily to incapacitate your foes, gliding and using your gadgets to their fullest potential.

Calendar Man is a serial killer who plans his murders – which include women, children, fellow gang members, and his family – around specific holidays like Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, and Halloween. On each of these dates, he tells a different tale. Visit him on December 25 and he will tell you how he gave Christmas lights and St. Nick entirely new meanings.

Overwatch

Ho ho ho! It’s time to do battle.

This multiplayer online first-person shooter by Blizzard Entertainment was only released last year, but it has grown incredibly popular since then. The game pits two 6-player teams against each other in different game modes, like capturing target points on a map or capturing and maintaining a target for a certain time.

Last December introduced limited-time loot boxes with randomized items like new skins and costumes, and a new brawl mode called Mei’s Snowball Offensive. Here, players could only be one character, Mei, and shot at each other with one-hit-kill snowballs.

Dead Rising 4

Putting elf hats on zombies adds a certain charm to the gore.

Dead Rising 4 is set during the holiday season – but with lots and lots of zombies. Sometimes, they’re filling up the screen. Here, you play photographer Frank West and try to kill all of them. This game features custom-made weaponry in addition to the traditional fare, like appropriately themed electric wreaths to zap those zombies into oblivion.

Though the game is already set during Christmastime, last year saw a Stocking Stuffer Holiday Pack, which dressed up zombies as elves and snowmen.

Pokémon Go

It’s a Pikachu, but with a hat.

Pokémon Go took the world by storm last year by giving us the closest experience yet to capturing Pokémon in the wild.

Last December introduced several Pokémon like Pichu and Togepi, first introduced in Pokémon Gold and Pokémon Silver, which could only be hatched in eggs. In line with this release, much of the other, limited-time holiday content for last year involved easier egg hatching, Pikachus in Santa hats, and other features.

There are already some rumors brewing about Pokémon Go’s holiday content for this year. Here’s hoping it will involve more new Pokémon.

Minecraft

What else could you want, if you can already customize the entire world to your whims?

Minecraft is a sandbox game where players create anything they desire out of 3D pixel blocks. I’ve personally spent many hours digging into the Minecraft world, and have heard of the magnificent exploits of my friends and many others who have posted their work on YouTube.

The game has had several holiday updates over the years. Last year, game developers released a Festive Mash-Up Pack, which included skins like the Yuletide Yeti, Cool Claus, and Mistletoes the Bigfoot, and a world full of snow.

Terraria

2D Christmas trees.

Terraria, otherwise known as the 2D Minecraft, is a sandbox game where you craft, explore, and build to your heart’s content, sometimes combatting monsters in a randomly generated setting.

Terraria doesn’t really have a ‘special’ holiday event, per se. If your computer, mobile, or 3DS logs certain dates in December – and you can manually adjust your devices to do so – you activate a special holiday mode. Enemies can drop presents. Hearts and other in-game items are replaced by more festive counterparts like candy canes and sugar plums.

Overcooked

Featuring the slip-and-slide.

Overcooked is Cooking Mama if it were tossed into a chaotic world doomed to destruction by a fearsome spaghetti god. As part of a chef team, you and other players must hone your cooking skills and create meals on increasingly mindblowing stages, set in volcanoes and moving trucks and platforms that raised and fell like they were tectonic plates.

December 2016 introduced a holiday bundle for Overcooked, featuring new chefs and stages set in the frozen Arctic. You could slip right off the stage while cooking something on a hot stove.

What sorts of gaming events or easter eggs are you dreaming of this holiday season? Are there any past events that were particularly memorable for you? Feel free to comment below.

Image credits: Rocksteady Studios, WB Games Montreal, Blizzard Entertainment, Capcom Vancouver, Niantic, Mojang, Telltale Games, Microsoft Studios, 4J Studios, Re-Logic, 505 Games, Engine Software, Ghost Town Games

Written by Alane Lim

Alane Lim is a materials science graduate student and writer based in Chicago, IL. She has been published in science, satire, and entertainment writing, the latter focusing on character and show analyses.

Her interests include indie games, Archie comics, and sci-fi/fantasy books.

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