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Five hot Christmas Xbox 360 releases you shouldn't overlook

Don't let blockbuster season blind you to the alternatives

In our CMS there is a "top site searches" feed. Often, it is a source of innocent wonder and amusement, such as when we notice that there's (literally) 10 times as much interest in Minecraft Xbox 360 Edition as there is for Call of Duty: Black Ops 2. Other times, it gives us headaches. Suffice to say, reader fascination with certain games is such that certain other titles are in danger of being ignored.

In a bid to restore the balance of nature, heal space-time, paper over the cracks in the continuum, etc, I've listed a few of the games that aren't getting their due. By all means stencil it on your bedroom mirror.

1. DMC Devil May Cry (15th January)
When it comes to exhilarating highs and depressing lows, no company touches Capcom right now. Where EA and Activision settle for straight-up annoying the hell out of people, the Street Fighter publisher's moments of disgrace unfailingly give way to moments of glory. This is the company that's most notorious for calling non-downloadable content "downloadable content". But it's also the company that's firmly committed to new IP in the shape of the wonderful Dragon's Dogma and Remember Me.


On the one hand, the willingness to let Ninja Theory experiment with the new Devil May Cry while giving them every opportunity to learn from seasoned Japanese designers. On the other, the decision to release it a fortnight after Christmas, when nobody has any pocket money left. It's a bit of a tragedy, because DMC Devil May Cry is shaping up be one of this generation's best fighting games, rivalling Platinum's equally controversial Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance for speed and finesse. This shall not stand, people. For the love of all that's holy, pre-order the thing before you blow the university fund on presents for your so-called "loved ones".

2. Far Cry 3 (30th November)
This ranks horribly low on the search list, clocking in below Rocksmith and the currently underwhelming Medal of Honor: Warfighter, and that's an injustice wrapped up in a scandal wrapped up in a travesty. Allow us to paint the point in bold, readers: Far Cry 3 looks like one of the smartest shooters you'll ever play. As with older Far Cry games, it's a high mobility affair - there are ziplines, jeeps and hang-gliders to avail yourself of as you tour the tropical island setting, doing horrendous things to horrendous people armed with all manner of rusty gunnery.


But what makes this really interesting is the plot, a history of madness starring a deceptively resourceful basket case named Vaas, among other deranged regional despots. If it's "viscerality" you're after, rejoice - for you will soon be swallowing down hallucinogenic mushrooms that reverse gravity and setting tigers aflame. Mmm, char-grilled tigers. Or, if your chin craves a good hard stroke, consider Vaas's opening monologue representative of the script as a whole.

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