December is a good time for new games—the top half of the world is extra dark and cold, and we have time off—but no one wants to spend the holidays working on bug fixes, so it's also a risky time to release new games. It's common for late-in-the-year games to be delayed into the new year (stolen to feed February's bottomless appetite), making December a bit of a wild card month.
Good news: This December is one of the cool ones. Marvel's Midnight Suns turned out to be weird and fun, the legendary Dwarf Fortress is finally getting graphics and tutorials, and although we're not sure yet how much we'll like The Callisto Protocol, I can tell you that it'll be super gross, so if you wind up with a new GPU over the holidays you'll have something to put its icky gore rendering capabilities to work on.
Also this month: A new space colony sim, an FPS from the co-creator of Rick and Morty, and the 2022 Game Awards. Here's what to look forward to:
December PC game release dates and events
Need for Speed Unbound (opens in new tab) | December 1
The new Need for Speed game released somewhat quietly, but early reports say it's fun. We've got a review on the way, but in the meantime, Morgan gave it a try and found that he had no desire to turn off its mildly-controversial cartoon effects—they're the best part, he said.
The Callisto Protocol (opens in new tab) | December 2
A new horror game from one of Dead Space's creators. It takes an orthodox to the cinematic survival horror genre, but adds a few minor tricks of its own. It's not super scary but it is tense, and the corridors are gorgeously menacing. The gore may be too much for some, but this is an effective dystopian sci-fi adventure that, according to our review, will likely satisfy Dead Space fans.
Dwarf Fortress (opens in new tab) | December 6
The legendary dwarven society simulation is finally releasing on Steam with, and this is a big deal, graphics. The old version, which has been in development for an astonishing 20 years, still depicts dwarven civilization with ASCII characters. Also exciting: a tutorial.
The Game Awards (opens in new tab) | December 8 @ 7:30 pm ET
Geoff Keighley's big end-of-year show is usually host to a few big game trailers and reveals, which fill in the space between reception speeches, musical performances, and praise for Hideo Kojima. Topping this year's list of nominees is, no surprise, God of War: Ragnarok.
More games releasing in December
- December 5 — Swordship
- December 5 — Space Wreck (opens in new tab)
- December 6 — Impaler (opens in new tab)
- December 6 — Divine Knockout (opens in new tab)
- December 6 — Hello Neighbor 2 (opens in new tab)
- December 7 — Chained Echoes (opens in new tab)
- December 15 — Blacktail (opens in new tab)
- December 30 — Warhammer AoS: Soul Arena (opens in new tab)