There’s an old-timey song that starts off, “Oh, the weather outside is frightful,” which is often the perfect reason for staying indoors, where it’s nice and warm, and playing video games. But just because we’re not outside in the snow, doesn’t mean we’re not getting our holiday cheer on! Video games of varying genres all seem to enjoy giving their playerbase things to do over the holidays. If you’re looking to get into the holiday spirit, look no further than these games.
Literally called the “Winter Wonderland”, Overwatch is currently having its own holiday event where new content is available in the form of wintery skins and new game modes. The Winter Wonderland Overwatch event is running from now until January 1st, so you’ll want to take advantage while it’s actually available!
There are 19 winter skins for you to potentially collect, except for Junkrat with his beach-theme, what with him being Australian and all. If you’re a Winston main, definitely get to chasing his incredible Yeti skin, and for the Tracer mains out there, you’ll certainly want her elf costume! It doesn’t just end with skins, there are winter themed highlights and event emotes that can drop from loot crates.
Two new game modes are also making an appearance: Yeti Hunter and Mei’s Snowball Offensive. In a lop-sided 5v1 setup, 5 Meis are tasked with taking down one Yeti (Winston), but the Yeti obviously has a few tricks up its sleeve. Mei’s Snowball Offensive is a massive snowball fight where her gun has been transformed into a one-hit kill snowball cannon. However, you only get one shot before you need to find another snowball, so make your shots count!
It’s winter in the violence-filled city of Los Santos, so it’s time to put down your weapons (temporarily) and pick up a snowball because the entire island has been covered in a heavy layer of snow, festivities, and more violence (better pick that weapon back up).
From December 22 until December 25, you can log into GTA Online and pick up some incredible holiday bonuses! Up for grabs is a completely free Albany Hermes Muscle Car, so long as you log in on Monday, Christmas Day, December 25. So while you’re spending the holidays with family and just generally relaxing, don’t forget to dive back into the life of crime in the virtual world of GTA and have a merry good time.
There’s also a Snapchat event setup where can you submit your best snow-based fun, just use the tag: #FESTIVESURPRISE2017 to join in!
The Dawning has returned to Destiny 2 this year, giving Guardians everywhere a chance to earn some cool new loot. Available from December 19 until January 9, The Dawning includes an extremely popular game mode from the original Destiny called Mayhem and a winter-covered Tower where you can collect presents, play hockey, and show off your limited-time armor.
A few new quests have been added alongside The Dawning in the form of gift packages. Players will need to complete objectives before they can hand the gifts over to certain Vendors in exchange for rewards.
The Mayhem game type is, as the name suggests, utter mayhem. Abilities and Supers recharge at an alarmingly fast rate, so matches are more about throwing grenades and casting Supers than actually shooting your weapon. It’s a good change of pace for the Crucible, so be sure to get in and play before the mode disappears. Because of all the chaos, it’s now even more important that you hear where your enemies are and a gaming headset like the Stealth 700 for the PS4 offer DTS 7.1 Surround Sound. Your enemies will think you’ve got Superhuman Hearing – which you do!
The final change in Destiny 2 is the inclusion of snowballs! Every world in the game now has piles of snowballs that can be picked up and thrown at enemies. There’s even an Emblem to unlock that tracks the number of enemies killed with said snowballs.
Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp
Changing the speed just a little bit with this one! Though it might not have an eSport or the fanfare that some other large games receive, Animal Crossing is notoriously popular among Nintendo users. And now, thanks to the launch of Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp on mobile, even non-Nintendo gamers can dive into the addictive world of Animal Crossing.
For the holiday period, the world of Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp has some new festivities on offer, with the ability to turn your own private space into a winter wonderland and adorable items to collect. A new currency has been added in the form of Candy Canes, which is vital if you want to build some of the limited-time items. From snowmen and presents, to fireplaces and Santa outfits, Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp is brimming with holiday cheer.
Gears of War 4
Who would have thought that a game with so much blood and carnage could have a lovely and cheerful winter-themed event? Gears of War 4 is currently celebrating what they like to call “Gearsmas”. In Gearsmas, players are able to collect Gearsmas-themed skins for their characters and weapons, participate in limited-time game modes and even receive daily gifts.
A new horde mode called “Jingle Juvies” is making an appearance where players will need to defend against antler-wearing enemies. Included in this mode are special rewards which can be earned by completing objectives – just be sure to register on the Gears of War site if you want to earn these skins.
Snowball Fight is making its grand return to Gears of War 4 this year. This mode decks the maps with snow and gives everyone a special Boomshot that fires snowballs. Only direct shots will take down your opponents, so make sure to aim true. As with the Jingle Juvies game mode, be sure to register your interest so you can earn the special weapon skins.
Call of Duty: WW2
Finally, and certainly not least, is Call of Duty: WW2. Activision’s latest romp into the classic FPS has been a massive success, seeing wide-spread adoption and support. There’s even been a major eSports event recently, CWL Dallas, where some of the best teams from around the world descended on the Texan city to fight for glory. Outside of the joy of kicking ass at a tournament, players everywhere can dive into CoD: WW2 and enjoy a bit of winter revelry.
The limited-time event is called Winter Siege, and is taking place from December 8 until January 2. In this event are a multitude of activities to play, special modes, winter-themed gear, and frosty weapons. There’s a new snow-covered version of a popular map, now known as Winter Carentan. Arguably one of the most exciting additions is the Gun Game mode, which is currently part of a 2XP mode, where you can earn (as the name suggests) twice the experience! Just make sure you’re prepared with your Stealth 600s so you can get the jump on your enemy for that final kill. There’s nothing quite as satisfying as being able to hear your opponent’s footsteps before you see them.
While Gun Game will disappear after the Winter Siege event, there are a few things that will be sticking around, mainly, snow-covered weaponry. By completing collections, you can earn special versions of the GPMG, LMG, Sten SMG, Gewehr 43 Assault Riflt, and the Trench Knife and Ice Pick melee weapons. Once the snow melts and the holiday season fades away, your weapons will still be lookin’ frosty.
This time of year is always exciting; getting to see family, exchanging gifts, taking a break from school and work, and most importantly, playing video games. Make sure to boot up your favorite game and see if it’s having a special winter wonderland celebration or holiday event!