We ushered in a new year about three weeks ago, and of course, with every new year, we inch closer to the release dates of some pretty anticipated titles- or, in some cases, even further down the line (we’re looking at you, Crimson Desert, Skull & Bones, and Prince of Persia: Sands of Time). Disappointments aside, January boasts some pretty cool titles that we’re excited about at Tribe, and we can’t wait to discuss them.
Ready to find out which? Let’s get to it!
The Last of Us Part II Remastered
Granted, the first entry on our list already hit the markets on January 19th, so technically, we can’t classify it as ‘upcoming’, but its release has been so interesting that we couldn’t pass up the opportunity. After all, it is one of the best games ever made.
But while fans of the post-apocalyptic horror action-adventure title can say they’ve been eating good (honestly, the production on this remastered version has been top-notch), it’s not been wholesomely received. For every five fans of the game, there’s at least one who really hates the idea of Abby and another one who thinks the story is nonsensical. So much so that they’re review-bombing the game in large numbers.
Now, it’s not uncommon to not accept a portrayal (Zazie Beet’s Amber from Amazon’s Invincible wasn’t very likeable to many), but the TLoU II being the target of a hate campaign twice in four years due to its story choices is just one case of lightning striking in the same place twice. Personally, Abby’s character poses an intriguing element in the franchise: a dogged villain who will stop at nothing to get what she wants. She offers the sort of complexity that fits The Last of Us world, and you have to admit, she’s the type of character that you love to hate but can also hate to love. If we consider Joel a grey character, then some grace could be extended to Abby, but debating just turns this into a Last of Us article. And it’s not.
Away from review-bombing, the Last of Us Part II Remastered is definitely something you should look forward to playing this January. I know remakes and remasters are often looked at as cash grabs, but this TLoU II offers a brand new experience, and word on the street is that the new No Return mode is perfectly designed to speed your heartbeat (not to mention that it’s new in every sense of the word; as in, never been experienced in this franchise before).
But that’s not all. No Return itself comes with four different modes before you consider The Guitar Free Play mode, which lets you show off your musical skills, or the Lost Levels and, of course, Director’s Commentary, offering players some behind-the-scenes scoop into the making of this game. It’s darker, undoubtedly more claustrophobic, and a great dive back into the franchise that has shaken the world since its first-ever release. If you don’t like it, we’ll give you a refund (just kidding).
My first encounter with this franchise was with Tekken 4 in… you know what, never mind the year. While it wasn’t Mortal Kombat, it was its own special fighting game. It was remarkably darker than its predecessors, Tekken 1-3, and of course, who can forget that it marked the ‘return’ of Kazuya, revived from his death 20 years before! The plot was a big allure for me, and the roster was packed with unique characters and personal backstories built to keep you engaged for hours on end.
Now, decades later, the 8th instalment in the franchise is set to be released, and if you ever wondered why they’re so far long into it, it’s probably because it’s an intriguing story to tell. But it’s also about HOW it tells this storyline, too. For one thing, Tekken 8’s director, Katsuhiro Harada, has hinted that the gameplay this time will be heavy on aggressivity, emphasizing rewarding proactive players over defensive ones.
Tekken 8 also promises to rank up the fighting experience, and we’re finally hoping to see some realistic environmental damage because what’s a full-blown fight without damage to life and property? It’s teased that players will get a whole new experience for players, but we should also expect some closure on age-old plots.
Releasing on the 26th of January for the PlayStation 5, Windows and Xbox Series X/S platforms, Tekken 8 covers the final fight between Kazuya Mishima and Jin Kazama in a bid to end all the drama their family has put the world through. Good riddance, or not?
Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth
Also releasing on the 26th is the latest venture into the RPG genre, Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth. Where Tekken is in its 8th instalment, Infinite Wealth is Game Number 9 for the Like A Dragon series and serves as a followup to both Yakuza: Like a Dragon and Like a Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Name, released in 2020 and 2023 respectively.
In this game, protagonists Kasuga Ichiban and Kiryu Kazuma join forces to find Kasuga’s biological mother in Hawaii and help Kazuma survive cancer. But this premise does not do this game any justice; there’s more to it all. Players get to choose from many jobs that gift their characters specific powers and perks, and away from the main storyline, you can take on an array of mini-games. Not to mention, playing as Kasuga, gamers will be able to manage a resort, the Happy Resort Dondoko Island, while the character Kiryu engages in the Bucket List side activity, which introduces some notable allies and friends from previous titles in the series. It’s an RPG haven and will be released via the PlayStation 5, Windows, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S platforms, as well as the PlayStation 4 (we’re not left behind on this one).
I’ve always said we don’t play enough dark fantasy first-person shooter games. Okay, I may have never said that, but with popular titles like Hexen, Metal: Hellsinger and it’s definitely one to look at. The genre combines elements from dark fantasy and FPs, offering a unique gameplay that allows you, in the simplest way I can put it, to unleash some amazing weaponry in very intense environments. It’s like combining Call of Duty with Elden Ring (don’t hang me for this, but you get the idea).
Well, if you like how all that sounds, then you’ll love Graven, set for release on the 23rd of January on Windows. The console versions (Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S) will receive a later release sometime this year. If you fall under the latter category, it’ll be worth the wait to play as an exiled priest who seeks to right wrongs done to his adoptive daughter and a world full of plagues, hateful religious sects and a totally messed up climate.
One Punch Man: World
One Punch Man is one of the most popular animes in recent times. And for a good reason: the source material manga was a hit, and the first-season anime adaptation equally met positive reviews. So, it makes sense there’s a game coming out for one of the most recognizable characters in mainstream media.
It’s not the first time a game has been released for the title. In 2020, One-Punch Man: A Hero Nobody Knows was released for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC in 2020. This new game will be released on January 31st, on PC, Android and iOS.
Other titles that have been released this January and are worth checking out include:
1. Palworld: If you’ve loved Pokemon, you’ll like where this one takes you– you can capture new pals, battle against other players, use them for tasks, or simply explore. Available on PC.
3. Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown: we’re still waiting for the Sands of Time remake, but The Lost Crown offers up a new legend for players and fans of the franchise to get familiar with. It’s a new prince, new powers, and of course, new foes to get you going. Available on Nintendo Switch, PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S.
Which are you excited to play?