Over the years, developers have been figuring out ways to sneak Holiday Easter eggs into video games, be it Santa and his sleigh flying across the sky in Mortal Kombat’s PIT level (both original and 2011) or Simpson’s Hit and Run
Here is my list of Holiday picks, updated for 2016
Overwatch – Winter Wonderland Event – 2 Week Event – Free – The Winter Wonderland event has several components, the first is new loot boxes, with holiday themed costumes and emotes for most of the Overwatch cast (editor’s note:I need the Mei skin in my life). In addition to the skins, several of the maps have been updated with a winter motif (Christmas trees, gifts, lights, snow, etc), and a new arcade mode named Mei’s Snowball Offense, which works much like the golden gun mode from GoldenEye. You and your 5 teammates go up against 6 other players, all playing as Mei. You are equipped with a gun that can fire one snowball before you have to seek out new snow to reload. One hit from a snowball eliminates the player, first team to be eliminated loses the round, first to 3 wins. This is just more FREE additional content to one of my favorite games of 2016
Dead Rising 4 – Xbox One and PC – Full Game – $59.99 – What goes better together then zombies and Christmas? I can think of many things, but that does not stop Frank West from returning to the mall where it all started, fashioning some weapons out of random items he finds, and saving as many survivors as he can. This Dead Rising steers into the Christmas theme in many ways include decoration related weapons, a psycho Santa, and holiday songs filling the soundtrack. In addition to the Christmas items, Frank is also now able to access x-o suits for short periods of time that let him wield much larger weapons then in previous titles. If you are looking to deck the halls with some zombie slaying, this is the game for you.
Hitman – Holiday Hoarders – Charity Episode – Free (suggested donation to World Cancer Research Fund) – This was a great way to send of Hitman in 2016. IO Interactive rebuilt the Paris environment to tell a holiday tale of assassination, targeting the Wet Bandits from Home Alone. But instead of facing an 8 year old Kevin McCallister, these two bandits are being hunted by Agent 47, who has a number of holiday theme methods to use, when deciding to take them out. While Agent 47’s job maybe naughty, this content is very nice (editor’s note: I’m sorry)
Saints Row IV – How the Saints Saved Christmas – DLC – Sale $2.79/MSRP $6.99 – How the Saints Saved Christmas takes the ridiculous, over-the-top world of Saints Row IV and tells a cheesy Christmas special within it. It parodies a lot of great Christmas movies, A Christmas Story, Die Hard, and the Grinch to name a few. It is not something to share is younger players, but if you are an adult, who enjoyed the humor of SRIV, then pick it up during the Steam sale and save the holiday over three missions, and earn a bunch of new homies and toys to play with in virtual Steelport. Oh yeah, they introduce a Shaundi from the future too.
Borderlands 2 – How Marcus Saved Mercenary Day – DLC – Sale $2.00/MSRP $2.99 – In the universe of the Borderlands, there is no Christmas; there is only Mercenary’s day. On Pandora all things related to Mercenaries are given freely to all with cheerful singing for all to hear. Once Marcus informs you of an issue with the Holiday gun shipment, and on Mercenary’s day, of all days, it is up to you, Vaulthunter, to save the day and face some new enemies, including a giant snowman. I really like the different touches throughout the game, including the Model Train Sets, Christmas Boss Music, and of course the singing Psycho. I talked about it on the podcast, but this was another good reason for me to go back to the Borderlands.
Animal Crossing: New Leaf – Toy Day – 12/1 – 12/25 – FREE – Jingle, a reindeer dressed in a holiday coat and Santa hat, appears in the player’s town on December 24th. He will say that he doesn’t want to deliver the presents, and would rather it be done by someone dressed as in a full Santa Claus outfit. During the previous month, Santa’s outfit have been on sale at the Able Sisters and Kicks shop. If the player has bought the outfit, they may talk to Jingle to receive a Magical Bag, which holds the presents of the player’s neighbors living in the town at the time. Earlier in December, the neighbors have been dropping small hints about what they want for Toy Day, such as furniture and clothing. On Toy Day, while wearing the Santa costume, neighbors will think that the player is actually Santa and will ask for their present. Once all of the presents are delivered, the player should talk to Jingle to receive a Festive Wreath. If all presents are delivered to the correct villagers, the player will get Jingle’s picture in the mail on Christmas day.
and by far the weirdest
Viscera Cleanup Detail – Santa’s Rampage – MSSRP $2.49 – Santa has finally cracked under the pressure of delivering i-Devices and Bieber CDs. Now, in theory, if on the day that he cracked, got very drunk and slaughtered all the elves and reindeer, leaving a very bloody mess behind. Someone would probably have to clean all that up, and that someone is you. This follows the Viscera Cleanup Detail, but put you in Santa’s messed up workshop, cleaning up after his holiday carnage.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays – Tiny415
Bonus – Every MMO runs a holiday event around this time. Check out the link below to Massively’s breakdown of what is going on in MMOs for Holiday 2016.