Try these next gen video games over winter break


The PlayStation 5 (left) and Xbox Series X (right) were released Nov. 10 and Nov. 12 respectively to mark the launch of a new generation of gaming. Ever since the two consoles have been in high demand for their new games and capabilities and consumers have struggled to get ahold of them.

Berk Oto and Christian Gluth

A new release of “next generation” consoles means a new high-powered gaming capability and a high volume of new releases to compliment. Whether you’re hoping to get your hands on a new Xbox Series X or PlayStation 5 through their high demand, or prefer PC gaming, these new games may be worth spending your free time on over this winter break:


“Cyberpunk 2077” (released Dec. 10 on PlayStation, Xbox, PC):

With billboards posted in major cities, and voice actors such as Keanu Reeves and Grimes, few video games become as hyped and mainstream as “Cyberpunk 2077.” The game follows an open-world action-adventure story set in Night, a crime-infested, corrupt and superficial megapolis, where players take on the role of a mercenary named V. The 100-hour game follows V’s pursuit of a technological implant that is the key to immortality. Choices made in the game affect the storyline in multiple ways, including determining which of the several story endings you get, making every replay fresh and exciting. “Cyberpunk 2077” was developed by CD Projekt Red, the same game studio that made the critically-acclaimed “The Witcher 3.” In classic CD Projekt Red fashion, the graphics in the game are absolutely gorgeous with everything from the sprawling city center to the expansive desert of the Badlands feeling incredibly well lived-in. 

— Berk Oto


“Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War” (released Nov. 13 on PlayStation, Xbox, PC): 

Years of optimization and perfecting the craft of first-person shooters has allowed Activision to release a next generation game with high detail and variability to its audience. Set in the mid-1980s Cold War, “Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War” offers an array of modes depending on personal interest plus flexibility in game modes and in cross-platform play. The fictional single-player campaign mode challenges the player to complete several missions against the CPU to continue the story. The campaign ending is not always the same, meaning it is fully dependent on player choice and performance throughout these missions to determine how the story concludes. Multiplayer mode features many types of matches, which base around six versus six and twelve versus twelve gameplay. A “fireteam” mode even supports up to 40 players in one lobby. Players also customize classes and perks before multiplayer matches to guarantee the loadouts and abilities of their choosing. A zombies mode has its own connections to the campaign and multiplayer as well — the general premise of this mode is self-explanatory in that waves of zombies are fought off by bands of multiplayer survivors. 

— Christian Gluth


“Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales” (released Nov. 12 on PlayStation):

Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales tells a riveting story of working class struggles against powerful corporations, community and the grave responsibility of being a crime-fighting superhero. A fitting game to its predecessor, the game incorporates the same movement style with Miles Morales swinging from skyscraper to skyscraper in an incredibly detailed rendering of New York City. Due to its captivating storyline, delightful graphics and fun combat “Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales” can be easily enjoyed by those who aren’t fans of the Spiderman franchise. The story is told from the perspective of a high school-aged, Black Spider-Man from Harlem voiced by Nadji Jeter. The sequel also adds many more abilities, like bioelectrical attacks, that diversify combat and make gameplay much more entertaining. The game takes about 12 hours to complete.

— Berk Oto


“Assassin’s Creed Valhalla” (released Nov. 10 on PlayStation, Xbox, PC):

Like previous installments of the popular Ubisoft series, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla is a single-player action-adventure game where the user completes different open-world quests to progress along a main storyline in a historical environment. “Valhalla” emulates a fictional setting where the main character is a Viking warrior set in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms in Britain. While advancing through the game, full customization of the Viking character gives options for different clothing, hairstyles, weaponry and armor. The player also has multiple ways to complete scenarios using this customization through different approach tactics, fighting styles and weapon choice. As the reputation assassin, the selection of fighting tendencies will generally be more stealth based. This means each situation becomes as difficult as the user makes it, so choose wisely.

— Christian Gluth


“Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time” (released Oct. 2 on PlayStation and Xbox):

A long-awaited successor to the classic Crash Bandicoot series from 1996, “Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time” is a platform game where the goal is to traverse through the levels and get as much wumpa fruit as possible on the way. The game keeps many of the same elements that made the original game helpful but adds more than enough new features and maps to make it feel fresh to new players in 2020. Each of the 107 levels feel lively and challenging without being overly cumbersome. Unlike the original game, players can play as a multitude of characters who each have their own playstyles, which preserves the excitement of the gameplay experience. “Crash Bandicoot 4” also adds quantum masks throughout levels that allow players to use different abilities like slowing down time and flipping gravity, making for plenty of fun sequences.

— Berk Oto


“Dirt 5” (released Nov. 10 on PlayStation, Xbox, PC):

Usually ice is something you would want to avoid driving on — except in the newest installment of the “Dirt” racing series where Codemaster’s natural immersion becomes the backbone for virtual all-terrain racing. The racing game focuses solely on off-road competition, where authentic environments offer striking visuals throughout gameplay. Ranging among various climates and locations, each scenario shows enough variability to affect the driver in different ways. Each game mode has a selection of event types and vehicles — off-roading cars, trucks and buggies are possible choices across their individual modes in addition to an ice-racing mode. These modes are all strongly integrated into the game’s single-player career mode, which allows the player to race against a rival in multiple championship events while gaining sponsorships and a mentor. In addition to its story-based career mode, the game has multiplayer both online and offline to compete through. This game also introduces a four-player splitscreen for the first time in the series history.

— Christian Gluth