Before the advent of things like patches and downloadable content, gamers had to be content with chucking on a snowy-looking title at Christmas but even the most gruesome shooters can get in on the festivities in 2016, with free Santa hats for players’ avatars, unique monsters and quests that switch up the grind by featuring reindeers in peril.
The celebrations aren’t limited to consoles and PC either. Fans of mobile casino games like blackjack can participate in BitCasino.io’s festive BitMas event, which gives special treats to players like deposit bonuses up to 300 millibitcoin and raffle tickets. The site has 20 different blackjack variants available to play now, ranging from 21 Burn to Atlantic City blackjack, with the European multiplayer version perfect for Christmas competitions with friends.
Here are just a few other games getting into the festive spirit:
Final Fantasy XIV
Arguably one of the best massive multiplayer online (MMO) games on the market this year, Final Fantasy XIV has been running its Starlight Celebration event annually for the past few years. The 2016 iteration can be started by talking to Amh Garanjy, in the city of Ul’dah, and involves running errands to help the local children out.
The event gives players another opportunity to pick up a Santa uniform, as well as new themed items for their in-game home, such as a festive pillar, a painting depicting the Starlight Celebration, and a snow drift to add a wintry chill to proceedings. This year’s event runs from December 15th to the 31st.
The game that everybody played for a bit, Niantic’s landmark mobile title is celebrating Christmas in a rather understated fashion this year, by introducing a Santa-hat wearing Pikachu to the game world between December 14th and the 29th. The lovable critter is distinct from the normal Pikachu in being available in much greater numbers.
Earlier, Niantic added six baby Pokémon to the game, including Pichu, which evolves into Pikachu, and Togepi, a character that will be immediately familiar to fans of the original anime. The new monsters hatch from 2k, 5k, and 10k eggs, which means that players will have to brave the elements to find them.
World of Warcraft
Blizzard’s long-running MMO will host Greatfather Winter from December 16 to January 2, as World of Warcraft begins the annual Feast of Winter Veil. Players can find the character (and the gift-giving Winter’s Veil Tree) in Ironforge, for Alliance members, or Orgrimmar, for the Horde. There’s also an opportunity to meet Greatfather Winter’s companion snowmen.
The Feast of Winter Veil introduces special hat-wearing bosses, who drop their headgear once defeated and a few new quests, including one around the theft of presents by the Alterac Mountain’s Abominable Greench and a rescue mission involving Metzen the Reindeer and the Jinglepocket Goblins.
Elsewhere, Blizzard’s other properties, Overwatch and Heroes of the Storm, will also have Winter Veil-type events, while Destiny, Call of Duty, Hitman and Guild Wars 2 will have something festive going on. The “Developer who Stole Christmas” award has to go to Capcom, however, for making fans pay for special Christmas-themed items for Street Fighter V.