We’re fast coming up to the end of the holiday season and heading into a January, a month which, here in the UK at least, is rainy, icy hellscape of 6-hour days while everyone suffers from an extreme case of hermit-itis. It’s a great time to pull the curtains and get stuck into some games though, with some bright spots on the horizon this month that include Kingdom Hearts 3, Resident Evil 2 and Ace Combat 7.

Jon - For me, it’s time to get stuck into a perma-death playthrough of Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden having loved my first playthrough for review.  It’s probably a hideously foolish decision considering how difficult I found it first time though. Turn-based tactical strategy is one of my favourite genres in all of gaming, and the mix of stealth and adventuring into the equation has got me hooked. There’s a whole lot more imagination and flair on offer here than I saw in XCOM 2 which, while good, felt fairly derivative of itself. I’ll be dropping the difficulty to normal to help me on my way, and going on with the knowledge I’ve built up I’m hoping I can smash through this.

Aside from that, I’m mulling over the potentially devastatingly daft move of a complete Kingdom Hearts 1-2.8 playthrough ahead of Kingdom Hearts 3 late this move. I’m expecting extreme burnout and Donald Duck haunting my dreams, but it’s a series I definitely feel I need to give a fair shot, not least because I’m incredibly eager to tackle the Monsters Inc world in KH3.

Squee - Everything old is new again. That’s what I’m muttering to myself this month as I plumb into some of the finest moments of the old-school. There are some absolute bangers in my back catalogue that for too long have sat unloved on the virtual shelf. And the beauty of living in the modern world is that there are so many crazy, dedicated, wonderful people out there pouring their hearts and souls into modding and creating new maps and assets for these great games that suddenly they’re fresh again. This weekend will see me supping liberally at the map-spigot for Company of Heroes, taking in all of the incredibly detailed and playable offerings contributors have uploaded to the Steam Workshop, and filling my Cities Skylines creations with gorgeous new player-created buildings. I wonder if I could find a Thunderdome to put in my crime-infested dystopia?

Felix - Sins Of a Solar Empire Rebellion was given away for free a couple of weeks ago and I bagged it away in my Steam game library for a quiet moment. So that's the one for me this time around. For those of you who don't know, its a fun, fairly easy to pick up real-time space strategy. Time flows ever onwards in Sins, and you keep clicking on the UI to continue improving your space empire. Upgrade planets, mine asteroids, research tech, build vast spaceship fleets all the while trying to get to the point where you can create a Titan capital ship. Once you have one of those you charge around the galaxy like a king, as the enemy fleets send their piddly ships at you. Lots of pew pew, fun strategy, nice grand space battles, some diplomacy. It's all in there. This is real time, but it has a great sense of pace. Always something to do, always something to research, always something to build or explore, but never too crazy in the early stages that you think you haven't got time to read something or build something.

After your first game, you will definitely play it again as you now have an idea about the flow of the game. But there are dozens of races to choose from and each one plays differently with different strengths and weaknesses throughout their tech trees and spaceships. There is also a vibrant modding community and this game has been going for at least 6 years, so Star Trek and Star Wars mods are plentiful. I haven't tried them though, but any recommendations for a good Star Wars mod, please let me know.

The New Years festivities are right around the corner but what are your gaming plans for the coming weekend? Can you snatch any gaming time or are you busy busy during the holidays? Let us know below!