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This week in gaming: Destiny gets a little bit bigger with first expansion

Puzzles abound with Lara Croft and Phoenix Wright this week in gaming

After kicking off with Destiny‘s first major expansion, this week follows with plenty of puzzles involving platform jumping in an Egyptian temple, redirecting lasers, and dissecting a testimony. Some revamped classics join running franchises and a few original games for a well-rounded week of releases. What will you play?

Destiny: The Dark Below Expansion

PS3/PS4/X360/XB1 (December 9)
The first major content expansion to Bungie’s massively multiplayer shooter adds new gear, missions, a strike and a raid to keep Guardians busily shooting aliens in the holiday season. PlayStation gamers also get a few extra goodies as a timed exclusive until late 2015.

The action centers around the Hellmouth on the Moon, where the mysterious Eris Morn directs your attention to an ancient threat. The Dark Below is available on its own or as part of a Season Pass bundle.

Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris

PS4/Windows/XB1 (December 9)
This follow-up to Crystal Dynamics’ 2010 cooperative puzzler Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light again pulls back the camera from a typical Tomb Raider game to look down from a tactical third person perspective. Up to four players can collaboratively solve puzzles and fight monsters.

Clever environmental puzzles are the main focus, with frenetic gun fights against alligator-headed servants of the god ‘Set’ adding some spice. Puzzles scale in complexity with more players, encouraging both solo and co-op play.

Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy

3DS (December 9)
The first three entries in Capcom’s adventure/visual novel series about rookie defense attorney Phoenix Wright have been compiled into one collection for 3DS. The re-release features a high definition visual overhaul and stereoscopic 3D support (to really make it pop when Phoenix does all that dramatic pointing at the heart of legal practice).

Gameplay consists of investigating cases to gather evidence and then taking it to court. By cross-examining witnesses and corroborating with the evidence you uncover inconsistent testimony and protect your client.

The Talos Principle

Linux/Mac/Windows (December 11)
Move blocks, re-direct lasers, and unlock a series of increasingly mind-bending rooms replete with multiple levels of secrets to uncover. This thoughtful, first-person puzzler is a change of pace for developer Croteam, who has previously created the Serious Sam series of shooters.

The dry humor of the comparable Portal has been replaced with philosophical ruminations. Its idea-rich story is just as full of rabbit holes and revelations as the puzzles that fill it out.

What else is coming:

  • Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams (PS4/December 9, XB1/December 12) — Teenage Giana enters the Dream World to rescue her sister Maria, switching between “cute” and “punk” versions of herself in order to navigate her subconscious fears in this sequel to the 2011 Giana Sisters DS, which was a reimagining of 1987’s The Great Giana Sisters for Commodore 64.
  • Juju (PS3, Windows, X360/December 9) — Shaman panda Juju and his lizard sidekick Peyo must save Juju’s father and the world from an ancient evil in this colorful, family-friendly side-scrolling platformer.
  • Star Wars: The Old Republic – Shadow of Revan Expansion (Mac, Windows/December 9) —  A new enemy threatens the galaxy in this expansion to BioWare’s Star Wars MMORPG. Both Sith and the Republic must work together to defeat Revan across a variety of new locations and missions.
  • Suikoden/Suikoden II (PS3, Vita/December 9) — This long-running JRPG series based loosely on a classical Chinese novel comes full circle with its first two entries made available to new audiences through the PlayStation Store.
  • Scrolls (Mac, Windows/December 11) — Minecraft developer Mojang followed its unexpected blockbuster with this collectible deckbuilding/tactical board game hybrid. Players collect the eponymous scrolls to summon units, structures, and spells against one another across a hexagon-laced battlefield.