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This week in gaming: Royal crypts and rocket dinosaurs

Ubisoft’s mea culpa free downloadable content offering for the rocky launch of Assassin’s Creed Unity leads off a week that is otherwise light on releases as the industry recovers from the holiday rush. Far Cry 4 also gets its first expansion, and a few interesting offerings are entering early access on Steam for gamers that want to get involved in the development process.

What will you be playing this week?

Assassin’s Creed Unity: Dead Kings DLC

PS4/Windows/XB1 (January 13)
This first expansion to Assassin’s Creed Unity continues Arno’s adventures in revolutionary France in the nearby city of Saint Denis, famous for its royal necropolis beneath the basilica. New enemies, weapons, and quests give you plenty more to do in Ubisoft’s latest historical murder fantasia.

The DLC is free to anyone that purchased the game, as an apology for Unity‘s less-than-stellar performance at launch. Fans that had already purchased the Season Pass were instead offered a free game from Ubisoft’s library.

H1Z1 (Early Access)

Windows (January 15)
The developer of hit massively-multiplayer franchises like EverQuest and PlanetSide turns its attention to the zombie apocalypse. Scavenge for resources, build shelters, and craft the tools you’ll need to survive in the zombie-infested United States. Unlike comparable multiplayer zombie survival games, the focus of gameplay will be on teamwork rather than player-versus-player combat.

The game is entering early access this week, which costs $20. When it launches in full later this year, it will be free-to-play. Microtransactions will be available for cosmetic upgrades, but not gameplay enhancers.

Tengami

Mac/Windows (January 15)
Originally released for iOS and then Wii U, Tengami is a soothing, light adventure/puzzle game set inside a beautifully designed pop-up book. All of the elements appear to be made of crisp, colorful paper in the style of feudal Japan, when the game’s story is set.

With lightweight puzzles, this is more a game for relaxation than head-scratching challenge. Lush visuals and a soothing soundtrack make for a rich sensory experience.

JumpJet Rex (Early Access)

Linux/Mac/Windows (January 14)
The name of developer Tree Fortress should give you a sense of the nostalgia-infused action you can expect from JumpJet Rex. Navigate classic, early-90s-style platforming with a dinosaur wearing rocket boots. Like the old Mega Man games that inspired it, the controls are easy to learn, but tricky to master.

In the vein of Shovel KnightJumpJet Rex is a studied homage to classic platformers, but with modern touches like editing/sharing tools, avatar customization, and both asynchronous and simultaneous multiplayer.

What else is coming:

  • Far Cry 4: Escape from Durgesh Prison DLC (PS3, PS4, Windows, X360, XB1/Jan. 13) — The first expansion to Far Cry 4 adds a challenging new prison-break mode with permanent death looming to keep the stakes high.
  • Reverse Side (Windows/Jan. 14) — You are the sole survivor of a spaceship crash on the moon, sent there to investigate a research station that went dark in this atmospheric adventure game.
  • Avernum 2: Crystal Souls (Mac, Windows/Jan. 14) — Spiderweb Software continues its third round in as many decades of remaking its indie RPGs that prioritize story and gameplay over visual flash.