Keeping up with all the latest video games coming out is an increasingly complex task, with multiple PC storefronts, Xbox One, PS4, Switch, mobile and more to keep up with, but don’t worry, I’m here to help. Each month I run through the games to keep an eye out for, from the big triple-A headliners to the intriguing indies you might otherwise overlook.
After a somewhat sluggish July, things get going in August with an eclectic lineup, including the highly anticipated Psychonauts 2, Ghost of Tsushima’s significantly expanded Director’s Cut, Civ challenger Humankind, and more. The indies crop is also particularly good, with games like the twisting time-loop mystery 12 Minutes and the beautiful Ghibli-inspired Baldo, to name a few.
Remark: While I may have played demos or gotten early access to some of the games featured in this article, in most cases I just pick games that look promising and can’t vouch for the final product. Wait for reviews before buying!
That said, here are the games to watch out for in August…
Humanity (PC, Aug 17)
For years (really decades) the Civilization series has dominated the historical 4x genre, but Humankind from Endless Space developer Amplitude Studios may be about to besiege the realm of Firaxis. Humanity borrows a lot from Civ and other 4x games, but it also promises a more open experience as players can build their own unique civilization from elements of existing ones. Add some clever tweaks to combat, city building, and diplomacy to the mix, and you might have your next “one more turn” obsession. Pre-order the game here.
Ghost of Tsushima Director’s Cut (PS4 & PS5, Aug 20)
Sony and Sucker Punch’s 2020 hit Ghost of Tsushima returns this month with a significantly expanded Director’s Cut. In addition to several PS5-exclusive visual and technical updates, the Director’s Cut adds Iki Island – a new expansion that is comparable in size and length to games like Uncharted: The Lost Legacy and Spider-Man: Miles Morales. Now is the perfect time to join this sleepy hit. Pre-order the game here.
Aliens: Fireteam Elite (PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PS4 & PS5, August 24)
Does the world need another Left-4-Dead style co-op shooter? Well, maybe when it comes to destroying xenomorphs. Aliens: Fireteam Elite offers a more polished presentation than more L4D likes, as well as a solid amount of content, including 20 enemy types, 5 different classes, and over 30 weapons. Time to spill some acid. Pre-order the game here.
Psychonauts 2 (PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S & PS4, Aug 25)
After years of begging from fans, and even more years of development and delays, Psychonauts 2 is finally almost here! The game reintroduces Raz and his quirky group of psychics who will once again plunge into the twisted platform playgrounds that reside in people’s minds. It doesn’t look like Psychonauts 2 will reinvent the wheel, but that’s okay, as long as it delivers more of the charming writing style and creative level design of the original (and it looks like it does). Pre-order the game here.
No More Heroes III (Switch, Aug 27)
Get ready for more Suda 51 madness! No More Heroes III’s “ET Gone wrong” premise, in which a young boy rescues a cuddly alien, only for that alien to return as a boastful world-conquering super villain, is fantastic, and hopefully the game delivers solid gameplay to match. Suda has promised a return to the semi-open worlds of previous games, more side activities and all-new things like the ability to jump into powerful battle armor, so start pumping up your jet katanas now. Pre-order the game here.
New World (PC, August 31)
Amazon’s long-developing MMO New World is finally launching this summer, and after several missteps, it looks like the company’s gaming division may finally have some success. In addition to the traditional MMO fare like 5-player co-op dungeons (called Expeditions), New World also has a unique territory control, with different factions vying for supremacy and participating in massive 50 vs. 50 War Mode battles. Check out some hands-on coverage from Wccftech about the game here and here. Pre-order the game here.
12 minutes (PC, Xbox One & Xbox Series X/S, Aug 19)
Games have covered the concept of time loops before, but 12 Minutes takes it to the extreme. Things go wrong when a detective breaks into your home, accuses your wife of murder and then beats you to death. What’s really going on? You only have the titular looping 12 Minutes to figure it out. In addition to its intriguing premise, it features a surprisingly slick presentation and voice work from a cast of major Hollywood stars such as James McAvoy, Daisy Ridley and Willem Dafoe. Despite the title, it looks like this one could stay with you for a long time to come. Here is the Steam page for 12 minutes.
Recompile (PC, Xbox Series X/S & PS5, Aug 19)
Recompile is a slick new Metroidvania-style platformer set in a somewhat Tron-esque digital world. Explore an expansive semi-open world, engage in hard-fought battles, and forge your own path through a uniquely branching story. This one is a current/next-gen exclusive and it looks like the developers are really using that power to deliver a silky smooth experience. Here is the Steam recompile page.
Baldo: The Guardian Owls (PC, Xbox One, PS4, Switch & Apple Arcade, August 27)
Baldo: The Guardian Owls has been in development in one form or another at small Italian developer NAPS Team for over 15 years now, and it seems all that loving care has paid off. Baldo essentially combines two things good people love – Studio Ghibli and The Legend of Zelda – into a pretty nice, handcrafted action adventure. It remains to be seen if the game can match the charm of its inspirations, but it looks like it’s getting surprisingly close. Here is the Steam page for Baldo.
The Big Con (PC & Xbox One, August 31)
Have you ever had the urge to survive as a good old-fashioned con artist? Well, with The Big Con you can get your scheming out of your system without those nasty real-world consequences! The Big Con is developed by Canadian indie studio Mighty Yell and published by Skybound Games, creator of Walking Dead, Robert Kirkman. Here is the Steam page for The Big Con.
Full list of games worth watching in August:
- GRIME (PC & Stadia, Aug 2)
- Here comes Nico! (PC & Switch, Aug. 3)
- Haven Park (PC & Switch, August 5)
- Button City (PC, Xbox Series X/S, PS5 & Steam, Aug 10)
- Black Book (PC, Xbox One, PS4 & Switch, August 10)
- Pattern (PC, August 10)
- Fire Tonight (PC & Switch, Aug 12)
- Excluded (PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PS4, PS5, Switch & Stadia, August 12)
- Road 96 (PC & Switch, August 16)
- Greak: Memories of Azur (PC, Xbox Series X/S, PS5 & Switch, August 17)
- Humanity (PC, Aug 17)
- 12 minutes (PC, Xbox One & Xbox Series X/S, Aug 19)
- Recompile (PC, Xbox Series X/S & PS5, Aug 19)
- RIMS Racing (PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PS4, PS5 & Switch, August 19)
- Yuoni (PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PS4 & PS5, Aug 19)
- Ghost of Tsushima Director’s Cut (PS4 & PS5, Aug 20)
- Madden NFL 22 (PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PS4, PS5 & Stadia, August 20)
- Aliens: Fireteam Elite (PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PS4 & PS5, August 24)
- King’s Bounty II (PC, Xbox One, PS4 & Switch, August 24)
- Lone Echo II (Oculus, August 24)
- Psychonauts 2 (PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S & PS4, Aug 25)
- Baldo: The Guardian Owls (PC, Xbox One, PS4, Switch & Apple Arcade, August 27)
- No More Heroes III (Switch, Aug 27)
- New World (PC, August 31)
- The Big Con (PC & Xbox One, August 31)
And those are the games to keep an eye out for in the coming month. What games are you planning to pick up in August? Did I miss something you’re looking forward to?
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