August is nearly upon us and as with previous years, there are a number of highly anticipated titles and releases to look forward to, from the yearly sports sequel (you know the one) to expansions and highly anticipated follow-ups. Let’s take a look at 10 of the biggest games that are coming up.
A husband and wife quietly celebrate in their apartment when suddenly, a police officer barges in, proclaiming the latter to have killed her father. After both are restrained and his wife dies, the husband finds himself at an earlier part of the day. Sadly, it wasn’t all a bad dream as the same 12 minutes unfolds again. What can he do to save his wife? Why is time repeating? These are some of the core mysteries in Twelve Minutes.
As the story unfolds, the player can try different things, whether it’s picking up a knife to attack the officer, or hiding in the bathroom. Each new loop provides additional information and dialogue choices, prompting new actions that will hopefully break the cycle. Twelve Minutes is out on August 19th for Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One and PC along with Xbox Game Pass.
Ghost of Tsushima Director’s Cut
A little over one year later and with 6.5 million copies sold, Ghost of Tsushima is getting a Director’s Cut with some quality of life improvements and new content. These include support for the DualSense’s haptic feedback and adaptive triggers, 3D audio support, options for 4K and 60 FPS, faster load times and full lip-syncing for the Japanese VO on PS5. The new Iki Island expansion becomes available from Act 2 onwards and sees Jin traveling to a new region to battle a new Mongol threat.
New story missions, armor, weapons and of course, more animals, await along with other side content and activities. Releasing on August 20th for PS4 and PS5, the Director’s Cut will cost $19.99 as an upgrade for PS4 owners and $69.99 for PS5 players. You can also upgrade from the Director’s Cut on PS4 to PS5 for $9.99 or go from the base PS4 version to the Director’s Cut on PS5 for $29.99.
Madden NFL 22
Another year, another iteration in the Madden franchise. Madden NFL 22 is in a weird spot, seeing as the past few titles have received blow-back from fans for various reasons. This year’s title is even more geared towards Xbox Series X/S and PS5 players with exclusive new Dynamic Gameday that looks to keep things exciting. This is in addition to changes with the movement, blocking, catching and tackling, updated Playbooks, the return of The Yard with solo and co-op options, a new story in Face of the Franchise mode and much more. Between new classes, abilities and changes to the Madden Ultimate Team Auction, it seems like a lot to look forward to on paper but time will ultimately tell. Madden NFL 22 releases on August 20th for Xbox One, PS4, PS5, Xbox Series X/S and Google Stadia.
Kena: Bridge of Spirits
Ember Lab’s Kena: Bridge of Spirits has been quite the standout since its announcement last year thanks to its animated art-style and interesting premise. Players control Kena, a spirit guide who ventures to an abandoned village and tries to help the deceased move on into the spirit world. Along with a staff that can be used as a bow to fire arrows, she can also call upon the Rot, little spirit creatures that will help in battles and when solving puzzles. With its mix of exploration, platforming and combat, Kena: Bridge of Spirits is looking like a solid action-adventure title with an emotional story. It’s out on August 24th for PS4, PS5 and PC.
It’s been a long, long, long wait but the sequel to the cult-classic Psychonauts is almost here. Taking place immediately after Psychonauts in the Rhombus of Ruin, the story sees Raz venturing to Psychonauts HQ. Not everything is well though – second in command Hollis Forsythe is investing in some shady dealings, like necromancy, and there may be double agents sneaking about.
Raz will once again venture into different Mindscapes, learning new abilities and powers, as he attempts to make sense of everything around him (including the curse that’s plagued his family). With epic new levels and the trademark Double Fine humor, Psychonauts 2 is looking to be a worthy successor. It releases on August 25th for Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PS4 and PC while launching day one on Xbox Game Pass.
No More Heroes 3
With all of the returns in gaming, it only makes sense for Travis Touchdown to re-enter the scene, this time squaring off against invading aliens to decide the fate of the world. No More Heroes 3 offers much of the same combat that fans have loved about the series, from the random benefits of the Slash Reel to Death Blows and wrestling moves. It does have a lot of new options though from Travis’s Fully Armored form to the Death Glove from Travis Strikes Again.
But make no mistake – this is No More Heroes through and through. You’ll take on volunteer work to earn money and enter ranked battles, engage in crazy death battles and encounter more crazy characters as the story progresses. No More Heroes 3 is out on August 27th, exclusively on Nintendo Switch.
Despite Amazon Games having less than stellar success (which is a nice way of saying “no success whatsoever”), there is a decent amount of hype for New World. It’s a brand new MMO, one that’s set in the mid-1600s as players arrive in a new region to colonize it. There are three factions – Marauders, Syndicate and Covenant – and along with questing, players can control settlements and battle each other. PvE combat is fairly extensive – enemies have several attacks and there’s a bigger emphasis on blocking, dodging and timing as opposed to auto-attacking for players. While the real journey begins after its launch on August 31st for PC, New World is still worth keeping an eye on.
A narrative shooter with a cyberpunk twist, Foreclosed is set in a future where brain implants are foreclosed and auctioned off. Protagonist Eric Kapnos has suffered this fate and must now escape the city before it’s too late. With a sleek graphic novel style presentation, Foreclosed offers an intriguing premise and story while combat relies on a myriad of weapons (thanks to a shifting Symbiotic Pistol) and abilities like telekinesis, hacking and more. It releases on August 12th for PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PS4, PS5 and Nintendo Switch.
As one of the best games last year for Nintendo Switch and PC, Supergiant Games’ Hades comes to Xbox One, Xbox Series X/, PS4 and PS5 on August 13th (with a day one release on Xbox Game Pass). The isometric rogue-lite sees Zagreus, the son of Hades, looking to escape from the Underworld. Naturally, the Lord of the Dead doesn’t take kindly to this so you’ll have to battle the Furies in Tartarus, survive the lava-filled rivers of Asphodel and much more in order to survive.
There are a handful of weapons to select from the beginning of each escape attempt, complete with their own unique abilities and upgrades but Zagreus also receives help from the Greek Pantheon. Zeus bestows the power of Thunder which can Jolt foes; Ares offers delayed secondary damage with Doom; and Hermes is all about speed among other options.
But it’s the story-telling and writing of Hades that will draw you in. There are hundreds of thousands of unique voiced dialogue and the story evolves with each escape attempt as you learn more about Zagreus’s upbringing, the world and its history. Whether you’re into rogue-lites, solid hack and slash titles, or simply love a good story, Hades is well worth playing.
Aliens: Fireteam Elite
Between Back 4 Blood, Redfall, Warhammer 40,000: Darktide, and Rainbow Six Extraction, the next year or so is looking pretty good for co-op shooter fans. Aliens: Fireteam Elite releases the earliest and may be worth checking out on the basis of its premise. Taking place several years after the original trilogy, it focuses on a Marine fireteam that battles Xenomorphs across four campaigns, each with three story missions. Five classes are available – Gunner, Technician, Recon, Doc and Demolisher – each with their own unique abilities and load-outs while there’s an extensive amount of weapons and customization to be had.
Up to three players can embark on a mission, though you can also play solo with two AI teammates, and numerous difficulty levels really allow for ramping up the game’s survival horror aspects. Aliens: Fireteam Elite is out on August 24th for Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PS4, PS5 and PC. Cross-gen play is supported at launch for PlayStation and Xbox platforms but there won’t be cross-platform play (for now).