June and July weren’t necessarily as busy in terms of game releases but with August, we’re en route to the chaotic Fall/Winter schedule. August is no slouch when it comes to releases despite a number of them being highly anticipated indie titles, sports games and ports. Let’s take a look at the top 15 games coming in August 2018.
When Dead Cells first entered Steam Early Access in 2017, it was described as a “rogue-like Metroidvania” with procedural generation. Being wary of “Metroidvania” and “procedural generation” is understandable especially when Thunder Lotus Games’ Sundered failed to really ignite many players’ interest.
Dead Cells is an altogether different beast though, one that’s undergone phenomenal changes throughout its development. Each area has its share of explorable nooks and rooms but it’s also possible to beeline to the next area quickly. Different abilities gained throughout playthroughs can help unlock secret rooms when playing afresh.
However, the combat is a big focus, combining block timing and dodging with build crafting for absurd damage stacking. The variety of weapons to utilize, Mutators and unlockable items are pretty exceptional as well, and the art style is just plain gorgeous. It may not be to everyone’s taste but Dead Cells is worth checking out when it releases on August 7th for Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC and PS4.
Phantom Doctrine from CreativeForge Games isn’t your typical XCOM-style turn-based strategy title. It’s actually set during the Cold War and sees The Cabal, a mysterious organization, working to stop a conspiracy that could spell trouble for the world’s leaders. Along with carrying out secret missions, players can send undercover operatives who will have their own traps ready when needed.
Playing out in a 40 hour plus campaign, Phantom Doctrine allows for numerous tactical options like sneaking, silent takedowns, Overwatch modes in combat and even the ability to Breach. It’s also possible to bring in allies to help during battle, though keep in mind that your enemy can do the same thing (and even call in air support). Phantom Doctrine is out on August 14th for Xbox One, PS4 and PC.
The sequel to everyone’s favourite cooking game…if they play solo, that is. Playing with friends and/or loved ones often resulted in chaos and going to bed angry. Overcooked 2 plans to ramp that up further, allowing teams of four players to handle ingredients, cook dishes and send them to hungry customers.
Bumping into someone else isn’t the only danger this time as levels can have portals and moving floors to impede progress. That may sound tame but stages will also have transitions where players move from hot air balloons to crash-landing into sushi kitchens. Passive aggressive jokes aside, it sounds like crazy fun. Overcooked 2 is out on August 7th for Xbox One, PS4 and PC.
Madden NFL 19
EA Sports’ Madden series has its share of fans and detractors, especially given the ups and downs in quality over the years. Madden NFL 19 is still leaning hard on the realism with “real player motions” and it’s possible to take part in touchdown celebrations, a feature which was last seen in Madden NFL 09.
Other changes include 3 vs 3 match-ups for Ultimate Team Mode, a “Solo Battles” game mode, a reward system dependent on leaderboards and your success in daily challenges, and so on. If that weren’t enough, Longshot, last year’s story-driven campaign, will receive a continuation with more NFL events tying into the actual plot this time around.
Madden NFL 19 is out August 10th for Xbox One, PS4 and PC.
We Happy Few
Compulsion Games’ We Happy Few has spent a long time in development. From its promising Kickstarter in June 2015 to its publishing deal with Gearbox – which raised the price and irked supporters – to the studio’s eventual acquisition by Microsoft, the journey has been long and fraught with controversy. It’s finally out on August 10th for Xbox One, PS4 and PC but does this dystopian fantasy inspired by the likes of Brazil and George Orwell’s 1984 actually hold any merit?
We Happy Few takes place in an alternate history Great Britain where the citizens of Wellington Wells face contamination as a result of an experiment. In order to survive, something terrible is done and in order to suppress memories of the same, citizens take Joy, a drug that suppresses any and all anguish. Of course, as a result, authoritarian government rules, manipulating its citizens with Joy and ostracising those who stay off the pill.
Along with Arthur Hastings, who works as a censor for the government before going off the Joy, there are two additional characters: Sally Boyle, an experimental chemist who assisted the creator of Joy, and Ollie Starkey, an explosives expert who’s been off of Joy for a long time. It’s an interesting story but will its survival mechanics, rogue-like mechanics and procedurally generated environments hold player interest? We’ll find out in the coming week.
The Walking Dead: The Final Season – Episode 1
Telltale’s The Walking Dead series is where it all began for the developer. It’s the franchise that escalated the studio into mainstream popularity and success. Even with all the years of strife and development woes, The Walking Dead is still here if only for a little while longer. That’s because the first episode of The Walking Dead: The Final Season premieres on August 14th for Xbox One, PS4, PC and Nintendo Switch. Clementine’s journey, for better or worse, is finally coming to an end.
The first episode will see Clementine travelling with AJ, avoiding the undead. Along with taking choices from previous games into account, The Final Season will incorporate the same quick-time events that have defined the Telltale series. Given this is the last game utilizing the Telltale Tool engine, The Walking Dead: The Final Season has a lot to live up to.
World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth
If you’ve been following World of Warcraft for the past several weeks, then Blizzard’s recent squishing of stats has happened in a less than ideal fashion. The levelling process has become absurd. Enemies seemingly take forever to kill, even if you’re armed to the teeth. It’s kind of a mess, punctuated by the fact that Blizzard doesn’t know what is causing the problem.
That being said, how could any player not be excited about Battle for Azeroth? The Alliance and Horde are warring again, reflected in the game’s new 20 player PvE Warfronts and new allied races that can be recruited. Kul Tiras and Zandalar are available as new continents while a number of dungeons and a new raid are also en route. Artifact Weapons are going away but there’s the Heart of Azeroth which affects all specializations when upgraded.
Honestly, along with the increased level cap, PvP ruleset changes, island expeditions and so on, there’s quite a lot to go through. Hopefully, everything else about the game starts working before Battle for Azeroth launches on August 14th.
The classic F1 racing series from Codemasters Birmingham returns for another lap with F1 2018. Developed on EGO Engine 4.0 and releasing on August 24th for a wide variety of platforms from PC, Xbox One and PS4 to iOS and Android, F1 2018 will follow the 2018 Formula One World Championship season.
That means 21 circuits, 20 drivers and 10 teams competing for supremacy. Along with an improved progression system, Codemasters also promises classic cars like the McLaren M23 and Ferrari 312T. Essentially, every classic car from F1 2017 will be returning and circuits like Circuit Paul Ricard will be featured. More free practice programs, the option to bank development points and much more are also coming. Suffice to say that if realistic F1 racing is your thing, then F1 2018 shouldn’t be missed.
Pro Evolution Soccer 2019
So Konami doesn’t have the UEFA license to fall back on this time around. That’s fine because Pro Evolution Soccer 2019 includes the Scottish Premiership and Russian Premier League as part of eight total leagues. Improved realism will be the name of the game with reworked lighting and sharper looking environments.
Fans can also look forward to a better negotiation and budget management system along with the International Champions Cup. Eleven new skill traits have also been added to allow for more unique play styles so expect to see individual player strengths have a stronger impact on games. Pro Evolution Soccer 2019 arrives on August 28th for Xbox One, PS4 and PC in North America while Europe gets it on August 30th.
Yakuza Kiwami 2
If you’ve played any of the Yakuza games till now, then you don’t need me to sell you on Yakuza Kiwami 2. A remake of Yakuza 2 which originally launched on the PlayStation 2 in 2006, this is more of a follow-up to Yakuza Kiwami due to new gameplay features and the Dragon Engine’s revamped visuals. Kazuma Kiryu is back once again and must prevent a clan war from erupting. This time around though, it’s Dragon vs. Dragon as Kiryu battles Ryuji Goda, the “Dragon of Kansai”.
Yakuza Kiwami 2 features the same open-world environment spanning Kamurocho and Sotenbori with various side stories and improved combat. A number of new story elements have been added to help sort out the original release’s plot holes and there’s even an additional story scenario called “The Truth of Goro Majima”. In this, everyone’s favourite psychopath becomes a playable character and we explore how he left the Tojo Clan to form “Majima Construction”.
Yakuza Kiwami 2 is out on August 28th for PlayStation 4.
Monster Hunter World PC
Monster Hunter World has been an unprecedented success for Capcom, selling 8.3 million copies since launch and providing a solid foray for the series onto consoles. Ever since the game was announced, many of us waited with bated breath for news on the PC release. It’s finally coming on August 9th, even if there are a few hiccups along the way.
Said hiccups include the lack of post-launch monsters like Deviljho, Lunastra and Behemoth. Furthermore, reports indicate that crashing is an issue that PC players are dealing with, though Capcom has promised a fix. That being said, Monster Hunter World on PC looks gorgeous. For new players, it offers a taste of the hunting gameplay that handheld players have been raving about for years. For current players, it means 1080p resolution and 60 FPS gameplay. Regardless, it’s worth checking out on PC.
The Dark Souls aesthetic is strong with Death’s Gambit. The pixel-art style is gritty and brutal as players control a servant of Death who must investigate Siradon, battling various guardians along the way. Along with an enormous 2D world to explore, Death’s Gambit features numerous, towering bosses and seven playable classes along with more than 10 weapon types. To offer a further challenge, players can battle bosses again in Heroic Mode or embark on a New Game Plus playthrough.
While the non-linear exploration and punishing nature of the combat may evoke From Software’s best, Death’s Gambit is decidedly more of an action platformer. Execute enemies with finesse and speed or plan encounters carefully, choosing talents from a skill tree and doing your best to survive. Death’s Gambit is out on August 14th for PS4 and PC.
Shenmue 1 and 2 HD
At this stage, Shenmue 1 and 2 don’t really need any introduction. Created by Yu Suzuki, the man behind Virtua Fighter, both games follow Ryo Hazuki on his quest to avenge his father’s murder. Travelling from Japan to Hong Kong, Ryo will confront various characters, both friendly and hostile, en route to finding the mysterious Lan Di.
Though it may not seem like much according to today’s standards, Shenmue was ground-breaking in its depiction of NPCs with schedules and a realistic world full of small details. Its usage of quick-time events was unparalleled at the time in the industry along with its stellar production values. The remastered ports of Shenmue 1 and 2 will feature improved visuals, new control options, better user interfaces and – at long last – an option between English and Japanese voices. They’re out on August 21st for Xbox One, PC and PS4.
Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate
Imagine a Monster Hunter title where you can’t move while healing, Scoutflies don’t exist, the aesthetic is more heavily anime-like and gathering resources is a thing you have to go out and do. Doesn’t sound like much fun, right? Wrong. Despite not having a number of quality-of-life changes seen in Monster Hunter World, Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate is still one of the most content-rich titles in the franchise. It’s also tons of fun.
As the “definitive” package for Monster Hunter Generations, Generations Ultimate packs over 60 large monsters to fight. That means tons of armour and weapons to craft and the beauty of Generations Ultimate is that you can pretty much use whatever you feel like. Hunting Arts and Styles imbue special abilities into each of the 14 weapon types, changing things up for veterans.
And of course, there are the Deviant Monsters, G-Rank quests and Charm farming to embrace. Did we mention playing as Felynes? Because that’s also a thing. Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate arrives on August 28th for Nintendo Switch.
Better known for its Sniper Elite series, Rebellion Developments’ Strange Brigade is…different. As a co-op third-person shooter, players control the Strange Brigade, a cavalcade of Secret Service operatives who travel to Sahara Africa to take down Seteki the Witch Queen after an archaeologist accidentally releases her spirit.
Styled with 1930s aesthetics, mythical beings like mummies and minotaurs will oppose players. Each of the four playable characters offers different abilities and weapons along with an upgrade system for further killing potential. Traps, branching levels, puzzles and much more will be available during escapades, and it’s also possible to unlock Amulet Powers to even the odds.
Strange Brigade is out on August 28th for Xbox One, PS4 and PC.