Despite it still being summer, August is the new September, with a mixed bag of indie games and the first couple of AAA titles on their way. Headlining this month is the new Deus Ex, but there are plenty of other games to dig into, including potentially the most anticipated game of the year.
You already know what game that is, so let’s get stuck into what looks like a really big month.
We covered this cartoony scuba simulator as one of our top games ignored at this year’s E3, and now it’s nearly here. With fantastical underwater environments and a touch of exploration, Abzu is taking the concept of ‘walking simulator’ into three dimensions. Anyone who was a fan of Journey should definitely give it a look, as the developer Giant Squid was founded by the art director for that game.
Abzu releases on August 2nd for PS4 and PC. Be on the lookout for our full review of the game tomorrow.
BATMAN: THE TELLTALE SERIES
Telltale’s biggest leap forward since The Walking Dead, their Batman series not only promises more of their trademark choose-your-own-adventure storytelling but a revamp of their engine, hopefully with fewer bugs and a smoother experience over all.
The fan-favorite The Wolf Among Us seems to be the starting point here, with detective work being a key element of the gameplay. At times, players will even get to choose whether Batman or Bruce Wayne is more suited to approaching the situation, and the new “crowd play” feature lets the audience vote on decisions.
Telltale’s Batman starts with episode 1 on August 2nd, available digitally for most modern systems.
NO MAN’S SKY
A multiplayer game where you may never see another person in the universe ( so basically single player?) and in the running for one of the most hyped games of the generation, No Man’s Sky has a lot to live up to. Even if it doesn’t cure cancer and make the blind see, though, the game is set to wow with an enormous undiscovered galaxy and cool crafting mechanics.
A little bit of Minecraft and a lot of golden-age science fiction makes No Man’s Sky an explorer’s dream, hopping from planet to planet and building up your resources. Story hounds and lore buffs will also be served, with a big galactic mystery and ancient artefacts to be revealed.
Developers Hello Games have to be commended for their technological ambition, it only remains to be seen whether they’ve also got an interesting game underneath.
No Man’s Sky releases on August 9th for the PS4 and August 12th for the PC.
In this surprise sequel to Ubisoft’s indie-like hit Grow Home, players once again control the little gardening robot BUD in an old-school 3D platformer with new-school procedural animations.
The mechanics and look are mostly unchanged, with the new goal of reaching the moon of the planet in Grow Home. Fans of the cute, wobbly climbing and stylised graphics of the first game should definitely return for this second helping, as 3D platformers are still few-and-far-between on the new consoles.
Grow Up releases on August 16th for PS4, Xbox One and PC.
DEUS EX: MANKIND DIVIDED
So it’s been a little longer than usual between sequels in the Deus Ex series, which started in 2000 and is now receiving its fourth core entry. In the time since the original, many new franchises have branched off from its brand of action-RPG shooting, not least of which is Dishonored, which also has a game coming out this year.
Will Square Enix be able to make the case for their venerable series? 2011’s Human Revolution faced a similar challenge, re-introducing Deus Ex‘s world of cyberpunk panic to critical and fan praise (though the boss fights stunk a bit before the Director’s Cut).
Mankind Divided is a direct sequel to Human Revolution, featuring the return of Adam Jensen in an escalation of the conflict between augmented and non-augmented humans. Like the previous titles, players have a lot of freedom of choice when approaching their objectives: whether you decide to go in like Neo in the lobby of The Matrix or take the non-violent route and beat the game with zero kills.
Deus Ex: Mankind Divided releases on August 23rd for PS4, Xbox One and PC.
HONORABLE MENTION: OBDUCTION (AGAIN)
This beautiful, screw-with-your-mind adventure was delayed into August shortly before its originally planned release date. As of now, signs are good that it will be everything that its pedigree suggests — being designed by the minds behind the Myst series — and that players have nothing to fear from its being delayed.
Obduction will now release worldwide on August 24th for Windows, OSX and Oculus Rift.
OTHER GAMES OF AUGUST
God Eater 2, Attack on Titan, Bound … there are plenty of other promising games releasing in August for single player fans. Which are you excited for?
Leave a comment below and let us know which games of August you’re most looking forward to.