What to Play This August

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What to Play This August

Hello, happy August, and welcome back to our new recurring series, What to Play This Month, a roundup of the best games from the last one and the things we’re most excited to play from the month ahead – plus our other suggestions for what might complement it.

As a reminder, the goal for us with this series is simple enough: there are more games releasing than ever, so we’re aiming to narrow things down and help you cut through the noise.

Let’s dive in! Here’s What To Play This August.

The best games from last month
Synapse

Availability: Out now on PS5 with PSVR2.

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Here’s Ian taking a proper look at Synapse in his VR CornerWatch on YouTube


Described as a game epitomising everything great about virtual reality, Synapse is an absolutely cracking VR action game. Here’s what we said in our Synapse review:

I’ve played plenty of games that feature telekinetic Force-like powers in flat-screen form but there’s a magic here and a sense of ‘being’ that only VR can deliver. This believability, this almost tangible way in which you can interact with the world around you brings those childish Jedi dreams bursting to life, and this in turn makes Synapse a must-buy game that deserves to be played by anyone who owns a PSVR2.

The Legend of Heroes: Trails Into Reverie

Availability: Out now on PS4, PS5, Switch, and PC.



Trails Into Reverie in action. | Image credit: NIS America / Eurogamer


An epilogue for a couple of story arcs and acting as an end to the first half of a series, Trails Into Reverie is yet another entry into the ever-so-slightly confusing Trails saga – but an excellent one still. Here’s what we said in our Trails into Reverie review:

Thanks to the strong character writing, refined combat and improved pacing, revisiting these locations one last time was lovely. I couldn’t have hoped for a much better epilogue…

Amarantus

Availability: Out now on PC.


A conversation from fantasy visual novel Amarantus in which the characters discuss a mysterious act of murder, and worry that they're being watched from the trees.

Amarantus. | Image credit: ub4q / Eurogamer


This one technically snuck out in late June, but we got to it in early July (and hey, we make the rules) so we say it counts. It’s a superb visual novel from a little-known team and well worth your time. Here’s what we said in our Amarantus review:

There are spaces and moments in the game, viewed initially with simple curiosity, that develop haunting implications during your second visit. They don’t merely add to the story, but encourage you to step away and view this revolutionary fable as part of a tradition of narratives about power and its overthrow. I’ve referred to Amarantus as a watch and a puzzlebox, but in this sense, it’s more of a cage: an elaborate, revolutionary but also reactionary framework, within which you and your long-suffering friends must carefully position yourselves, lest it make your choices for you.

Oxenfree 2: Lost Signals

Availability: Out now on PS4, PS5, PC, Switch, and mobile via Netflix.


Oxenfree 2 - the general store at night, with Evelyn talking on walkie talkie to Riley

Oxenfree 2: Lost Signals. | Image credit: Eurogamer/Netflix


Wander and chat through a night of spooky possibilities in Oxenfree 2, a near-perfect match for Netflix, a streaming service-slash-games-publisher that feels like it’ll never get over Stranger Things. Here’s what we said in our Oxenfree 2: Lost Signals review:

I am kind of flattened by how good the conversation system is in Oxenfree. It’s not just the web of personal story you are always piecing together with each dialogue choice. It’s the way each choice is conjured in the brightly coloured speech balloons you select. You always get a hint of what you’re going to say when you’re picking a balloon, but the actual speech is always a surprise too. It’s the way that the choices never boil down to good or bad, but live within that fidgety world – sometimes paranoid, sometimes casually cruel, sometimes oblivious – of real conversations with people we are thrown in with but do not know particularly well.

Exoprimal

Availability: Out now on PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox Series X/S (Game Pass).

Here’s Ian starting a dino crisis in an Exoprimal Let’s Play.


There may not be room in this world of all-consuming live service for a Capcom shooter that pits upgradable mechs against an evil AI and its endless waves of dinosaurs, but we believe there should be. It’s really quite good. Here’s what we said in our Exoprimal review:

There’s real cleverness to the PvPvE balance, and to how Leviathan modifies that one, core mode as the game unfolds, but after 15 hours, it still feels like an exercise in reshuffling well-worn pieces. I don’t think it earns that blockbuster price tag. As a subscription game, though, Exoprimal is dino-mite.

Pikmin 4

Availability: Out now on Switch.

Here’s an overview trailer for those of you wondering what on Earth this series is actually about.


Eurogamer’s first five-star game, Pikmin 4 is pretty magic, pulling its bountiful garden of little improvements together to form a quite wonderful bouquet of… strategy… management… ness. Here’s what we said in our Pikmin 4 review:

Pikmin 4 fills itself and your time with a rich array of things to do, things to find, goals to chase and places to explore. It may start slow, but when it all comes together, it really does sing. It preserves the series’ oddities – it doubles down on them in some regards – and yet opens the series up in a way Pikmin has never managed previously. It’s a fine reward for a decade of fan patience and a lot of thought by Nintendo’s top brass on how best to continue after Pikmin 3. It’s a skillful evolution of a series which has been left feeling a little overlooked for too long. Is this Pikmin’s true breakthrough moment? Who knows. But without a doubt it’s one of Nintendo’s best games in years.

Roto Force

Availability: Out now on Android, iOS, and PC.


Roto Force - a crocodile boss attacks

Image credit: Accidentally Awesome/PID Games/East2West Games


A spectacular and imaginative indie, Roto Force is an arcadey twin-stick shooter. Here’s what we said in our Roto Force review:

Roto Force is as visually ingenious as it is hectic. We’re in the world of Game Boy Player 8-Bit here: four colours and chunky, deckle-edged sprites. You play a sort of slug thing, I think, and enemies come in all forms and drawn from many worlds. There’s a level where it’s all about birds – penguin guys spawn and lob fish (?) at you, while the boss fight takes place in a nest. There’s a level that’s all about…slime…I guess? In which plants erupt from soil and fire out toxic gas and the boss is this sort of bubble of goop who emerges from the wall itself and chases you around.

Remnant 2

Availability: Out now on PS5, Xbox Series X/S, PC.

Remnant 2 in action.


An ambitious sequel taking something of a cult hit and making it feel more like a blockbuster, Remnant 2 is a surprising game for a few reasons. Here’s what we said in our Remnant 2 review:

A lacklustre story is not the end of the world… the different realms, the combat, the puzzles – yes, even the more abstruse ones – are fabulously engrossing, and, like a clock chime, every half hour or so one of us would cry “What the hell is that?!”, having bumped into a peculiar enemy we hadn’t taken on before. It’s also to Remnant 2’s credit that it admirably balances the excellent gunplay of a live-service shooter without making the same demands on your time: you’ll likely finish up your first playthrough in 18-20 hours or so.

Venba

Availability: Out now on PC, PS4, PS5, and Xbox Series X/S.


Venba, looking unwell, tells herself to get some cooking done quickly in Venba

Image credit: Visai Games, Valve


A beautiful slice-of-life story where food and family converge, and just a couple hours long too. It’s a lovely little game. Here’s what we said in our Venba review:

Some of the recipes in Venba were new to me, or of food I’ve only seen through screens, as the Indian community close to where I live are from other parts of the country, and not the south. Dosas, thin crepe-like pancakes, are often served with small dishes and chutneys, are yet to take off in a major way in the UK as they have in other parts of the west. But getting the ingredients and its cooking timing right in Venba reminded me of how much of a novice I remain in the kitchen, and how much care even simple-looking dishes from other cultures require to perfect.

The games we’re looking forward to in August
The Master’s Pupil

Availability: Out now on PC.


Technically out at the end of July, this one caught us by surprise. It looks wonderful, and that is entirely separate to the fact it is also a game with its whole premise built around a pun.

Thronefall (Early Access)

Availability: Out 2nd August on PC.


A beige-hued aerial view of a small settlement with minimalist artstyle in Thronefall.

Thronefall is pretty. | Image credit: GrizzlyGames


Surely the most likely game of August to get the official Christian Donlan Corr, Thronefall is a wonderful looking minimalist kingdom-defending game. It hits Early Access at the start of the month.

A Guidebook of Babel

Availability: Out 3rd August on PC and Switch.


A guidebook of Babel screenshot showing a group of strange characters in a kind of bathtub boat, with a large spider-type-person in a top hat towering over them. Otherwordly cartoon style.

Image credit: Pixmain


A bizarre-looking cartoon adventure game pitched as having “the butterfly effect at its core”. Could be great.

Baldur’s Gate 3

Availability: Out 3rd August on PC (6th September on PS5, Xbox Series X/S TBC).

Our video team runs through Baldur’s Gate 3’s big overlap with Dungeons and Dragons.


Official biggun of the month here. Baldur’s Gate 3 sounds incomprehensively vast, not only in length but variety and depth. We’re excited and slightly terrified. Expect our review after launch though, sadly – more on that soon.

WrestleQuest

Availability: Out 8th August on PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Switch, Netflix.


WrestleQuest screen showing a pixel art jungle with wrestling ring in the centre, brightly-coloured sprites, and a busy UI along the bottom with bright blue Hype Meter

Image credit: Skybound Games


A BroForce-style in-your-face tone meets some rather sumptuous pixel art here, in a wrestling RPG. It’s giving Golf Story vibes, and could be fun if it comes together.

Stray Gods: The Roleplaying Musical

Availability: Out 10th August on PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Switch.


Stray Gods screenshot showing a female character in dark clothes with black hair in front of a violet-hued bookcase, with dialogue choices at the bottom of the screen.

Stray Gods has got that Bioware sauce. | Image credit: Humble Games


David Gaider, former lead writer for Bioware on KOTOR and Dragon Age, is making a narrative-romance-musical game, eh? All looks a bit saucy, but hopefully this one’s got more to it than just thirst factor (which it does admittedly have a lot of). Think Hades’ comic book sixpacks minus the combat, but with more dialogue choices. Sold?

Atlas Fallen

Availability: Out 10th August on PC, PS5, Xbox Series X/S.

Atlas Fallen’s reveal trailer from last year’s gamescom.


Deck13, the developers behind the generic-looking but actually quite fun action games The Surge and The Surge 2, are making this even more generic-looking, but potentially even more fun action game called Atlas Fallen. (Actually, I’ve just re-watched the trailer and it looks kind of brilliant. Just smashing about with giant monsters in a nice big open world. Sleeper hit?)

Turbo Overkill

Availability: Out 11th August on PC.


Turbo Overkill screeen showing a totally red room with gooey stuff on the walls and zombie-looking enemies, and a massive gun in the foreground shooting them.

Turbo Overkill indeed. | Image credit: Apogee Entertainment


Turbo Overkill got delayed slightly from mid-July to mid-August because its developer had a baby. Congrats to them! In the meantime they’ve made what looks like potentially one of the best games from the big “boomer-shooter” craze of purposefully retro-tastic Doom-likes. It’s been in Early Access for a while, and we’re excited about giving it a proper look soon.

Wayfinder

Availability: Out 15th August on PC (Early Access), PS4 and PS5.


Wayfinder screenshot showing an elaborate fantasy town during the day, with purple and green neon lighting and three heroes in the bottom left foreground.

Image credit: Digital Extremes


A power-mixing RPG from the developer of Ruined King and Darksiders Genesis, this looks like a treat, launching into Early Access first.

Moving Out 2

Availability: Out 15th August on PC.


Moving Out 2 screen showing a top-down view of trailer full of furniture and roofless house with smashed windows by a road

Image credit: Team17


This one snuck under the radar a bit. Moving Out was an absolute blast – it’s Overcooked but with throwing things out of windows and cramming armoirs through acutely-angled doors. The sequel brings online play and more scenarios – a cracking co-op option.

Cantata

Availability: Out 15th August on PC.


Cantata screen of a strategy map with square tiles, large grey golem-like units, some buildings, and a fascinating art style of bright, clashing retro colours.

Corr. | Image credit: Modern Wolf


Hello art style. This “grand tactics” gem looks absolutely glorious, leaving Early Access this month.

En Garde!

Availability: Out 16th August on PC.


En Garde! screenshot showing the female character booting some soldier off the top of a big crate, with more fighting down below.

Have it! | Image credit: Fireplace Games


An indie fencing action game had a demo that absolutely blew up in a recent Steam Next Fest. We loved it. Swordfighting is fun. Out soon!

Shadow Gambit: The Cursed Crew

Availability: Out 17th August on PC, PS5, Xbox Series X/S.


Shadow Gambit screenshot from aerial view showing a skull-shaped rock formation with green spooky smoke around it on a tropical island area.

Image credit: Mimimi


A tactical stealthy pirate game from the studio behind Desperados 3 and Shadow Tactics, this looks just wonderfully characterful and also ridiculously clever as well. Should go right to the top of the list for any fans of a good backstab.

Texas Chainsaw Massacre

Availability: Out 18th August on PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S.


Texas Chainsaw Massacre screen showing a distant guy holding a chainsaw in silhouette against the horizon, at golden hour in a grassy field

Image credit: Sumo Digital/Gun Interactive


Another asymmetrical horror game about a movie license, yes, but also it looks potentially good? Or potentially fine, but very compelling when you get to burst into a room where your mates are hiding and scream at them like Homer Simpson in a hockey mask scaring Bart?

Bomb Rush Cyberfunk

Availability: Out 18th August on PC, PS4, Xbox One, Switch.


Bomb Rush Cyberfunk screen showing the character skating on a rail with a yellow trail through a modernist cartoon city

Yes. | Image credit: Team Reptile


A spiritual successor to Jet Set Radio? Someone check on Donlan.

Fort Solis

Availability: Out 22nd August on PC, PS5.

Fort Solis’ reveal trailer.


Big-name voice acting talent attached to this narrative space thriller set on Mars – it has our attention.

Immortals of Aveum

Availability: Out 22nd August on PC, PS5, Xbox Series X/S.


Immortals of Aveum screenshot showing Gina Torres' character and some blue magic stuff

Image credit: EA


The “other stuff out this month” section was really invented for games like Immortals of Aveum. I’ve played it, and I can tell you it is… a game that I have played. But, hang about: it has ex-Call of Duty talent directing it, and it’s partially written by Michael Kirkbride, as in, guy who wrote The Elder Scrolls: Morrowind’s lore Michael Kirkbride. And Gina Torres! From Suits and Firefly and Destiny! What is going on here? We are admittedly, actually, nearly quite curious.

Blasphemous 2

Availability: Out 24th August on PC, PS5, Xbox Series X/S, Switch.


Blashphemous 2 screen showing player looking towards a pile of junk in a dark dungeon chamber, with a giant grey arm sticking out of it

You get the vibe. | Image credit: Team17


Impossibly gorgeous pixel art on this one, an occult 2D action game. m/

Armored Core 6

Availability: Out 25th August on PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S.

Here’s the Armored Core 6 story trailer, because obviously story is crucial here.


August’s other biggun, Armored Core 6 appears to be a palate-cleanser for FromSoftware, with a return to their slightly whacky robo-boss-fight roots. You can swap legs! And have swords for arms! Everything is grey! We’ll obviously be all over it.

Goodbye Volcano High

Availability: Out 29th August on PC, PS4, PS5.


Three pastel-coloured dinosaur emos play on stage in a high school band in Goodbye Volcano High

Image credit: KO_OP


Dinosaurs go to high school on a doomed planet in this cinematic narrative that seems laser-targeted at millenials who also went through a hair-straighteners-and-fingerless-gloves phase in around 2007 and liked Bojack Horseman a bit too much. (Suspect this will be quite popular.)

Sea of Stars

Availability: Out 29th August on PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Switch.

Sea of Stars’ reveal trailer.


The archetypal retro pixel-art party-based RPG certainly looks the part. Is it actually good though? There’s huge potential here – and clearly huge demand for a return to these types of games from nostalgic fans of early Final Fantasy, Chrono Trigger and the rest. We’re very keen to see what’s what.

Samba de Amigo: Party Central

Availability: Out 29th August on Switch, Meta Quest 2/Pro version due 2023.


Samba De Amigo: Party Central screen showing two characters in a Latin American street party with all kinds of visual effects all over the screen

This image smells like the year 2000. | Image credit: Sega


A rhythm game about shaking your Joycon/VR controllers like maracas, to the beat of Latin American (and other) music, that’s also a sequel to Sonic Team-developed, Dreamcast-only cult hit from 1999? SOLD!

Trine 5: A Clockwork Conspiracy

Availability: Out 31st August on PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Nintendo Switch.


Trine 5 screen showing the wizard and rogue running through a very bright orange field with orange trees in a fantasy setting

THE TRINE! Seriously give these games a go if you like co-op they’re great. | Image credit: THQ Nordic


Slight personal agenda here because I just really like Trine, a faintly silly series that learned the valuable lesson, with Trine 3’s ill-fated move to 3D from 2D sidescrolling, that you should never innovate. Trine has a formula, and that’s two friends conspiring to make their third friend (the one stuck with the knight) fall into a hole. From side-on perspective only.

What else do we recommend in August?
Gamescom 2023


It’s Gamescom time! The world’s largest gaming convention, in terms of sheer volume of gamer, is back again. We don’t expect it to be massive on the announcements front – it rarely is – but there’s always some cool stuff to see in person, and we’ll certainly be there for the usual mix of previews and interviews behind closed doors. Personally, I want to extend my best wishes to the Eurogamer away team in their hunt for a single bottle of non-sparkling water in the entire Koelnmesse. Good luck! At least Nintendo’s showing up this time. Xbox will also have a presence but no PlayStation, as ever.

Genshin Impact 4.0


There’s no confirmed release date yet, but Genshin Impact version 4.0 is very likely to arrive mid-way through August, going by its regular patch schedule. As our resident Genshin expert Jessica Orr put it: “It adds a huge new area called Fontaine and a swimming mechanic, amongst the usual story, side quest, and character updates.”

Gran Turismo movie


Based on a true story, no less! Somewhere out in the world a man called Martin Robinson is telling everyone who’ll listen that this is his Barbenheimer. We’ll be there.

A Short Hike


A Short Hike screen showing the main character bird sitting on a beach under a rainbow-coloured parasol with a fishing rod and bait bobbing in the crystal blue sea.

It’s still summer. | Image credit: adamgryu


There’s an obscene amount of cool-looking stuff out in August (seriously what is going on, this summer has been ridiculous for releases – and yes we know it’s the pandemic backlog before you explain it but thank you anyway), so, just the one complimentary pick this month to stop you getting distracted. It’s August, it’s still summer – but only for one more month. Capture the bittersweetness of transient sunshine with A Short Hike.

Other stuff coming out in August 2023

Too. Many. Games. Here’s some more coming out in August!

Daymare 1994: Sandcastle – a more polished sequel to Resident Evil-alike Daymare: 1998
Celeste – returns to Game Pass
Palia – PC closed and open betas
Skull and Bones closed beta – believe it when you see it
Vampire Survivors – coming to Switch! Sounds nightmarishly compelling
Hercule Poirot: The London Case
Gord
Stray – Xbox version

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Article source https://www.eurogamer.net/what-to-play-this-august

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