August is a pretty exciting month for video games, indies especially. While we wait for the likely banal big blockbusters to come and lighten our pockets to a frightening degree, we will indulge ourselves in some frankly wonderful looking indies. Unfortunately, my, personal, highlight of the month, Kena: Bridge of Spirits, has been delayed until next month. But even removing that from the picture doesn’t even dent the excitement we have for the talent left on offer. We’ve got everything from procedurally generated narratives spanning just under 150,000 possible choices to mind-bogglingly trippy adventures and literally gut-wrenching forays into creepy corridors. So, sit back, relax and see if anything tickles your fancy.
Road 96 – August 16th
Road 96 was announced a little while ago, and ever since has got us scratching our heads. Not in a bad way mind, as it’s made this list for a very good reason. In fact, Road 96 sounds like one of the most ambitious projects out there, with 148,268 possible variations on a procedurally generated narrative. I mean, if that doesn’t sound completely wild to you, then we have to wonder how long you’ve been playing Fortnite and nothing but. If you’re at all into narrative games, then it might be worth checking out Road 96. At the very least, we’re interested to see if this experiment will have paid off.
Road 96 is coming to the Nintendo Switch and PC this August 16th.
Humankind – August 17th
Humankind, the Civilisation inspired game by legendary developers Amplitude Studios, has definitely caught our interest. We’re big fans of everything strategy here at The Game Crater, and love it whenever there’s a twist to a well-trodden formula. Humankind seems to shake things up enough from what we’ve seen so far and will hopefully sustain our interest for long enough. If Amplitude Studio’s previous efforts – the Endless series most importantly – are anything to go by, then Humankind is likely to be the strategy game of the year. Fortunately, we don’t have long to wait before we can get our mittens on it. That’s right, we all play our games with mittens on.
Humankind is coming to PC this August 17th.
Ghost of Tsushima: Director’s Cut – August 20th
We are BIG fans of Ghost of Tsushima here at The Game Crater. So, I’m sure you can imagine the moment when our collective ears sprung into the air like a Spoink showing off as they announced it would receive a Director’s Cut. Whether or not you agree with the label “Director’s Cut”, the thing that’s really got our goats all excited is the announcement of the upcoming Iki Island Expansion. It’s adding a whole new island to explore, as well as a more mystical-focused narrative. And for those of you who own a PS5 – I wish – you’ll be able to make the most of the new PlayStation 5 specific features such as improved lip-sync. It’s certainly going to be a blast hopping back into Ghost of Tsushima and we cannot wait to try out the new DLC.
Ghost of Tsushima: Director’s Cut is coming to PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 this August 20th.
Aliens: Fireteam Elite – August 24th
It seems like everyone’s making their own Left 4 Dead-style game these days. So, it’s a good job we’re not complaining. Who doesn’t love unloading an entire clip of a machine gun into a giant horde of zombies? I tell you who: people who’d much rather be unloading an entire clip of an M41A pulse rifle into a giant horde of Aliens. Aliens: Fireteam Elite seeks to combine the run and gun gameplay of Left 4 Dead with the wonderfully bleak world of Aliens. While we’re still holding out hope for an Evolve style game set in the Alien universe, Aliens: Fireteam Elite seems like the next best thing. Clearing out claustrophobic corridors full of creepy crawlies seems like a ton of fun to us. Even more so is the four-player co-op which we can’t wait to jump into to take them down together.
Aliens: Fireteam Elite is coming to PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S and PC this August 24th.
I Expect You To Die 2: The Spy and The Liar – August 24th
The witty and ever hilarious I Expect You To Die is getting a sequel and boy does it look fun! This immersive espionage thriller seems to be a bigger and better successor to the already fantastic original. The trailer alone tells us that we’re going to be in for a pretty enjoyable ride, although to expect that the ride will be full of explosives ready to blast us to smithereens. It’s always great to see a new VR game come out if only to see how it makes use of the frankly incredible technology. After Half-Life: Alyx was released a little while back, the bar for what you can do has been set quite high. But I Expect You To Die 2: The Spy and The Liar seems set to at the very least be just as fun.
I Expect You To Die 2: The Spy and The Liar is coming to SteamVR, Oculus Quest, Oculus Rift, and PlayStation VR this August 24th.
Psychonauts 2 – August 25th
Psychonauts 2, the long-awaited sequel to the cult classic Psychonauts seems aptly trippy. We say that in the nicest way possible considering it’s a game all about delving into the twisted minds of others. It looks visually stunning, especially in the vast array of environments showcased in its various trailers. The story looks suitably bombastic, full of intrigue, topical themes and beautifully designed characters. Despite its at times Tim Burton-esque world, Psychonauts 2 really is a game we want to dive into and be completely immersed by. It’s been a long time coming, and we can’t believe it’s almost here. We’ve no doubts it’ll be worth all the hype.
Psychonauts 2 is coming to Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox Game Pass and PC this August 25th.
Baldo: The Guardian Owls – August 27th
It feels a little redundant saying we love Studio Ghibli at this point, especially considering we mention it in practically every article. But hey, we love Studio Ghibli. So much so, that we can’t help but feel all giddy inside every time we hear news about Baldo: The Guardian Owls. This is a pretty huge Ghibli-inspired RPG with an almost flawless art style. From its colourful cast of characters to its vibrant world begging to be explored, Baldo has impressed with every single trailer. Its recent release date announcement trailer truly shows off its beauty. We cannot wait to play this one, to delve into its world and explore every nook and cranny. I reckon we’ve collectively watched its recent trailer at least a thousand times, and for good reason. Not only is it a stunning and exciting game, but also its soundtrack is kind of a bop.
Baldo: The Guardian Owls is coming to PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Apple Arcade and PC this August 25th.
New World – August 31st
By this point, if you haven’t heard of New World you either don’t like MMOs or, like Patrick Star, choose to live under a perfectly spherical rock. New World is the latest effort from Amazon Game Studio and is an epic MMO set in a fantastical world. It is clear that the developers care about its community, as during its Closed Alpha phase, they took on a lot of player suggestions and have changed the game significantly since. We’re often in search of new MMOs to try, especially now that we are boycotting World of Warcraft, so we’re looking forward to trying out New World.
New World is coming to PC this August 31st.
Rustler – August 31st
Rustler has been in Early Access for a little while now and feels ready to pop out of the metaphorical oven and into our metaphorical mouths. It’s seen quite the transformation in reviews since it first launched, going from mixed to very positive in a matter of months. This is in large part due to the amazing support the game has received from its developers. If you’ve ever played Grand Theft Auto but wished your car was a horse and those nefarious gangs were knights then Rustler may be for you. Personally, we’ve been excited for Rustler for a long time now, and cannot wait to play it when it leaves Early Access.
Rustler is coming to PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and PC this August 31st.
The Big Con – August 31st
Last but certainly not least is The Big Con. This honestly seems like the 90s road trip adventure we’ve always wanted. From its wonderfully vibrant visuals to its hilarious sense of humour, The Big Con seems like the ultimate summer flick. And who doesn’t want to live vicariously through petty thieves in the 90s? I mean seriously! We’re just excited to try on the assortment of very convincing disguises available and immersing ourselves in the 90s. It’ll be nice to relive the lustre of our childhoods once more.
The Big Con is coming to Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S and PC this August 31st.