A Wave of Summer Heat is Coming with the Recent Game Releases
How’s the summer going, folks? Pretty fast by the looks of it. Just like the awesome new trailer for Forza Horizon 5 summarized in our E3 Recap. Did you catch it? We all got a good look at what's to come this autumn and winter as far as gaming releases, but let’s not get too ahead of ourselves. Those will come, and for now, I’ve got the run-down on the latest games to keep you entertained this August.
Upcoming Game Releases August ‘21
August is still ahead of us with a plethora of exciting new game releases and I’ve selected some out-of-the-box games that stand out from the mainstream. Like Skatebird for PC, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch, where the title says it all. You're a bird on a skateboard who may just become the new Tony ‘Hawk’ (no pun intended). Then, there is 12 minutes, an artistic game influenced by Alfred Hitchcock, Stanley Kubrick and David Fincher. It’s a murder mystery voiced by a Hollywood-level cast: Willem Dafoe, Daisy Ridley, and James McAvoy. The twist? The game repeats itself every twelve minutes, so you have to learn the story and make educated decisions based on your collected information from the prior 12 minutes. And another artistic game, Out of Line is a beautiful hand-drawn puzzle platformer for Nintendo Switch. Then there’s Hades, a truly amazing dungeon-crawler that surprised players last year with its console debut (PlayStation 4/5, Xbox One and S/X) after its PC success. And last, but not least, a long-awaited AAA game, Psychonauts 2 for the PC, XSX, and XOne is coming after 16 years of its original debut. Sounds interesting? Let’s dig deeper!
New Video Games Releases for Xbox In August
Game release date: August 12, 2021
This one is a personal favorite. Goofy games, like Goat Simulator or I Am Bread never caught my attention. They always try to mimic some game mechanics in weird ways. But the new arrival, Skatebird managed to get my attention. As the title says, you are a bird - on a skateboard. A pretty cool one though, who can do sick skateboarding tricks on a small fingerboard. All the mechanics are there to make a nice little skateboarding game - ollies, kickflips and everything else you would expect from an extreme Tony Hawk Pro Skater-esque sports game. As far as I can see from the trailer, your bird skates in the real world. Like in your owner’s office, performing flips off magazine ramps and maneuvering rails made out of paperclips. Basically, I adore the idea and I'm in love with the notion that the birdie flaps its wings to keep balanced.
Developer: Glass Bottom Games
Playable on: XBOX, PC/Mac, Nintendo Switch, Amazon Luna
Hype Meter: 4/5
Release trailer: https://youtu.be/S7dPN6TI-X8
Game release date: August 19, 2021
Starring voices from the likes of Willem Dafoe (Spider-Man, Aquaman), Daisy Ridley (Star Wars: Episode VII), and James McAvoy (X-Men: Apocalypse) will cost you a lot of money. For Sony-funded games, like Death Stranding, it is not surprising to hear the famous voices of Norman Reedus, Mads Mikkelsen, Léa Seydoux and the amazing voice actor, Troy Baker. What’s cool about 12 Minutes, is that Annapurna Interactive was able to snag a similarly star-studded cast. Which is great because I love to hear superstar voices during my gameplay and Annapurna Interactive is one of my favorite game publishers, with titles like Journey, and The Pathless.
12 minutes is a murder-mystery adventure game, with an exciting top-down perspective. You play as the husband (voiced by James McAvoy) and try to escape from the police officer (Willem Dafoe) who murdered your wife (Daisy Ridley). It all takes place in the couple’s home and by interacting with the elements, you’ll learn more and more information about the murder and hopefully find your way out of this 12-minute loop. It’s like the movie Groundhog Day, but in horror.
Developer: Luis Antonio (with Annapurna Interactive as publisher)
Playable on: XSX, Xbox One, PC
Genre: Mystery, Adventure
Hype Meter: 5/5
Release trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xuDzBhUvElI
Game release date: August 25, 2021
The last time I heard about Psychonauts 2 was in 2019, when the developers showed us an entertaining trailer. After 2 years of development, the game is almost here and debuts on the Xbox Game Pass for PC, XBOX and XSX. So what is Psychonauts 2? This colorful puzzle platformer is the Windows equivalent of Sackboy: A Big Adventure. As you can see in the announcement trailer, our hero Raz, is rushing through exciting surreal worlds, and fighting unique bosses while doing crazy acrobatics - a nice twist to the general platformer genre, where Psychonauts found its niche.
Besides the next-gen graphics and new moves, there is a hub stage, where our protagonist can invade other's minds to put up a fight against their inner demons. Sounds goofy enough for me to have a blast.
Developer: Double Fine Productions
Genre: Action, Adventure, Platformer
Playable on: XSX/S, Xbox One, PS4, PC/Mac, Linux
Hype Meter: 4/5
Release trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mg-0jnExyx4
New Video Games Releases for Sony In August
Game release date: August 13, 2021
Hades is a rogue-like dungeon crawler game that got an overwhelming amount of ‘Game of the Year’ awards last year. And it is finally debuting on consoles! What is rouge-like, you ask? It's basically when players will be permanently dead, so no respawning, after being killed in a dungeon-style environment with enemies and stages procedurally generated. So nothing is constant, every "round" is different, and you're tasked with leveling up in a chaotic environment. Thanks to the fast-paced hack and slash action, and the addictive level-up system Hades was highly praised by many media platforms and video game influencers, like PewDiePie. Your aim? To slash yourself out from the Underworld and defy the God of the Dead, Hades. Do you dare to try? Godspeed!
Developer: Supergiant Games
Genre: Rogue-like dungeon-crawler, Action
Playable on: PS5, PS4, XSX, Xbox One, PC
Hype Meter: 4/5
Release trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RXq0yBmfiC8
New Video Games Releases for the Nintendo Switch In August
Out of Line
Game release date: August 18, 2021
On the Nintendo side, the unique-looking platformer Out of Line is on its way. Its artistic approach gives this title a plus in the world of video games. All the stages are made in a wonderful and colorful hand-drawn style which gives this 2D world a charismatic personality. Your character, San's, objective is to escape the Factory where he was created. Look, I'm a simple guy, if something looks as mesmerizing as this game, count me in to play.
Developer: Nerd Monkeys
Genre: Action, Platformer
Playable on: Nintendo Switch, PS4, Xbox One, PC
Hype Meter: 3/5
Release trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QI918FbMPuI
Concluding Thoughts On This Month’s Releases
As you can see, summer is in full swing now that we're in August, but that does not stop developers from delivering kick-ass video games for us! In retrospect, with all the announcements from E3, it seems like Xbox and Windows got the high ground this summer against Sony. Even though they've just debuted their next-gen console, the PlayStation 5. I don't think Sony is in trouble though, they are simply just cooking up some magic in their labs these days to get the crown back from the video game hall of fame. As of writing this, in their July State of Play show, they previewed some really exciting titles which I'll definitely talk about in a future post.
So what are your thoughts on our selection? Did one of these unusual titles quench your thirst for summer excitement? Be it Skatebird, a perfect kick-off (or kickflip) to make a mundane hot day into a place of simple fun and laughter. While laughing is fun, maybe mystery game drama is more your style, like in 12 minutes. As for Hades, quick action dungeon-crawling has never been so addictive. Not to mention, we're already used to the heat, so a little dive into the spicy Underworld doesn't hurt too much. Jumping, flipping around is good for your health, and let’s be real, acrobatics just look cool, which is why the new Psychonauts 2 game will be a perfect match for a home-based vacation. And for those, who like more artistic gameplay, the beautiful hand-drawn 2D environments in Out of Line are the perfect choice for Switch gaming.
It doesn’t stop here. There are so many more games to talk about during this summer, and we’d like to hear your thoughts about them on our social media channels. So feel free to connect with Dundle on our Twitter, Facebook or Instagram pages for more!
Other Game Release Dates to Look Out for in August
Ghost of Tsushima Director’s Cut | PlayStation 5 and 4 | 20th of August, 2021
Madden NFL 22 | PlayStation 5 | Xbox Series X/S | PC | 20th of August, 2021