The BIGGEST Games of August 2017

By Melvyn Tan on Jul 21, 2017

Image source: PlayStation Official Site
Image source: PlayStation Official Site

Wow, it looks like there's quite a lot of notable releases coming our way next month! Alright, so it's not exactly a massive triple-A tsunami we're getting this August, but the reality ain't so bad either. There's a good variety of interesting new games here, and they include indie titles like gravity-defying shooter LawBreakers, psychological and mythological action game Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice and online martial arts RPG Absolver. Featuring the involvement of Cliff Bleszinski, Ninja Theory and ex-Ubisoft employees respectively, I'm curious to see if their latest offerings will live up to their potential.


LawBreakers

Release Date: August 8

Platform: PC, PS4

LawBreakers is a multiplayer shooter from Cliff Bleszinski’s (of Gears of War fame) Boss Key Productions where two sides - the Law and the Breakers - clash in a variety of futuristic environments. What makes this game stand out from the competition are the anti-gravity zones that can be found on each map, letting players float above enemies, propel themselves by firing their weapons and simply breaking the laws of gravity. Various abilities ranging from flying to grappling add to the player’s mobility, letting them move around quickly and engage in fast-paced action even outside of the anti-gravity zones.

The presence of abilities and randomly-earned cosmetics bring games like Overwatch and Paladins to mind, but LawBreakers is more of a class-oriented affair with a bigger emphasis on the use of weapons. However, its modes also share a focus on accomplishing objectives, whether it is the goal-scoring Blitzball, capture-point-style Turf War or battery-stealing/charging Overcharge.

Fun fact: LawBreakers was originally planned to be a free-to-play game, but will now come with an up-front price tag, albeit one that is lower than that of triple-A releases ($29.99/RM128.66 in the U.S.; RM99 in Malaysia due to regional pricing).

 

Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice

 

Release Date: August 8

Platform: PS4, PC

From Ninja Theory comes an action-adventure game that blends Norse mythology with the real-life mental disorder of psychosis. Dubbed as an independent triple-A game by its developer, HellBlade: Senua’s Sacrifice centers on Senua, a Celtic warrior who embarks on a “haunting vision quest into Viking Hell” to battle for her dead lover’s soul. With the presence of psychosis, it’d be interesting to see how much of Senua’s supernatural experiences are real or imagined. Whatever the case, there will certainly be interesting things to see on this journey, which is priced cheaper than that of a standard triple-A game ($29.99 in the U.S. like LawBreakers, but only RM56 in Malaysia).

Fun fact: Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice is Ninja Theory’s first game since Heavenly Sword to feature a female warrior as the main player character.

 

Agents of Mayhem

 

Release Date: August 15

Platform: PS4, Xbox One, PC

This Saints Row spin-off moves the spotlight from the 3rd Street Saints to the super-agents of MAYHEM, with all of them sporting unique looks, weapons and abilities. These men and women are tasked with battling the evil super-villain organization called LEGION and their leader, the Morningstar, and you’ll get to experience the fight in an open-world Seoul.

Instead of being creating a character and being stuck with him/her, players will get to bring three agents to missions and swap between them on-the-fly. If you pre-order, you can even play as fan-favourite character Johnny Gat as well.

Fun fact: Agents of Mayhem continues from the “Have God recreate the Earth and retcon the entire world of Saints Row” ending of Saint’s Row 4 expansion Gat out of Hell, resulting in Johnny Gat being a cop in Seoul prior to joining MAYHEM.

 

Cities: Skylines

 

Release Date: August 15

Platform: PS4

Already out on PC and Xbox One, Cities: Skylines bills itself as a modern take on classic city building. As a mayor, you’ll have to build up your city while managing things like education, fire fighting, healthcare and the economy. Districts can be designated to apply your policies, and a day/night cycle courtesy of the After Dark expansion changes the experience depending on the time of day, with night creating slower traffic for example. There’s also a “full realized transport system” which takes advantage of the developer’s experience from making the Cities in Motion franchise.

Fun fact: Cities: Skylines isn’t just about making functional and neat-looking cities. As this PlayStation Blog post notes, building a town’s-worth of infrastructure and services for a single house or funelling wastewater into your own tourism district are things you can totally do.

 

Uncharted: The Lost Legacy

 

Release Date: August 22

Platform: PS4

This standalone expansion sees fan-favourite Uncharted character Chloe Frazer teaming up with the fourth game’s Nadine Ross to recover an ancient artifact from the mountains of India. The Lost Legacy promises to feature the series’ trademark features, from a cinematic story and exotic locales to complex puzzles and “action-packed set pieces”.

Fun Fact: Chloe was present as a playable character in Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End’s multiplayer, but was only referred to in the single-player campaign. This will be her third single-player appearance in the series.

 

Yakuza: Kiwami

 

Release Date: August 29

Platform: PS4

The first entry in the Yakuza series arrived back in 2006 on the PS2, bringing us the story of once up-and-coming yakuza Kazuma Kiryu who takes the fall for a crime boss’s murder in 1995. When he leaves prison 10 years later, he finds a world he does not recognize and discovers that his childhood friend Yumi is missing. He also crosses paths with Haruka, a girl who is Yumi’s niece and is linked to billions of a yakuza clan’s missing yen...

With Yakuza Kiwami, that story can now be experienced on the PS4. “Kiwami” means extreme, and that subtitle isn’t without reason. In addition to graphical improvements, the game brings new story content and side quests, rerecorded audio, updated combat, the return of Yakuza 0’s battle styles and more.

Fun fact: The in-game setting of Kamurocho is a fictional district in Tokyo that is based on the real-life Kabukichō red-light district.

 

Warriors: All-Stars

 

Release Date: August 29

Platform: PS4, PC

In a world which has prospered for a long time due to the power of “Spring”, the death of The King who controls it results in the world beginning to die. His daughter, Princess Tamaki performs a ceremony to summon heroes from various worlds after hearing a prophecy from her mother, which the intention of restoring “Spring”. However, the heroes are scattered and end up split into three opposing sides.

Thanks to that set-up, over 20 characters from various Koei Tecmo franchises like Dynasty Warriors, Toukiden, the Atelier series, Dead or Alive and more are now fated to cross paths. The gameplay will have you taking control of one character while a team of up to four supports you in battle with moves based on their respective personalities and stories. Everyone also gets a unique Hero Skill, while Hero Chains lets you unleash a combined attack from you and your team.

Fun fact: As mentioned by the game’s wikia page, it was revealed in an interview with Inside Games that the game’s original characters - including Tamaki herself - were designed to be anthropomorphic as a result of wanting to make them stand out from the other characters.

 

Life is Strange: Before the Storm - Episode 1

Release Date: August 31

Platform: PC, PS4, Xbox One

A prequel to the popular episodic adventure game, Life is Strange: Before the Storm is set three years before the first game and will last for three episodes. Players will follow the story of 16-year-old Chloe Price, who befriends popular beauty Rachel Amber. When Rachel learns a family secret, her world threatens to come apart and her friendship with Chloe is what gives her the strength to continue on. Chloe has demons of her own too, and the two girls will have to confront and deal with them together.

The game will feature choices that will carry consequences and result in different endings, as well as the “Backtalk” conversation feature for Chloe to “use her barbed tongue to provoke or get her way”. You can also choose her outfit and see how people react to her look.

Fun fact: Life is Strange: Before the Storm will not feature Chloe’s original voice actress, Ashly Burch, due to a voice actor's strike. Rhianna DeVries voices her this time instead, but Burch is still around as a writing consultant.

 

Absolver

Release Date: August 29

Platform: PS4, PC

Absolver is an “online multiplayer combat RPG” that lets you indulge in martial arts combat and supports both 1v1 and 3v3 battles as well as PvE dungeons. Players will be able to make use of four tactical stances and pull off attacks, dodges and parries. The stances aren’t the only options to alter things, as there are also combat styles and weapons to pick from. Furthermore, you can even arrange attacks in a Combat Deck to design an attack flow of your own liking. And then there’s weapons, gear and armour to acquire, and warriors to form a team with.

That’s not the end of Absolver’s intriguing elements either. Your narrative journey will take place in the same world as other players, leading to opportunities for interesting player encounters and emergent experiences. As for the story, you’re a mask-wearing Prospect who awakens in the ruins of the Adal Emire, here to be determined if you’re worthy of becoming an elite Absolver.

Fun fact: Developer Slocap was founded by former Ubisoft employees who worked on Watch Dogs and the Ghost Recon games. This is the indie studio’s debut game. 

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Melvyn Tan
About the Author
Freelancer for Gamehubs since 2015, who enjoys various forms of entertainment including gaming (naturally). Since watching Dunkirk, he now plays Day of Infamy more than usual.
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