With the ongoing Steam Summer Sale, a good number of us might have to be a little thriftier come next month. Thankfully, July isn't packed to the brim with stunning new games, but there are still some titles that will probably make you think twice before throwing most of your cash at Gaben. Unless you don't game on PC, in which case you don't have worry as much.
Anyway, here are the biggest games of July 2017, with the most notable title of the bunch being the remaster of a certain Square Enix JRPG (that sadly isn't being released on the 12th).
Release Date: July 7
Platform: PS4, PS Vita
If the title wasn’t a giveaway already, this action RPG is probably the game you want if you’re looking forward to seeing the Sword Art Online and Accel World characters cross paths. The story is penned by both series’ creator Reki Kawahara himself, and sees Kirito challenging the Accelerated World’s Seven Kings of pure color to find Yui’s location. Later, both the Burst Linkers and Alfheim Online players have to team up to save Yui from villain Persona Babel.
The two sides are differentiated by the former's ability to use Accelaration and special techniques, while the SAO characters can use ALO’s fairy flight mechanic and magic. Players can build three-person teams with characters from both sides, allowing them to create their ideal crossover team-ups. Online, there will be 4v4 multiplayer modes to engage in.
Those unfamiliar with the two series involved might likely end up confused, but for fans of either one - who’re likely the main target audience anyway - this might be quite a treat.
Release Date: July 11
Final Fantasy XV may not be done with its DLCs yet, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t the right time to head back to Final Fantasy XII’s Ivalice. Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age is the remaster of the over decade-old JRPG, and brings not just HD visuals, “true” 7.1 surround sound and rerecorded background music but also enhanced gameplay to the PS4.
The new gameplay features include The Zodiac Job System, which brings an improved character leveling system that is said to cater to player preference, a Trial Mode where you can take part in up to 100 consecutive fights against monsters and enemies and a Speed Mode. Players will get to experience all these in addition to the Hunts, Battles and mini-games that were a part of the original experience.
This being a remaster, the plot remains the same. The small kingdom of Dalmasca gets conquered by the Archadian Empire, resulting in heir to the throne Princess Ashe joining the resistance. Main protagonist Vaan, an orphan street thief who lost his family in the war, finds himself joining some unlikely allies and Ashe herself as they attempt to liberate their country.
Release Date: July 21
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Splatoon 2 is coming to deliver more colourful shooter action, and this time players will be able to experience things on-the-go, thanks to the game releasing on the Nintendo Switch. The 4v4 Turf War multiplayer mode is back to send teams scrambling to cover the most turf with their respective ink, and there will again be a singleplayer campaign where you battle the octopus-like Octarians.
There are of course new things to enjoy as well, and one of these is the 4-player Salmon Run co-op mode. Then there are new weapons, gear, the dual-wielded Splat Dualies and remixes of familiar weapons like the Splat Roller and Splat Charger that bring new mechanics into the fray. Furthermore, players will get the welcome addition of local multiplayer.
Release Date: July 25
Platform: PC, Xbox One, PS4
A sci-fi city building game, Aven Colony takes place on the faraway planet of Aven Prime where you are in charge of mankind’s first extrasolar settlement. According to a developer comment on Steam, the game shares similarities with city builders like Anno, Tropico and Cities: Skylines, but includes unique features like “artifact collection /activation” and an “expedition system”. The latter lets you deploy a team of pioneers to explore ruins perform rescue and repair missions and recover artifacts while fending off threats.
Despite being far from Earth, Aven Prime will have familiar environments like jungles and deserts. The game will have you starting off with a “tiny colony and building it into a huge, sprawling metropolis” and manage your colonists’ well-being. On the planet, you will face dangers ranging from a low-oxygen environment and electrical storms to various alien lifeforms and even robots. The seasonal cycle plays a part in hampering your progress as well - winter will freeze the planet, preventing farms from growing food and causing solar panels to be less effective, for example. There will also be a single-player campaign with a story that will reveal the planet’s secrets.
Release Date: July 25
Platform: PC, PS4
From the creators of Bastion and Transistor come this new party-based RPG. Claiming to feature developer Supergiant’s “biggest and most imaginative world yet”, Pyre will have you leading a cast of exiles across a land called the Downside in order to win their freedom through ancient competitions. Each Rite will let you field three members of your party and equip them with Talismans and Masteries before facing off against the enemy.
Another interesting bit is that there is no “game-over”, with the experience continuing even after a defeat. The branching and interactive nature of the story also promises unique experiences for every player. Aside from the single-player campaign, there is also a local Versus Mode where you can square off against a friend or CPU opponent in ritual showdowns.