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Editorial

Three Single Player Games to Look out for in August

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Hello Single Player gaming enthusiasts! We’re half-way through the Summer months in North America and headed towards the busy Fall. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t any good releases to talk about for August. If your weather is anything like it’s been on the West Coast this year, there’s still plenty need to find ways to beat the heat and here are three strong August releases – in no particular order – that can help.

Until Dawn – (Release: Aug 25 on PS4)

Until Dawn began life as PS3 exclusive from UK-based developer Supermassive Games way back in 2012 with a projected 2013 release window. The game was purported to be a “teen horror” styled narrative with gameplay reminiscent of Heavy Rain. It was originally intended as a Playstation Move controller showcase piece, where you used the peripheral as a flashlight. Jumping ahead to Gamescom 2014, the game was re-revealed to have been completely remade exclusively for the PS4.

The title had dropped the Move emphasis and seemed destined for Project Morpheus territory. However, now the horror-survival title with more than a little bit of the film slasher genre influence nears release with what looks like standard controller support (Morpheus is still a little ways off). Players will need to play through the game multiple times in order to “reveal the full story” and each decision made has consequences that will effect later game sequences. The ultimate goal is to keep all eight characters alive. Keep an eye on this one and gamers outside of the U.S. should look for the extended and steelbook editions.

Until Dawn Screen

Gears of War Ultimate Edition – (Release: Aug 25 on Xbox One)

If you’d been paying attention, the Gears of War Ultimate Edition announcement at E3 2015 wasn’t too much of a shock – the remastered title was leaked a few months prior in April. However, E3 did provide a few intriguing facts. The first was in the visual department. The game looks pretty spectacular visually, heading towards full next-gen remake territory. The second surprise was that the game was already almost done — and here we are with the game releasing next month. The third surprise was for PC gamers, as the title was also announced for their platform and making use of the power available — less surprising was Microsoft later announcing that “Gears on Win10 is later than the Xbox One version”, with no firm date announced.

For Xbox One owners you will finally get access to the extra 90 minutes of campaign previously exclusive to the original, little-remembered PC Port of the game. Along with upgraded visuals, you’ll also get remastered 7.1 surround sound, and “modernized gameplay with smoother movement and updated controls”. Most of the remaining new and remastered features are centered on multiplayer.

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Shadowrun Hong Kong – (Release Aug 20 on PC)

The third installment of the rebooted/reimagined Shadowrun series, following Returns and Dragonfall, is slated for August as well, with Shadowrun: Hong Kong. Very happy with their more than $1.8 million in donations for Shadowrun Returns, Kickstarter backers once again heeded the funding call with $1.2 million for Shadowrun: Hong Kong. The title seeks to build on the success and features of the previous entries and promises expansions and upgrades across the board, with a story featuring an entirely new group of runners.

Harebrained Schemes lists revamped art and gameplay, transitional animatics, enhanced sounds, dynamic combat music and a reworked inventory system that makes management an easier task. In addition, players reliant on spells and/or cyberware will have new objects and skills to explore. The developers describe the title as “a perfect entry point to the setting for those with no prior Shadowrun experience, while providing plenty of classic Shadowrun characters and tech for veteran players to sink their teeth into.”

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Honorable Mention: Armikrog – (Release Aug 18 on PC)

Armikrog gets a special mention as this nearly $1 million Kickstarter success seems to be a little bit under the radar for some gamers. The reason you should be interested in this title is simple: it comes from the original creator of Earthworm Jim and The Neverhood, Doug TenNapel. These two classic 90’s games are stand-outs in the platforming and adventure gaming genre respectively. The Neverhood in particular seems to be the biggest influence on Armikrog as they both showcase a claymation art focus.

Armikrog will also be an adventure game, in fact it’s being billed as a spirtual successor to the Neverhood, so fans of that title are understandably excited. The story follows the adventure of Tommynaut, a space explorer who ends up the prisoner at a strange fortress after crash-landing on a remote planet. His companion is a blind, talking dog, called Beak-Beak. I swear, if they hurt the dog… This game will also be eventually making its way to PS4 and WiiU.

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Those are our three games to look for in August. Which one is the most interesting to you? What other upcoming games are you most looking forward to? Drop us some comments below with your thoughts. As always look for us on Facebook, Twitter and Youtube.

Freelance writer and used-to-be artist based out of the Pacific Northwest. I studied Game Art & Design in college. I have been writing web content for the last 6 years, including for my own website dedicated to entertainment, gaming & photography. I have been playing games dating back to the NES era. My other interests are film, books and music. I sometimes pretend to be great at photography. You can find me on Youtube, Twitch, Twitter, 500px, DeviantArt and elsewhere under my nick: JamesInDigital.

Editorial

Three Single-Player Games to Watch Out for in May 2019

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May

May offers no respite from the big, bold games that have released so far in 2019, bringing with it a host of games almost certain to appeal to gamers of every stripe.

Close to the Sun

Release Date: May 2, 2019
Platforms: PC, consoles later in the year

May’s first major release may also be its most intriguing. Close to the Sun has regularly attracted comparisons to BioShock for its art style and premise, though the relationship between the two titles is, at best, spiritual.

Players take the role of journalist Rose Archer as she steps aboard Nikola Tesla’s ship, the Helios in 1897. Like Andrew Ryan before him (or after him, depending on perspective), Tesla has created a microcosm in which scientific freedom is unrestricted, with disastrous outcomes. Rose’s first impression is of a quarantine sign at the entrance to a still, dead ship, but she presses on regardless in search of her lost sister.

With Close to the Sun, developer Storm in a Teacup aims to provide an intense horror experience. The Helios holds none of BioShock’s shotguns or Plasmids. Instead, players have no means to defend themselves, with gameplay focusing on hiding from and escaping the threats on board.

Check out OnlySP’s final review of the game here.

RAGE 2

Release Date: May 14, 2019
Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One

For anyone to whom the slow, meditative approach does not appeal, Bethesda is busting out the big guns with the long-awaited, little-expected sequel, RAGE 2.

This time around, id Software has tapped Just Cause and Mad Max developer Avalanche Studios for assistance in developing an open-world game. The result, if the trailers are any indication, is a breakneck, neon-fuelled experience that focuses on insanity and ramps up all the unique aspects of the earlier game.

One focal point of development has been ensuring the interconnectedness of the game’s structure, and the teams have promised a greater focus on narrative this time around. Perhaps in keeping with that, RAGE 2 is being distanced from its predecessor, taking place 30 years later with a new protagonist and a whole new story, though some callbacks will be present.

Although id’s legendary first-person gunplay is a driving force throughout the game, it will be supplemented by some light RPG elements, robust vehicular combat, and post launch challenges and support (though the developers deny that RAGE 2 is designed with a games-as-a-service model in mind).

A Plague Tale: Innocence

Release Date: May 14, 2019
Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One

Out on the same day as RAGE 2 is the vastly different A Plague Tale: Innocence. A historical adventure, the game challenges players with overcoming obstacles with brains rather than brawn.

Players become Amicia, an orphan girl struggling to survive in a plague-infested medieval France while also keeping her younger brother safe. With the landscape rife with rats and members of The Inquisition, one of the core tenets of gameplay is reportedly the need to use these threats against each other. As such, though Amicia has a sling to use, the gameplay is designed more as survival puzzles than combat ones.

Developer Asobo Studio is not a household name, though it has a lengthy history of adaptations and support on major titles, including Quantum Break and The Crew 2. Furthermore, even though A Plague Tale is yet to release, publisher Focus Home Interactive has displayed remarkable confidence in the project by extending its partnership with Asobo.

Honourable Mentions

Although RAGE 2 is the incontestable action-blockbuster of the month, gamers in search of another kind of frenetic may want to wait until May 21, when Curve Digital drops American Fugitive, which has a more than passing resemblance to the earliest Grand Theft Auto games. Alternatively, PlayStation VR owners may want to look into Blood and Truth come May 28.

Sega also shines this month, dropping Team Sonic Racing on May 21 and Total War: Three Kingdoms two days later.

Anyone looking for an RPG has indie’s answer to The Outer Worlds, Within the Cosmos, to look out for on May 30, while those looking for slower stories get the latest episode of Life is Strange 2 on May 9, Observation on May 21, and the fjord-noir Draugen at a yet unspecified date.

Have we forgotten anything that you’re excited for? Let us know down below or on our Discord server.

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