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Editorial

Top Five Single Player Games to Look Out For In August

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Despite it still being summer, August is the new September, with a mixed bag of indie games and the first couple of AAA titles on their way. Headlining this month is the new Deus Ex, but there are plenty of other games to dig into, including potentially the most anticipated game of the year.

You already know what game that is, so let’s get stuck into what looks like a really big month.

ABZU

We covered this cartoony scuba simulator as one of our top games ignored at this year’s E3, and now it’s nearly here. With fantastical underwater environments and a touch of exploration, Abzu is taking the concept of ‘walking simulator’ into three dimensions. Anyone who was a fan of Journey should definitely give it a look, as the developer Giant Squid was founded by the art director for that game.

Abzu releases on August 2nd for PS4 and PC. Be on the lookout for our full review of the game tomorrow.

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BATMAN: THE TELLTALE SERIES

Telltale’s biggest leap forward since The Walking Dead, their Batman series not only promises more of their trademark choose-your-own-adventure storytelling but a revamp of their engine, hopefully with fewer bugs and a smoother experience over all.

The fan-favorite The Wolf Among Us seems to be the starting point here, with detective work being a key element of the gameplay. At times, players will even get to choose whether Batman or Bruce Wayne is more suited to approaching the situation, and the new “crowd play” feature lets the audience vote on decisions.

Telltale’s Batman starts with episode 1 on August 2nd, available digitally for most modern systems.

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NO MAN’S SKY

A multiplayer game where you may never see another person in the universe ( so basically single player?) and in the running for one of the most hyped games of the generation, No Man’s Sky has a lot to live up to. Even if it doesn’t cure cancer and make the blind see, though, the game is set to wow with an enormous undiscovered galaxy and cool crafting mechanics.

A little bit of Minecraft and a lot of golden-age science fiction makes No Man’s Sky an explorer’s dream, hopping from planet to planet and building up your resources. Story hounds and lore buffs will also be served, with a big galactic mystery and ancient artefacts to be revealed.

Developers Hello Games have to be commended for their technological ambition, it only remains to be seen whether they’ve also got an interesting game underneath.

No Man’s Sky releases on August 9th for the PS4 and August 12th for the PC.

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GROW UP

In this surprise sequel to Ubisoft’s indie-like hit Grow Home, players once again control the little gardening robot BUD in an old-school 3D platformer with new-school procedural animations.

The mechanics and look are mostly unchanged, with the new goal of reaching the moon of the planet in Grow Home. Fans of the cute, wobbly climbing and stylised graphics of the first game should definitely return for this second helping, as 3D platformers are still few-and-far-between on the new consoles.

Grow Up releases on August 16th for PS4, Xbox One and PC.

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DEUS EX: MANKIND DIVIDED

So it’s been a little longer than usual between sequels in the Deus Ex series, which started in 2000 and is now receiving its fourth core entry. In the time since the original, many new franchises have branched off from its brand of action-RPG shooting, not least of which is Dishonored, which also has a game coming out this year.

Will Square Enix be able to make the case for their venerable series? 2011’s Human Revolution faced a similar challenge, re-introducing Deus Ex‘s world of cyberpunk panic to critical and fan praise (though the boss fights stunk a bit before the Director’s Cut).

Mankind Divided is a direct sequel to Human Revolution, featuring the return of Adam Jensen in an escalation of the conflict between augmented and non-augmented humans. Like the previous titles, players have a lot of freedom of choice when approaching their objectives: whether you decide to go in like Neo in the lobby of The Matrix or take the non-violent route and beat the game with zero kills.

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided releases on August 23rd for PS4, Xbox One and PC.

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HONORABLE MENTION: OBDUCTION (AGAIN)

This beautiful, screw-with-your-mind adventure was delayed into August shortly before its originally planned release date. As of now, signs are good that it will be everything that its pedigree suggests — being designed by the minds behind the Myst series — and that players have nothing to fear from its being delayed.

Obduction will now release worldwide on August 24th for Windows, OSX and Oculus Rift.

OTHER GAMES OF AUGUST

God Eater 2, Attack on Titan, Bound … there are plenty of other promising games releasing in August for single player fans. Which are you excited for?

Leave a comment below and let us know which games of August you’re most looking forward to.

Mitchell is a writer from Currawang, Australia, where his metaphorical sword-pen cleaves fiction from reality daily. When he's not writing, he plays video games and watches movies. While thinking about writing.

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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