PC games to look out for in June, July, and August

Hot days are ahead for the PC Gamer staff, at least for everyone except our Australia editor. And those based in San Francisco, which is hardly ever hot. And those in Bath, for that matter. OK, so we live in moderate climates, but summer is coming anyhow (it technically starts June 21) and we've compiled a list of some of the biggest games releasing during the next three months of vacations and iced tea and wearing shorts, or whatever it is people do when they go outside.

It's a fairly quiet time for big releases, no doubt in part because big announcements will come at E3 later this month, but there's still a lot on the horizon. Here's what's on the way this summer:

Tekken 7

Release date: June 1, 2017 | Link: Steam, official site

The first Tekken game on PC is already out by the time you’re reading this, but it was so close we figured we’d give you a heads up: Hey, there’s a Tekken game on PC. We haven’t finished our review yet, but we have given the port a once over. And it's good! We're getting a stable 60 fps, and the online matchmaking is running smoothly. We'll dig into the fighter's strengths and weaknesses more next week.

The Elder Scrolls Online: Morrowind

Release date: June 6, 2017 | Link: Official site

It’s not the official Morrowind remake that many crave and probably won’t happen, but it’s close enough. This expansion to The Elder Scrolls Online adds the entire region to the game, as well as the usual gaggle of new characters, quests and abilities. A new class is incoming too, in the form of the Warden, which is a “druid-meets-ranger class” capable of summoning a bear. Leif Johnson enjoyed what he saw of the expansion: “every book, every conversation, every building reveals a reverence for the lore and a keen desire to show this unique fantasy vision at another point in time. So far, it's an expansion I want to sample to the last drop. Best of all, if you're totally new to Elder Scrolls Online, you can kick off your adventures with a Morrowind-specific tutorial from the very start and jump into its adventures without having to worry about the core game unless you wish.”

Dirt 4

Release date: June 9, 2017 | Link: Steam, official site

The latest in Codemasters' off-road racing series will deliver 50 cars for players to speed across Australia, Spain, Sweden, Wales, and the US. In addition to a career mode and a free-play area, a new feature called Your Stage will allow players to create their own rally routes across the landscapes, which they can then challenge their friends with. We've already gotten a peek at Dirt 4's various weather conditions and exuberant soundtrack, as well as a dev diary featuring champion rally racers. We found 2015's Dirt Rally a bit light on the simulation side, delivering more of an arcade driving experience (and not a bad one at that) and we'll see in June if Dirt 4 is similar or if it marks a return to the deeper driving sim of the earlier games.

Guardians of the Galaxy Episode 2

Release date: June 2017 | Link: Steam, official site

We weren’t too taken by the first of Telltale’s wacky space crew adaptation, but Wes liked the direction the story was heading. It’s possible that Episode 2 of Guardians of the Galaxy could make up for the first episode’s bumpy start, just don’t expect Telltale’s paperdoll animation and hitchy engine to suddenly reinvent itself mid-season. Marvel Games’ Bill Rosemann thinks this next one will make you cry and it apparently reveals some interesting details from Rocket Raccoon’s past. Maybe he had a hard time coming by trash back when and had to scrounge for trash-trash. Maybe Groot says, ‘I am Groot’ with a sad intonation. We’ll wait and see.

Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood

Release date: June 20, 2017 | Link: Steam, official site

Steven recently wrote about his hands-on session with Stormblood’s new classes, and was pleased with the update coming to one of his favorite MMOs. But there’s a catch. To access the expansion’s content, new players will either have to grind through all the existing story missions, or pay $25 to skip them. But that $25 doesn’t level a character to prepare them for the new quests—another $25 potion is required for that. And this is all on top of the price of the game, the Heavensward expansion, and the Stormblood expansion. Steven has a hard time recommending Stormblood to newcomers for that reason, but still considers FFXIV one of the best MMOs out there today.  

The Mage’s Tale

Release date: June 20, 2017 | Link: Oculus store

InXile’s new dungeon crawler is an Oculus Rift VR game, but it’s been built with “old school tried and true methods of game design,” according to Brian Fargo. “You may be an apprentice now, but to save your master, you will need to explore ten deadly dungeons, decipher mind-bending puzzles, avoid terrifying traps, and vanquish hordes of vicious monsters,” reads the game’s official description. “Until you are able to wield every elemental power in the palm of your hand, evil remains ascendant! It is your turn now to sling gouts of flame, javelins of ice, arcs of lightning, and swirling tempests!”

Master X Master

Release date: June 21, 2017 | Link: Official site

Tom was surprised to enjoy NCSoft's character mashup MOBA when he tried it in March. “I wasn't expecting much, and the ludicrous name didn't inspire much confidence,” he wrote. “But what I ended up finding was a high-quality MOBA with a unique tag-in mechanic straight out of Marvel vs. Capcom and a full co-op PvE dungeon crawling mode that looked more like Diablo than Dota.” So if the word ‘MOBA’ turned you off, maybe it’s worth a second look.

Argo

Release date: June 22, 2017 | Link: Official site

Argo is a 5v5 tactical combat game based on Arma—and made by Arma devs Bohemia Interactive as part of their Incubator program. It'll release for free on Steam in June, with just one way to toss in a few bucks: a $10/€10 Argo Supporter's Pack which includes some in-game items and access to 'premium' servers.

Argo aims to provide smaller, more concise mutiplayer battles than vanilla Arma, with three modes: Clash, Link, and Raid. "In Clash, two units battle over territory, divided into sectors, in a series of combat engagements," reads the official site. "The objective in Link is to capture a chain of control points faster than the enemy. Raid divides the competing units into attack and defense, and tasks the attacking unit with finding the right data terminal at one of three possible locations to download important files. In each of the three game modes, players also have the option to capture a paradrop, which can dramatically change the tide of battle—adding yet another tactical element to the confrontation."

Get Even

Release date: June 23, 2017 | Link: Steam, official site

Delayed from May into June due to sensitivities surrounding the Manchester terrorist attacks, Get Even hasn’t received a huge amount of pre-release hype, but it looks promising. A FPS-horror hybrid, it follows the story of hired gun Black, who awakens in an asylum with no recollection of how he got there. Before too long things become hairy—it turns out there’s a teenage girl with a bomb strapped to her chest, and it naturally falls upon him to save her. That’s not the whole story of course, and as you explore the asylum you’ll encounter things that must be shot (it’s part FPS, you see). It’ll be interesting to see whether Get Even can balance good shooting with a slowburn, horror-centric narrative.

Pyre

Release date: July 25, 2017 | Link: Steam, official site

Pyre comes from Bastion and Transistor creators Supergiant Games, so at the very least we know it’ll be stylish. Tom got to play Pyre a little over a year ago, and explained how it works: “In Pyre, you control a wagon of outcasts trying to escape the purgatory-like world they are trapped in. To do so, they have to compete in a series of 'Rites' against other wanderers also trying to escape. You guide your party from ritual to ritual, making branching decisions about how to get there along the way, while the actual competition plays out like a 3v3 sport where you have to dunk a ball in your opponent's pyre (basically a goal) a certain number of times before they can manage the same.” Check out Tom’s article and interview for more. 

The Long Dark

Release date: August 1, 2017 | Link: Steam, official site

The Long Dark has been in Early Access for a long while, but it’s finally releasing in full, with an episodic story mode called Wintermute. Previously, The Long Dark has simply been about surviving in a frigid environment, which Andy enjoyed quite a bit. The new story mode will follow Will Mackenzie and Dr. Astrid Greenwood and “what happens when they get separated after a mysterious geomagnetic event causes them to crash deep in the Northern Canadian wilderness.” You can read more about the episodes (with some spoilers) here. 

Agents of Mayhem

Release date: August 16, 2017 | Link: Steam, official site

Saints Row IV was an undersung classic, blowing the series’ GTA-aping template into ridiculous, superhero-riddled heights. Agents of Mayhem is basically a rebrand of Saints Row, and looks to take the fantastical element of that last game to absurd extremes. While it’ll probably not rewrite the open world mayhem stylebook, anyone with a passing interest in blowing things up and traversing Seoul with jetpack-powered style will likely want to keep an eye on this one. Samuel had a spin recently, and came away “pretty fond” of it, though Wes wasn't as enthused when he saw it back in April.

Sonic Mania

Release date: August 16, 2017 | Link: Steam, official site

Sonic Mania harkens back to the classic ‘90s era sidescrolling Sonic games, but it does so with no caveats—this isn’t a 3D/2D hybrid, it’s just a Sonic game. There are doubts surrounding whether classic Sonic platforming can really compete in this day and age, but the brand power will no doubt lend it a bit of lustre to most. It’ll boast 60fps and “HD retro-style” graphics, as well as a multiplayer Competition Mode and co-op.  

Hello Neighbor

Release date: August 29, 2017 | Link: Steam, official site

Your neighbor is up to something. He's triple-locked the door to his basement, and he seems like a creep in general, so it's up to you to sneak into his home and find out what he's hiding (since you're a bit of a creep as well). We gave Hello Neighbor a try in pre-alpha and found it tense and a bit scary. Your neighbor chases you down when he spots you in his home and learns from each of your infiltrations. Steal a key and he'll hide it somewhere new. Enter through a window and he'll booby-trap it next time. Can you avoid him long enough to discover the secret that is probably really none of your business?

Absolver

Release date: August 29, 2017 | Link: Steam, official site

Absolver is an online fighting game about building your own combos and learning from both your friends and your enemies. Apart from being absolutely stunning to look at, Absolver has a combat system truly unique from other games like it. You start with a limited number of moves, but gain more by seeing your opponents use new ones against you—blocking or countering those moves lets you learn them even quicker. Your other option is to make friends with a higher level player in a game fundamentally about fighting, and then ask them to be your in-game mentor. They’ll then be able to teach you new moves, which you can teach to a mentee of your own, and so on as the circle of fighting ever spins.

Serious Sam's Bogus Detour

Release date: Summer 2017 | Link: Steam, official site

It’s a Serious Sam game, except you’ve got a topdown view instead of a first-person one, and the graphics harken to the 16-bit era. So, you might ask, how is it a Serious Sam game? Well, Serious Sam is many things nowadays. These spin-offs have been coming out for a little while now, and they manage to capture the spirit of the main games even while departing from the series’ traditional format. You can play through the campaign in four-player cooperative or smite your friends instead in deathmatch. It looks like a neat, finger-placed-firmly-on-the-shoot-button variety action game, and it has a level editor and full mod support. 

Nidhogg 2

Release date: Summer 2017 | Link: Steam, official site

Nidhogg made a big splash when it released in 2014, delivering something no one really knew they wanted: a refreshingly pure take on 1v1 fencing combat. Its sequel releases in summer, and while it doesn’t change the overall template much there are plenty of tweaks and additions. Developer Messhof is promising “all new moves and weapons” and ten arenas—most of which look a lot more varied and colourful than those found in the first game. James had a closer look back when it was announced in September, and the prognosis is promising.

Totally Accurate Battle Simulator

Release date: Summer 2017 | Link: Steam, official site

If you've ever used console cheats to spawn hundreds of soldiers and have them do battle with hundreds more, this is like that, but The Game. The physics-based combat adds a good dose of slapstick comedy to the proceedings as your armies of unskinned warriors slog into battle with swords and spears, cannons and catapults, and even farming tools. Created by the developer of Clustertruck, it looks like the kind of wacky brutality that will spawn a thousand animated gifs.