Upcoming PC game release dates: Summer 2016

The hot days of summer are nearing the northern hemisphere—the season officially starts on June 20th—so it’s time to look ahead to what we’ll be playing as the top of the world heats up. Or the bottom, from Australia and New Zealand’s perspective—in your case, here are the games you’ll be warming up with during the long winter nights ahead.

June is packed, with Mirror’s Edge Catalyst and No Man’s Sky being the most anticipated, while things cool off a little in August. That’s pretty typical: this is the time of year for announcements—E3 starts June 14th—and build up to the big October through February releases. Still, there’s plenty to be excited about in the next three months—don’t forget that a certain bionic superhuman was pushed into to August.

Still to come in May

OmniBus
Release date:
May 26

We start with something silly, out tomorrow: a game about a bus that can’t slow down, which recalls PS1 graphics and physics as its bus-tagonist smashes through low-poly cities and flips around erratically. The joke is that it was originally an Atari Jaguar game which has been in development hell for the past 24 years. Whether or not it’ll be more entertaining than other parody physics games—e.g. Goat Simulator—remains to be seen. Shaun had a look at it in March, and says he expects he’ll play it whenever he’s “feeling mad about busses.”

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt - Blood and Wine
Release date:
May 31

Tom Senior loved the hell out of Blood and Wine, setting it among our highest scored games ever with a 94% in his review. “If one of these expansions came out every year I'd still be playing The Witcher 3 in 2020,” he says—though sadly, this is The Witcher 3’s finale. We’ll miss it, but we’re glad it’s going out with such verve.
 

Hitman: Episode 3 - Marrakesh
Release date:
May 31

The next Hitman episode takes us to Morocco mid-riot to follow around an investment banker and army general. We’ll have a review up next week, but so far so good for the controversially episodic Hitman: we liked episode two quite a bit, and had a good time attempting its first one-shot Elusive Target.

June

Brigador
Release date:
June 2

Brigador is an isometric tank/mech piloting game with an alluring, oversaturated art style and detailed, destructible futuristic city sprites. It’s hard—Tyler tried it out a while back—and has been well-received thus far in Early Access. If you’re fond of Desert Strike or mech anime (or ideally both), give it a look. Along with the full release on June 2, the soundtrack and an audiobook which fills in the story will be available.

Dangerous Golf
Release date:
June 3

It’s golf, but dangerous, in that it’s indoors and your goal is to destroy as much as possible. Dangerous Golf comes from Criterion founders Fiona Sperry and Alex Ward—creators of Burnout, a game deeply enamored with violent, slow-motion car crashes—so it’s in their wheelhouse (as people say in business meetings, we imagine), to build a game solely about knocking things over and making a huge mess.

Mirror’s Edge Catalyst
Release date:
June 7

One of two big, big releases in June, Mirror’s Edge Catalyst finally continues the high-speed parkour DICE introduced in 2008 with the fantastic Mirror’s Edge. Based on the few hours he’s been able to play it, Samuel is optimistic, saying that “Catalyst is a sequel that feels more like what the first game should’ve been than a follow-up in the traditional sense.” The big changes are an open world and revamped combat, though Samuel tells us we should still feel at home with its freerunning core. You can watch a full mission here for a good look at what Faith is up to.
 

Sherlock Holmes: The Devil’s Daughter
Release date: June 10

It seems like there’s a new Sherlock game at least five times a year (this might be accurate), and this month brings another: The Devil’s Daughter. We’re fans of the difficult to execute investigation genre, and Sherlock Holmes: Crimes and Punishments was actually quite good, so we have high hopes. In our preview from last month, Jake Tucker describes a younger, more agile Holmes and a bit more action, as well as greater consequences to your choices.

No Man’s Sky
Release date:
June 21 (it could be delayed, though)

The second Really Big Deal of June is a game we’ve been anticipating and speculating about since 2013—and coincidentally, one which also comes in part from a former Burnout dev, Sean Murray. The big, exciting promise of No Man’s Sky is a giant, multiplayer, procedurally-generated galaxy full of stars and planets to discover. You could be the first to land on an uncharted world with undiscovered alien life—a one-person Enterprise, going where no player has gone before. Chris had a good look at No Man’s Sky back in March, and we’re certainly excited to explore it, if still feeling the natural skepticism that comes with its extravagant hype.
 

Umbrella Corps
Release date:
June 21

A speedy 3v3 shooter is not really what we expected to see next in the Resident Evil universe, but according to Tom Marks, Umbrella Corps is actually a really good time. This is from a brief session at last year’s PAX South, though, so don’t go pre-ordering just yet—we’ll assess Umbrella Corps thoroughly once it’s out. Unfortunately for Capcom, it’s up against the much-anticipated No Man’s Sky, but it’ll break through all that space noise if it’s as good as our first impressions indicate.

The Technomancer
Release date:
June 21

After changing up the scenery with Bound By Flame (which we thought was a promising but lackluster RPG), developer Spiders is returning to the setting of Mars: War Logs with another RPG on the Red Planet. The Technomancer casts you as “a formidable warrior harnessing destructive electrical powers” on a journey across a terraformed Mars. It’s got all the RPG stuff we know and love: quests which can be resolved multiple ways, including the way where you talk a lot, companions, crafting, and “dynamic combat.” Spiders has a great RPG in it somewhere, so we hope to discover a sleeper hit in The Technomancer.
 

Mighty No. 9
Release date:
June 21

The latest trailer for Keiji Inafune’s Megaman-like is a tad embarrassing—a throwback to in-your-face 90s marketing with a weird insult to the same anime fans who probably funded it—but we’ll reserve judgement of the game itself until we play it. After multiple crowdfunding campaigns raised multiple millions of dollars for its development, we sure hope it’s good.

The Brookhaven Experiment
Release date:
June 22

“Ah! Zombies!” We say this whenever we see zombies, and it is a perfectly natural reaction, because zombies are scary. We expect they’ll be especially scary on the HTC Vive. The Brookhaven Experiment is a VR survival shooter that pits you against monsters—they’re not called zombies, but we're going to call them zombies—with “realistic pistol aiming/firing.” If it’s truly realistic, we expect to shoot a couple trees, our own feet, and then be eaten by monsters.

LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Release date:
June 28

The LEGO games keep on coming, and it’s pretty easy to guess what we’re up against with this one: block-related humor, co-op puzzles, and the calm, comfortable feeling that we could keep playing these games for the rest of our lives and always quietly enjoy them.

Dead by Daylight
Release date:
Sometime in June

We played this at PAX East last month, and while we didn’t get enough time in to really get a sense of how fun it is, the concept is cool. One player takes the role of a slasher flick psychopath, while four survivors do their best to hide, run away, and repair generators that will open an escape route. The killer plays in first-person, while the survivors benefit from the extra peripheral vision of a third-person perspective. Tyler jumped at least once while creeping around unseen, when the killer turned suddenly and started after him.

July and August

Not a lot has been announced yet for mid-to-late summer, though we expect that’ll change in June. For now, here are the big ones to look forward to.

I am Setsuna
Release date:
July 19

The debut game from Square-Enix’s Tokyo RPG Factory is an intentional throwback to 90s JRPGs like Chrono Trigger—actually, specifically Chrono Trigger, which is cited as the direct inspiration for the combat system. I am Setsuna looks gorgeous, and promises a “memorable story” full of “heartrending sorrow.” Hell yeah, sorrow!
 

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided
Release date:
August 23

After a six month delay pushed it back from February, Mankind Divided is releasing in August, exactly five years after Human Revolution. Tom Senior got to play it late last year, and there’s little to temper his excitement—Mankind Divided is looking really good so far. “It still feels like Deus Ex, but with all of Human Revolution's flaws addressed,” he said. That does sound good. Unless something dramatically shifts between now and August—say, Jensen’s character model is accidentally deleted and haphazardly replaced with a body scan of John Cena—it sounds like an award winner could be on the way. 

Necropolis
Release date:
Summer TBD

Dark Souls’ influence continues to spread in Necropolis, a self-proclaimed rogue-lite that challenges a nameless adventurer with escaping a massive dungeon. Important caveat: the dungeon is alive and reconstructs itself every time you die. And since its Souls inspiration has no mercy on the player, neither does Necropolis—expect to die repeatedly. Each death is an opportunity to expand the pool of available upgrades you’ll find on the next run, in the form of armor, weapons, and crafting recipes. With a cheeky narrator and cartoony art direction, all that death doesn’t sound so bad.