The games of summer 2018

The time of sunburns, allergies, and bugs is upon us as spring ambles into summer, and while the warm months are usually a bit light on releases (everyone's getting ready for their big E3 showings and fall to winter releases), there are some exciting games coming before the leaves drop. Here are the PC games we're most looking forward to this spring and summer season, with release dates spanning from now through August. 

Still to come in May 

Worlds Adrift

Developer: Bossa Studios | Release date: May 17, 2018 | Link: Steam

The ambitious airship MMO is already on Steam Early Access, in what they're calling 'Pre-Early Access,' but on May 17 the Founder's Packs will disappear and it will 'officially' launch in Early Access. (We don't make the Early Access rules, we just try our best to interpret them.) Our interest in Worlds Adrift has been simmering for some time: it's a physics sandbox in which everything is persistent and player-built airships contend for the skies, or whack a tree and splinter into bits, as was Andy's experience

State of Decay 2

Developer: Undead Labs | Release date: May 22, 2018 | Link: Official site

As Wes put it in his recent preview, State of Decay 2 is a survival game which both requires management of hunger, thirst, and sleep, and lets you whip open your car door to brain a zombie as you drive by. He was a bit disappointed with the four-player co-op, but found promising complexity in State of Decay 2's settlement management, RPG progression, and undead bashing. 

Dark Souls Remastered

Developer: FromSoftware | Release date: May 25, 2018 | Link: Official site

The original Dark Souls released on PC in a fairly dreadful state, but was improved significantly by the work of modders—namely Durante. The re-release doesn't change a whole lot, but ideally it'll at least run satisfactorily out of the gate and provide a better entry-point for people who are new to the series. 

Moonlighter

Developer: Digital Sun | Release date: May 29, 2018 | Link: Steam

Run your quaint RPG shop by day, venture into unknown depths in search of loot to sell by night. Austin's recent preview of Moonlighter had him bemoaning the wait until its release, so that's a good sign. Plus, it's real cute. 

Agony

Developer: Madmind Studio | Release date: May 29, 2018 | Link: Steam

Trek through a particularly salacious hell in this horror adventure, possessing souls and demons to make your way to the 'Red Goddess.' We haven't played Agony ourselves yet, so we know as much as anyone else, but it sure looks grotesque!

Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection

Developer: Digital Eclipse | Release date: May 29, 2018 | Link: Steam

This compilation includes 12 Street Fighter games, from the original all the way through Third Strike, and four of them include online modes: Street Fighter 2: Hyper Fighting, Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo, Street Fighter Alpha 3, and Street Fighter 3: 3rd Strike. That's a lot of streets on which to fight.

Cultist Simulator

Developer: Weather Factory | Release date: May 31, 2018 | Link: Steam

Form a cult (not the creepy real kind but the creepy Lovecraftian kind) and manage it in this card-based narrative game from the creator of Sunless Sea. Will you complete the "Rite of the Crucible Soul" or "bring the Dawn" or "glimpse the Mansus" or find out what any of those things mean? Only the most abominable, we presume, will achieve such heights. 

Games coming in June

The Elder Scrolls Online: Summerset

Developer: Zenimax Online Studios | Release date: June 5, 2018 | Link: Steam

This Elder Scrolls Online expansion pulls back the curtain on the high elves' ancestral home of Summerset Isle for the first time in Elder Scrolls history. Join the mysterious Psijic Order, gain new abilities to manipulate time, craft fancy jewelry, and do your fair share of adventuring. If previous Elder Scrolls Online expansions are anything to go by, Summerset promises a new world rich in detail and lore.

Vampyr

Developer: Dontnod | Release date: June 5, 2018 | Link: Steam

After a brief delay, Vampyr is on its way in June, when it will send us to flu-ridden London as a doctor turned bloodsucker. The RPG promises the freedom to choose who lives and dies (by your fangs), suggesting a dangerous level of complexity—we've heard big promises of pure open-world freedom (where 'every decision matters') before, but only occasionally do they deliver. If Vampyr does, and Steven's recent impressions were positive, it could be brilliant. 

Warhammer 40K: Inquisitor - Martyr

Developer: NeocoreGames | Release date: June 5, 2018 | Link: Steam

After a brief delay, Martyr is coming out of Early Access in June following a late May update. The 41st Millennium action RPG casts you as an Inquisitor in the explorable space of the Caligari Sector, with up to four other players joining you for isometric gore-splosions. 

Jurassic World Evolution

Developer: Frontier | Release date: June 12 | Link: Official site

We all know the biggest attraction in Jurassic World Evolution is Jeff Goldblum, but there's also a dino park sim beneath his dulcet tones. Check out Andy's recent preview for a thorough look at the DNA meddling that'll inevitably lead to disaster. 

The Crew 2

Developer: Ivory Tower | Release date: June 29, 2018 | Link: Official site

Ubisoft's open world racer returns, now with boats and planes. The most interesting feature so far is the ability to switch vehicles mid-drive—or flight—swapping from car to plane to boat like a cartoon genie. The main worry from our recent look at The Crew 2 was only that it didn't let us poof into new vehicles enough. 

Crash Bandicoot N.Sane Trilogy

Developer: Vicarious Visions, Naughty Dog | Release date: June 30, 2018 | Link: Official site

Activision and Vicarious Visions (among others) are bringing back Naughty Dog's original Crash games: Crash Bandicoot, Cortex Strikes Back, and Warped. The classic Playstation platformers were re-released on PS4 last year, and now come to PC for the first time ever. That is, unless you were a fan of Bleem!.

Games coming in July and August

The Banner Saga 3

Developer: Stoic | Release date: July 24, 2018 | Link: Steam

The saga of banners continues with more turn-based tactical combat as the Viking RPG series comes to a close. The finale promises "deeper strategic combat" and increased customization. We loved the first two games, so the quick turnaround of the finale was a pleasant surprise.

Death's Gambit

Developer: Jean Canellas, Alex Kubodera | Release date: August 14, 2018 | Link: Steam

A super-challenging action RPG published by Adult Swim, Death's Gambit promises non-linear exploration, giant bosses, and lots of weapons and character customization. We won't dare compare it to a certain action RPG in which one dies often.

World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth

Developer: Blizzard | Release date: August 14, 2018 | Link: Battle.net

After the stellar launch of Legion, the bar is set high for World of Warcraft's next expansion. Battle for Azeroth ditches the galaxy-spanning story of Legion to reignite the flames of war between the mighty Horde and noble Alliance once again. With each side declaring all out war, both are setting sail to new frontiers in search of allies and resources for the coming battles. It's World of Warcraft at its best, with crazy new systems like the PvPvE Island Expeditions to keep things exciting.

Pro Evolution Soccer 2019

Developer: Konami | Release date: August 30, 2018 | Link: Steam

Last year's PES finally gave PC players the proper version, instead of the last-gen console version. Again we'll be playing on the Fox Engine, with 4K support and the "biggest changes to myClub in years." PES 2018 turned out pretty well, so we've high hopes. 

More potential releases 

Wargroove: Chucklefish's tactics game is coming sometime this year, possibly before fall, though no firm release date has been announced. We played it last year.

Crackdown 3: There's no date set yet, but Crackdown 3 should be out this year, possibly earlier rather than later to give it a shot before all the big fall releases come. It's been a year since we last previewed it, but Samuel had a good time being a ridiculous superhero. 

Memories of Mars: According to its Steam page, this open-Mars multiplayer survival game will release in Early Access this spring.

Space Junkies: Ubisoft's VR shooter is said to be coming this spring. Depending on your sensitivity to motion sickness, you might want to go with a light lunch before trying out its 360-degree jetpack movement.