The top 12 games on PC in August

I know these monthly lists often highlight the 10 games that you should keep an eye on over the next month, but I’ve bumped it up to 12 for August. Because, if you haven’t heard, video games are back, baby!… And they might disappear again at any moment, so please just let me celebrate the fact that there are more than 10 computer games coming out over the next four and a bit weeks.

A lot of countries are getting a bit farther away from that virus with every passing day, allowing developers to get back to making the games. Thus, allowing us to resume playing the things they make. I say “ a lot of countries,” because have you seen those U.K. numbers? Woof. I’m already looking forward to Freedom Day II.

If you’re not ready to step outside your front door yet, hopefully there’s something in this list that can keep you entertained over the next few weeks. So, let’s crack on, then. Here are the top 12 video games coming to PC in August, 2021.

If you like moving images set to words and music, you can have a watch of the video above. But, if you prefer text, then read on.

Psychonauts 2 (August 25th)

The original Psychonauts is the one of the best games I’ve played in 2021. I missed it the first time around, and I was keen to give it a go before the second one launched. I’m so glad I did. The luchadors of Black Velvetopia, the tabletop game of Waterloo World, the G-men of the Milkman Conspiracy: it all holds up… except the Meat Circus, obviously. I now can’t wait to see what Double Fine have done with the long-awaited sequel. While I’m relatively confident the weird and wonderful minds behind this 3D puzzle-platformer will have the puzzling aspect down, I’m a little concerned about the platforming part. The first game did come out 15 years ago, though, so here’s hoping this follow-up has more fluid and precise movement. Also, the first game only occasionally dipped its toe into the mental health pool, whereas Psychonauts 2 appears to cannonball right into the deep end. If it balances that with some wonderfully kooky levels, imaginative abilities, and a half decent jump, this could very easily end up being on many goty lists come December.

Humankind (August 17th)

With Humankind, it’s pretty clear that Sega are fluttering their eyelashes at everyone who has rinsed Civ VI for all its worth. But I’d be doing this 4X game a disservice to position it as a mere clone of Firaxis’ long-running series. Instead of leading one group of people from day dot up to modern times, you choose different cultures at the dawning of each era. Also, there’s only one way to win in Humankind: fame. If you want to live forever, you need to complete objectives in every era of the game – reach a certain level of influence, build a specific number of districts, and so on. The combat is pretty different, too. It’s difficult to sum up in a sentence or two, so just know that RPS’ strategy man Nate Crowley told me he’s into it, and his endorsement will do me just fine. You’ll be able to see for yourself whether Humankind is worthy of the Civ killer moniker that some have bestowed upon it when it comes out in the middle of this month.

Icarus (August 12th)

Zombies no longer concern Dean Hall; after all, aliens are the real threat. Specifically, all the beasts that’ll have you quaking in your little space boots, in co-op survival game Icarus. Unlike DayZ, Rocketwerkz’s first game is session-based, so while you’ll be visiting an alien world, your resource gathering trips are time-restricted. You can go it alone, if you like, but you’ll also be able to bring along seven other pals on your expeditions, if you’d prefer company. While Icarus is indeed launching this month, it’s worth keeping in mind that this is the first chapter of something Rocketwerkz have said will be a multi-year kind of deal. The First Cohort (the game’s first chapter) is quite Earthy-looking, which might disappoint those looking to take down some six-legged land trout. But Hall has said in interviews that the more familiar setting is by design. Draw you in, and then hit you with the Goro fish in chapter 3, I guess. If you’re looking to get in on the ground floor with Icarus, you can play The First Cohort, in about two weeks time.

Twelve Minutes (August 19th)

This narrative-driven adventure game has been on tons of most anticipated lists for years, and we’ll finally get to play it this August. Developed by Luis Antonio, Twelve Minutes sees you assume the role of man trying to break out of a Groundhog Day-like 12-minute time loop. The majority of this game plays out in a young couple’s television-less sitting room, where you’ll be combining items, chatting to your wife, and getting roughed up by Willem Dafoe. Twelve Minutes’ cast is pure Hollywood: the Speed 2: Cruise Control star is joined by Wimbledon’s James McAvoy and Peter Rabbit’s Daisy Ridley. We’ll see whether all that talent equals a stellar video game in just a few weeks time.

Skatebird (August 12th)


In the middle of August, we’ll get to see whether Skatebird is more than just an excuse for games journalists to use “Tony HAWK, amirite!?!11” for article straplines. While I haven’t dumped tons of time into the most recent demo, I’m hopeful that there’s something in this arcade skateboarding game. It plays like a more forgiving Pro Skater, but Skatebird also appears to take inspiration from Tony’s later games – Underground and what came after – by including a story mode. Fingers crossed the big tricks and narrative feels result in a game that’s been worth the multi-year wait.

Ed. note: Just before we published this, Skatebird was delayed into September. The wait continues! Thus, we are instead going to recommend the upcoming Siege Of Paris DLC for Assassin’s Creed Valhalla. It might be a bit cheeky to recommend a DLC, but the Wrath Of The Druids one was both meaty and interesting, and we’ve every reason to believe this new one will follow suit. With Paris comes new weapons, abilities, and raids – so basically, more of everything you like about AC Valhalla in the first place. And isn’t it just the time of year for a jaunt to France? Viking pals should look out for it on August 12th.

King’s Bounty II (August 24th)

On the topic of being patient: the first King’s Bounty was released in 1990. I know a lot of people are very excited to get their hands on the sequel they thought would never come, but there are a few of us that missed the first one, too. Personally, being a toddler at the time was a difficult hurdle to get over. If you’re interested in jumping in at this point, I’d imagine you’ll be alright: given that 30 years have passed, King’s Bounty II will be a teeny bit different to the original. You move around the map in third-person, like one of those fancy and modern RPGs; what you say to NPCs will affect your moral alignment, thus making some army units stronger, and others weaker, depending on their outlook on the world; and combat has been tinkered with too. It’s still the old turn-based, hexagonal battlefield hijinks, but your terrain matters in King’s Bounty II. It sounds like developer 1C Entertainment has tried to appease both generations; we’ll see if they’ve hit the mark at the end of this month.

Aliens: Fireteam Elite (August 24th)

This 40-year-old franchise’s place in video games is super higgledy-piggledy. For every Alien: Isolation, there have been four Aliens: Colonial Marineses. I’m trying my best to avoid comparing Fireteam Elite with Gearbox’s mistake, but it’s hard. The upcoming game also hangs its helmet on action, rather than horror. You – either solo or as part of a three-person team – head to LV-895 to absolutely rip apart some xenomorphs. It sounds like success depends on how well you link up with your teammates, too, given that each character has their own abilities and perks. Early previews have been relatively positive, so perhaps this’ll turn out to be the game you wanted that other one to be.

Glitchpunk (August 11th)

Looking for a mayhem-filled game that’s reminiscent of GTA 2? You are!?! That’s handy, because the next few sentences wouldn’t resonate as much if you weren’t. Glitchpunk is a top-down action game that has everything you’re in the market for: shooting, driving, gangs, cops, and hacking. What did you expect? Its name ends in -punk. The trailers have definitely been heavy on the bombast, but developer Dark Lord say it isn’t just endless shootouts. On top of scrambling the circuitry of NPCs and objects in the world, Glitchpunk has a branching narrative that promises to tackle some heavy subjects. You won’t get to see everything this game has to offer this month, though, as it’s being released through Early Access. However, the first city is said to have around eight hours of murderous fun times, and the second location is apparently coming in early-to-mid September.

Road 96 (August 16th)

Narrative-driven, procedurally-generated run games aren’t terribly common, making Road 96 a very intriguing prospect. You start each playthrough as a teenager looking to travel thousands of miles to your country’s border. During your journey, you’ll come across a host of different characters, but the order of the scenarios will be different on each trip. So, while the destination is the same for everyone, my story should be different to yours. While I’m definitely into the concept, it does sound very ambitious. But, if they can pull it off, I’m 100 percent into it.

Death Trash (August 5th)

The first Death Trash post on this wonderful website was published in October, 2015. So, stick this one on the years-in-the-making pile with everything else coming out in August. This old school Fallout-like RPG will be available as an Early Access game, at first, with a full launch expected within the next 12 months. The final game will be open-world, but if you jump on this month you’ll get the first chapter, with more story and locations being added in updates. Now that all the housekeeping is out of the way: this looks pretty fucked up, doesn’t it? But in a good, grungy way. That Pirates Of The Caribbean-looking bastard is a real standout. You can also vom on command. It is called Death Trash, to be fair. If you were one of the many that fell for the game’s mixture of mankiness and real-time combat during the last Steam Demo Extravaganza, you can get on the grimy bandwagon on the 5th.

Hoa (August 24th)

Now for something completely different: Hoa looks like an interactive Ghibli movie. So, you’re this bipedal hat-thing, and presumably you spend the entire game marveling at the beautiful environments you pass, as you go from left-to-right. Everything about this just seems so pleasant. The orchestral score, the non-violent encounters, the hand-painted characters: all utterly delightful. It’s not a passive experience by any means, though. There will be some platforming challenges and light puzzling to drive you through the playable cartoon. Seems like a nice way to spend an afternoon in doors while the world burns around you. Bliss.

New World (August 31st)

I have no idea how Amazon have been able to turn this one around. New World was the butt of many jokes only last year, yet this MMORPG had 200,000 concurrent players during its closed beta. Our own Ed Thorn previewed it a few weeks ago and came away with a hankering for more. He especially loved the focus on crafting, saying that this game has as much in common with Valheim, as it does WoW. But there is plenty of fightin’ to be done here, as well, with New World’s monsters posing a threat to those who want to focus on the RPG aspect, and the 50v50 battle mode giving an outlet to anyone that wants to engage in the MMO portion of the game. There’s obviously more to this than I can fit in a paragraph, but if you’re tired of your current MMO of choice, perhaps you should consider – and I’m still a bit surprised I’m saying this – New World.

Whatever you end up playing over August, I hope you have a lovely time with it. But, do tell: what new games, if any, are you looking forward to getting your hands on, this month? Want to silence some mind censors in Psychonauts 2? Eager to rule in Humankind? Or do you plan on trying to survive the alien wilderness in Icarus? Let us know in the comments.

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