This month’s offerings include new chapters, new seasons and whole new worlds to explore.
Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age
The world of Ivalice awaits in this new story from the Final Fantasy saga. For The Zodiac Age, players travel to the kingdom of Dalmasca, which has been conquered by the Archadian Empire. With her land in a state of ruin, Princess Ashe makes the decision to lead what is left of her people and fight to liberate her country. Joined by Vaan, a young man whose family has been lost in the war, these unlikely allies must embark on a dangerous quest if they have any hope of saving their home.
Players will be able to choose between two special edition collections alongside the standard release. The Limited Edition features the game in a specially designed steelbook case along with DLC which unlocks the game’s Original Soundtrack for use as in-game Background Music. The Collectors Edition – which is only available through Square Enix – features the game and a copy of the game’s Original Soundtrack in an exclusive steelbook along with a set of six art cards and a five-piece Judge Magisters Bust Set.
Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age will be available on PlayStation 4 from July 11*
Minecraft: Story Mode – Season 2
Jesse and friends return for another round of block-based adventures. Having vanquished the Wither Storm, the gang are living the happy superhero life. But that all changes when Jesse has a chance encounter, which leads to a new accessory and a whole new set of adventures in the Minecraft world in this new five-part series.
For this first chapter – Hero In Residence – players will once again take on the role of Jesse (in male or female form) and be joined by familiar faces Petra and Lukas along with Jesse’s assistant, Radar. Those who purchase a Season Pass will be able to download episodes 2-5 as they are released. Players will also be able to purchase the whole series on disc later in 2017.
Minecraft: Story Mode – Season 2, Episode 1 will be available on Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC from July 11*
The Squid Sisters are back in this paint-splashing sequel. Nine months have passed since the final Splatfest and Squid Sisters Callie and Marie now find themselves on ever diverging paths as a result of their new found fame. While an afternoon together reaffirms their bond, things soon change drastically for Marie. After spending the day with her parents, Marie returns home to find Callie missing and the Great Zapfish stolen. Fearing the involvement of the Octarinas, Marie sets out on a mission to uncover the truth in Inkopolis.
Players who pre-order will receive a limited edition Inkling and Squid pin set. To accompany the release of the game, new Joy-Con and Pro controllers will be available for Nintendo Switch, featuring Splatoon’s signature neon green and pink colour scheme. Players will also be able to further enhance their matchmaking in multiplayer with an upcoming app and Nintendo have confirmed that Splatoon 2 will also feature rolling updates with new content and features post launch
Splatoon 2 will be available on Nintendo Switch from July 21*
The high fantasy action RPG tasks players with keeping the fires burning. In Pyre, the player leads a group of exiles as the “Reader”. Given the responsibility of keeping their comrades alive and thriving, the player must make decisions for the whole group as they try and navigate their way through a vast, mystical purgatory. Their ultimate goal is to try and find their freedom – by completing a series of ancient tasks in an expansive competition.
From Demons to Harps and everything in between, every character in Pyre has their own story to tell regarding the circumstances of their exiles and the motivation behind their returns. Those returns are only possible through the “Rites” – 3-on-3b battles where the goal is to extinguish the opponents Pyre while protecting their own.
Pyre will be available on PlayStation 4 and PC from July 25*
Dr Kawashima’s Devilish Brain Training
The doctor will see you now in this long awaited release. Releasing exactly five years after it’s initial launch in Japan, Dr Ryuta Kawashima returns with Devilish Brain Training. Following the model of the Brain Training series, this title is designed to improve player’s mental capacity through a series of challenges. Testing all aspects of the player’s brains, this title will have more emphasis on memory and concentration focus.
Featuring 30 exercises and minigames – including 18 new additions – there will be something for everyone to try. Two of the new challenges are Devilish Calculations – where players will have to use their powers of recall to solve a series of maths questions – and Devilish Mice – where players will have to track a group of mice being pursued by cats. Those looking to test their skills before release will be able to download a free digital demo of the game on 3DS.
Dr Kawashima’s Devilish Brain Training will be available on Nintendo 3DS from July 28*
Explore a strange new world in this colourful side-scroller. Hey! Pikmin will take players on a journey with the inquisitive Captain Olimar. Having crash-landed on a mysterious planet, Olimar must find a way to repair his ship and get home. However, he soon finds help in his endeavours in the form of Pikmin – the colourful species who call this peculiar planet home.
For this title, the world is explored in 2D (a first for the series) to give players a whole new perspective. With five types of Pikmin – Red, Blue, Yellow, Rock and Winged – each with their own specialities, players should be able to fully explore the planet however they choose. Players will also be able to use compatible Amiibo from the Super Mario, Splatoon and Animal Crossing collections to unlock statues and gain extra resources via the game’s bonus levels.
Hey! Pikmin will be available on Nintendo 3DS from July 28*
Free to Play
On Xbox, Gold subscribers will have four new titles to try out for free this month. On Xbox One, Grow Up will be available from July 1-31* with Runbow available to download from July 16 – August 15*. On Xbox 360 – and Xbox One via Backward Compatibility – Kane & Lynch 2 will be available from July 1-15* with LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean: The Video Game available to download from July 16-31*
Over on PlayStation, PS Plus members will have seven titles available for free across PlayStation devices. From July 4*, Until Dawn and Game of Thrones: A Telltale Series – Season Pass will be available on PlayStation 4, Tokyo Jungle and Darkstalkers Resurrection will be available on PlayStation 3, with Element4l and Don’t Die Mr Robot on PS Vita. As a special bonus for July, That’s You will also be available on PlayStation 4.
Also Released This Month
July 5* – That’s You! (PS4)
July 7* – Accel World vs. Sword Art Online (PS4, PS Vita)
July 11* – Black the Fall (Xbox One, PS4, PC), Defenders of Ekron (PS4, PC)
July 12* – The End is Nigh (PC)
July 14* – Mary Skelter: Nightmares (PS Vita), Don’t Starve Mega Pack (Xbox One, PS4), Oriental Empires (PC), The Binding of Isaac Afterbirth+ (Nintendo Switch)
July 18* – Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles (PS4, PC)
July 21* – 8-Bit Armies: Collectors Edition (Xbox One, PS4, PC)
July 25* – Aven Colony (Xbox One, PS4, PC), Fate/EXTELLA: The Umbral Star (Nintendo Switch), Fallen Legion (PS4, PS Vita)
July 26* – Unbox: Newbies Adventure (PS4)
July 27* – Danganronpa Another Episode: Ultra Despair Girls (PC)
July 28* – Miitopia (3DS), Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun (Xbox One, PS4), Conarium (PC), Dawn of Andromeda (PC), Empathy (PC), Rugby League Live 4 (Xbox One, PC), Starpoint Gemini Warlords (PC), Nintendo 2DS XL console
*Dates refer to UK release only, International dates may vary. Dates are subject to change and are correct at time of writing.
Words by Megan Roxburgh