The Month in Games – August 2021

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As the summer draws to a close, there are new adventures to be had. From dodgeball supremacy to the field of battle, writing a new history, dominating on the gridiron and an atmospheric mystery tale await in this month’s gaming releases.


Dodgeball Academia

Become the ultimate champion in this sports RPG. Set in a world where dodgeball is king, Dodgeball Academia follows the story of Otto. A new recruit to the Dodgeball Academy, Otto has dreams of becoming the Ultimate Champion. However, seasoned players and the rigours of school life aren’t making this quest easy for Otto, as he must navigate the hallways with care in order to hone his skills, build his squad and take his place as Champion.

Spread across eight episodes, players will be able to explore the world of Dodgeball Academia both on and off-campus. Fusing elements of 2D side scrollers, turn-based strategy and role-playing games, players shape Otto’s story with each decision, win, lose or draw. By building their own unique squad and taking on side quests and mini-games, there’s plenty to do besides dodging, ducking, dipping, diving and dodging.

Dodgeball Academia will be available on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch and PC from August 5*


Humankind

Create your own narrative with this strategy title. In Humankind, players must shape the very course of history to create their own unique civilization. From humble beginnings as a tribe of nomads, players will expand their settlements into sprawling cities with a range of resources, build armies to fend off potential enemies, research breakthroughs across the ages and establish a truly unique society of people through player choices and playstyle. 

Players who pre-order will receive a decoration and symbols set along with an Avatar set featuring Boudicca, Lucy & Edgar Allen Poe player icons. The Digital Deluxe Edition includes a copy of the game, digital soundtrack, printable Unit & Tech Tree and the Notre-Dame pack. The physical copy of the game includes all the content of the Digital Deluxe Edition in a panoramic art case at select retailers.

Humankind will be available on PC from August 15*


Twelve Minutes

Solve the mystery in this atmospheric adventure. Set entirely within a small apartment, Twelve Minutes tells the story of a couple whose quiet night in ends in tragedy after an incident with a police officer. By repeating the same 12 minutes over and over again, players must piece together the chain of events leading up to this night and achieve the best possible outcome with the information they learn with each do-over of the cycle.

Starring James McAvoy, Daisy Ridley and Willem Defoe, Twelve Minutes fuses together elements from iconic horror and psychological dramas including The Shining, Rear Window and Memento. The work of a single developer, Luis Antonio, Twelve Minutes will test the player’s ability to learn from mistakes, find hidden clues and uncover the goal of this close-quarters story.

Twelve Minutes will be available on Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S and PC from August 19*


Madden NFL 22

Take to the field and be the best in this year’s Madden NFL release. In Madden NFL 22, players will be able to play their way from the front office to the field. The Franchise mode has been redeveloped to allow for greater control over elements such as staff management while Ultimate Team will allow players to adapt to the opponent strategy with halftime adjustments to superstars. For those looking for action in the gridiron, the Face of the Franchise story mode is now more customisable than ever thanks to a new player class system, while The Yard features all-new locations around the globe and a rotating live event hub complete with a new Ranked mode.

Players who pre-order will receive a Tom Brady Gear Capsule and 20 Franchise: Staff Points. The MVP Edition includes a copy of the game with Dual Entitlement within the same console family, three days Early Access, 60 Franchise: Staff Points, a boost to Level 10 in Face of the Franchise & The Yard, Tom Brady Gear Capsule, a choice of one NFL Star, a choice of Brady or Mahomes Elite Item, 11 Team Fantasy Packs and exclusive Early Access challenges.

The Dynasty Edition – which is pre-order only – contains the game with Dual Entitlement within the same console family, three days Early Access, 100 Franchise: Staff Points, a boost to Level 10 in Face of the Franchise & The Yard, Tom Brady Gear Capsule, a choice of one NFL Star, a choice of Brady or Mahomes Elite Item, choice of Brady or Mahomes Curated Legends Pack and 22 Team Fantasy Packs.

Madden NFL 22 will be available on Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, PC and Google Stadia from August 20*


King’s Bounty II

A new world awaits in this long-awaited sequel. Set on the continent of Nostria in the kingdom of Antara, King’s Bounty II puts players in the middle of a world rife with conspiracies, magic and warring factions. With the King no longer able to lead, various groups scramble to try and seize power from his young son. With rumours of a prophet with the power to unite the people of Nostria spreading through the Kingdom, players will be on an epic journey to discover the truth behind the tales and find a way to restore the land to its former glory.

The Day One Edition includes a copy of the game, Elite Guard Premium Pack, two additional units, Hounds of War mount and Armoured Princess’s Shield. The King Collector’s Edition includes a copy of the game, all the DLC in the Day One Edition, additional weapons, King’s Watchdogs unit, Heroes & Villains Premium Pack, Armor of the Hollow armour set, double-sided poster, hardcover Artbook, a copy of the game’s soundtrack and collectable King’s Crown in a limited-edition collector’s box. 

King’s Bounty II will be available on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch and PC from August 24*


Psychonauts 2

Raz’s next adventure is here in this highly anticipated sequel. Following on from the events of The Rhombus of Ruin, Psychonauts 2 follows Raz as he finally makes it to the Psychonauts Headquarters to realize his lifelong dream of joining their ranks. However, Raz soon discovers things at Psychonaut HQ aren’t what they seem. In the absence of their leader, Truman Zanotto, the Psychonauts organisation has been changed by interim leader Hollis Forsythe, with the organisation now focused not on peacekeeping but questionable studies and experiments that may be hiding a much darker endgame.

Players who pre-order the title will be able to install the game on their chosen platform early to allow a quick start on launch day. Those on Microsoft devices will also be able to take advantage of Xbox Play Anywhere, which is supported by the game, to allow for a single game save to be transferred across devices. While the game will be digital-only at release, physical editions of the game will be sent to eligible backers of the game’s initial crowdfunding campaign.

Psychonauts 2 will be available on Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC from August 25*


Free to Play

Players with an Xbox Gold or Game Pass Ultimate subscription will receive four new titles to download and keep for free this month. On Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S, Darksiders III will be available from August 1-31*, with Yooka-Laylee available from August 16 – September 15*. On Xbox 360 (and Xbox One/Xbox Series X/Xbox Series S via Backwards Compatibility), Lost Planet 3 will be available from August 1-15*, followed by Garou: Mark of The Wolves from August 16-31*

Over on PlayStation, those with an active PS Plus subscription will receive three new titles to add to their library for free. From August 3*, Hunter Arena: Legends will be available on PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5, with Plants v Zombies: Battle for Neighborville and Tennis World Tour 2 available on PlayStation 4.

Players with connected Amazon Prime and Twitch accounts will be able to claim a host of titles and offers for free this month through Prime Gaming. Joining the lineup of free games available on PC in August will be Battlefield V, Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis, Metamorphosis, A Normal Lost Phone, Another Lost Phone: Laura’s Story, Planet Alpha, Secret Files: Tunguska and Lost Horizon 2. Full details on how to claim these games – along with bonus content for games including Genshin Impact, Fall Guys and Rainbow Six Siege – can be found on the Prime Gaming website.

Also Released This Month

August 2* – Grime (PC, Stadia)

August 3* – The Ramp (PC), Hunter’s Arena: Legends (PS4, PS5, PC), In Sound Mind (Xbox Series X/S, PS5, PC, Switch), Rocket Rumble (PC), In Sound Mind (Xbox Series X/S, PS5, Switch, PC), Spiritfarer (PS4, Switch)

August 5* – My Friend Pedro: Ripe for Revenge (iOS, Android), The Falconeer: Warrior Edition (PS4, PS5, Switch), Starmancer (PC)

August 6* – Blue Fire (PS4), Zengeon (Switch)

August 10* – Mech Armada (PC – Steam Early Access), Action Wrestling Arcade (Xbox One, PS4), Black Book (Xbox One, PS4, PC, Switch), Lawn Mowing Simulator (Xbox Series X/S, PC), Godfall (PS4), Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid – Super Edition (Xbox One, PS4, Switch)

August 11* – Icarus (PC), Glitchpunk (PC – Steam Early Access)

August 12* – Fire Tonight (Switch, PC), The Plane Effect (Xbox Series X/S, PS5, Switch, PC), Tetragon (Xbox One, PS4, Switch, PC), Naraka: Bladepoint (PC), Skatebird (Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PC, Switch), Foreclosed (Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PS4, PS5, PC, Switch)

August 13* – Hades (Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PS4, PS5), Paw Patrol: Adventure City Calls (Xbox One, PS4, Switch, PC), Shadowverse: Champion’s Battle (Switch), Tormented Souls (PS5)

August 16* – Road 96 (PC, Switch)

August 17* – Greak: Memories of Azur (Xbox Series X/S, PS5, Switch, PC)

August 19* – Monster Harvest (Xbox One, PS4, PC, Switch), Synthetik 2 (PC – Steam Early Access), RIMS Racing (Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PS4, PS5, PC, Switch), Recompile (Xbox Series X/S, PS5, PC)

August 20* – Ghost of Tsushima Director’s Cut (PS4, PS5), Onirike (PS4, Switch)

August 24* – I Expect You To Die 2: The Spy and The Liar (PSVR, Steam VR, Oculus Rift, Quest), Hoa (Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PS4, PS5, PC, Switch), Aliens: Fireteam Elite (Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PS4, PS5, PC, Switch), Sniper Ghost Warrior Contracts 2 – Elite Edition (PS5)

August 25* – Rogue Spirit (PC – Steam Early Access)

August 26* – 3D Billiards: Pool & Snooker (PS5), Panda Hero (PS5)

August 27* – No More Heroes 3 (Switch), Apsulov: End of Gods (PS4, PS5), American Fugitive: State of Emergency (PS4, Switch)

August 30* – Book of Travels (PC – Steam Early Access)

August 31* – New World (PC), Rustler (Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PS4, PS5, PC, Switch), KeyWe (Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PS4, PS5, Switch, PC), The Big Con (Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PC), The Forgotten City (Xbox Series X/S, PS5)

Dates refer to UK release only. International dates may vary and may change. Information correct at time of writing.

Words by Megan Roxburgh


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