Arguably one of the most barren months in gaming, ahead of a inevitably packed Autumn line-up, August doesn’t usually have much to live up to in terms of releases. However this month is quite different, with a number of heavy hitters mixed with some titles hoping to be Xbox’s next indie darling. Keep an eye out for the following August 2018 releases on Xbox One.
1. Strange Brigade
Indie developer Rebellion are finally taking a well-earned break from the tactical Sniper Elite series and are bringing gamers a similar third-person shooter, this time with an emphasis on team-play, discovery… and Witch Queens?!
Yes, you heard that right, and Strange Brigade is all about following a band of heroes of the same name who have been tasked with stopping the ancient evil of Witch Queen Seteki, and her mummified army. To stop this 4000 year old threat you (and up to three online friends if you wish) will don the outfit of one of four characters and take a puzzle filled romp through an Aztec environment, utilising some pretty wacky weapons and devastating magical powers in order to dispose of whatever supernatural beings stand in your way.
Between the massacres of enemies that will no doubt be playing out, you may wish to take a detour and explore the surroundings in pursuit of tombs and riches, à la Indiana Jones.
The Strange Brigade need your help – and Rebellion promise an action-packed, tactical experience best played with a couple of mates.
2. PES 2019
Was there any doubt that Konami and EA would be fighting to be declared the football kings of 2018? No, of course there wasn’t, and PES 2019 is the former’s offering, gunning to best its FIFA opponent.
With Barcelona’s Brazilian magician Philippe Coutinho and English legend David Beckham on the covers, PES 2019 means business. It includes a number of playable legends from the history of the beautiful game, showing some love towards the lesser leagues from across the world such as Denmark’s Superliga, and making some ambitious changes to myClub that should have football fans licking their chops in anticipation for the release.
For career-based Master League fans, the International Champions Cup preseason tournament has been added to give your newly recruited players a run out or two. Improved negotiation features when acquiring new players should mean that taking your team to the top will be as enjoyable as ever.
PES’ answer to Ultimate Team, myClub, is receiving an influx of new players known as ‘featured players’, whose overall rating will change as they play in your club, and may also see them develop extra beneficial skills.
All this and more gameplay changes will await PES players this month, so be sure to keep 28th August saved in your diary as the day PES 2019 hits store shelves.
3. We Happy Few
The hype train for We Happy Few may have pulled into the station a tad prematurely, but nevertheless the survival title is finally making its way out of the Game Preview program and debuting as a full game.
If you are unsure as to what We Happy Few entails, then you’ll be glad to know that it consists of you looking through the perspectives of three characters at a warped cartoonish land that has been ravaged by a drug known as Joy. This affixes an insane smile onto the taker and forces them to be ‘happy’; some characters are in resistance to this though – something that is very much frowned upon by the area’s citizens, and more importantly the authorities. In an attempt to resist, you must act in conformity whilst also utilising survival, stealth and weapon-based combat in order to ensure you are not found out by the Joy-takers.
As with many survival titles each time you perish in We Happy Few’s messed up interpretation of 1964 England, you will be reset in a newly generated area for you to learn from your previous mistakes, and crack on with the task at hand all with the bonus of added knowledge.
Good luck surviving in this drug-ridden world – you will definitely need it!
4. Overcooked 2
Too many cooks do apparently not spoil the broth. At least that is according to Team17 as the frantic antics of Overcooked are back with the sequel to the hit from 2016, with even more wacky ‘kitchens’, new recipes and double the chaos.
Once again the Onion Kingdom is neck-deep in trouble, as a new threat known as the Unbread (Undead Bread), are on the loose, and it is up to the merry band of adventuring cooks to whip up meals across restaurants, wizard schools and even outer space to somehow put a stop to the enemy.
As well as the new chefs and dynamic levels that have been included, Overcooked 2 is serving up a new mechanic – throwing! Launching your onions between teammates and into the pan may not seem like the most practical (or hygienic) method of cooking, but anything that will shave off precious seconds and amass some extra points should be treasured in the fast-paced, split-second decision making world of Overcooked 2. You may lose some friends amongst the inevitable anger that should ensue after booting up a level, but that is quite irrelevant!
Now for the first time the mania is spreading to the online scene too, so you can choose between local co-op or dabble in some online play, both catering for up to 4 people.
Seriously – what are you waiting for? Don your finest chef’s hat and get out there, the Onion Kingdom is relying upon you!
5. F1 2018
As normal as it is for FIFA, PES, NHL, NBA, and Madden to make annual appearances, Codemasters also do the same with F1. But what does F1 2018 have to offer in improvement? More classic cars, an even deeper Career mode and of course all the official drivers, teams and tracks are just a few of the features in the latest and most up to date Formula 1 experience.
When classic racers such as the 1976 Ferrari 312 T2 and the 2006 Renault R26 are involved, F1 enthusiasts have to pay attention: being able to burn rubber on Silverstone with such detailed, legendary vehicles should be something all fans should aim to do.
With regards to Career mode, and this year an emphasis has been put on the importance of the media for your driver’s relationships in the paddock, with your boss and your team. Claire is the new reporter on the job, and she will be regularly asking questions; the answers to which can show you as more of a level-headed driver or a sparky character who makes headlines – different people prefer to see different personalities come through and you must manage this and your performances, should you wish for your agent to push for moves to other teams during a season.
It seems this is said every year – but the F1 2018 installment of the F1 series really is the most in-depth and realistic Formula 1 experience yet.
6. Dead Cells
Like We Happy Few, action-packed 2D platformer Dead Cells also comes with a permadeath warning – having no checkpoints, many pattern-based bosses to learn and a variety of creatures all out for your blood has never been so dangerous…
Even though at heart Dead Cells plays out as a Castlevania, rogue-lite 2D platformer, in order to learn from your every mistake you can choose to take a different path each time you attempt to progress through the ever-changing castle setting. Learning the hazards associated with each area and how to beat them is key to making solid progression. Alternatively, it’s always good to take in a bit of exploration too, and the multitude of hidden rooms and secret passages could do with being sought out.
But no adventurer would be complete without his or her weapon, and the protagonist of Dead Cells helpfully comes with some powerful weapons and magical spells to use in the disposal of enemies.
7. Shenmue I & II
Younger readers will most likely never even have heard of Shenmue – the cult classic from Sega which released all the way back in 1999 – and even more improbable is that they have heard of the sequel, 2001’s Shenmue II. But anyone lucky enough to have owned a DreamCast way back when will know the two titles as strangely excellent, with a massive cult following. So much so that, ahead of a successfully crowdfunded Shenmue 3 being in the works, the first two games are arriving on Xbox One with shiny improved visuals.
Shenmue is regularly described as that typical revenge story, as protagonist Ryo trains himself up as a martial arts expert and explores 1986 Yokosuka in pursuit of his father’s killer, one Lan Di. The sequel continues this storyline of classic revenge, and sees companions to Ryo join the frey – Joy and motorcyclist Wuying Ren.
Gameplay wise and Shenmue I and II will have players participating in many a quick-time event as well as utilising Ryo’s fighting moves on multiple opponents. When he isn’t knocking people out, or intensely carrying books (don’t ask), Ryo will also be roaming the streets searching for clues and speaking to NPCs that can aid him on his quest.
For anyone who has been unable to get their hands on the Shenmue series, then this is the perfect opportunity to give it a go… with the added benefit of improvements in the visual department.
8. Naruto to Boruto: Shinobi Striker
Despite the title seemingly alluring to it as some kind of anime-inspired football experience, Naruto to Boruto: Shinobi Striker is actually an online multiplayer focused fighting game set in the Naruto universe.
Players will be competing in numerous 4v4 battles across modes such as the capture the flag style Flag Battle, Base Battle – which sees people taking control of bases to score points – and the straight up team deathmatch type mode of Combat Battle.
To be the very best, you’ll not only have to take advantage of the verticality of each large 3D environment, but also ensure your team has a good balance of Ninjutsu styles to complement each other; with a choice of Attack, Ranged, Defense and Heal type characters.
Prepare to get to grips with all the usual characters like Naruto, Sasuke, Sakura, and many more, as well as being afforded the option to create your very own custom ninja on the route to becoming the greatest Shinobi there ever will be!
August 2018 is looking rather nifty in the new Xbox One releases department. But what will you be picking up? Let us know in the comments below!