Exoprimal to Remnant II: The 8 Biggest Games in July

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July is here and the month brings a healthy roster of new game releases. While it is not as games-heavy as June was, with big titles like Final Fantasy XVI and Diablo IV releasing last month, July still promises a few distinct titles. Perhaps the most awaited of them all is Pikmin 4, the fourth mainline title in Nintendo’s beloved real-time strategy series. Releasing a decade after 2013’s Pikmin 3, Pikmin 4 will bring a host of new features while retaining its core gameplay, where players get to control a horde of tiny Pikmin, each of whom bring their own unique skills to the table. Pikmin 4 comes out on July 21 and will be available on the Nintendo Switch.

Keeping in line with Sony’s strategy to roll out its slate of exclusive titles on PC, Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart is getting a PC port on July 26. Insomniac Games’ acclaimed third-person shooter/platformer follows the adventures of its titular duo — Ratchet and Clank — as they navigate interdimensional portals and explore new worlds. The PC port, helmed by Nixxes Software, promises a host of exclusive features, too, including ray-traced reflections and shadows and support for ultrawide displays.

Fans of shooters have more cause to celebrate: Remnant II follows 2019’s Remnant: From the Ashes and will offer the same third-person shooter, action-RPG experience. The Remnant series takes a healthy dose of inspiration from FromSoftware’s notoriously difficult but rewarding games. The ‘Soulslike’ shooter lets players choose their class — each with their own unique abilities, explore intricate levels, and take on daunting boss fights. Remnant 2 can be played solo, or in three-player co-op, and arrives July 25 on PC, PS5, and Xbox Series S/X.

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While these are the highlights, July promises a slew of diverse titles across genres and platforms. Here are our picks for the eight biggest games coming to PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X, Nintendo Switch, Android, and iOS in July 2023.

Oxenfree II: Lost Signals

When: July 12
Where: PC, PS4, PS5, Nintendo Switch, Netflix (Android, iOS)

TVs turn on and off, planes fail to navigate, and all radio stations are overpowered by loud static in the eerily silent atmospheric town called Camena. Perplexed by the events, young researcher Riley returns to her hometown to investigate the electromagnetic waves responsible for it, only to stumble into a larger mystery involving portals opened by a crew long believed to be dead. In Oxenfree II: Lost Signals, choices play an important role in how the story unfolds, be it forging a deep friendship with an old acquaintance or ignoring NPCs in need, essentially crafting a style of Riley that’s specific to you.

Set five years after the events of the first title, you’ll run into the members of a cult group called Parentage, who’ve been prodding at the chance to open a new portal and pull out something or someone sinister. Who are they and whom are they trying to contact? Ghosts maybe? As you might’ve guessed by now, much of the gameplay is based on a point-and-click mechanic, where you tap into ghostly frequencies to communicate with supernatural beings and manipulate the world to reveal its concealed secrets. For some deeper analysis, simply hop back in time using fissures and watch with your mouth agape as cosmic horror unfolds.

The conversation system has also been upgraded from the prequel, equipping you with a walkie-talkie, letting you access contacts and bug the locals for any info. The game will also be available to all Netflix subscribers as a free download on their Android and iOS devices.

Watch the Trailer for Oxenfree II: Lost Signals

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Oxenfree II: Lost Signals has you tap into ghostly frequencies to communicate with the supernatural
Photo Credit: Night School Studio

Jagged Alliance 3

When: July 14
Where: PC

First announced in 2014, Jagged Alliance 3 has taken its time to arrive. The turn-based tactical RPG has swapped developers multiple times, finally landing in the hands of Haemimont Games — makers of the popular construction management sim series, Tropico. Sequel to 1999’s Jagged Alliance 2, the upcoming strategy title will let players control and command a squad of mercenaries going up against a fierce private militia. Players will be able to pick and choose from an extensive roster of squad members, each of whom have distinct traits, personalities and backstories that provide context.

Set in the fictional nation of Grand Chien, Jagged Alliance 3 will feature large-scale turn-based battles to acquire territories. Players can level up and deck out their squad members with new abilities acquired over time and customise their weapons according to their needs. Grand Chien is in turmoil — the president has gone missing, and a dubious paramilitary group called ‘The Legion’ has taken over. The player will command a group of mercenaries tasked with finding the president and restoring political order in the nation. Jagged Alliance 3 is out on PC on July 14.

Exoprimal

When: July 14
Where: PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X

High-tech armed mercenaries in exoskeletal mechanical body suits pitted against hordes of powerful, “primal” dinosaurs. That is the game, the most of it. Before you get a Dino Crisis whiplash, let me tell you what Capcom’s latest offering is and isn’t. Outlandish? Yes. Boring? No. A chance to become one of the most enjoyable war games of the year? Possibly. Exoprimal mixes elements of the Mesozoic Era with that of futuristic (-ish) AI and time-travelling science fiction to make a gripping dynamic multiplayer shooter action game.

Starting in 2040s Earth, your character will be able to perform the garden-variety combat movements and mechanisms. With each win, you will be allowed to upgrade your suits, tools, and powers as is the norm. But this also allows you (well, your character) the scope to turn into an (not) actual dinosaur in the game! Silly, but novel and exciting.

Graphically, this is not the best game out there but it is reasonably simple, colourful, and detailed. You will get a ‘PvEvP’ (player versus environment versus player) gameplay while fighting opposing players as well as AI rivals. Each time your squad is tasked with a mission, aside from destroying the pre-historic raptors, and/or capturing a region, it also leads up to you securing and protecting vital intel from your opponents. Much like pineapple on pizza, don’t deny it till you try it. Try to take on Tyrannosaurus Rex with your friends because Exoprimal will be anything but a snoozefest.

Pikmin 4

When: July 21
Where: Nintendo Switch

Nintendo’s popular real-time strategy title Pikmin 4 is here — with some notable improvements over the previous entries in the Pikmin series. You must raise small creatures with unique abilities such as resistance and the ability to survive in water, fire, ice, electricity, toxins, and the dark — or flight, super strength, or super sturdiness. These critters will follow your orders, and progressing in the game will depend on your ability to strategise and use them in an optimal manner.

Every day, you will have to find and save your Rescue Corps crew and Captain Olimar, as you attempt to repair your ship. With Pikmin 4, the publisher has introduced the ability to explore areas during the day and the night. The newest creature — the Ice Pikmin — is capable of turning both your enemies and water bodies nearby into ice. You will also be able to quickly “rewind” time if you find the challenges and puzzles in the game too difficult.

Remnant II

When: July 25
Where: PC, PS5, Xbox Series S/X

Sometimes after a long day, all you need sometimes is a good third-person shooter game to shrug off all the pent-up fatigue and/or anger and this year, Remnant II could prove to be that game for you. Following up on the 2019 release Remnant: From the Ashes, Gunfire Games has returned with a bigger and better offering for us. You are placed in a post-apocalyptic world to explore an arid and hostile landscape and are introduced to a host of new characters with exclusive skill sets, motivations, and backgrounds.

Elements of soulslike shine through this Remnant sequel in its considerably improved visuals, features, and functionalities. Also, to the respite of all fans, the stamina bar is only active during combat sessions and you do not have to worry about randomly slowing down amidst a scouting stroll. This chapter also offers more complex storylines and arms you up with newer moves like the vertical jump, and also, much to your frustration, newer ways to fall to your death. But unlike the muddy ash and brown tones of the inaugural game, graphically, this game has a more detailed and colour-rich appearance.

The action-RPG game has both single and multiplayer options and will allow up to three players in cooperative mode. While exploring mysteries, navigating through multiple locales and hidden passageways, you will be forced to encounter monstrous, seemingly Giger-inspired foes and daunting, powerful bosses. Aside from surviving, cooperating with allies, and gunning down formidable opponents, the game also offers randomly generated side quests and a number of engaging NPCs. Remnant 2 evidently promises to be a familiar yet indelible game.

Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart (PC port)

When: July 26
Where: PC

Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart is the latest in the line of PlayStation exclusives being ported to PC, catapulting you across dimensions — bouncing between planets and gunning down alien pirates — as you’re forced into battle against an evil emperor from another reality. In a sense, the original PS5 version — released in 2021 — served as a technical showcase for its SSD loading speeds, quickly rendering particle effects and areas coming to life in real-time. It will be interesting to see how well it fares on PC, given The Last of Us Part I kind of tarnished Sony’s reputation when it comes to porting its first-party games. I’d suggest not sounding any alarm bells for now since Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart is being ported by Nixxes Software, who were responsible for the near-perfect renditions of Spider-Man Remastered and Spider-Man: Miles Morales on PC.

As for the PC-specific features, we’ve got support for customisable button mapping on keyboard and mouse setups, alongside apt vibrations by way of haptic feedback on a PS5 DualSense controller (wired-only). Expect untethered access to ray-traced reflections and shadows on supported hardware, which further help boost performance through Nvidia’s DLSS 3 and AMD’s FSR 2.0 upscaling technologies, without sacrificing much in the visual fidelity department. Support for ultra-wide displays ranging from 21:9, 32:9, and 48:9 (triple monitor) is also included in the package. Hopefully, the port is well-optimised though, which has been a curse for PC gamers this year.

Watch the Features Trailer for Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart, Coming to PC

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Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart on PC comes with support for ray-traced reflections and shadows
Photo Credit: Insomniac Games

The Expanse: A Telltale Series

When: July 27
Where: PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X

Marking the freshly-revived Telltale Games’ first new IP, The Expanse simply uses the interstellar world-building from the eponymous Amazon Prime Video series as a depressing playground to thrust you into a murder mystery aboard the Artemis ship. You play as Camina Drummer, Tycho Station’s Belter head of security, exploring the spaceship for clues, keeping with the franchise’s episodic formula, as you build up or completely ruin relationships through tense irreparable choices. The show’s star Cara Gee herself, reprises her role in this prequel story, adding some realism to the lead’s personality as she mundanely scavenges shipwrecks, fights off fearsome pirates, and survives a full-blown mutiny.

When compared to previous Telltale entries, there are some noticeable upgrades in navigation, with Drummer being able to freely float around in low-gravity areas via thrusters — akin to Dead Space — and using magnetised boots to stroll along on metallic surfaces. It is also worth noting that the July release only includes the first episode for now, with the remaining four chapters dropping once every oncoming two weeks. This set schedule nicely rivals yesteryear’s Telltale, where players had to wait for months — until development was finished — before a new episode was out to play.

Disney Illusion Island

When: June 28
Where: Nintendo Switch

Set on the peculiar island of Monoth, Disney Illusion Island will let you pick your favourite character and embark on a quest to obtain three magical books that are the key to rescuing the world from certain disaster. You can also choose three other friends to play the game in couch coop mode, while taking advantage of skills designed to be used by teams of two or more.

The game will feature simple controls — you can actually play Disney Illusion Island using a single Joy-Con — according to a recent report. Instead of fighting opponents, this platformer will have you scratching your head as you try and help Mickey, Minnie, Donald, and Goofy get past obstacles and bosses in your quest to save the island of Monoth — and the world.


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