We made it! We made it through the summer dry season. Now it’s time for every major publisher to start throwing their big releases at us in preparation for the holidays. It’s obviously still a weird time in gaming what with the COVID pandemic delaying games left and right and new consoles ostensibly coming out in a few months yet we still don’t have official dates or prices for the new hardware. However, the industry moves on which means September is full of bursting with interesting game releases. Here are the ones we think you should check out.
Ary and the Secret of the Seasons (September 1 – PC, PS4, XBO, Switch)
Coming off of Windbound last month, Ary and the Secret of the Seasons is yet another Zelda-like, except this time it’s modeled off of more traditional Zelda rather than the BOTW formula. What sets Ary apart is the interesting season shifting gameplay, which allows you to create bubbles of localized weather, and it’s quirky humor, which seems straight out of a Saturday morning cartoon.
Crusader Kings III (September 1 – PC)
You already know if you are a fan of the Grand Strategy genre, and if you are, you’d be a fool to pass up Crusader Kings III. It’s the same great gameplay you remember with more detail, more grittiness, more ways to develop your lineage spread your power around England. It also looks better than any previous Crusader Kings title, but let’s face it. You aren’t playing Grand Strategy games for the graphics. You are playing for the numbers and boy does this game have numbers.
Iron Harvest (September 1 – PC, PS4, XBO)
Are you a fan of games like Scythe? Well, then you will love Iron Harvest which is set in basically the same universe. Control massive dieselpunk mechs in the aftermath of an alternate history World War 1 as you wage war to fill the power gaps. RTSes are rare these days, and Iron Harvest is certainly one to look out for if you want to get your fix of controlling massive armies and leveling cities to the ground.
Saboteur SIO (September 1 – PC)
Retro games are nothing new, however Saboteur SIO is a direct sequel to retro stealth action games of the old ZX Spectrum era of computers. As such, it’s built with all those limitations in mind. For all intents and purposes, you are playing a ZX Spectrum sprite-based stealth action game on modern-day computers. This is a must-play for anyone who is old enough to remember that generation of games.
Spellbreak (September 3 – PC, PS4, XBO, Switch)
Imagine a multiplayer shooter but instead of guns, you wield magic spells. That’s what Spellbreak is all about and it ties everything together in a brilliant 3D animation style reminiscent of Netflix shows like The Dragon Prince. It’s also free-to-play so, you know, expect microtransactions and the like, but it’s still a truly unique multiplayer game that’s worth your attention.
Tell Me Why: Chapter Two and Three (September 3 and September 10 – PC, XBO)
We recently reviewed Tell Me Why and quite frankly, it’s great. Despite some flaws in gameplay, this is an immensely compelling story that tackles topics most media is scared to, let alone most video games. Chapter 1 left us on an immense cliffhanger which is why we are so excited that we are getting chapters 2 and 3 mere weeks after the launch of the game. Stick with this one. You’ll be happy you did.
WRC 9 (September 3 – PC, PS4, XBO)
If you need a new racing game with a simulationist angle then WRC 9 is the game to go to. With what previews we have seen, its new physics engine is amazing and for those of you with racing wheels out there, you can actually feel the difference in road type vibrate through your wheel. Now that’s something. Of course, nitty-gritty simulation racing isn’t for everyone, but if you are a gear head, then get your fix of legendary cars racing on realistic tracks with this title.
Marvel’s Avengers (September 4 – PC, PS4, XBO, Stadia)
You might have your own opinions about microtransactions or exclusive content, but even so, Marvel’s Avengers is easily one of the most high profile releases of this month. Take control of the most notable Marvel superheroes in this new action-adventure game. It’s a bit more complex than games like Marvel Ultimate Alliance, but the idea is the same. Team up with up to four friends online and defend the world from supervillain threats, including MODOK who may be getting a bigger role in the MCU sometime soon.
NBA 2K1 (September 4 – PC, PS4, XBO, Switch, Stadia)
You know the deal, another year another basketball game. This year the major updates come in the MyCAREER mode, which takes you from high school up through the pros. You’ll have to play in 2v2 neighborhood court matches just as much as you’ll play in professional NBA games.
Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2 (September 4 – PC, PS4, XBO)
We usually don’t include HD remasters in these lists, but Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2 was just too culturally important to pass up. This is actually a remake of the most influential skating game of all time, with all-new graphics and the amazing soundtracks intact. If you never tried out the Pro Skater franchise, now is the time to relive the nostalgia for the first time.
Necromunda: Underhive Wars (September 4 – PC, PS4, XBO)
Necromunda: Underhive Wars is a combination shooter/tactical turn-based strategy spin-off from the Warhammer universe. You’ll choose between different characters in different classes, in many different gangs of the Underhive as you battle it out on maps with a ton of verticality and intricate pathways.
Star Renegades (September 8 – PC)
Now here’s an indie game that has been long-awaited. Star Renegades is a cross between JRPGs and Rogue-Lites, with a fantastic combination of sprite artwork and 2D animation and a Shadows of Mordor style nemesis system. You’ll always have different procedurally generated maps and enemies to take on, and similarly different strategically generated party members to bring into battle. Frankly, this is one of the best looking and playing rogue-lites we have seen in a while.
Cloud Gardens (September 9 – PC)
Look, it’s a stressful time out there. That’s why Cloud Gardens is here to relax you. Turn the ruins of a post-industrial wasteland into your own personal garden landscape, complete with relaxing lo-fi tunes to get you through it all. On one hand, this is a farming sim, but on the other hand, this is a game about taking time to chill, and we all need to take time to chill.
The Outer Worlds: Peril on Gorgon (September 9 – PC, PS4, XBO)
We also try to avoid adding DLC to these lists, but The Outer Worlds is definitely one of the most well-received shooter RPGs of 2020, and having a whole new area to explore, complete with new guns with new mechanics, is worth taking notice of.
Metal Max XENO: Reborn (September 10 – PS4, Switch)
This post-apocalyptic tank combat RPG is hopping off the Vita and onto the PS4 with completely new graphics. This is the sixth game in the series, but don’t worry. You can kind of hop in at any time. Really, you should play this game because a sequel is slated for release this year, though we don’t exactly know when.
Inertial Drift (September 11 – PC, PS4, XBO Switch)
Maybe simulation racing isn’t your style. Maybe you want to speed down mountain passes like you are a character from Initial D. Well that’s what Inertial Drift is for. With a unique control style that dedicates one whole stick to steering and another whole stick to drifting, this game is all about drifting your way through entire courses of twists and turns. The only thing that could make it better is a neon ‘80s aesthetic and a Eurobeat soundtrack, OH WAIT, it has that too.
BPM: Bullets Per Minute (September 15 – PC)
Crypt of the Necrodancer taught us that combining different genres with rhythm games is an award-winning formula. Well BPM combines the rhythm and shooter genres to create an interesting style of experience. Shoot, reload, and evade enemy fire to the music in this interesting mashup of DDR and DOOM.
eFootball PES 2021 (September 15, PC, PS4, XBO)
Look, this is like, the only thing Konami does these days. Are you a soccer fan? Do you want an alternative to FIFA? Well, this is the only place to go. Hey, if this and pachinko can keep Konami alive, more power to them I guess.
Spelunky 2 (September 15 – PS4)
Spelunky is one of the titans of the indiesphere. This rogue-lite Metroidvania title captivated us during the indie boom, and now this sequel brings us more characters with more unique abilities, more people to rescue along with more town-building elements, more traps, and map features to interact with, and more hilarious ways to die.
Biomass (September 16 – PC)
Another indie title delayed by the pandemic, Biomass is finally releasing (hopefully) this September. It’s a combination of the Metroidvania and souls-like genres that is notable for being hard… very, very, very hard. This game is going to be, more than anything, a test of your skill and twitch reflexes as you navigate a post-apocalyptic world where everything from other people to Giger-esque aliens wants to kill you.
WWE 2K Battlegrounds (September 18 – PC, PS4, XBO, Switch, Stadia)
Nearly every WWE game to come out in recent games has been a simulator, looking to let you customize a wrestler and take them through a career while customizing their move-set to an intricate degree. However, there was another long lost type of wrestling game, the arcade wrestler, and WWE 2K Battlegrounds is bringing it back. It wants nothing to do with realism. Instead, it wants to let you choke slam someone from 50 ft in the air. It wants to let you powerbomb your opponent into a moat filled with alligators. It wants to let you light yourself on fire and somehow become more deadly because of it. This is wrestling taken to its most ludicrous extreme.
Songs of Syx (September 21 – PC)
Imagine city builders like Rimworld. Now blow it up. Bigger. Bigger. Still bigger. Now you are looking at Songs of Syx a city simulator on an epic scale. You get to build entire kingdoms, down to individual buildings with individual residents. You get to send your hordes to war, and watch each of them die, individually. You get to be a medieval overlord, in more detail than you ever wanted before.
13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim (September 22 – PS4)
This is a sleeper hit that you absolutely need to take notice of. I’ve actually played the Japanese version of 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim and I can assure you it is a quality game. Its equal parts time-travel puzzle story told through brilliant 2D spritework by Vanillaware and turn-based/real-time strategy hybrid where you pilot giant mechs to take down kaiju who are assaulting your city. This scratches both the strategy RPG itch and the cinematic “choices matter” narrative itch I have. Do not sleep on this one.
Going Under (September 24 – PC)
What’s scarier than diving into the depths of dungeons? Diving into the depths of ruined tech startups. That’s the concept behind this tongue-in-cheek rogue-lite. Take on lost employees who have turned into monsters with office supplies and sheer willpower. Unfortunately, this internship is unpaid, but you’ll get a lot of exposure!
Lust from Beyond (September 24 – PC)
It is rare that a horror game genuinely disturbs me. Lust from Beyond disturbs me and then some. It’s a combination of aesthetics from H.P. Lovecraft and H. R. Giger, in a perversion of violence and sexuality that plays on body horror so hard you’ll… probably want to vomit. It’s so gruesome and risqué the trailer had to be censored several times over just to get onto YouTube. This is not for the faint of heart. It’s not at all clear if the game will be good, but it will certainly make you uncomfortable.
Serious Sam 4 (September 24 – PC, Stadia)
It’s not the amount of violence that matters. It’s the context. Serious Sam 4 plays its violence up for laughs, and it does so well. Ever want to blow aliens to hell and back using dual-wielded mini-guns. You can do that. You can also take a ride in the popemobile, which just so happens to be a giant robot.
This is the Zodiac Speaking (September 24 – PC, PS4, XBO, Switch)
This is an interesting story-driver stylized FPS murder stealth mystery thriller horror (enough genres for you) based on the tale of the Zodiac Killer. You play as a journalist who is contacted directly by the killer. Faced with a chance to bring him to justice and get the scoop of the century, you decide to chase him through 1970s California, only to get enveloped in an even greater and more dangerous mystery.
Port Royale 4 (September 25 – PC, PS4, XBO, Switch)
Take control of a colony as a young governor and build your small outpost into a bustling trade city. How? Well through resource trading on the high seas, and a small bit of piracy. Connect multiple islands into complex trade routes and rule the Caribbean as the king of trade in this econ sim.
Genshin Impact (September 28 – PC, PS4, iOS, Android)
Ah yes, the game that borrowed from Breath of the Wild so much that angry Nintendo fans broke their PS4s for… some reason. Look, this is more than a little derivative, but that’s on purpose. The developers were inspired by BOTW and decided that they wanted to put their own anime spin on it. You can take control of several different characters, each with their own traversal mechanics, to explore Genshin Impact’s gigantic world. Of course, the fact that it’s also coming out on mobile platforms makes us wary, but this still has the potential to be quite the open-world adventure.
Re:Turn – One Way Trip (September 29 – PC, PS4, XBO, Switch)
Re:Turn is a sprite-based point-and-click horror game that takes place entirely in 2D. Control Saki as she searches an old ghost train looking for her friends and fiancé. What secrets will be revealed as she desperately tries to escape this train ride to the underworld?
Now that’s a lot of games, 30 for you to check out. What releases are you most excited about? Let us know in the comments.