The best video games of August 2023: Baldur’s Gate 3 and more


This August kicked off a packed sport launch lineup as we head into the latter a part of 2023, together with many video games that I’d think about a number of the 12 months’s finest. Nonetheless, there was one factor all of this month’s finest titles shared in widespread: they have been all single-player targeted. Whereas there appears to be a basic stigma inside the sport business that single-player video games don’t promote as effectively or aren’t as participating for gamers, August 2023’s finest video games stood in stark distinction to that.

Baldur’s Gate 3, a turn-based Dungeons & Dragons RPG at present on PC, is likely one of the 12 months’s most-played video games. It does have a cooperative mode, however it’s fully fulfilling as a single-player journey. And people in search of extra improbable single-player adventure didn’t have a scarcity of different video games massive and small to show to as soon as they beat that massive one.

When you’re questioning which August video games to take a look at as this 12 months’s largest sport releases solely proceed to ramp up, listed below are seven price testing.

Baldur’s Gate 3

A character speaks in Baldur's Gate 3
Larian Studios

Baldur’s Gate 3 wants a little bit introduction; I’d be shocked if you happen to owned a gaming PC and aren’t already taking part in it. And if you happen to aren’t, you ought to be. Larian Studios’ successor to a basic BioWare RPG sequence is a triumphant launch for the style, due to an immersive story that attracts gamers into the world, gameplay mechanics that really feel ripped straight from a tabletop sport however are nonetheless pleasing digitally, and an enormous quantity of participant freedom.

“Larian Studios’ megasuccessful CRPG is so engrossing that I couldn’t cease occupied with its countless potentialities whereas it was in my fingers,” Andrew Zucosky wrote of Baldur’s Gate 3 in Digital Trends’ five-star assessment of the sport. “The entire character builds I wished to strive, all of the companions I wanted to spend extra time with, all the alternatives I didn’t make nonetheless gnaw at my thoughts like a tadpole burrowing into my cerebellum. And judging by viewers response over the previous month, I’m not alone.”

Baldur’s Gate 3 is completely among the best video games of 2023 and a must-play for followers of single-player video games. Proper now, it’s solely on PC, however that can change quickly. A PlayStation 5 port launches on September 6, whereas an Xbox Collection X/S launch will occur someday later in 2023.

Sea of Stars

Keenathan promises to open up the ruins in Sea of Stars.

Sea of Stars has been on my radar as an RPG fan because it was introduced in 2020, and it delivered. These in search of a throwback RPG extra just like Chrono Set off and Tremendous Mario RPG than to Baldur’s Gate 3, Dragon Age: Origins, and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim will love Sea of Stars. The sport appears to be like and sounds nice, with acquainted, but entertaining RPG battles that show its developer’s love for the style’s classics.

“When you can reside with a few of its lacking items, Sea of Stars is a powerful homage to basic RPGs,” Jess Reyes wrote in a four-star Sea of Stars assessment for Digital Traits. “It does that with out merely leaning on retro nostalgia. As a substitute, it delivers a novel journey all its personal crammed with humor, dramatic weight, and a artistic battle system that’s fully its personal. It’s each a respectful look again on the previous and a daring step ahead for indie RPGs.”

Whereas releasing between Baldur’s Gate 3 and Starfield isn’t doing the sport many favours, that is nonetheless a single-player RPG you don’t wish to miss out on. Sea of Stars is obtainable now for PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Collection X/S, and Nintendo Change. It’s obtainable via each PlayStation Plus Additional and Xbox Recreation Go too, so that you in all probability have a means to do this sport out for no further price.

The Cosmic Wheel Sisterhood

Fortuna reads Jasmine's tarot The Cosmic Wheel Sisterhood.
Devolver Digital

Alternative additionally performs a giant half in one other of the month’s different finest video games, The Cosmic Wheel Sisterhood. This indie title from Deconstructeam and Devolver Digital pairs tarot studying with the acquainted choice-based narrative sport components to create a novel and subversive expertise. Whilst somebody who’s not usually into tarot or witchy issues, I totally loved its fascinating narrative about how we should be accountable for the results of our personal actions.

“These days, probably the most thrilling narrative video games are those that discover a option to mess around with the style and discover new methods to make previous mechanics fascinating. The Cosmic Wheel Sisterhood does that on a number of ranges,” I wrote of the sport when it launched earlier this month. “Whereas I went into this sport not sure how a lot it could enchantment to me, I discovered an expertise that reaffirmed issues I really like concerning the style whereas delivering a fascinating story about id and consequence.”

It’s finest if you happen to go right into a sport like this as spoiler-free as doable, expertise your distinctive journey, after which evaluate that with what others noticed. As such, I gained’t say way more about it. The Cosmic Wheel Sisterhood is obtainable now for PC and Nintendo Change.

Immortals of Aveum

A player blasts an enemy with magic spells in Immortals of Aveum.

A former developer from Sledgehammer Video games based a brand new studio and made Immortals of Aveum, a sport marketed because the magic model of Name of Obligation. It’s a bit extra nuanced than that, although. Specifically, Immortals of Aveum is a single-player sport, and its marketing campaign ranges are extra open-ended than most Name of Obligation fare. Whereas its characters can get annoying, its magical shooter method feels recent in a style that may get fairly stale, and it’s one of many prettiest video games of this console era besides.

“I went into Immortals of Aveum anticipating a linear expertise akin to Name of Obligation, however discovered a sport with unexpectedly huge ranges, a world wealthy with intriguing lore, and vibrant fight that saved me on my toes,” I wrote in a three-and-a-half star assessment of the sport. “It’s a strong alternative for these in search of an creative shooter that stands out from the gang in that style.”

This primary effort from a brand new studio is getting drowned out by a number of the month’s larger AAA releases, however it’s nonetheless price testing for individuals who like off-kilter first-person shooter video games. Immortals of Aveum is obtainable now for PC, PS5, and Xbox Collection X/S.

Astronaut: The Finest

Astronauts train their skills in Astronaut: The Best.
Common Happymaker

Astronaut: The Finest is a type of weird video games higher performed than described. Nonetheless, it’s an under-the-radar indie from this month that we’d wholeheartedly advocate. In it, gamers basically run and do PR for the Flaustrian Royal House Academy and must handle the astronauts for an impending mission as they get into all kinds of occult mishaps. Its distinct artwork type and number of bizarre conditions for gamers to take care of are definitely memorable.

Astronaut: The Finest is so not like something I’ve ever performed that it’s exhausting to explain,” DT’s Giovanni Colantonio wrote of the sport. “It’s a story roguelite wrapped round an occult administration simulator about managing PR for the world’s worst astronauts. There’s spellcasting! There’s boxing! There are secret reptilians! Unpredictable doesn’t even start to explain what’s basically Calvinball: The Video Recreation.”

Generally, an indie sport is simply so odd that each one you are able to do is ask others to expertise it so you possibly can all experience its quirkiness. That is a type of video games. Astronaut: The Finest is now obtainable for PC.

The Making of Karateka

A screenshot from The Making of Karateka.
Digital Eclipse

Final November, Digital Eclipse impressed with Atari 50: The Anniversary Celebration, a group of basic Atari video games offered in a museum- or documentary-like format. Now, it desires to do the identical factor for particular person video games with its new “Gold Master Series,” which it describes as a sequence of “independently produced initiatives that commemorate key designers, studios, and video games that modified the world.” The primary of those centres round Karateka, a 1984 Apple II sport from the creator of Prince of Persia that laid some early groundwork for cinematic storytelling, preventing sport mechanics, and spectacular animations in video video games.

The result’s The Making of Karateka. It’s offered equally to Atari 50, however virtually all of it’s about only one sport and its influence. That enables The Making of Karateka to get into the specifics of the sport’s growth, giving us a deep dive that sometimes feels reserved for a reported exposé. For online game historians like myself, it’s a deal with, primarily as a result of it’s filled with insightful interviews with the folks concerned with and influenced by Karateka.

Digital Eclipse has struck gold with the format used for Atari 50 and The Making of Karateka, so my urge for food is definitely whetted for future video games within the Gold Grasp Collection. The Making of Karateka is obtainable now for PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Collection X/S, and Nintendo Change.

Blasphemous 2

A skeleton holds a candlestick in Blasphemous 2.

Whereas FromSoftware did drop a brand new sport this month, Digital Traits isn’t as scorching on Armored Core VI: Fires of Rubicon as others resulting from its demanding controls and legibility points. As a substitute, we advocate Souls followers try Blasphemous 2, a brand new indie Souls like Metroidvania from The Recreation Kitchen. The unique Blasphemous was made by Spanish sport builders who infused their nation’s tradition and relationship with religion into an journey that’s equal elements chilling, troublesome, and meditative. This sequel ups the ante on all of that.

“It’s a sequence of mountains to be climbed, with jagged handholds that’ll typically ship gamers tumbling again right down to the underside,” Giovanni Colantonio wrote of Blasphemous 2 in his three-and-a-half star assessment. “At instances, it may be demoralizing — or worse — a little bit boring. There’s all the time one thing past that peak, although, as long as you’re devoted sufficient to endure the climb, bloodied palms and all, you possibly can have religion that it’s definitely worth the ache and also you’ll all the time discover the sunshine on the opposite aspect, even when the lethal rewards you discover earn you a first-class ticket to Hell.”

Soulslikes and Metroidvanias are widespread within the indie house these days, however don’t let that flip you off from this sport. Whereas the sport does function the frustrations of each of these sport genres, it additionally has the entire magic that made it particular within the first place. Blasphemous 2 is obtainable now for PC, PS5, Xbox Collection X/S, and Nintendo Change.

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