June is typically a slow month for the games industry. While most of the eyes are on E3, the major industry event in which developers and publishers make major new game announcements, the actual slew of new game releases tends to be quite slow. Gaming companies (falsely) believe that we’re all too busy working on our sun tans and swimming in the pool to sit and play video games.
But things are different this year as several major PC game releases are arriving this June, just in time for the beginning of summer. There are major DLC expansions, high-octane blockbuster sequels, and hotly anticipated new IPs all ready and primed to keep you entertained during this time of the year.
Dontnod Entertainment is best-known for its work on Life Is Strange, the episodic supernatural narrative game about teenage girls that took the world by storm in 2015. It also developed Remember Me, the 2013 cyberpunk action-adventure game that released in 2013, giving sci-fi fantasy lovers a reason to celebrate. However, the developer’s latest game, Vampyr, is a significant departure from its past two titles.
In Vampyr, you play as Jonathan Reid, a doctor who has turned into a vampire and must balance his duties as a doctor with his vampiric urges and his insatiable thirst for blood. While that would be difficult in any case, it’s particularly difficult in this game as Vampyr is set in early 20th century London during the time of the Spanish flu.
As Reid, players are able to stalk and hunt their prey, learning more about their habits and collecting clues by exploring the game’s semi-open-world environment. Players can also learn and upgrade abilities (including increased health and stamina and Mesmerise which allows you to encourage NPCs into revealing certain information), using experience points gained from killing people are investigating. Players don’t have to kill anyone in this vampire-focused action RPG, as Vampyr offers multiple endings depending on how people play through it.
Hugely popular simulation game The Sims 4 has received four expansion packs so far - there’s Get Together, Get to Work, City Living and most recently, Cats and Dogs. While all of these were welcomed by players with open arms, few bits of DLC have been so highly requested as the upcoming Sims 4 Seasons expansion pack.
The Seasons expansion is a staple of The Sims series, with several previous games in the series receiving their own versions. The Sims 4 Seasons will offer all four seasons (winter, spring, summer, and fall) and promises “year-round” seasonal entertainment. For example, players will be able to skate in impressive form on an ice rink, build a snowman, lay in the snow to make snow angels, put on a raincoat and go and splash in puddles, harvest honey, and much more.
The expansion pack will also introduce new holiday traditions, including the very romantic Love Day (which is essentially The Sims 4 version of Valentine’s Day) and Winterfest (The Sims 4 Christmas) in which people give gifts, and hang decorations, or they can make custom holidays. If that’s not enough, Sims can embark on the gardening career path, analyzing plants, making flower arrangements and other ways of embracing their green thumb.
Ubisoft’s 2014 racing game The Crew was a huge success. Offering players a massive open-world which allows them to drive all the way across the United States of America, the game has more than five million players to date. Although the game is big enough as it is (figuratively and literally), developer Ivory Tower has somehow found a way to make the game bigger and better with The Crew 2.
The big change with The Crew 2 is that it adds a variety of new vehicles to play with. Kicking things up a notch from the standard four-wheeled affair, players will be able to ride motorbikes, zoom across the water in boats, and fly through the air in planes. Cars are still included too, only this time you’ll be able to seamlessly switch to each vehicle type as you cruise through this vast open-world.
Speaking of The Crew 2’s open-world, Ivory Tower has also given this humongous playground a makeover for the sequel. To improve the map, the developers went on a cross-country intel-gathering trip across the United States, helping them to add a lot more details to the in-game map. The map was already pretty detailed as is, allowing players to travel from coast to coast, hitting up metropolitan areas and midwestern locations on the way, meaning that The Crew 2’s map may be something very special.