Just when we thought video games were properly back, we got another wave of delays last month. It’s totally understandable: unprecedented times and so on and etc.. However, for you dear reader, that did mean our top games of August post was gutted almost as soon as it was published.
There are a lot of great-looking games out this September… at time of writing. So, can everyone stay as still as possible, please? It’d be an awful shame if Kena got pushed again. I’d really like to play that one. I’d really like to play a lot of these, to be fair.
All going to plan, you’ll have countless wonderful games to mess about in over the next few weeks, but I know you’re looking for the best of the best. So, here are the top 10 video games coming to PC in September, 2021… hopefully.
If you like moving images set to words and music, you can have a watch of the video above. But, if you prefer text, then read on.
Deathloop (September 14th)
Who's it by? Arkane Studios
Where can I get it? Steam
How much is it? £50/€60/$60
The first time loop game on this list – yep, there's two this month – is from the people that brought you Prey and Dishonored, Arkane Studios. In Deathloop, you must take out eight targets in a single day; if you don’t, then the day starts over again. One of your potential victims is also out for blood, though. Whether player- or AI-controlled, they’ll be trying to hunt you down while you’re on your mission. Chances are you won’t be a regular Ian Hitman when you start, but that’s alright, as each loop is a chance to learn the behaviours and schedule of each person you have to off. And it gives you a chance to figure out how you're going to manipulate their plans. The developers have taken some of the supernatural elements from their previous games, which means you’ll be murdering marks with the help of some familiar abilities like Dishonored’s Blink. But there are plenty of guns in here, too, obvs. There's a reason why there's so much buzz around Deathloop: it looks fantastic.
The Artful Escape (September 9th)
Who's it by? Beethoven and Dinosaur
Where can I get it? Steam
How much is it? No price listed at time of writing
You know a game's been in development for a while when a studio says they've been working on it since the fall of the Ottoman Empire. Anyone that's seen a few seconds of gameplay can tell it's been time well spent. The Artful Escape is about a teenage guitarist exploring psychadelic, cosmic plains in order to figure out what his stage persona should be. It's one part 2D platformer, a dollup of adventure game, and heapings of rock opera. Oh! And Lena Headey and Carl Weathers are in here somewhere, too. I'm curious to see if all that results in a must-play this September, but the art style and soundtrack are enough to get me on board.
Life Is Strange: True Colors (September 10th)
The latest Life Is Strange game launches this month, promising the impassioned exchanges and supernatural powers you've come to expect from the series. This time around you're playing as a young woman called Alex in the picturesque Colarado town of Haven Springs. The special ability in this one revolves around empathy: simply by being in close proximity to another person, Alex can feel their emotions. Certainly not as bombastic as being able to rewind time, but these connections will allow you to get to the bottom of a mysterious death. I know some people adore this series, but it's been spotty, at best, for me. Developer Deck Nine have said that you'll have more agency over your story in this one, so fingers crossed that means a more compelling narrative.
Lemnis Gate (September 28th)
Like Deathloop, Lemnis Gate is an FPS with a time loop. Although, it's a tad more difficult to sum up in a pithy way. But, let's try anyway! So, you compete against other players in 1v1 or 2v2 matches – one is trying to destroy an objective, while the other is trying to defend it. However, this isn't a straight shootout; it's turn-based. Both attacker and defender have five goes each to send a futuristic soldier out onto the field, with each attempt lasting 25 seconds. When everyone has completed all their turns, the 25 second loop will have 10 operatives simultaneously performing the actions that were laid out by the players. For example, if I use my first 25 seconds to destroy an important big hunk of metal, you can then use your first 25 seconds to kill me before I've destroyed the aforementioned hunky metal. And it goes on like that. Got it? Ish? It definitely seems like a game that will make more sense after you've played a match or two. Of all of the multiplayer first-person shooters out this autumn, Lemnis Gate is definitely the one that intrigues me the most.
Eastward (September 16th)
Katharine's previously described Eastward as "Studio Ghibli meets The Legend Of Zelda," and even if you haven't played it, you can see that for yourself from about 10 seconds of footage. In this RPG, you play as two different characters: Sam (a magical and enthusiastic young girl) and John (a gruff, middle-aged man with a Vic and Bob-like love for whacking people over the head with a frying pan). In order to solve puzzles and take down baddies, you'll be swapping back-and-forth between them, utilising the powers of each. If this plays as well as it looks, Eastward could be one of the real winners this month.
Sable (September 23rd)
This beautiful open-world, exploration game has been popping up on most anticipated lists for years now, and we'll finally all get to play it in just a few weeks time. While the game is effectively a coming-of-age tale where the eponymous Sable is searching for her role in society, it's also about the little stories you encounter. Talking to NPCs and coming across points of interest sounds as rewarding as anything else in the game. Plus, there's a hoverbike in here, and they're always brilliant. Here’s hoping the final game can live up to the hype that’s surrounded Sable since it was announced in 2018.
Lost In Random (September 10th)
Who's it by? Zoink/Thunderful
Where can I get it? Steam
How much is it? £25/€30/$30
Yes, it has a name that sounds a bit wrong and reviews will be full of references to Tim Burton. Now that's out of the way, Lost In Random is a dark fairytale about a little girl embarking on a journey to save her sister from a suitably wicked queen. The world of Random isn't the friendliest place – you might've already gathered – so this girl has brought along her adorable six-sided die to help her fight off all of the nasties she comes across. While it looks like a straightforward action game at first, there's a bit more to the combat of this one. So, you'll be using your slingshot to knock energy cubes off enemies; you then feed those cubes to Dicey (I think we can all agree that's an excellent name), who freezes time when rolled. This then allows you to play one of the cards that you'll accrue while playing the game for maximum damage. The bomb card is my early favourite. Simple, but effective. Keep an eye on Lost In Random: it could be a real sleeper hit.
Kena: Bridge of Spirits (September 21st)
Who's it by? Ember Lab
Where can I get it? Epic Games Store
How much is it? £32/€40/$40
It’s no wonder a few of the Kena trailers have felt like their own short films: the developer began life as an animation studio. Whatever about their background, Ember Lab’s first game looks right up my street: a third-person action-adventure with Horizon Zero Dawn-like combat, and a story that’ll probably end with a pet dying or something. Oh no... I’ve just realised who’s going to die. There are these sooty, little dotes in the game called The Rot, and I’m now terrified they’ll all be super murdered by the time the credits roll. If that is the case, at least these cute blobs will aid you in exploration and combat before they go to the big fireplace in the sky. Regardless of any potential genocide, I’m really looking forward to this one.
Gamedec (September 16th)
Gamedec: it's pretty much the perfect name for a video game about being a detective, isn't it? Although, this cyberpunk-themed, isometric RPG tasks you with solving crimes in virtual worlds – look, it's the 22nd century, just go with it. By interrogating persons of interest and investigating your surroundings, you'll be able to get to the bottom of who's done the bad thing. In fact, that's the only route to the solution, because this is a text-heavy, non-combat game. So many games of this ilk will highlight an important piece of evidence, or make the "correct" dialogue choice really obvious, but the blurb on Gamedec's official website does mention that your choices have an impact on the world as well as your character. So, it sounds like this is going to allow you to be a proper, full-on detective. If that's the case, I can't wait to jack in.
Webbed (September 9th)
I get a lot of people are scared of spiders; my shriek can be heard for miles whenever I spot one of the man-eating bastards in the shower. If you're terrified of the eight-legged killers, don't let that deter you from giving Webbed a look. It's almost as if the Council Of Arachnids devised a strategy to change public perception via an impossibly cute 2D platformer. It seems to have worked too, because whenever the developer posts a gif on their Twitter, the replies are filled with joy. As a web-slinging spider woman, your goal is track down a prick bird that's looking to have your fella for dinner. You'll also meet a few insects along the way that might aid your rescue mission if you help them out. This one is brimming with happiness, and should be on your radar if it wasn't already.
It's a packed a month. As well as the 10 I've highlighted, there's Tales Of Arise, Lake, Get In The Car, Loser, Aragami 2, and even some Outer Wilds DLC. Whatever you end up playing over September, I hope you have a lovely time with it. But, do tell: what new games, if any, are you looking forward to getting your hands on, this month? Want to see if you can take out your targets in a timely fashion in Deathloop? Eager to get emotional Life Is Strange: True Colors? Or do you plan on checking out what is sure to be Rena Mero's favourite game of all time, Sable? Let us know in the comments.