Keeping track of the latest video games is no easy task. Between PC, consoles, handhelds, and mobile, dozens of new games come out every week, and a lot of them aren't very good. How do you separate the wheat from the chaff? Thankfully, you don't have to, because every week in The Five I dig through the mountain of new releases to find the diamonds you may have otherwise missed.
Every edition of The Five will include a Pick of the Week and four other games you should be keeping an eye on. Whether you want to know about the latest triple-A blockbuster, or the hot new thing on Steam, The Five has you covered. So, without further ado...
Splatoon 2 (NS, July 21)
Get ready to get messy kids ‘n’ squids, because Splatoon 2 is almost here! Like the surprise-hit Wii U original, Splatoon 2 is a multiplayer shooter that focuses on splattering the scenery rather than your opponents. The series brings multiplayer shooting mayhem to players of all ages, but also has plenty of style, so adults won’t feel embarrassed playing it.
In addition to the expected boatload of new maps and weapons, Splatoon 2 also features an all-new, more-ambitious single-player campaign, the added co-op player vs. AI Salmon Run mode, and additional online features like voice chat. Heck, the game even lets you set up a good old-fashioned LAN party! Splatoon 2 looks like a perfect dose of summertime fun.
Fortnite (PC, Xbox One & PS4, July 21)
From Epic Games (Gears of War, Paragon) and People Can Fly (Bulletstorm), Fortnite is a co-op zombie survival game, where you and three friends must build your own fort from scratch and defend it from an onslaught of the undead. Fortnite will be released as a free-to-play game next year, but starting this week players can pay for early access to the game. Yes, the full version of the game is free, but the early access is paid – it’s a rather odd approach, but Fortnite looks like a lot of fun, so you might want to give it a go. If you’re looking for the game on PC, you’ll need to download it from Epic’s website (rather than Steam).
Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles (PC & PS4, July 18)
Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles is a new 3D action-adventure somewhat reminiscent of The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker. Yonder gives you a large, beautiful island to explore, but it also has a Harvest Moon-esque element, as you can take on various professions and socialize with the island’s inhabitants. If you work hard enough, you may even be able to earn your own farm!
Slime-san: Blackbird's Kraken (PC, Mac & Linux, July 20)
No, I didn’t just choose Slime-san: Blackbird's Kraken for its title, although it is pretty amazing. Slime-san is a simple retro platformer in the same vein as Studio Pixel games like Cave Story and Gero Blaster, and Blackbird’s Kraken is a new expansion that adds a whole mess of new underwater levels. If you buy Silme-san: Blackbird’s Kraken, you’ll also get the original Slime-san for free, so why not catch up on this charming little series? Check out Slime-san: Blackbird's Kraken on Steam.
Car Mechanic Simulator 2018 (PC & Mac, July 21)
Once again, this is not a joke entry. The Car Mechanic Simulator series has been around for a while, and provides a surprisingly deep engine-tinkering experience. Find old junkers, fix them up using thousands of real-world-inspired parts, then test them out on the track! Obviously, Car Mechanic Simulator 2018 is a niche game, but this series definitely has its diehard fans. Check out Car Mechanic Simulator 2018 on Steam.
Not a bad week for the middle of summer, with Splatoon 2 leading the way and some interesting-looking indies providing solid backup.