Best Games Releasing in July 2021
2021 hasn’t as of yet had its magnum opus, and despite promising a large list of anticipated games, the year doesn’t have as many big names as 2020 did. It’s understandable since the two new generation consoles from Sony (PlayStation 4) and Microsoft (Xbox Series X and Series S) incepted during the year, which would also require some big titles alongside their launch, though the big titles in talk did end up at the receiving end of controversial acclaim, especially CD Projekt Red’s Cyberpunk 2077 and Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us 2.
One of the major reasons why 2020 didn’t have a large number of games is also the major reason for 2021 having an extra chunk of video-game releases, which were the effects of Covid-19 in the video-game industry, and the delays they caused. Even games like Cyberpunk 2077 were moved to the very end of the year. After a very release-heavy first half of the year, especially with months like May and June (which released big titles like Resident Evil: Village and the PS5 exclusive Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart), comes a July that’s minimalistic on the video-game releases and is probably the lightest month of the year so far when it comes to new releases. But the quality of what’s being released shouldn’t be underestimated, as the month consists of some of the most interesting releases of the year, especially for Nintendo Switch.
So, without further ado, let’s list down the most promising video games that are set to release in July:
Tribes of Midgard
Platforms: PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows
Release Date: July 27
Not unexpected for a list like this to begin with an indie release. God of War: Ragnarok may be anticipated due to its emphasis on surrounding the game in the events of Ragnarok, but Tribes of Midgard by Norsfell Games Inc. is a fairly anticipatable game that explores the same mythology but comes a year prior to the big Sony release. Expect gameplay fixated on elements of survival, adventure, and action, with a top-down view. Elements of RPG are also a major part of it. The story involves you, or you alongside up to 10 of your friends in an adventure for your survival. Players must prevent the happening of Ragnarok at the hands of giants, mythical creatures, deadly spirits, and many diverse kinds of threats.
The earliest beta of the game was actually released in 2019, but little had been heard from the game since, until it got the release date of July 27 on the 2021 E3. The creative director seeks to create a new genre altogether with Tribes of Midgard, which is definitely one of the absolute reasons to look out for the game. But if you need more pragmatic promises from a game, you can check out its excellent lore as well as nuanced crafting mechanisms in the official promos.
The Forgotten City
Platforms: PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC
Release Date: July 28
It’s seldom that a mod garners much more popularity and even critical appraisal than a great bunch of officially released games. The mod that inspired The Forgotten City can be listed as an example of that. Modern Storyteller’s The Forgotten City is a re-imagining of the Australian Writer’s Guild Award-winning Skyrim mod with the same title, which had also crossed over 3 million downloads. The Forgotten City itself is a standalone version with updated features and design, as well as a re-written script with twice the depth of the original.
For those who need their gameplay experiences to be driven by the narrative, The Forgotten City is definitely one of the very best options not just July, but the entire year has to offer. The Forgotten City is a mystery adventure game with an emphasis on deduction, narrative, and exploration. It has a Kojima-Esque approach towards violence, as it’s provided only as an option, with more beneficial alternatives provided to reach the same means. The story involves you in a time loop of the final day of a cursed Roman city from 2000 years ago, in which every sin caused a person’s death. And trust me, as brilliant as the synopsis itself may sound, even that doesn’t do any justice to how creatively written the story itself is.
Platforms: Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, PC
Release Date: July 29
Were you too underwhelmed by Cyberpunk 2077? Neon Giant’s The Ascent, while different in nature, still seems to be a redeeming alternative (though only for those with a PC, an Xbox One or a Series X/S) of CD Project Red’s cyberpunk action role-playing game that mostly failed to offer what it had hyped itself for. Its similarity to Cyberpunk 2077 is only an on-paper one though, and in fact the gameplay mechanics are more reminiscent of something like Diablo.
The player(s) have to operate on a planet owned by The Ascent Group and will have to ensure their survival and the elimination of the enemies when the company goes rogue. The Ascent is an open-world shoot ‘em up with a top-down view that you can either play solo or with up to three players in co-op mode. The game also includes common stealth mechanics like taking cover. The character’s appearance can be customized, and their abilities, cyberware, and skills can be upgraded.
The Ascent was announced in May 2020 as an Xbox Series X launch title but was then delayed for a 2021 release.
Unbound: Worlds Apart
Platforms: PC, Nintendo Switch
Release Date: July 28
One of the most promising indie games of the year. Unbound: Worlds Apart by the indie Romanian studio Alien Pixel Studios is rather reminiscent of some other indie masterpieces like Ori and Journey, though that is a two-edged sword because it should also have an identity of its own, which from the previews released so far, it definitely seems to have.
Unbound: Worlds Apart has thus far looked like an eerie and soulful experience. Its gameplay mechanics of platforming, the themes of the adventure, and the creativity of the puzzles, all promise a potentially revered indie game for this year. The story is full of vastly original-looking elements of fantasy and seems to consist of themes of speculative fiction too. The story involves you in forgotten, twisted, hand-crafted worlds which the mages used to travel through with portals. Your journey unravels unforeseen mysteries and secrets of the worlds.
The game seems like a perfect experience especially for Nintendo Switch, for which it’s also releasing on July 28.
Microsoft Flight Simulator
Platforms: Xbox Series X/S
Release Date: July 27
This one is exclusively for those who own the Xbox Series X or Series S. While Microsoft Flight Simulator may not really be a very unconventional and original video game, it’s a realistic simulator experience that has been beyond the abilities of even the most up-to-date GPUs in the market when at the highest graphic settings. Considering how extraordinarily next-gen the game looked upon its initial 2020 release, a release for Xbox Series X and S was pretty much inevitable. It’s only symbolic for the longest-running, nearly four-decades-old Microsoft video game franchise to be released on its current generation of consoles.
Owners of Xbox Series X or S must definitely be extremely anticipated for this realistic aircraft experience, which includes the manifestation of everything from the roofs of your houses to the realism of the weather causing distress for your aircraft. You can fly around different sorts of aircraft for a vast variety of experiences in the skies, in an environment that may not always be static, thanks to its frequent DLCs.
The best news about this release is that those who already have the game on Xbox Game Pass will be able to play it for free.
Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin
Platforms: PC, Nintendo Switch
Release Date: July 9
Capcom’s Monster Hunter franchise has certainly provided some quality releases over different platforms in the past years. The hype and expectations for this game have risen even further after the fifth trailer of it was released at the recent E3 event. Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin is a turn-based role-playing adventure game, and is the second entry of the spin-off series of the main Monster Hunter games.
In a changing world, you must explore and unravel the ancient legends, as your bonds and allegiances are tested. Play as the rider, who must befriend the monsters known as Monsties, and fight alongside them in a highly story-driven adventure. The protagonist is a legendary rider’s grandson. A series of bizarre events take place after the protagonist meets the Wyverian girl Ena.
Where the Monster Hunter Stories series differs from the main games is that it takes on a complete RPG approach, whereas the mainline games were essentially action games with RPG elements. The gameplay footage revealed that it will feature the combat system of its predecessor too (Monster Hunter Stories).
Platforms: PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S
Release Date: July 16
The official video game of the 2021 Formula One World Championship, developed by Codemasters, and published by EA Sports. It is pretty inclusive to have a sports game among the list too, especially one that promises something different, unlike EA’s own FIFA franchise. The game marks the 14th entry in Codemasters’ F1 franchise and the first one that’s published by EA. It can easily be crowned as one of the most anticipated and beautiful-looking racing games of this new generation of video-game consoles.
What makes F1 worth looking forward to are the gameplay features as well as the seemingly vast improvements in the mechanics. The best addition to the premise is a story mode, which while the Need for Speed franchise has often implemented too, has rarely been explored in a realistic manner when it comes to racing games. But aspects of realism would be highly expected from the storyline of an official sports franchise. Another great addition is the ability for people to play multiplayer or co-op in career modes. Your friends can now join your career to either team with you, or against you.
It’s uncommon to see a strictly genre-oriented franchise improve at such a level with every sequel, but Codemasters’ F1 has certainly been one of the examples of such cases. F1, if not an even greater example of that, seems to be at least as much of an improvement over its predecessors, with new modes, tracks, and mechanics.
Little Devil Inside
Platforms: PC, PS4, PS5
Release Date: July TBC
From all of the main anticipated games in July, Neostream Interactive’s Little Devil Inside has displayed the most unique and creative premise. It’s a 3D third-person view open-world game, exploratory in nature, and with emphasis on survival and combat.
Though unlike what the genre of survival may suggest, its developers actually consider the game’s survival side of things ‘rather easy’ compared to the rest of the aspects, which certainly makes one expect a different experience of the genre. As per the developers, it’s not as much about surviving for a long period in a single place, but much more about surviving through the different trips that you may take. The game takes place over such a long list of terrains. Snow, desert, mountains, swamplands, forests, and even the seas are explored. Do realize the game’s adventurous nature by the fact that it doesn’t allow mechanics like fast travel either, relying instead on traveling on foot, or through vehicles. The player can craft and upgrade weapons, gadgets, and other items, and upgrade vehicles too. Something that adds even further to the gameplay is the use of intel, with how you can interact with the NPCs to determine your moves as per the right weather and conditions.
The game had originally aimed for a 2016 release, and then a 2017 trailer had announced for it to be released in 2018. Things changed when the PS5 reveal happened, and the game got revealed as one of the console exclusives for it and PS4. But it a PC release was eventually confirmed.
The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD
Platforms: Nintendo Switch
Release Date: July 16
Exactly a decade after the release of the acclaimed original, comes an HD remake for Nintendo Switch. The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword was a universally acclaimed classic released over Nintendo Wii and Wii U. As expected from a The Legend of Zelda video game, you can’t decide if the gameplay or the story is the icing on the cake, considering how equal in brilliance the two facets are among most of the franchise. Though to your surprise, even a game as excellently described is rarely among the fans’ top favorites, which says a lot about the franchise’s quality.
The game was praised for its realistic swordplay that required proper timing and uses of angles. It can arguably be considered the most polished and nuanced action gameplay in the entire franchise. The movement is intuitive, and every little angle that Link diverts himself towards can cause a drastic change in the aftermath of an action. Some people may have had issues with the motion in the two Wii consoles, but the Nintendo Switch release provides more variety to how the game could play out.
Accompany Zelda in an adventure that ranges from the surface to the skies, in a classic adventure that is set to release in HD.