It’s officially summer, although you wouldn’t think it based on the amount of rain we’ve had up here in Newcastle this week. Still, that vague hint of warmth that lingers between the raindrops has got me dreaming of all those lovely things that make summer so appealing. Al fresco dining, excluding that bit where a wasp crawls into your glass of Fanta, which seems to happen to me a lot. Music festivals, minus the part where you queue for half an hour to have a wee. Oh, and obviously spending time on a beach somewhere hot, purposefully ignoring that horrible bit where you try to get your socks back on after taking a dip in the ocean and the sand scrapes against your skin.
OK, so maybe summer isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Why do we even bother leaving the house, when we can stay indoors and play video games on PC instead? June is a little sparse when it comes to new releases (as is so often the case during these warmer seasons) but there’s still plenty on the horizon to keep you occupied.
So why not close those curtains and get back into your jammies. This month, we’re taking a summer holiday without ever having to leave the house. Think of me as your holiday rep (remember them from the 90s?) as I guide you through four weeks of virtual fun. Got your tickets ready? Let’s embark.
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.
Silt (June 1st)
No holiday is complete without some scuba diving. Pop your snorkel on, and let’s dive into Silt, launching on June 1st. It feels cheap to compare Silt to Limbo, but the two do share a lot in common. Both are side-scrolling puzzle games with a focus on exploration and sport a distinct monochrome visual style. While Silt appears to offer an equally atmospheric adventure through the inky depths of an unknown ocean, its possession mechanic that allows you to take control of various creatures to solve puzzles gives the game its own unique flavour. Its mix of 3D models and hand-sketched backgrounds is also especially fetching. Fans of Play Dead’s body of work should definitely keep an eye on this one.
Card Shark (June 2nd)
Are the kids in bed? Wonderful. A quick trip downstairs to the hotel lobby, where a number of guests are playing cards with the bar staff. Keep your wits about you, however. Rumour has it there’s a scoundrel at the table hustling players out of house and home. Perhaps they’ve been playing Card Shark, launching on June 2nd. Card Shark is a game about cards that’s not actually about card games. Playing as a mute protagonist in 18th century France, it’s your goal to cheat your way to victory rather than to win any actual hands of a specific game. Accompanied by a man posing as an aristocrat, you’ll learn how to hustle your way onto the most prestigious tables in the country, counting cards and folding their edges along the way. With a concept as smart as this, Card Shark is shaping up to be something quite special indeed.
Diablo Immortal (June 2nd)
Who's it by? Blizzard Entertainment
Where can I get it? Battle Net
A trip to the spa to open up the pores. Goodness, this sauna’s a bit warm, isn’t it? That fella in the corner looks like he’s been in here a while, his skin has turned an unholy shade of red. The tail is a bit of a mystery, though, and the less said about the hooves the better. Diablo Immortal launches into open beta for free on June 2nd. Originally revealed as an exclusive for smartphone devices, Diablo Immortal will now bring its free-to-play interpretation of the beloved franchise to home computers as well. As a huge fan of the series, I will give Diablo Immortal the benefit of the doubt. For all intents and purposes, this appears to be a full-blown Diablo game, complete with all the classes you’d expect and more skeletons than you can shake a Deckard Cain at. It looks solid as a rock, but time will tell how invasive its inevitable microtransactions will be. Still, it’s free innit? What’s the worst thing that can happen? We all have a nice time?
The Cycle: Frontier (June 8th)
All aboard the bus for a day trip to Fortuna III. Make sure you’ve brought your swimming trunks, some sunscreen and an enormous laser gun. Things can get a bit ropey over there. The Cycle: Frontier is a (deep breath) free-to-play PvPvE first-person survival shooter that sees you scouring the surface of Fortuna III for precious resources either alone or with friends. If you manage to escape before a deadly storm rolls in, you’ll be able to upgrade your equipment and level up, but be wary: this planet is not only populated with vicious creatures but also with other players, desperate to take your hard-earned loot for themselves. Imagine The Division’s Dark Zone but in space, and you have The Cycle: Frontier. It sounds neat! I’ll definitely be giving this try when its pre-season launches on June 8th.
The Quarry (June 10th)
Who's it by? Supermassive Games
Where can I get it? Steam
As the sun sets, we’ll ignite a campfire in the local woods. Let’s roast some marshmallows and drink some hot chocolate. Does anyone know any scary stories? How about this one: The Quarry is a tale about a group of teenagers who throw a party at a summer camp devoid of any adult supervision. You can probably guess how this one ends. Developed by Supermassive Games, creators of the Dark Pictures Anthology series, The Quarry is more of a spiritual successor to their PS4 exclusive Until Dawn. Still, you’ll spend your time doing largely the same things you do in their previous titles, such as making decisions that will influence who survives this twisted tale and who gets murdered by some kind of horrible creature. Presumably, something that lives in a quarry. A big rat, perhaps. Until Dawn was secretly one of the PS4’s best co-op games, a delight to play with pals on a big couch with the curtains drawn and all the lights turned off. If The Quarry can deliver half as many thrills as its predecessor, it’ll be a rollicking good time.
Redout 2 (June 16th)
Who's it by? 34BigThings srl
Where can I get it? Steam
Our resort has a number of activities to keep you occupied throughout the day. A mini-golf course. A pottery class. An anti-gravity race track. Speaking of, Redout 2 speeds onto PC from June 16th. Dear reader, let me tell you, I’m a huge fan of Wipeout-inspired racers, and so I say with some certainty that the original Redout was one of the best. Blisteringly fast, punishingly difficult and drop-dead gorgeous, Redout was a stunning attempt to replicate Studio Liverpool’s much-loved classics. So am I excited to get my grubby mitts on its sequel? You bet. In a recent preview, Ed reported that it doubles down on everything that made the original a hit while ensuring the whole experience is more accessible to newcomers. I can’t wait.
Good Company (June 21st)
Sat around the pool, you glance over at your friends. They seem relaxed. Happy. Content. You smile and lean back on your deck chair, the heat of the mid-day sun prickling against your skin. A holiday is only as good as your company. Good company. Good Company leaves early access on June 21st.
I love a good automation game, so I’ve had my eye on Good Company for a while now. Instead of whisking you away to some far-flung planet like most games in the genre, Good Company puts you in charge of a factory here on Earth, tasking you with putting together products that can then be sold for profit. Alongside a full campaign, the game’s 1.0 release also includes a multiplayer mode, which allows you to dominate the world of manufacturing with pals. If putting together conveyer belts and automating the creation of components floods your brain with dopamine, then Good Company is one to watch.
Sonic Origins (June 23rd)
Movie night down at the local cinema. It’s a beautiful little building, one of those picture houses that have been around seemingly since films were first committed to celluloid. Now, what shall we see tonight… Oh, it only has one screen. And it’s playing Sonic 2. Look we’ve already walked here and I’ve had a bottle of wine, let’s just go with it. Sonic: Origins is a compilation pack featuring four classic Sonic adventures. Including remastered versions of Sonic The Hedgehog, Sonic 2, Sonic 3 & Knuckles and Sonic CD, the collection also comes bundled with a bunch of bonus unlockable content as well as the ability to play each game with unlimited lives. The package also adds new cinematics to each game. Fancy!
CAPCOM Fighting Collection (June 24th)
Who's it by? CAPCOM
Where can I get it? Steam
Our on-resort bowling alley is equipped with all the latest features, but our arcade cabinets are admittedly showing their age. All we have are a bunch of old Capcom machines tha- oh. You seem quite excited by that fact. OK, cool. The Capcom Fighting Collection includes ten classic Capcom arcade hits, including entries from the Street Fighter and Darkstalkers series. I’m not a huge fighting game player, but even I know that Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo is an absolute banger. Do you know what makes puzzle games more engaging? Punching. Punching makes them better. In every way. All games also include online multiplayer, which is a nice touch.
Disgaea 6 Complete (June 28th)
Look, I’ve committed to this bit but I honestly have no idea how to tie the theme of summer holidays to a series like Disgaea, which as far as I understand is a tactics RPG about a bunch of anime characters trying to kill god or whatever. Fancy a meal down at the buffet? The special this evening is… a bunch of items that help you defeat a cruel and unforgiving deity? Does that work? Listen, Disgaea is a series that is absolutely packed full of complicated systems that you could seemingly spend a lifetime fiddling around with. It also features goofy humour, cute penguins and a surprising amount of heart. This complete edition features all previously released cosmetic DLC, so if you fancy changing the clothes of main character Zed who is… hold on let me just check my notes here… ah yes, a zombie, then you’re in luck.
So there we have it, 10 games coming to PC in June 2022. Before you board the plane back to England wearing what I can only describe as an optimistic pair of shorts, perhaps you’d let me know in the comments what you’ll be playing this month?