Hello! Welcome to the latest Geeky Brummie Games Release Roundup!
This week, Diablo, Amnesia and the latest from Life is Strange developers Dontnod.
So this is a quieter week, mostly because I imagine very few developers or publishers want their games release to compete with the assorted noise coming out of Summer Game Fest.
In fact, this week most of the releases have been trying to get ahead of all of that. Nothing on this list releases today (Friday 9th June) and a bunch of the reviews for these titles came out ahead of all the showcases. Diablo even technically released last week if you pre-ordered at a higher price. Absolutely no one wants to compete with Geoff Keighley’s Wild Ride. Which is fair.
That said, this list doesn’t include any surprise launches from Summer Game Fest itself. It’s been the eternal problem with that show and this roundup, since I write this on a Thursday afternoon, and the show is always on a Thursday night. Anything with a surprise launch will instead be covered next week. That’s the price you pay, devs, I’m sorry.
But still, this is still a decent week for releases. Personally, aside from the Game of the Week, I’d say Mask of the Rose and Loop8 look the most interesting, but the latter is..uh…not getting great reviews unfortunately!
Tiny Thor (PC) is a retro platformer featuring a young Thor wielding Mjolnir. The developers cite platformers of the Amiga era as a major influence.
Another puzzle platformer, Nocturnal (PC, PlayStation, Switch, Xbox) is a much more combat-focused experience. Got a surprise launch off the back of the Guerrilla Collective showcase earlier this week.
Mask of the Rose (PC, Switch) is an intriguing visual novel set in a Victorian London that is now buried underground, under constant scrutiny and where death is an inconvenience. You now have to both solve a murder and help romance blossom in this new London, whether for yourself or by playing matchmaker. There’s a lot going on here.
Loop8: Summer of Gods (PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One) is an RPG set in a time loop in a rural Japanese village. You play as a boy raised on a space station after an invasion from creatures known as the Kegai. He goes to spend a summer in Ashihara, one of humanity’s final sanctuaries on Earth, and has a month to prevent the village being destroyed by the Kegai. You can loop time until you succeed. Mixed reviews on this one, despite its interesting concept.
Amnesia: The Bunker (PC) is the latest in the Amnesia series of horror games. This time, the horrors are found in a World War I bunker, where a creature lurks in the shadows. You do have a gun this time, but very limited ammo. I refuse to play it because The Dark Descent gave me panic attacks, but if this is your jam, have fun!
Diablo IV (PC, PS5, Xbox X/S) is the latest in the classic Diablo dungeon crawler franchise. It got some decent reviews at launch, but bear in mind that microtransaction creep is seeping into the game now. Of course, you should also be wary of giving Activision Blizzard your money after CEO Bobby Kotick recently blamed ongoing allegations against him mishandling sexual assault claims on workers going on strike.
Game of the Week
Game of the Week this week is Harmony: The Fall of Reverie (PC, Switch), the latest game from Life is Strange developers Dontnod. As you’d expect from them, this is a narrative-driven, choice-based adventure game.
You play as Polly, a woman on the search for her missing mother. When she returns to her hometown, she discovers she has the power of clairvoyance and can journey to the land of Reverie. Here she must befriend the six Aspirations and make choices that will place one of them in charge of Reverie, which will have huge effects on her hometown.
This has an intriguing concept and one that takes the choice-based narrative to a new level. Polly, as Harmony, has the power to see the future and see the potential impact that her choices could have. Plus it’s Dontnod, and they are usually excellent at these types of games.