Upcoming Games: A Jam Packed July

Upcoming Games: A Jam Packed July

July brings a surge of games releasing to get out ahead of the autumn crush. From heavy hitters like Dawntrail and Zenless Zone Zero, esoteric new entries like Once Human and Anger Foot - and a surprisingly large amount of strategy titles including Cataclismo, Norland and of course Stormgate.

Conor Caulfield

With Elden Ring out of the way, July means a surge of games releasing to get out ahead of the Autumn crush. From heavy hitters like Dawntrail and Zenless Zone Zero, esoteric new entries like Once Human and Anger Foot - and a surprisingly large amount of strategy titles including Cataclismo, Norland and of course Stormgate.

There’s something for everyone this month, so let’s get started.

Final Fantasy XIV: Dawntrail

Developer: Creative Studio III
Publisher: Square Enix
Platforms: PC/Xbox/PlayStation
Release Date: 02/07

Advanced Access for Dawntrail means many of you are already enjoying your time in the new continent of Tural - taking advantage of all the splendour the new graphics update offers.
For everyone else, the 2nd represents their first chance to try out the new Viper and Pictomancer jobs and higher level cap, as well as those female Hrothgar options.
Obviously, as the first follow-up to Endwalker since 2021, there’s a lot of interest in what Dawntrail does to re-engage the audience - both from a gameplay perspective and from a story perspective.

The First Descendent

Developer: Nexon
Publisher: Nexon
Platforms: PC/Xbox/PlayStation
Release Date: 02/07

On the 2nd, Nexon’s attempt to do a Warframe with The First Descendent means we get another 1-4 player third person sci-fi looter-shooter, but this time with Nexon footing the bill for some very shiny Unreal Engine 5 gameplay and stylish character design.
With Warframe still surprising audiences in 2024 with new updates, The First Descendent will have a lot to do to challenge the incumbent - but Nexon are very familiar with getting audiences hooked on gameplay and reward loops.

Zenless Zone Zero

Developer: miHoYo
Publisher: miHoYo
Platforms: PC/PlayStation/Mobile
Release Date: 04/07

And speaking of reward loops - from the makers of Genshin Impact and Honkai Star Rail comes the next mobile/PC/PlayStation sensation - Zenless Zone Zero on the 4th - this time going for an urban fantasy with supernatural vibes, with the developers specifically citing Digimon’s urban fantasy as an influence.
You can still expect action based RPG combat with your squad of characters though, as well as all the gacha nonsense you should do your best not to be overwhelmed by.

Once Human

Developer: Starry Studio
Publisher: Netease
Platforms: PC/Mobile
Release Date: 09/07

One of the top games in the recent Steam Next Fest - Once Human on the 9th is the now ubiquitous example of how Steam audiences love survival games with a twist. In this case, that twist being a post apocalyptic setting being invaded by gigantic otherworldly enemies, some so big they dwarf houses, flying monstrosities and some horrifying designs suggest the end game for this one will be more MMO Raid than base raiding - (it will also have base raiding).

Anger Foot

Developer: Free Lives
Publisher: Devolver Digital
Platforms: PC
Release Date: 11/07

Pure chaotic FPS Energy on the 11th - but in Anger Foot, FPS stands for Feet Per Second. Kick down doors, clear rooms of cartoon coloured gangsters and solve traversal or combat puzzles on the fly. Hyper kinetic with a bass driven soundtrack, this is coming from the developers of Broforce and Genital Jousting, so you know they understand how to get the vibes right.

The Crust

Developer: VEOM Studio
Publisher: Crytivo
Platforms: PC
Release Date: 15/07

Slowing right down for the 15th - how about a base building and management simulator set on the moon? Launching in Early Access after a successful Kickstarter campaign, The Crust is giving us a more subdued take on the automation genre, managing the resources you extract just as much as you’re managing the expectations of the factions back home.

Gestalt: Steam & Cinder

Developer: Metamorphasis Games
Publisher: Fireshine Games
Platforms: PC/Switch
Release Date: 16/07

Equally classic are the 16 and 32 bit inspired graphics and design of Gestalt: Steam & Cinder launching on the 16th.
It wouldn’t be a month of releases without a stylish MetroidVania, and the steampunk aesthetic, robotic enemy design and challenging platforming/puzzle gameplay fit the bill here.
Delayed by a month for polish, the demo has been up the whole time - so maybe give that a try and see if this one works for you.

Magical Delicacy

Developer: skaule
Publisher: Whitethorn Games
Platforms: PC/Xbox/PlayStation/Switch
Release Date: 16/07

Equally 2D, but with very different vibes - Magical Delicacy on the 16th is a 2D platformer/cooking sim where the player’s witchy protagonist will have to set up their own shop, find resources and then sell their magical creations.
All of this in a MetroidVania inspired city where NPC questlines and platforming inject a real sense of progression to the story beyond finding new recipes.

Flock

Developer: Hollow Ponds
Publisher: Annapurna Interactive
Platforms: PC/Xbox/PlayStation
Release Date: 16/07

Staying chill through the 16th, Flock is a somewhat inspired soothing indie exploration game, all about vibes as you’re flying around a world as a zoologist, identifying some very weird animals, then shepherding them back to where they need to be as you soar above the soft pastel landscape.
And on top of that, you can bring your friends along for co-op adventures.

Aerial Knight’s We Never Yield

Developer: Aerial Knight
Publisher: Headup Games
Platforms: PC/Xbox/PlayStation
Release Date: 16/07

Aerial Knight’s We Never Yield is offering us another co-op game on the 16th, with an afro-futurist rhythm game that challenges players to follow two brothers as they try to reclaim their throne.
If you prefer solo play, that’s okay too - and for the real challenge, a solo player can still try to control both brothers via the same rhythm based gameplay.

Nobody Wants to Die

Developer: Critical Hit Games
Publisher: Plaion
Platforms: PC/Xbox/PlayStation
Release Date: 17/07

On the 17th, Nobody Wants to Die and especially so in the titular cyberpunk detective game from Critical Hit Games where death is something that money has solved.
A classic detective story, this will see players investigating a string of murders of the elite in a futuristic cyberpunk society. Yet another indie title that’s hoping the polish of Unreal Engine 5 visuals will help it punch above its weight.

Norland

Developer: Long Jaunt
Publisher: Hooded Horse
Platforms: PC
Release Date: 18/07

Norland might have been delayed from its original launch but it will finally be coming to us on the 18th, bringing its blend of Rimworld colony sim by way of Crusader Kings regional politicking as players navigate the challenge of managing a medieval noble family and their various schemes and plans. The wrinkle here is that while you may have a population of serfs to rule over, you can’t actually control them - instead hoping the direction of your nobles ends up inspiring them to follow your plans, rather than rebel and depose you.

Dungeons of Hinterberg

Developer: Microbird
Publisher: Curve Games
Platforms: PC/Xbox
Release Date: 18/07

And while Dungeons of Hinterberg on the 18th might sound medieval, this is actually a dungeon crawling ARPG set in the modern day Alps - but with the added features of snowboarding between delves and relationship building inside the hub town. Early previews have been surprisingly impressive and Xbox have clearly had enough confidence to give it one of their rare game pass day one offerings.

Flintlock: The Siege of Dawn

Developer: A44
Publisher: Kepler Interactive
Platforms: PC/Xbox/PlayStation
Release Date: 18/07

Something also true for another game on the 18th - Flintlock: The Siege of Dawn. This is from A44, the team behind cult hit Ashen and represents yet another entry in the third party soulslite sub genre that games like Jedi Fallen Order have revitalised.
The pitch here is simple - the city of Dawn is under siege from returning Gods and as a member of the mortal coalition you need to kill them and push them back underground.
Stylish, action driven combat and fun feeling traversal in a brand new fantasy setting are hoping to earn this game an audience - while massive boss set pieces give it some flair and challenge to keep them around.

SCHiM

Developer: Ewoud van der Werf, Nils Slijkerman
Publisher: Extra Nice
Platforms: PC/Xbox/PlayStation/Switch
Release Date: 18/07

When you were a kid, you probably played the game in your head where you watched a little guy jump between the shadows on a bright day - and so did the developers of SCHiM - a puzzle platformer about jumping between shadows in a beautiful monochrome set of levels as a shadow tries to reconnect with their person.
This is one of those games that’s been building an audience on twitter via gifs for years so the release will be highly anticipated.

Kunitsu-Gami: Path of the Goddess

Developer: Capcom
Publisher: Capcom
Platforms: PC/Xbox/PlayStation
Release Date: 19/07

On the the 19th, we get a thematic throw back - with Capcom bringing back the energy that the publisher previously had for games like Okami or Viewtiful Joe with Kunitsu-Gami: Path of the Goddess.
You’re clearing corruption from a Japanese mythology inspired village, gathering villagers to follow you and turning them into an army that will follow your orders as you take on new enemies in each stage.
Think Okami style concepts alongside the action strategy gameplay of a Pikmin or Brutal Legends. More than anything else, it’s just nice to see inventive Capcom coming back with pitches like this that aren’t tied to live service titles like with last year’s Exoprimal.

Cataclismo

Developer: Digital Sun
Publisher: Hooded Horse
Platforms: PC
Release Date: 22/07

But you won’t have long to wait for a different take on management as Cataclismo arrives on the 16th. Having whet their teeth on dungeon crawler Moonlighter, Digital Sun are pairing with Hooded Horse to bring us a new take on tower defence RTS gameplay.
Players don’t just place walls and defences in their dark fantasy fortress, they build them brick by brick, Lego style - and then place troops to defend those walls against the onslaught each night.
With a full campaign, challenging skirmish and survival modes plus a free build creative mode - there’s something classic for all types of RTS fans here.

Conscript

Developer: Catchweight Studio
Publisher: Team 17
Platforms: PC/Xbox/PlayStation/Switch
Release Date: 24/07

On the 23rd, a recent trend for horror tinged games set in world war one continues with Conscript. An isometric survival horror that sees your titular French conscript attempting to survive the trenches of Verdun while finding his missing brother.
Expect inventory management, puzzles and a complex level design in retro styles with this throwback to an older era of horror gaming in a stunningly realised pixel art battlefield.

EDF 6

Developer: Sandlot
Publisher: D3PUBLISHER
Platforms: PC/Xbox/PlayStation
Release Date: 24/07

Finally coming over from Japan after it’s original release in 2022 - the original game about shooting bugs is here to show Helldivers how it’s done. With EDF 6 we have the last and latest mainline entry in the Earth Defense Force series, this is framed as the biggest game in the franchise too with more than 150 missions ready for solo and co-op play as audiences take on some of the biggest hordes that gaming has to offer, shattering frame rates as they do so.

Stormgate

Developer: Frost Giant Studios
Publisher: Frost Giant Studios
Platforms: PC
Release Date: 30/07

Finally - one that’s been a long time coming. Frost Giant will be releasing Stormgate to the public on the 30th.
This is the big test, can a free to play RTS in the Starcraft mould - from the people who originally brought you Starcraft actually resonate with modern audiences? This won’t be the full experience, starting with around 6 maps, 1v1, 3p Co-op and the start of the campaign - but it should be enough for players to get a feel for the game and what sets it apart from the classics. And from there - a year of Early Access Development before a full launch as they build on player feedback and hopefully finesse the Early Access release into something truly special.