The games of August 2013

Counting down the Saints, sinners, and indie gems of summer

August 20

Divekick

Platform: PS3, PS Vita, PC

One True Game Studios is taking a jab at fighting games with this 2D brawling parody. Designed by a ragtag group of competitive gamers, and funded via Kickstarter, the game aims to parody the fighting genre through absurd characters, inside jokes, and loads of hidden (and not-so-hidden) references.

So how does one win Divekick? With a divekick, of course. With only two buttons ('jump' and 'kick'), players will face off in a contest that can only be won by landing a divekick on their foes. The height and style of said divekicks will vary between the game's 13 characters, which include Dive and Kick, students of Uncle Sensei's Bel Air Divekicking dojo; Redacted, a pregnant skunk bear; Kung Pao, a warrior from the Downworld dimension; and The Baz, a lightening-crapping fighter with a knack for being awesome.

Saints Row IV

Platform: PS3, Xbox 360, PC
EU: August 23

The “Boss” is back and primed for more sandbox insanity. Saints Row IV finds the leader of the Third Street Saints (that's you) taking up his/her rightful throne as President of the United States and defending Steelport from threats both in and out of this world.

In its bid to up the ante from previous Saints Row games, developer Volition has added super-powers to the mix. These will let players leap tall buildings in a single bound and demolish enemies with an assortment of powers. Over-the-top weaponry like the Inflate-O-ray and Dubstep Gun will also continue the series' off-the-wall style; as will the ability to pilot mechs and generally create untold amounts of mayhem in an open-world environment. Learn all we know about this wild ride in Saints Row 4 - 9 things you need to know.

Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Blacklist

Platform: PS3, Xbox 360, Wii U, PC
EU: August 23

The United States is under attack from The Engineers and only one super-spy has the skills and tools to put them down. Enter Sam Fisher, Splinter Cell agent extraordinaire and the US government's most effective weapon against terrorist scum. Back to save another day, Splinter Cell: Blacklist will see Sam infiltrating locations across the world to stop The Engineers and their 'Blacklist' operations.

As always, Sam will be well equipped for his globe-hopping heroics. Gadgets like the tri-rotor, sticky noisemaker, and EMP will play an important role in getting the job done; and players will have the option of tackling missions as a sneaky ghost, a tactical assassin, or an all-out killer. Friends can also sign up for Sam's cause through both the co-op campaign, starring Sam and Briggs; and the upgraded Spies vs. Mercs online mode.

The Bureau: XCOM Declassified

Platform: PS3, Xbox 360, PC
EU: August 23

The XCOM franchise is getting more love this month with the arrival of 2K Marin's tactical third-person shooter. In development since 2006, The Bureau will take place in 1962 and star a FBI special agent named William Carter who must assemble and lead a team of operatives against alien invaders.

Keeping in step with the PC classic and Firaxis Games' 2012 XCOM: Enemy Unknown, The Bureau will charge players with managing all aspects of their team's offensive strategy, from their training and development at the home base, to their every action on the battlefield via a Mass-Effect-esque command wheel. Also returning to the series is the permadeath factor which forces players to recruit new agents if (and most likely when) they bite the bullet on assignment. Read our impressions of this amped up take on the XCOM series in What is the Bureau: XCOM Declassified?

August 21

Flashback HD

Platform: Xbox 360 (PS3 & PC TBA)

It's been 21 years since Delphine Software's otherworldly adventure game crashed onto the scene, and now VectorCell (Amy) is set to remake the cult platformer for a new generation. Debuting in Xbox Live's Summer of Arcade, the enhanced port will add a whole new skill system, expanded story, and--of course--a fresh new look incorporating 2.5D environments. And, in a nice gesture for gaming purists, it will come packed with an untouched port of the 1992 original.

Flashback holds a soft spot in many gamers' hearts. Thankfully, this remake looks to be in good hands, especially considering members of the original Delphine Software team have been on board since to the beginning to ensure it stays true to its out-of-this-world roots.

August 22

Neverwinter: Fury of the Feywild

Platform: PC

Fury of Feywild arrives as Neverwinter's first free content update. The module will introduce players to the lands of Sharandar where they will have the option of playing new dungeons as new races, including Sun and Moon elves. The update will also herald the arrival of a new campaign system, allowing players to win new areas and rewards by tackling a different set of objectives.

Anxious to get started? You can begin now with the $59.99 Knights of the Feywild Pack, which includes unique mounts, races, enchantments, and tons of other goodies; or the lesser-priced $19.99 Feywild Starter Pack, featuring a Portal Hound companion, ring, bag, and Adventurers Helper Pack.

We recommend