1. The retro shooter boom continues with Hellbound
Hellbound is unabashedly styled after classic shooters like Doom, Quake, and the early Duke Nukem games. It's a no-nonsense FPS (the nonsense being restraint and any sense of a plot) about killing demons real good, and it does look like rip-snorting fun. It's got the two most important components of any retro FPS – namely blood and a shotgun – and everything else was seemingly designed to stay out of the way of those two things. Developer Saibot Studios has stressed minimal storytelling and puzzle-solving in favor of maximum guns, gore, and metal, and you've gotta respect that.
When: August 4
2. Call of Duty Warzone season 5 is here to blow things up
Warzone season 5 is bringing a new trio of Operators into the mix (the Shadow Company, a group of soldiers fed up with Captain Price's failed attempts to stop Al-Qatala), and some serious changes to the map. Expect a drastic adjustment to Verdansk as we know it - it's likely that Infinity Ward is fixin' to drop a nuke on the map (opens in new tab) that could destroy certain sections of it while potentially opening up others (here's looking at you, Stadium). These map changes are all a part of the larger Call of Duty meta story, and will play a part in the announcement of the next game in the series, which may be called Call of Duty: Black Ops CIA (opens in new tab). There's a lot riding on this new season both for Warzone as a battle royale and for the ongoing Call of Duty franchise at large, so stay tuned and see how big this shake up will be.
What: Call of Duty: Warzone season 5
Where: Xbox One, PS4, PC
When: Expected August 5
3. Star Trek: Lower Decks expands the franchise with a fun, new twist on Starfleet
Starfleet isn’t all First Contacts and beam-me-up-Scottys, you know. Star Trek: Lower Decks, the franchise’s first major foray into animation for nearly 50 years, aims to draw attention away from the captain’s bridge and towards the nitty-gritty of space travel with the grunts and redshirts that populate the depths of the U.S.S. Cerritos.
Penned by Rick and Morty producer and Solar Opposites co-creator Mike McMahan, Lower Decks features all the irreverent humor and sci-fi slapstick you’d expect from someone who cut their teeth overseeing the likes of “Pickle Rick.” That’s all while boldly going into, excitingly, a format that Star Trek has dared not tread for quite some time.
What: Star Trek: Lower Decks
Where: CBS All Access
When: August 6
4. An American Pickle is a brine way to spend your Thursday evening
Seth Rogen starring in another buddy comedy? I know, I know, but this time he's buddies with himself. In An American Pickle, Rogen plays both an Eastern European immigrant to New York City, who fell into a pickle vat in 1920 and emerged perfectly preserved 100 years later, and his great grandson Ben, who is a computer programmer. Generational clashes follow as great grandpa Herschel tries to stir the last of his line into action and live out his very own American dream. Oh, and Herschel starts a pickle company of his very own, probably because it seems like an obvious marketing win. The new film from first-time director Brandon Trost is coming exclusively to HBO Max, and you can stream it this August.
What: An American Pickle
Where: HBO Max (US)/Cinemas (UK)
When: August 6 (US)/ 7 (UK)
5. Horizon Zero Dawn is about to get even prettier
Horizon Zero Dawn is just one of those games that you want to stop and stare it. When you dive into its world, you'll notice how much nature has taken over, as you peek at skyscraper ruins and evidence of the Old World that came before. That's in between watching / avoiding / battling the gigantic robo-dinosaurs that patrol the land. You are just tiny, yet mighty, Aloy trying to survive whilst also discovering the truth about her past. Combine that glorious world with an utterly compelling storyline, and also dialling up the graphics to the highest your PC can allow? Prepare to fall in love with Guerrilla Games' title. Heck, it even comes with the amazing Frozen Wilds DLC. So much game, so little time!
What: Horizon Zero Dawn on PC
Where: PC via Steam and Epic Games
When: August 7
Release Radar picks the best games, movies, and shows of the next seven days every Monday at 11am GMT.