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Here Are 10 Games For You to Literally Play All Summer

Staff – June 18, 2019 at 10:35 AM

Summer’s here. Need a new video game? We’ve got a little of everything in the list below, from action-RPGs to strategy games to roguelike dungeon crawlers to MMOs. Whether you’re looking to sink a few hundred hours into a new solo adventure or you’re on the hunt for a game with endless replayability, we’ve got something for you.

Octopath Traveler


Genre:
JRPG
Gameplay summary: Classic turn-based, party-based combat with a unique twist centered around a “job” system
Why you can play it all summer: The “Octopath” in Octopath Traveler is true to its name; eight separate robust storylines will take dozens of hours to fully complete

Octopath Traveler isn’t merely a love letter to the JRPGs of old; it actively improves upon many of the main pillars of the genre, from its combat system to its 2D aesthetic. High-definition environmental effects grant the game a dreamy look while still preserving the distinct, 16-bit feel of classic JRPGs. Each of the game’s eight different characters have their own distinctive abilities, which are each applied to a turn-based combat system that’s accessible yet deep.

But ultimately, what’s really going to swallow up your time is the fact that there are eight entire storylines to explore and progress. Each storyline is broken into four chapters and belongs to a character in your party, and each one tasks you with making decisions that affect the character’s narrative. Different chapters are initiated across the game’s map, so you can tackle them non-linearly. Each character has their own unique side quests, prompting you to travel far and wide across Orsterra’s eight vast, perilous regions. But once one character’s story comes to an end, don’t be surprised if you find yourself itching to get back to the grind and close out the rest of your party’s narratives.

Recommended specs:

  • OS: Windows® 10 (64-bit)
  • CPU: Intel® Core™ i5-6400
  • RAM: 6GB of system memory
  • Graphics card: NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 1060 or AMD® Radeon™ RX 470
  • Storage: 5GB of available space
  • DirectX: Version 11

Slay the Spire


Genre:
Deck-building dungeon crawler
Gameplay summary: Build up your deck while ascending a randomly generated spire full of enemies and surprises
Why you can play it all summer: The game’s randomness ensures that no two dungeons runs are ever the same, and modifiers allow you to spice the game up in a multitude of ways

Slay the Spire is a dungeon-crawler where your arsenal is composed not of swords, nor staves, nor guns, but cards — hundreds of cards. Cards that deal damage, cards that inflict status effects, cards that transform your hand or your deck in creative ways. But the trick with Slay the Spire is that it’s a roguelike, meaning that when you die, you lose. And when you lose, you have to start all over again with a new deck, which is likely to develop into a very different deck than the last.

This is what makes Slay the Spire so replayable, and why players report spending hundreds of hours on the game. Every run through your randomly generated spire breeds new strategies, new card synergies, and new discoveries. Their latest expansion, Legion, has overhauled melee combat throughout the game and introduces a new game mode where you can fight legions of monsters from Path of Exile's past.

Recommended specs:

  • OS: Windows® 10 (64-bit)
  • RAM: 4GB of system memory
  • GPU RAM: 256MB of video memory
  • Storage: 1GB of available space

Path of Exile



Genre: Action-RPG
Gameplay summary: Hack, shoot, and spellcast your way through a landscape of gothic horror in search of better loot and more powerful abilities
Why you can play it all summer: You could spend days digging through your character’s skill tree alone, finely tuning your traits and abilities to your taste. Loads of endgame content helps, too

Path of Exile was first released back in 2013. So why are millions of people still playing the top-down, free-to-play action-RPG? Its randomly generated environments, richly gothic lore, and engaging loot grind help. But, additionally, developer Grinding Gear has continued to release updates and expansions to the game. It’s easy to get into and fathomlessly deep.  

Just take a look at the skill tree. When zoomed out, it resembles the dense topographical map of a city. Over a thousand passive skills populate the tree, allotting players an astounding amount of agency over their character’s build. Furthermore, the Support Gems system grants even more dimension to these skills, modifying attacks until they become unwieldy tools of destruction. While the main game boasts ten acts, the endgame is filled to the brim with subsequent challenges in the form of maps, which open up portals to randomized zones, promising even more loot and foes to defeat. Their latest expansion, Synthesis, even adds a metagame in which you piece together fragments of “memories” to create a playable dungeon.

Recommended specs:

  • OS: Windows® 10 (64-bit)
  • RAM: 8GB of system memory
  • Graphics card: NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 1050 TI or AMD® ATI Radeon™ RX 560
  • Storage: 20GB of available space
  • DirectX: Version 11

Warframe

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Genre:
Third-person shooter
Gameplay summary: Free-run across sleek, futuristic levels in an ultra-powerful mech suit with special abilities, alone or with friends
Why you can play it all summer: So. Many. Warframes.

Don’t sleep on Warframe. The game’s strength is in how smoothly it plays; its kinetic, free-running traversal is enough to make you really feel like a Tenno, the game’s playable race of ancient cyberwarriors. Bouncing from surface to surface and taking enemies out via stealth or brute force is incredibly rewarding, even dozens of hours in. The game’s colorful, glossy imagining of its sci-fi universe certainly helps it feel compelling, too.

What truly makes Warframe endlessly playable is its sheer diversity of warframes, the sleek mech suits that act as character classes. There are currently 64 warframes at your disposal (including variants on base models), though you’ll have to craft the vast majority of them using blueprints accumulated from across the game. Each warframe has four unique abilities that give it a special identity and playstyle. For example, the Mirage warframe is mischievous and utilizes deceiving mirror images to distract foes, while the Nekros warframe is capable of reanimating the dead. Each warframe is leveled up individually, meaning you’ll have to accustom yourself to different playstyles if you want a more robust collection of options from which to choose.

Recommended specs:

  • OS: Windows® 7 (64-bit)
  • CPU: Intel® Core™ 2 Duo E6400
  • RAM: 4GB of system memory
  • Storage: 35GB of available space
  • DirectX: Version 10+

Enter the Gungeon


Genre:
Bullet-hell shooter
Gameplay summary: Explore the dungeon floor, pick up wacky new weapons, defeat the floor’s boss, chuckle at how absurd the game is, rinse, and repeat.
Why you can play it all summer: Oodles of guns with shocking, inventive, and often comical effects are at your disposal — if you can manage to discover or unlock them all

Enter the Gungeon features satisfying gameplay loop and playful sense of humor that’ll have you shooting and looting for hours on end. We’re talking about a dungeon crawler that features living bullets as enemies and over-the-top weaponry like the Trashcannon and the Unicorn Horn. There’s never a single moment of boredom.

Since guns are acquired by looting chests spawned randomly throughout a floor of the gungeon, you’ll have to stay flexible and resourceful, especially since ammo is limited for all but your starting weapons. Different character classes called “Gungeoneers” come with different loadouts of weapons and items, but for the most part, you’re are the mercy of whatever you manage to pick up, especially since dying means having to start the gungeon from the top. This makes every playthrough different, and you’ll find yourself relying on your flexibility (and dodge roll acumen) to succeed. This is definitely a “maybe-just-one-more-run” type of game.  

Recommended specs:

  • OS: Windows® 7 (64-bit)
  • CPU: Intel® Core™ 2 Duo E6320
  • RAM: 2GB of system memory
  • Graphics card: NVIDIA® GeForce® 7600 GS
  • Storage: 2GB of available space

Into the Breach


Genre:
Turn-based strategy
Gameplay summary: Use your team of mechs to keep an alien threat at bay, balancing the well-being of your mech units against the safety of the civilians you’ve been sent to protect
Why you can play it all summer: Deceivingly simple yet meticulously fine-tuned, Into the Breach is a strategy game that begs mastery

The Vek are attacking another civilian building, threatening to cause another slew of casualties and reduce your power supply. But on the other side of the map, another Vek unit is about to finish off one of your three mech units — the artillery unit, which would be especially useful for its area-of-effect damage capabilities next turn. The question is: What do you do, and in what order? Who do you save — and who do you sacrifice?

These questions guide nearly every decision in Into the Breach, from the macrocosmic to the microcosmic. If you’ve spent any time with Subset Games’ previous title, FTL, then you know how skilled the studio is at crafting games that with judicious limitations yet endless possibility, games that test your ability to develop your working strategies against whatever variables are thrown your way. Into the Breach is exactly that kind of affair, a game of mech chess where every small decision matters. Levels and objectives are randomly generated, and once you lose, you’re only allowed to take one unit with you into an alternate timeline in which you’re given the chance to do it all over again. Which you will, since it’s incredibly hard to reject the offer to try another hand at dispensing of the Vek threat for good.

Recommended specs:

  • OS: Windows® 10 (64-bit)
  • RAM: 1GB of system memory
  • Graphics card: Intel® HD Graphics 3000
  • Storage: 200MB of available space

Imperator: Rome

Imperator_Rome_StortyTrailer


Genre:
Grand strategy
Gameplay summary: Lead your people through the Hellenistic period, whether they be a tribe, monarchy, or republic
Why you can play it all summer: Imperator: Rome’s astounding attention to detail ensures that a playthrough as Rome is quite different from a playthrough as a tribal government in India

Imperator: Rome is the latest from grand strategy veterans Paradox Interactive, whose games are famed for their near-endless replayability. Set in the Hellenistic period, the game allows you to assume control of over a whopping 400 different nations and peoples, a roster that covers a wide, wide range of conditions for play. Whether you’re at the helm of an empire or nomadic tribe, Imperator: Rome manages to make every scenario a complex web of decisions.

For instance, while other strategy games might make waging war for a territory as thoughtless as pressing the “war” button, Imperator: Rome asks you to use more critical thinking. On top of gathering units, for instance, you’ll also have to garner political support, keep your other potential enemies at bay, and even predict things like your battalion turning against you should their victory send their general on a power trip — sowing the seeds of a civil war. It’s one of Paradox Interactive’s most ambitious and heavily detailed titles to date, and with so many options at your disposal, you’ll be sure to want to rewrite history again and again.

Recommended specs:

  • OS: Windows® 10 (64-bit)
  • CPU: Intel® Core™ i5-3570K
  • RAM: 6GB of system memory
  • Graphics card: NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 660 or AMD® Radeon™ R9 380

Void Bastards



Genre: FPS
Gameplay summary: Plunder derelict spaceships in a darkly humorous, sci-fi, bureaucratic dystopia
Why you can play it all summer: You’ll be curious what it’d be like if your character was a security expert instead of a smoker

How do you best describe a game like Void Bastards, which bridges many different genres? Do you call it space sim-meets-FPS? A roguelike-meets-strategy game? Or perhaps it’s best to simply describe it as a game where your character being short actually matters a great deal. You read that right: Being short matters in Void Bastards. So does being colorblind, or being a smoker, or being overly formal in your introductions to people. These are all traits that you can randomly roll during a Void Bastards run.

Void Bastards’ comically bureaucratic, dystopian sci-fi universe is all about absurd and dark details like these. But its magic is in the fact that they’re not just funny throwaway gags but have mechanical connotations. Being a smoker, for instance, forces your character to periodically cough and alert their presence to nearby foes. Ultimately, the fun in Void Bastards is all about placing your fate in the hands of the game’s random number generation; it’s what keeps you coming back for more, curious about what it’d be like if you’d only played the game with a different set of abilities. That’s how you end up randomly trading being short for being oblivious — which, trust us, isn’t great if knowing your enemy’s health is important to you. It’s your call.

Recommended specs:

  • OS: Windows® 10 (64-bit)
  • CPU: Intel® Core™ i7-2600K
  • RAM: 16GB of system memory
  • Graphics card: NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 970 or AMD® Radeon™ R9 290
  • GPU RAM: 4GB of video memory
  • Storage: 6GB of available space

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

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Genre:
Action-adventure
Gameplay summary: FromSoftware’s trademark punishing combat infused with a new emphasis on stealth and vertical movement
Why you can play it all summer: Sheer masochism will demand that you boot up a New Game + save with the hopes of achieving another ending

Ah, FromSoftware. Will you ever cease sending your players to their grisly deaths hundreds of times within a single playthrough? If you’re familiar with FromSoftware’s work (Dark Souls, Bloodborne), then you understand that losing, with patience, eventually becomes winning in a game like Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, an action-RPG set in feudal Japan.

The skill required to master Sekiro’s punishing difficulty isn’t the only reason it makes the cut for the list, however. To put it gently, people wanting to see all the game has to offer will want to beat it multiple times. The “New Game +” mode, gives you a chance to dive back in by starting the game over from the top, albeit with all your previously accumulated skills and stats intact. The difficulty amps up, however, which — depending on who you are as a player — is either a literal hell or an opportunity to further develop your skills. Furthermore, successive New Game + playthroughs increase in difficulty, meaning you can sink hundreds of hours into the game, exploring its every nook and cranny and emerging a seasoned shinobi. You’d also retain some well-deserved bragging rights, of course.

Recommended specs:

  • OS: Windows® 10 (64-bit)
  • CPU: Intel® Core™ i5-2500K
  • RAM: 8GB of system memory
  • Graphics card: NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 970 or AMD® Radeon™ RX 570
  • Storage: 25GB of available space
  • DirectX: Version 11

Elder Scrolls Online

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Genre:
MMORPG
Gameplay summary: The Elder Scrolls’ beautiful Tamriel comes alive with the presence of other online players
Why you can play it all summer: The new Elsweyr expansion includes dragons. Dragons!

What better time than the summer to start an MMO? We recommend Elder Scrolls Online, which has slowly been getting more and more robust since its initial release in 2014. Now is the perfect time to get into it even if you’ve never touched it before; for starters, the newly released Elsweyr expansion not only comes with an enhanced tutorial for newcomers, but also introduces the necromancer class, the homelands of the mysterious Khajiit cat-people, and one of the most significant developments the game has ever seen: dragons.

Luckily, you don’t need to complete the base game in order to partake in Elsweyr’s new features. Existing characters are granted access to the new zone via in-game waypoints, while any new characters created using the expansion will automatically appear in the zone. Once you’ve gotten started, an entire world of fantasy awaits — a Tamriel rich in lore and MMORPG adventure. Surprise encounters with dragons will send your heart racing and provide healthy doses of challenge, while Elsweyr itself contains plenty of Khajiiti architecture and literature to discover. Outside of the Elsweyr expansion, the game also offers daily missions, PvP combat, trials, and tons of collectible loot. It’s not too late to get in on the ESO hype.

Recommended specs:

  • OS: Windows® 7 (64-bit)
  • CPU: Intel® Core™ i5-2300
  • RAM: 8GB of system memory
  • Graphics card: NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 750 or AMD® Radeon™ HD 7850
  • GPU RAM: 2GB of video memory
  • Storage: 85GB of available space
  • DirectX: Version 11
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