Image: The Evil Within 2
The silly season is here, people. This week alone Sebastian Castellanos and The Evil Within return with Bethesda's batshit bonkers horror world. Monolith jumps into the fray with sexy Shelob and Shadow of War, and the PAYDAY 2 developers are back with another heist game - set in World War 2. And the Switch gets more indie games, as you'd expect.
Middle-earth: Shadow of War (PC, PS4, XBO)
What is it? The sequel to Monolith's orc-slaying Lord of the Rings action-adventure.
Should you care? Certainly if you loved the first. If you're on the fence, read Patricia's review or wait until Wednesday - we'll be livestreaming the game for a few hours with a guest appearance from Bajo, so you'll get an idea of whether it's your jam after that.
When Shadow of Mordor released in 2014, its "nemesis system" was brilliant enough that many people hoped it would define a new generation of games. Years later, that vision of industry-wide character hierarchies that learn, evolve, and remember the player never came to pass.
Gone Astray (PC)
What is it? A first-person survival horror where you set off looking for your lost dog in the night.
Should you care? Maybe when it goes on sale.
Raiden V: Director's Cut (PC, PS4, XBO)
What is it? A new Raiden game!
Should you care? Like bullet hell games with co-op, branching stages and a full storyline? Then yes.
Tiny Barbarian DX (Switch)
What is it? A side-scrolling 2D platformer starring a barbarian.
Should you care? It's priced at $45 on the eShop. There are better 2D platformers with more content for much less.
Neon Chrome (Switch)
What is it? A top-down twin-stick shooter with roguelike elements, with local co-op for up to 4 players.
Should you care? Game was received pretty well on Steam, and should play nicely on the Switch.
WWE 2K18 (PC, PS4, XBO)
What is it? 2K's annual omen to wrestling returns.
Should you care? You'd have to be a complete diehard.
The Evil Within 2 (PC, PS4, XBO)
What is it? The latest third-person horror action-adventure starring a detective trying to save his daughter.
Should you care? As long as TEW2 doesn't have that stupid cinematic resolution again, and you like horror, yes.
The Invisible Hours (PSVR)
What is it? A PSVR murder mystery where people try to discover who killed Nikola Tesla.
Should you care? PSVR, and VR in general, seems like it could be really fun for those almost Myst-style point and click adventures.
Touhou Kobuto V: Burst Battle (PS4, Vita, Switch)
What is it? A third-person bullet hell game set in the Touhou universe.
Should you care? You might have to setup a NA/JP eShop account to grab this on the Switch; same goes for PSN.
Yono and the Celestial Elephants (Switch)
What is it? An isometric puzzler where you take a young elephant through a world where robots, zombies and kingdoms live side by side.
Should you care? My brain now thinks this is Babar: The Video Game, which it's not. But wouldn't that be cool? Might be a fun game to play with kids.
Raid: World War 2 (PC, PS4, XBO)
What is it? The PAYDAY 2 developers are back with another heist game, this time set in Europe amid WW2.
Should you care? Absolutely zero buzz around this game, which worries me. It launched last week for PC, but consoles are getting a digital/retail release locally this week.
So that's the bulk of what's out this week. Shadow of War and The Evil Within 2 are the biggest drawcards, although ELEX looks quietly interesting. But will you be picking either game up, or are you still working through a backlog - or perhaps waiting for some of the big releases next week. (Hint: the new South Park is one of them.)