June Is Absolutely Stacked For Video Games

june is absolutely stacked video games 2020

Even under normal circumstances, June is one of those months that's part of the quieter calendar of gaming. Once E3, and to a smaller degree Computex, is done, the industry settles down for a few weeks, using up annual leave or recouperating before the madness starts back up again in August.

This year, thanks to the coronavirus pandemic and the way releases and virtual events have been forced to spread out, that's not happening. June 2020 is absolutely rammed not just with new announcements, but unusually, a ton of new releases too.

I'll start by going through the releases, since that's what will occupy more of people's time (as excited for new games and gameplay as we all are). There were already a couple of games dropping in June that were going to attract a ton of nostalgic attention, but COVID-19 and some late announcements have really filled out the roster.

Command & Conquer Remastered Collection (June 5)

I've already played The Outer Worlds, so its Switch release on the same day isn't going to be that huge a drawcard for me. Instead, I'll be looking forward to the super campy FMVs of the Allies and Soviets, or GDI and NOD, depending on which Command & Conquer game you're playing.

It's also just fascinating seeing the amount of work that EA has approved here. The publisher has had a history of abandoning projects that don't make financial sense, so to see them back a remaster of Command & Conquer is unusual for them. It's not like it's been an easy project.

EA Went Digging Through Old 90s Tapes Trying To Remaster Command & Conquer's Cutscenes

The team behind the upcoming Command & Conquer remaster have posted a video that’s partly about the process behind cleaning up the 1995 original’s cutscenes. Mostly, though, it’s a fascinating look inside the archives at loads of dusty old tapes that are crammed with bonafide video game history.

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EA Lost Command & Conquer Announcer's Voice Tapes, So She's Re-Recording Them

In putting together the HD remake of Command & Conquer, EA went to get the old recordings of the game’s announcer, EVA, and couldn’t find them. No big deal, they just went got the original voice actor to re-record everything.

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Desperados 3 (June 16)

The solid mechanics of Shadow Tactics, with a more refined UI and the character of the Wild West. The chunk of gameplay I previewed from Desperadoes 3 was solid - and it was several missions worth too, which is always a good sign. I'm a little worried for the developers in that Desperadoes 3 is launching in a super noisy period, and Last of Us 2 being the same week won't help. But it's already a super solid game.

Desperados 3 Is More Stealth Tactics Done Well

The pitch for Desperados 3 is straightforward. It's a squad-based tactics game from the makers of Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun, which itself was a respin on the Commandos formula in Japan's edo period. The Desperados series is cut from the same cloth, but set in the Wild West. That by itself works. But Desperados 3 also has a neat narrative hook, with each mission revealing more about the origins of the Cooper gang. And yes: active pause is back.

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The Last of Us 2 (June 19)

Image: Supplied

Originally due out in May, the coronavirus pandemic and the impact on retail shipping forced Naughty Dog and Sony to push the game back to June 19. The game's had some enormous leaks already, but it's still set to be one of the biggest games of the year: few studios make narrative adventures to the degree that Naughty Dog does, after all. It'll also be interesting to see how the full game pans out, given the amount of internal turmoil and crunch behind the scenes.

The Last Of Us 2's Biggest Plot Points Have Leaked Online

If you were really looking forward to Ellie's upcoming adventure in Last of Us Part 2, huge PSA: you'll want to set up spoiler filters now.

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As Naughty Dog Crunches On The Last Of Us II, Developers Wonder How Much Longer This Approach Can Last

One Friday night in February, some artists at the video game studio Naughty Dog were working on their latest game when they heard a crash. A large metal pipe had fallen from above them and landed right next to their desks. If it had dropped a few feet closer, the consequences might have been dire. It was late, past 9 p.m., and the construction workers above had perhaps recklessly assumed that nobody was there. But at Naughty Dog, people were always there.

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Destiny 2 Season 11 (June 9)

Not everyone will be jumping into Destiny 2 again, of course, but those who are still on the Bungie wagon will undoubtedly check back in. The fact that the Tower is on the verge of being partially destroyed and the planet completely invaded by Darkness has a touch of Cataclysm to it.

Best Friend Forever (June 18)

Image: Starcolt/Alliance

Dogs in a dating sim. Again, indie games aren't going to pull the same kind of weight as, say, Last of Us 2, but I know plenty of people on my social feed who went nuts for Best Friend Forever as soon as it launched. It might be something you play for a day or two and then move on, but that's still an extra day or two occupied amidst a fortnight of announcements and then some major AAA releases.

Pokemon Sword & Shield: Isle of Armor (June, possibly)

This was scheduled for June, but with no official release date and Nintendo having more problems than most when it comes to remote development, there's still a chance this gets bumped.

Disintegration (June 16)

The new shooter from the co-creator of Halo, Disintegration is also rolling the dice by launching in June. There's been a lot of attempted positioning pitching Disintegration as a AAA title from an indie studio, but I haven't seen a huge amount of excitement for the blend of strategy/FPS elements. Feedback on the technical beta was mixed, although one consistent theme was that the game was certainly unique. That's a good start, and it'll be interesting to see how much the singleplayer campaign uses those RTS elements.

Ninjala (June 24)

Another May release bumped into June, this one looks like a super creative, almost Splatoon-esque take on battle royale. Eight players free-run around an urban environment, fyling around with foam bats and weapons while chewing "ninja gum".

This one looks super cute and one of those games that will end up being way more fun than anyone expects.


That's not everything in June obviously: the SpongeBob SquarePants re-release will find its fans, and games like The Outer Worlds will hit an audience that skipped it before purely because it'll be coming to the Switch. It's also likely we'll see some interesting indies be announced and then released on the same day, which brings us to everything else that's happening in June...


Guerrilla Collective (June 7-9)

The first of many online showcases, Guerrilla Collective already has a ton of big names behind it: Larian Studios, Disco Elysium makers ZA/UM, retro FPS publishers New Blood, Paradox Interactive, Good Shepherd Entertainment, 11 bit studios, Rebellion (makers of Strange Brigade and the Sniper Elite series), and more.

The big showcase reveal will be on the morning of June 7 Australian time, although there will be two extra days of showcases after that.

PC Gaming Show (June 8)

Day[9] and Frankie are back, and it's likely we'll see a ton of indies and interesting PC-only games drop. Last year we had Planet Zoo, Griftlands (which is supposed to be out in June, but I'm not holding my breath), Age of Wonders: Planetfall, Maneater, Vampire: The Masquerades - Bloodlines 2, a Chivalry sequel, Remnant: From The Ashes (one of 2019's sleeper hits), and a pixelated strategy game that was pitched as having some kind of link to Heroes of Might and Magic 2.

It's a 5:00am start, which will be painful as all hell, but the chaotic awkward energy from Day[9] and Frankie gives me life. AMD should also take the stage to talk about their upcoming Big Navi GPUs, and that could get real interesting - although AMD might also just hold their own side-show, like they did last year.

The PC Gaming E3 2019 Show Live Blog

Always a treat for slightly awkward jokes, more indies than you can poke a stick at and a glimmer of hope that Star Citizen might have a fully playable campaign sometime soon, the PC Gaming Show is weird, but always entertaining.

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Cyberpunk 2077 / CD Projekt Red (June 12)

Image: Cyberpunk 2077 (CD Projekt Red)

It's more Cyberpunk 2077 gameplay/info/news. I don't need to say much more than that.

EA's Play Live 2020 (June 12)

The roster for EA over the holidays is looking a little thin, so it'll be good to see what they have in the pipeline. We know Battlefield isn't on the menu, but this might be the first chance we get to see any footage. Anthem, on the other hand, is being completely retooled and it'll be interesting to see how that pans out. Respawn are working on more Star Wars games, which could be cool, and Criterion have wanted to branch out for a millenia. Maybe they'll finally be allowed to this year?

There's also all the other usuals: FIFA, more Sims 4, Madden, and so on. The extra sports game might be the return of EA's UFC. There's a chance EA could be getting into the golf game again, although I doubt they want to seriously compete with 2K on that front.

Microsoft (sometime in June)

Microsoft's pledged to hold monthly events, although their July showcase will be the one showing off their first-party games. We don't know what's going to drop in June, and the reception to the Xbox Series X footage has caused the company to rethink their messaging. It's a safe bet that, out of anything shown, Xbox will probably drop some actual 'gameplay' trailers, as well as a deeper showing from the [email protected] program.

IGN's Summer of Gaming (feat. Blizzard, Square Enix, Devolver)

This one's a bit trickier, since there's no exact date on when this is happening. But in the absence of the ESA, IGN rounded up all of the non-first party publishers - SEGA, Devolver, Bandai Namco, Square Enix and so on, along with Amazon and Google - and is holding an online event for their showcases.

The messaging has gotten a little muddled in that the "Summer of Gaming" is also including the online showcases above, so it's a bit hard to separate the things IGN are running themselves. For gamers, all that you really need to know is that the other regulars will still be making their announcements, just in a slightly different way. Square needs to give gamers some kind of detail about what to expect with the future of Final Fantasy 7 Remake, and some word on what's happening to the Alien and Total War franchises would be nice. (Shogun 2 on iPad would be great, BTW.)

Of course, if ATLUS could just come out and tell everyone when Persona 5 will hit the PC or Switch, everything else will be forgiven. Please. Just do it. Everyone has been asking you for years.


What's interesting about June is that it's traditionally a very stop-start month. Computex usually kicks off the month, so there's a ton of hardware and peripheral news, bookended by new CPUs and occasionally some juicy bits about the GPU world. That leads right into E3, which completely obliterates my sleep for a week since I'm waking up at 1:00am every morning. And then after that, everyone basically takes two weeks off, or books most of their leave for July because not much tends to happen then either.

This year's different. COVID-19 has meant you can't really take leave - or you don't have any left because that's what companies had to do to survive - so the normal ebb and flow of the industry has been completely thrown out. June's stacked far more than it ever has been, and even July is looking unseasonably packed with Paper Mario, games like Death Stranding hitting PC, Ghost of Tsushima, the re-release of Destroy all Humans, Catherine: Full Body, and a new Deadly Premonition.

Not to mention: Halo Infinite footage, more Hellblade 2, and so on.

Anyway, we're set for a bumper couple of months. June especially. I'll need to mainline coffee and caffeine pills to get through, but hey - it's not like we're going anywhere. Does anyone want to hang out with 9 other people at a pub where you can't order from the bar?


Comments

    Wait... i thought Sony delayed TLOU2 "indefinitely"

      They put a release date on it when they announced Ghost of Tsushima's July release.

    Hm. Basically just C&C for me. Which I am totally going to buy very early. This sorta shit needs to make enough coin to show it's what we want.

      So the Limited Run Games boxsets are being delayed, they emailed saying they will be sending us Steam keys in the interim, I've already bought a copy on Steam.

      FML, lol.

    Definitely Cyberpunk 2077 for me. But I won't buy it until I finish The Witcher 3 (yeah, I know it's been out for ages, but I'm busy on Ori 2 right now :) )

      Its only more info on the game, not the game itself. Thats still slotted for Sep 17 as far as I know. If you havent finished Witcher 3 yet though, it doesnt really matter.

      If you want to finish that first, you're probably not seeing Cyberpunk before 2022 :)

    I admit to being torn. TLoU is one of my favourite games of both the previous generation and in general, but the vibe of the noises around the internet is just putting up a thousand red flags for me. I've been avoiding spoilers as best I can but still... I still want to get it, but I'm afraid its going to turn into another Goodbye Deponia.

      I loved TLoU enough to play it twice - PS3, then PS4 when remastered - but after reading what the spoilers are about, they're taking the franchise somewhere I do not want to go.

      I'd suggest waiting for reviews. And being able to filter out the reviewers who are awarding pity points for the twists being spoiled and not being able to be 'appreciated in context', or awarding points for the writers 'daring to be so brave'.

        Imagine being so entitled that you won't buy a game just because it isn't written the way you want. That is how I see the vocal majority boycotting this game. I haven't read any spoilers at all so I don't know exactly why people are so upset, but I would still play a game if I thought I wouldn't agree with the plot points. I mean, isn't that how real life stories play out?

          People play for many reasons, but it's pretty important, regardless of the reason, that you are enjoying yourself. Some people enjoy power fantasies, others enjoy romances, others horror. If you think you're getting an experience you're going to enjoy, then discover a hidden twist that makes it the exact opposite of what you enjoy, it's probably a good thing to know before you both 1) PAY for that experience, and 2) sink several hours of valuable leisure time into it.

            I'm an old school gamer I guess. You know, I play games for the gameplay first and foremost. I love a good narrative but will never pass up stellar gameplay just because I dislike the story. It seems idiotic to me that any gamer would.

              How about you quit that 'gaming is for gameplay first and foremost' gatekeeping bullshit and wrap your narrow little mind around the fact that there's a lot of folks playing and creating this art with priorities that don't match yours. Which includes prioritizing narratives.

                Dude.. that's a bit harsh. I had to look up what gatekeeping is and I still don't really understand how it applies to me here. I'm a human being who enjoys gaming and doesn't understand why people would pass on a game with good gameplay just because they don't agree with the narrative. That's it. Maybe the people creating the art are embracing their own personal views and not catering to the masses. Honestly what is the harm in that? If you don't like it don't play it... I will still indulge regardless of your opinion.

                  Fair enough. What you said that bothered me so much was that to you - as a true Scotsmangamer - you find it idiotic to play (or not play) games exclusively for their narrative.

                  Not ‘weird’ or ‘different’ or ‘impossible to understand’ or even ‘a shame’, but idiotic.

                  This ‘gameplay should be the first priority for gamers’ argument is the gatekeeping we’ve seen every time the community rails against accessibility options, against easier difficulty options, so that more people can enjoy the story when they don’t care for the gameplay.

                  If people are passing on TLOU2 because they’re disgusted by the narrative and its twists and tricks, they’re not idiots. They’re making responsible, healthy, sensible decisions to not waste precious time and money on something they’re going to hate. That’s the exact fucking opposite of idiocy.

                  You can't all of a sudden pull back and say they're being harsh when from your very first post you were calling people entitled. You literally came out swinging towards the opposition so don't back down now. I don't care if you want to rib a little against your opponent, just don't be a bitch when it splashes back.

                  Also, gatekeeping explicitly applies to what you're talking about previously. The whole "I'm old-school, these new school guys don't know what they're on about" is 100%, text-book-definition of gatekeeping.

                  You're allowed to game. They're allowed to game. They can like and/or hate stories and/or gameplay just as you are, it's that tone of "they're wrong and they should change to match me" which is gatekeeping.

                  It's fine that you don't get why people would pass up good gameplay if they don't like the narrative, I don't get why people drink alcohol or don't have mac and cheese for dinner every night 'cause that shit is delish' but it's something you just gotta accept is the result of whatever equation is in their head and that it's fair. You can try and reason with it or discuss it but you came out with an attack saying people were entitled, implying they were wrong for their choice.

                  And then at the very end of it all, you ultimately come to the conclusion that you should have had at the start that has made everything you said moot and/or contradictory which means I've wasted my time.

                Hey man, thank you for the level-headed reply (I couldn't reply to that comment, thread too long? :P). My intentions weren't malicious in any way, but I agree the term idiotic was a bit uncalled for. It's just that I come from an age where games were just that - games. Made to be played for the fun of playing, without all the social commentary bullshit that is now ingrained in the medium. I have somewhat neglected to appreciate the influence that games, and their narratives, have on the immense audience that they must now cater to. It just saddens me that people are going to miss out on masterfully crafted gameplay/graphics/art styles/programming ingenuity in these AAA titles because of a narrative that they don't agree with. I may not agree with the narrative either at the end of the day (no spoilers for me thanks) but I will still be able to see past my own views in favour of enjoying an experience that I will most likely enjoy for what it is - a video game.

                  I agree that gameplay can trump storytelling, but it seems odd to bring it up in a discussion about TLOU. While I love the game, the actual gameplay is not any better than any one of a number of games on the market. It was the narrative that made the game what it is and made it stand out from the pack.
                  That being said I'm avoiding all spoilers and getting TLOU2. I'll make up my mind about the story by playing the story, but that's just me. Anyone has the right to spend or not spend their money on whatever games they want.

              Putting yourself in an "old school gamer" group to try and justify your poor stance is in itself, also a poor stance. I don't know the specifics in regards to our age gaps but I've played games my whole life and definitely had those early years of simplicity where the story of a game was mostly if not completely found in the manual.

              Despite this, I still find issue with what you're saying.
              1, because you're saying that the first Last of Us had stellar gameplay which is utterly and completely wrong. The game was simple, bare and shallow with the only saving grace being the narrative that carried it.
              2, that a narrative shouldn't undermine your ability to play and/or enjoy a game. A story is 100% capable of detracting from material it's attached to. I don't think there's a single game on the planet where the gameplay is so good that it's worth 'suffering the narrative' objectively.
              3, that the mentality of "gameplay first" is a 'true gamer' mentality and you're belittling everyone who doesn't share that sentiment. I find about 90% of games these days to have boring or weak gameplay with some having their only saving grace with a good story.

          Its not entitled to not buy a game that you dont think you wont enjoy based on what you read.

          It would be entitled for a game company to think you owe them a purchase no matter what they put out.

          I won't buy the game because the first one was total rubbish.

          I'll be honest, the franchise didn't go where I wanted towards the end of TLoU 1, so I have zero interest in TLoU 2.

          If gameplay is first and foremost, then TLOU would be derided as the overrated piece of well-presented garbage it is. I played the first game to its conclusion and came away wondering what all the fuss was about. The gameplay was absolutely middle of the road blandness, and the narrative was horrendously cliche and predictable for pretty much the entirety of the game aside from the bit where a character survives what should have been certain death.
          If it had been released by a no-name studio on PC (i.e. without the fans of Naughty Dog and the Playstation to prop it up), I swear it would have gone past with very little fanfare.

          I hate the term "entitled gamer" because it's most frequently thrown around as an excuse to ignore valid criticism of a game.

          It's not entitled to not play a game because you don't like the story.
          It'd be entitled to demand that the story change(not taking into account instances where you're offering criticism or avenues in which the writing could be better, it's a case-by-case thing, reader's discretion, i.e. don't be stupid.(

          You group everyone who is publicly expressing their fair choice on a reason they feel is justified into a group that you label condescendingly and then follow up with the fact that you're oblivious to exactly what they're upset about? Granted, I wouldn't want to look at spoilers before release either but that puts us in a specific position which is -UNABLE TO PARTAKE IN THE CONVERSATION-.

          Also, "not agreeing with plot points" is vague, but I've definitely played series over the years that upon further releases have gone in directions that I personally didn't enjoy so I stopped playing them, expecting people to struggle through entertainment they're not enjoying just because you don't find their reasoning credible just makes you a hardarse.

        On the topic of reviews... I wonder when we'll get a Kotaku article on the very blatant review score manipulation that's been happening for TLoU 2 on the Playstation store.

        Because it was up towards a couple of thousand reviews with ALL perfect scores across the different editions, and the game isn't even out yet.

        Oh wait that's right, Kotaku will never touch that because of the possible agenda being pushed with this particular game.

          Good god there are some nauseating people in this comment section. Will argue about anything, in essay form too!
          Jeez

            Oh no, these people are have a discussion about something they care about. HOW NAUSEATING!

          Its not something unique to last of us. If you pre order a game on psn you can give it a rating before release.

          Ita a broken psn feature. Not a conspiracy.

        I haven't read the spoilers so would you mind explaining why you intend not to buy it and elaborate on what you mean by "they're taking the franchise somewhere I do not want to go"? What details of the spoilers have made you not want to play?

        Wait, can you give us a clue what the issue is without giving the full spoilers? I had the impression it was offending right-wingers and homophobes, but I know you're not that. So what's the deal?

          Hm. I hadn't realized this was a salvo in the culture wars, but after you mentioned that, it does make sense. It's really hard to explain without legit spoiling.

          My best attempt below:
          I guess I'd put it as... some things happen. I'm utterly turned off by the things that happen and the significance that has not only on the characters/story but on the actual playing of the game afterward. It's not just plotstuff. My guess is that the right-wingers and bigots are hung up on a culture wars detail about a character that's massively involved in the things I'm refusing to play because of. So... I'm mad about a thing. The bigots are mad about who's in the thing. If that makes sense. I don't give a shit who it is, I just don't want to go through the thing.

          I strongly suspect this must be a big part of where I'm seeing a bunch of folks pretending we owe it to the game to participate in its bullshit and that they deserve all kinds of credit. They're probably trying not to spoil, too, and possibly they're linking it to being on the progressive side of a culture war.

          If so, it's putting tinted glasses over something that I consider to be... not necessarily shit, but not something I'm remotely interested in, entertained by, or willing to participate in, just because it should be earning some diversity points.

    Not a thing on that list to have me reaching for my wallet. July has Ghost of Tsushima at least so there is something to look forward to.

    I'm in love with the Razer Basilisk's scroll wheel.

    Really surprised at just how pumped I am for C&C.. definitely buying that one.

      You can just tell that they've treated it so lovingly, and that the quality is high. They haven't used this as an opportunity to roll in a Trojan horseshit like WC3:R, for example, they've just worked to touch up a beloved favourite.

        Yep. It's an absolute love-letter to the originals, much like Starcraft Remastered. And absolutely not like Warcraft 3 Reforged... can't wait!

        I wasn't even hanging out for WC3 remaster, but when it released I was absolutely dumbfounded how a company could drop the ball so monumentally on what was basically a guaranteed slam dunk.

        As good as C&C is looking, I'll wait until initial impressions... But I'll absolutely be purchasing if EA don't somehow bait and switch people, thankfully there doesn't seem to be anything to be suspicious of at the moment.

    @nicktofficial

    Dude I was just airing my opinion. I don't think I'm a 'true gamer' or that everyone should agree with the way I do it, and I backtracked because it came across that way unintentionally. I have never even heard of gatekeeping before this and I was educated. My opinion hasn't and won't change, but my way of approching a conversation like this will change due to these new (to me) revelations. I didn't understand, now I do, move on champ

    "Cyberpunk 2077 / CD Projekt Red (June 12)"

    Please don't do that to me. I got excited that they were somehow magically dropping the game early.

    Can’t say this list of titles excites me much but hey, can’t win em all.

    You should also know aside from the games coming out next month we're also due to get more details regarding a 6th DLC fighter from ARMS to be added into Super Smash Bros. Ultimate if anyone hasn't purchased the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Fighters Pass Volume 2 already.
    The Isle of Armor DLC for the Pokemon Sword and Shield Expansion Pass is expected to release before the end of next month along with The Crown Tundra DLC which comes out in November for anyone hasn't purchased the Pokemon Sword or Pokemon Shield Expansion Pass yet for anyone who still owns Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield.
    Also what do you mean Nintendo has got problems? Is it because the online was down for Animal Crossing New Horizons fans or some shit?
    I'm not really interested in playing the remaster of SpongeBob SquarePants Battle for Bikini Bottom but I'm sure some other fans of SpongeBob SquarePants will be interested in playing that game.
    Also it's been 3 years since we've been waiting for ATLUS to give us more details about Persona 5 coming to Nintendo Switch and yet we still haven't heard back from ATLUS since the COVID-19 crisis this year.
    I mean coming out next month is when ATLUS will release Catherine Full Body which is a puzzle action game in which you have to help 32 year old Vincent escape his horrifying nightmares by answering questions about Vincent's romantic life.
    I just hope ATLUS gets in touch with more details about Persona 5 soon because I really want Persona 5 to come to Nintendo Switch so I can experience what it's like to be a phantom thief.

    I'm slightly disappointed that the lady in a shark costume isn't actually a game.

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