September promises to be a blockbuster month for gaming, with a stellar lineup of heavy hitters set to release this month. Kicking off the show is Starfield, Bethesda’s epic sci-fi space fantasy RPG, which has been in development for eight years, apparently. The studio’s first original IP in 25 years, Starfield, as director Todd Howard puts it, is essentially Skyrim in space. Hundreds of hours of spacefaring adventure await, with a side helping of nostalgic Bethesda style. The game is out now on PC and Xbox Series S/X. It’s also a big month for RPGs, as CD Projekt Red’s much-awaited Cyberpunk 2077 expansion hits the shelves on September 26. Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty promises a ton of upgrades from the base game, including an overhauled skill tree, a new wanted system, and gameplay tweaks. There’s a brand new story, too, with Idris Elba joining the cast, and Keanu Reeves returning.
Already feeling the RPG hangover from Baldur’s Gate III? You could just kick back and boot up the two most popular sports games on the planet; both NBA 2K24 and a rebranded EA Sports FC 24 arrive this month. Fighting games fans also have cause to celebrate as Mortal Kombat 1, which resets the MK universe after the events of the last game, drops on September 19. For masochists, the Souls-like action title Lies of P arrives on the same day. Like we said, it is indeed a packed month. So, here are our picks for the biggest games coming to PC and consoles in September 2023.
When: September 6
Where: PC, Xbox Series S/X
Starfield is an open-world action role-playing game developed by Bethesda Game Studios. The game’s development began in 2013, making it Bethesda Game Studios’ longest-running project to date, and is set in the year 2330, during the Second Era of Space Exploration. Players take on the role of a space explorer who can join one of three factions: the United Colonies, the Freestar Collective, or the Crimson Fleet. Each faction has its own unique goals and motivations, and players will have to choose which one they want to support.
Starfield features a vast and explorable universe, with over 1,000 planets to visit, and over 1,000 different alien species to interact with, each with its own unique culture and language. Each planet has its own unique environment and inhabitants, and players will be able to land on any of them and explore them at their own pace. The universe is large enough that a player will take over 300 hours to visit every planet. There’s also a variety of different weapons and vehicles that players can use, as well as a deep crafting system that lets you customise gear.
When: September 8
Where: PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X, Nintendo Switch
NBA 2K is one of the most profitable, popular, and self-sustaining game franchises out there. Its technically detailed and mechanically robust simulation of basketball has birthed a legion of dedicated fans, who — without fail — get their hands on every new edition. NBA 2K24 is no different. The usual polish and quality is expected, but the popular basketball sim will also include cross-play for the first time in the franchise’s history.
NBA 2K24 will also posthumously feature Hall of Famer Kobe Bryant on the cover, and introduce a ‘Mamba Moments’ mode that lets you relive some of the Lakers legend’s biggest career moments. NBA 2K24 arrives September 8 across PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X, and Nintendo Switch.
The Crew Motorfest
When: September 14
Where: PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X
The Crew Motorfest is a racing game that takes place in a massive open world. Players can race against each other in a variety of different vehicles, including cars, trucks, and motorcycles. The game also features a number of different game modes, including a career mode, a multiplayer mode, and a free-roam mode. One of the things that makes The Crew Motorfest so unique is its open world, which is so large that it can take hours to explore it all. There are also a number of different hidden areas and secrets to find.
Another thing that makes Crew Motorfest so enjoyable is its range of different vehicles. Players can choose from a wide range of different cars, trucks, and motorcycles. Each vehicle has its own unique strengths and weaknesses, so players will need to experiment to find the ones that work best for them. Crew Motorfest is potentially a great racing game that will likely offer a lot of variety and replayability.
Mortal Kombat 1
When: September 19
Where: PC, PS5, Xbox Series S/X, Nintendo Switch
Marking yet another reboot in the iconic bone-krunching franchise, Mortal Kombat 1 introduces a new timeline forged by the Fire God Liu Kang after his ascension into godhood. That shake-up brings some interesting twists to the canon, turning longtime rivals Scorpion and Sub-Zero into brothers, and keeping Kitana’s homeland intact for once. However, the idyllic life Kang hoped for doesn’t last long, as a familiar threat from the past, the powerful sorcerer Shang Tsung, signals his return by painting a blood-red eclipse in the sky. Fighters of the Earthrealm must now unite to perform all kinds of bloodshedding Fatalities – including skull krushes, kurb stomps, hurling icicles, slitting throats, and more – to thwart evil.
Amidst all the classic Mortal Kombat jazz, we’ve got the Kameo Fighters, who are basically a second set of allies that can be picked at the start of a match to briefly assist in combat through short bursts of damage. Netherrealm Studios also continues to innovate in film-like story modes in the fighting game scene, and this year they’ve upped the ante by adding a new RPG-like mode as well. Dubbed the Invasion mode, you pick a character and explore a board game-like map, burrowing through nodes to acquire loot, engage in battles, minigames, solve puzzles, and more — all of which are tied to the idea of different factions trying to conquer other realms. The studio plans to keep it regularly updated, so expect new locations and challenges every six weeks.
Lies of P
When: September 19
Where: PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X
While we still await any official news about a Bloodborne remake/ remaster, Lies of P appears to be a great substitute for it. Set in the plague-ridden gothic city of Krat, this upcoming Souls-like from Neowiz has you play the fabled Pinocchio, who must fight his way across its rotting streets, killing mechanised bloodthirsty puppets and tough-as-nails steampunk bosses in order to find Geppetto, the creator. True to his character, there’s also a lying mechanic in the game, where certain side quests will force you to pick between dialogue options — truthful or lie — to change the game’s ending — essentially determining whether you remain as a puppet or become a real boy.
To go along with its haunting belle époque atmosphere, Lies of P delivers fast-paced gameplay that largely relies on parries and strikes, where a minute lapse in judgment could significantly deplete your health. Drawing heavily from FromSoftware’s progression format, you’ll be met with Stargazers (checkpoints) for upgrading stats and replenishing healing pots. However, it also leverages its narrative aspects to create a unique crafting system, wherein Pinocchio the puppet can swap out body parts to augment special tools into their frame — such as a grappling hook for better vertical exploration or general evasion during scuffles.
Similar to Bloodborne, weapon durability is reduced with repeated use of armaments, albeit you won’t have to rush over to the hub world to get it repaired. Instead, your arm is fitted with a grindstone, which you can run along your entire weapon’s length to keep it in tip-top shape and prevent it from breaking — even during the heat of the battle. In case you’re sceptical about this one, feel free to try out the Lies of P demo, which is now available on all platforms.
When: September 20
Where: PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X
Fight your friends as an adorable corgi, a blunt-toothed dino, a duck that resembles a certain Pokémon, feisty kittens, and more, in this physics-based competitive brawler. You can rely on your soft paws to deal devastating blows, squishy heads to headbutt others, or even dropkick them for good measure — or, you can pick from an assortment of solid weapons laid out across its cutesy arena to gain the upper hand and become the last person standing. It’s hard to ignore its similarities to another hit party game Gang Beasts, in the sense that you’re provided with a variety of game modes and its characters all have ragdoll physics, which makes each encounter feel overtly funny.
Beyond fist fights, you can compete to steal giant gummy bears, toss critters off running planes, and coordinate in team-based football sessions to score the highest points. Party Animals has gone through numerous rigorous playtests over the years, so we can expect it to be polished at launch. Hopefully the servers don’t get overloaded, which was a huge bummer when Fall Guys made it onto the scene in 2020. It’s also coming day one to Xbox Game Pass, which is a huge bonus if you’re looking for something more relaxing after long, intense sessions of Starfield.
When: September 21
Where: PC. PS5, Xbox Series S/X
Deep Silver’s third instalment in its popular first-person shooter series is set to arrive later this month, as the Payday Gang comprising Chains, Dallas, Joy, Hoxton, Pearl, and Wolf team up in New York for modern heists using the latest technology. Payday 3 was developed on Unreal Engine 4, but is expected to be upgraded to the more advanced Unreal Engine 5 after it is released.
The upcoming co-op FPS title will also support crossplay and cross-progression on all platforms. You can also expect to see four additional heists, four tailor packs, and four weapon packs within the first year, according to Deep Silver. Gamers won’t have to wait until the release date to try the game out; publisher Starbreeze has announced a three-day open beta for Payday 3 that will run from September 8 to September 11.
Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty
When: September 26
Where: PC, PS5, Xbox Series S/X
The year is 2077, and the world is in chaos. Corporations rule the streets, and the rich get richer while the poor get poorer. In this world, anything goes. You can be a hero, a villain, or anything in between. The choice is yours. In Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty, you play as V, a mercenary who is trying to make a name for themselves in Night City. Night City is a sprawling metropolis, full of opportunities and danger. You can choose to take on jobs for the various gangs and corporations, or you can go it alone and try to make it on your own.
The game is set in a dystopian future, and the world is full of violence and corruption, but there is also hope. There are still people who are fighting for a better future, and you can join them. You will come across sleeper intelligence agent Solomon Reed (played by Idris Elba).
This is an open-world RPG, and you can choose to play the game however you want. You can focus on the story, or you can explore the world and do side quests. You can also customize your character and choose their skills and abilities. If you are looking for a new RPG to play, Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty is definitely worth checking out. Who knows, you might even run into Keanu Reeves along the way!
EA Sports FC 24
When: September 29
Where: PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X, Nintendo Switch
The FIFA franchise has consistently ranked among the top-selling titles every year, with each annual edition selling like hotcakes, despite bringing only incremental improvements. This time though, big changes seem to be on the way, and it begins with the name itself. FIFA 23 will pass the baton to EA Sports FC 24 on September 29. A new brand, but much of what is loved (and hated) about the wildly popular football sim, will likely return. The game will feature Hypermotion V technology, which brings extensive match data captured from live matches via cameras in the stadiums.
The game also brings PlayStyles, adding unique attributes to in-game players in line with their real-life counterparts. The much-maligned Ultimate Team (FUT) mode returns too, but long-term fans of the franchise would be eager to see what’s fresh in the stagnating and often neglected Career Mode. EA Sports FC 24, with Manchester City forward Erling Haaland as its cover star, will be available across PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X, and Nintendo Switch.
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