Game On – A quartet of time-occupiers releasing this month

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Video games are those things that you play with when you really should be doing things that are more important, like cleaning the garage or mowing the lawn or putting pants on. Just us? Okay then.

Meet Stuff’s pick of the August video game releases in South Africa, a selection which has no affiliation to publisher, platform or game genre. If it’s good, it’s going to appear here.

Read on to find out what can and will be taking up your time for the next month or so.

  • PlantsvsZombiesGW

    Pictured: Farming hazards

    Yes, yes, we know that Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare has been on the market for a while now and we also know just how much fun players have been having squishing plants into compost or blowing up zombies on the Xbox 360 and Xbox One, as well as the PC. But Sony’s die-hards are also going to be getting their crack at the first-person shooter version of the hugely-popular wave-based mobile game, Plants vs. Zombies, in August. To which we say: What the hell took you so long EA?

    Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare will be releasing on the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 will of the the downloadable content released to date on other platforms as part of the main package. That means that add-ons like Zomboss Down will be available from the get-go. Built on the visually-impressive Frostbite 3 engine (the thing that makes games like Battlefield 4 go), PlayStation gamers should have a fun time ahead this month.

    Who should play it?

    Anyone with a thing for team-based shooters, and we’re not excluding people who exclusively play Call of Duty from that list. PvZ: GW features 24-player multiplayer as well as four-player online co-op and the visual styling and unusual nature of weaponry and tactics on hand make this title a good option for getting a significant other (male or female) with nothing but disdain for shooters out there and fragging with the best of them.

    Release date: 22 August
    Developer/Publisher: PopCap Games/Electronic Arts
    Platform/s: PS3, PS4

  • Disgaea 4

    Something old, something new…

    Originally released on the PlayStation 3 way back in the mists of time that is 2011, Disgaea 4: A Promise Unforgotten is back with a platform-change and an update across the board. Now know as Disgaea 4: A Promise Revisited, developer Nippon Ichi have given this ageing title a fresh coat of paint, a whole swath of extras (including a mighty chunk of the DLC from the original PlayStation 3 version), with new episodes and content making the cut for the PlayStation Vita release.

    There’s a reason the Disgaea games have been around through several incarnations and the weird and wonderful characters and their storylines may have something to do with this. In Disgaea 4, players take control of a party looking to take down a corrupt government based in the Netherworld. Technically players will be dispensing politics by way of turn-based combat, which seems like a much more interesting method of government to us, compared to debate.

    Who should play it?

    This is a tough one. Disgaea is a strategic Japanese RPG (JRPG), which technically makes it an S-RPG and that’s a very specific genre for people to like. The game type has its adherents though and fans of turn-based isometric combat with some very anime-like characters (like vampires, demons and other bureaucrats), lengthy storylines and loads of content should have fun with this Vita release.

    Release date: 29 August
    Developer/Publisher: Nippon Ichi Software/NIS Europe
    Platform/s: PlayStation Vita

  • Sacred 3

    Save the world, side-quests permitting

    Sacred 3 is the third release under the Sacred banner (duh) but this isn’t the Sacred that sucked up so many hours in the original PC release, nor is is Sacred 2: Fallen Angel, whose levelling and upgrade system was a fearsome opponent in itself when it came to creating working character builds. This isn’t either of those. This is a different beast, or class, if you will.

    The first crack at the series by developer Keen Games, Sacred 3 is now a hack-and-slash in the vein of Diablo III (more on that to the left) with an emphasis on co-operative play. Players will still be trying to save the world from whichever evil threatens to take all of those NPCs into a very dark place but the adventure this time will be a lot more action-oriented and altogether speedy. In this case, it means stopping an evil ruler from getting his hands on a powerful relic and allowing him to take over the planet. Standard stuff, really.

    Who should play it?

    Surprisingly, or perhaps not really, fans of the original two games probably should avoid Sacred 3. Under previous developer Ascaron, the series was a classic role-playing game filled with side-missions and loads of amusing items lying around waiting to be discovered. This time around it’s straight-up combat, with little more than a story and some levelling options. If you’re a fan of pure hack-and-slash, give it a look. If you’re a Sacred fan, prepare to be annoyed.

    Release date: 1 August (so you could be playing already)
    Developer/Publisher: Keen Games/Deep Silver
    Platform/s: PC, PS3, Xbox 360

  • Diablo III UEE

    Crusader – a nice way of saying ‘meat shield’

    We’ve been waiting for this one. Released earlier this year was Diablo III: Reaper of Souls, an expansion of Blizzard’s third hack-and-slash devil-beater, for the PC. Since then, we’ve had our eyes open for the console equivalent to make landfall and it’s going to this month for both Xbox One and PlayStation 4. What can we say, we’re suckers for the same-screen co-op of Diablo on consoles.

    Titled Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Edition, the console release introduces players to the Crusader, a hardy new class that brings a meat shield, as well as an actual shield, to the fray against the demonic hordes that infest the world. Blizzard don’t do things by halves so expect a whole new rash of items, upgrades (including a new town-based artisan called the Mystic) and the Adventure Mode, Bounties and Nehalem Rift options to keep your game time clocking up.

    Who should play it?

    Who shouldn’t? Diablo III scaled well with players, from total n00b to the most diamond-cut hardcore player and there’s no reason to expect that the Ultimate Evil Edition will be any different. Get it for the complete game on PlayStation 4 or Xbox One, with the option to import old console characters so that they are able to continue stomping mobs on your behalf. Also: loot. We love loot.

    Release date: 19 August
    Developer/Publisher: Blizzard/Activision
    Platform/s: PS4, Xbox One

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