The rapid ramp-up toward review season continues this week, as evidenced by an absolute mountain of trailers for you to climb, Sisyphus-style. No Man’s Sky, Theme Hospital, We Happy Few, new expansions for Hollow Knight and Total War: Rome II—they’re all due within the next few weeks. Phew.

That, plus the story of a man who tried to sue Star Citizen to get his $4,500 back, Todd Howard says “never say never” to the idea of another New Vegas (but he kind of means never), and The Culling 2 ’s brutal failure and subsequent removal from Steam acts as a warning to anyone developing a battle royale game at the moment.

This is gaming news for July 16 to 20.

Hack the planet

Pride of place this week to Zachtronics, developers of puzzling classics TIS-100, Shenzhen I/O, Infinifactory, SpaceChem, and more. One hell of a resume, and now there’s another entry upcoming: Exapunks. Announced this week, it’s a hacking game—which immediately calls to mind comparisons to the superb Hacknet, but we’ll see.

Apple a day

Theme Hospital spiritual successor Two Point Hospital is one of my most anticipated releases of 2018. This week Sega nailed down a release date for our doctor dreams: August 30. Not too far off, and the date comes courtesy of a new trailer, which shines a light on the deadly “Cubism” disease.

Four man’s sky

No Man’s Sky may end up being one of the strangest sagas in gaming, and an object lesson in the “Games as a Service” mindset developers have to adopt nowadays. We’re coming up on two years since its initial release, and the new NEXT update is set to completely overhaul the game—add multiplayer, improve the visuals, allow for unlimited base-building. It…almost sounds like the game people thought they were getting in 2016? The NEXT update is due to release next week, July 24, so we’ll have more thoughts once it’s live. Fascinating though.

Sea of (friendlier!) Thieves

I’m hoping Sea of Thieves gets the same treatment as No Man’s Sky, to be honest. Both suffered from the same issue—a fantastic core concept with tons of unfulfilled potential. Sea of Thieves is churning out fixes, though. The “Cursed Sails” update is due to arrive July 31, adding computer-controlled ships full of skeletons to the ocean, and (more importantly) allowing player-helmed ships to join into allied fleets temporarily.

Eye of the Tiger

Now that Call of Duty: Black Ops IIII won’t have a single-player campaign, those looking for some semblance of story are stuck with the silly Zombies mode, which…eh. Not quite the same. On the other hand, this trailer’s got a zombified tiger, the Titanic, a Roman arena, and some very dumb takes on Nietzsche. Looks like a fun time, if you’re a Zombies fan.

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