We’ve often talked about how big this year is for video game releases, and that’s still true. In any other year, it shouldn’t be possible for any titles to remain. However, this is the Fall season, which means any number of blockbusters. This September, there are at least three triple-A blockbusters to look forward to.
Of course, that doesn’t include the long-awaited expansion – and revamp – to a once-maligned action RPG, a new chapter in Electronic Arts’ football gaming franchise or the follow-up to one of the best co-op games in history. Without further ado, here are the biggest games launching in September.
Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty
While Phantom Liberty is an expansion, it’s by no means small. On top of a major new location in Dogtown, it offers a new story with charismatic characters. There’s Rosalind Myers, the current president of the NUSA whose flight crashed in the area and is the result of a hunt by the Barghest led by Colonel Kurt Hansen; Solomon Reed, a Federal Intelligence Agency sleeper agent reactivated to save Myers; and many more. Even Keanu Reeves returns to reprise his role as Johnny Silverhand, with him and V not knowing who to trust.
In addition to new story missions and over a hundred new items, not to mention a new radio station, vehicle theft quests and Courier missions, there’s the new Relic tree. It provides several new skills, like Emergency Cloaking to cloak in the middle of combat and escape or a teleport for slicing enemies apart with the Mantis Blades. Phantom Liberty also coincides with the launch of a massive free update that revamps the entire game.
Vehicular combat, including the ability to mod vehicles with weapons; an overhauled police system, with escalating levels of pursuit; overhauled Perks for new finishers and other appealing options; and even an Edgerunners-style Cyberware Limit. It’s like a completely new game as a result, making it worthwhile for anyone jumping back in.
Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty launches on September 26th for Xbox Series X/S, PS5 and PC.
The gang is back, forcefully unretiring after the events of Payday 2 and venturing to New York City to deal with a brand new threat. Releasing on September 21st, over a decade after its predecessor, Payday 3 will be available for Xbox Series X/S, PS5 and PC. Fans can expect the same game across all platforms, with crossplay and cross-progression included (though you’re always online, even when playing solo).
Eight heists are available at launch, and while the same incredible co-op gameplay remains, developer Starbreeze Studios is revamping almost everything about the heisting formula. Progression is overhauled, with guns now having separate progression paths. Skill Trees are replaced with Skill Lines, offering much more flexibility when customizing your build (thanks to the new Master Nodes), with Infamy Levels influencing the total number of Skill Points available.
You can complete more tasks when not donning a mask ,and stealth has soft fails, thus ensuring you can try again if a strategy doesn’t work out. New enemies like the Nader and Zapper also appear, while classics like the Cloaker and Bulldozer have been buffed and sport new tactics. While it remains to be seen how longer-term support pans out, Payday 3 looks to be a chaotically fun experience at launch.
Lies of P
That Bloodborne remaster/sequel/remake is probably never happening, but Lies of P isn’t the worst substitute. Developed by Round8 Studio and NEOWIZ, it’s a twist on the old tale of Pinocchio, set in a dark Belle Epoque era. Players start with P, who awakens in the Krat. The puppets have gone berserk, slaughtering everything in sight. However, you must find Geppetto, your creator, above all else and unravel the secrets behind Krat’s downfall.
The city is teeming with violent puppets, from heavy bruisers cop units to clowns and flame-wielding horrors. You’ll meet other characters and undertake different side quests. Depending on how you handle them, either answering truthfully or lying, the game’s ending may change.
In combat, you have several weapons, from rapiers and two-handed swords to massive wrenches. You can also modify P with Legion Arms to utilize different abilities to gain an edge. While you could summon NPCs to help in battle, there’s no co-op available. The gothic-style visuals and vivid colors make Lies of P stand out, and it could make for a worthwhile Souls-like experience. It’s out on September 19th for PS5, PS4, PC, Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S.
Witchfire is a long, long time coming, initially announced at The Game Awards 2017 and making sporadic appearances at shows throughout the years. It’s gone from a sci-fi survival sim to a dark fantasy first-person shooter. While it took inspiration from Dark Souls, it would embrace a rogue-lite format, with titles like Dead Cells serving as influences. If that wasn’t enough, it would also embrace a semi-open world format.
Nevertheless, it looks even more compelling than before. As a witch hunter, you’re out hunting the Witch of the Black Sea, cutting through her army in the process. The stunning visuals give way to a deep combat system, where you combine elemental and non-elemental spells, each with unique effects that interact with each other. Weapons are also fairly deep, becoming stronger as you gain Attunements.
Obviously, there’s a lot we don’t know. Since this is an early access release, launching on September 20th for the Epic Games Store (before coming to other platforms later), the amount of content is also up in the air. Still, if a solid first-person shooter from the minds behind Bulletstorm sounds good, Witchfire may be worth a look.
Love it or hate it, the NBA 2K series is back with new features and modes, and a familiar cover athlete. Kobe Bryant is the star and has Mamba Moments. Like last year’s Jordan Challenges, it allows players to relive the biggest moments from Bryant’s career on the Los Angeles Lakers, including a head-to-head match against Michael Jordan.
More realistic animations, captured from real-life footage, have been added courtesy of ProPlay, and there’s also crossplay, though both are exclusive to Xbox Series X/S and PS5. The City also returns, venturing to the beachfront while presenting new optional side quests, street games and other activities. Previous-gen players get The Neighborhood, but at least it’s a new location on the coast with its unique sights.
MyCareer, MyNBA, The W and more also return, while mechanics like Takeovers, Paint Play, Shot Timing, Badges and more have seen significant changes or overhauls. Yes, there’s likely to be an abundance of microtransactions, but the gameplay should remain as solid as ever. Hopefully. NBA 2K24 launches on September 8th for Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PS4, PS5, PC and Nintendo Switch.
The Crew Motorfest
From scaled-down versions of the entire United States of America to O’ahu in Hawaii, The Crew Motorfest appears smaller in scale than its predecessor (which makes sense since it was rumored to be an expansion for The Crew 2). Regardless, you can still look forward to a large open world with over 600 vehicles to race, from cars and bikes to monster trucks, powerboats and planes.
Motorfest takes several notes from Forza Horizon with a festival that serves as a hub for meeting other players and partaking in various activities. However, you’ll spend much time in Playlists – mini-campaigns focused on specific aspects of car culture. Each has different challenges and themes, from Made in Japan’s focus on street racing to Vintage Garage, which explores cars through various eras.
New modes like Demolition Royale and Grand Race also await, and players can import their cars from The Crew 2 free of charge. The Crew Motorfest launches on September 14th for Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, PS4, PS5 and PC.
Mortal Kombat 1
The time to test your might has arrived once more. However, Mortal Kombat 1’s universe isn’t the same as previous titles – it’s a reboot with new relationships between characters. Mortal Kombat is still very much a thing , as forces from Earthrealm, Outworld and more compete for the title of champion.
Established characters like Sub-Zero, Scorpion, Smoke, Liu Kang, Raiden, Kung Lao and more return but have seen significant changes to their move sets. Character variations are no longer a thing, but you now have Kameo Fighters, which act as assists. They have unique moves, from Motaro sending projectiles back at enemies to Kano lasering fools. You can also utilize different Fatalities with their help.
While Story mode aims for roughly the same length as Mortal Kombat 11, you can also look forward to Klassic Towers and Invasions, the latter a board game-like RPG where you battle invaders from other dimensions. Mortal Kombat 1 may be a clean slate of sorts for the franchise, but it’s looking to be the most epic entry yet. It releases on September 19th for Xbox Series X/S, PS5, PC and Nintendo Switch.
EA Sports FC 24
With the partnership between Electronic Arts and FIFA coming to a close, EA Sports FC 24 is the first football title from the publisher to go in some relatively new directions. Even without FIFA’s backing, it still features licenses for over 700 teams, 30 leagues and 100 stadiums, with Germany’s Frauen-Bundesliga and Spain’s Liga F added. Of course, legendary players like David Beckham, Zinedine Zidane, Ronaldinho and more also appear.
In terms of features, Nintendo Switch players finally get Frostbite support, while movement is expanded thanks to the new AcceleRATE 2.0, with double the movement types as FIFA 23. There are over 11,000 animations with HyperMotionV collecting data from various real-world matches, and new PlayStyles capture a player’s abilities, whether it’s scoring and defending or goalkeeping and ball control.
Long-time franchise fans can still expect the likes of Clubs and VOLTA (now combined together) and Ultimate Team, which adds Evolutions for further improving players. There’s also a brand new Career Mode to jump into. EA Sports FC 24 launches on September 29th for Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, PS4, PS5, PC, and Nintendo Switch.
Starfield is a tale of numbers, but the eight years of development and +1000 planets stand out. As Bethesda’s first new IP in almost 30 years, it sees players joining Constellation and exploring the universe in search of mysterious artifacts. There’s a lot we don’t know about the story, but the pursuit of intelligent alien life and humanity’s significance are key themes.
As for what you can do in Starfield, it would probably be easier to outline what you can’t. Combat is in first and third person, with an extensive selection of guns, including electromagnetic and energy firearms, and melee weapons. An extensive toolset is available for designing a spaceship, and as you fly through space, it’s possible to board other ships, meet other travelers and raid others for their stuff.
That’s not including the range of companions to team with, settlement building, surveying planets, massive cities to explore, mission boards, resource gathering or character customization (which is its own whole thing. Starfield is easily one of the biggest games of the year, and we can’t wait to explore its reach when it launches on September 6th for Xbox Series X/S and PC.
Published by Nacon, Hekate’s Ad Infinitum is a psychological horror game grounded in reality. It focuses on a German soldier from World War 1, caught in an inescapable cycle within one’s mind. Various monsters inhabit it, and survival means understanding their motivations to progress. With themes like post-traumatic stress disorder and families separated by the horrors of war, Ad Infinitum is a heavy experience.
Its art direction and visual fidelity are on point, especially the monsters, which look terrifying. While it may be tough to stand out amid all the big releases in September, Ad Infinitum is intriguing and could offer a different level of terror. It’s out on September 14th for Xbox Series X/S, PS5 and PC.