The days of sun and sangria are almost here—the perfect time to draw those blinds, boot up these games and escape into fantastic (if dystopian) realms far, far away.
NO MAN’S SKY (PC, PS4)
With 18 quintillion planets to visit in this expansive adventure survival game, the lurid galaxy of No Man’s Sky seems infinite. But it’s about more than discovery: If you consume too much of any planet’s resources, robotic Sentinels will hunt you down. Escape those mad bastards and a space battle might blast you to oblivion. No wonder it’s one of the most hotly anticipated games of the past five years.
DEUS EX: MANKIND DIVIDED (PC, PS4, XBOX ONE)
A riff on the legacies of William Gibson and other sci-fi giants, this cyberpunk open-world shooter features stealth and RPG elements. Mankind Divided is part of the recent barrage of post-apocalyptic games, and these drone-infested alleys burn with a depressing realism. As covert agent and smooth-haired cyborg Adam Jensen, you’ll deploy bombs, lasers and hacking skills to rage against the machines.
MIRROR’S EDGE CATALYST (PC, PS4, XBOX ONE)
Catalyst mixes the freedom of an open world with kick-and-punch goodness. The setting: the city of Glass, a glittering, corrupt pseudo-utopia where the most minor expression of personal freedom gets you locked up. You play as Faith, a sharp-tongued antihero who’s like an extra-nihilistic incarnation of Hit Girl from Kick-Ass. With super-heroic rooftop parkour and zip lines leading to crack-jaw battles, you’ll kick the teeth out of your corporate oppressors and toss them from skyscraper windows to the depths below.
MASTER OF ORION (PC)
When this space-cowboy strategy game debuted in 1993, it was a creditable riff on the warfare and politics of Sid Meier’s Civilization, and it went on to inspire Wargaming’s Victor Kislyi to create his blockbuster World of Tanks. Now Wargaming and the Argentina-based developer NGD have poured millions into reinvigorating Master of Orion, in which savvy aliens, city-size spaceships and intimidating weaponry transform you into the Hillary or Donald of the universe. Bonus: voice acting by Michael Dorn and Mark Hamill.