Summer usually means a slow down in game releases, but in 2021 that’s a bit different. Events over the last couple of years have caused game release schedules to move, plus for better or worse more people are gaming than in the past. That means there’s less difference between the various seasons, although the Oct-Dec holiday period still rules supreme.
What also changed are refresh rates. Until recently we harped on about 144Hz, and to be fair there are still plenty of excellent 144Hz gaming monitors out there. But 165Hz is now more popular and attainable, for basically the same price as 144Hz panels. If you’re looking for a new monitor to game on with your PC during summer 2021, we have three game titles to keep in mind, all releasing at the height of the season, mid to late July. However, we’re not just looking at 165Hz but also at ultrawide as an optional get if you’re interested in a wider field of view.
Which games are we talking about? Let’s take a look.
Cyberpunk top-down action role playing with super frenetic action and tons of lighting and particle effects? Where do we sign up? The Ascent from Curve Digital was one of the first games revealed for Xbox Series X/S, where it may run in 120Hz so a 144Hz screen will be great. But on PC the game may just shine even more in all its neon-drenched glory. We’re hoping for unlocked framerates, and since other than the particle effects and ray tracing it’s not an insanely demanding game, a 165Hz 1080p IPS could be amazing. That kind of monitor will deliver the generous framerate overhead you want, plus colors that pop out, and The Ascent (being cyberpunk) has a lot of vibrancy going for it.
The first official F1 title released after long-time publishers Codemasters merged with Electronic Arts has a lot of that EA Sports flair to it already. For 2021, F1 features a whole-new story campaign mode as the base career, plus many refinements that make it more approachable to a wider audience. See what we did there? Because F1 is still a racing sim at heart and we know those work best on ultrawide, 21:9 monitors. One with 3440 x 1440 and an appropriate 144Hz refresh will do marvelous, thank you.
Alternatively, a 165Hz 1080p monitor could work great if you prefer a slightly higher refresh rate and don’t mind sticking with full HD. Given that modern games are amazingly still optimized for full HD even though 4K is so prevalent, that’s not going to be a big deal, especially on a 27” monitor and close quarters viewing distances.
Long-awaited Chernobylite from The Farm 51 mixes the legacies of STALKER, Metro, and Fallout to create an appealing first person shooting and exploring experience. Set in the Chernobyl exclusion zone, it’s the kind of claustrophobic game you want a wide field of view for just in case some sort of sneaky mutant comes charging in from your peripheral vision. So that 34” ultrawide screen we keep mentioning could prove very effective.
Chernobylite has been out via early access for over two years now, but is finally getting a formal full release during the last few days of July 2021. We suggest you prepare by getting an ultrawide monitor, but make sure to purchase one with a nice 144Hz refresh rate. Based on experience, Chernobylite runs very well as long as you have a decent GPU in your PC. BTW, the game is exclusive to PC for the time being, with console versions coming possibly closer to the holiday season. The game will also run at 165Hz in 1080p on a capable GPU, making this a viable option as well. Not an easy game nor one where you get too many chances to err, response is important in Chernobylite, perhaps more so than in more conventional and less RPG-like first person shooters.
Are there any other games you’re looking forward to this summer? August will have a few releases as well, and after that we’ll be heading closer to the holiday season. In any case, let us know via social media!