My Most Anticipated Games of 2014
I suppose that it would only make sense to start 2014 the same way that we ended 2013: With more lists. To follow up on my recent Best of 2013 post, I thought that it would only be appropriate to look ahead at the upcoming twelve months with my most anticipated games of 2014.
South Park: The Stick of Truth
My most anticipated game of 2013 is also my most anticipated game of 2014. The collapse of publisher THQ probably didn’t help much when it came to the production of South Park. Now that it’s in the hands of Ubisoft, it looks as though the end is in sight. Hopefully the fourth release date of March 4, 2014, will be the last.
While lengthy delays are usually a bad sign for games, the fact that South Park is being developed by very well-regarded developer Obsidian Entertainment who have a good track record with other people’s IPs (including Star Wars and Fallout), I’m optimistic that this will still be a good game. At the very least, The Stick of Truth looks to be true to the cartoon which is more than we can usually say about South Park games.
Not much is known about Transistor yet apart from the fact that the game will star Red, a singer by trade, and a sword called Transistor. The combat will be very much different from Bastion and have a turn-based strategy element to it. Most importantly, Darren Korb is back to compose music for this game.
No Man’s Sky
Hello Games’ open-world sci-fi exploration game was the talk of the gaming industry after it was unveiled at VGX 2013. Then their studio was destroyed by a flood on Christmas Eve. Their insurance company isn’t going to help them with the costs of replacing equipment so who knows what’s next for the dev. I’d hazard that many a publisher would want a piece of this game and Kickstarter definitely would too. We don’t know when this game is coming out now but we can just hope that it will come out.
Dragon Age: Inquisition
I don’t think that Mass Effect (Don’t Call It) 4 won’t be the make or break game for BioWare. I think that if BioWare can’t recover with a great effort with this year’s Dragon Age: Inquisition, I’m not sure anyone will readily give them the benefit of the doubt for ME4.
While DA2 may have disappointed, BioWare is going back to a lot more elements from Origins for Inquisition. While DA2’s combat style will return, selectable races, tactical combat, character customization, and open-world gameplay would all make a return to the franchise. If Inquisition is like an improved next-gen version of Origins, the BioWare faithful should be happy and that would bode well for the Mass Effect franchise too.
Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number
The very unique, very violent and slightly controversial Hotline Miami is getting a very violent, very controversial sequel this year. Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number follows up on the events of the first game with a film set inspired by the events of Hotline Miami and a group of vigilantes emulating what happened in the first game.
HL2’s early promotional work hasn’t been without controversy thanks to the sexual assault scene that’s alluded to as part of the film. I wrote about why I thought the controversy was over-reactive censorship before so I won’t go over it again. I won’t judge this game before it’s released but I’ll judge those who do judge. Judge not lest ye be judged.
Anyway, really looking forward to this. If it’s half as good as the first, it’ll be fantastic.
Game of Thrones: A Telltale Game Series
We don’t know much about Telltale’s interpretation of Game of Thrones but I’m hoping that it’s as good as their early TWD efforts. I wasn’t a fan of the first part of Season Two so I’m hoping that a bit more care is taken with the GoT game.
Telltale still has some big questions to answer, though. Will this be based on the TV series or the books? Which characters will be featured? Does it take place before or during the events of A Game of Thrones? Apart from the name of the game and the dev, we really know nothing, Jon Snow.
Infamous: Second Son
While I can’t say with any degree of certainty whether Infamous was a system seller on the PS3, I can say that it was one of Sony’s best new exclusive IPs introduced on the PS3. Naturally, it gets a bigger and prettier interpretation on the PS4 with Second Son.
This looks like the first proper next-gen exclusive on the PlayStation 4 thanks to a big open-world environment and stunning visuals. If the gameplay doesn’t let Second Son down and it can do something that feels properly next-gen, this could be the first real system seller out for either the PS4 or Xbox One.
I’m not much of an FPS fan but Bungie basically revolutionized the genre with Halo by reworking the FPS to work on home consoles. Now, the gameplay elements they innovated for that game are all over the industry.
Destiny marks Bungie’s first effort since developing Halo and their first time developing a multi-platform game since 2001. Not only do they have a tough act to follow, but they have to make sure the game works on at least four different platforms (five if they wise up and release it on PC). Given that it’s a “shared-world shooter” (MMO) that’s going to need a lot of servers to handle the launch traffic, they have a bunch of new technical issues that they’ll have to deal with in order to optimize for each platform.
I hope that Destiny has some special things in store for us. Everyone’s expecting something epic for their first new IP in over a decade. Even I’m hoping for greatness and I’m not a big Halo or Bungie fan.
When I saw a closed doors demo of Watch Dogs back in August, it was buggy but pretty. Well, as pretty as a shootout while clipping through a bridge can be. Bridges were the biggest problem in the game. They didn’t work. What I’m trying to say is that the game could have used the time for refinements. The vertical slice seemed so perfectly choreographed except when it bugged out.
Watch Dogs looks to have very smooth gameplay that allows you to all sorts of stuff seamlessly. It all seemed very easy in all the demos and gameplay videos I’ve watched. I’m skeptical about how smooth it will all be until I get my hands on it. I guess the success of this game will be how well the demos translate to the actual game. If gameplay isn’t smooth, fun and intuitive, this game won’t live up to the hype.
For thousands of people, getting their hands on the next game by Chris Roberts, the man before the legendary Wing Commander, will top their list of 2014 games. The biggest game in crowdfunding history has over $35 million invested into it by interested gamers. I’d certainly call that grounds for calling it much-anticipated.
While the final commercial release of Star Citizen isn’t expected until 2015, the various modules and alpha and beta tests are all expected in 2014. For some people, that’ll be as good as getting the final experience since they’ll get a taste of the branching single-player campaign and big multiplayer galaxy. I kind of wonder why I never backed this. Since the game will basically be out this year, I’m putting it on my list.