on 01-15-201410:28 PM - last edited on 01-17-201401:40 PM by BBYMartin
Off the top I have to say that this is by no means a complete list of all the games that are highly anticipated for 2014, believe me. This year is shaping up to be crazy good, I have to say (not that they need my kudos). Keep in mind some of 2014's slated games will slip by the wayside, but I'm really proud of the games industry here. I see lots of innovation, I see crazy graphics, but, also graphics stepping aside for interesting gameplay, and exploration of ideas in the smaller game space. I see those ideals, and the potency of the 'indie' game seeping into the bigger budget titles for the better. The point I'm getting at is that there are more games on the horizon than I can write about in a single post. I tried to stick to the first half of the year, and titles that have actual release dates—tried and mostly succeeded. So without further adieu, here's looking at you (the first part of) 2014.
Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze
There is a lot to be said for new IPs and innovation and all that good stuff, but Nintendo is at its best when its serving the fans up steaming helpings of the games they love, as evidenced by 2010's Donkey Kong Country Returns. Well received, DKC sold well and so now we get Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze. The series' first on the Wii U, you'll be up to your eyeballs in tricky platforming, and of course, bananas.
I'm not sure I even need to say anything about this. The title, "Mario Kart 8" says it all! Did you know this franchise has been around for nearly a quarter century? So most gamers have grown up with Mario Kart, and if you're in my age bracket you can probably recall without much difficulty the first time you laid eyes on it, and then felt them widen in anticipation and joy. You can also probably hear the hollers of chagrin and hilarity as someone in a living room filled with people waiting a turn nailed a last minute jump through the short cut in Koopa Beach, back in the Nintendo 64 days. Brilliance.
There might not be a game I've anticipated as eagerly as Dark Souls II, with the possible exception of Dark Souls I, which seemed like a pipe dream if you loved that rage inducing cult piece of brilliance Demon Souls. These are terribly unforgiving games that put you through your paces, and require willingness to work and learn. If you keep up your end of the bargain, there is an amazing heroic journey waiting that might only be rivaled by Shadow of the Colossus (in my experience). If you don't keep up your end of the bargain? Well, then it's just lots and lots of death, like, LOTS lots.
Tim Schafer and Double Fine warm my heart, stumbles and all. They might not be for everyone, but they've been trying new things since before there were old things. Friendly and cheerful, clever and charming, these are words I would use if someone asked me what I most want in a best friend, but they also describe Double Fine as a studio and the games they produce. Broken age is a point and click adventure game (no surprise there) and kickstarter success story. Taking place through time and space, you play as both a girl whose neighbours are sacrificing her to a monster, and a boy living on a sterile and boring spaceship, where artificial intelligence controls everything. Interested? I am.
Release Date - Jan 28, 2014
Consoles - Android and Mac handheld devices, PC
Genre - Point and click adventure
The first new thing out of Bungie since a little game called Halo, to say this is one of the most anticipated games of 2014 would be an understatement. One of the most anticipated games, period? That's more like it. "Shared, persistent world" of humanity on the brink; it's ambitious, but would we expect anything less? They're in the genre they're obviously most comfortable with, having cut their teeth on one of the single biggest franchises ever. This could be a game changer.
It feels like I've been waiting on this forever. Love'em or hate'em Matt Stone and Trey Parker changed things in a fundamental way by creating a deliberately crude and offensive social commentary wrapped up in the costume of a charming kids' show. I can't wait to see what they've got to say about gaming. Also, fart jokes.
You'd figure this would totally be my bag, super powers, bad guys (or good guys) to use them against, moral decisions to make, but Infamous has never been on my list. That's not to say I don't understand the appeal; I suppose it's like a Pepsi/Coke thing and I was in the Prototype camp. Infamous has been with us awhile (you'll notice that prototype hasn't) and I have to admit, I'm pretty curious to see what they can do with the PS4.
If its got FF attached to it and some numbers on the end, well, yes, it's going to be an anticipated game. A direct sequel to Final Fantasy XIII -2, it's the third in the XIII series, and ya, it just starts getting convoluted from there, watch this instead! Final Fantasy has been all over the map in the last handful of years, but they seem to be focused on turning things around, I think this one's gonna be (wait for it) 'shockingly' good. No? How bout, this ones going to be, 'electric'?
Through no fault of its own, this one feels like the "Bro"game of the century for "Bro-ish'' Bro's to Bro about. The big new shooter in a world filled with big new shooters, I have to admit, guns and giant mechs definitely appeal to some part of me, probably the "Bro" part. Sophisticated Hipster nerds might have a good time mocking the multi-shooter playing, 12-25 year old testosterone types and the games they get excited about; but to them, I say only this. I think that pretty much covers it.
The thing people pointed to as THE example for stealth action, Thief felt like some sort of urban legend. It was a game all the big named game developers/designers loved and referenced, but amidst series reboots after series reboots, it was the one that remained some old game that game designers and enthusiasts referenced. Then finally it was getting a reboot! And then some development H-E - double hockey sticks, and things were rocky for a bit. But now its back! And I for one am very curious; creeping around in a Victorian Steampunk world as a master thief? Why not?
This is another one that needs no introduction. Watchdogs, to me, was the first game to bring home the possibilities of gaming in the next generation of hardware. It was the herald of things to come, a big ole 'look what we can do' from the games industry. A commentary on current times, Watchdogs is a frightening ( or exhilarating) glimpse into a potential near-future. It also looks to give the player an incredible control of the game world, all through a handy-dandy smartphone-ish, tablet-esque sort of gadget. If you're even slightly misanthropic, or into tech, (or both) this is pretty much a roll in multicolored happiness, or like, muted grey disdain; whichever works for you.
A firm believer in "you have to get old, but you don't have to grow up," I've been an unabashed lover of nerdy things for a good long while and don't plan to stop anytime soon. With experience on both sides of the video game, both as a consumer and a producer, and a love of the written word, I've managed to combine all three right here with the Plug-in blog