Well, it’s that time again where I dust off the ol’ crystal ball here as we take a look at the future of games. Without further adieu, let’s have a look at what 2014 holds for us, shall we?
In my book, 2014 has already established itself as a powerhouse year partly due to the fact that 2013 ended with the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One finally being released. This should be the year where we really start to see the potential of these machines finally get tapped. There’s seemingly an endless supply of awesome content coming down the road so trying to narrow down my picks was extremely tough to do. Kudos to the publishers and developers out there for making it hard on me.
The future is now! Well…after the break that is…
Probably in my top 3 for most anticipated games, TitanFall comes from Respawn Entertainment, a brand new company to the industry, but made up from the senior talent formerly at Infinity Ward. TitanFall seeks to blend campaign narrative with the high action competitive multiplayer aspect in a very appealing package. Players step into the shoes of soldiers known as Pilots. Agile by nature, players will be able to quickly move around the battlefield using techniques like wall running, and a booster pack which will allow them to reach higher places quicker. The big hook however are the “Titans” which are huge mechs players can call down to help in the fight. Once deployed, players can ride in them, have them guard an area, or run along side to defend the player. What’s more interesting is that the experience when riding in a mech doesn’t feel slow or clunky as the developers sought to make the Titan feel exactly like controlling a pilot. Combine all that with the ability to hijack Titans and you have the first really unique shooter coming out to the PC and Xbox platforms in March.
inFAMOUS: Second Son
Sucker Punch and their inFAMOUS franchise have had me hooked since day one. Perhaps it’s the power trip you feel being a super hero/villain in an open world. Whatever the cause, Second Son looks to absolutely rock PlayStation 4 owners in March. Being the third game int he franchise, we’re now moving to a new location (Seattle) and getting control over a brand new character in Delsin Rowe. Taking place seven years after the “good ending” of inFAMOUS 2, we find the Delsin basically as a drifter in life, with no clear direction until one day when helping a bus crash, he comes in contact with a “conduit” which awakens his powers. Similar to Rogue from X-Men, Delsin can absorb powers from other conduits and so far we know of Smoke and Neon. I cannot wait to run, climb, jump, and fight in an open world Seattle when Second Son finally hits.
Tom Clancy’s The Division
The Division absolutely blew my mind when it was surprisingly revealed at the end of Ubisoft’s 2013 E3 press conference. The Division takes place three weeks after a deadly viral outbreak during the Black Friday holiday shopping craze. Society has completely broken down and forced the President to initiate Directive 51 and the Strategic Homeland Division, basically calling upon a unit of self-supporting tactical agents. Keep in mind, that everything I’ve told you outside of the viral outbreak is real. Directive 51 and Operation Dark Winter are indeed real. Gameplay revolves around an open world New York in a persistent online third person shooter RPG. Feel free to team up with friends to against AI and other players as well.
Below and Super T.I.M.E. Force
Both are listed here because both are games from Capybara. Both appeal to me not just because of their unique gameplay but their very distinct pixel graphics as well. Below is a roguelike title all centered around exploring a cave on an unknown island. Each level of the cave is randomly generated giving players a unique experience every time they play. As other roguelike titles, Below will feature permadeath and have challenging but fair gameplay.
Super T.I.M.E. Force on the other hand is a crazy off the wall side scrolling shooter game. The main twist here is that when a player dies or decides to quit, you can view the “timestream” to revisit the life of a previous character’s run which also causes that character to enter the playing field. All in all, you could seriously end up with a massive amount of characters on the screen at once. Single Player Co-op as Capy likes to call it. I just like to call it insane.
The Order: 1886
Another game that we don’t have tons of information on, but it’s a title that demanded everyone’s attention last year at Sony’s E3 press conference. Coming from Ready at Dawn Studios, The Order takes place in an alternative 19th century London and follows the exploits of a group of four demon hunters known as Knights. They’re tasked with hunting down “half-breed” monsters such as werewolves and the like. You know what, the debut trailer can explain things much better than I can. Have a look.
Probably the most interesting “game” on the list here for the fact that it’s less of a game and more of a digital playground of sorts. If you’re interesting in making games or unleashing your creative potential, Project Spark is something you should keep your eyes on in 2014. Featuring an immensely powerful and visual creation tool, players can pretty much make any game they see fit. Project Spark is also very community oriented, allowing you to upload and share you creations, while playing what everyone else has made as well.
I really don’t know what to say about this one as all we’ve been given so far is a debut/teaser trailer from last year’s E3 press conference. From what was shown looks absolutely intriguing with its open world free running shenanigans, and it comes from the folks over at Insomniac so it definitely has my attention.
Finally got a good look at Bungie’s next (and first) game post the Halo franchise and what they’ve shown off looks incredible. Sure, it’s deeply rooted in the Sci-Fi shooter realm and features characters in helmets and armor, but outside of those elements, Destiny is nothing if not ambitious. Think of a massive and dynamic universe that stays alive even when you’re not logged in. You create a character from 3 different classes, grow them through experience points, new skills, and new loot, take part in massive player events, and explore the world/planets alone or with friends. While not calling it a MMOFPS, Bungie refers to the gameplay as a “shared world shooter” with its on the fly matchmaking instead of being able to see every single player at once. A very ambitious project, I really hope Bungie can reach every goal it set because Destiny could be a game changer for the next-gen.
Bastion was one of my surprise hits back in 2011 and I’ve been eagerly awaiting Supergiant Games next entry. You play a young singer named Red who comes across a sentient and powerful sword who’s being hunted by a group known as The Process. Transistor retains that beautiful visual art style from Bastion but unlike the previous game, it features more turn based combat. Red has an action bar which allows her to enable a sort of planning mode to queue up attacks. Each attack drains a bit of her action bar so players will need to find the best way to handle each combat scenario. When the action bar is completely depleted, you’ll need to dodge enemies while it fills again. It’s an interesting concept inside a game which already looks wonderful.
Other Notables: Watch_Dogs, Dying Light, Dragon Age Inquisition, The Crew, Diablo III Ultimate Evil Edition (PS4), Quantum Break
Those are my picks, but I’m curious to hear yours. Let me know what you’re looking forward to in the comments below.