2013 was an amazing year for the gaming industry. Next generation consoles were both launched by Microsoft and Sony, providing the location for the future of gaming; however current generation consoles were not forgotten. Rockstar Games delivered the ambitious Grand Theft Auto V, Lara Croft returned to the gaming landscape in incredible fashion, Super Mario 3D World provided a memorable Mario experience, and Naughty Dog introduced us to the terrifying universe of The Last of Us.
Now that 2013 has ended, we are now on the cusp of what could arguably be an even bigger year in the video game landscape. 2014 already has some amazing titles confirmed to be released, but this is just the tip of the ice berg before more announcements are made.
Out of the confirmed games coming in 2014, Analog Addiction’s editors have gathered to express which titles have their attention this year.
Dragon Age: Inquisition
Eric Pepper (Xbox Editor): There is no denying that Dragon Age 2 left a bitter taste in the mouths of many fans. However, considering the amount of criticism Bioware received for some of their choices in the development of the last title, it is a relatively safe to assume that there will be no recycled environments this time around.
It has been long suggested that Bioware did not feel as if the AI was as intelligent as they would have liked and moving forward they wanted to give the players a combat system based primarily around preparation and having a cohesive team rather than button mashing. It is impossible to know how closely the end product will resemble these initial ideals before a demo is released, but it does provide hope for a significant divergence from Dragon Age 2.
The Dragon Age franchise is known for its expansive environments, dynamic relationships between characters, and the compelling narratives. There is no reason to believe that Inquisition will differentiate from these strengths, making it my most anticipated title of 2014.
Jamie Briggs (PlayStation Editor): Though Watch_Dogs may have delayed into 2014, my excitement and intrigue for Ubisoft’s open-world of hackers is still at a fever pitch. Ubisoft has only showcased a handful of extended demos from the city of Chicago, but what is most impressive is that it seems to have barely scratched the surface of the ambitious project.
Aiden Pearce is our hero (or anti-hero depending how you play) and he has the ability to hack those around him, from finding out their marital status to clearing out their entire bank account. The prospects of being able to simply stand on a street corner and find out the back story of every NPC character in my vicinity is impressive, but using those abilities to save innocents and stop criminals truly enticing.
Nathan Manning (Xbox Editor): In an over saturated shooter genre, you either have to be an established franchise, or do something unique to stand out. While Titanfall is only a new IP, it definitely does something to stand out. The speed in which you move around the maps is unprecedented, and the level of verticality in the level design creates new ways to play.
That’s why I am excited for Titanfall. It takes the smooth gunplay and quick gameplay of Call of Duty, but adds enough to make it feel different and new. The jump jet mechanic which allows you to run on walls and leap to higher storey’s of a building leads the way for strategic players to dominate.
Oh, did I mention there are giant mechs – called Titans – that you can call upon!
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
Robert Key (Nintendo Editor): The Metal Gear Solid series is one that changed my life as a gamer when I played Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater. I had never played a series like it with its stealth mechanics – which I was absolutely terrible at – fantastic characters and a captivating story told in the manner you would normally find exclusively on the silver screen through its lengthy cutscenes.
Though I love the movie-like game idea Metal Gear Solid brought into my world, hearing that Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain’s story will be told more akin to a television show from series creator Hideo Kojima, I became ever more excited for the game. I just love how much mystery there is behind the story as well. To top it off, the FOX Engine looks gorgeous on the now-current-gen consoles. It will also be interesting to see how Kiefer Sutherland handles the voice of Big Boss, one of my all-time favorite characters in the realm of video games.
Ryan Livingstone (PC Editor): It might seem a bit odd that an indie title is my most anticipated game when there are big AAA titles like Watch_Dogs and Infamous coming out, but The Forest offers up a unique experience. At the moment it’s still early in development, with an Early Access period soon to come. The Forest follows a silent character who has just crashed onto an unknown island and must do everything to survive.
You have to build your own shelter, whether it be in the forest, on the beach or in the mountains. You have to fetch your own food as well as build your own traps to defend your house. You can explore the island during the day and do whatever you like. But when night falls, you have to be ready to hide, or defend yourself. When the darkness blankets the island, genetically mutated creatures come out of their caves and hunt. They aren’t blood thirsty creatures that want to kill because they’re pure evil. They want to kill because they have to survive too. The mutants have their own clan and social system, where they mourn and protect each other.
It reminds me of Richard Matheson’s 1954 masterpiece, I Am Legend. The Forest has so many good details on paper, that it’s hard to not anticipate it.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
Vlad Pintea (PC Editor): For me, The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings is still THE best RPG in the industry. It has killer graphics, loveable characters – also characters which you’ll love to hate – a mature story with really unexpected consequences, and an awesome and fun combat system, which can get really tough, if you want to. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt promises us to take all that, expand upon it, and throw it in a full-blown open world.
From new combat mechanics, to jaw-dropping graphics, lots – and I mean LOTS – of possible ways for the game to end, riding horses, sailing, hunting, trading etc., Geralt’s last adventures promise us a never-before-seen quality in the genre. It also helps that Wild Hunt will focus more on his past, present, and future, so all those pesky politics can take a back-seat, this time around. Not that we won’t have to deal with them again. The Emperor sure likes to cause quite a bit of chaos.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is scheduled for launch on the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC later this year.
Infamous Second Son
George Sinclair (PlayStation Editor): It’s not long to wait now, but ever since the PS4 was unveiled my eyes have been on Infamous Second Son. I’ve seen enough to put in a pre-order but there’s still so much we don’t know. What other powers will Delsin have? What’s the story? Will Cole return? It’s questions like this that make the game so mysterious despite what we’ve seen.
The game is also the first true next-gen open world game on the PS4. Sucker Punch as recreated their own version of Seattle. The whole Seattle/Vancouver region of North America is a place I really love so to be able to run around there as a super-powered grunge kid sounds great.
What do you think of our choices? Better yet, let us know what games you’re anticipating in 2014 below.