With the release of the PlayStation 4 (and in many countries the Xbox One as well) and several great games to close off the previous generation, 2013 was a great year for gaming. From the looks of it, 2014 won’t be any less impressive. Here are my ten most anticipated titles of this year.
Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes
playstation 3, playstation 4, xbox 360, xbox one
By the time Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes comes out, it’ll be nearly four years since we saw the release of a brand new Metal Gear game by Hideo Kojima himself. Ground Zeroes will serve as the prequel to the ambitious open world stealth game Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, but even with that in mind it deserves to be on this list for how awesome and impressive it looks. Snake will only keep us waiting for a few more months.
Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze
In 2010 Retro Studios revived the Donkey Kong Country series with the excellent Wii side scroller Donkey Kong Country Returns. Addictive platforming, challenging level design and lots of collectables made for a great comeback of the 20 year old series. Now it’s time for a new version on Wii U. This game will have all the elements of its predecessor, plus some new additions, like dynamic camera angles, new playable characters and… realistic fur!
Infamous Second Son
The latest installment of the series by Sucker Punch, and their first title for Sony’s new system. For an open world game, Second Son looks very impressive, one of the highlights being the neon power: the protagonist can absorb neon lights from the environment to use for his own ends. This game not only looks awesome, it promises to play that way as well.
The Evil Within
PLAYSTATION 3, PLAYSTATION 4, XBOX 360, XBOX ONE
An entirely new horror game by the master himself: Shinji Mikami, creator of the Resident Evil series. The Evil Within looks to have all the right ingredients: disturbing creature designs, creepy environments and a dark and eerie atmosphere. It looks like this game will offer an authentic and focussed single player as well as the freshness of a brand new IP.
The Order: 1886
Ready at Dawn studios, who had been working mostly on PSP installments for Sony’s God of War series, announced their first big console game and original IP at the E3 of 2013: a brand new PlayStation 4 title called The Order: 1886.. It was one of the surprises of the show and has been intriguing people ever since. The game takes place in an alternate history version of Victorian-Era London of knights and monsters, and promises to deliver a cinematographic presentation, a fusion of history and fiction and gameplay that keeps you interested the whole time.
Super Smash Brothers
WII U, 3DS
A new Super Smash game is always something special, it only happens once every console generation. These games are stuffed to the brim with content, and with it the ability to keep players busy for hours. Sakurai has to find a delicate balance between keeping things fresh and not losing the familiar feel of the series, since it has some very dedicated fans that will scrutinize every change. Of course, this new game in the series offers new playable characters and stages based on games that have been released since the latest installment, and we finally get to play as the Villager from Animal Crossing.
Ryse: Son of Rome
While Ryse may have been received with moderate enthusiasm, to me it’s still the most intriguing looking exclusive for Xbox One. The number of games taking place in the Roman era is surprisingly low, despite the fact that it’s a great setting with a lot of potential. Ryse takes some liberties with the source material of course, but overall is supposed to be pretty authentic, including the combat that the player will use. The visuals look stunning as well. Of course, in many territories Ryse was already released last year, but it’s planned for 2014 in a few European countries, alongside the delayed release of the Xbox One console.
Fans have had to wait pretty long for this Wii U-exclusive sequel to the over the top action game by Platinum. Crazy enemy designs, an over the top story and characters and most of all, deep and fluid combat are all trademarks of this studio’s titles, and Bayonetta 2 looks like it won’t be an exception. And remember: don’t fuck with a witch!
Mario Kart 8
A new Nintendo console has to have a new installment in the Mario Kart series as well. And this version seems to have it all: Karts, motor bikes, hang gliders. It looks like Nintendo took elements from all previous games and combined them for this title. Then there is also an interesting new element: zero gravity sections. Some race tracks require players to drive upside down or sideways, making for even crazier races. Graphically the game looks good as well: great light effects, lots of detail and a framerate of 60FPS.
This spiritual successor to Kirby’s Epic Yarn was announced a year ago at a Nintendo Direct. We have heard little about this charming looking platformer since then. One of the complaints about Kirby’s Epic Yarn is that it was very easy, but Yarn Yoshi aims to resolve this by finding the right balance between challenging more seasoned gamers and allowing less experienced players to enjoy the game as well.
Of course, with only ten to choose, many very promising looking games are bound to be left out (see the list below). Plus, a lot has yet to be announced. But with what we know already, it’s safe to say this year is off to a good start.
Kirby Triple Deluxe, Watch Dogs, Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2, The Division, Titan Fall, Destiny, Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII, Halo 5, Yoshi’s New Island