Most-anticipated games of 2014: VG247’s staff share their picks

Friday, 3 January 2014 14:00 GMT By Dave Cook

What are VG247’s most-anticipated game releases of 2014 and why? We’re sure it’s a question you lay awake at night pondering, but now you can rest your weary head as we reveal our top picks from the year ahead.

2014 is going to be a megaton year for gaming. It really is. As the next-gen consoles receive more exclusives and less cross-gen titles, we’re going to see more of what PS4 and Xbox One are really capable of. Shiny blockbusters like Destiny, Titanfall, Quantum Break, inFamous: Second Son, The Division, Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes and Driveclub will undoubtedly dazzle gamers with their mega-budget veneer, while the final run of last-gen titles continues with Dark Souls 2, Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 and much more.

Nintendo is also stepping up to the plate in 2014, with Bayonetta 2, Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, Mario Kart 8, Kirby: Triple Deluxe and much more. We look forward to typing up all of the company’s Nintendo Direct streams throughout the year, as much as they make our fingers bleed by the time they end. Bring it on we say.

The PC, Mac and Linux scene will also be treated to a slew of strong releases, including The Witcher 3, EverQuest Next, Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls and a run of prominent Kickstarter-funded titles like Broken Age, The Banner Saga, Wasteland 2 and Pillars of Eternity (if it makes its Q4, 2014 window of course).

There’s a ton more, so it’s clear there won’t be a shortage of heavyweight games and indie delights this year, but which titles are team VG247 looking forward to most?

Well…

Matt Martin, Editor

Our new chieftan in chief Mr. Martin knows what games he’s looking forward to, but one title he’s not that keen on is Watch Dogs. “All enthusiasm for that has dropped off,” he said, “and I worry it’s going to be a corny Matrix-style action game. Although I should have more faith in Ubisoft after the consistently high quality of games it released on the Xbox 360 and PS3.”

Matt added “Alien Isolation is quietly pinging my motion scanner. I’m hopeful. Using Ripley’s daughter as a main character is a nice nod to the original storytelling and with Creative Assembly on development duties there’s no doubting the talent behind the project. It’s not CA’s usual genre or themes, but that might be for the best if they can pump life into a franchise that has been kicked around the gutter in recent years.

“Sega is a different publisher now too, having jettisoned the Sonic baggage and focused on high-end PC gaming. It’s only backing projects it really believes in but when it does it pumps the necessary amount of cash into them, so I’m keeping the faith.”

In closing, Matt said that he’s curious, but not massively excited about The Elder Scrolls Online and Destiny, then added, “Oh, and I’m pumped for Titanfall. But everyone’s excited about Titanfall, right? That game is going to practically relaunch the Xbox One in March.”

Brenna Hillier, AU Editor

Brenna couldn’t pick one game, and that’s perfectly understandable given the ‘IP-heavy’ year before us. In something of a twist, she wrote, “Since I’m historically such a single-player adherent, I’m surprised how much I’m looking forward to Titanfall, The Division, Destiny and TESO.”

Last year’s hype-generator Watch Dogs seems to have cooled on the industry’s window-sill, to the point Brenna isn’t all that fussed about it. “All the stuff that excited me about it, the asynchronous multiplayer and tablet stuff, has been done elsewhere,” she said, adding: “I think, looking at AC4, that the cross-gen thing will probably hold it back considerably. Also I’m not particularly excited for InFamous: Second Son – more of the same, shinier? Pff.”

Brenna’s also keen on Transistor, Dragon Age: Inquisition, The Order: 1886, Until Dawn, Broken Age, Massive Chalice and Fantasia: Music Evolved, “because Harmonix, that’s why.”

She closed in saying, “I suspect that 2014 will be pretty similar to 2013 and 2012 for me in that there’ll be a bunch of big triple-As I’ll get tremendously excited about then forget immediately; one or two triple-As that surprise and consume me (whoa, hello Far Cry 3); and then dozens of indies we currently know nothing about and which I will love with a passion so pure sunbeams break out all over Sydney.

“Finally, let Squeenix bring Drakengard 3 west, amen.”

Sam Clay, Video Editor

Video editor Sam’s hoping to see another indie hit with the same mass and substance of Papers, Please but isn’t quite sure what that will be or who will make it. What he does know is that 2014 will bring giant robots. That’ll be Titanfall then.

“It’s going to be bloody great,” he said. “You get to shoot blokes on foot and in big fucking mechs and running off walls. It’s like what I imagine a night out in Slough to be like, but obviously with more illicit substances. Looking forward to seeing more of it.”

But Sam’s hit us with a curveball by not choosing a game as his pick of 2014, but DLC instead. “Weirdly though,” he began, winking from behind the shadows in some underground parking bay, “I’m kinda more excited to see DLC for my GOTY of 2013, PayDay 2. That game has the magic of Left 4 Dead and the pace of the film Heat. Any more content for that thing and I’ll be chuffed.”

Flicking his cigarillo to the ground, he concluded, “On top of that, I’ll have to mention DayZ. I’m sure it will get a few more layers of paint this year and the world of Reddit will be full of people talking about how they got kidnapped, tortured and then forced into eating their own digital scrotum, or something.”

Stephany Nunneley, Global News Editor

Steph chose Obsidian’s oft-delayed, but no less anticipated South Park: The Stick of Truth as her pick of 2014, “Just because I am a fan of both the show, Trey and Matt, and Obsidian. Basically, I look forward to anything which will include bleeped words of vulgarity. Plus, it’s high time I played an RPG which made me laugh. Nothing makes me laugh. I am an empty shell of a person.”

Coming in at a close second was Tom Clancy’s The Division and The Order: 1886, proving that yes, guns and bang-bangs can still light up the old excitement lobes. Steph wrote, “I am not a ‘shooter’ fan in the ‘shooter sense’ but this looks really promising – and is the only Tom Clancy title I have ever felt the need to play. Now all I need is a goddamned PS4. I will get one from Santa at Christmas this year. I better, or he’ll be served with divorce papers.”

Someone get Steph a PS4, stat!

Dave Cook, Deputy Editor

Well obviously I’m going to say Dark Souls 2 because the thought of being dry-fucked repeatedly by a +10 bastard sword for about 40 hours has become something of a sadistic, guilty pleasure. I finished Dark Souls in the summer and finally nailed Demon’s Souls over the Christmas break. You might think after all that pain and heartache I’d want to play something simple and dub-steppy like Need for Speed, but no, defeat has become my new drug. Bring it on From Software, you bunch of beautiful sods.

Titanfall has also poured new life into my typically cholesterol-riddled Scottish heart, because its verticality, parkour and massive chuffing robots put enough of a new spin on the dog-eared Call of Duty format to make it sing like Matt Bellamy having his nuts crushed. It’s not just a CoD clone though. You’ll see that for yourself when you play it. Keep the faith, people.

I’m also looking forward to Bayonetta 2, basically because I felt the original was as close to hack-n-slash perfection as any developer has got. I’ve played the Wii U sequel and it’s gloriously bat-shit mental with dressings of insanity on the side. It’s also hard, and not ‘Nintendo casual,’ as some fearmongers have suggested. It’s the real deal, make no mistake.

Lastly, but by no means least, I cannot wait to get my chubby paws on Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2. I thought the first entry was a revelation, with an ending that was brave enough to re-write over 25 years of Castlevania canon. I played this bad-boy at gamescom last year and seriously, you should have seen how stained the carpet around me was after I stepped away from the session.

With drool you horrid lot. With drool.

We’ve shown you ours, so now it’s time to show us yours. Tell us what games you’re looking forward to most in 2014 below.

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