2014 has been a good year for games despite some not living up to expectations.
So called ‘next gen’ consoles are slowly beginning to find their feet and some visually stunning titles have been released, albeit often with teething problems.
Here’s a run-down of some of the games we’ve particularly enjoyed this year…
The release of Watch_dogs was met with a fair amount of criticism due to a visible downgrade of its graphics compared to its original e3 reveal. This however, did not stop us enjoying it immensely. Apart from delivering a world that actually felt alive, it provided a wealth of interesting content and a solid revenge story to tie it all together. We’re certainly looking forward to the sequel to this.
2Assassin’s Creed Unity
Another Ubisoft release met with criticism, the latest instalment of the Assassin’s Creed series was a buggy yet much needed back to basics iteration. With an atmosphere akin to what many would say is the best of the series – Assassins Creed 2 – Unity provided an opportunity to explore an exquisite recreation of Paris and engage in countless activities including the surprisingly enjoyable rift missions and criminal investigations.
It was unfortunate that Driveclub‘s release was a mess. The loss of all online features at launch and the resulting withdrawal of the PS+ edition meant that the game received a lot of negative press and no-one really seemed to talk about what it did right. Driveclub simply looks amazing, and luckily the core of the game is great. The handling strikes a fine balance between realism and arcade, feeling like a new Project Gotham Racing game at times. The kudos-like points system further cements this comparison. Now that the online functions of this title are back online, we cannot recommend it enough.
The Alien franchise has had its ups and downs over the years, in terms of both films and games. Alien Isolation is certainly one of the ups. A true survival horror experience; combat is kept to a minimum, and stealth is an absolute must unless you want to find yourself skewered by a Xenomorph. Alien Isolation is not a game for a everyone due to some truly tense and atmospheric situations, but if you’re feeling brave and can live with sometimes replaying the same bit of game multiple times due to an untimely death, it’s well worth checking out.
5Diablo: Reaper of Souls
This re-release of Diablo 3 which includes the expansion Reaper of Souls is an absolute must for any action RPG fan. Countless improvements have been made to the base game to the point where it actually feels like a whole new game. Its co-op gameplay is especially impressive and runs silky smooth at all times. Truly a game that you will lose many an hour to whilst looking for that elusive legendary loot!
6South Park: The Stick of Truth
South Park: The Stick of Truth surprised us. Whilst we expected to enjoy it for its crude humour, what we did not expect was such a solid and hugely enjoyable RPG with an old school turn based combat system. Whilst it’s not the biggest game in the world, every second brings a smile to your face either due to its impeccable writing or greatly realised visuals. It genuinely is like playing a 15 hour episode of the show. We only wish Ubisoft would release this on current gen so we can enjoy it once again!
7Infamous: Second Son
Infamous: Second Son is the first game that really allowed the PS4 to flex its muscles. The animation and visuals are top notch, and luckily the game plays like a dream too. Sucker Punch did a great job of making the game much more fluid to play, by giving the lead character interesting powers such as neon and smoke that make traversing Seattle a pleasure.
8Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare
Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare has, in our opinion, the best singleplayer mode since Modern Warfare. The futuristic setting kept it feeling fresh and allowed Sledgehammer games to generate some interesting set-pieces and gameplay mechanics. The cutscenes are particularly noteworthy, with Kevin Spacey stealing the limelight as a despotic leader of a Private Military Company.
9Wolfenstein: The New Order
Machine Games’ Wolfenstein: The New Order was a pleasant surprise in 2014. Delayed from its original launch window alongside the ‘next-gen’ consoles in 2013, previews gave the impression of a fairly run of the mill FPS and the previous couple of entries in the series had been lacklustre. Luckily, what we received was a refreshingly old school shooter with a solid story that was quite heartfelt and deep at times. Also with a run time of around 15 hours, two story timelines, and multiple unlockable game modes, there is certainly value for money despite a lack of any online competitive multiplayer.
Rogue Legacy is addictive. The urge to have another go upon dying is telling of how well this game plays. Playing like a 2D Castlevania game with an ever upgradeable lineage of characters, Rogue Legacy will have you hooked as you explore various parts of its castle and surrounding areas in order to collect loot and defeat its various bosses to allow access to the final showdown. Only start this one if you have lots of time to spare!