Friday, May 2, 2014

High Hopes for 2014 - Brian's Selections

One of the great things about being a gamer... I mean aside from playing the games of course... is looking ahead to see what worlds you're going to be spending time in. 2014 is shaping up as a pretty good year so far with many new IP's and entries in existing franchises to look forward to.

As we enter the second quarter and draw nearer to E3's slew of new announcements, trailers, and marketing materials, here are a few things that I am interested in seeing before the year is up. 

Watch_Dogs




I'm a sucker for open world games. GTA, Saint's Row, Red Faction: Guerrilla, Assassin's Creed, Sleeping Dogs, Just Cause... You name the sandbox and I've probably spent some time in it displaying a wanton disregard for the sanctity of virtual life and the rule of virtual law.

Watch_Dogs (cool underscore, bro) looks like it will be the next arena for me to vent my anti-social urges.  Set in a near-future Chicago that is entirely managed by a centralized system called CtOS. The player takes on the role of Aiden Pearce, a hacker who finds a way to bend CtOS to his will.

In addition to the single player campaign, Ubi has announced an invasion based multi-player mode (a la Dark Souls) and several other more traditional invite only modes as well. Watch_Dogs will hack the planet on PC, XBox 360, Xbox One, WiiU, PS3 and PS4 on May 27th. 


Transistor




Supergiant Games earned a lot of good will from me with their 2011 release Bastion. Tight gameplay, superb art direction, a poignant story and ground-breaking narration combined to make it one of the most rewarding gaming experiences I have had in the last few years.

Their next project is Transistor, and while the esthetic and 3/4 overhead perspective may trick you into thinking this is just a re-skin of Bastion, it looks like it will be much more than that. Transistor promises to be more of an RPG with  XP-based progression and the ability to pause the action and go into a planning mode. From here the player can lay out a series of action that will be executed at high speed once time restarts.

All in all, looks very interesting and I can't wait to see how it plays.Transistor is available May 20th on PC and PS4.

Dark Souls 2




When I chose this list, DS2 was still a few weeks out on PC. As of this writing it's out...

...And it's glorious. Seriously. If you have any love for the Souls series up to this point, you owe it to yourself to play this game. If you've never played one before, this is the most accessible and user-friendly Souls game that you're gonna find, and as such it makes a great entry point to the series.

Just go play it. You won't regret it.  It's available on Xbox 360, PS3, and PC. Get it on PC if you meet the specs.

Dragon Age: Inquisition




Bioware, you were responsible for creating what are arguably the benchmarks for western fantasy RPGs. Baldur's Gate, Neverwinter Nights, and their spiritual successor Dragon Age, have eaten untold hours of my time over the years and I remember with great fondness the time I have spent with them.

And then Dragon Age 2 happened. *sigh*

I've been one of your staunchest defenders over the years, but the one-two punch of DA2 and Mass Effect 3 left even me reeling. I still love you though Bioware. I can see beyond the damage that EA has done to you. I don't mind that the doctors have left for greener pastures. But you need to understand... Dragon Age: Inquisition needs to be better than your last couple of offerings. If it is, all is forgiven. If it isn't... we will need to talk.

Fortunately it looks amazing. If it proves to be (and the rumors about a new KotOR single player RPG are true), then I think we can pick up where we left off and put this ugliness behind us.  I leave it in your hands guys. Please don't break my heart.

Dragon Age: Inquisition will be released on October 7th on Xbox One/360, PS3/4 and PC.

Binding of Isaac: Rebirth



The original Binding of Isaac is one of my favorite games of all time, despite the fact that it was a small project that Edmund McMillen programmed in Flash after the success of Super Meat Boy. (If you haven't seen Indie Game: The Movie yet I would recommend you take a look). So if I spent more than 300 hours playing a glorified Flash game, can you imagine how pumped I am to see it get a tech facelift and a ton more content? Let me spoil that for you:  

I'M PUMPED.

I can't wait to see what Rebirth has to offer, and even though there is no firm release date for this title yet, I'm placing it on my list in the faint hope that we might see it this year. Facts are few and far between at this point, but rumors are swirling about co-op, Spelunky-style daily challenges, and shareable seeded runs.I don't care. The minute that they make it possible to put money down for this game, they will have my money. 


And that's it! The coming months will bring E3 with it's avalanche of announcements. We'll revisit this list in a few months and see how it's changed. Until then, what are you anxiously anticipating? Email us, hit us up on Twitter (@ourbackspace) or email or leave us a comment.

-Brian.