By TheManWithNoPlan 5 Comments
Well, here we are at the end of the year. 2014 proved to be a tumultuous time for the gaming industry. We were tested from within over social conflicts, games continued to be delayed, and despite the plethora of titles that still came out many were a broken mess. I'll withhold any negative stuff here, so instead let's look back at the year's best and brightest. Unfortunately my experience with games was sparse this year, so I can't list everything. I'll simply talk about some of the stuff that made my top 10 list (A list so prestigious only 9 games from this year made their way onto it.) Nothing here is listed in chronological order. (I made a list you can see here for that, including a mystery game that made the tenth spot.)
So let's get started!
Wolfenstien released in May and surprised us all. Beforehand, it was announced, shown off, and generally talked about in a negative light. I honestly assumed it would be DOA (Dud on arrival), but I'm so happy that didn't turn out to be the case. Admittedly, this game is at its best when the person playing it appreciates the dumb fun that is duel wielding shotguns and blasting/stabbing Nazis up. For those that don't you have my sympathy.
South Park the Stick of Truth held a place of skepticism among the industry for quite a while. From what I could tell it at least captured the look of the show with near, if not complete, perfection. The gameplay promised to be in the style of earthbound and would showcase the eccentricities of the town we've all come to know over the years. Thankfully it proved to be everything a fan of the show could hope for in a game based on the property.
Titanfall sure came and went, didn't it? I understand when I see people say it's just Call of Duty with mechs, but that isn't necessarily a bad thing though. The 6 v 6 matches with plenty of bots thrown in was an interesting choice and one that personally fit for me. The maps offered plenty of chances for ninja parkour action, and calling down your titan on another titan always felt so goddam good. I spent a good 40 to 50 hours with the game, splitting my time between the beta and final release. I'll be honest when I say I probably won't return to Titan fall any time soon if ever. I tried midway through the year and I quickly realized that whatever skill I had in the game was long gone; given everything else that was coming out at the time I didn't care to relearn either. I will say that a possible Titan fall 2 is high up on my list of anticipated titles.
Jazzpunk was high off my radar until I watched the quick look. Random hilarity and nonsensical cohesion were the words that came to mind when I began playing it, and by the end I was wishing there was more. It didn't offer much in the way of gameplay, instead taking the player through a showcase of gags and jokes. In the end I found it a quaint and hilarious couple of hours. Anyone who hasn't played it yet and appreciates the genius of Airplane and Naked gun should try and pick it up on sale when the Steam event hits this month.
Far Cry 4 came out not long ago and while I've only spent a few hours with it I can say for certain that if you liked the previous game at all, then you can expect to like its sequel. Ubisoft decided to stick with the charismatic villain template and it seems to work. Pagan Min is an excellent antagonist and the one and only Troy Baker does a wonderful job with the performance. A final thought comes in the form of a Haiku
Guns shoot bad guys good
Animals both friend and foe
Birds can go fuck off
Middle Earth Shadow of Mordor was another game that once again surprised us all. It offered a take on a cross between the Arkham games and assassin's creed. The Nemesis system showed us there's still new frontiers in A.I. and finally it taught us that sometimes decapitating enemies can be fun? Unfortunately, despite all the praise the game never really clicked with me. It really only made my top ten by default, because of the so few games I played from this year. I can appreciate fantasy, for instance I had a very long love affair with Skim, but the game really didn't draw me in. The setting and story were...not in my wheelhouse let's say. I plan to try and give it another go when I have time again.
Strider - Off my radar completely- that was my relationship with this game until I watched the quick look and promptly bought it off Steam. It had been a while since I played a Metroid vainia game besides symphony of the night and this was the door corner that scratched my itch. I'll be honest, there was time in the year where I could've seen this taking my number one slot, but that was before Far Cry 4 stole my bird killing heart.
Dark Souls 2 was one of my most anticipated games of 2014. It came out early in the year, but as someone who waited for the Pc version it felt like an eternity. I know a lot of the critical reception for this was mixed. People who'd played tons of the first game weren't as blown away as they expected. I honestly wasn't expecting a drastic departure though. While I do prefer the first game more I still really enjoyed my time with Dark Souls 2. This is a game I didn't actually make it to the credits with. Regardless, it still deserves a spot on my best of the year. I plan to finish it off before blood borne though.
Infamous Second Son - I don't have much to say about this game. I had a moderate amount of fun with it and it was a game I played from this year. It did prove to me that games can look a hell of a lot better on these new systems. It makes this list because of the oh so few titles released in 2014 that I got around to. The reality is Infamous second son will always stand out in my mind as the game I played during the last few tough days of my dog's life. Nothing more and nothing less. So basically, fuck this game.
Destiny - A game that everybody rightfully criticized, but couldn't stop playing. I got access to the alpha and hoped the final game would expand on the promise there; it didn't. But I still had fun throughout my time with it. I experienced Moon wizard meme's, loot caves and even dipped my toes into the light grind after 20. It all went by so fast I barely remember it. I was hoping the new expansion would lure me back in; it didn't. I didn't stick this on my top 10 list for a multitude of reasons, even though I did have some fun with it.
That was my list of the year. A lot more caught my eye. Games like Advanced Warfare, shovel night, Alien Isolation are ones I hope to get to in the near future, but you know; life.