My conquered games list of 2014.

Since 2008, I've been keeping a record of all the video games I've beaten over the year. Mainly because I like lists. But also because I can figure out what I played as the year passed. Most importantly, whether or not I agreed with the consensus, or felt I was the outlier who actually (dis)liked a certain game. But also because I like opinions as well as lists.

"Conquered" in this case means beat the game and saw the credits. This mostly applies to single player games. This doesn't apply to multiplayer games don't have a fixed campaign mode, like Warframe or Payday 2. Sometimes I beat a game more than once. Other times I beat it with a mod, or co-oped the game with friends. This list also includes any DLC.

Also, don't expect to see many 2014 games in this list. I have a large backlog of stuff dated back to several years ago, so you'll probably see more older games here.

PREVIOUS LISTS: Conquered Games of 2013

List items

  • (Beaten on PC, January 3, 2014)

    So for Christmas I got a new PC. Naturally, I had to benchmark it with this old relic. Still looks gorgeous, still kind of fun to play. Feels good to actually play this on a capable machine.

    Despite the pretty graphics, it's a fairly standard first-person shooter. It's mostly linear but with choices on how you approach the objectives, much like the original Far Cry. The suit powers makes things interesting, but not quite enough to carry it.

  • (Beaten on PC, January 7, 2014)

    I replayed this with the newly-released "Payne Evolution" mod, which adds some of the game mechanics of Max Payne 3 into the ten-year-old Remedy classic. All it does is limit your weapon selection and add things like last man standing, but otherwise the base campaign is similar to Max Payne 2's.

    I still recommend this game, even though it's a little more serious than the first one. I think this is where Rockstar Games started being a bit more "serious" and less comical.

  • (Beaten on PC twice: Once on January 15, again on March 20. The second time was through Hard difficulty.)

    There's a lot of people that seem conflicted with Max Payne 3. Some just don't like that slick Rockstar feel that's been in their games since GTA4, others think it's the best in the series.

    Max is a little more depressed and mopey, and it does get in the way of everything. Despite that, it's probably the best slow-mo third person action game out there. It's got that Rockstar feel to it, and if that doesn't really appeal to you, then you might wanna stick to the first two games instead.

  • (Beaten on PC, January 28, 2014. The expansion, Exile, beaten on January 29.)

    I remember when everybody was going ga-ga for this. "IT'S A THROWBACK TO THE OLD SCHOOL FPS DAYS!" It really isn't, unless you consider Serious Sam and Painkiller to be "old school." It's probably gonna be a long while before we get the true successor of the Wolfenstein/Doom/Quake formula...

    This game does look pretty, but is very frustrating with loads of bullet-sponge enemies and ones that'll drain your health like mad. Exile just adds more levels in a dystopian Mad Max-like landscape, and looks less interesting compared to the cyberpunk levels of the base game. If anything, this game needed a co-op mode.

  • (Beaten on 360, February 8, 2014.)

    I know Call of Duty games get a bum rap, but I have to give Treyarch points for TRYING to make an interesting single player campaign. The future stuff is kind of boring and jumping on the political bandwagon ("HEY, LET'S MAKE OCCUPY WALL STREET BE A PART OF OUR STORY, GUYS!"), but the 80s flashback levels reminded me of that "80s action movie" vibe the first Black Ops had. It's too bad it didn't entirely focus on that, because anything that's not "present day" or "near future" is a breath of god damn fresh air for military FPSes. (Almost makes me pine for World War II games again...)

    The best part is that they gave the ability to affect the story by saving or killing certain people, which really didn't amount to a whole lot, but at least added some replay value when most COD SP campaigns were worth playing through once at most. Makes me sad I'll have to wait 'til 2015 for Treyarch's next COD outing, because I can put faith in them for trying to make some cool ideas with the series, compared to Infinity Ward's half-assed efforts post-Modern Warfare 2.

  • (Beaten on 360, February 24, 2014. Completed the Cop career.)

    This game was praised by the high heavens for being one of the best Need for Speed games in recent memory. I disagree. For those who loved it, go back and actually try to progress through the campaign without getting bored or frustrated.

    There are some good ideas here, merging your ranking system between online and offline campaigns. But the ranking system is a god damn grind. Sometimes you'll have to repeat races multiple times to unlock the next set of races, and some of those cop challenges are a real bitch towards the end. Since there's no story, I just lost interest in playing it after I beat the Cop career mode. Judging by what I had left in the Racer career, the last race would've been one long-ass cop chase that would've taken 30 minutes. No thanks.

    Maybe this would've been better if it had a story mode and some sort of progression. Get Razor Callahan back in the next Need for Speed and you got my pre-order, EA.

  • (Beaten on PC, March 16, 2014.)

    Let me explain Saints Row IV for you: There's missions where you're set in a 50s utopian suburbia, complete with a courthouse that seems lifted straight from Back to the Future. There's a dubstep gun. You have ridiculous super powers. There's parodies of pop culture, and jokes to video games and recent movies.

    Basically, Saints Row IV is fucking ridiculous. This game defined the ridiculous over-the-top shit that Saints Row the Third started. Though I do think it goes a bit too over the top, funny as that sounds. Lord knows what Volition has in store for Saints Row V.

  • (Beaten on 360, March 28, 2014.)

    Music games, specifically plastic instrument ones, are sadly dead. It had a fucking good run, though. Had Activision not shat out 6 Guitar Hero games in 2009, it probably could've lasted a year or two longer.

    Despite that, LEGO Rock Band is a competent side-entry. Has some of the songs you'll recognize like Final Countdown and Ghostbusters, but has WAY too many 2000s-era pop by artists I've never heard of. It's sad when you realize Band Hero had a better set list of songs that people might recognize. It's also got that feel that Lego games have, with light comedy.

    It's at least worth playing through once. After that, just export the songs to Rock Band 3 for $10 and shelve the game permanently unless you're dying to get all the achievements. I've conceded I'll never 100% the solo on The Final Countdown in this century, so I'm happy with finishing it and not coming back to it.

  • (Played on PC, May 2, 2014. Played the "A Week in Paradise" version, which combines the base game and Apocalypse Weekend together. Finished on Aggressive difficulty.)

    I only played this again because it got a mega Steam update around this time. Achievements, Steam Workshop support (for an 11 year old game!), all that good stuff.

    I'll repeat what I said before: Postal 2 is great because you're given the option to be a pacifist or a masochist, and it's great to have the choice to play it safe or just burn everything while pissing on corpses.

    Apocalypse Weekend did get some tweaks, but there's no way they can fix how fucking garbage it is. It takes away the concept of choice and slaps the Postal Dude into a (mostly) linear FPS, and it exacerbates the issues in Postal 2 that you'd probably not notice as much. There's honestly no way to make this fun except starting all over and pretending it's all a dream, Bobby Ewing-style.

    Basically if you buy this, play the main Postal 2 and avoid Apocalypse Weekend altogether. You'll feel better because of it.

  • (Beaten on PC, May 3, 2014.)

    I don't know if we really needed a reboot of Rise of the Triad. At least if they were gonna do it, they could've at least got Tom Hall's blessing, since ROTT was basically his baby.

    Funny enough, with some games saying they're a throwback to the old days of FPS, ROTT 2013 is probably the closest to getting it right. There's bullshit jumping puzzles and dumb death traps, but you're killing dudes in maze-like areas and finding keys to activate the next area. It's got that euro jank feel to it, but it's a competent and fun "retro" shooter.

  • (Beaten on PC, May 29, 2014.)

    Medal of Honor had a troubling history. After having a good run of games like Underground, Frontline, and Allied Assault, it started having an identity crisis, spreading further away from its roots and being just a simple World War II FPS with not a lot to make it stand out.

    I was spurred to play this again after I saw a friend stream it, who said it was one of his favorites. At least I can see why. (Funny enough, said guy ended up making a Doom mod that ripped a mechanic from this game, called "Police Brutality." Look it up if you're into Doom mods.)

    There are good things in Airborne: Being able to parachute and choose your spawn point, upgrading your weapons, choosing your objectives how you want, stuff like that. It's too bad the game's a bit short and lacks replay value unless you wanna max out all your weapons.

    I paid $10 for this many years ago at a Best Buy. That's the same price you can get it on Steam or Origin right now, and it's at least worth that much. This does make me want to play Allied Assault, though.

  • (Beaten on PC, June 1, 2014.)

    Funny enough, I had never played GTA3. Played Vice City, tried to play San Andreas multiple times, even played the PSP/PS2 spinoff Liberty City Stories. Yet I never played the game that popularized the free-roaming/sandbox genre.

    All I can say is that if you played any later GTA game, even Vice City, expect to unlearn a lot of things you remembered. Certain missions play differently than they would in a later GTA game. You also get loads of money like mad, among other things. It hearkens back to simpler times, and I was surprised when I got to the end how underutilized Shoreside Vale was.

    Funny, playing LCS got me familiar with Liberty City's layout, but I still had trouble remembering where the Pay n Sprays and Ammunations were in GTA3 compared to their locations in LCS. Still got them confused on occasion.

  • (Beaten on PC, June 2, 2014.)

    I liked the first Bad Company. Back then, it really felt like a next-generation game, with building destruction and some of the meatiest guns out there.

    The second one is more of that, basically. The SP campaign brings back the guys from the first Bad Company, but they're doing some dumb shadow ops mission involving Russians and EMPs and stuff. Also the protagonists are less humorous in this one. Hardly the gold-smuggling ragtag bunch of goofballs they were in the first one.

    Still a solid entry, regardless. Better than Battlefield 3's campaign, that's for sure.

  • (Beaten on PC, June 8, 2014.)

    This is what the original Crysis should have been. More variety of weapons, enemies, locations, the works. Even adding cutscenes between Psycho and his buddy O'Neill was more interesting than Nomad's dull, forgettable story.

    This entry's a bit more action-focused, I don't know if you could sneak around as much in this one. Not like you'd want to, going around and destroying everything in your path is usually a better option in most cases, especially when you can chain your suit powers to basically wreck everything in sight.

    One more thing: This game has a stage where you're on a moving train. Just that alone makes this game amazing.

  • (Beaten on PC, June 20, 2014.)

    This game has me convinced: Nobody wants to be the sniper in a video game. That's probably why a lot of games end up limiting sniping to either a goofy stealth mission or a "protect the squad as they push to a checkpoint."

    Despite all the heavy push for ballistics and gruesome killcams, it's just a normal stealth-action game. You stop the Nazis and the Communists from doing the evil things, that sort of jazz. It's not bad, just temper your expectations on this.

    Thankfully I paid the low low price of free since Rebellion and Valve basically gave it away for a day. It does make me wanna buy the goofy DLC, including the opportunity to KILL HITLER!

  • (Beaten on PC, July 7, 2014.)

    A decent, enjoyable free-roaming open world jungle first-person shooter. Has some interesting ideas, but falls flat. Doesn't do a whole lot to make it stand out from the crowd outside of the locale. Also, the protagonist transforms into a psychopath as the game goes on. Oh well, it's better than Far Cry 2, that's for certain.

    A more in-depth piece is on my video games focused blog, as well as here on GB. That is, if you like reading 1500+ words about two year old video games. Then again, you're reading this list, aren't you? :P

  • (Beaten on PC, July 16, 2014.)

    I never understood the severe backlash of this game. Maybe they were expecting the next Amnesia. Maybe they didn't realize how fun it is to grab items and just throw them around willy-nilly like in Half-Life 2.

    Though, there isn't much to do once you finish it. Maybe poke around the developer commentary. I know the story, there's little replay value, and while throwing items around in a house is fun for a little while, it's not much to carry it. It should've had more to explore, like items, more hidden rooms, and other things that would've made it interesting to go through.

    As for the gameplay, I'd totally play a spiritual successor of this where you're roaming around derelict houses trying to find a treasure like in The Goonies or something. Surprised no one's done that yet.

    I'm not part of the "Gone Home is not a game and is ruining the game industry with its LGBT undertones" crowd, but I don't think this is the cultural revolution as it's touted by some. Maybe it's because I'm a guy in his late twenties, which is probably not the target demographic for this game. That's okay, not everything has to cater to my wishes. But at least I gave it a try. You should try this regardless of what you read online. Who knows, you might be touched by it, or have fun throwing objects around in the house for an hour and a half.

  • (Beaten on PC, August 9, 2014.)

    I'd heard of Broforce, but I was thinking it was gonna be a corny action-platformer with little substance outside of imitating 80s action movies. With this movie tie-in, I was dead wrong.

    If anything, this feels like an action platformer with heavy Metal Slug influences. From the explosions, to the bosses, the feeling is part Metal Slug, part Contra, and part "tie-in to a recently released movie."

    If you weren't convinced about Broforce, give Expendabros a try. (it's free!) Expendabros certainly made me interested in the main Broforce game, at least. It's too bad I'm a poor man who can't afford games too often.

  • (Beaten on PC, August 13, 2014. All three endings achieved.)

    Battlefield 4 ticks off every mark on the "modern military shooter" checklist. People introduced and immediately killed, conflicts against Chinese and the Russians (but, oddly, not the middle east), regenerating health, explosions, putting our heroes in peril every few minutes, limited weapon selection and a sub-par ending that amounts to choices for the sake of having choices. It's so cookie-cutter that I didn't care who I was fighting, where I was, whether or not anyone was worth saving, or any of that. It felt that repetitive.

    It's sad, really. It seems military shooter campaigns haven't evolved much past Modern Warfare 2, and I don't know why EA keeps trying to chase the COD gravy train rather than carving its own niche. They even decided to get the same writer from COD4 and MW2 to write this! Still didn't make it a good story.

    There are a few positives, though: It has score attack built into the campaign, to give an incentive to go back and replay it. You can change your arsenal at any time with special weapon crates, which also fill up your ammo. There's no crappy quick time events like in Battlefield 3. Finally, the game looks gorgeous as always, with great destruction and water effects.

    You should really only play Battlefield for the multiplayer. This sounds obvious, yeah, but it seems EA is content with just copycatting ideas rather than trying to blaze new trails. It makes me pine for Bad Company's goofy lighthearted story instead.

    Thank god I got to play this because of "Origin Game Time," because I don't think I would've put down anything more than $20 on this, and that's even with the dumb "Premium" season pass bullshit.

  • (Beaten on PC, September 15, 2014. The "Revenge" ending was what I chose.)

    Grand Theft Auto IV is an unusual case. Starting around Max Payne 2 and continuing on through Bully and Table Tennis, Rockstar Games started shedding its goofier side in lieu of more "serious" storytelling, and GTA4 is where it all comes to a head. Though, there are still comedy elements like Weazel News and Sprunk and other tongue-in-cheek humor that are reminiscent of the GTA3 era, but it feels off compared to the story and the world around it.

    Despite that, GTA4 is not a bad game. Hardly an "oscar-caliber" story, but certainly not the worst in the series. I heard Episodes from Liberty City is better, and maybe when I'm willing I'll go back to Liberty City. But for now, I'm okay with beating this game six years after it came out, on the janky PC version no less!

  • (Beaten on PC, September 28, 2014. Played entirely in co-op, naturally.)

    I remember playing Borderlands 1 over 2012-2013 and while I liked it, there were issues that I hoped the sequel would fix. It pretty much fixed most of the issues I had: Trading system, no fall damage, more interesting classes, and a better story.

    The only things I didn't like was the references to internet memes and videos. I've yet to see any game do these without it being super cringeworthy.

    Though you can play this game solo, it's best as a co-op experience. One of these days I'll tackle the game's many DLCs.

  • (Beaten on PC, October 1, 2014. I got the "Ranger" ending.)

    I can understand why people were praising this game many years ago. It's very atmospheric, perfectly nailing the eastern-european dystopia. At times, Metro felt like an Ukrainian version of the Half-Life games, with its atmosphere, switching between aliens and humans for combat, and finding strange alien beings on earth. (No physics puzzles, thankfully.)

    However, the game can be brutal at times even on Normal, where it's easy to get killed by swarms of enemies hitting you constantly, or a guard taking pot shots at you and not having a good enough weapon to counter. I lost many a battle because of that, and it was frustrating at times. Despite that, it didn't ruin the game for me.

    It helped that I opted to do what Patrick did when he played 2033 and play it entirely with Russian dialogue the first time through. Yeah, I missed out on some random conversations (because it wasn't subtitled in English), but it added to the feel of the world more than Steve Blum or Yuri Lowenthal speaking in fake Russian accents.

    It may be loosely inspired by the book, but it's still a good game. As for if you should go for the original or "Redux" version, I can't really say. I bet the Redux version added very little to make it different from the original, so you probably wouldn't lose anything if you opted for the Redux version instead of the original.

  • (Beaten on Xbox, October 5, 2014.)

    I kind of miss World War II FPS games. An era that all of us weren't around in. It's better than covering the present day or near-future like many shooters do these days.

    Brothers in Arms is a unique case because they added squad mechanics and strategy to an FPS. Not many games do that anymore, and I wish that this genre made a comeback, so at least I could have control of the units rather than them being bullet sponges. Gearbox also mentioning actual soldiers and situations during the war gives it an air of authenticity to the game.

    It's a shame this franchise pretty much died with the WWII FPS boom, because there needs to be a new one. And not that crappy "Furious 4" game that was gonna be Borderlands meets TF2 meets Left 4 Dead.

  • (Beaten on PC, October 9, 2014. Due to the game's pseudorandom rogue-like nature, "beating" in this case means I got one of the game's many endings.)

    I usually ignored anything by Edmund McMillen because I never liked Super Meat Boy. That game felt like it was missing the point of what made old-school platforming games difficult, opting for the "hard for the sake of being hard" design that many platform games oddly emulate. Maybe one day I'll actually play SMB and change my tune.

    As for Isaac, it was something recommended to me since I heard it was pretty good. I started playing it on a whim one day. Then the game became a good casual time-waster as I caught up on podcasts. I got hooked, sometimes wasting anywhere from 30 minutes to a couple hours on it.

    Much like any roguelike, no two games play out identically. Sometimes I've had good runs get me near the end, only to stupidly walk into an enemy, other times I died on the boss in Basement I. That actually makes it fun, since I had no idea if luck was gonna be on my side or note.

    Completing more challenges and unlocking new items made Isaac go from being a punishing game to at times a complete cakewalk. When I did get to the final boss in Womb II, I was ridiculously overpowered with so many damage and fire rate items that it took little effort. But there's always that risk where even though you're pretty powerful, you are not necessarily invulnerable, and that still makes it a challenge sometimes when I scraped by some bosses with a mere half of a heart left.

    The best part about Isaac is that even though I beat the game once and unlocked Judas as a playable character, the game's not over. Replaying the game over and over gives you the chance to unlock more cool stuff, and I bet it gets to a point where dying becomes rare unless you play as Cain or Judas where health is a premium.

    Now I'm starting to consider grabbing Wrath of the Lamb for an even greater challenge. I know I'll be looking into The Binding of Isaac Rebirth in the near future, but for now I'm happy shooting tears into grotesque things in a never-ending quest to save the day in the regular game.

    (Sorry for doubting you, Edmund and Florian Himsl. You guys are cool people who make cool games.

  • (Beaten on PC, October 24, 2014.)

    Just Cause 2 is an action-filled romp that seems to evoke the feel and style of a late 1980s action movie. A protagonist who helps American mercenaries to destroy some foreign big-bad, causing explosions in their wake.

    There are times where the game was punishingly difficult (because stupid me decided to play on Hard rather than Normal), the game has a large world but barely anything to do in it, and you end up collecting a bunch of junk that doesn't do anything except for weapon and vehicle parts. Granted, you could blow up anything and everything, but that gets old pretty quickly.

    I liken Just Cause 2 to a weaker, less-interesting Mercenaries: Playground of Destruction. They both share the same style of stopping the bad guy with help from local factions, and involving lots of wanton destruction. It's funny how Mercenaries is ten years old and I've yet to see anything that tops it in terms of what it did for the free-roaming action genre.

    I wonder if the JC2MP mod makes this game more fun and ridiculous. I bet 100-person free-roaming chaos is ridiculously fun.

  • (Beaten on 360, November 24, 2014.)

    I thought Assassin's Creed had promise, but had a lot of issues and terrible repetitive missions. Assassin's Creed II truly feels like a game in the series, robust with features and variety that I wanted out of the original game.

    There's less bullshit about collectable items, the combat's reasonable if still kinda messy, and it has bullshit stealth segments and times where Ezio did what I didn't want him to do, which made getting certain items very frustrating.

    Despite that, it's a god damn breath of fresh air compared to the other games I've been playing as of late. It's a damn shame I need to start Brotherhood and Revelations to continue Ezio's story, but it can only go up from here, right?

  • (Beaten on PC, December 23, 2014. I played the "Classic Redux" version, which is basically an improved version of the original game. A couple days later, I beat the two expansions, Wanton Destruction and Twin Dragon.)

    For some reason I decided to pick up this gem. I played it two years ago in its original DOSBox form, before the "Redux" rerelease, and it was a pain in the ass. Lots of bullshit deaths, death traps, and bad stereotypes everywhere.

    My opinion hasn't changed much two years later. It's got a lot of awful stereotypes, and Lo Wang is a poor man's Duke Nukem. Hell, the game feels like it's a bad clone of Duke Nukem 3D, except made by the same people. I blame George Broussard for this one.

    I wrote a thing about when I originally played it on my random games blog, if you're curious.

  • (Beaten on PC, December 24, 2014.)

    Devolver Digital is slowly becoming one of my favorite publishers. They didn't *have* to release a free holiday game that's hard as balls, but they did.

    I wrote more about this on my other blog, and it broke me. Hard. I'm still getting bad flashbacks, man.

  • (Beaten on PC, December 30, 2014. Beaten entirely in co-op.)

    Double Dragon Neon is goofy and nerdy as all hell. This game is like if Double Dragon actually took place in the time period it's in, rather than making a generic setting like the original games.

    It does lean heavy on the late 80s to early 90s references, and if you weren't around, then the humor might fall flat for you.

    Wayforward did a great job on the game, though the PC version's a little poorly optimized (lots of netcode issues, game crashes, that ridiculously long unskippable intro sequence...). I wouldn't mind a sequel. Or Wayforward to just remake all the classics because they seem to "get it."