There’s no denying that 2013 was an amazing year for gaming. Grand Theft Auto helped redefine what an open-world game could do, while The Last of Us and BioShock: Infinite introduced us to rich new worlds and the characters that lived there. Now that Sony and Microsoft have released more powerful hardware, developers are getting ready to release even bigger and better games that continue from these pasts successes. Here’s a list of some of the most anticipated games of 2014.
First shown at Microsoft’s 2013 E3 conference, Titanfall became one of the most talked about reveals from the expo, leading it to win “Most Anticipated Game” at last month’s VGX awards.
This upcoming sci-fi shooter is the debut release from Respawn Entertainment. Titanfall looks to compete with well-known franchises such as Call of Duty and Halo. While the game is only includes online multiplayer, Respawn has stated that it will feature several elements typically reserved for single player campaigns. This includes a narrative that is relayed by a supporting cast of characters that will appear to the player throughout the story.
What sets Titanfall apart from other games in its genre is its use of bipedal mechs (think Gundam, but smaller), which players are able to control. Switching between standard run-and-gun action and controlling a Titan can be done at the push of a button, allowing players to easily alternate between these two styles of play. The reveal footage also showed players running and jumping throughout the landscape with more grace and agility than what is typically seen from first person shooters.
Titanfall is exclusive to Microsoft platforms and will be available on Xbox 360, Xbox One and PC as of March 11th.
A new Nintendo console also means a new installment in the long-running Mario Kart franchise. Revealed during Nintendo’s E3 Direct last year, Mario Kart 8 looks to be more of the same fun fans have come to expect from this beloved franchise. Motorcycles, gliders and underwater karts are all set to make a return in this new installment, as are characters like Rosalina and the baby versions of Mario and the others.
While this marks the first time the franchise has been rendered in beautiful HD, the updated graphics are not this game’s main attraction. Mario Kart 8 features anti-gravity, which will allow players to drive up walls and hang from ceilings. This adds a whole new dimension to every track, opening up even more ways for players to explore. Each passing installment has added more shortcuts and secrets for players to find, and it looks like this game will be no exception.
This title will also support the Wii U’s Miiverse, allowing players to share race data and replays with the online community. Mario Kart 8 is still lacking a concrete release date, but is scheduled to launch sometime this spring.
This game was also revealed at last year’s E3, though we’ve known about its production since 2011. The latest entry in Nintendo’s brawler will see new characters join the fray, such as the trainer from Wii Fit, Villager from Animal Crossing and Capcom’s Mega Man. Nintendo staples such as Mario, Link and Kirby will also be returning once again. As with the latest Mario Kart, fans will notice how the game’s visuals have benefited from the Wii U’s HD graphics.
This upcoming title will also be the first Super Smash Bros. entry to see a handheld release. The 3DS version features more stylized visuals. Its stages will also better reflect Nintendo’s portable library, while the Wii U version features stages based on console games. However, the character roster will remain the same across both platforms. It currently isn’t clear whether these two games will be able to communicate with each other, though cross-play seems unlikely.
Players will also be able to play online, just as they could with Brawl. Fortunately, Masahiro Sakurai, the game’s director, has stated that the online features will be greatly improved this time around. He has also stated that he is doing everything in his power to make sure Super Smash Bros. for the Wii U and 3DS are ready later this year.
Smash Bros site: http://www.smashbros.com/us/
Initially revealed during 2012′s Ubisoft conference, Watch Dogs is a brand new IP that takes place in an alternative version of present-day Chicago. This open-world game follows Aiden Pearce, who uses his advanced skills to hack into everything ranging from ATMs to the city’s railway system. Every pedestrian encountered has a name and occupation and can have their lives hacked into. The game will allow players to help or hinder those they meet on the streets and looks to offer a living, breathing city like we’ve never seen in a game before. This innovative project was set to release last year on all major consoles, and would have even appeared on the PlayStation 4 a few days early to meet that system’s launch.
Unfortunately, things didn’t go according to plan. Watch Dogs’ launch date was originally only a couple of months after Rockstar released the behemoth that was Grand Theft Auto 5. Perhaps that game’s record breaking sales put the pressure on Ubisoft, because the company soon decided to delay this title until the second quarter of 2014.
Since then, Ubisoft has remained pretty quiet about the game’s progress, though we are still excited to see what has become of this new IP.
Ubisoft revealed another open-world game during last year’s conference, though this one is a bit different than anything we’ve seen before. The Crew is a racing game that features a persistent world, meaning it continues to grow and change even when players aren’t active. The game’s story mode is said to take approximately 20 hours to complete, and can be experienced either solo or with friends. Of course, this game’s main focus is on multiplayer and the ability to form crews for various missions. Being a crew member will also make it easier to travel to a friend across the game’s gigantic map.
Possibly the most intriguing part of this game is its massive scale. Players will be able to drive across a version of the United States from coast to coast. Major cities like Miami and New York will be present, and players can choose to explore a scaled down version of the countryside in-between these urban areas. An early demonstrator drove upon the desert mountains near Las Vegas, where the city could be seen far off in the distance.
The Crew is possibly the most ambitious open-world title yet and is a glimpse into what Sony and Microsoft’s new consoles may be capable of. It was delayed alongside Watch Dogs and is now expected to release during the third quarter of 2014.
Having made the Halo franchise, one of the most successful console shooters of all time, it’s no wonder Bungie’s latest project has sparked a lot of hype. This is another massive multiplayer title, which looks artistically reminiscent to Bungie’s other work. Like The Crew, Destiny will feature a living game world that continues to change constantly. Similarly to other MMO’s, players will be able to customize their character and how they behave.
What makes Destiny a bit different, however, is its matchmaking service. Players will not be able to interact with every other person connected to their server, but instead can make contact with a select few that the game has paired them with. Bungie decided on this approach in order to cut down on lag. Instead of loading thousands of players into a single server, the game will pair players up with those who are physically closest to them. The game will also be able to match-make as player’s travel along, meaning they will never be in a situation where they are alone in an area as long as another player from anywhere in the world is there too.
Destiny is the first title in Bungie’s contract with Activision, and is set to launch for the PlayStation 3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One on September 9th.