2014 is finally here and it looks set to be another great year for video games. To ring in the new year I’ve compiled a list of 14 upcoming games that I’m pretty excited for and think you should be too. I’ve tried to take games from both the big budget and independent markets to even things out a little. Truth be told, it wasn’t an easy task, as there are a ton of incredible games on the horizon but I’ve whittled it down and I’m pretty pleased with my selection. Over the next week I’ll be publishing my (alphabetised) list in digestible bite-sized chunks. So without further ado, let’s take a look at part 1:
The Creative Assembly // Sega // Q4 2014
PS3 // PS4 // Windows // Xbox 360 // Xbox One
A direct sequel to Ridley’s Scott 1979 sci-fi horror masterpiece, Alien: Isolation puts players in the shoes of Ellen Ripley’s daughter Amanda as she searches for the whereabouts of her mother. Unlike other games based upon the franchise, Isolation pits the player up against a singular Xenomorph, who will relentlessly stalk (think Resident Evil 3’s Nemesis, but with more slobber) Amanda as she explores the deserted space station, Sevastopol. Amanda won’t be equipped with any weapons, meaning that stealth and cunning must be used to survive. One wrong move could, and probably will mean an instant and violent death.
Early footage showcases the amazing attention to detail The Creative Assembly are putting into faithfully recreating the aesthetic of the original movie. Environments look lived in and fully realised, just look at the way the monitors have a grainy VHS flicker to them. It’s an unflinchingly 70’s vision of science-fiction and I absolutely love it. With the bad taste of Colonial Marines still lingering in our mouths, Alien: Isolation could be the terrifying mouthwash we’ve all been waiting for.
Capybara Games // Microsoft Studios // TBA 2014
Below is an adventure game set underneath a mysterious, remote island that puts an emphasis on exploration and survival. Taking it’s cues from roguelikes, the game features randomly generated environments, punishing but fair combat and of course, permadeath. It looks set to capture the same celebratory spirit of videogame wonderment that Fez did so well in 2012.
The use of geometric shapes and a minimalist aesthetic make it feel like a spiritual successor to Capy’s previous release, the awesome, Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP. However, this time Capybara have shied away from pixel art, instead opting for an hand drawn illustrated appearance. Employing tilt shift photography that gives the stylish environments an incredible sense of scale. Oh, if your appetite wasn’t yet sufficiently whetted; the wonderful Jim Guthrie is again scoring the soundtrack. Below is perhaps the reason to be an Xbox One owner in 2014.
Access Games // Microsoft Studios // TBA 2014
Not much is yet known about D4 (Dark Dreams Don’t Die). It’s an episodic title in development for the Xbox One and it will take full advantage of the Kinect 2. Players will assume the role of an amnesiac private investigator who has the ability to travel through time. A power that he will use to solve, and perhaps prevent, the murder of his wife. Oh, and it’s got some pretty cell-shaded graphics too.
What has got me really excited about this game is that it’s being helmed by Swery65 aka Hidetaka Suehiro, the guy behind the divisive (read: amazing) Deadly Premonition. This means is that D4 is almost guaranteed to be a batshit crazy roller-coaster ride from start to finish. With Microsoft’s backing and the new hardware in his hands, I’m super interested to see what he’s capable of producing. Whatever the outcome, it’s bound to be a slightly broken, but incredibly unique experience. Who knows, it might even make owning a Kinect worthwhile, and that’s why it’s on this list.
Keep an eye on GLTCHD for part 2 of the list.