Welcome back to the second part of 14 for ’14, in which I highlight fourteen forthcoming games that you should be excited about over the next twelve months. If you are just joining us, you can view part one here. Let’s not waste any time messing about and get straight into it…
Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture
The Chinese Room // Sony Santa Monica // Sony Computer Entertainment // TBA 2014
Over the past couple of years video games have begun to focus on delivering deeper narrative experiences. This trend looks set to continue into 2014, as developers make use of the new hardware to construct highly detailed environments and better realise characters thanks to further attention being paid to writing. One of the developers taking advantage of the processing power of the PlayStation 4 is The Chinese Room, with their narratively-focused game, Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture.
Set in the beautiful British county of Shropshire, Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture sees players exploring a rural village sixty minutes before the end of the world. Not much else is known about the story (for obvious reasons), but while the title hints at a biblical theme, the trailer above seems to suggest an element of science fiction. Whatever’s going on, it’s totally got that mysterious LOST-vibe going for it. It’s a non-linear experience meaning the player will be free to explore and interact with the world however they see fit. The Chinese Room have already proved they have ability to deliver a compelling tale with the poetic, Dear Esther, and more recently the deeply unnerving, Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs. That being said, Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture could well be their story best yet.
The Evil Within
Tango Gameworks // Bethesda Softworks // TBA 2014
PS3 // PS4 // Windows // Xbox 360 // Xbox One
Having been almost-exclusively championed by independent developers over the past few years, the survival horror genre looks set to somewhat of big-budget comeback in 2014. In part one of this list I looked at Alien: Isolation and now I’m turning my attention to the latest game from Resident Evil creator and all-round survival horror hero, Shinji Mikami: The Evil Within.
Developed by Mikami’s new studio Tango Gameworks, The Evil Within (‘Psychobreak’ in Japan, how cool is that!?) is being touted as the realization of pure survival horror. While that sounds purely like marketing speak, early footage, screens and previews indicate that it could well be the truth. Set within a blood-soaked asylum, all the hallmarks of the genre are in place; claustrophobic environments, a scarce supply of ammunition and grotesque, near invincible enemy types; I mean, did you see that thing at the end of the trailer? It’s the stuff of nightmares. If anyone can re-animate the genre for mainstream audiences, it’s Mikami.
Klei Entertainment // TBA 2014
Klei Entertainment first caught my attention when they released the side-scrolling brawler, Shank, back in 2010. It was game that boasted stunningly fluid animated visuals but unfortunately left something to be desired in the gameplay department. Since then the team has gone from strength to strength, refining their craft first with ninja stealth game, Mark of the Ninja, and then the survival-focused, Don’t Starve, both of which featured mechanics that more than held up their end of the bargain, easily matching and sometimes outdoing their rather attractive appearances.
Invisible, Inc. (formerly Incognita, which I happen to think is a way better title) is Klei’s next release. A turn-based tactical espionage game that continues to prove the team aren’t content with working within the same genre twice. Players take control of a team of spies as they hack, sneak and go-go-gadget their way through the randomly-generated floors of a shady corporation. Being a tactical turned based fare, Invisible, Inc looks to have taken a little mechanical inspiration from XCOM and the Fire Emblem series, which is certainly not a bad thing, as both titles are paragons of the genre. To top things off the whole thing is presented in this super smooth, sixties British spy aesthetic which sets the tone perfectly.
Team Meat // TBA 2014
Android // iOS // Windows
Mew-Genics is perhaps the world’s first Cat-Lady Simulator. No, I take that back, I’m absolutely positive it’s the world’s first Cat-Lady Simulator. But what does that actually mean? In all honesty, I’m not entirely sure, but that doesn’t stop me from being pretty excited about it.
Developed by Team Meat (the two-guys behind Super Meat Boy), Mew-Genics looks set to inject some well needed energy into the simulation genre. As of yet gameplay details remain sparse, but the game revolves around breeding felines, then genetically modifying said felines, before pitting them against other cats in fights, races and beauty pageants. In case you were thinking it all sounds a bit silly (and you’re right, it does) there are apparently some complex underlying systems in place that will govern everything from your cat’s appearance to its behaviour and personality. That means that if your cat is going to be the strongest of the litter, you’re going to have to put some work in. Now, pass me the catnip!
Stay tuned to GLTCHD for part three of the list.
Part one can be viewed here.