It’s finally here! Part Three of GLTCHD’s increasingly exciting 14 for ’14 list. What games have made the list this time? Don’t hesitate – read on to find out!
No Man’s Sky
Hello Games // TBA 2014
Every so often a game comes along that completely blindsides the gaming community and suddenly becomes the thing to talk about. At this year’s VGX awards a trailer for No Man’s Sky – a previously unannounced title – was the thing that got everybody talking.
Developed by the four-person team at Hello Games (of Joe Danger fame), No Man’s Sky is a sci-fi themed, multiplayer exploration game set in a seamless and procedurally generated universe, which aims to give the player free rein to chart the universe however they see fit. What that means – as the trailer so astutely demonstrates – is that you could start at the bottom of an ocean, swim to the surface, walk along the beach to your spaceship, hop in, and fly through the atmosphere into space in search of another (possibly, giant sandworm-infested) planet.
Other than interstellar exploration and some spaceship-to-spaceship dog fights, little is known about the systems and mechanics that will drive No Man’s Sky, although Hello Games have hinted that resource and ship management will be crucial components of the game. Still, whatever the final game turns out to be, No Man’s Sky is undoubtedly one of 2014’s most ambitious projects.
Remedy Entertainment // Microsoft Studios // TBA 2014
Remedy Entertainment are without doubt of my favourite developers working in the games industry today. While most of their games are ostensibly third person shooters (albeit incredibly solid ones), their titles always have a commitment to style, storytelling and atmosphere that manages to capture my attention in a way that other developers of that ilk simply don’t. Having already tackled pulpy, noir fiction with Max Payne, and Stephen King-esque supernatural mystery in Alan Wake, the studio now have their sights on science fiction with upcoming Xbox One exclusive shooter, Quantum Break.
A tale of time-travel experiment gone awry, Quantum Break is set to feature multiple protagonists, time manipulation mechanics and some pretty spectacular visuals, but as with most games on this list, details on the actual gameplay remain vague at present. So what has me particularly excited about the game, then? Well, just the fact that Quantum Break is shipping with an entire season of a live-action companion television show (no, not Quantum Leap) – a move that aims to further blur the lines between the mediums.
As with Alan Wake, Remedy has designed the game to be digested in episodic chunks, the intention being that players will sit down to play an episode of the game, then watch an episode of the television show. To make things all the more interesting, choices and actions taken during the game will have an impact on future episodes of the TV show. It’s an incredibly exciting and inventive premise that has already wholeheartedly captured my attention. Remedy Entertainment sure do know their audience.
Lunar Software // TBA 2014
OSX // Windows
In part one of this list I kicked things off with a quick look at Alien: Isolation, a big budget, licensed, sci-fi horror game published by Sega. It struck a chord with me as I have a bit of a thing for the 70s/80s vision of the future the game so perfectly encapsulates. But long before Alien: Isolation was even announced, there was already an independently developed sci-fi horror title on my radar – one that’s also steeped in that classic, chunky 1980’s science fiction aesthetic – that game was Routine.
The début game from UK-based Lunar Software, Routine sees players exploring an abandoned moon base in an effort to find out just where exactly everybody has gone. It’s a distinctively non-linear experience, as the entire moon base will be unlocked from the offset, giving the player freedom to explore the Kubrickian environments in whichever order they choose.
Of course, uncovering the truth won’t be a (moon) walk in the park, as the base will be populated with a number of environmental hazards and rogue robots who are out for blood – your blood. But, if the thought of sentient hunks of metal clunking down derelict hallways wasn’t enough to send a shiver down your spine, Routine will feature a permadeath system, meaning that one just mistake could send you right back to square one.
With the release of two incredibly exciting sci-fi horror games on the horizon, 2014 is shaping up to be a fine year for fans of the genre.