With the new year finally here, it’s like we are on the precipice of a new adventure. A new adventure in videogames, that is. Though it is still the unofficial year of Luigi, we here at Pixelitis are nearly bursting at the seams with all the new IPs waiting to be played.
From indie stylized action RPGs like Transistor to the deadly depressing and hard-as-balls Dark Souls 2, 2014 looks to be a promising year. What with all the talk of Luigi, there’s the expectation that this year will be the year of Birdo. Maybe. But regardless of what character will be picked in the Nintendo zodiac, rest assured that staffers are already rolling up their sleeves and starting 2104 up and running.
And what better way to do so than to dish about the titles we look forward to most? So jump on down and read through our selections.
Anticipated game of 2014: The Evil Within
Survival horror and I go way back. But ever since Dead Space, the mainstream horror genre has changed, relying on “action” elements and overwhelming swarms of terror rather than something more cerebral.
The Evil Within will attempt to change that. Helmed by Resident Evil producer Shinji Mikami, The Evil Within is a back-to-basics horror trek that takes the best of the classic while retaining elements of modern horror gaming.
I’m pretty well-adjusted to horror by now, but even TEW’s gameplay trailer had me freaked out. Chainsaw wielding maniacs always get to me for some reason. You can see how Mikami is drawing upon influences from some of Capcom’s greatest fright masterpieces such as Clock Tower and the aforementioned Resident Evil.
The Evil Within is also a new IP, which could pave the way for more new horror games. It’s been a long time coming, and Mikami’s new frightfest might just revitalize what has long since been considered a stagnant genre.
- Maxwell Coviello
Anticipated game of 2014: Dark Souls 2
Dark Souls II is on its way, which means plenty more dying at every corner. Dying is a big part of the series. In fact, the tutorial of Demon Souls doesn’t give you the choice. Most of the time is spent playing as either a soul or hollow – and if you dare revive yourself, chances are you will brutally murdered by another player looking to steal your souls.
So why am I looking forward to Dark Souls II if all it is is a cup of depression? It’s simple – the more negative things happen, the more rewarding the triumphant moments are. Ask anyone that experienced the games and they will tell you how rewarding it is to make any form of progress.
Dark Souls II will simply add more to the whole ‘get stronger, go further’ system. There’s only a series of minor changes that happened between both Dark Souls title, meaning we will be getting a very identical experience. These minor changes however also make a whole world of difference – using two weapons actually works this time around, stamina and blocking works a bit differently and healing items other than Estus Flasks are returning.
So while Dark Souls II is more of the same, it doesn’t matter when every battle plays out differently with hundreds of tactics to choose from. And in the end, we will all die a few times before getting that sweet victory.
- Allain Richard
Anticipated game of 2014: Super Smash Bros.
This choice might not earn me any cool indie points, but I’d be lying if I said there was any game I was more excited for. From the retro polygons of the original N64 title to the chaotic fun of Brawl, the Super Smash Bros. series has been a constant source of entertainment for me and my friends since grade-school. The game contains so many layers of nostalgia; in many ways, each Smash game is a celebration of Nintendo up until that point.
Smash is a game that’s only as fun as they friends you play with. Whether you play with items on New Pork City, or refuse to acknowledge any stage but the item-less Final Destination, your friends will indirectly define your experience with the game. Since nowadays my core group of buds are bit more geographically scattered, I’m looking forward to being able to play them all via the internet on my 3DS. And, of course, I can’t wait to check out the new characters. I have a quixotic determination to become amazing with the absurd Wii Fit Trainer. Beware my yoga pants in 2014.
- Stephen Hilger
Anticipated game of 2014: Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes
Sure, David Hayter isn’t voicing Big Boss this time around. Sure, its open-world gameplay will be intrinsically different from the previous 25 years of Metal Gear in almost every way. But some of the ways this new title will be different from previous iterations is exactly why I’m excited.
From the footage we’ve seen of the game thus far, it’s looking like a the story’s much grittier. Big Boss has seemingly been thrust into some morally objectionable situations and if the narrative follows the series’ timeline, we might be able to see our hero live long enough to become the villain.
Despite the fact that MGSV:GZ will be coming out on both previous generations of hardware as well as the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, what we’ve seen of the game looks absolutely stunning. From the rolling hills of Afghanistan to the tropical vistas of Central America, the story of Big Boss and Outer Heaven should have some fantastic backdrops.
In all honesty, you’d be hard-pressed to find a particularly bad Metal Gear Solid title.
- Andrew Martins
Anticipated game of 2014: Transistor
Supergiant Games had me hook, line and sinker when they announced their new IP last March. In the mere days before swarms of gamers were expected to take over PAX East, all I kept humming was We All Become, the theme used in their trailer. And as a huge fan of Bastion, it was no surprise that I found myself falling for the seductive Red, the silent hero wielding the Transistor.
Having played bits and pieces of the first available build back in March, I was blown away with the gameplay, the stylized art deco environments and the overall tone of the game. The battle mechanics behind Red’s attacks against enemies are extremely refreshing with its sequencing, adding a layer of strategy on top of gorgeous graphics for an action-RPG. Transistor screams sci-fi and steam punk, with a dollop of challenging battle strategy–and I’m ridiculously excited.
The spiritual successor of Bastion has a lot to live up to, but I have high hopes that the team at Supergiant Games will step up to the plate and deliver. Their inclusion in high-profile events such as E3 and the announcement of Transistor as a playable PlayStation 4 title is hopefully a sign of great things to come.
And if anything, I think the music in Transistor will be as ambient and catchy as Zia’s humming in “Build That Wall.”