Well, 2014 is drawing to a close. It hasn’t been the greatest year in gaming. In fact, this year has been kind of sucky. There have been some diamonds in the rough, like The Evil Within and a game that I just got and will get a review on (thus far it is fucking awesome) Kingdom Hearts II.5 Remix, but overall, it’s been either average or hair-gratingly frustrating year. Some games which could have been great were rushed to launch, like the latest entry in the Assassin’s Creed franchise. Some games were unbelievably-overhyped and under-delivered, like Destiny. Yeah, this wasn’t the greatest year. That said, next year is going to own! For real, gamers wallets are going to suffer, because there are so many titles that I am stoked about coming out next year. Including one that I have been waiting for for so long that I am hardly able to contain myself. So many games got pushed back to next year, and you know what – great! Push it back and get it right! Here is the list of games that I am most excited for that are coming next year.
10. Tales of Zestiria
Okay, I am going to level with you all about something. I have been a HUGE fan of the Tales franchise for a long time. As I have played these games, they have continually gotten better. The visuals, characters and plots have all been fun, and the worlds are always unique. This is one of the most underappreciated JRPG franchises there is. And this game looks to be no exception. The world looks phenomenal! For real, they are sucking every last ounce of potential with this. Which is good, since the game is for the PS3. That’s right, this game is last-gen only. Weird, huh? Oh well, that’s fine with me. My PS3 still works fine, so let’s do it! It looks great, has the same cheese that the franchise is known for. It is at the bottom of this list because I have no plans to preorder. We’ll see what it looks like first. This franchise isn’t perfect, after all.
9. Mighty No. 9
Fitting placement, right? So, it looks like Mega-Man. It plays like Mega-Man. It’s made by the creator of Mega-Man. Why are we only just recently hearing about this?! This is one of the games that got Kickstarted into existence. The creator of Mega-Man left Capcom when they decided to do absolutely nothing with his franchise for years. He made a new game that is in the same vein, and while some people might say unoriginal, I say – fuck that! This game looks great! I listen to that beat for the military level and I am in it. It takes me back to old memories I had playing Mega-Man X as a kid. My love for this game is recent, but I have no doubt that it will be worth the price on PSN.
8. Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture
From the creators of Dear Esther comes another somber and dark game about a lonely person who is walking a beautiful landscape. The story goes that some scientist guy is the only survivor of some kind of apocalyptic scenario and now he is wandering what’s left of the world, trying to find someone, anyone who has survived as well. This game looks amazing! It’s been a while since I have seen a DLC game that has gotten me for the visual poetry it has. The last one was Journey. You probably don’t need me to explain why. This game looks fantastic, is made by a studio with a good track record. What more do you need?
7. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
So, I’m a console gamer. My laptop isn’t powerful enough to support the kind of games that I want to play on it. This franchise is one that has avoided me for some time, and that has kind of bummed me out, because it has always looked really cool. But no more! To my PS4 this game will come, and I am stoked. An open-world game about a warrior who has mystical jedi-powers. That is enough all on its own, but the game is clearly being handled by a studio that knows what they are doing. Here’s hoping that some of the control issues that I have heard about in previous entries has been fixed. Although, we have loved games with some tricky controls in the past. Can’t judge a book by its history.
6. The Order: 1886
Well now, we’ve got a steampunk Victorian London. Check. Awesome monsters of classic horror. Sounds good. An order of knights that hunts these creatures? With you so far. A game that is eschewing the need for forced multiplayer or anything like that in favor of sticking with a good single-player campaign. Sounds great. I’m a story-seeker anyway. Yes, this game has caught some flak from people or not being either co-op or any multiplayer. You know what, piss off. If you refuse to play a game because it doesn’t have a multiplayer component, then you can find plenty of other things to play next year. This game looks freakin’ sick, and I for one am very glad to see what it has in store for me. Here’s hoping that it does shine the elements in has. I would hate to see it focus its attention, only to suck.
5. Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End
You know, part of me was kind of annoyed when I saw that Naughty Dog was going back to this franchise. After all, they left it in such a good place with the third game, why keep going? Well, it seems that the plot has thickened. Nathan Drake has been out of the game for almost a decade, but a new threat arises that forces him back in, on a mission that seems very likely to claim his life. After I saw how personal the last game was, I have no doubt that this one is not going to disappoint. And if they give the levels the same TLC as the last entry, then this game is going to freakin’ own in the visuals department. Show me what you can do, Naughty Dog.
Can a game appeal to a person who loves story on visuals and graphic violence alone? Fuck yeah it can! This game looks awesome! For real, you’ve got this GORGEOUS gothic setting, with a protagonist who we have yet to fully see. You’ve got lots of monsters and creepy locations that make your skin crawl. You’ve got a giant serrated blade that you can use to hack up these monsters, and a big-ass gun in case that doesn’t work. Oh yeah, this game got me, hook, line, and sinker. Done by the same studio that made Dark Souls, a lot of people have speculated if it is related to the Demon Souls franchise. I’m down with that! It’s got blood! It’s got guts! It’s got awesome locations and creatures! So long as the gameplay works, I have no doubt that I will love it.
3. Silent Hills
Here’s something to know – the Silent Hill franchise has gone to shit in the last 10 years. The first three games and half of the fourth (the half in the main character’s apartment) were horror masterpieces that were dripping with atmosphere and intrigue. I don’t know how it all went wrong so fast, but it did. Now, Hideo Kojima, Guillermo Del Toro and Norman Reedus are all part of a new game that looks to reboot the whole franchise. After a playable teaser, I was hooked. It gets the setting right. It gets the pacing right. It has the same disturbing atmosphere that the original games had. All you hear about the plot is totally bonkers, with a man describing how crazy he is when his father killed his whole family. This franchise has needed something like this for ages. Here’s hoping that this doesn’t drive another nail in the coffin.
2. Batman: Arkham Knight
I remember back when I first played Arkham Asylum. It was atmospheric. It was gritty. It made you feel like you were the Bat. It’s sequel, Arkham City took those elements and made them even better! A lot of people go on about how Arkham Origins was bad, but I don’t think it really was. But that’s beside the point – Rocksteady didn’t make that game. That was some company that Warner Bros. made called Splash Damage. It wasn’t as great as the previous entries, but it was still solid on its own. However, I was aching to see how Rocksteady would follow up from Arkham City, and thank god, it looks like it will be worth every penny! This game has gotten delayed again and again, and you know what – good! Get it right! Get everything right! It’s clear that Rocksteady has been putting some TLC into this game, which makes sense, given that it’s their final entry in this franchise. That’s right, they have made very clear that they are not doing another Batman game. I think that’s excellent. Too many franchises have been allowed to go on WAY past their shelf-life because studios don’t know when to stop. This is their closing act, and it looks to be as gritty as the previous entries. There is speculation on all sides as to who the titular Arkham Knight is. I have a theory, but I will wait and see. So totally stoked!
And the game that I am looking forward to the most…well, it’s been so long coming, and most may not believe it will be here next year, but I am sure that I’m right.
1. Final Fantasy XV
That’s right! After nine years of waiting, this is it! For real, I am willing to stake 10 of my remaining years. Having been tight-lipped for so long, Square Enix can’t get stuff about this game out fast enough. In the latest trailer at TGS 2014, there was a bit at the end about a playable demo code that will be released at the same time that Final Fantasy Type-0 will be released. That will be in March. You know what that makes me think – holiday release. The hype train is now going on all tracks and I am so hyped! This game looks amazing! The visuals are a marvel. The characters are fun, having charisma and charm. This is Tetsuya Normura’s baby, so show us what you got! I want to explore every inch of this open world, because it looks that good. There was this gameplay video where they are driving the car and they pas a burger joint, and I was annoyed that they didn’t show me the burger joint. For real, I would stop at every place and see everything that this game has to offer. Nine years has been too long for this game. They had BETTER get it right.
So, what games have got you most stoked? Let me know in the comments section.
Until next time, a quote,
“It’s been a long time coming. Almost there.” -Noctis Lucius Caelum, Final Fantasy XV