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 411mania » Games » Columns

The 8 Ball 07.29.14: Top 8 Most Anticipated 2014 Games
Posted by Marc Morrison on 07.29.2014

Welcome all to another edition of The 8 Ball! The column wasn't here last week, I was dealing with being sick and a broken computer, both of which weren't fun. But I'm back and feeling raring to go. This week I'm going to focus on the remaining time for the year and what games are coming out for it. August can be a big month, but it's usually the September to November block where games come out in full force for the holiday season. So here we are, as I tell you what games I'm most looking forward to until 2015. Enjoy:

8. Risen 3: Titan Lords

 photo Risen3_zpsbf85cca4.jpg

I seemed to be one of the few reviewers out there who legitimately enjoyed Risen 2: Dark Waters. The game had issues, but I appreciated the interesting location it had and the mechanics that weren't the same as most other RPG's. Risen 3 looks to get back into a slightly more traditional game (like Risen 1) but with a few unique elements. "Yes", you can still get a Monkey, which is all the news you need. I'm oddly more excited for this game rather than Sacred 3, just because of some of the attachment I have to it. Hopefully both games can keep RPG gamers busy in August.

7. Disney Infinity 2.0

 photo InfinteVignocchi_zpsd97fbaf6.jpg

Johnny V being the boss

I enjoyed my time with the original Infinity, but found some things lacking. The core game was good, but the lack of a great tutorial in the Toy Box, some slight repetition in the playsets, and most of the figures being from Disney properties I didn't give a fug about dampened my enjoyment of it. Infinity 2.0 looks to correct some of these mistakes of the original. The big thing they are doing is introducing characters that I actually care about. Sadly no Goliath, Gizmoduck or Darkwing Duck (yet), but having Marvel characters adds a lot more to the game, offering a lot more intricate and deeper story-telling, varied powers (and locomotive factors), and better voice acting should drive the game to be better than the original and drive kids to seek out more of the new figures. Also, that special edition PS3/PS4 set looks amazing.

6. Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare

 photo CoD_zps5a9b56e7.jpg

The increased burnout with the Call of Duty franchise continues yet again. I have some hopes with this game though: a new studio is making it, and it's in the future. The most fun I had with a CoD game in recent years was in Black Ops 2, the 2025 stuff. I thought it was exciting and fun to see, and thought the entire game should have just been based on i. Well my prayers have been somewhat answered by Sledgehammer Games with this game taking entirely in the future (2054) in a pretty screwed up world. I'm one of the few that comes to a Call of Duty game strictly for the story/single player, so I hope this game can scratch that itch that some of the past games missed.

5. Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor

 photo ShadowofMordor_zps8eccd00a.jpg

Sure this game is a pretty shameless Assassin's Creed/Batman rip-off, so what? It still looks fun. Combat, movement, guarding all look very "inspired" by Assassin's Creed, even with an animation going "That is from AC2". The idea of a real reputation system in one of these games sounds cool, both in Batman and in AC, it was usually just a static concept. Here, characters can react to you and your exploits. I'm a little hesitant about the developers (Monolith), they haven't had a really successful game in quite a while, but I do hope they are able to pull out of their slump some and deliver a quality product. Then they can get back to work making No One Lives Forever 3.

4. Civilization: Beyond Earth

 photo Civilization_zps2ec4a9c3.jpg

"Civ in Space", what more could you want? I loved Civilization 5 (though not playing the previous ones) a great deal. I've spent about 90 hours in it, which isn't a lot for some, but I tend to play the game with a sped up timescale. Beyond Earth looks to really be creative though, landing on alien worlds to see what is out there. It kind of seems like what Spore tried to do in its later game, but failed at. It's good you can't get every technology in the game, that you are forced to pick a side and stick with it as well. This game needs to come out now, so I can lose countless hours to it.

3. Forza Horizon 2

 photo ForzaHorizon2_zpsd1700ab0.jpg

Oddly, a racing game is on my list but for a reason: Forza Horizon 1 was an amazing game. I really hope Forza Horizon 2 surpasses it. Weather systems, three new areas to race on, and updated challenges to keep you occupied. More than that though, I hope this game retains the same goofy spirit as the first. The whole "Racing cars against airplanes, smashing up discount signs, locating barn finds, doing speed traps" stuff in Horizon stuff was nutty, but provided a very cool landscape to explore and race on. If Forza Horizon 2 nails this as well, then this might be the best racing game of the year.

2. Assassin's Creed: Unity

 photo ACUnity_zps05a83d59.jpg

The "controversy" over whether or not you could play as a female in AC: Unity struck me as insincere on both sides: Ubisoft's lame excuse that it'd take too much work is bunk. However, to all of those screaming about it, my question was "Did you play Assassin's Creed: Liberation?" That tended to shut them up, big time. Aside from the fact that Unity looks amazing (being on "next gen" consoles), I really like that it's back in the civilized world. Exploring the new world and nature in AC 3/Liberation/AC4 was fun, but I missed the puzzle and thrill of climbing a huge building in a town and seeing everything around me. I'm still interested in the story as well, mainly the present day stuff weirdly enough, provided they can get fake Jade Raymond (Melanie Lemay in AC4) back in the game.

1. Far Cry 4

 photo FarCry4_zps7695b2d1.jpg

Far Cry 4 was another game that had a problematic debut at E3, but the one I am still excited about. Far Cry 3 was an amazing game, with memorable characters, great/unpredictable action, and plenty of things to do on the island(s). Far Cry 4 looks to have about the right level of insanity in the game with similar types of actions, as well as having a new co-op system. The story will be the draw of this game, and I hope the characters it introduces are as memorable as Vaas was. I really hope this game doesn't make the mistake that Far Cry 3 did was Vaas though with the new bad guy exiting about halfway through the game. It's funny that two Ubisoft franchise games take the number one and number two spots on my list, but go figure. Far Cry 4 should be a fun time for everyone.

Complainer's Corner

I pretty much have four games that I didn't put on my big list, that I'll explain why here: 1. Destiny the beta was fun, but I'm not sure of the overall quality yet. 2. Sunset Overdrive nothing about the game impresses me. I'm in the minority, but it's how I feel. 3. Dragon Age: Inquisition It should be fine, but I'm hesitant if the game is even going to come out or not this year. I'm expecting another delay till 2015. And finally 4. Alien: Isolation Remember Aliens: Colonial Marines? Remember how that hoodwinked people initially into thinking it'd be good? Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me. Alien: Isolation might be good, we'll see, but reviews have to hit first (that are credible) before I begin to care about it.

The General Roundup

There weren't too many comments from two weeks ago, but I'll address a few of them here: I really did wish Titanfall had a single player. The way they try to half-ass a campaign mode into the multiplayer is stupid. It would have involved a lot of work on their front, but would have made me buy the game at full price, and not wait for it to be on sale. Wolfenstein is a truly shocking game, but one that is enjoyable. It's nice to see that a game with only a single-player campaign with a strong story can do well in today's multi-player shooter focused market. Also two people mentioned it, but I did put Infamous: Second Son in my secondary list.

Next Issue

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