Titanfall, Dying Light and The Vanishing of Ethan Carter are among the ones to watch in 2014
There’s no denying 2013 was a great year for games, but with the release of the next gen consoles and a whole raft of developments afoot, 2014 is set to be pretty special in its own right.
Join us as we take a look at six games to be release this year that everyone’s talking about. From the breathtaking visuals of Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture and The Vanishing of Ethan Carter to the innovative gameplay of Dying Light and Tom Clancy’s The Division, in no particular order here are the games we can’t wait to get our hands on this year.
To go straight to one of the games, just click one of the links below:
- Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture
- Tom Clancy’s The Division
- The Vanishing of Ethan Carter
- Dying Light
- Watch Dogs
Set in post-apocalyptic rural Shropshire, Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture is an immersive, story-driven game that follows a scientist caught up in the cataclysm, trying to discover what has happened.
The problem is, there’s only an hour until the world ends.
Players spend that time exploring the game world and interacting with other characters. The massive open world, however, means that you will have to play the game several times to be able to fully explore everything. Set in a sun-dappled rural village, that may be no bad thing.
Unlike many other apocalyptic games, Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture looks set to truly capture the sense of helplessness and melancholy of the end of the world. There are no helicopter gunships coming to your rescue, no miracle cure or act of God. The world is going to end in a tiny village in the English countryside, so we may as well make the most of our time left. The stunning visuals, crafted by the same people who made the critically acclaimed Dear Esther, evoke the poignant beauty and eerie loneliness of an empty, post-apocalyptic world. When the world ends, it doesn’t just end in cities.
Release date: TBA 2014
Platform: PlayStation 4
Tom Clancy’s The Division
Inspired by Tom Clancy’s Operation Dark Winter and Directive 51, The Division follows a group of survivors in a devastated New York City. A deadly disease has ravaged the nation, causing the downfall of the United States in five days. The player’s character is part of the Strategic Homeland Division (‘The Division’ for short), tasked with salvaging whatever they can from the burning embers of the fallen USA.
The game combines survival-based RPG elements with online multiplayer gameplay. Players initially set out with three days’ worth of food, water and supplies. After that, they must scavenge whatever they can to survive whilst combating thugs and outlaws around the now lawless city. Gameplay is geared towards co-operation, with players working together to defeat opposing forces wherever they encounter them.
The game features fantastic graphics and an impressive HUD that pinpoints streetnames, analyses passersby for infection and allows you to bring up a large map of the city at your feet. The voice acting is naturalistic and almost chatty, eschewing the wild shouting and barking of orders from traditional shooters. Even the little touches come together to impressive effect – one thing that has caught many people’s eye is when the player’s character closes a car door as he moves around it for cover, instead of awkwardly bumping into it or simply sliding through it as happens in many other games.
With all this combined, Tom Clancy’s The Division could be the perfect merging of RPG and MMO for the next generation.
Release date: 4th quarter 2014
Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Winner of over 60 E3 awards and said by some to be Microsoft’s next “killer app“, Titanfall is an online multiplayer game set on a futuristic planet beset by war. You control either free-running ‘pilots’ or massive robotic Titans, and can even hijack the Titans of opposing teams, turning their super weapons against them.
But what really catches the eye about Titanfall is the naturalistic, fluid nature of the combat. The fast-paced action sees players using jetpacks or running up and across buildings and rooftops, taking the combat all over the city. If you are controlling a pilot then you never stop moving, using the environment to your advantage.
The action is very much team-based, with group objectives and rewards. Although it is online-only, Vince Zampella, founder of Titanfall developer Respawn Entertainment, described the game as bringing “scale, verticality, and story” to first-person shooter multiplayer gaming.
As Andrew Goldfarb of IGN says: “It’s pure adrenaline. What I love about it is that you never stop moving; you’re never pausing and thinking about anything, everything is fluid. It’s kind of incredible how you never stop.”
This combination of fast-paced combat with elements of parkour, wrapped up in a futuristic dystopian setting, make Titanfall one to watch for the coming year.
Release date: March 2014
Platforms: PC, Xbox One
The Vanishing of Ethan Carter
Much like Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture, The Vanishing of Ethan Carter is an immersive, story-driven game set in a visually stunning rural world. In this horror mystery title, a detective is investigating the abduction of a young boy, Ethan Carter. The detective has paranormal abilities to visualise the scenes of lethal crimes, and it is whilst in a beautiful mountain area that he discovers the mutilated body of one of the kidnappers. The game follows his efforts to find the missing boy among the “roots of an ancient force ruling the valley”.
“Immersion is our number one priority”, said Adrian Chmielarz of The Astronauts, the games developers. “It’s a game about exploration and discovery. We’re not abandoning the gameplay; on the contrary, we’re trying to strip it down to the bone and make sure it’s always meaningful and truly makes the experience better.”
As the detective, you interact with your surroundings to discover clues about the abduction. There is no combat and the open world game can be explored at the player’s own pace, with the developers stating that it’s less about “pure terror and more about clammy unease”.
This looks set to make The Vanishing one of the standout games of 2014. Despite the truly stunning environment that envelopes the game world, players are constantly reminded that something is amiss, that something sinister is lurking beneath the surface. This collision of the beautiful and the evil promises to be a fascinating gameplay experience when The Vanishing of Ethan Carter is released.
Release date: TBA 2014
Zombies with a twist. Nothing new, you say? Well wait til you see Dying Light.
This survival game sees you and a band of comrades scavenging through a world filled with the living dead. Old territory, perhaps. But what’s interesting that Dying Light brings to the table is the effect the passing of the time has on the zombies.
During the day, they are fairly easy to escape from – they are slow, can’t climb and there aren’t too many of them. As the game title suggests, however, that all changes when night falls.
As the darkness draws in, the number and power of the living dead increases exponentially. They deal out extra damage and gain the ability to sprint and climb objects, meaning you can’t just stand on a rooftop to find safety. It is therefore often better for the player to avoid them at this time than to engage in combat. This is particularly underscored in the case of ‘Night Hunters’, special zombies that are almost impossible to outrun or escape. Nasty buggers, they are.
This makes it all the more important to cause distractions and set traps for the zombies. Dying Light doesn’t let you bomb or shoot or zap your way out of trouble. You have to use your brains as well as your brawn to outwit the living dead and survive to see another dawn.
Although you can use a pretty awesome two-handed axe…
Release date: TBA 2014
Platforms: PC, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One
Last but certainly not least is Watch Dogs. You follow Aiden Pearce, a vigilante in the city of Chicago who has hacked into the city’s central operating system (ctOS), allowing him to control and manipulate any number of electronic devices.
He can use this to steal information from people’s phones and computers, cause equipment to malfunction in order to create distractions, or even to alter traffic lights to cause collisions. His objective? To assassinate media mogul Joseph DeMarco, a man wrongly acquitted of murder.
Chicago was chosen for Watch Dogs for its high number of surveillance devices in real life, and these are reflected in the game, providing a bewildering array of options for the player to use to their advantage. It’s an interesting plot for a game, combining the skill and puzzle elements of a hacking game like the forthcoming Quadrilateral Cowboy (another one to watch) with more traditional fighting elements.
With the recent NSA revelations and the modern surveillance culture, it is also a mirror held up to the darker side of society. Whether you use Pearce’s hacking abilities for good or for evil is up to you; which side will you choose?
Release date: 2nd quarter 2014
Platforms: PC, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Wii U, Xbox 360, Xbox One
There are so many exciting games set for a 2014 release that we couldn’t possibly include them all here! What games are you looking forward to most in 2014? Have you pre-ordered any games? Let us know in the comments below.