…And say hello to 2014! Happy New Year to you all, I hope you had a great holiday season, and I hope even more that you’re as excited for the next year in gaming as I am! Now that all of the next gen consoles are on store shelves and sitting comfortably in your homes, this year is going to be all about the games.
Let’s start off with January for obvious reasons. The year is starting off slowly, with mostly re-releases and ports of Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance to the PC, Halo: Spartan Assault to the Xbox 360, and Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition for the PS4 and Xbox One. PS Vita title Assassin’s Creed: Liberation is also getting an HD facelift for the PC, XBLA and PSN. Dead Rising 3 is getting it’s first installment of DLC, titled Operation Broken Eagle on the 21st. January will also see the launch of Chibi Robo: Photo Finder, a sort-of sequel to the cult success for the Gamecube.
February is starting off Fable Anniversary, an HD re-release for the Xbox 360. On the 11th, the third direct sequel to Final Fantasy XIII, subtitled Lightning Returns, strikes on the PS3 and Xbox 360 (see what I did there?)(Sorry). Arcade shooter/Tower defense game Plants Vs Zombies: Garden Warfare releases for the Xbox One and 360 on the 18th as well as a sequel to the cult hit, mutant insect killing simulator Earth Defense Force 2025 for the Xbox 360 and PS3, with Nintendo releasing Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze for the Wii U on the 21st. More HD re-releases hit the next gen consoles on the 25th with Rayman Legends coming to PS4 and Xbox One, as well as Tales Of Symphonia Chronicles coming to the PS3. That’s also the same day Konami is set to release Castlevania: Lords Of Shadow 2 for PC, PS3, and Xbox 360, as well as the launch of Bethesda’s Thief reboot. It looks like Nintendo is intending to keep the 3DS money train going, with Bravely Default coming out on the 7th, and Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy on the 28th.
It looks like we’ve got another strong March ahead of us, beginning with the actual release (FINALLY!) of South Park: The Stick of Truth, after 2 years of delays. The 11th sees the release of Titanfall, EA’s exclusive mech shooter for the Xbox One, and the long awaited release of Dark Souls II for PC, PS3 and Xbox 360. I personally am most excited for the 18th so far, with the release of the HD remakes of Final Fantasy X and X-2, but most importantly, the release of Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes, the prologue to Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. Shortly after on the 21st is the launch of InFamous: Second Son, featuring a much darker, less comic-booky atmosphere against a quarantined Seattle, and a main character voiced by Troy Baker of Bioshock Infinite’s Booker DeWitt and The Last Of Us’ Joel fame.
My wallet is already crying.
March ends with the release of Diablo III expansion Reaper Of Souls for PC and Mac on the 25th. Minecraft is schedule to launch for the Xbox one and PS4 sometime throughout the month as well.
Also scheduled for Q1 are multiple episodes of Telltale Games’ The Wolf Among Us, The Walking Dead, and the launch of episodic Xbox One exclusive noir mystery D4 from Swery. The delayed PS4 launch racer Driveclub, as well as the recently delayed Pokemon Bank are also slated for Q1 launches.
April kicks off with the launch of The Elder Scrolls Online, the MMO that’s been long demanded by fans of the series, for the PC and Mac, with a June launch on PS4 and Xbox One. Final Fantasy MMO reboot, A Realm Reborn is also set to make its way to the PS4 in April.
There’s not much dated for May or June this year yet, aside from EA’s UFC on the 5th, and something called Raven’s Cry from the developer of Two Worlds on the 7th, both in May.
It looks like there’s bound to be a ton of release dates announced over the next month or two though, with E3 2012 show-stealer/delayed next gen launch title Watch Dogs set for a Q2 release, as well as The Witness from Jonathon Blow, creator of indie hit Braid. Friend-losing machine Mario Kart 8 is also dated for some time in Spring, as well as Yoshi’s New Island for 3DS. Don’t forget about Microsoft’s Project Spark, which is slated for a Q2 release as well.
The two things I’m personally most excited for are the new Last Of Us DLC, Left Behind, in which you play as Ellie accompanied by her friend Riley, prior to the events of the main game, and a kickstarter success by the name of Among The Sleep. Among the Sleep is a survival horror game in which you play as a baby, in an atmospheric setting made terrifying by the child’s wild imagination. I highly recommend keeping an eye on it.
This year’s E3 is from June 10th to 12th, and since this year is going be all about the games, expect developers to drop bombs. There’s been a lot of talk about a next-gen Zelda since the video demo Nintendo released when they announced the Wii U (that was 2 years ago), and if this year’s Nintendo presentation is to set the precedent for future E3 announcements, I would bet money that this is going to be the year they make an official announcement that an original Zelda title is coming to the Wii U. They need it. Speaking of Zelda, there was a lot of talk about a Majora’s Mask remake and sequel last year, accentuated by the announcement of Skull Kid being an assist trophy in the new Super Smash Bros., and the evil mask itself hanging on Link’s wall in Link Between Worlds. Very curious indeed.
Microsoft will show Halo, guaranteed. I once made the mistake of doubting they would show Halo, I don’t know what I was thinking, it cost me a lot of money and dignity. Never think Microsoft will not show Halo. Hopefully this will also be when they announce a release date for Insomniac’s stylistic shooter Sunset Overdrive (that is, if they haven’t already by then), and show off more about Remedy’s super interesting Quantum Break. I also hope it goes a lot less awkwardly for them this year. It may not seem like it from the way I wrote about them in my last article but I like Microsoft, and I appreciate their efforts to turn it around in the past 6 months (which let’s be real, was all triggered by Don Mattrick leaving the company; he was going to run them into the ground). I loved my original Xbox, and I love my Xbox 360, and I really do want to like the Xbox One more than I do, it’s just as a gamer, (despite how many times they may say it’s there) I don’t really feel like the focus is on us, and the games, and I won’t until proven otherwise. That being said, I’m still really excited to see what they bring to the table this year, especially in the way of exclusives.
Sony’s practically already got their hands full, which just makes me even more excited for their presentation. Games they’re sure to show off this year are the recently announced Uncharted 4, which may or may not feature franchise main character Nathan Drake. The Order: 1886 caught everyone’s attention but we haven’t seen or heard too much about it since last year’s conference. Hopefully we’ll get more on that this year. Speaking of hopes, don’t get yours up too high about hearing anything on The Last Guardian, I like to think people know better by now. Plus, when they do show something about it, it’ll be a big surprise and everyone will finally be able to breathe. Also, be prepared for Media Molecule to elaborate on…whatever it is they announced at the PS4 reveal, as well as an appearance from Quantic Dream in some capacity. Another thing you can expect to hear more about is what Sony is going to do with their Gaikai streaming service, and how they plan on using it to emulate past Playstation titles. Other than that, I’m not too sure what to expect from Sony. I’m really hoping for some real killer support for the Vita to be announced (seeing as I now own a Vita; I love it, and I would like to get more use out of it).
After E3, the summer is pretty barren for now, but you can expect there to be a lot of excellent indie and arcade titles which seem to have become a tradition. That being said, Ubisoft’s The Crew, EA’s Dragon Age: Inquisition, as well as The Sims 4 are all slated for Q3 releases. The one thing that’s for sure (at least for now, don’t be surprised if it gets delayed (I really hope I didn’t just jinx it) is the release of Bungie and Activision’s love child Destiny, on September 9th, across Xbox One, Xbox 360, PS4, and PS3. Also, be ready for the serves to be brought down on launch. It happens with every major release, and people get upset that the servers get clogged because everyone wants to play online, and it’s silly. Maybe take some time to familiarize yourself with the world and explore it for yourself before jumping online with some friends, it’ll make for a better experience for everyone!
As far as actual/estimated release dates go, that’s all we’ve got for now for 2014. There are still tons of other great looking games set to come out this year including Murdered: Soul Suspect, Mad Max, Bayonetta 2, The Division, Dying Light, Super Smash Bros., The Witcher 3, The Evil Within, Kirby: Triple Deluxe, X, and a ton of games that haven’t been announced yet! I can guarantee that there will also be new installments of the Call Of Duty and Assassin’s Creed franchises this year, as well as updates for every sports game ever.
So what do you guys think? What do you guys want to see come out this year? What games are you most excited for? What do you want to be announced at E3? Let us know in the comments below, and we here at the FMGA will be here all year to bring Fort McMurray the latest gaming news, as well as play some of your favourite games with you as the year goes on.