Video Games – Opinion – A Look Back at 2014

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With 2014 in the rear view mirror, I wanted to take a look back at what was a mixed year when it comes to gaming and what made a mark in my mind. From broken games to awesome releases, this year had something for everybody.

The year started off strong for indie games. Titles like Outlast, which you should try if you haven’t , showed us that nice graphics and awesome story are not locked to big publishers. I was seriously amazed by the detailing of this horror game, including the DLC. Indies really had a great year and was filled with great titles like Rogue Legacy, Counterspy, Shovel Knight and Never Alone, which is also a must.

Furthermore, we saw lots of cool new games at E3, Batman Arkam Knight and Battlefield Hardline to name few. Sony revealed the PS TV(formally known as Vita TV in Japan) and had, I would say, an O.K. launch. We also had Gamescom that gave us a couple neat little surprises like the Sunset Overdrive bundle with the white Xbox One and a 1tb Advance Warfare bundle, which sold out very quickly.

Another big event the world took part in was PlayStation Experience. This event was the first of its kind and was well received by the fans of the consoles, even the media praised it. The event gave us stunning footage of awesome titles to come in 2015. The only thing that didn’t go over so well is the announcement of Final Fantasy VII coming sometime next year, but it’s only a port of the original and not a remastered. Before PSX, we had Geoff Keighley’s The Game Awards which was good, but i didn’t quite agree with all the winners. At the awards, we had, what i found to be the best reveal, the next Zelda game, which I hope to be able to play when it comes out.

At these event, we also saw some major exclusivity deal that hit hard for both major consoles. Rise of the Tomb Raider was announced to be a time-exclusive to Xbox,which was later strengthened by the announcement that Microsoft will be publishing the game. This make the road really unclear when hoping to see it on PlayStation consoles. To counter-balance this, PlayStation, in conjunction with Capcom, announced that Street Fighter V was coming as a life-time exclusive to PlayStation 4. This doesn’t say however if re-releases in the vein of Alpha or Super would end up with the same deal. I wrote a small article not too long ago about what I though of this subject which can be seen here. In short, I’m not a big fan of “Who can spend the most to gain the most” type of deals.

In some of the lower points in 2014, we saw massive layoffs in major studios like Irrational and Sony Santa Monica. The makers of the Bioshock games, led by Ken Levine, felt it necessary to close down Irrational(February 18th) and create a smaller team so to produce more niche games. This is quite a weird thing to do when taking into consideration he let people go for this and we haven’t heard much since. Santa Monica was hit with massive layoffs on February 25th because of the cancellation of an IP they were working on.

Talking about low points, there was a wave of broken games this year that came out of nowhere, probably due to extremely tight deadlines, poor planing or just greedy shareholders. In any case, we saw a no-face protagonist in Assassin’s Creed Unity which was just spread by a couple of persons and made it look like it was everybody. Another blunder was Halo: Master Chief Collection which was supposed to be a system seller, but ended up probably causing some damage instead of actual sells. Don’t get me wrong, the last I heard, It was better but not perfect. The biggest of them all you asked? Lets just say a certain Mr. Shuhei Yoshida, President of Sony Computer Entertainment Worldwide Studios, had to apologize for this one. Yes, I’m talking about Driveclub, the game that was delayed from the launch date of the PS4 and still wasn’t working on October 7th. Since then, the game received tons of updates but the PS Plus has been postponed till further notice. Personally, I was a bit mad when I didn’t see it that day on PSN, but moved on to other things and will wait patiently for it to come.

With all the bad stuff behind us, lets talk about some of the awesome games that we were given this year. I played a bunch of games and, I would say, really enjoyed most of them. I started the year with Resogun and Outlast which I appreciated a lot. They were solid games and had nice designs. Then, Infamous Second Son came to life with Delsin Rowe and gave us more of what we loved in the Infamous franchise, which was accompanied by a stand-alone DLC, First Light.

Another game I had the privileged to play was Watch Dogs. Although it too was pushed from the console launches, the game did please me quite a lot and I found that it changed the open-world genre, not massive changes but still noticeable. The hacking and profile features really stood out for me. I’m currently playing through the Bad Blood DLC too(review to come).

Murdered: Soul Suspect did let me down a bit because of its spotty graphics and the weird control mechanics. I still had fun playing it, but I would have liked to see more from it. Soul Suspect filled the void until I got Destiny. I must have played at least 60 hours of it before I got tired of repeating the same missions and picking filaments. I enjoyed the game a lot, but as soon as I played the the first raid once and started playing another game, I lost all interest in going back. The story had potential but didn’t capitalize on it.

For the last month and a half, I have been reviewing Grand Theft Auto V for the current gen consoles and Far Cry 4. Both these games I adore and keep them close to my console for quick loading. I was amazed by GTA V with the first-person view and the really nice updated graphics. Far Cry 4 gave me more of Far Cry 3 and I’m not even mad about it. Using the buzzer in single and coop was really entertaining. Until December 19th, FC4 was my game of the year, but then, I got my hands on Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor. I won’t go into details too much because I’m currently writing my review for it, but the nemesis system is really doing it for me.

Looking at 2015. There’s so many games coming that, personally, I don’t know which one to play first. Uncharted 4 looks stunning with the gameplay trailer we had at PSX. One game that really got my attention too was Life is Strange which seems to have a captivating story. Of course, there’s also Zelda that we saw and does look quite appealing. So many games to see and play, but so little time.

To wrap this off, I would like to say thanks for supporting the website. Since the creation of Me-Time Gamer in August, I have had a blast doing this and really enjoyed the support of everybody that has visited the site. I have a couple of thing that I want to do next year and hopefully you guys will enjoy what’s in store. So, stay tuned and lets have an awesome 2015 of gaming! Happy holidays.

Follow Me-Time Gamer on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube! You can also read Jonathan’s articles at Gambitcon.com

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