New Game Plus has revealed its Game of the Year. But what of our individual cast and crew? This week, we bring you our individual Games of the Year. First up, your Facebook friend and ours Jamie Galea presents his top three games.
2014 has been an odd year. There wasn’t one game that people could collectively agree was amazing, almost every major Q4 release was embarrassingly broken to some degree, and then there was that one hashtag that split the wider community. You know exactly what I’m referring to.
Despite all this, there were still some awesome games released in 2014. Here are my top three games of the year.
[Watch New Game Plus’ review of Alien Isolation]
Sega hasn’t had the greatest of track records with their Alien games. Alien vs Predator was a disappointment, Colonial Marines doesn’t need any more mentioning, and I’m still bitter about the cancelled Obsidian RPG. Then it announced a game based around the original Alien developed by The Creative Assembly, a studio that hadn’t had the greatest track record outside of the Total War series, and even then, had recently put out a broken mess in the form of Total War: Rome II.
But sure enough, the final product turned out to be much better than anticipated. It did a fantastic job of echoing Ridley Scott’s 1979 masterpiece. It made the Alien terrifying again, and created a fantastically tense experience. Creative Assembly also deserve credit for the game’s fantastic audio and for doing a wonderful job of recreating the 1970s aesthetic of the Nostromo.
Sure, it’s not a game for everyone, and it does outstay its welcome a tad, but it’s a game I’ve been longing to have for years. So here’s hoping for good things for Alien going forward!
[Watch New Game Plus’ review of Bayonetta 2]
Without a shadow of a doubt, the best publisher of 2014 was Nintendo. Just about every time it put out something, it was gold. Mario Kart 8 convinced me to buy a Wii U, Smash Bros helped to solidify the purchase, but what ultimately justified it? Bayonetta 2.
For the most part, Bayonetta 2 was an improved version of the first game (which you get bundled with all disc copies of the game anyway). In many regards, it’s pretty identical — yet it’s a lighter and crazier experience! It pretty much started at 11 and never let up. And just like the first game, it’s super rewarding to master and learn how to play the game, and play it well.
It did this all throughout, constantly training you and preparing you for the true challenges it had to offer, and the satisfaction of achieving Pure Platinum rank was unbelievably satisfying. Bayonetta 2 is worth checking out, and definitely worth a Wii U purchase!
[Watch New Game Plus’ review of Wolfenstein: The New Order]
Playing Wolfenstein: The New Order back at E3 2013, I wasn’t sold on the game completely; I was left just hoping for the best. Playing the final product, I was utterly blown away. Not just because of the gameplay, but because it didn’t conform to the modern gaming lexicon.
For instance, I hate it when a game is based in a foreign land but still has its characters speak 95% English, only occasionally throwing a foreign word. Assassins Creed can get away with this because of the Animus concept; games like Sleeping Dogs can’t. Wolfenstein didn’t take the easy way out — it held full conversations in German and Polish. No tricks, no getting around it. I cannot tell you how refreshing this is.
Then there’s the fact that the game was brave enough to have extended periods of time where you’re not shooting anything. Not just for five minute stretches, but for 20-30 minutes at points.
This isn’t to speak ill of Wolfenstein’s gameplay, because it was fantastic. Shooting was nice and meaty, and the stealth mechanics were amazingly fun. The game gave you many reasons to try new styles of play, but still rewarded you for deviating from a ‘preferred’ style. Not to mention the story and voice acting was way better than it had any right to be.
Give Wolfenstein: The New Order a shot. Seriously, right now. Go grab it! You won’t regret it!
Come back tomorrow for more games of the year from the NG+ cast and crew.