One more for #listmas before it’s too late! Looking back on a year of gaming, I realize that 2014 was for the most part, a year of small releases for me or rather a year of indie gaming and digging through my steam backlog. There are no blockbuster titles to list, no Bioshock Infinite like last year and no new MMOs I enjoyed save one. If there’s something that has changed in 2014 for me personally, then that MMOs are more and more taking a backseat and not for lack of trying. Generally, there are three industry trends that have me concerned right now and that are expected to continue:
- This era of the classic MMORPG and AAA-MMOs is over
- Early Access gaming with a wide range of definitions is here to stay
- Console exclusivity is back with a vengeance
While online coop and multi-player games are thriving at least, it is especially that third trend which is both surprising given the state of console gaming only two years ago and annoying in an age of digital gaming and connectivity. If you’re browsing 2015 previews on any major gaming site right now, you will find a large amount of releases exclusive to either XBOX One or PS4, not to mention the usual Nintendo IPs (which have always been insular). Heck, even franchises that were born on PC, such as Tomb Raider, are going console exclusive in 2015.
There was a window early into the turn of the millennium, when the rise of online gaming seemed to finally overcome the boundaries of systems; multi-platform titles were all the rage and had the gaming community united. Now, the future bodes ill for multi-platforming and anyone sticking to just PC. Certainly anyone with a smaller budget. Meh?
My “GOTYs” of 2014
I am putting “GOTY” in quotation marks because I don’t really have one best game of the year – much rather, these are the games I had most fun with in 2014 and that I poured the most hours into, in no specific order (and not necessarily 2014 releases either):
- Wildstar; My MMO of the year for what its worth!
- Warlords of Draenor; A pleasant surprise and fuzzy feels.
- The Wolf Among Us; A must-play for any Fables and Telltale fans.
- Papers, Please; You may call yourself queen of multi-tasking afterwards.
- Cook, Serve, Delicious; I am wildly proud of my five star restaurant!
- The Vanishing of Ethan Carter; A dark horse, original and very sad.
- Child of Light; A beautiful, poetic, otherworldly journey despite Uplay.
- Rayman Legends; The greatest classic J&R/platformer I have played since the 90ies.
- Don’t Starve Together; Already lots of fun in coop despite being beta.
- 7 Days to Die; A solid building and survival game (with zombies!), alpha.
I could also list some disappointments of the year, such as ESO or Destiny, but let’s not dwell on low lights and move straight to great expectations for 2015 – of which there are many!
My Most Anticipated Games of 2015
I cannot recall the last time I looked forward to new releases as much before a new year! The line-ups for 2015 are packed and fingers crossed, we got an awesome year of new games ahead of us for every preference. Definitely on my radar in 2015 (mostly available on PC):
- The Witcher 3; NO WORDS! I am taking holidays for this one!
- The Division
- No Man’s Sky (eventually on PC)
- Kingdom Come: Deliverance
- Black Desert
- Everquest Next(?)
- The Long Dark
- Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture (PS4)
- Minecraft Storymode
- [Insert too many small indie/KS gems to name here]
With two MMOs still among my picks, I realize that I have never branched out as much in terms of genre as I do nowadays. I enjoy coop titles a great deal no matter the setting and look forward to more online multi-player in the future. This last quarter of 2014 has also re-lit my love for survival and building games, so along with classic exploration mode, I hope there will be some surprises on that front in 2015!
Not a bad way to start a new year! What are your most awaited games of 2015?
Oh and happy New Year, everybody!