Where did 2014 go? While nowhere near as good as the fabled 2007, it was an acceptable year in terms of a good mix of innovative IPs and franchise follow-ups. With trepidation, it looks like 2015 may be slightly better. Here’s what game releases to look out for in Q1.
GTA V (PC)
The end of January brings that GTA hype finally to PC. Like most of you, I have already clocked GTAV on last gen hardware, and I played, loved, but in all honesty forgot the title once clocked. With the large number of games that get released and the time it takes to complete (or discard in disgust), it is very rare I will revisit a title, especially one that I thought was as good as it could get.
The previous games I have bought across all formats and remakes were Monkey Island, Resident Evil 4 and Tony Hawks Pro Skater 2, and they turned out, in order, as Great, Good, and Terrible. However, the lure of First Person Mode and the fact the modding community will go, for a word, mental, this is a day one purchase. Best price can be found at cd-keys.com.
Evolve (PC, PS4, Xbox One)
Like Destiny, Evolve is an always-on, cooperative experience. With no offline mode, Evolve is at the mercy of the servers and connectivity, and there lies the problem; you can count the number of recent online big titles that were problem free from day one on no hands. Expect patches galore and periods of downtime, so this may be one to wait a couple of weeks or months until everything is ironed out.
If everything launch-wise goes perfectly, Evolve in itself looks a decent title. The developers Turtle Rock Studios have a stellar record with a string of well received offerings. What we found from both the beta and hands on time at numerous expos is that the cooperative / competitive nature of the game will mean users’s mileage may vary. If you are playing exclusively with friends and with team talk, you will mop the floor with randomers and have a great experience. Evolve is so reliant on cooperation, that you simply cannot successfully play in the lone wolf mode. Bear this in mind when deciding if you will hand over your cash.
The Order 1886 (PS4)
For all you Steampunk Gentlem’ladies out there, get ready to tip your augmented fedoras at The Order 1886. Originally extolled as one of PlayStation’s beacons of exclusivity excellence, recent months have seen a noticeable lack of presence on the gaming radar. This is because hands-on time from many respected reviewers have parroted the outdated, linear gameplay, full of quicktime events and forced stealth elements. Less “Hype Train”, more “Flimflam Trolley”.
Still, visuals are flipping amazing, and probably the best to date on home console. If it was a purely a tech demo, this would be how you sell PS4s. And it almost is one, as you do not get to ‘play’ as much as ‘watch’.
Project Cars (PC, PS4, Xbox One)
Is this game already out?! Until I looked it up, I didn’t even know. The similarities to DriveClub, even down to the drab naming, have made this a confusing affair to the outsider. There’s a shed load of racing sims out there, all with the objective of keeping the big metal box on the black strip between the green bits, and this looks to be another, albeit beautiful, version of that. We are probably the wrong people to update on racing sims, as no-one on our team is a dedicated wheelman. Matty B and I had a laugh playing GRID 2 in December (courtesy of the Humble Bundle), but beyond that we like our car games a bit more arcadey.
Given that the title has been delayed by 4 months, the Wii U version is to be tackled later on, and the PS3 and Xbox 360 releases dropped all together, you would hope that Slightly Mad Studios will succeed in their ambition to release a serious but accessible racing sim. Good luck to them!
Battlefield Hardline (PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox One, Xbox 360)
The thinking man’s mindless shooter, Battlefield has always been the “chalk” to Call of Duty’s “cheese”. Originally derided as a stopgap until Battlefield 5, more recent hands on have shown that maybe there’s something to it. With the good vs bad dynamic now skinned as ‘Cops vs Robbers’ there are a few new game modes which stir the pot. One of these is ‘Heist’, where the robbers are tasked with robbing a bank vault and making away with the goods, while the boys in blue blow up a city trying to stop them. It could just be capture the flag on steroids, but at least it is not more of the same.
The most interesting development is the Single player. Battlefield solo campaigns have always felt a bit tacked on, but as with the departure from the norm in Advanced Warfare, Hardline has gone even further. You will be acting as a cop, not a soldier, and good police behaviour such as cuffing and non-lethal force are rewarded. And as a cop, flashing your badge can be just as effective as blowing a crim’s head off.
There is a Beta beginning next week which I am having a crack at, so more will be known from there
- Bloodborne – Dark Souls with Guns?!
- Final Fantasy Type 0 – An unnecessary HD remake of a handheld puff piece.