With 2013 dying in the gutter, gasping for some small mercy before it is kicked in the throat, it’s time to look ahead instead to 2014, and all the wonders therein! The future unfurls before us like the great unfurling wings of the Aztec Time Bird Kutlilopictli. Some of us are cutting desperate resolutions to diminish our soggy physical forms slightly, or that this year we’re going to finally buy that bitchin’ Val Kilmer Batmobile (Chris O’Donnel optional).
Last year set the bar pretty damn high, with giants like “Bioshock Infinite,” Telltale’s “The Walking Dead,” and “FutureBird: The Revenge of Kutlilopictli.” Let’s take a look, now, at what 2014 is cooking up for us in the video games department, so that we can properly invest our wasted, ill-used time.
Assassin’s Creed Liberation HD
Assassin’s Creed: Liberation actually came out for the Playstation Vita last year, but since nobody owns a Playstation Vita it wasn’t what we call “played by anyone.” In January of 2014, the game will be skull- stabbing it’s way onto PS3, PC, and XBox gaming apparati with an HD re-release. The game stars the very first female playable assassin, Aveline, who gets to creep and cut her way through New Orleans in the 1700’s. She’s Creole, which is even radder, so naturally Ubisoft was like: “Female creole assassin in New Orleans? How. Cool. Is that. Let’s release that for the Sega CD.”
The people who brought you the excellent Tomb Raider reboot, titled simply “Tomb Raider” are bringing back another watershed gaming franchise – one of the first forebearers of the stealth genre, “Thief.” Perhaps to the surprise of no one, the reboot of the classic series “Thief” will be titled “Thief.” Square Enix and Eidos don’t believe in numbers or subtitles, because those are what bitches put after their titles. Punk bitches. Series protagonist Garret will return in glorious new technologies on pretty much every platform, including PC, the new generation of consoles, and probably even the Playstation Vita. Square Enix has confirmed that the title will not be sequel, and will serve as a new jumping-off point for the series. Expect to put out lots of torches and candles, sap guards in the back of the head, and steal an entire fortune from the backpockets of the poor underpaid guardsmen of “The City.” You monster.
Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes
Hideo Kojima returns with his first main-entry Metal Gear Solid game since 2008, so get ready to be thrilled, more than a little confused, and sort of turned on maybe. The Metal Gear Solid games are like James Bond movies, if they were directed by an idiot savant anime writer who was sky high from injecting Krokodil into his eyes and had a fetish for men’s butts wrapped in skin-tight body armor. There is no better description of the series. You will not find one.
I love the series, naturally, which is why I’m excited to continue the story. The game actually serves as the “first half” of Metal Gear Solid V, functionally the prologue to Metal Gear Solid: The Phantom Pain. The two games will create a diumvirate of weirdly badass action starring Keifer “Not David Hayter” Sutherland as Big Boss, the clone-Pappy of original hero Solid Snake. Expect beards, power-plot presentations, and so, so many asses.
Final Fantasy X HD Remastered
Here’s a video describing how excited I am that that Square Enix is releasing an HD remaster of FFX next year.
Elder Scrolls Online
I’ve Scrolled through Elders in the past – a little Oblivion, a bit more Skyrim – but I’ve never considered myself a “Scoller,” which is a name for Elder Scrolls enthusiasts I just made up. I do enjoy the enormous world and the exploitative possibilities, but I find that I can’t keep my interest very long in games with no guidance whatsoever. I’m not sure if it’s ADD or complete lack of ADD, but when there are so many choices I’m allowed to make I essentially get paralyzed like a big horn sheep on a Costa Rican air strip. Still, the games are HUGE the world over, and the idea of Bethesda cranking out a massively-multiplayer game based on the series is a sure-fire hit. They are literally going to be destroying tender human lives with the release of this game. There may be a slight upshot in the unemployment rate, and I don’t feel like I’m kidding even a little bit. Gamers have dumped untold hours, months, years into the SINGLE PLAYER games. Bodies have decayed in front of the inhuman glow of computer monitors, legs have atrophied, and neck beards have grown to epic lengths and thicknesses.
Bungie’s new not-Halo game has been the Rinoa to game journalist’s Squall in the Balamb Garden senior prom that is video game release speculation. (Translation: Destiny is popular and a great dancer). Bungie promised a first-person game with massively-multiplayer RPG elements, in an ever-changing world that would be affected and changed forever by player actions. Land combat, vehicle combat, space, air, the whole boat – Bungie is promising to deliver a sort of first-person-shooter sci-fi World of Warcraft. Nobody will shut up about it, which means that it will probably be pretty good.
The story is that humans spread across the cosmos, being all civilized and shit, but then “the Collapse” happened and everything went to hell. A mysterious glowy ball is giving people strange powers, society is trying to crawl back from the brink, and everyone shoots each other with guns. A lot. Trust me on that last part.
Did you play PC games in the ’90s? Do you remember the
TIE Fighter / X-Wing / X-Wing Vs. TIE Fighter games?
Well then I have some rather excellent news to share
with you. Star Citizen is coming out next year, which
promises to recreate that style of first-person
starfighter dogfighting, but mixed with persistent MMO
RPG elements. You’ll do intergalactic trading, you’ll
blast starfighters to pieces, you’ll customize and
upgrade your own ship so that you can do more of the
first two things except in a slightly more badass
fashion. It’s essentially Eve Online if the combat was
fun. Or the game was fun. Whatever. Star Citizen
started as a Kickstarter Campaign that (obviously)
succeeded, and has made some rather tough campaign
promises. Still, I couldn’t be more excited – my
childhood memories of clutching a joystick in a dark
room, trying to find the trench . . . you know,
nevermind. Be excited about this game.
Walking Dead Season 2
Telltale’s “The Walking Dead” episodic adventure game
ruled the roost last year, picking up more Game of the
Year Awards than Kutlilopictli, the Aztec Time Bird,
picks up wayward time travelers foundering in the
chronostream. Which is a lot. The game took a comic art
style, an amazing voice acting cast, terrific writing,
and then added gut-wrenching, spur-of-the-moment
choices to craft one of the finest games I’ve played in
a long time. The story follows Clementine and Lee, a
little girl and her protector, trying to survive in the
ghoul-haunted wastes of the apocalyptic south. The
first season made me cry and cry and cry, and there are
scenes in that game I might never forget. The first
episode of the second season technically came out this
month, but WHATEVER MAN. The rest of the second season
comes out in 2014, and boy howdy could I not be more
excited to return to that twisted, horrible, emotion-