Welcome to 2014.

From bringing the seventh generation of gaming towards it’s end (that’d be the Xbox 360 / Playstation 3 generation), to the dawn of the eighth generation and exciting new evolutions in the realm of PC gaming (Steam Machine anyone?), the next 12 months are set to be an exciting time in the history of video gaming. While the majority of what this year holds is still a mystery, there is some information we already know, particularly regarding a selection of games we can expect to hit our platform of choice sometime in 2014. It’s with this in mind that TheGamersPad crew are setting their sights to the future. We’re asking ourselves “What excites us?”, “What are we going to purchase on day one?”, and “Will Dark Souls 2 be the game that finally breaks my spirit and leaves me weeping in a dark corner?”…

So without further delay…

The Gamers Pad presents Most Anticipated Games of 2014

Agus Berry – Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes

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The Metal Gear Solid V reveal did two things to me: made me confused to what actually was being showcased and the fact that it made my jaw drop to the ground. It’s been a long time coming but we definitely need a new Metal Gear game following Snake and what better to show it off on next-gen technology like the Xbox One and PlayStation 4.

Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes is part one of the fifth entry to the series serving as a prologue and Kojima promises an open world landscape running in real time with new ways of stealth combat. Not only does the game look more open and realistic, the visuals running on the new FOX Engine literally made me wipe the drool off my desk – it just looks incredible.

Heck… any Kojima game looks incredible. Definitely my pick for the year 2014.

Special Mentions: The Division, Quantum Break

 

Rowland Norris – Murdered Soul Suspect

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There are a lot of games i’m looking forward to in 2014. I can’t wait to relapse into Trials addiction with the release of Trials Fusion, and i’m hoping to see some exciting new titles come to WiiU, but when i was tasked with choosing my most anticipated game of 2014, i carefully considered all my options and eventually settled on Murdered: Soul Suspect. Murdered doesn’t exactly have me chomping at the bit to start playing, but i’m thrilled at the potential of what it may hold. I know what i’m getting when i think of a new Halo or Titanfall, but Murdered seems to be something a little bit different, and that’s exactly why i’ll be keeping a close eye on it.

Special Mentions: Trials Fusion, Quantum Break

 

Ben Campbell – Dark Souls 2

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The 100 plus hours I put into the first Dark Souls was incredibly well spent.  So naturally the sequel and 3rd in the series is high on my list for games to look out for in 2014.

I had a chance to play Dark Souls 2 at the EB Games Expo, and from that experience, mixed with the speculation that comes from being an excited fanboy; I can’t wait to get my hands on more punishing Japanese ridiculousness.

Hard-core fans have been worried that the game will be too easy after the word “accessible” was thrown around by the developers. Fortunately, new game director Yui Tanimura has denounced this assumption multiple times. In a Forbes interview early this year, he was quoted saying: 

“I would like to clarify here that we do not have any plans to make the game easier,”

Aside from keeping the essential DNA of the series intact, From Software is also striving to make everything better than before.

The developers have said that the PC version of Dark Souls 2 has been handled with more care than the first, which had several issues and required modding for a good experience.

Character models, lighting and texture quality seems to have been improved, and more gameplay options are being given to the player in terms of how they approach a challenge or boss.

If you’re new to the franchise, now’s the time to get invested; lets prepare to die.

Special Mentions: Dragon Age Inquisition and Transistor.

 

Jay Ballzup – Tom Clancy’s The Division

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There’s a reason that everyone was so excited for Next Gen. Often the primary focus of games marketing, graphics are usually the least significant contributor to the quality of a game. And while I strongly believe that visuals don’t make a game, I also have a true appreciation for the level of detail that developers are putting in to even last gen titles.

A short while ago Ubisoft released a video showing off what the Snowdrop engine is capable of in the next Tom Clancy game and it’s simply spectacular. Even if the game itself sucks it’s destined to sell well based on eye candy alone.

Aside from the sexyness of the game though The Division is the first new IP that has bared Tom Clancy’s name since H.A.W.X in 2009. As we all know these were okay…ish. On the other hand, the Splinter Cell games  for which he is most well known (in gaming) have almost always been great and many of the other IP’s that use his name have had varying degrees of success. It will be very interesting to see how The Division fares in comparison when it’s released in Q4 2014.

But I have to ask… am I the only one that thinks it’s a little odd that Ubisoft are using Tom’s name even though he died in October?

Special Mentions: Destiny, Oddworld New & Tasty

 

Christiaan ‘Sp4dez’ Miranda – The Witcher 3

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Looking at the list of games to be released in 2014, there are so many gems out there but the one that stands out for me is CD Projekt RED’s The Witcher 3. The Witcher 3’s predecessor gave me an experience like no other, it tackled topics such as political alliances, racism and oppression in a very mature and adult manner. Which is very refreshing to see in this particular entertainment medium. CD Projekt RED describes their game as “a living open world larger than any other in modern RPG history.” “Skyrim is HUGE though!” some of you might say but The Witcher 3 boasts of a map that is “20% bigger than Skyrim” and its is anticipated to take approximately 100 hours to complete the main story line and the side-quests. The Witcher 3 will feature CD Projekt RED’s brand new engine, REDengine 3. Designed specifically with large non-linear open world RPGs in mind, this new engine will give the player the vast and complex multi-thread story, without having to sacrifice the visual beauty of the world of Geralt of Rivea.

With every piece of artwork released, my excitement builds. With every new trailer my adoration grows. Even if it just turns out to be almost exactly like The Witcher 2 but with better graphics this masterpiece will still be brilliant.

Another game I am looking forward to is Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD……because Final Fantasy X/X-2 in HD!

 

Chris Norris – Titanfall

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With a plethora of intriguing and impressive titles delighting gamers at this year’s numerous E3 presentations, it goes without saying that 2014 is shaping up to be an extremely prosperous and fulfilling year for gaming as it enters the early stages of a bold new chapter.  The year’s spoils continue to gather more and more momentum and prestige however as numerous titles previously slated for release this fall  have fallen victim to deadlines and are now staring down the barrel of a 2014 release window.  As well pull the curtains closed and reflect on another stellar year our gaze becomes firmly fixed upon the future.

Few of these titles however has managed to conjure such an immense amount of excitement and anticipation like Titanfall has during the course of the last 6 months. With newly formed studio Respawn Entertainment at the helm, Titanfall is shaping up to be a revolutionary multiplayer phenomenon. Opting to do away with the stagnant and somewhat stale modern warfare setting, Respawn’s entertainment’s maiden venture into the multiplayer arena see’s supercharged and agile battle mechs piloted by soldiers, ignite the conflict online mixing the fast paced close quarters infantry combat of the Call of Duty franchise with a fresh and engaging new vehicular combat component. With studio founders Jason West and Vince Zampella backed by an experienced team, playing such a huge role in shaping the face of the modern FPS experience, there’s no doubt this title has a tremendous amount of promise. Prepare for Titanfall on March 11

Special Mentions: Infamous Second Son, The Division