Console exclusives can make or break the gaming community. On one hand, a strong line up of exclusives can effectively sell a console with little to no effort on the company’s part. On the other hand, gamers are often forced to pick and choose which consoles they buy, rather than choose the console that is truly right for them. Exclusivity only serves the companies behind the consoles, not the game developers or gamers. Regardless, the upcoming year looks promising for the gaming community. A number of interesting titles, both new and returning, will be made available across multiple systems. Here’s my top five picks for the currently announced 2014 multi-platform lineup:
This upcoming action-adventure boasts an open world, largely fictionalized rendition of Chicago, Illinois. In it, players control an Irish hacker named Aiden Pearce, who can hack into just about any electronic device. Whether or not his skills will be used for good is up to you, as many of his actions can cause havoc on the crowds around him. Whether stealing bank data from an unsuspecting couple or contemplating which citizen would be better off dead, based on their data, Aiden is not a man to be taken lightly. Expect to hear his story in mid-2014.
Much to the surprise of game journalists worldwide, Bungie is diverting some of their attention off of Halo and onto this first-person action-adventure set in what they have dubbed a “mythic science fiction.” This open world game is not unlike an MMO, though Bungie prefers to call it a “shared-world shooter.” If you think it’s just another Halo clone, you might find yourself pleasantly surprised. Players take on the role of the “Guardians”, a variety of races that have banded together to defend Earth’s last remaining city in a post-apocalyptic collapse. Although it is expected to be always-online, we can also expect that it will receive the love and care Bungie is known for.
Star Wars: Battlefront
Thought the Star Wars: Battlefront series was dead and gone? Think again. Fans of the first / third-person-shooter hybrid series found themselves pleasantly surprised by the announcement of this upcoming title at E3 2013. Although not much is currently known about the game, we can only expect greatness from such an acclaimed series. A release is expected sometime between late 2014 and early to mid-2015. Mark your calendars!
Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes
Metal Gear Solid is perhaps one of the only mainstream game series with truly niche topics of interest out there. Where else can you find time paradoxes, overblown dialogue, equal opportunity fanservice, and tear-jerking death scenes all in one game? If the few glimpses we’ve had at Ground Zeroes are any indication, the tenth entry in this beloved stealth-action series is following in the footsteps of its predecessors. Acting as the prequel to Metal Gear Solid V and taking place after Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, Ground Zeroes’ strangest feature is also one of its most innovative: players, who will be granted the opportunity to build their own motherbase, can access certain parts of the game through their smartphone. While gimmicky, it’s an interesting addition to an interesting series. If nothing else, the inevitable Codec conversations about it while be good for a few laughs.
No Man’s Sky
Minecraft wasn’t the first game to use a procedurally generated open world, but it sure did popularize it. No Man’s Sky takes a similar premise and places it in a science fiction setting, allowing players to explore entirely uncharted stretches of space for miles at a time. Unique terrains and lifeforms can be found on encountered planets, which can be charted manually by players hoping to find a little adventure.
2013 was a fantastic year for video games, and it looks like it’s the same for the upcoming year!