The Kidd’s Top 10 Games of 2014
2014 was a very strange year for games, the new generation took its first strides and just like a baby, had a few falls along the way. We certainly didnt get the gems and masterpieces we got last year but we did get some new IP and some new ideas. I had some very memorable moments in some of these games and I’ve arranged my most favourite ones in order.
Disclaimer: Obviously this list only contains games I personally played in 2014. Late entries such as Far Cry 4, This War of Mine, Never Alone and manay more did not make the cut because of time constraints
10: Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes
Konami – PS4
The subtitle “Tactical Espionage Operations” should have been enough to tell me exactly how much the approach to Metal Gear gameplay would change in this next generation iteration.Gone is the radar, replacing it with a Far Cry 3 style tagging system. Players are now expected to pay more attention to their surroundings, sound, guard patrol patterns and NPC interactions. The CQC has gotten even better in this version and the visuals are just as stunning as the glorious eyepatch of BIg Boss.
The real star of the show though is the narrative. Getting to see exactly what made Big Boss snap and go all terrorist is very fascinating, The cast of characters both old and new are a delight to see and despite the brevity of the campaign I certainly got invested in the story that was being told in the now trademark super long Kojima cutscenes. I cant wait to play the full campaign when The Phantom Pain is finally released, later in 2015.
9. Towerfall Ascension
Matt Thorson – PC
Easily the most fun I have had with a bunch of friends all seated (and sometimes standing and yelling) right next to me while playing video games in 2014. Towerfall Ascension really brought back the local multiplayer fire in all of us. It wasn’t just the competitive multiplayer either, the co op campaign was just as fun if not even more. The breadth of gameplay styles and tactics that we had to employ to adapt to the various enemies or opponents was staggering for a game seemingly so simple.
Towerfall was amazing and its a game we continued to play throughout the entire year and with the sequel or expansion coming soon we are certain to keep our quivers full of arrows through 2015 as well.
Super Giant Games – PC
I distinctly remember the moment when I entered the training area for the first time and a soothing jazz soundtrack called “Coasting” was playing. It sounded so good that I stopped for a minute and enjoyed the music then I accidentally pushed TAB and Red began to hum. It was glorious!
Transistor’s main attraction was definitely its gameplay. The difference that switching between 4 different abilities and 2 passives made was staggering. The quasi turn based approach helped keep the pace to a steady flow and once you got OP you could mash your way through enemies at ease. The narrative was not as strong as Bastion’s but Transistor still managed to hold its own for the most part.
It also had the best final boss battle in all video games in 2014. I cant wait to see what SuperGiant give us with their next game, surely it can only be a masterpiece.
7. Child of Light
Ubisoft Montreal – PC
Child of Light was one of my most anticipated games of 2014 . The promise of a 2D turn based JRPG-esque game from the creators of Far Cry 3 was something too good to miss. The music in Child of Light is simply fantastic and reminded me of the good old SNES Final Fantasy games. The gameplay was just as compelling as well, finding a good middle ground between accessibility and depth. The cast of characters was just as bright and bubbly as the games watercolour aesthetic and the rhythmic fashion in which all the dialogue was delivered was actually quite charming for me all the way through.
I really enjoyed Child of Light and hope that Ubisoft gets to make more smaller titles like these regularly.
6.The Wolf Among Us
Telltale Games – PC
The Wolf Among Us surprised me, it had very huge shoes to fill considering it was a followup to my 2012 Game of the year The Walking Dead. TellTale games have really found a formula that works for them and have refined it to a T. The Wolf Among Us shares similarities gameplay wise to The Walking Dead but it differs in its approach to story telling and tone. The characters were well fleshed out and the story was just as mysterious in the final act as it was in the very first episode.
Bigby Wolf, Bloody Mary and The Crooked Man are characters that will last with me for a lifetime and its all thanks to the masterful execution by TellTale Games.
5. Shadowrun Dragonfall
Harebrained Schemes – PC
I feel like Shadowrun Returns never really got the attention or respect it deserved, it was one of the best games of 2013. The expansion Dragonfall was even better than its prequel. The permadeath style turn based tactical strategy game a-la XCOM was in full force here and it was brilliant. Every battle encounter was intense and so much fun all at the same time. The setting was very well realised from the character designs to the soundtrack, it really did feel cyberpunk fantasy.
I cant wait for more Shadowrun, we need more good Cyberpunk games in our lives.
4. Super Smash Bros for WiiU
Nintendo – Nintendo WiiU
Okay first of all Little Mac is soo OP! Oh Smash what a beautiful game, you allow me to let Sonic rough up Mario, Pacman and MegaMan all in the same arena in glorious HD using a variety of control schemes and controllers and if I feel thats not enough you allow me to add an extra 4 player for some player Smash! What a beautiful beautiful game.
3. Alien Isolation
Creative Assembly – PC
I have come to appreciate this game over time more and more. I’ll be the first to admit, there are times while playing Alien Isolation that I was cursing at the designers for making such lazy design choices, the game has a long rough patch in the middle but it starts strong and ends strong.
When Alien Isolation is at its best, it is the best survival horror experience ever made. Stealth matters and you have no other choice, The Alien is deadly and it scary, it is the prime predator and theres nothing you can do about it except creep under tables and hide in plain sight. The crafting system added a level of urgency that is usually missing from these sorts of games. The attention to detail was so meticulous there were numerous times I couldn’t help but marvel. Alien is the best looking game of 2014 for me not in polygon count but in art design.
I loved Alien Isolation and while I am hesitant to play it again just yet, I would definitely be willing to see if they manage to make a sequel that is just as good but irons out all the annoying flaws
2. Valiant Hearts: The Great War
Ubisoft Montpellier – PC
Valiant Hearts is the one piece of media that taught me the most about world war 1 in the most interesting and entertaining way possible. The 3-4 protagonists that I got to use throughout the course of the game are some of the best characters I have ever come across. Valiant Hearts tells the story of what war does to the common man without pulling any of its punches.
The colorful aesthetic was used smartly to cushion the grim and dark nature of the narrative subject matter and while it worked for the most part, the honesty and harshness of wars realities did manage to sneak through more than a few times leading to some serious tear jerking moments.
1. The Walking Dead Season 2
Telltale Games – PC
The Walking Dead season 2 starts off right where the 1st season ended, with death and sadness and it doesnt stop there. Getting to see Clementine survive practically on her own in this world was some of the most intense moments of gaming in 2014. We got to see her character grow mentally and physically and she had to go through some really horrendous experiences. The Walking Dead season 2 asked us questions about family, friends, lovers, our hopes and aspirations but most importantly our love for humanity.
season 2 ended up being just as good if not better than season 1 which is why The Walking Dead Season Two is my 2014 Game of the Year.
Civilisation Beyond Earth