There were many great games that came out in 2014; some of them were broken, but most were great. Not everyone may agree with this list, but they are the ones that I hold dear from the last year.
Wolfenstein: The New Order
If there was ever a game I didn’t expect to have a good story along with being a great first-person shooter, this would be it. Wolfenstein has been a franchise that puts shooting first with a slight back story to it and nothing to really invest you emotionally. I was blown away with what Machine Games did, bringing a story that enthralled me as well as getting me attached to the characters. From the first level where I was forced to make a choice that no one wants to make, to the very end where I felt I didn’t want the story to end. I was absolutely sucked into the experience of the whole game. I would recommend this game to anyone looking for a great shooter with a wonderful story.
Valiant Hearts: The Great War
I heard the hype, the emotion, and the praise given to this game, and once I played it I could see why people were talking so highly of it. One war that doesn’t get much attention in the video game industry is World War I, but Valiant Hearts definitely did it right. With all the photos from the war to the description of battles, technology, and what life was like during the war; you really can feel for the people that fought for their countries. I really got attached to each of the characters I was playing and when the ending came I was very happy and extremely sad at the same time. Figuring out the puzzles in each level was fun and some have an urgency to finish them quickly to save lives. This is a must play from 2014.
Four hundred billion systems, do I really need to say more? So I really didn’t expect myself to like this game as much as I have. From transporting cargo, to space pirating, to bounty hunting, to upgrading ships, to buying new ones; there really is too much in this game for any one person to complete in a lifetime. When I killed my first “wanted criminal” I was jumping up and down with joy, and when I delivered a shipment of cargo and saw those credits role in I felt great satisfaction. All I need now is an Oculus Rift and I won’t remember reality exists. If you are looking for some major bang for your buck, then this is a game that will take thousands of hours before you are truly satisfied, if ever.
Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker
Good old Nintendo has to be on my list and I chose this game for multiple reasons. Taken from just a small section of Super Mario 3D World and put into his own game, Captain Toad is an adorable character with a gigantic backpack that’s holding him down to “Earth”. All the little details put into this game give it a magic that many miss out on or don’t think about when creating a game. I can’t recall how many times I giggled like a small child while playing when Captain Toad did something that brought a smile to my face. The levels are extremely well crafted and even though finding the collectibles and extra objectives are optional; I just had a feeling of wanting to spend more time in these bite sized levels to explore every little nook and cranny. This is a wonderful game to have for any Wii U owner.
Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor
This by far was a surprise to me, being my favorite game of the year. I picked the game up on a whim on release day, not knowing one thing about it except it had the nemesis system. The combat is great and it’s fluidity makes is very satisfying. I really enjoyed the back story of Talion and his reasons to go after the Black Hand. This is where the nemesis system broke the game free from the other games in this genre. The Uruk may look like bags of meat waiting to get decapitated, but they all have a personality to them. When the first one killed me and I saw him again, he taunted me and I was out for revenge. Also if not killed properly you might see them again and he sure remembered me setting him on fire, his face even had scarring from being burnt. The world is very well done; inside Mordor it is very bland and not a pretty place to be in, expected for somewhere at the base of a volcano. When I got to Núrn and saw all the color of the grass, trees, and ocean it was a beautiful sight to behold. I am quite happy I got to experience this game, so if you are a Lord of the Rings fan, and have wanted to slaughter hundreds of Orcs then look no further.