Friday 30 January 2015

E14 Reflects: Blake's Top 5 Games (Played) in 2014

For a lot of us, January is a time for reflection. Whether it's calling "stuff I've meant to do for ages" a New Year's resolution or not, everyone thinks back on this stuff to some degree. Here at E14, 2014 was a year to remember. We launched a second podcast (which you can find here), The Crazy Train went from strength to strength creatively and we even managed to put something on our Youtube page (more to follow).

It was thus with a sense of nostalgia that Rob asked the rest of Team E14 to take a look back into the year just passed, and think about the media we experienced that stood out (for good reasons or bad). Here, then, is our first foray back into the past 12 months. Today, Blake tells us the best games he played in 2014. Enjoy, and look forward to more from the team soon!

Blake’s Top 5 Games (Played) in 2014

Here’s the list of my top 5 games that I played in 2014. To clarify, this means that I played them in 2014, not necessarily that they were released in that year. While it hasn’t been the strongest year for games (especially when compared to 2013 with GTA 5, The Last of Us and Bioshock Infinite among my favourites), there have still been some fun games that have kept me thoroughly entertained over the months. Here are my personal favourites.

5: South Park and the Stick of Truth

Developer: Obsidian Entertainment
Publisher: Ubisoft

Although it takes the form of a simple RPG, and isn't the longest of games unless you want to complete every side quest in the game, South Park earns its place for being something very few games are: cocking hilarious! From its ludicrous plot, show references and send ups of video games old and new. The Stick of Truth feels like you are in the show, and it is damned fun to boot.

Available on: PC, Playstation 3, Xbox 360
The game's official website

4: Resogun

Developer: Housemarque (PS3, PS4), Climax Studios (Vita)
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment

A simple game (it is essentially Defender on smack), side-scrolling shooter Resogun hits the addictive quality of 'one more go' blasting and high score chasing, especially when DLC introduced the Endless and Wrecking Ball modes. Despite being a launch title, this is still one of PS4’s strongest console exclusives, and pretty essential if you own one.

Available on: Playstation 3, Playstation 4, Playstation Vita
The game's official website

3: Valiant Hearts: The Great War

Developer: Ubisoft Montpellier
Publisher: Ubisoft

There are very few games that have communicated to me emotionally on the level that a film or book would have. Of course, there have been some examples like that beginning to The Last of Us or the mind-blowing ending to Bioshock Infinite. However, Valiant Hearts, despite its cute appearance and simple puzzles, conveyed the horrors of war and let you bond with its cast so effectively that the inevitable gut punch of an ending got me right in the feels, and that is why it is easily deserving of best Indie I have played this year.

Available on: iOS, PC, Playstation 3, Playstation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One
The game's official website

2: Far Cry 4

Developer: Ubisoft Montreal
Publisher: Ubisoft

Ubisoft have gone onto prove that if it ain’t broke, one needn't fix it. This is why, aside from a few improvements and additions to the vehicles, weapons and side quests, Far Cry 4 isn’t all that different from Far Cry 3, and it’s testament to how good a game that is to have earned the number 2 slot in my list. While the plot may not be as strong, what makes Far Cry 4 so good is the sheer fun you will have messing around its enormous open world, whether it be with a friend by yourself. Taking on outposts and forts is always entertaining, and just as fun as blowing up wolves with C4. It is an awesome sandbox you can easily lose hours in.

Available on: PC, Playstation 3, Playstation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One
The game's official website

1: Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor

Developer: Monolith
Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment

For a game with a plot that would make a lot of Tolkien fans shit themselves with rage to take my game of the year surprised even me. However, with awesome combat, fun exploring and the amazing Nemesis system (a game mechanic that offers a lot of fun and replayability in itself and possibly one of the best things to come out of the generation so far), this game takes the metaphorical trophy just out of Far Cry 4’s greasy mitts. Worth picking up if you are fan of the Assassin's Creed or Batman Arkham franchises, or just love decapitating Uruks all day.

Available on: PC, Playstation 3, Playstation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One
The game's official website

Honourable mention – Wolfenstein: The New Order

Developer: MachineGames
Publisher: Bethesda Softworks

For being a straight up simple yet fun first person shooter that doesn’t try to reinvent the genre and instead focuses on making each part of it as good as possible, a nod has to go to Wolfenstein: The New Order. Whilst 2014 hasn’t been the strongest for video games, this game almost made it into my top 5 on several occasions so it is a shame to be missed out entirely. If you haven’t played, go and do so now, as it stands a good chance of making it into your top 5 of 2015 if you do.

Available on: PC, Playstation 3, Playstation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One
The game's official website

Dishonourable mention – Doki-Doki Universe

Developer: HumaNature Studios
Publisher: HumaNature Studios

Quite possibly the worst game I have ever played, let alone worst game of 2014. Annoyingly cute graphics, simple and boring puzzles and a completely underwhelming story makes this purely awful. Avoid like AIDS!

Available on: Playstation 3, Playstation 4, Playstation Vita
The game's official website

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