This piece is already longer than it has any right to be. So lets make the intro akin to Bazooka Joe – short and sweet. These are the 15 most talked about…most anxiously awaited games coming to a gaming platform near you, some time this year. We begin in the darkness where we find lurking…

15. Thief

Thief

Tuck your chains and stash your jewels. Garret the master thief is loose in the city. Even the ruthless Baron’s Watch may be helpless to “catch a thief.”

A decade has passed since Garret, the archaic cat burglar, slunk through the shadows of gamers hearts. Spiritually fathering games like Assassin’s Creed, Splinter Cell and even The Witcher series, there is no question why this 4th installment has landed on our list. Gamers will again reprise their role as Garret, master of the shadows. The relatively open-world game will allow players to decide how to proceed, which avenues to take, which guards to subdue or avoid and which of Garret’s many gadgets to use to seize the day and the most prize possessions of game’s hapless citizens.

Platform: PC, Xbox One and PS4

Release Date: February 25th

14. Dark Souls 2

Dark-Souls-2

I still have yet to play the first Dark Souls, mostly because it began as a console exclusive. When it hit PC it was unchanged and not optimized for the “PC Master Race”. Yet even in watching, the combat felt so visceral and the graphics still impress. Dark Souls 2 promises to bring more to the series and to PC gamers.

Dark Souls 2 is the latest breakout series from Armored Core developer From Software. It’s old school hack n’ slash meets action RPG in dark labyrinthine environs filled with skilled denizens and massive monsters and bosses. This time, Dark Souls 2 enhances its critically acclaimed multiplayer system with cooperative and competitive gameplay mechanics. Plus it’s all running on a gorgeous new game engine.

Platform: PC, Xbox 360, PS3

Release Date: March 14th

13. Infamous: Second Son

Infamous

When the first Infamous dropped it was compared — almost incessantly — to Prototype, the other super hero-esque action beat-’em-up. InFamous 2nd Son is the 3rd installment. It takes place 7 year after InFamous. We have a new protagonist with two completely new power sets. Players will be able to defend themselves against a government out of control with Smoke and Neon powers, which are essentially fire and light based powers. Environmental destruction has been kicked up tremendously.

12. Project CARS

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In mine humble opinion. Gran Turismo has been unseated as the “ultimate racing sim.” Or I should say, that is so for PC gamers who have already financially contributed to the development of Project C.A.R.S. Current and regularly updated builds of the game are already available to them.

The Game will include 10 game modes, Co-Op as driver and Co-Driver, Team management collaborative with team of friends, real time of w/ localized weather, advance physics, user-generated content a ton more.

I’m going to let you dive through the tempting water of their extensive official game webpage for more on this one. But I implore you… Please look at their screenshots and gameplay movies. This is the most realistic racing game ever made. Is it real life or the racing sim.

Platform: PC, Xbox One, PS4, Wii U, and Steam OS.

Release Date: Q3/Q4 2014

11. Dying Light

dying-light

This one looks amazing. Techland, the folks behind the less-than-stellar Dead Island have taken all that that learned from that zombie debacle and crammed it into a new open world zombie surival action game. Where DayZ underpinnings are loot and survival, Dyling Light will be about avoiding the massive zombie hordes using a dash of clever and whole lot of running and jumping using the game’s new parkour-like nimble movement system.

Dying Light will feature a slick day-night cycle that will change the way you approach each challenge. Pair that with the sprawling urban environment overrun with the victims of a gruesome outbreak. At night the infected are far more aggressive. Choose your play style as a mix of visceral melee combat and free-running are at your disposal.

Platform: PC, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PS3  and PS4

Release Date: 2014

10. Elder Scrolls Online

Elder-Scrolls-Online

All the time I was knee-deep in Skyrim shouting Nordic enchantations at the dead and dragons alike, I couldn’t stop thinking out great this game would be with friends in an open-work environment. Bethesda has answered the call of many fantasy fans. The Elder Scrolls Online. Are you ready to traverse and scour Tamriel with your select guild buddies? The Elder Scrolls Online will introduce the very first official PVP gameplay. As armies rally — infested with real players — you and your allies must stem the tide against advancing armies on the Cyrodiil battlefields.

This is a intelligent and connected world. No shards! You are automatically placed with allies, guild mates, like-minded players and others you have encountered.

Platform: PC, Xbox One,  and PS4

Release Date: April 4th

9. Pillars of Eternity

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Fresh from a well-tended Kickstarter kiln (crowd funding $4.2mil), Pillars of Eternity is the latest bit of genius from a “little known” gaming house called Obsidian Entertainment. Baldur’s Gate, Ice Wind Dale, Plansecape: Torment…? Oh yeah that’s all from these dedicated RPG lovers.

Pillars of Eternity hopes to recapture all that was great about those games, spit shine it for the next generations and build it all from the ground-up on a senses-shattering new game engine. You will choose to play as one of the 5 races — Human, Aumaua, Dward, Elf, Dodlik and Orlan. The rule system is inspired by old-school table top role-playing games. Yet it remains custom built for PoE. Return to the classic dungeon-diving and locating key loot in Pillar of Eternity.

Platform: PC (Windows), OS X, Linux

Release Date: Winter 2014

8. Metal Gear Solid: 5

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Snake enters the open-world. Metal Gear Solid 5 is inevitable next installment of the Hideo Kojima’s astronomically famous Metal Gear franchise. This one is a bit of side story. It takes place after metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker. Also rather uniquely, this version is part 1 in a 2 part Metal Gear Solid 5 bookend set, if you will. The follow up will be dubbed Metal Gear Solid: Phantom Rain.

MGS 5′s biggest new features is borrowed from current RPGs and survival games — base building. Players will be able to research and craft new weapons, gadgets and such. You

Platform: PC, Xbox One,  and PS4

Release Date: March 20th

7. Grand Theft Auto 5 for PC

GTA5-PC

This one requires little introduction. GTA has become the very definition of sand-box open-world gameplay. Among many many other things, Grand Theft Auto 5 introduces swimming, more rural settings and even wildlife. We’ve written about the console version many times. But the upcoming and mostly mysterious PC version is still yet to launch.

Platform: PC, Xbox One,  and PS4

Release Date: 2014

6. TitanFall

Titanfall is what it’s called. It’s Respawn Ent’s new darling that slams many of my favorite gaming tastes together for a sort scrapple of gameplay delights. This is “New” scrapple–improved for texture, taste and falling Titan mech thingies. There’s more than a heaping dollop of wall running lathered over this potential gaming gem as well. One of the main features for Titanfall is it’s rarely talked about single/multiplayer integration. Many games like Borderlands 2 are now integrating multiplayer into the single player campaign, where players can drop-in/drop-out of each others’ games and still not interrupt the single player narrative.

Titanfall has us very intrigued. Sci-fi, guns, mechs, wall running… Oh yeah! Plus a Beta has been recently confirmed and it will NOT require a preorder. Yippee!

Platform: PC, Xbox One,  and PS4

Release Date: March 11th

5. Destiny

Talk about a changing of the guard. As the heart of Infinity Ward has moved from Activision to form Respawn Entertainment under the Electronic Arts banner, we see the Halo original creator Bungie has left Microsoft to join Activision. This video shows their first game in a post Halo development world and it’s heading to Playstation 4. Have they learned some new tricks or is this new outing just a re-skinned Halo clone?

Platform: PC, Xbox One,  and PS4

Release Date: September 9th

4. The Witcher 3

Witcher fans. RPG diehard. Fantasy dreamers. Action stalwarts. Drama and mystery sleuths… Your time is nigh. The Wicher 3: The Wild Hunt is nearly upon us. There are few games I get to truly allow my self to be lost within. Time doesn’t permit such. But the Witcher games demand my attention each and every time. Building from the previous, each is better than the last and Wild Hunt looks to continue that idea with a complete open environment.

When CD Project RED talks about the scale and complexity, Elder Scrolls V: Skryim seems to be the closest comparison–albeit with a heaping spoonful of severed body parts and an action-oriented fighting system.

Platform: PC, Xbox One,  and PS4

Release Date: 

3. Watch_Dogs

Watch_Dogs is Ubisoft’s  surveillance-simulator type open world action game. In our real world, virtually all of LA and a couple other cities have hotwired the totality of their towns traffic lights, cross walks and such to work off a centrally governed network. If I were a hacker… That just sounds like an amusement park filled with mayhem-laden possibilities. In fact theirs an app for that. It’s called Watch_Dogs. It may not allow you to hack a cities unified network of information and governing systems… Oh wait! That’s exactly what this game is all about, albeit safe and tame in the virtual world.

Platform: PC, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PS3  and PS4

Release Date: April 30th

2. The Division

It’s called The Division. I have to say I was not expecting Ubisoft, of all companies, to come so strong this year. We all expected to see more of the paranoia-inspired Watch_Dogs but this. This is something altogether different. It’s an OOWRPG.

The game is set in the turbulent war-torn Tom Clancy mythos. The setting is NY, after a Black Friday event has turned the world into part Abrams-esque Revolution (TV) and part Bohemia Interactive DayZ. It looks like we have PVE and PVP meshed together in a world gone completely to shit. We also have what looks like drop-in/drop-out co-operative play. Moreover, the game is running the brand new Snowdrop game engine.

Platform: PC, Xbox One,  and PS4

Release Date: September 30th

1. Star Citizen

Father of Wing Commander, Chris Roberts is back in the game development saddle. This time he’s conjuring a behemoth of epic intergalactic proportions. Star Citizen is a sci-fi spaceship simulator with deep RPG and social multiplayer elements. It promises a ton — open-world game play in a vast and persistent universe, working economy, contextual and procedurally-generated missions, co-op ship piloting, diversity in career paths (merchant, mercenary, pirates, traders, fighter pilots etc…) and so much more. Lets hope it can deliver on most of that. After all, there’s no pressure, right? It’s only the most successful kickstarter project to-date — not to mention the most successful kickstarter gaming project. Yet it has a leg up on most — using a modified version of the beefy CryEngine 3 game engine.

Platform: PC

Release Date: Q4 2014










Shawn Sanders

 
Shawn loves gadgets, literature, history and games. For 10yrs+ he's straddled both the comic book & video game industries, as a writer, editor, marketing officer & producer. Shawn got his start in tech & games as an editor & Hardware Director for GameRevolution.com. More notable accomplishments include Executive Producer on mobile games Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved & The Shroud.