You’ll be seeing loads of “Game of the Year” posts soon, but here at TGR we don’t like to do things the same as everyone else. So instead of looking at individual games, we’ve come up with Five Good, Five Bad. Looking at gaming as a whole over the past 12 months, this is our quick review of 2014.
1. Sharing Games
With the new consoles has come afar more social integration, I have loved being able to stream my gameplay directly through the PS4 as well as seeing how my friends are getting on in their own games. Before this year I had never even considered streaming games but now I do it fairly regularly, especially when playing friends online on FIFA so there is proof that I can win the odd game. The PS4’s amazing new sharing options also mean a friend can play your games with you as if they were sat right next to you, even if they’re on the other side of the world.
2. PC Gaming
On a personal level I finally got round to building my own gaming PC after many years of looking. This has opened my eyes to the madness of the Steam sales and just how cheap it can be to play games on a PC, the initial outlay can be fairly high but it pays back when you can get so many games for just a couple of pounds each. I have now an extensive library of games that I know I will barely play, like so many other PC gamers.
3. Improving Already Great Games
Re-visiting classics, whilst The Last of Us was only released a year ago I eagerly awaited its arrival on the PS4, I loved this game first time round and I wasn’t disappointed to see it enhanced in full HD even with few additions to the story it reminded me of why I love gaming with its incredible story. The same can also be said for Grand Theft Auto 5, the game looks incredible with the world of Los Santos even more full and alive showcasing the power of the new consoles. I can’t remember other generations being gapped with re-releases but I like the option for new comers to experience some truly great games.
4. Brilliant New Games
Some truly great games have been released this year. The two that stand out to me are Shadow of Mordor and Alien Isolation. Shadow of Mordor introduced the Nemesis system which I had never experienced before in a game, enemies would actually remember me throughout the game, reminding me of how they had killed me before, it was innovative and again showed what we can expect with the new consoles in the future. Alien Isolation had a few problems but as a massive fan of the original film I loved playing this, it felt as though I was playing in the world of the original movie and for the first time the Alien was terrifying.
5. Gaming is Getting Cheaper?
The cost of gaming has come down over the course of the year, at the start of the year it appeared that the price of new games on the new consoles was going to be higher than in the past but as the year has gone on the prices have come down and I have easily been able to get release date games for under £40. This keeps gaming affordable and with the recent price drops in hardware in the run up to Christmas I hope even more people are going to get into the new consoles going in to 2015.
1. A Lack of New Games Early in the Year
With the new consoles out games were needed to really sell them and in the first half of the year there seemed to be a lack of AAA releases, with some of these re-releases which made some unhappy. Thankfully This has been sorted now with many new games being released in the traditionally busy run up to Christmas, but for a time it did feel as though the consoles had been rushed out with a just few games to tide them over.
2. Over Hyped Games
The biggest game that disappointed me this year was Destiny, it really does seem to be a bit of a Marmite game, supposedly the most expensive game ever produced it was a massive let down for me. The story was non existent and the gameplay was just copy and paste for every mission. Watch Dogs was another game that really didn’t live up to expectations, whilst it played OK it just didn’t bring anything new to the industry and felt as though it belonged on the previous generation of consoles, not on the PS4 or Xbox One.
3. Broken Games
In the past many games went through extensive testing and quality checks but I have no idea if that still happens in 2014. The main culprit was Assassins Creed Unity that was barely playable on release it was funny. Faces melting away in cut scenes, characters falling through the floor into the purgatory beneath and even just disappearing for no reason. I believe this game is now up to patch number four and whilst in the modern era of the internet it isn’t a huge problem this isn’t the case for everyone and I think a game should be finished when it is released, not a month later after several large patches. It wasn’t just AC:U either – DriveClub and Halo were both big name technical screw-ups.
4. The New Consoles Still Aren’t Complete
A year later and my PS4 still doesn’t have all the features it was promised to have, whilst updates have steadily been released over the year it still doesn’t have the suspend and resume feature that was heavily advertised last February when the console was first announced. In some areas the console still lacks features that were on the PS3, I can not link it up to a media server to play movies or music and to be honest I don’t know why. Surely a new product has to be a complete upgrade on the previous iteration, whilst it is in gaming terms it is lagging behind in areas that were integral to the PS3.
5. A Stop Gap Year
Whilst there have been a few brilliant games released it does feel that all of the truly generation defining games will be out next year, a few of them have been announced only to be delayed a matter of weeks later. I have loved gaming this year but I have definitely been treading water waiting for games such as Arkham Knight, Uncharted 4 and Metal Gear Solid 5.