“I wanna be blinded by your cyber love” — Dr. Darling
HOORAY, the year’s over.
I really don’t like those standard kind of “best random category of the year” end-of-year reviews. At least not if it’s done seriously. So I also won’t do that. Additionally, it has already been done way better (and absolutely unseriously) by the guys over at Rock, Paper, Shotgun as well as TotalBiscuit and Jim Sterling. In this post I just want to list what I’ve been playing this last year (also known as the “what the fuck have I been doing with my time” list).
First, let’s have a look at the professional stuff:
Rock, Paper, Shotgun
RPS traditionally releases an advent calendar style “game of the year” series. You’ll get a general overview over here. But I’d recommend searching the site using the “bestest best games” tag. That’s how you’ll also get the contributors’ picks. I’d also recommend the two Christmas Leftovers articles for more really nice games.
Jim Sterling has two end-of-year reviews. First, there’s the Jimquisition Game of the Year Awards, but then there’s the even more enjoyable (although slightly depressing) Top Ten Shittiest Game of 2014.
Thank god for him!
In his Arbitrary Game Awards, TB gives you over 90 minutes of “game award” style retrospect. Of course, as the name tells, it’s absolutely arbitrary, which is what I like to see in awards. But he chose some interesting categories and also includes console and mobile titles, which I, who plays nearly exclusively on PC, find quite interesting.
Now we got that out of the way, here’s my year in games. Feel free to use this list for comparison.
- Mass Effect 3
- Chains of Satinav
- The Banner Saga
- The Critter Chronicles
- A new beginning
- Shadowrun returns + Berlin Expansion
- Kentucky Road Zero (Episodes 1 & 2)
- Book Of Unwritten Tales: The Critter Chronicles
- Brothers – a Tale of two sons
- Gone Home
- Night of the Rabbit
- The Wolf Among Us
- The Walking Dead: 400 Days
- The Walking Dead 2
- Steam World Dig
- Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon
- Detective Grimoire
I’m on it (not yet completed)
- Divinity: Original Sin
- Wasteland 2
- Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor (must brand everything!)
Replayed games (the need for more pointing and clicking)
- Monkey Island 3
- Broken Sword 1 & 2
- Secret Files: Tunguska
- Secret Files: Puritas Cordis
There goes my free time… (games you can’t really complete or roguelikes, which I can’t complete)
- Dota 2 (more Dotes!)
- Hearthstone + GvG
- Crusader Kings 2 Expansions
- Age of Wonders 3
- Path of Exile
- Warlock 2
- Anno 2070 Deep Sea Expansion
- Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion
- Rogue Legacy
- Civ: Beyond Earth
- Endless Legend
- Skyrim + Addons + Mods (yes, I completed the campaign years ago, but…. mods!)
- NEO Scavenger
- Sir, you are being hunted
- Prison Architect (Early Access)
What a list…. geez. And that doesn’t even include the stuff I merely dabbled in like Heroes of the Storm, Duel of Champions, League of LoL or Injustice. In general though, this year seems to have been a lot of Point&Click Adventures on one side and really good 4X on the other. But in the vein of having some kind of retrospect, I’d still like to see, if I’ve at least learned something from 2014.
Don’t hype. Don’t preorder. Don’t trust early access.
I’m laughing looking at you, Watch Dogs, Titanfall, AssCreed: Unity, Space Base DF-9, Towns, Earth: Year 2066, The War Z and so on. I’m not hearing great things about Destiny either. Oh, and please tell me who’s still playing The Elder Scrolls: Online or Wildstar.
Crowdfunding- the good and the bad
First of… the bad:
- Jagged Alliance: Flashback
- Dead State
Nope… just nope. Played both for about an hour each and have no desire to continue. Sorry. But hey, it’s crowdfunding and sometimes it’s a gamble. And as with casinos, you don’t gamble with money you don’t have, you idiot. What are you doing?
Fortunately we also have the good with the return of cRPGs in the vein of the old Infinity Engine games:
- Wasteland 2
- Divinity: Original Sin
Although the hype around Kickstarter (or crowdfunding in general) has substantially subsided, I still remain very positive about the concept. There are still crowdfunded games in development that at least look very promising… Tides of Numenera, Pillars of Eternity, War for the Overworld, Grim Dawn… and even though there weren’t any of those multi-million dollar fundings we saw 2012 or 2013, interesting concepts are still being funded… Thimbleweed Park (with amazing stretchgoals), Prismata, Bedlam, Shards Online…
For me, crowdfunding remains an opportunity to fund niche games that would’nt be developed using traditional funding and with all the stuff I’ve just listed that’s still in development, 2015 looks quite promising.