Originally titled Project Eternity, the newly named Pillars of Eternity sounds like a sure-fire hit on paper. Obsidian, long plagued by publisher meddling and restrictive contracts, finally has an opportunity to return to the isometric party-based RPG thanks to their highly successful Kickstarter campaign. The combination of J.E. Sawyer (Icewind Dale), Chris Avellone (Planescape Torment), and Tim Cain (Fallout), sounds almost too good to be true, and early signs indicate that the game is shaping up quite nicely, and could capture the spirit of Baldur’s Gate 2 even better than Dragon Age: Origins. Eternity represents an important turning point, not just for Obsidian, but for the resurgence of the CRPG sub-genre as a whole. If Eternity delivers excellent tactical combat combined with the strong writing and reactivity that Obsidian is known for, we’re in for something special.
Jon Fisco - Transistor
There’s a reason I waited in line at PAX East 2013 for upwards of two hours to play Transistor, and that’s because I have complete faith in Supergiant Games to give gamers what they don’t even know they want. When their first title, Bastion, was released the gaming community was overwhelmed by the charming world, the incredible soundtrack, and the tight gameplay. I found myself beating the game in 8 hours, played in one sitting, and feeling a great sense of fulfillment that most games fail to give me. I have high hopes and expectations for Transistor and that’s the reason I couldn’t possibly review it. I’m fully aware of the rose-tinted glasses I wear when looking at Supergiant’s titles and I’m okay with that.
John Kasiborski - Infamous: Second Son
This is a hard year to pick a game, as I am eagerly anticipating a whole bunch of upcoming titles. It is the dawn of a new generation, and I can’t wait to see how developers take advantage of the power of the new consoles. Right now, there is no game that I am looking forward to seeing more than Infamous: Second Son. The first Infamous was one of my top three games on the PS3. I enjoyed the second one too, although it lost a little bit of what made the first one special. I wonder what Sucker Punch has in store for the next installment of this physics-intensive, open world, action-adventure series. If this game meets my expectations, it will be the first great PS4 exclusive.
Jeremy Meyer - Destiny
It has been no secret that I have never been a fan of Bungie. I don’t think they are bad developers, I just don’t really like Halo and that’s most of their library. Destiny however has caught my interest and has me fiending bad! It’s hard to deny that Destiny looks impressive and I’m still not entirely sure of the structure of the game but everything I have seen on the game, and especially after the E3 footage, it looks like one of the more interesting shooters in a long time. While I felt that Halo failed to innovate over the years, Destiny looks like a huge step forward for Bungie and I can’t wait to see how the game turns out. I’m up for any new sci-fi that I can get my hands on and Destiny seems to hit all of the sweet spots of my taste in fiction.
Adam Schedler - Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes
Full disclosure: I'm a huge fan of Metal Gear, and the very fact that MGS V was in development was enough to sell me on it. That's not to say the series is perfect by any means, but few companies can get me excited about a game like Kojima Productions can. While the wild intertext between games seems accounted for in Ground Zeroes, it also seems like a major effort to bring in new players. The 1980s Middle East scenario is fresh and prime for the sort of historical fiction Snake Eater crafted so brilliantly. I really like the idea of Kiefer Sutherland assuming the role of Snake. Outside of the sure to be countless plot twists, the biggest question mark is how the whole thing will mesh together while you play it. The developer plans to introduce an open-world structure and heavy player input into how missions are planned and performed. How you choose to approach a given situation will shape the narrative to some extent, and The Phantom Pain – the second and more significant portion of MGS V – will blow all that out to an experience “hundred of times” as large. All of that sounds like a pretty amazing and dramatic leap from a series often criticized for its, at times, oppressive linearity. I'm sure that not every lofty expectation will be met, but Ground Zeroes will almost certainly provide a gorgeous and intricate production with uniquely absurdist gameplay you can't find outside of this series.
That does it for Part 1 of our most anticipated games of 2014. Check back soon for part 2. Until then, let us know what games you're most exited for this year.
Jonathan is the host of the DarkCast, DarkCast Interviews, and Gamers Read. He loves books, video games, and superheroes. If he had to pick favorites, they would be Welcome to the Monkey House, Mass Effect, and Superman respectively.