2014 is not only here but it is well underway. So we decided to discuss some of our predictions for the rest of the year. But sometimes predictions can be hopeful. Other times they can be fearful. These are the former. With our Greatest Fears out of the way, these are Darkstation's Greatest Hopes for 204.
Kickstarter Games Deliver
While we’ve seen some Kickstarter funded games like FTL and Shadowrun Returns release to positive reception, this year will see the release of many Kickstarter games that hit the multi millions in terms of funding. Games like Wasteland 2, Broken Age, Pillars of Eternity, Elite: Dangerous, and Dreamfall Chapters represent the CRPG, adventure, and space simulator: genres which have lain dormant for far too long. It’s possible that some of those might not live up to expectations, but I’m optimistic that these developers can deliver and revive these classic PC genres. This is the year where we’ll find out if Kickstarter can really be as important and influential as it seems to be, and if developers can truly replace the traditional publisher model through it.
Games like Titanfall and Destiny breathe new life into the FPS genre
First-person shooters were a big chunk of my gaming time when I first got into PC gaming. Games like the original Team Fortress and Counter Strike: Source were huge time syncs for me and I loved the simplicity of it all. Currently the FPS genre, at least to me, feels stale and unchanging as it troggs along into each new generation. The popular titles in the genre have the same mechanics with the same feel and the same tired old shtick. Titanfall and Destiny look like they could be shaking things up...could be. My hope is that these games, at the very least, breathe new mechanics and enjoyment into the stale genre. At the most, they could flip it all on its head.
Red Dead Redemption 2 gets a 2014 release
Given Rockstar’s trademark five-year development cycle for its most popular IPs, it seems we’re long overdue an announcement for the next iteration in the Red Dead franchise. RDR was my favourite game of the last generation, and rumours abound that Take-Two Interactive (Rockstar’s owner/publisher) will be pushing for a 2014 launch of Red Dead Rebellion to boost revenue and earnings.
Nintendo and Microsoft announce cheaper versions of their consoles without the touch screen or Kinect
I want to own these consoles eventually, but I’m not going to buy them as long as they are priced $100 more expensive than they should be. I am sick of bloatware and I am sick of watching the industry’s money get flushed down the toilet when it could be better spent on developing new studios and IPs. Please, Nintendo and Microsoft, for the love of God, abandon the gimmicky crap already. Offer a cheaper version of your consoles, and watch as they fly off the shelves.
Nintendo goes multiplatform
Admittedly, this is an incredibly bold prediction to make. Nintendo has been the subject of many an armchair businessman/game developer regarding the performance and popularity (or lack thereof) of the Nintendo Wii and Wii U. While the company took a confident stance on the console despite their flagging sales, it came as no surprise that Iwata and crew are looking to changing Nintendo’s business structure. My prediction is that Nintendo will go the Sega route and cease being a hardware developer (the DS being the exception) and bringing Zelda, Mario and Samus to Sony and Microsoft.
Mass Effect 4 is announced at E3
Bioware needs a win. It’s been a rough few years. Dragon Age II was not what many people wanted. Star Wars The Old Republic was kind of a flop. Mass Effect 3 left the internet more enraged than I thought possible. And to top it off, the Doctors are no longer at the company. I’ll say it again: Bioware needs a win. And while Dragon Age Inquisition looks pretty amazing from the alpha demos, I think they need more. They need to show people that they're still the house of Baldur's Gate, of KotoR and of Jade Empire. They need to show us that they can not only recover from a mistake but be better for the trails. They can do that with a stellar reveal of the next Mass Effect.
Titanfall lives up to its expectations
Respawn Entertainment has a brilliant track record. They are the studio that captured Call of Duty in its moment of absolute brilliance in the first Modern Warfare, after all. The FPS genre has stagnated with mediocre to poor releases clogging up release charts with very few gems shining from the muck. With the Call of Duty franchise stumbling from its previous effort, Ghosts, Titanfall has the unique opportunity to hoist the greying FPS juggernaut off of it’s yearly throne.
We Hear About A New Property by FromSoftware
I’m a fan of both Demons’ Souls and Dark Souls, two games that have sustained years of industry interest and rightfully earned their keep as some of the best action RPGs in years. I’m looking forward to see how Dark Souls II turns out next month, but I’m hoping those rumours about a second Demons’ Souls game aren’t true. It can be easy to let our enthusiasm for a property obscure the fact that From is a company built on diversity, and I’m at a point now where I feel more excited about whatever their next original IP is. King’s Field showed me a kind of open RPG experience that was unheard of back on the PS1. Otogi and its sequel are strange and challenging action games that were among the best for the original Xbox. Chromehounds’ persistent and interconnected mech combat was incredibly addictive and ahead of its time. This is a developer too prolific to pigeonhole into a single IP.
Nintendo Announces a Zelda Title for 2014 Release
Lets be honest, Nintendo hasn’t had the best of starts with their Wii U. Even if the software started to gain some traction towards the end of 2013, there is still giant room for improvement. Recently Nintendo announced Mario Kart 8 will be released in May leaving a wide open holiday for them to come out guns blazing with the next Smash Bros. game and a new Zelda game.
That does it for part 2 of Darkstation's predictions for 2014. If you haven't check out our episode of the Darkcast that covers the same topic, you can do you here.
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.