If you dig basketball and own some shiny new hardware, you should pick this up. Managing a team on and off the court feels as good as ever. The new modes feel a touch underdeveloped, but they augment the excellent action in some interesting ways that are worth checking out. Even if you already bought the last-gen edition, the stunning visuals and accompanying glimpse into where this series is headed are worth the upgrade. Aspiring GMs may be disappointed, but the quality of simulated ball on display in NBA 2K14 can't be denied.
Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag
Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag is a game I enjoyed immensely. It controls and plays better than Assassin’s Creed III and its hard not to enjoy causing all sorts of mayhem on land and sea. Its not perfect, combat is over simplified, but the pure joy I experienced sinking ships and hunting sharks overshadows the niggling issues I encountered. There's a multiplayer component that is sorely lacking player versus player ship combat. Let's hope that gets patched in sooner rather than later! Lush scenery, great characters, costumes and a wonderfully realized naval element are woven into a beautiful, playable vision of the golden age of piracy.
Need for Speed Rivals
Need for Speed Rivals' boisterous and brash open-world driving design gets enormous mileage thanks to some amazingly fluid online functionality. This is a stand-out launch game in every regard, and if you have any interest in this sort of action-heavy racing, here's the best way to experience it this year.
Resogun is great for spontaneous, quick play. Anything longer than that starts to give me a headache. Outside of my own physical shortcomings, I don’t see the game having a lot of staying power because, honestly, there isn’t much to this re-imagining of a 33 year old arcade game. It does have some longevity, with numerous ships to unlock (each with their own stats), higher difficulty modes and the thrill of taking on the leaderboards. Scores from players around the world are displayed for each level so if you’re feeling the competitive spirit there are plenty of people to duke it out with. I’m not the kind of score hound the game appeals to, making Resogun a game I would come back to during game installs or show off the console to a friend. If you’re a PlayStation Plus subscriber, the price can’t be beat so be sure to redeem the 30 day voucher that came with the console.
It is hard to imagine that many people will enjoy playing Knack. It isn’t a game that would be great were it not for one fatal flaw. It is a game that would have to be completely redesigned in order to thrive. The levels would have to be more interesting and combat would have to be much more diverse and robust. On top of those changes, the story and Knack himself would have to be rewritten to make them appealing. Not every moment in the game is bad, and there are some times when you are big enough to smash buildings that it is downright enjoyable. Even if the game’s challenge or the appeal of having a shiny new toy tempt you to acquire this game though, you are better off leaving it alone.
Killzone: Shadow Fall
Keep Killzone: Shadow Fall in mind if you're looking for a multiplayer shooter that shows off what the system can actually do. If you're one of those that are lacking the subscription to Playstation Plus, needed to access the multiplayer, then you will likely leave the game disappointed at a poor single player experience and you can do much, much better in the launch lineup than this.
Call of Duty: Ghosts
Everything about this game is solid, but does nothing from a narrative or gameplay standpoint to move the franchise forward. I’m sure the game will sell gangbusters again but for me the franchise is going to need to take bolder steps in future releases to maintain its firm lead on the rest of the industry.