2014 was not a year in which I found it easy to find interesting games to play. When I changed jobs in August my gaming habits changed, from previously being predominantly a console gamer, I edged closer to the PC with my steam account receiving increasing amounts of activity. That said, the joy of Steam is discounts on older games and so I only played 5 games that came out in 2014. This small list is partly down to frugality, however, I also think that the year represented a weak year in gaming. The new consoles were finding their feet and it appeared that the market was fairly barren. 2015 looks interesting, it looks to be the year that the new consoles (PS4 and XboxOne could finally begin delivering. It also looks like this could be the year that Nintendo’s consoles shine, the year is starting with a revision to the 3DS, and the Wii U lineup for the coming year is pretty strong, even if it does suffer from the usual third party game drought. Here is how I would rank the five games I played in 2014, looking back, I am not sure what else I would want to pick up:
5. Banner Saga – An enjoyable turn based indie game with an interesting multi character story.
4. Grid Autosport – Finally a touring car game that gets close to allowing me to enact a BTCC season (well 4 rounds out of 10).
3. Far Cry 4 – Sticks to the formula of Far Cry 3, very pretty game that doesn’t do a lot new, however, there is nothing wrong with that in this case.
2. Wolfenstein: The New Order – The best shooter I have played in years, the controls feel tight and the story is suitably bonkers.
1. Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor
Shadow of Mordor perfected a system that was brought in by Rocksteady’s Batman Arkham games, with a simple and engaging combat system that grabs you and pulls you in. In addition it did some great and innovative things. The main one of these being the nemesis system where you are confronted by Sauron’s army and can pick them off one by one, allowing you to create your own story as you build up your own feelings about various captains and chiefs. When an orc defeats you, it remembers and torments you about it at your next meeting. If you defeat them, they are not guaranteed to be dead, they can come back seeking vengeance. Then later in the game you can take control of orcs and turn them to your will, this allows you to take down their hierarchy from the inside. It allowed me to build a powerful story and made for the best game I played in 2014.