So 2014 is actually upon us. It’s here. I still find it hard to believe that next gen consoles are out, available, and selling like gangbusters, and this is going to a defining first year for them, more than likely.
In celebration of the new year, I think it’s appropriate to list off what we here at IP are really looking forward to. There are a ton to choose from and many varying tastes here on the team, so let’s get started. –Alex
I know this isn’t part of the Next Gen craze, but when I think about games I loved and what I am endlessly excited to get back into, it’s Dark Souls. Thinking back to my original experience with Dark Souls, I set up my capture card and just streamed. I played through the whole game for the viewing pleasure of a Twitch.tv audience. All of my “holy shit!”s and “what the hell?!”s were caught on stream, and it was a wonderfully memorable way to experience that game. Then I did it again, while someone else played, and I tutored them. Then I did it again, and again, and after leading four people through the game on stream, I decided it was one of the best ways to experience Dark Souls.
Now here we are, two years later, and the sequel is just around the corner. I already know it plays well and is hard as balls from what I played of the beta during ExtraLife. I’m just intoxicated by the idea of slipping into that world again. Collecting souls. Resting at bonfires. Rinse, repeat. Seeing the fine folks over at GiantBomb pick up and really dive into Dark Souls in their past few streams reminds me why I love the game, and why I am so excited for it’s sequel.
The true Dark Souls starts there.
I am supremely confident in claiming that I am Irrational Passions’ biggest Witcher fan. The first game wowed players who were willing to work through its confusing combat system with a brutal and mature fantasy story. Assassin of Kings overhauled the combat, upped the stakes with its branching and expansive storytelling framework, and produced one of the most graphically impressive video games of last generation. Wild Hunt promises to do the same, as well as add a more sandbox, exploration-based approach to its adventure. Honestly, this makes me nervous.
The magic of The Witcher’s story and characters comes from just how much attention is paid to them. Even when you off doing side quests, you’re still in the same areas as the mainline narrative, interacting with the same people. You can’t fast travel away from the story. My fear is that in its attempts to be more like its open world genre mates, it may adopt some of these games bad storytelling habits. That said, the screenshots that keep surfacing for the game promises a visual feast that may be well worth a next gen system for. If you’ve never done it, I implore you to play the first two titles. You will be just as excited as I am, afterwords.
Infamous: Second Son could very well be one of the first true examples of the power behind a next gen console. That’s not why I’m excited for it though.
I love the Infamous games. I love the influences it pulls from comic books, it’s ridiculous and awesome story, the badass powers and most of all the characters. More than anything, I love when a series tries new things, which is exactly what Second Son is doing.
It no longer takes place in a fictional city; it takes place in Seattle, and the hero from the first game is no longer the playable character; that role is taken by the supremely interesting Delsin Rose. Not only am I excited to learn more about Delsin’s story, I’m drooling thinking about be let loose in Seattle to wreak havoc with his new smoke-based powers.
Infamous: Second Son is brimming with potential no matter how you look at it. March can’t come soon enough.
Though the wake of the next-gen upon us, I can’t help but be attracted to the new South Park game, even if it is only being released through the last-gen. South Park continues to stay relevant and hilarious as the show is three years shy from reaching its 20 year anniversary. Trey Parker and Matt Stone, the creators of South Park, are working hands-on with Ubisoft to ensure fans the best quality a South Park game can deliver.
With jaw dropping RPGs being released this year like The Witcher 3 and The Elder Scrolls Online, it’s relieving to have an RPG introduce some humor to a genre that generally revolves around a serious tone. The graphics are set to look identical to the show to where it could be mistakened as another episode of South Park, so to hear of how hard they are working to keep the authenticity of the show is another strong feature that’s supporting this title.
The Stick of Truth will more than likely face some heavy competition among Titanfall and Watch_Dogs due to both of these titles releasing around the similar time as South Park, but with genuine South Park charisma and controversy, there’s no doubt people will be attracted to it. It seems that we are headed straight towards the release date with no set backs in sight, leaving us to prepare for what journeys await in South Park, Colorado.
I haven’t even finished Persona 4 Golden on my Vita, but I can finally say I get the obsession with this series. I have never felt so emotionally attached to video game characters before. Mature enough to really understand the complexity of this JRPG, I can’t wait to see what ATLUS brings to the next instalment after a six-year hiatus.
If Catherine was any example of some of the mature, adult themes they’re going to tackle in the next Persona title, then I’m already on board. Unfortunately, not much is known aside from the character designer and musical composer from Persona 4 and Catherine will be returning, but that’s what intrigues me: the unknown. With a release date of Winter 2014 and a single teaser trailer, all I can do is grind away at P4 Golden and pray that P5 doesn’t get delayed.