Ones To Watch 2014: New Arrivals Part One

Since we formulated our Ones To Watch lists at the end of 2014, there have been plenty of new titles announced slated for release later this year, some of which were revealed recently at E3. Who knows, we might even see more next week at Gamescom. So, for now, these are the first batch of new titles. From space-age strategy to event racing and even creation-based platformers, there’s a lot of variety on show here.

1TW-NA-LittleBigPlanet3

LittleBigPlanet 3 was a bit of a surprise at Sony’s E3 press conference. Despite the on-stage presentation being a bit odd (due to lag with that big screen, we’re told), it does look very promising. This time round, Sackboy is joined by three friends – the little or big Toggle, swift Swoop, and the dog-like Oddsock – who each have their own skills, from changing size, to flying, or even four-legged speed.

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played the game at E3, and the section focused on Toggle, who can change from a huge and strong beast to a quick and small creature with the tap of a button. This makes for some interesting puzzles and platforming sections, with the larger Toggle sinking down to the bottom of water while the smaller Toggle can walk along the top.

Of course, the individual characters make it feel like much more of a distinct co-operative game; where Sackboys and Sackgirls shared the same abilities in previous iterations, there will now be sections where each character has to use their respective abilities in order to help the others progress.

1TW-NA-ForzaHorizon2-2

Despite everyone seemingly being on the Driveclub bandwagon, at least around these parts, I’m personally much more fond of the arcade-style racers, which Driveclub doesn’t seem to be close enough to for my tastes. While I don’t own the first Horizon and don’t even have an Xbox One, I think Horizon is right up my street; it seems to be the first proper next-gen racer that doesn’t veer too closely to a simulation, and overall looks like it could be a better game than Need for Speed: Rivals.

But that’s all just speculation on my part – I haven’t gotten my hands on the game just yet. Stefan has though, and he summed it up with a brilliant line:

Forza Horizon 2 picks the one setting and goes wild, chucking its high performance cars along the coast of the Mediterranean in a fit of rallycross infused madness.

That sounds really fun to me, but we’ll have to wait until later this year to see whether it’s worth picking up an Xbox One for.

1TW-NA-TheLastofUsRemastered

The Last of Us was the last generation’s swan song, coming along just a few months before many of us would upgrade from PS3 to PS4 and from Xbox 360 to Xbox One. The PS3 exclusive came late in the console’s life cycle, and perhaps suffered due to being too ambitious for the hardware to handle, with Naughty Dog not managing to deliver the full visual experience they wanted.

It’s not quite a new arrival then, but the PS4 remaster of the game is the ultimate edition, with a big improvement in visuals, controls, and including all of the DLC – even the brilliant Left Behind, which focuses on Ellie in a separate story to the main game.

You should definitely purchase Remastered if you haven’t played the PS3 version – or if you really loved it that much – but for some, there’s little reason to upgrade; The Last of Us is all about the story, and that’s what you’ll remember ahead of how good the game looked (and it’s still stunning on PS3) or which controller you were using. Still, there’s Remote Play involved, which might be a huge plus for those who want to play it on their Vita.

1TW-NA-CivilizationBeyondEarth

I wish I had more time to play Civilization. It’s the kind of game you need to spend hours at a time with, and some campaigns will take a huge slice of your time and span weeks if not months. I’ve only played a bit, but I really do love the way the mechanics work, despite not being all that interested in the historical setting.

Beyond Earth, then, is quite exciting for me; I may actually invest some more time in this edition, as I’m a sucker for sci-fi and think this could take the series to the next level, quite literally going out of this world with procedurally generated planets. It’s a natural evolution of the exploration and discovery gameplay found in previous iterations, albeit one that the series has seen before in Alpha Centauri, and should hopefully work wonders to reinvigorate the series.

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Another space-age game here, though one which doesn’t change up much for the series which spawned it. In fact, it’s set between the first and second Borderlands games, with the new location being Pandora’s moon, Elpis. It’s hard to breathe up there, so as well as looting money and weapons, you’ll also have to collect oxygen to survive.

That’s either going to be a very annoying mechanic or one which you barely notice, and thankfully the section I’ve played make it seems like it’s going to be the latter. There’s literally a trazillion guns available, and with them comes new elemental types such as cryo, which will freeze enemies solid.

Despite the new setting, there’s really not a lot of variety here, and you’ll find mostly the same gameplay alongside the usual enemies, but this time you’re on the moon.


Come back tomorrow, as we keep looking at games set for a 2014 release that were only announced this year.

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2 Comments

  1. I have the same problem with the CiV games, not enough time to put into them. I’ve got a long running campaign of Civ V with all the trimmings that has been left for months. Still, Civ: Beyond Earth will be a day one purchase.

  2. Forza Horizon 2 looks brilliant. But I have to do a little moan about it being 30FPS. I like how open it seems though.

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