Ones To Watch 2014: New Arrivals Part Two

Continuing on from yesterday’s post, we’re bringing you another dose of upcoming releases for the end of this year, most of which were only announced in 2014 itself. Keep reading for your fix of aliens, lunatics, space operas and Orcs.

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Aside from the regular bout of post-festive blues, January also brought word of a new Alien game. With Colonial Marines still a laughing stock among sci-fi shooters, we honestly didn’t know what to expect, especially that Creative Assembly (Total War) was billed for developer duty.

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If there’s one thing the studio made very clear, it was that Alien: Isolation won’t be the run-and-gun shooter some will expect it to be. Instead of going toe to toe with hordes of xenomorph bullet sponges, in Isolation there will only be one. Equipped with a mishmash of salvaged weapons and gadgets, players will need to avoid detection while also having to contend with other distractions such as human looters and even androids.

Since being announced we’ve seen the usual trickle of press releases, previews, and videos, as well as some interesting news on pre-orders. Where bonuses are often limited to groovy avatar skins or a few extra shiny baubles, those who pre-order Isolation will unlock exclusive in-game missions, starring the crew of the original film and the iconic Nostromo.

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Announced during the build up to E3, Far Cry 4 didn’t exactly come as a surprise to many. Though Ubisoft’s second game in the series had a dedicated following, it was Far Cry 3 that really turned heads with its gorgeous island backdrop and solid open world mechanics.

When first revealed, all we got to see was some place-holder box art and a press release. Still, there was enough there to excite us with news of Far Cry 4’s Himalayan setting already sparking our imaginations. As crazy as some of those pipe dreams were, few were quite as brilliantly mental as the game’s E3 debut which saw an elephant tear its way through a soldier camp as players drops bombs from a gyrocopter.

It looks like a blast and, more importantly, is still on track for release this November. It has since been revealed that PlayStation Plus members who own Far Cry 4 will also be invite friends to play with them, even if they don’t have a copy.

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Also due to launch this November is Halo: The Master Chief Collection, coming exclusively to the Xbox One. As you might have already guessed, this definitive collection includes all Halo titles that feature Master Chief, from Combat Evolved through to the recent Halo 4.

Each one has received a visual upgrade in the transition to the Xbox One, and come with their separate multiplayer modes still intact. This isn’t just a quick cash-in, though, with developer 343 Industries ushering in Certain Affinity to help with updating Halo 2 in particular.

Since Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, Halo 3 and Halo 4 were all on Xbox 360, their visual updates are fairly restrained, but Halo 2 is undergoing a complete makeover to bring the graphics up to scratch. The talented crew from Blur were even drafted in to recreate all of the game’s cinematic cutscenes which now look absolutely sublime.

Furthermore, 343 has made the prospect of replaying the series even more irresistible thanks to the inclusion of a guaranteed Halo 5: Guardians beta pass for everyone who picks up a copy.

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First adorning the front cover of Game Informer, Shadow of Mordor was announced around the time that we compiled our original list, and managed to slip through the net. That’s not to say it hasn’t been on our radar since then.

When first revealed, plenty of details were given. We knew this would be a slightly grittier game compared to Warner Bros.’ more recent offerings with FEAR developer Monolith at the helm. We also discovered that the game takes place between The Hobbit and The Fellowship of the Ring, charting Sauron’s reawakening and the subsequent fallout. Players will take on the role of Talion, a ranger who is killed while patrolling the Black Gate. Somehow he’s returned to life, only to find himself imbued with awesome Wraith powers.

Over the past several months, we’ve heard more about the game, namely its unique Nemesis system. Mordor is populated with a dozen or so Orc warchiefs who react to Talion depending on a number of factors and even remember him from previous encounters. One particularly humorous example that has been floated around is how, upon killing Talion, warchiefs will be promoted, only to find later in the game, returned yet again by his wraith companion.

That’s another thing we’ve discovered more recently. Talion isn’t a wraith himself, he’s actually bonded to Celebrimbor, the famous Elven smith. Watching the two come together on-screen will no doubt prove interesting, especially with Troy Baker stepping in to voice the ranger.


Come back tomorrow for the final entry in our trio of New Arrivals collections. However, we leave you with one bonus entry. Had this particular post gone live yesterday, this game would have been stuck in with all the others. Unfortunately, last night saw this particular game getting pushed back from 2014 to an increasingly February 2015, but since we wrote about it, let’s take a quick look at…

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Evolve was yet another game announced back in January this time coming from Turtle Rock Studios, the same team behind Valve’s Left 4 Dead. With 2K on publishing duty, Evolve doesn’t seem like too much of a grand departure from the developer’s previous stint, what with the game still focused on four-player co-op. The twist here is that they will be hunting a fifth player lurking in each match, controlling one of Evolve’s powerful monsters.

Four on one may sound like unfair odds, but each monster (of which there are several) has a slew of devastating powers that only become more deadly as they feast on the surrounding wildlife and continue to grow. They go up against four humans of complimentary classes, with the Assault, Medic, Support and Trapper needing to work closely together to stand a chance against the ever increasing abilities of the beast they face.

Since starring as Game Informer’s February cover game, we’ve seen plenty more of Evolve. During E3, fans were introduced to the Kraken as well as news that all DLC will come exclusively to Xbox One before other platforms. More recently (yesterday, in fact) we heard that Evolve has been pushed back, missing its October window and launching next February.

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7 Comments

  1. I’ve got my fingers crossed that Alien will actually live up to the expectations that have been set up for it! I’ll probably pick it up anyway as what I’ve seen so far looks very, very good.

    Far Cry 4 and Shadow of Mordor are definitely on my radar as well. This new generation is making me extremely poor.

  2. Every time I read master chief I think it says masterchef! Some good ones in this list, far cry 4 and evolve both look great. Alien might be, but I’ve a funny feeling it might end up being a little rubbish.

    • I know it’s a low bar, but it can’t be anywhere near as bad as Colonial Marines.

  3. Other than Halo, everything else has my attention. It’s also lovely to see Sigourney Weaver lending her talents to Ripley’s voice in Aliens: Isolation.

  4. Not really bothered about most of them, maybe FarCry 4, but so far I haven’t seen much to differentiate it from FarCry 3. Alien: Isolation, looks interesting but the Alien license has been so horrendously abused that there’s no way I’m pre-ordering it until I see whether or not its any good.

    Which makes their whole pre-order bonus thing quite offensive. The extra Nostromo missions sound like great fun, but in order to play them I’m supposed to just trust that they wont f*ck up the license this time, like they did the past two times? Putting down my money once the game is released and reviewed isn’t good enough for them?

    I’m not a fan of pre-order bonuses anyway, but I think in this case, the trust should be on them, not us.

    • I’m pretty sure they’ve said that the pre-order DLC will be made available a little after release to all. It’d be pretty stupid if they didn’t.

      • Oh yeah, I get that and that is what usually happens, but I’m not a fan of DLC in general (as it’s almost always used as a cynical way of nickel and diming the customer) and so rarely buy it. It just would’ve been nice if they had just included it with the game rather than holding it back and charging extra for it.

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