Ones To Watch 2014: New Arrivals Part Three

And so we come to the end. Over the last few weeks, we’ve been recapping the Ones To Watch feature from the end of last year, looking at where some of our most anticipated games have ended up since then. Of course, there were a lot of delays, but since then there were also a lot of new game announcements, so we’ve dedicated the last few days to those new arrivals on the scene. Today is the last in the series.

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I know it’s probably not the Batman game that we want to be released this autumn, but it’s probably the Batman game that we deserve, with Batman: Arkham Knight now set for release in 2015. Of course, that’s not to say that Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham won’t have its own charm and merits; the Lego games are very popular with good reason. They have solid and accessible gameplay, but also add a quirky and lightly irreverent sense of humour to the source material.

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Following on from the end of DC Super Heroes, wherein Batman was joined by a wider cast of heroes that included the likes of Superman and Wonder Woman, Beyond Gotham will see Batman and all his heroic chums going, well… beyond Gotham. Brainiac would appear to be the main villain in this outing, abusing the powers of the Lantern Corps to take control of the universe, and shrinking down planets in the process.

Naturally, Batman assembles the Justice League for a trip into outer space to take on the League of Doom, with a simply vast cast of 150 characters in the game – more than double that of DC Super Heroes. There’s even going to be a Lego version of Adam West’s Batman, voiced by the man himself.

Other than that, expect the usual blend brick smashing, object assembling and co-op brawling some time later this year.

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Sticking with co-operative play here, Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris revives the top-down offshoot from the main Tomb Raider series for a new game on PS4, Xbox One and PC. Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light was a very popular digital release, back in 2010, but then Crystal Dynamics kind of got sidetracked from a follow up, by making that Tomb Raider reboot.

Temple of Osiris appears to be more of the same. It’s all played out from the same point of view, and when playing co-operatively, the characters have differing powers and abilities, so that there’s a distinctive asymmetrical form to the puzzle solving.

However, it goes beyond retreading the steps of the original by throwing more players into the mix. Lara is now joined by rival archeologist Carter Bell, and they have to team up with the two Egyptian gods, Isis and Horus. Interestingly, the puzzles in the game will adapt to the number of players there are in your party, so that there’s always something for everyone to do, whether you’re playing on your own or have got stuck in with a party of four.

Personally, this was one of the best surprises to come out of E3, and I can’t wait!

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Revealed back in January, Styx was originally only confirmed as a PC release, but has just recently had its PS4 and XBO versions announced ahead of a release some time in September. The prequel to the action RPG Of Orcs and Men, Styx is actually a fairly major shift to the stealth genre.

Styx is a two century old Goblin, and actually the very first of all Goblins in the world. It just so happens that this makes him a master of stealth, theft and murder, which is handy, because he’s trying to infiltrate the huge Tower of Akenash, which the Humans and Elves built to protect the source of their power, the Tree and the Amber it produces.

When you think of stealth games these days, you probably think of Sam Fischer or Snake, and their variety of gadgets, but Styx has a series of more magical abilities to help him get about. While he can turn himself near invisible or use Amber to detect enemies, it’s his ability to clone himself which is the most intriguing, as it allows you to scout out and area or distract a guard so that you can sneak by.

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As with Middle-earth: Shadows of Mordor yesterday, Project Cars was one of those announcements towards the end of last year that flew under our radar. It was back then that Slightly Mad Studios announced that their self published racer would be shifting development from the PS3 and Xbox 360 to the PS4 and Xbox One, alongside the PC and Wii U versions.

Slightly Mad are probably best known as the team behind Need for Speed: Shift games, which took that franchise to track-based racing. However, Project Cars is aiming to go way beyond anything they’ve done previously, and over the course of its development has had racing sim fans salivating at the simply gorgeous visuals that they have been able to produce. On PC in particular, they’ve been pushing the limits, by experimenting with Oculus Rift, testing the game out in triple 4K monitor set ups and plenty besides.

Admittedly, I do have some minor doubts about the console releases, as the build that I briefly saw at E3 paled in comparison to the visuals that appear in their screenshots, mainly down to a seemingly complete absense of anti-aliasing – though they’re aiming for 1080p60, and this is something that would certainly be addressed as they find economies and areas that they can optimise the code.

We’ll know for sure how the various versions of the game have panned out closer to the release in November.

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Finally, a quick update to one of the games that actually appeared in the very first article of the Ones To Watch Recap. F1 2014 has since been announced, but isn’t quite the game that we expected. Rather than a glorious blast onto the PS4 and XBO, the series’ appearance on the new console hardware has been pushed back to 2015, while 2014 is instead to be arriving only for the last generation consoles on October 17th.

It’s a somewhat bitter pill to swallow, but it will definitely be interesting to see how all of the changes to the sport in the real world will translate across to the game. The car handling in particular will hopefully manage to capture the essence of the new turbocharged cars.

Thankfully, F1 2015 won’t be hanging around until the back end of next year to release, and Codies plan to get it out of the door earlier in the season and following up with a series of content updates that tie in with how the real world season unfolds.


That, I think, is possibly the perfect way to finish off this series. We’ve looked to the past, we’ve examined the present and the more immediate future, but there on the horizon are the next wave of games, as the industry marches ever onwards.

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1 Comment

  1. Really looking forward to Lego Batman, Lara and Project Cars. They’ll be too many games by Christmas. Which is obviously a good thing :)

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