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Editorial: 9 Upcoming Games You Might Not Know About [But Should]

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    Editorial: 9 Upcoming Games You Might Not Know About [But Should]



    With games like InFamous: Second Son, Watch_Dogs, Destiny, The Evil Within, Metal Gear Solid V, and The Order: 1886 slated for release in 2014, it promises to be another stellar year for games. But with so many AAA blockbusters on the calendar, each bombarding us with trailers, exclusive reveals, and desperate pleas for pre-orders, it's all too easy for smaller games to fall through the cracks of our collective attention, and that's an utter shame.

    Below is a selection of games releasing in the 2014 calendar year that I think haven't received nearly as much attention as they deserve. For those of you who read a lot about games, and who follow gaming news, some of these will be familiar to you; but for those of you don't, I hope some of these upcoming titles will grab your attention.

    #1 - Child of Light


    Platform(s):
    Coming to PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4.
    Release Date: April 30, 2014 (source)
    Developer: Ubisoft Montreal

    What you need to know:
    Ubisoft Montreal is the studio behind some of the most successful games in recent times - most notably the Assassin's Creed series and the Prince of Persia trilogy. They're also developing the poster child for next-gen: Watch_Dogs.

    Among those working on Child of Light are Game Director Patrick Plourde (Creative Director of Far Cry 3 and Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood) and Lead Writer Jeffrey Yohalem (Writer of Assassin's Creed 2 and 3, as well as Far Cry 3, for which he received a Writer's Guild of America award). Much of the "core creative team" for Far Cry 3 are working on Child of Light.

    Child of Light is a downloadable platforming RPG with turn-based combat, described as "a combination between LIMBO and Final Fantasy VI," which tells the coming-of-age tale of a young girl named Aurora in the style of classic operatic Square RPGs and traditional fairy tales.

    It draws artistic inspiration from the "Golden Age of Illustration" and the works of fairy tale artists Arthur Rackham and Edmund Dulac.

    Why I'm excited:
    Have you ever looked at the concept art for classic JRPGs and thought "wow, why can't they make a game that looks like that?!" Well apparently Ubisoft have, because that's exactly what they're trying to do with Child of Light - and man does it look good.

    The team behind it are extremely talented, and it's very promising to see Ubisoft diversify.

    Screenshots:

    Sources:
    Ubisoft's Child of Light is a fairy tale-inspired JRPG (Polygon)
    Ubisoft Announces Side-Scroller ‘Child of Light’ From The Creative Team Behind ‘Far Cry 3′ (Game Rant)
    Child of Light's small team has big opportunity at Ubisoft (Gamasutra)
    Child of Light (Official Site)




    #2 - Don’t Starve

    Platform(s):
    Coming to PlayStation 4, but might come to PlayStation Vita in the future.
    Release Date: January 7, 2014
    Developer: Klei Entertainment

    What you need to know:
    Unlike many of the other games on this list, Don't Starve is a known quantity, having already released for PC back in April, 2013.

    Don't Starve is a survival horror roguelike that tasks you with surviving as long as possible by avoiding starvation, insanity, and the denizens of the mysterious land you find yourself in. Maps are vast and randomly generated, and with each death you gain experience proportional to the number of days your survived. In order to survive you must forage for food and supplies during the day in order to prepare for what comes your way once the sun goes down...

    Klei Entertainment are best known for the Shank series and their XBLA stealth platformer Mark of the Ninja - both incredibly fun games with a good sense of humour and a bold art style.

    Don't Starve is free for PlayStation Plus subscribers in January.

    Why I'm excited:
    Roguelikes are making a comeback at the moment, which is fantastic because they offer some of the most challenging (and ultimately rewarding) gameplay you'll ever find. I'm a big fan of Don't Starve, which I've had a chance to play on PC, and I'm looking forward to others being able to play it when it comes to the PlayStation 4.

    If you're a PlayStation Plus subscriber, make sure to pick this one up. And if you're not a subscriber, what are you doing?!

    Screenshots:

    Sources:
    Don't Starve Review (IGN)
    Don't Starve Review (Destructoid)
    Where Lovecraft and Minecraft Meet - Don't Starve Preview (Eurogamer)
    Don't Starve (Official Site)



    #3 - Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture


    Platforms(s):
    Coming exclusively to PlayStation 4
    Release Date: "2014"
    Developer: The Chinese Room

    What you need to know:
    The Chinese Room is the small British indie dev behind the fantastic Source Mod turned stand-alone title Dear Esther – an experimental art game in which you explore an uninhabited island somewhere in the Hebrides. The epistolic narrative is told through fragments of a letter written to a woman named Esther that are scattered around the island, which are read by an unidentified narrator.

    Everybody's Gone to the Rapture is a first-person exploration game and spiritual successor to Dear Esther, set in the final moments before the biblical apocalypse. It promises non-linear storytelling, and more player agency than Dear Esther.

    Everybody's Gone to the Rapture runs on the gorgeous CryEngine 3 game engine.

    Why I'm excited:
    Dear Esther is a phenomenal game, with a beautiful aesthetic and an emotional narrative, and Everybody's Gone to the Rapture promises to be bigger and better in every way. The Chinese Room are terrific storytellers, and I can't wait for their fresh take on the end of days!

    Screenshots:

    Sources:
    The Chinese Room on its PS4-exclusive Everybody's Gone to the Rapture (Eurogamer)
    Everybody's Gone to the Rapture (Official Site)




    #4 - Octodad: Dadliest Catch


    Platform(s):
    Coming exclusively to PlayStation 4
    Release Date: Expected to release "sometime in March" 2014
    Developer: Young Horses, Inc.

    What you need to know:
    In 2010, a group of students from DePaul University in Chicago developed a freeware game called Octodad - a third-person adventure game as absurd as it is awesome. You play as a cephalopod posing as a human, with his own human wife and children. As Octodad you must maintain the charade of your humanity by performing seemingly mundane and everyday tasks that we all take for granted, like emptying the dishwasher or mowing the lawn. The result is utter chaos and pure, unadulterated fun.

    From that original group of eighteen students, eight went on to form Young Horses, Inc., and their first project is Octodad: Dadliest Catch, a sequel to the original.

    "This time, our cephaloprotagonist has gotten himself in a bind between his wife’s mounting mistrust, and a disastrous trip to the local aquarium! Are you dad enough to control the titular octopus father as he strives to hide his nautical nature from his family while keeping his tangled tentacles intact?"

    Not satisfied? Octodad: Dadliest Catch will also come with Move support for additional motion-controlled madness.

    Why I'm excited:
    Loving Father. Caring Husband. Secret Octopus.

    By far the most absurd game I've seen in a long time, Octodad: Deadliest Catch promises hysterical hijinks in the vein of Surgeon Simulator 2013. If it's half as fun to play as it is to watch, it'll still be one of the most fun games of the year.

    Screenshots:

    Sources:
    Octodad (Original Game)
    Octodad: Dadliest Catch (Official Site)
    Octodad Gets PS Move Support (PlayStation Blog)
    Octodad: Dadliest Catch Release Date Update (Release Date Update)



    #5 - Strider


    Platform(s):
    Coming to PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4
    Release Date: February 18 in North America, February 19 in Europe and Australia (confirmed)
    Developer: Double Helix Games and Capcom Osaka studio

    What you need to know:

    In 1989, Capcom released the original Strider - a side-scrolling action platformer arcade game featuring manga character Strider Hiryu. Set in a dystopian future, you play as Strider, a cyber-ninja sent to assassinate the 'Grandmaster' - an international dictator.

    The game and its sequel, Strider 2, eventually made their way to the PlayStation 1 in 2002.

    In 2009, Bionic Commando developer Grin started work on a reboot, but the studio shuttered due to financial problems, and the game was cancelled.

    You may know the character Strider Hiryu from Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3.

    Why I'm excited:
    Strider's inclusion on this list is more of a guilty pleasure than logical selection. Its developers haven't really released anything worth mentioning (just a bunch of lousy movie tie-in games), but I can't help but be excited because of what Strider promises to be: a fast-paced, old-school side-scroller full of ninjas and robots!

    The games' producers have also suggested that the game will be more open, suggesting it might be Metroidvania-esque, which would be awesome!

    Screenshots:

    Sources:
    Bionic Commando dev Grin worked on Strider reboot, Streets of Rage remake (Eurogamer)
    Strider: We Get Answers About Capcom's New Strider Game (Game Informer)




    #6 - Transistor


    Platform(s):
    Coming exclusively to PlayStation 4, with the possibility of other platforms in the future.
    Release Date: "Early" 2014
    Developer: Supergiant Games

    What you need to know:

    Formed by a group of ex-Electronic Arts developers in 2009, Supergiant Games released their first game, Bastion, in 2011 to widespread critical acclaim. An isometric fantasy action RPG originally exclusively published for Xbox Live Arcade (but subsequently ported to PC, iOS, and other platforms), Bastion is breathtaking in its presentation, and engrossing in its gameplay.

    "Transistor is a sci-fi themed action RPG that invites players to wield an extraordinary weapon of unknown origin as they fight through a stunning futuristic city. The game seamlessly integrates thoughtful strategic planning into a fast-paced action experience, melding responsive gameplay and rich atmospheric storytelling. During the course of the adventure, players will piece together the Transistor’s mysteries as they pursue its former owners."

    Transistor's combat is "a mix between Fallout 3's VATS and Splinter Cell Conviction's "mark and execute" system." You can also fight in real-time. It also features an isometric view, much like Bastion.

    Why I'm excited:
    Supergiant Games have proven themselves to be exceptional developers with the incredible Bastion, which managed to combine poignant storytelling and old-school game mechanics. Transistor, on the surface, appears to be very similar to Bastion, but also promises something totally fresh.

    I'm particularly glad to see Bastion's Lead Artist Jen Zee, and Composer Darren Korb returning - Bastion looks and sounds incredible, and if the trailers are anything to go by, so does Transistor.

    Screenshots:

    Sources:
    Transistor FAQ (Official Site)
    Transistor preview: Supergiant's bold, futuristic follow-up to Bastion (Eurogamer)




    #7 - Valiant Hearts: The Great War
    Platform(s): Coming to PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4
    Release Date: 2014 "on the centennial of WWI"
    Developer: Ubisoft Montpellier

    What you need to know:
    The second of Ubisoft's upcoming downloadable titles, Valiant Hearts is coming to the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 via Ubisoft Montpellier, the studio that gave us the original Rayman games, and the studio we have to thank for reviving the franchise with the terrific Rayman Origins and Legends.

    "A downloadable 2D platformer set during World War I and inspired by actual letters from the time, ...Valiant Hearts tells the tale of four strangers coming together on the battlefield to help a young German soldier find love in a story about survival, sacrifice and friendship."

    In Valiant Hearts: The Great War you will "solve puzzles and sneak through enemy lines while doing your best to stay alive. Each of the five playable characters (including the lovelorn German soldier) work alongside the same faithful canine companion at different times, all trying to survive in the trenches while doing their best to hold onto their humanity in the face of loss and tragedy. Though it’s set during a dark time in history, there are lighthearted (and even comical) moments spread throughout the game."

    Valiant Hearts, just like Child of Light, is made using the UbiArt Framework, the engine designed by Montpellier for the recent Rayman games.

    Why I'm excited:
    Out of the greatest tragedies in history, out of our bleakest, darkest days, comes some of the most emotionally resonant, deeply human expression - whether it's poetry, art, or prose. Video games have used war as inspiration from the very beginning, but rarely have they ever been about war, and about human experiences in war. If our chosen medium is ever to be accepted by the wider community, games like Valiant Hearts need to be made.

    Screenshots:

    Sources:
    Valiant Hearts: The Great War Announced (Ubi Blog)
    Valiant Hearts: The Great War tells the story of human beings during wartime (Polygon)
    Valiant Hearts: The Great War Coming to PS4, PS3 in 2014 (PlayStation Blog)




    #8 - Volume

    Platform(s):
    Coming exclusively to PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita
    Release Date: "2014"
    Developer: Mike Bithell

    What you need to know:
    Mike Bithell is the man responsible for the amazing Thomas Was Alone – a side-scrolling puzzle platformer about an AI who becomes self-aware and embarks upon a journey of discovery, narrated by British humourist Danny Wallace.

    Volume is Bithell's latest project: a stealth-based puzzle game and "near future retelling of the Robin Hood legend."

    The main character, Robert Locksley, is voiced by YouTuber Charlie McDonnell, while Danny Wallace (who you might know as Sean Hastings from the Assassin's Creed Games), having won a BAFTA Performance award for his work in Thomas Was Alone, voices an AI that Bithell describes as "the Microsoft Office paperclip as a military training program," who helps Locksley throughout the game.

    "The game will be released with hundreds of challenging and exciting environments, but that is only the beginning. Every area of the game can be remixed, added to and expanded upon. The community are free to take the game in any direction they want, even releasing their own takes on the core levels. This is a game which will evolve, warp and grow as players make their mark on Locksley's legend."

    Why I'm excited:
    I absolutely adored Thomas Was Alone. It is, for me, one of the best indie games on the PlayStation 3, with its interesting puzzles, its eclectic cast of characters, and its fantastic sense of humour. Mike Bithell is a very talented and hardworking developer, and I don't believe TWA was a fluke. The stealth gameplay is modelled after Metal Gear Solid, and early gameplay footage definitely reflects that.

    I'm also particularly intrigued by the game's openness - with the tools being provided for players to create fresh content, or remix existing levels, there are endless possibilities for Volume.

    Screenshots:

    Sources:
    Thomas Was Alone narrator stars in Volume as military version of Clippy (Joystiq)
    Volume (Official Site)




    #9 - The Witness


    Platform(s):
    Coming to PlayStation 4 (exclusive at launch)
    Release Date: "Mid-2014"
    Developer: Number None, Inc.

    What you need to know:
    Following the success of his first game Braid, Jonathan Blow established Number None, Inc. The Witness is their first game. The team includes ex-Rockstar, Ubisoft, Cyan, and Crytek staff - some full-time, some contracting.

    The Witness is a first-person open world puzzle adventure game, set on a fictional and uninhabited island. The island is divided into ten sections, all centred around a mountain which represents the ultimate goal, and each section has a certain theme. Players must solve all of the puzzles in at least seven of the sections to access the mountain and final set of puzzles that lie within.

    The game is entirely non-linear, so you're free to attempt any of the puzzles at any time. You'll often be able to find clues for difficult puzzles as you explore the island.

    The Witness was originally being developed for PlayStation 3 as well, but the age of the console's hardware and the extra time that would be required to port and optimise the game proved too much, and the idea was abandoned. Unfortunately, that also more-than-likely rules out The Witness ever coming to PlayStation Vita.

    Why I'm excited:
    I really enjoyed Braid and its mind-f**king puzzles, and a whole game built out of them has me very interested. At the heart of the game is the notion of revelation - of being utterly baffled by something, before coming to realise the answer, and that associated feeling of accomplishment - and that's something that really appeals to me.

    The Witness' aesthetic style is also quite beautiful, and I can't wait to full explore the vast island.

    Jonathan Blow managed to achieve something quite special with Braid all on his own, so I'm very much looking forward to see what he does with a team for The Witness.

    Screenshots:

    Sources:
    The Witness (Official Site)
    Coming to Blows: The Witness Interview (Rock, Paper, Shotgun)
    Jonathan Blow Interview (Edge Online)




    So what games are you looking forward to in 2014? Have any of the above games got you interested? Perhaps there's another game you think deserves a closer look. Let us know in the comments below.

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    Nice editorial, Faust. I've heard about most of these games, and I agree that they'll probably end up being great (except for Octodad). Some of them definitely deserve a bit more attention than they're getting, but alas.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nagflar View Post
    Some of them definitely deserve a bit more attention than they're getting, but alas.
    I completely agree with you. Some of these look really good. Especially Valiant Hearts, i'm very interested in that one. Also, keep up the good work Faust.

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    A great read Faust, already looking forward to Volume as Thomas Was Alone is one of my favourite indies on Playstation too and the fact Volume is very Metal Gear like adds to the appeal.

    Been very interested in Don't Starve since i heard it was coming to Plus and now i've read this editorial, i'm curious about Everybody's Gone To The Rapture.

    More posts like this please Faust.
    Credit to the awesome ERICVOLTAGE for that. ^

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    Ace article Faust. Jolly good show!

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    A bit off topic, but can anyone tell me how I can "purchase" don't starve when it goes free for play station plus? Interested in getting it, but don't have ps4 yet. I read somewhere that you could purchase ps4 games on ps3 and just not download them. Don't want to miss out because I don't have the money for a new system yet.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ferretbusiness View Post
    A bit off topic, but can anyone tell me how I can "purchase" don't starve when it goes free for play station plus? Interested in getting it, but don't have ps4 yet. I read somewhere that you could purchase ps4 games on ps3 and just not download them. Don't want to miss out because I don't have the money for a new system yet.
    Go through the PSN store website on a PC or Laptop, you can 'purchase' PS4 games on your account without the console there and it'll be in your Library when you make the jump.
    Credit to the awesome ERICVOLTAGE for that. ^

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    Nice one Faust. I never heard of Valiant Hearts before now. It's definitely a game I'm now interested in


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    none of these games look like they will interest me.... but well put together

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    I played a little of Dear Esther around a friends, and I didn't realise there was a "Sequel", thanks Faust, nice article, I will have to keep my eye out for Everybody's Gone to Rapture!

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    Nicely put together....I like the look of a few of these games so I'll keep my out for them

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    The games that I want would have to be Transistor, Everybody Gone to Rapture and Strider. I think you forgot to put in Shadow of The Beast then again that game is not an indie game lol.

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    Nice list, most of these games look good, will keep an eye out.


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    Nice article, Faust! I'm personally excited for Octodad myself...


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    Child of light looks interesting. The rest are not my cup of tea.

    Nice article, I didn't really know much about any of these games.


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    the one that I somewhat liked is volume

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    Don't starve looks fun can't wait to try that one out

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    yeah, i love indie-games too. Good move, Faust, to give 'm some attention

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    I haven't heard about most of those games, but they look interesting, especially Child of Light.

    The (Indie) games I'm looking forward to this year are: Rainbow skies and Soul saga. Soul Saga: Episode 1 - A sweet anime game by Disastercake
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    Decent man. None of them look particularly great, but seem worth a try






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