IM PLAYIN – what games to buy in 2014?

There’s a word I like to use to avoid buying duff games, it’s “Research”, and I do a lot of it when I’m not playing Clash of Clans, Toukiden: The Age of Demons and so on. I sometimes find surprises too and dig a little deeper to find out more about them, but most times a few YouTubes are enough to let me know whether or not I should be setting aside some cat food money for my more important purchases. Of course research is a very subjective activity – what I like you might not, what I don’t like you might love – but I’m just listing a few games I’m keeping an eye on, hoping for and putting on my ‘must have it on day one’ list.

Final Fantasy XIV Beta
(PS4, 22nd February 2014)

It’s free to download and free to play until launch in April, so why not? I played FFXI for 5 years … not sure if that’s a good or bad thing.

Thief
(360/PS3/XBoxOne/PS4, 28th February 2014)

I’ve never played a Thief title. Unless you count being a Thief in Oblivion or Skyrim, which was pretty awesome. To me Thief looks like it has all of those sneaking around and stealing things mechanics absolutely nailed, but it’s not offering much else from what I can see, so it’s not on my ‘to get’ list at all. Also, it looks too grey. Basically I’ll wait for reviews to find out more before committing.

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Sacred 3
(360/PS3, March 2014)

Publisher Deep Silver have been strangely quiet on all things Sacred 3 lately. I suspect the release date is an ancient placeholder and the game isn’t in full-scale development yet, either that or they’ve decided to leave an Xbox One/PS4 announcement until E3 in June, which would be awesome and surprising. I’m a Sacred fan, basically I don’t care if it’s Xbox 360 or PS4, if it’s on either I’ll be in the queue Day One.

From now on the list is all about the PS4, Sacred 3 looks like it’ll be the last game I buy for my 360, and if it doesn’t come out then Fable: Anniversary will become the last game I bought for that console, there’s nothing else in the future pipeline for me there. As for PS Vita future release dates, I’m glad I discovered Toukiden (released on the 14th Feb) because that’ll keep me busy for years, seeing as there’s nothing that grabs me in the future lineup, unless something awesome comes up as a PS+ subscriber, which is pretty much guaranteed. So, onwards!

Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes
(21st March 2014)

You know it’s the prequel to the real Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain? And you know that a lot of previewers have complained that 2 hours of gameplay is a bit short? If not you’ll be very disappointed if you spend £40 on it. Personally I’ll wait until it either drops into the £14.99 bracket or ends up getting bundled with The Phantom Pain anyway. Or just wait for a Game of the Year edition in 2015.

inFamous: Second Son
(21st March 2014)

I never had a PS3 so I didn’t get the chance to play the first inFamous, but having watched a YouTube that made me think of Defiance crossed with Grand Theft Auto V crossed with super human abilities, yeah, I’m down. Maybe not Day One, but I’m down. But again, I’ll have to check a few reviews to be absolutely sure.

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Planetside 2
(Q1 2014)

A game this complicated has to get pushed back I reckon, but it looks like as much fun as Battlefield, just with a lot more tactics and teamwork involved. I’m probably in, depends if they get it up and running without aimbots running around as well. Maybe a couple of weeks after launch I’ll pick it up, looks like a proper life-sapper if I can get into it and if I don’t get too confused. A decent manual could probably sell me the game.

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After that it’s a veritable desert until around E3 time, at which point we could get hit with The Elderscrolls Online, the full release of Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn – unless they decide to remake it again – maybe Watchdogs and a few others. But of course we won’t care by then, E3 will have come and gone and we’ll all be amped for the games coming out in 3 years’ time.

So looking at this list of ‘hmm, maybe’ you might be thinking my future of gaming seems pretty bleak, but actually it’s incredibly busy. See, I kept my Xbox 360 when I upgraded to a PS4 and my backlog of games for the 360 is legendary. And I’ve still got 11 months of Xbox Live to play around with, so there’s a lot of fun there. If I get hooked on the Final Fantasy XIV beta it’ll be a case of “I’m going outside, I may be some time” and then the only place you’ll ever find me again is in the realm of Eorzea, (Final Fantasy XIV’s world).

Finally, there are the surprises. They’re out there and always have been. Games that come out of nowhere, grab your attention and suck you in. The last game of that nature for me was Defiance, I only discovered it 3 days before launch and ploughed hundreds of hours into it afterwards. The one before that? Guild Wars 2, I stumbled across their website on the day they made the digital download available for beta participation and it’s still there, on my hard drive to get back to. One day.

You might be wondering why I bothered going next-gen in the first place? One word: Destiny. No idea when it’s out, last I heard was 9th September, but that’s my ‘must have it now!’ game. One of those titles where I happily say ‘screw the research’ because I’ve seen all I need to know in a 3 second gameplay clip. Those titles are rare, but for me Destiny is one of them. I’ve already preordered via Amazon and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that I get into the Summer beta.

Until it arrives, more gaming and more research!