Escapist EditorialsThe Escapist's Most Anticipated Games of 2014Escapist Editorials - RSS 2.0
The Sims 4
Developer: Maxis Games
Release Date: Q3/Q4 2014
Greg says: You know, I really should be wary of Maxis and EA at this point, but I am genuinely looking forward to The Sims 4. I skipped the third in the series, but had a great time with the mission-based play of The Sims: Medieval and its subtle commentary on the existence of a god-like Watcher, i.e. the player. The Sims is a cash cow, yes, but the core gameplay pushes my buttons of balancing efficiency. I'm rooting for Maxis to bounce back and deliver a game I can get lost in without frustrations of SimCity.
Developer: Hi-Rez Studios
Publisher: Hi-Rez Studios
Release Date: March 25, 2014
Justin says: Whether you call them action real-time strategy (ARTS), multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) or simply DotA-clones, this specific genre of gaming has exploded in popularity. Smite puts itself apart by featuring a third person camera rather than the typical isometric view, however most of the other gameplay will be familiar to fans of the genre. Players are pitted against another team of players, in Smite's case the characters area pantheon of gods from various mythologies. The gods will slowly accrue gold and experience for completing objectives and killing the rival gods and their minions. Like most games in the genre, there is an emphasis on min-maxing what items you purchase and working together as a team. The game has been in open beta for a while now and is free-to-play, so you can currently grab it right now, but the game will be releasing proper in late March.
Sniper Elite 3
Genre: Third-Person Shooter
Developer: Rebellion, 505 Games
Platform: Likely PC, Xbox One, PS4, Wii U
Release Date: Unknown 2014
Jon says: Sniper Elite is one of those underplayed series that does a few things very well. It has excellently designed levels, satisfying sneaking, and surprisingly fun cooperative play. To its fans, this is probably the most criminally underplayed series out there - and it looks like V2 sold well enough to warrant a fascinating sequel set in North Africa. That's very exciting, because the African campaign is one of the less represented and more interesting conflicts in WWII - outside of Battlefield 1942's excellent Tobruk map. Rebellion and 505 Games have a short, dramatic trailer at their website, including the infamous killcam. Killcam being one of the most delightfully gory - and effective - representations of what the sniper's role in warfare actually is: Terror. Strangely intimate terror.
Developer: Double Helix
Platform: PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One
Release Date: 2014
Josh says: I can't get enough platformers. From the bouncy DuckTales Remastered, to The Bridge which lacks even a jump button, I adore every kind of platformer you can imagine. I'm also a sucker for nostalgia, as it turns out, which is a winning combination for the reboot of Strider, which I remember fondly from my NES days of gaming. They're not going the DuckTales route, though. They're implementing skill systems and decision trees, offering more of an RPG experience in the classic action-platforming shell.