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THE BEST VIDEO GAMES OF 2014

Tags:   Technology,   Video Games,   2014

By Martin Calleja Urry   -  October 30, 2014


   Technology malta,  Video Games malta,  2014 malta,  The Best Video Games of 2014 malta, Gadgets & Tech malta, Swag Mens Online Magazine Malta

Photo credit:  www.ibtimes.com


2014 witnessed the Xbox One and PS4 bursting onto the scene, creating a new landscape for the console wars.

As exciting as the release of the eighth-generation entertainment systems were, overall it was an uneventful year for gamers. Some smashing titles were released, and expectations were high after 2013's explosive selection of games. Promises were made but many were not kept. We’ve had the usual Battlefield, Call of Duty and FIFA entries, but none warrant a game of the year status.

Regardless, the three-way console battle goes on. In case you’ve been living under a rock the last year, SWAG’s assembled a list of some of the year’s best games, in no particular order. Disagree with our selection? Tell us about it in the comment section below.

  1. BAYONETTA 2

1. BAYONETTA 2 malta,   Developer : Platinum Games 
 Platform : Wii U 
 Release Date : October 24th 

   

 Hack-and-slash your way through armies of demons in this ‘Devil May Cry’ style game, which puts players in control of heroine Bayonetta. Forced to dive into the fiery depths of hell to save a friend, the gun-toting, sword-swinging protagonist uses ‘bullet arts’ to wreak havoc on her adversaries. 
 
Throw realism out the window and make room for evil angels, torture devices, and witch hunters. The emphasis here is on over-the-top action, cheesy dialogue, combos and the slaughter of gargantuan enemies. Fancy equipping weapons on your feet? Then this game is for you. 
 
Regardless of the Wii U’s lack of graphical firepower, Bayonetta 2 looks excellent. Gamers won’t tire of admiring the visuals, whether you’re morphing into a serpent or battling a group of angels atop a jet. There’s also plenty of replay value, as you may want to achieve a perfect rank in every mission, purchase every costume, ability and weapon. 
 
It may not be released yet, but it’s received amazing reviews and will certainly help the Wii U’s sales. 
 malta,  Technology malta,  Video Games malta,  2014 malta,  The Best Video Games of 2014 malta, Gadgets & Tech malta, Swag Mens Online Magazine Malta

1. BAYONETTA 2
Photo credit:  www.blogcdn.com

Developer: Platinum Games
Platform: Wii U
Release Date: October 24th

 

Hack-and-slash your way through armies of demons in this ‘Devil May Cry’ style game, which puts players in control of heroine Bayonetta. Forced to dive into the fiery depths of hell to save a friend, the gun-toting, sword-swinging protagonist uses ‘bullet arts’ to wreak havoc on her adversaries.

Throw realism out the window and make room for evil angels, torture devices, and witch hunters. The emphasis here is on over-the-top action, cheesy dialogue, combos and the slaughter of gargantuan enemies. Fancy equipping weapons on your feet? Then this game is for you.

Regardless of the Wii U’s lack of graphical firepower, Bayonetta 2 looks excellent. Gamers won’t tire of admiring the visuals, whether you’re morphing into a serpent or battling a group of angels atop a jet. There’s also plenty of replay value, as you may want to achieve a perfect rank in every mission, purchase every costume, ability and weapon.

It may not be released yet, but it’s received amazing reviews and will certainly help the Wii U’s sales.



  2. DARK SOULS II

2. DARK SOULS II malta,   Developer : From Software 
 Platform : Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC 
 Release Date : March 14th, April 25th (PC) 

   

 Dark Souls II gives you a baptism by fire, in the form of multiple deaths and penalties for perishing. It’s a cruel mistress which locks you into a love-hate relationship. Of course, you’ll be rewarded for traversing tough terrain littered with phantoms and mages. Die, and you’ll lose all your souls (aka XP points) and even an HP reduction. 
 
The successor to role-playing heavyweights Demon’s Souls and Dark Souls is not for casual gamers. It’s led to some harsh reviews across the internet, but ironically, its tough outer shell is one of the reasons loyal RPG fans love it so much. 
 
It has a steep learning curve, and mastering battles against the AI monsters is no easy task. Besides the use of magic, game-play is focused on timing – in the form of blocking, dodging, and striking at the right moment. 
 
It has interesting multiplayer elements, allowing you to either help or hinder other players. Expect to spend upwards of 50 hours cracking this tough nut. 
 malta,  Technology malta,  Video Games malta,  2014 malta,  The Best Video Games of 2014 malta, Gadgets & Tech malta, Swag Mens Online Magazine Malta

2. DARK SOULS II
Photo credit:  www.gameinformer.com

Developer: From Software
Platform: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC
Release Date: March 14th, April 25th (PC)

 

Dark Souls II gives you a baptism by fire, in the form of multiple deaths and penalties for perishing. It’s a cruel mistress which locks you into a love-hate relationship. Of course, you’ll be rewarded for traversing tough terrain littered with phantoms and mages. Die, and you’ll lose all your souls (aka XP points) and even an HP reduction.

The successor to role-playing heavyweights Demon’s Souls and Dark Souls is not for casual gamers. It’s led to some harsh reviews across the internet, but ironically, its tough outer shell is one of the reasons loyal RPG fans love it so much.

It has a steep learning curve, and mastering battles against the AI monsters is no easy task. Besides the use of magic, game-play is focused on timing – in the form of blocking, dodging, and striking at the right moment.

It has interesting multiplayer elements, allowing you to either help or hinder other players. Expect to spend upwards of 50 hours cracking this tough nut.



  3. DESTINY

3. DESTINY malta,   Developer : Bungie 
 Platforms : Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4 
 Release Date : September 9th 

   

 A graphically gorgeous title from the creators of Halo, Destiny takes first-person shooters up a notch. One of the most hyped-up games of 2014, its’ sales exceeded $325 million in the opening five days. 
 
Combat is extremely rewarding, with players able to engage and kill enemies in a multitude of ways. Teleport behind hostile aliens and melee them, slide out of cover and hit them with a shotgun blast, or plop a grenade in between a pack of them as you glide past – that only scratches the surface. 
 
The level design is spectacular, and the well-crafted soundtrack adds another layer of beauty to the game. However, critics lambasted Destiny’s attempt at blending RPG elements into the FPS structure, and the story is far from memorable. Overall, Destiny tries to do too much, but retains its place as one of the best games of 2014. 
 malta,  Technology malta,  Video Games malta,  2014 malta,  The Best Video Games of 2014 malta, Gadgets & Tech malta, Swag Mens Online Magazine Malta

3. DESTINY
Photo credit:  www.gamespot.com

Developer: Bungie
Platforms: Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4
Release Date: September 9th

 

A graphically gorgeous title from the creators of Halo, Destiny takes first-person shooters up a notch. One of the most hyped-up games of 2014, its’ sales exceeded $325 million in the opening five days.

Combat is extremely rewarding, with players able to engage and kill enemies in a multitude of ways. Teleport behind hostile aliens and melee them, slide out of cover and hit them with a shotgun blast, or plop a grenade in between a pack of them as you glide past – that only scratches the surface.

The level design is spectacular, and the well-crafted soundtrack adds another layer of beauty to the game. However, critics lambasted Destiny’s attempt at blending RPG elements into the FPS structure, and the story is far from memorable. Overall, Destiny tries to do too much, but retains its place as one of the best games of 2014.



  4. THE LAST OF US: REMASTERED

4. THE LAST OF US: REMASTERED malta,   Developer : Naughty Dog 
 Platform : PS4 
 Release Date : July 30th 

   

 This post-apocalyptic masterpiece raked in over 200 ‘Game of the Year’ awards, an achievement unparalleled in gaming history. Perhaps we’re cheating a little by including this on the list - the original PS3 version was released in 2013 – but to put it simply, it’s is too good to leave out. 
 
Superb graphics & environments, a riveting storyline, stellar sound, challenging gameplay – Last of Us has it all. The protagonist is Joel, a stout survivor determined to escort Ellie, a fragile teenager, across a ravaged USA. The dynamic duo become emotionally attached as the story progresses, as does the player to both of them. 
 
It’s a brilliant take on the action-adventure survival-horror genre, and will have your heart pounding as you stealthily move past infected enemies or eliminate intelligent human foes. 
 
The re-mastered version includes improved (1080p) graphics, a better frame rate, downloadable content, commentary, remote play (via PlayStation Vita), picture mode and more – making it well-worth the purchase. 
 malta,  Technology malta,  Video Games malta,  2014 malta,  The Best Video Games of 2014 malta, Gadgets & Tech malta, Swag Mens Online Magazine Malta

4. THE LAST OF US: REMASTERED
Photo credit:  www.media2.giga.de

Developer: Naughty Dog
Platform: PS4
Release Date: July 30th

 

This post-apocalyptic masterpiece raked in over 200 ‘Game of the Year’ awards, an achievement unparalleled in gaming history. Perhaps we’re cheating a little by including this on the list - the original PS3 version was released in 2013 – but to put it simply, it’s is too good to leave out.

Superb graphics & environments, a riveting storyline, stellar sound, challenging gameplay – Last of Us has it all. The protagonist is Joel, a stout survivor determined to escort Ellie, a fragile teenager, across a ravaged USA. The dynamic duo become emotionally attached as the story progresses, as does the player to both of them.

It’s a brilliant take on the action-adventure survival-horror genre, and will have your heart pounding as you stealthily move past infected enemies or eliminate intelligent human foes.

The re-mastered version includes improved (1080p) graphics, a better frame rate, downloadable content, commentary, remote play (via PlayStation Vita), picture mode and more – making it well-worth the purchase.



  5. MARIO KART 8

5. MARIO KART 8  malta,   Developer : Nintendo 
 Platform : Wii U 
 Release Date : May 30th 

   

 Surviving over 20 years in the gaming industry is no easy achievement. Mario Kart is a bastion of Nintendo gaming, and the 8th edition to the franchise still manages to feel fresh. Grand prix, time trials, vs race, battle mode and online multiplayer all feature, and players can fully customize their kart, bike or brand new ATV. 
 
Forget the fact that the Wii U isn’t as powerful as other consoles - Mario Kart in full HD looks like a next generation game should. Slick controls, fluid gameplay and interesting level design make this one of the best games on Nintendo’s entertainment system. 
 
According to reports, it boosted UK Wii U sales by over 600%, after 2014 proved to be a disappointing financial year for the Japanese company. Current updates have yet to fix the game’s minor flaws, but expect Nintendo to make this a priority soon enough.  
 malta,  Technology malta,  Video Games malta,  2014 malta,  The Best Video Games of 2014 malta, Gadgets & Tech malta, Swag Mens Online Magazine Malta

5. MARIO KART 8
Photo credit:  www.giantbomb.com

Developer: Nintendo
Platform: Wii U
Release Date: May 30th

 

Surviving over 20 years in the gaming industry is no easy achievement. Mario Kart is a bastion of Nintendo gaming, and the 8th edition to the franchise still manages to feel fresh. Grand prix, time trials, vs race, battle mode and online multiplayer all feature, and players can fully customize their kart, bike or brand new ATV.

Forget the fact that the Wii U isn’t as powerful as other consoles - Mario Kart in full HD looks like a next generation game should. Slick controls, fluid gameplay and interesting level design make this one of the best games on Nintendo’s entertainment system.

According to reports, it boosted UK Wii U sales by over 600%, after 2014 proved to be a disappointing financial year for the Japanese company. Current updates have yet to fix the game’s minor flaws, but expect Nintendo to make this a priority soon enough. 



  6. MIDDLE EARTH: SHADOW OF MORDOR

6. MIDDLE EARTH: SHADOW OF MORDOR malta,   Developer : Monolith Games 
 Platforms : Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4 
 Release Date : October 3rd (Xbox One, Ps4), November 21st (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3) 

   

 Bloodthirsty players take control of Talion, a heroic ranger who, along with his family, is brutally murdered at the start of the game. Merging his soul with a wraith in the afterlife, Talion embarks on a revenge-fuelled quest jam-packed with slick executions, stealth kills and surprisingly, mind control. 
 
A third-person sandbox game set in the Lord of the Rings universe, it combines the best elements of Assassin’s Creed and recent Batman titles. It’s set during the gap between the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings movies, and provides plenty of extra content (via side-missions) for hard-core fans. 
 
Its highlight is the ‘Nemesis System’, which gives your foes an unprecedented amount of customization, making every encounter unique. If a random lackey slays you in battle, he’ll be promoted and receive plenty of upgrades. Enemies operate within a hierarchical structure which you can effect; kill one, and another will take his place. 
 
Praised by both critics and fans, it’s already touted as the best Lord of the Rings game yet. 
 malta,  Technology malta,  Video Games malta,  2014 malta,  The Best Video Games of 2014 malta, Gadgets & Tech malta, Swag Mens Online Magazine Malta

6. MIDDLE EARTH: SHADOW OF MORDOR
Photo credit:  www.cdn.com

Developer: Monolith Games
Platforms: Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4
Release Date: October 3rd (Xbox One, Ps4), November 21st (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3)

 

Bloodthirsty players take control of Talion, a heroic ranger who, along with his family, is brutally murdered at the start of the game. Merging his soul with a wraith in the afterlife, Talion embarks on a revenge-fuelled quest jam-packed with slick executions, stealth kills and surprisingly, mind control.

A third-person sandbox game set in the Lord of the Rings universe, it combines the best elements of Assassin’s Creed and recent Batman titles. It’s set during the gap between the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings movies, and provides plenty of extra content (via side-missions) for hard-core fans.

Its highlight is the ‘Nemesis System’, which gives your foes an unprecedented amount of customization, making every encounter unique. If a random lackey slays you in battle, he’ll be promoted and receive plenty of upgrades. Enemies operate within a hierarchical structure which you can effect; kill one, and another will take his place.

Praised by both critics and fans, it’s already touted as the best Lord of the Rings game yet.



  7. SOUTH PARK: STICK OF TRUTH

7. SOUTH PARK: STICK OF TRUTH malta,   Developer : Obsidian Entertainment 
 Platforms : Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC 
 Release Date : March 7th 

   

 This title took four years to develop, but was met with a positive response across the board. Fans of the classic turn-based RPG and South Park lovers will feel right at home here. It may not operate on the same scale as Final Fantasy or Oblivion, but expect the usual main quest and side mission format. 
 
Its class and armour system aren’t going to inspire future RPGs, but it will have you laughing for hours on end. Sling faeces at opponents or use sweet-katanas to chop them in half until Cartman levels you up to ‘King Douchebag’. 
 
It may not be considered an all-time classic, but will be remembered as a comedic gem. 
 
Critics and players praised Stick of Truth for staying true to its roots, in every way possible – crude humour, a nonsensical plot and outdated but appealing animation. It looks and feels exactly like a regular episode does. A memorable title from 2014, regardless of its inability to stimulate hard-core gamers sufficiently. 
 malta,  Technology malta,  Video Games malta,  2014 malta,  The Best Video Games of 2014 malta, Gadgets & Tech malta, Swag Mens Online Magazine Malta

7. SOUTH PARK: STICK OF TRUTH
Photo credit:  www.cdn.com

Developer: Obsidian Entertainment
Platforms: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC
Release Date: March 7th

 

This title took four years to develop, but was met with a positive response across the board. Fans of the classic turn-based RPG and South Park lovers will feel right at home here. It may not operate on the same scale as Final Fantasy or Oblivion, but expect the usual main quest and side mission format.

Its class and armour system aren’t going to inspire future RPGs, but it will have you laughing for hours on end. Sling faeces at opponents or use sweet-katanas to chop them in half until Cartman levels you up to ‘King Douchebag’.

It may not be considered an all-time classic, but will be remembered as a comedic gem.

Critics and players praised Stick of Truth for staying true to its roots, in every way possible – crude humour, a nonsensical plot and outdated but appealing animation. It looks and feels exactly like a regular episode does. A memorable title from 2014, regardless of its inability to stimulate hard-core gamers sufficiently.



  8. TITANFALL

8. TITANFALL malta,   Developer : Respawn Entertainment 
 Platforms : Xbox 360, Xbox One, PC 
 Release Date : March 13th, April 11th (Xbox 360) 
  

 Forget about interesting characters and plotlines. Picture massive robots battering each other in the background as you ascend a four-story building whilst invisible. Whipping out your trusty rocket launcher to ramp up the carnage, you take down a rival titan, but another lands close by and blows you to bits. 
 
Titanfall pumps you full of adrenaline, catapults you into the air and pummels you into the ground. Shipped with the Xbox One bundle, it surely made a few PlayStation junkies jealous. 
 
It’s a game which lacks complexity, but doesn’t care whatsoever – it has one job, and it does it brilliantly. Game play switches seamlessly between the agile pilot (first-person) and metallic behemoth you summon from the sky, which, when used correctly can turn the tide of the 6v6 battle. Multiplayer is a bag of fun, but single player mode is non-existent. 
 
It’s shipped millions of copies worldwide, and was a hit with reviewers too. However, it lacks a decent selection of game modes and customization that should be mandatory in 2014.  

   

   

  Martin Calleja Urry is a guest writer for SWAG. You can check out his work on  Last Ditch Tackle .   
 malta,  Technology malta,  Video Games malta,  2014 malta,  The Best Video Games of 2014 malta, Gadgets & Tech malta, Swag Mens Online Magazine Malta

8. TITANFALL
Photo credit:  www.techhive.com

Developer: Respawn Entertainment
Platforms: Xbox 360, Xbox One, PC
Release Date: March 13th, April 11th (Xbox 360)
 

Forget about interesting characters and plotlines. Picture massive robots battering each other in the background as you ascend a four-story building whilst invisible. Whipping out your trusty rocket launcher to ramp up the carnage, you take down a rival titan, but another lands close by and blows you to bits.

Titanfall pumps you full of adrenaline, catapults you into the air and pummels you into the ground. Shipped with the Xbox One bundle, it surely made a few PlayStation junkies jealous.

It’s a game which lacks complexity, but doesn’t care whatsoever – it has one job, and it does it brilliantly. Game play switches seamlessly between the agile pilot (first-person) and metallic behemoth you summon from the sky, which, when used correctly can turn the tide of the 6v6 battle. Multiplayer is a bag of fun, but single player mode is non-existent.

It’s shipped millions of copies worldwide, and was a hit with reviewers too. However, it lacks a decent selection of game modes and customization that should be mandatory in 2014. 

 

 

Martin Calleja Urry is a guest writer for SWAG. You can check out his work on Last Ditch Tackle






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