As we head to the halfway point of this year, I decided to make another list of some more games to be on the lookout for. If you haven’t already seen my list of my most anticipated games of this year or the downloadable games to be on the lookout for, go check those out since I won’t be adding those games to this list. How about we get right to the point? Here are some more big budget and indie developed games to be on the lookout for this year. 15. Tales of Zestiria
I am starting off the list with the newest game in the popular Tales Of franchise, Tales of Zestiria. I would have put down Tales of Xillia 2 on this list, but Tales of Zestiria, in my opinion, is the more interesting game. I like the idea of the main character that is optimistic like Llyod Irving from Tales of Symphonia and not an emotional prima donna or some soulless tough guy like Asbel Lhant from Tales of Graces f. It’s a nice change of pace, but hopefully, he doesn’t turn into a Gary-stu kind of character. It’s interesting to note that it’s being made for the PlayStation 3, not 4. This game is coming out all over the world at once and not a year later for the states or Europe. Anyway, I can’t wait to hear more about the game’s open ended combat and the characters you meet in the upcoming RPG from Bandai Namco. 14. Deep Down
I am flip flopping with how excited I am for this game. When it was first announced, I was interested. After more trailers, gameplay, and demos were being shown around to everyone, I was getting more excited for this dungeon crawling RPG. The combat looked interesting with each weapon having its own move set and play style, which reminded me of Monster Hunter, the dungeons being randomized will throw a wrench into any premade plan you had, and it looks like it’s trying to take a page or more from the Dark Souls franchise where every battle counts. The monster designs also look nice and each trailer has had fantastic music in it, so hopefully the soundtrack is great to listen to. However, the one thing that might turn off a lot of gamers is the fact that the game is free to play, and knowing how easily companies have abused this system, it could really ruin the experience. This game is also being made by Capcom and if you know their popularity right now, you would know that they aren’t the most respected company as of late. I also find that the demos that have been shown are not the most interesting since it looked like they got people to play them who haven’t had to time really sit down and play it enough to know how the complexity of combat works. However, I still think this game has some potential and since this game will be on the PlayStation 4 and its free-to-play, you won’t need to have a PlayStation Plus membership to find some friends and raid some dungeons.
13. Alien: Isolation
I wish we could all forget that disastrous launch of last year’s Aliens: Colonial Marines, but we can’t and you can thank Gearbox Software for that. Luckily it seems like The Creative Assembly, the creators of the Total War games, is picking up the slack by creating a game based off the Alien franchise that is actually terrifying. I mean, I think we have all had this nightmare one time or another, being stuck in an unknown location with a creature stalking you and wanting to kill you. You have no way of defending yourself and you must make it past the creature without it knowing you are there. Basically, this is the big budget version of games like Outlast and Routine. My only major concern is that The Creative Assembly is known for incredibly buggy launches with a lot of features not there in the initial release of the game and that is why it’s up here on the list. Oh, you probably don’t know about Routine. Well… 12. Routine
Routine is yet another first person exploration survival game with some horror elements. The indie scene is filled with them, but this one stood out to me. It takes place on a space station on the moon and you have no idea what happened or what caused this weird event that made everyone vanish. You only have one life and the game is apparently supposed to be very difficult. This is also another one of those games where you need to find out what happened yourself, as the game won’t tell you through cut scenes. It is definitely an interesting game, but I can see the “one death equals game over” ordeal ending in two ways. The first way is that it is such an addicting experience that it makes you want to keep replaying the game and making sure that you don’t die by the hands of whatever is crawling around the base. The other way I can see this is ending is that the game is way too punishing and it makes going through the game over and over again tedious and not worth it. Hopefully they find that right balance of fear of the one life design choice and making sure you feel like you aren’t getting some cheap way of patting since the game is really short. 11. The Evil Within
Some people were disappointed that I didn’t add this game to my most anticipated, but after some time thinking about it and seeing some success with games like Outlast, my opinion changed and I am hopefully going to get into more games around horror and survival with the help of The Evil Within. The footage we’ve received so far gives the game this grim and terrifying atmosphere and will hopefully give you the actual feeling of being powerless without having to go the route of clunky controls or other design choices that artificially make you feel powerless, but it makes the game more annoying. Then again, this is Shinji Mikami, the designer and creator of the Resident Evil and Dino Crisis franchise. Hopefully this game will frighten us in a good way a few months from now.
Even though I am not too fond of the Kickstarter games that are trying to make the next Super Metroid since there are a lot of those floating around the indie scene, ReVeN does seem like one of the few Super Metroid inspired games that at least changes up the gameplay a little. The gameplay that you would normally see in the Metroid franchise is mixed with upgradable abilities and the added gameplay of mining for minerals that will help you with your journey. I also liked the atmosphere from what I saw in the Kickstarter video. It’s very barren and if you are going to do a Super Metroid style game, you better get the atmosphere down right. Just a personal gripe, I do wish the character’s main animation didn’t look so much like Samus, but I guess that is something I should expect since they are replicating the Super Metroid design. Anyway, this game has at least caught my attention and I helped back it and can’t wait to review it in the future.
9. Project Spark
This is probably the only Microsoft game that I am actually looking forward to. It is basically if LittleBigPlanet was owned by Microsoft. The game has a lot of create-your-own levels and game kind of content and it actually looks really fun. The gameplay shown at E3 showed some real promise and it seems like the public betas have been going over well for the Xbox One and PC versions. I am glad I can get this game for my Xbox 360 since I really don’t have a reason to plop down $500 for a console that might be going back to its DRM roots. Either way, for me, if there was a reason to get an Xbox One with its “we’re not letting it go even though it’s a flop” Kinect, I would personally get Project Spark. 8. The Crew
I‘ll be honest, a lot of the racing games I am looking forward to are from indie developers since I am not too excited for Sony’s Driveclub. However, Ubisoft’s The Crew looks to be an interesting racer that focuses on an open-ended environment where you can race alone or with friends through missions and trophy races. It also looks great in the graphics department. Hopefully, The Crew can fix up a nice strong muscle car for us to drive in while we wreck @#$% up and drive around an alternate United States. 7. Murdered: Soul Suspect
While the dead detective and detective style games are nothing new, Murdered: Soul Suspect hopes to bring you into the world of the recently passed detective, Ronan O'Connor. At first, the game looked like L.A. Noire mixed with Ghost Trick, and while it is, it does have some interesting elements like having to deal with the paranormal, having to either hide or fight your way through ghosts, and having side investigations with other spirits that roam the town of Salem. The game is coming out in June for the PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, PC, and Xbox One so you have a multitude of ways to get your hands on this interesting mystery game. 6. Drakengard 3
I was surprised to hear about this game a year or so ago, since it’s the third game of a series that was originally from the developer Cavia, the same people who made Nier. It looks like the gameplay of Dynasty Warriors while mixing elements of riding a dragon, picking from a multitude of weapons, and choosing different characters intact. The characters from what I have seen also seem more interesting since the first two games didn’t have that many interesting or memorable characters. This game is coming out for the PlayStation 3 later this month and I can’t wait for it. Oh, and speaking of games with Dynasty Warriors gameplay…
5. Kingdom Under Fire II
If you haven’t heard about this game, don’t be surprised. It has been in development since 2008 and was originally going to be for the Xbox 360, but is now coming to the PlayStation 4 and PC. The game combines elements of real-time strategy games, MMOs, and like I said above, Dynasty Warriors. I didn’t find out about this game until a few weeks ago and after I checked out some of the gameplay in this title, I got hooked. It looks fun even if the grunt enemies look like they have the same intelligence as a bag of broken hammers. I think the only thing that kind of bugs me about this game is the female player designs. Fanservice is fine, but the outfits are a bit much. Kind of reminds me of how some of the female characters look like in TERA Online. Anyway, skimpy outfits or not, this game looks like it’s going to be fun! 4. Wolfenstein: The New Order
I have said in the past that if a first-person shooter wants to grab my attention, it has to have something that gets me interested. The first time I read up the info about this new Wolfenstein, something stood out to me. The one thing that got me excited about this game was the fact that it was single-player only. That is right. This means, the game won’t have tacked on multiplayer. Even the story looks interesting in its alternative World War II universe where the Nazis have taken over the world. The story looks like it will be serious, but over the top, which reminds me in how Tarantino does his movies. Heck, it reminds me a lot of Metro: Last Light and Inglourious Basterds combined into one hopefully entertaining experience. However, I am not happy that this game has a collector’s edition that doesn’t come with the game. That is just stupid. Hopefully this Bethesda published game will give us a fantastic varied shooter experience since that is what we need nowadays.
3. Bound by Flame
Since we have to wait for The Witcher 3 next year and we still don’t have a release date for the new Dragon Age, hopefully Spiders’ Bound by Flame will keep us satisfy the gamers who want a grand multi hour RPG to sit next to our copy of South Park: The Stick of Truth. If you don’t know about this developer, they made a popular game called Of Orcs and Men, but unless you downloaded it here in the States, you wouldn’t know about it since they didn’t release a physical copy over here. The action looks fast pace, the art design is awesome, and it reminds me of InFamous since you have abilities that are evil and abilities that are heroic and good. Hopefully this game that will be released in May, will be a fantastic edition to any RPG gamer’s library.
2. Costume Quest 2
Hey, I love Double Fine Productions and I am super okay with that since they are making a new Costume Quest! All we know is that the combat is going to be more dynamic, but we already know the game is already going to be as charming as the first game. I mean, this is Double Fine Productions we are talking about. A lot of their games have charm coming out of every part of their titles.
1. Oddworld: New ‘n’ Tasty
Back during the PlayStation 1 days, one of the more standout series on the console was the Oddworld franchise. Delightfully weird, challenging, and filled with humor that we rarely see in games these days, you can tell they were a popular franchise. After the debacle with Microsoft and EA with the last game, Stranger’s Wrath, the series went into hibernation until sites like Steam started to release the games and HD versions of Munch’s Odyssey and Stranger’s Wrath came out and are still coming out for the PC PlayStation consoles, and even to the Wii U. When I first heard about this new HD reimagining of the first Oddworld game, I was interested, but after getting into the franchise more, I put this game on my “Oh my goodness! I can’t wait for this game” list. The graphics look downright beautiful with the game’s original art style, and the gameplay looks to be intact from the original game. Hopefully they can make it more appealing to a wider audience by making it not so brutally difficult. Yeah sure, that might have been the charm back then, but nowadays, it is a little harder to get into than you would think. Either way, I can’t wait for this game and this is why it’s number one on the list.