Best PC Action Games of 2014.
The surely-headed-to-PC Grand Theft Auto 5 rubs shoulders with intriguing multiplayer survival games like The Division. The specters of distant games like Star Wars: Battlefront, Mirror's Edge 2, Deus Ex Universe and Beyond Good and Evil 2 offer haunting glimpses of a time beyond 2014, but all may fall before the return of the space flight sim. Star Citizen is coming. If its team can effectively utilize that vast crowd-sourced budget, we could be in for something a bit special. Tom Clancy's The Division Developer: Ubisoft Publisher: In-house Release Date: TBA Link:The Division site A disease spread on Black Friday decimates the US in five days. As part of the Division, you are tasked with saving what remains. Go up against both AI and other players in Ubisoft's hugely ambitious third-person shooter MMO. Expect meticulously designed environments courtesy of the promising new Snowdrop engine; expect ludicrous attention to detail (car windshields finally shatter like they should); just don't expect it to come out any time soon. The Division will be done when it's done, as Ubisoft's recently delayed Rainbow Six: Patriots demonstrates. Watch Dogs Developer Ubisoft Publisher: In-house Release date: Spring 2014 Link:Watch Dogs site Though in recent years, Ubisoft has been happy to milk the Assassin's Creed licence until its ruddy teats squeaked, let us not forget that the space-wizards-thru-history mega-franchise was born of huge creative risk: a new IP that cost so much develop that, rumour has it, sales didn't cover the cost of development until its sequels were on shelves. Now, the same gigantic studio, Ubisoft Montreal, has unveiled Watch Dogs - a game with no smaller a scope than Assassin's Creed, combining the complex sedition of information warfare with brutish third-person action and, it is suspected, with some sort of clever multiplayer/singleplayer crossover. It's not only a showcase for the kind of polygon-crunching power the cutting edge PC can generate (finally loosed from the shackles of last-gen cross platform releases) but it also establishes a fiction that Ubisoft hopes will see it through the next decade. We recently got our mucky paws all over Ubisoft's Watch Dogs. Have a read of what we thought here. Grand Theft Auto 5 Developer: Rockstar Publisher: In-house Release: TBC Link:GTA 5 site There's been no confirmation of Rockstar's next blockbuster for PC, but it would be a world gone topsy-turvy if Grand Theft Auto 5 was marooned on consoles for ever. This isn't Red Dead Redemption, a game developed by a studio with around three PC credits to its name aACAo this is GTA, a series whose every main instalment has appeared on PC. And it's developed by Rockstar North, a team that (even including its legacy as DMA Design) has brought all bar seven of its games to PC. And where are the internet petitions to port Walker over from the Amiga, I might ask? One of the biggest releases of 2013, GTA 5 sees the player take on the role of three different characters trying to make a crust amid the tinseltown glamour and sunbaked squalor of Los Santos. And it's an ill-gotten crust at that, given the series' heritage of exuberant criminality: heists, hits and high-speed chases are the order of the day, interspersed with all the leisure activities a high-rolling hoodlum might desire. The game's online component, GTA Online, lets you do all that but...online, expanding Red Dead Redemption's brilliant multiplayer to envelop the entirety of Los Santos. Mirror's Edge 2 Developer: DICE Publisher: EA Release Date: TBA Link:Mirror's Edge site Mirror's Edge 2 will be an open-world action adventure according to EA Labels president Frank Gibeau, who apparently used the term in the publisher's E3 analyst call last June. It'll be a prequel, too, telling the origin story of tattooed heroine Faith, pre-tattoo. The extent of the sandbox is currently unknown - all we've seen of the game a short trailer featuring a pair of gloved hands and lots of punching. But the change of direction has the chance to make a cult classic look like a practice run. Not least because Mirror's Edge 2 runs on Frostbite 2, Battlefield 4's engine. It particularly excels at physics, so you'll get your money's worth in shattering glass and billowing fabric. "[Producer Sara Jansson] pitched an idea that frankly could only be built on gen four. It's a stunning concept, and when she came to us we knew we had it. And yes, we've been testing ideas and we've been prototyping stuff, and I'm glad that we waited to get the right idea," says Patrick SEaA[micro]derlund, executive vice president of the EA Games Label. "I was frankly blown away," he says. Mad Max Developer: Avalanche Publisher: Warner Bros Release: TBC 2014 Link:Mad Max site An open world Mad Max game from the developers of Just Cause? You don't need to be Bolo Santosi to see the value in that. We've barely seen any of it so far, but Mad Max seems to fuse the the go anywhere, grapple-hook anything attitude of the Just Cause series with brutal weaponry, ammo scarcity, added car customisation and a significantly browner colour palette. Elite: Dangerous Developer: Frontier Developments Publisher: In-house Release: 2014 Link:Frontier's Elite site David Braben is finally to make the Elite sequel everyone has been patiently waiting for since Frontier: First Encounters came along in 1995 and didn't work properly. With crowdfunded millions and possibly more from investors, this could be the starbound successor people have longed for. In the months since its rather sparse announcement, Braben and co. have released some promising videos and screenshots that indicate they're on the right track. Between this and Star Citizen, it seems we may be heading for a new golden age of space sims. If you crowdfunded Elite: Dangerous, there's a chance you now have access to its alpha version - head here for the full details. The rest of us will have to make do with this impressive ship battle trailer. Star Citizen Developer: Cloud Imperium Games Corporation Publisher: In-house Release: November 2014 Link:Roberts Space Industries The hype behind Chris Roberts' new project was phenomenal, to the tune of $35 million and rising. A spiritual successor to the likes of Wing Commander, Privateer, Freespace and their ilk, Star Citizen is one of the grandest experiments in a genre many considered to be dead. Trumping even Elite: Dangerous in the give-us-all-your-money stakes, the project has thus far sucked in cash like a supermassive black hole; if Roberts and co. use the resources wisely, Star Citizen could well turn out to be the biggest and most ambitious space sim ever made. So no pressure then. Star Citizen has now raised an incredible $35 million to date. Just a year ago, it was little more than a twinkle in Chris Roberts' eye. Deus Ex Universe Developer: Eidos Montreal Publisher: Square Enix Release date: TBA Link:Deus Ex Universe "Most of the team behind Deus Ex: Human Revolution is already working hard on this new game," said Eidos Montreal head David Anfossi back in October, confirming that Deus Ex Universe's series of interlocking Facebook/iOS games will include a proper big-budget game that we can play on our PCs. It will be part of a larger network of spin-off titles that'll all play their part in an "ongoing, expanding and connected game world built across a generation of core games" which will include "additional Deus Ex games and experiences available in other media such as tablets, smartphones, books, graphic novels." etc. A smattering of suspicious snorts accompanied that last particular snippet at PC Gamer towers, for who wants to hunt down a story through a disparate collection of formats? We'll comfort ourselves with the knowledge that the team behind the excellent Deus Ex: Human Revolution is returning, and with the intriguing suggestion that "trans-humanism segregation" will be an important element of the new game. Transistor Developer: Supergiant Games Publisher: In-house Release: TBC 2014 Link:Supergiant site Supergiant's next game after the sumptuous Bastion mixes real-time with turn-based battles, telling the story of a singer named Red who comes into possession of a sentient greatsword. We don't know much more than that yet, but we do know that composer Darren Korb is back on board, as is Logan 'Rucks' Cunningham. That's pretty much all we need to know, for now. It looks gorgeous. Mercenary Kings Developer: Tribute Games Publisher: In-house Release Date: Early 2014 Link:Mercenary Kings site Not enough games follow in the explosive footsteps of Contra and Metal Slug, so it's good news that Mercenary Kings half-exists (and will fully exist early this year). In development now, the sidescrolling shoot-'em-up adds crafting and online co-op into the mix. It doesn't hurt that Tribute Games made that Scott Pilgrim tie-in, and can endow this snappy action game with the same sort of exquisite pixel art. Speedrunners Developer: DoubleDutch Games Publisher: tinyBuild Release Date: TBC 2014 Link:Speedrunners site It was only a matter of time before someone made a game about speedrunning, and here we are with the aptly named Speedrunners. It's a four-player, competitive platformer featuring grappling hooks, and let's just take a minute to appreciate that glorious sentence. DoubleDutch and tinyBuild plan to release a single-player, offline version of the game for free aACAo if you want the full, proper multiplayer version, you'll have to stump up some cash. Which is fair enough. We were on hand when Speedrunners was announced to grapple-hook it onto our front page. Later, we wrote about the plans to release an offline version of the game. Dungeon Dashers Developer: Jiqxor Publisher: Jiqxor Release Date: Early 2014 Link:Dungeon Dashers site Turn-based dungeon crawlers tend to involve a lot of planning and trepidation, but aACAo as the name may have clued you in aACAo Dungeon Dashers wants to speed things up a bit. This top-down adventure whittles away the nested menus and fiddly interfaces, leaving a fast-paced, team-based dungeon crawler with a frankly adorable board game/miniatures aesthetic. As with so many games on this list, Dashers is currently on Steam Early Access aACAo the final product aims to add online co-op and a Hardcore mode. Kingdoms Rise Developer: Flyleap Studios Publisher: In-house Release Date: TBA Link:Kingdoms Rise site A multiplayer fantasy combat game featuring '360 degree swordfighting', something previously only achievable by militaristic owls. Based on available evidence, the game's duelling is actually pretty cool, letting you waggle your blade in any number of directions to block, parry, stab and slash your enemy into teeny tiny bits. There are also bows, magic spells and Blink-style teleporting aACAo if you like War of the Roses but wish you could hurl fireballs, you might want to keep your eyes on Kingdoms Rise. A Hat In Time Developer: Gears for Breakfast Publisher: Joystiq Release date: Mid 2014 Link:A Hat in Time A vivid 'collectathon' platformer in the vein of Banjo Kazooie with an art style appropriated from The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker, A Hat in Time saw astonishing success on Kickstarter last year, raising $236,000 and massively overshooting their $30,000 target. An alpha build is due in February, and the developers will be adding Steam Workshop support to allow players to grow the game themselves. Dying Light Developer: Techland Publisher: Warner Bros Release: 2014 Link:Dying Light site Techland's next zombie game might invite comparisons to their shambolic Dead Island series, but on first glance it has more in common with Mirror's Edge, asking you to run away from the undead horde aACAo and climb up buildings, and parkour over rooftops aACAo rather than slowly battering their heads in with a wooden paddle. You'll have to be more careful at night, as zombies become more aggressive when the sun is down. EVE: Valkyrie Developer: CCP Publisher: In-house Release: 2014 Link:EVE: Valkyrie site An Oculus Rift-enabled space dogfighting game is obviously something that needs to exist, and who better to make it than EVE: Online developers CCP? Little of Valkyrie has been shown off yet, but if it can live up to even half of its immense potential this is sure to be a Rift must-have. To find out what it's like to pilot a starfighter in virtual reality, check out our face-on impressions with Eve Valkyrie from Fanfest 2013. Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number Developer: Dennaton Games Publisher: Devolver Digital Release: TBC 2014 Link:Hotline Miami site Originally designed as an expansion pack, Hotline Miami 2 soon spiralled into a full sequel that takes the original's already strange story into even weirder territory. It involves a film inspired by the events of Hotline Miami, a bunch of masked vigilantes who view the original game's Jacket as a hero, and very probably lots of levels where you go around killing gangsters with a variety of handheld weapons and firearms. We went hands-on with Hotline Miami 2 a couple of months ago. Read what we thought of it here. Nuclear Throne Developer: Vlambeer Publisher: In-house Release date: TBA 2014 Link:Nuclear Throne Vlambeer's new roguelike shooter is only available in early access form, but the instantly satisfying, impactful feedback so characteristic of their games is already present. As a mutant in a procedurally generated wasteland, you'll be running into enemies with guns almost as big as yours. Fortunately, you'll be able to improve your equipment and your abilities the more of them you kill. If you'd rather wait for the full release, which shouldn't be too far off (Vlambeer work extremely fast), check out their Twitch channel Magicka: Wizard Wars Developer: Paradox North Publisher: Paradox Interactive Release date: Early 2014 Link:Magicka: Wizard Wars Wizard Wars is a competitive multiplayer rethink of the manic, joyous co-op of Magicka. It will retain a streamlined version of the same combat system, in which player summon elemental orbs and combine them in to spells. Magicka's hilarity stems not just from the tongue-in-cheek presentation, but in the huge capacity for self harm allowed for by the elements system. Cast a lightning spell while soaking wet and you'll electrocute yourself silly. Fire a laser beam inside a reflective dome shield and you'll likely kill yourself and anyone else in there with you. It'll be hard to take the competition seriously, but when Wizard Wars eventually arrives, hilarity will ensue. Lords of the Fallen Developer: Deck 13, CI Games Publisher: City Interactive Release date: TBA 2014 Link:Lords of the Fallen site As an action RPG with a methodical take on combat, Lords of the Fallen risks immediate comparison to Dark Souls. Its developers say that they're not trying to capture the punishing survivalist nature of From Software's modern classic, instead they want players to dictate the challenge for themselves. You can use deadly magic to make fights easier, for example, but that'll reduce the amount of loot they drop when they die. You play as Harkyn, a huge warrior with an even bigger hammer on a quest to punish the fallen gods of his world for failing mankind. Phantom Army Developer: Zombie Studios, Smilegate Publisher: In-house Release date: TBA 2014 Link:Phantom Army site The creators of Blacklight: Retribution have teamed up with Smilegate to create a third-person multiplayer competitive cover shooter. Visually, it looks a bit like Counter-Strike rendered in Team Fortress 2's cheery Pixar style, but will distinguish itself with randomly generated arenas and lithe characters that can roll and vault around the environment. Assault Android Cactus Developer: Witch Beam Publisher: In-house Release date: TBA 2014 Link:Steam Early Access A frantic twin-stick shooter in which you play a police android called Cactus, fending off robotic foes on the Genki Star - a craft made up of dynamic changing levels. Expect the floor to shift under you and the walls to change shape as you gun down dozens and dozens of storming foes. There's co-op support, of course, unlockable characters with varying fighting styles, and more levels and enemies are constantly being added as the game nears release. Assault Android Cactus is currently undergoing playtesting on Steam Early Access. Aztez Developer: Team Colorblind Publisher: In-house Release date: TBA 2014 Link:Aztez On the evidence of the available trailers and screenshots, you might not realise that a lot of Aztez takes place on a turn based strategic overmap. It's your job to grow the might of the Aztec empire and fend off all challengers in the process. Moments of conflict send you down into hyperviolent, sidescrolling battles, all of which take place in a sparsely coloured art style designed to make the gratuitous blood gouts appear even more luminous. Random events and overworld challenges are also included to encourage replayability, and there's already evidence of Devil May Cry-esque crunch to the combat. Bombernauts Developer: Tyler Glaiel Publisher: Self-published Release date: TBA 2014 Link:Bombernauts site A multiplayer brawler in which you can throw unlimited bombs to knock enemies off the combat platform. Even when dead enemies can still throw the occasional bomb back in, making this the bombiest game since Bomberman. It's being made by Closure creator, Tyler Glaiel, who promises lots of game mode and power-up customisation to allow players to house-rule the most fun they can out of the explosive concept. Ghost in the Shell: Standalone Complex Developer: Neople Publisher: Nexon Release date: TBA 2014 A massively multiplayer shooter based on the Ghost in the Shell anime should be cause for excitement, but for those that loved the film, there's the fear that the dark cyberpunk aesthetic and intellectual musing on the nature of sentience will be lost. That so little is still known about Neople and Nexon's MMO, announced in February 2013, raises further cause for concern, has it escaped onto the net and started a life of its own? If Nexon can keep it contained it'll feature "fierce hacking battles between cyborgs fighting over strategic resources" and, ominously, "a new concept that integrates artificial intelligence with the player." Prepare your brain-sockets for entry. Atomic Ninjas Developer: Grip Games Publisher: In-house Release date: TBA Link:Atomic Ninjas This cheery multiplayer combat game started life on the Playstation 3 and the Vita, but is due a Windows release at some point. It's a typical 2D slasher affair in which you take command of one of a cast of quirky martial artists including Sergei, a ninja who wields a spade, and The Very Last Samurai, whose motto is "Honor. Respect. Karaoke." Quick and casual games like Atomic Ninjas have the potential to thrive on living room machines should Valve's Steam Machine idea take off. Universum: War Front Developer: StarworksArt Studio Publisher: In-house Release date: TBA Link:Universum site Universum wants to be all of the games at once, it seems. It's an RTS that lets you dive down into the mud to take control of your warriors in third-person. It also claims to be influenced by Dota 2, to some extent, and is set in a high fantasy sci-fi universe akin influenced by Star Wars. Battles will take place across five planes - underground, ground, air, water and space. It sounds like an insanely ambitious project for a small team, but Divinity: Dragon Commander shows that the concept is viable in today's technology. Universum will be released gradually, as detailed on their Kickstarter page. The Stomping Land Developer: Alex Fundara Publisher: In-house Release date: TBA 2014 Link:The Stomping Land The Stomping Land is a multiplayer dinosaur-hunting game. You play as a tribe member on an island populated by several player-controlled tribes and an entire ecosystem of dinosaurs to hunt. As a group you must hunt, salvage and craft to improve your chances of taking down bigger game. As you become master hunters and no longer have to run from hungry T-Rexes, food will become scarce, and players will be forced to raid each other's settlements to survive. Dinosaur games have been tried before, with various limited degrees of success, but using the lizards as a backdrop to the human drama of a set of tribes fighting for survival is a smart move. The idea has earned the team a significant payday on Kickstarter, and The Stomping Land has been Greenlit, so we can hope to see it popping up on Steam this year. Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance Developer: PlatinumGames, Kojima Productions Publisher: Konami Release date: January 9 2014 Link:Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance For action aficionados, PlatinumGames have been sorely missed on PC. For fans of batshit postmodern plotting, the Metal Gear series has also been sorely missed on PC. Here comes Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, then, to bridge the gap between Platinum and Kojima Productions and give us a dose of the expertise behind top console action games, Bayonetta and Vanquish. You play as former boring soldier man and current high-tech cyber-ninja, Raiden, who has a katana that can cut through anything. You use this Katana to exact revenge on, well, everyone. Will there be massive cutscenes? Yes. Will we learn the meaning of the word "revengeance?" Probably not. Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z Developer: Team Ninja, Spark Unlimited, Concept Publisher: Tecmo Koei Release date: February 14 2014 Link:Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z site We're desperately short of great third-person action games in the Bayonetta /Devil May Cry mould on PC, so plans for a PC-bound Ninja Gaiden are, theoretically, welcome. However, the introductory trailer for Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z was so bad that any excitement we might ordinarily muster for such a project must now be tempered with the fear that it might be total balls. It's a cel-shaded take on Ninja Gaiden in which you play a ninja called Yaiba with an arm made of metal and a cybernetic eyeball. He's hunting the man responsible for his injuries - series hero Ryu Hayabusa. Expect swearing, blood, blades and, based on the trailer, lots of trying too hard. Star Wars: Battlefront Developer: DICE Publisher: EA Release date: TBA 2015 Link:The Battlefront reveal trailer A great big stomping AT-AT boot announced that Battlefield developers, DICE, are working on a reboot of Battlefront in Frostbite 3. Given that EA only acquired the license weeks before the E3 reveal, this is unlikely to be anywhere near complete, especially given the fact that DICE recently put all of their projects on hold to direct development resource to the shonky Battlefield 4 launch. Still, it's good to know that in a future far, far away, there's another large-scale Star Wars game in the works. We got so excited about this we penned a list of things we'd like to see from the new Battlefront. Beyond Good And Evil 2 Developer: Ubisoft Publisher: In-house Release: 2014 Link:Ubisoft's site Every silver lining has a cloud: Michel Ancel's efforts to resurrect 2D platformer hero Rayman proved so tremendously and ebulliently successful that it has delayed his return to Beyond Good And Evil 2. All that's been seen of the sequel to the superb off-beat action adventure is a rendered trailer and a few splashes of concept art, but if Ancel's recent form is anything to go by, we won't be getting half-measures if the project ever comes to light. Don't expect much in 2014, however. Assassin's Creed: Liberation HD Developer: Ubisoft Publisher: In-house Release Date: 15th January Link:Assassin's Creed: Liberation HD micro-site A return to the Assassin's Creed III timeline might seem an odd choice, given that we're all swigging rum and singing shanties alongside Black Flag's pirates. Even odder is the idea of returning for an upgraded and prettified version of a PS Vita exclusive. Even so, Assassin's Creed III: Liberation was notable for featuring the series' first female protagonist - Aveline de GrandprEa - and drew praise for its recreation of 18th century New Orleans. This HD remake will add new missions and remove the original's touch-screen gimmicks. Watch Aveline take on guards, gators and frilly dresses in the Assassin's Creed: Liberation HD announcement trailer. Devil's Third Developer: Valhalla Games Studios Publisher: TBC Release: TBC Link:The official site Things have been a little quiet since THQ withdrew as the publisher for this thirdperson shooter and melee combat game set on a war-ravaged future Earth. It has good pedigree, coming from a studio forged by principal developers of the Ninja Gaiden games, but neither the presence of near-legendary developers and a multi-million budget proved sufficient reason to keep it on THQ's slate. We await to hear its fate. Galak-Z Developer: 17-bit Publisher: In-house Release: TBA Link:Galak-Z Lasers? In space?! What manner of twin-stick shootery madness is this? The sweet, fast, frenzied kind, by the looks of it. Galak-Z also promises advanced AI enemies and a series of spacecraft inspired by aACAy80s and aACAy90s anime. It's a timed Playstation 4 exclusive, unfortunately, but hopefully it'll hit our desktops later this year. Crypt of the Necrodancer Developer: Brace Yourself Games Publisher: In (the) house Release: TBA 2014 Link:Necrodancer website Crypt of the Necrodancer is the world's first rhythm action roguelike. After a dungeoneering accident, our heroine has her heart stolen by a disco-lich, and not in the good way. Animated only be the power of dance, she must trek onwards, driven by a mystical sound. In practice this means a twist on the old roguelike conceit of enemies only moving when you do. Now both you and the monsters can only move on the beat, leading to a literal dance of death. The devs promise that you'll even be able to upload your own music, procedurally generating the dungeon from your own sick beats. Oh, and you can play it with a Dance Dance Revolution pad too. Castlevania: Lords Of Shadow 2 Developer: MercurySteam Publisher: Konami Release: February 2014 Link:Castlevania site The first Lords of Shadow was a pleasant surprise for many, winning players round with a highly competent (if derivative) mix of third-person action, exploration and puzzling. The sequel skips from medieval times to the modern day, with the protagonist, now going under the name of Dracula, awakening from a long slumber. Expect the acrobatic hacking and slashing of enormous supernatural creatures and enough of the red stuff to defeat even the most powerful of detergent cleaners. Ultra Street Fighter IV Developer: Capcom Publisher: In-house Release Date: August Link:Capcom's Ultra SF4 site OK, so we're reasonably certain this will be the last version of Street Fighter IV aACAo unless there are any words that supersede 'ultra' aACAo but if you've held out this long to give Ryu and Ken a good beating, this fourth version of the Capcom's classic fighting game should be the one to get. What's new? Extra characters aACAo Rolento, Elena, Hugo and Poison aACAo along with extra stages and modes and every bit of costume DLC released so far. By the end, Capcom will have hopefully made enough money to greenlight Street Fighter V, Super Street Fighter V, and Mega Street Fighter V: Hyper Ultra Omega Arcade Edition. You'll be pleased to hear that Ultra SF4 will ditch Games for Windows Live (mainly because GFWL doesn't exist any more). This version comes with a couple new battle systems too, which we've detailed here. Thief Developer: Eidos Montreal Publisher: Square Enix Release: 2014 Link:Thief's less than stealthy site Thief - previously Thief 4 or, lamentably, Thi4f - was announced years ago to many a raised eyebrow. Then Square Enix released one of the best games of 2011 in the shape of Deus Ex: Human Revolution. Hopes were high when Eidos Montreal's next project was eventually revealed to be an open world reboot of everyone's favourite nicking simulator, though eyebrows did revert to an elevated position when we were finally given access to preview code. QTEs? A "focus" mode? An experience system that rewards you for kills? The new Thief suddenly didn't seem very Thieflike at all. Thankfully, some of these features were later scrapped or further explained as optional systems, but we're sneaking into this one with a note of caution. Based on our recent hands-on, there's reason to be worried about Eidos Montreal's reboot - though there's still plenty of time for them to put it right. Paradise Lost: First Contact Developer: Ashtree Works Publisher: In-house Release Date: December Link:Ashtree's website In Paradise Lost you play as Subject W, a squid-like alien plant that escapes from a lab where it's being studied by probably evil scientists. The game fuses the reactive stealth of Deus Ex and non-linear layout of the Metroid and Castlevania games, and as you play, Subject W can evolve its skills to suit your play style. To help you evade the lab's security, you can posses guards, lob organic bombs, create decoys, and clamber around on walls and ceilings. It's yet another game on these pages to use pixel art, but notable for its animation, which is remarkably detailed. As well as all this, there'll be a story to follow, as well as puzzles to solve and platforming challenges littered around the facility. Full Mojo Rampage Developer: Over the Top games Publisher: In-house Release Date: TBA 2014 Link:Full Mojo website A chaotic voodoo themed roguelike with co-op for up to four players. Explore randomly generated levels and discover strange magicks with which to blow stuff up. It's already available via Early Access, but expect 2014 to bolster its hocus-pocus dungeon crawling in the run-up to a full release. Fortnite Developer: Epic Games Publisher: In-house Release Date: TBA Link:The Fortnite site Remember Fortnite? We'll forgive the blank looks (though not the drooling), because Epic have been atypically quiet about their Unreal Engine 4-powered fort-building game since it was announced way back in the prehistory of 2011. We do know, however, that Bulletstorm devs People Can Fly are on the case, under their new moniker Epic Games Poland. It will be a PC exclusive, and since its vague 2013 release date has now sailed into the sunset, we can only assume it's happening this year. The game itself looks particularly impressive, in an Unreal sort of way, though a proper look at Fortnite's monster-repelling action would be much appreciated, particularly after Epic have been troublingly reticent about it for so long. We chronicled the announcement of Fortnite over a fortnight ago aACAo two years ago over a fortnight, to be exact. Hellraid Developer: Techland Publisher: In-house Release Date: TBA Link:The Hellraid site Hellraid started life as a Dead Island game mode, before being spun-off into a full game. That might be why it looks rather a lot like Dead Island, albeit with a moderately less tropical fantasy theme. In addition to zombies, you'll fight skeletons, flaming skulls and other demonic entities, in a co-op campaign for up to four players. As with a certain other 4P multiplayer shooter (this time Left 4 Dead), Hellraid features a Director-like 'Games Master' AI that will aim to keep each playthrough feeling fresh. Well, as fresh as a game about battling the undead can possibly get. War of the Vikings Developer: Fatshark Publisher: In-house Release Date: Early 2014 Link:The WotV site Fatshark's brutal medieval combat game War of the Roses is set to receive a sequel, this time focusing on those lovable mead-quaffing scamps the Vikings. Hang on, they were a bit nasty too, weren't they? WotV swaps the squabbles between the houses of Lancaster and York for the invasion of the Viking army. You can play as either a member of the invading army, or as one of the understandably defensive Saxon soldiers, in a series of pitched multiplayer battles to the death. You'll be able to customise your probably-short-lived warrior too, designing their heraldic symbol, weapons and armour, and most importantly their beard. River City Ransom: Underground Developer: Conatus Creative Publisher: In-house Release Date: September Link:River City Ransom site 8-bit beat-'em-up River City Ransom is getting a belated sequel, because Kickstarter. Also: because awesome. The original was an open world 2D RPG beat-'em-up, and this follow-up is an open world 2D RPG beat-'em-up, but with more detailed combat and pixel art. A couple of big names are associated with the project: Rich 'Disasterpeace' Vreeland, responsible for most of your favourite indie game soundtracks, and Yoshihisa Kishimoto, director of Double Dragon and "the grandfather of the beat'em up genre". Should you be excited? If you like beating up bad guys in a series of sidescrolling environments, then hell yes. Steel Storm A.M.M.O. Developer: Zeolite studios Publisher: Kot in Action Creative Artel Release Date: TBA 2014 Link:Steel Storm site A spin off from the anime inspired tank aACAyem up Steel Storm, Armored Mechanized Mobile Operations turns the series' multiplayer mode into a fast-paced lane-pushing game. Currently on steam early access, expect more characters, weapons, crafting and a matchmaking system to be introduced before the full release. Scivelation Developer: Black Wing Foundation Publisher: TopWare Interactive Release Date: Early 2014 Link:Scivelation site By the time Black Wing's long-awaited Scivelation (formerly Salvation) finally releases, the Apocalypse may well have happened for real. It's a third-person shooter with interesting religious overtones, set in a literal post-apocalypse after the epic clash between good and evil left the Earth in a bit of a state. You'll play as a member of the 'The Resistance', resisting 'The Regime' that arose from the ashes to assume control of the ruined world. Where do they get these names from? We were given a brief look at Scivelation a couple of years ago, before the game retreated into the darkness, never to be heard from again. Well, until 2014, hopefully. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 Developer: Beenox Publisher: Activision Release Date: Early 2014 Your friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man will be swinging into town early next year, slightly ahead of the film. Unless it wants to spoil things, the superhero sandbox will take lessons from the first game and pick up right where the movie left off. Expect a more detailed New York City; expect a morality system; expect Stan Lee to pop up somewhere. Smashmuck Champions Developer: Kiz studios Publisher: In-house Release Date: TBA 2014 Link:Smashmuck website A fast paced cartoonish lane-pushing game with a strange and comical cast of characters. Some of the items have been designed by Scott Kurtz of the webcomic PvP. It's currently on Steam Early Access as a free open beta, so the developers are welcoming new ideas for champions, skills and game modes. Starwhal: Just the Tip Developer: Breakfall Publisher: In-house Release Date: TBA 2014 Link:Starwhal website Starwhal is local co-op game where you play as jousting Narwhals attempting to impale one another with their horns. It looks a lot like Geometry Wars, but with deliberately clumsy QWOP controls and neon space whales. Road Redemption Developer: DarkSeas Games Publisher: In-house Release Date: Early 2014 Link:Road Redemption Kickstarter Ahhhh, so close. No, it's not Rockstar's long-awaited and non-existent port of Red Dead Redemption, but don't get all pouty, because this unofficial sequel to Road Rash is bristling with bonkers high-speed bike chases, samurai-sword-inflicted injuries, and wince-inducing ragdoll physics. The Sun at Night Developer: Minicore Studios Publisher: In-house Release Date: 4th February Link:The Sun at Night site The Sun at Night aACAo formerly known as Laika aACAo takes the tragic story of the Soviet dog launched into orbit in the 1950s, and gives it a happier, alternate history outcome. In this parallel universe, Laika somehow returns to Earth with the ability to talk, dons a set of shiny silver armour and some high-powered weaponry, and proceeds to take her revenge. (For the sequel, perhaps Buzz Aldrin could go around disintegrating moon-landing-deniers?) The Sun at Night will be released in three parts, the first entitled Laika Believes. It will take the form of a sidescrolling, shooty Metroidvania with RPG elements and "massive, nonlinear levels". Routine Developer: Lunar Software Publisher: Self-published Release Date: TBA 2014 Link:Routine website Routine takes the classic deserted space station horror setting to it's logical extreme. You arrive at a gorgeously realised spooky moonbase to discover that everyone has vanished, and must explore it to figure out why. The emphasis is on horror over action, and there's some lovely lighting on display, as well as a novel UI that uses in game screens instead of a HUD. Consider it Doom 3, but with subtlety. Starlight Inception Developer: Escape Hatch entertainment Publisher: Self-published Release Date: TBA 2014 Link:Escape Hatch website With Elite and Star Citizen hogging the limelight, it's easy for smaller space games to fall between the cracks. Starlight Inception is helmed by a former LucasArts developer, and you can see the influence of X-wing and TIE Fighter at work. Unusually, the game is being co-developed for PS Vita. Nidhogg Developer: Mark Essen Publisher: Self-published Release Date: January 13 2014 Link:Nidhogg website If you've read PC Gamer for the last couple of years you've probably seen us talk about how brilliant Nidhogg is, which was pretty selfish of us, since the general public has never had a chance to play it. All that will finally change in 2014 with the frenetic two player fencing game finally getting a commercial release, with improved artwork and new moves, including a dive kick. Sadly there's no word on whether Owen Hill's fabled aACAywildebeest' manoeuvre will finally be officially recognised. Wings of Saint Nazaire Developer: Wings of Saint Nazaire team Publisher:In-house Release Date:TBA Link:Nazaire site A Unity-built space combat game with a focus on accessible control schemes, Wings of Saint Nazaire is more of a homage to Wing Commander than X-Wing, and joins the swelling ranks of indie space games warping our way. How can it stand out? Well, at the moment, the developers are planning to release it for free when it's complete, which is nice. Also you can play the alpha right now, which is even nicer. Sub Rosa Developer: Cryptic Sea Publisher:In-house Release Date:TBA Link:Cryptic Sea site Don't be put off by Sub Rosa's simplistic appearance, this is a clever multiplayer game about striking tenuous deals in a city of aACAy80s gangsters. In the standard competitive mode there are three teams trying to gather gold, cash and a data disk, and return them to their hideout. Two of those teams will need to trade items to meet their target, which inevitably means tense item swapping in car-parks at gunpoint. It's the third team's job to smash this fragile peace and kill both teams. Expect tense stand-offs and sudden betrayals if the playable alpha ever turns into a full commercial release. Deios Developer: Barch Publisher: Self-published Release Date: TBA Link:TigSource forums Visually, there's nothing like Deios. The dense, muddy pixel art sputters and fizzes with bursts of visual static as you wander a world of huge god-creatures. It's a run aACAyn gun shooter interspersed with scatterbrained philosophical outbursts. You have a chance to customise your weapon every now and then, combining bizarre objects to alter your rate of fire and damage. You'll find a playable demo on the TigSource forums. RIOT Developer: RIOT Publisher: In-house Release Date: First half of 2014 Link:RIOT site RIOT will give you the chance to alter the outcome of clashes between police forces and protesters, giving you control of a side of your choosing in an attempt to reflect the mentality and motivation behind those involved in violent protest. The fascinating subject matter is realised in a striking, bleak pixel art aesthetic, and will focus on real clashes from Egypt, Spain, Italy and Greece. The team are using eye witness accounts and testimonials from those involved on both sides of the clashes to present an even-handed take on riot behaviour. The Flock Developer: Vogelsap games Publisher: In-house Release Date: TBA 2014 Link:The Flock site The Flock are twisted things, skeletal humanoids lurking in the deeps of a dead Earth. Now they rise, seeking the solar capsule left by the last humans. Emerging from the shadows in May, teasers for The Flock promise an unusual struggle for survival in an asymmetric multiplayer arena. A handful of players take to the field, and each must battle it out to reach and control the capsule for victory. But there's a twist. Holding the capsule transforms the player into the Carrier, becoming prey but with a bite of its own. Less agile and weaker than the Flock that chase it, the Carrier can turn the torch-like artefact on assailants to vaporise those in motion. Training the beam on stationary attackers will force them to stay put but leave you vulnerable to Flock not accounted for. Dutch indie Vogelsap promises a tense game of cat and mutant mouse. Battle Cry of Freedom Developer: Flying Squirrel Entertainment Publisher: In-house Release: TBA Link:Flying Squirrel Entertainment site Battle Cry of Freedom promises first and third-person scraps featuring over 500 players, no less, in this American Civil War strategy game with an eye on historical accuracy. You'll be able to build barricades and trenches into the environment to hold tough checkpoints, and you can even employ musicians to boost morale. It's being developed by the four-person mod team behind Mount
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