Posts Tagged ‘The RPS Bestest Best Games 2014’

Cardboard Children – Game of the Year 2014

Hello youse.

I’m here to tell you about what I think is the best game released in 2014. We will call this column the “GAME OF THE YEAR 2014” column, to get that idea across. A good idea, I think. Anyway – this was a game I played very late in 2014, but it made a huge first impression on me. And then I played it again, in a different way, and I was BLOWN CLEAN OUT OF MY BOOTS. At this point, there is no doubt in my mind – this is the best new game I played in 2014. And that game’s name?

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Bestest Best Games Of 2014: The Contributor’s Picks

We’re blessed at Rock, Paper, Shotgun with the best contributing writers in videogames, so it seemed only reasonable to ask them for some of their finely-worded thoughts on the bestest best games of 2014. We asked Tim Stone, Cara Ellison, Ben Barrett, Brendan Caldwell, Cassandra Khaw, Konstantinos Dimopoulos, Marsh Davies, Rob Sherman and Rich Stanton to pick their favourite and write a brief summary of why, and that’s what they did…

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The Bestest Best CCG Of 2014: Hearthstone

2014 saw the release of three or four interesting and excellent card games, but it was Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft that most captured our attention and drew us back for match after match.

Alec: I’ve shied away from multiplayer in the last couple of years. Partly it’s self-consciousness, and partly because the constant background sound of bloodcurdling screaming* whenever my microphone was turned on didn’t seem fair on everyone else. Hearthstone was very much a way back, and not simply because it worked pretty well on my Surface Pro’s touchscreen (though that was very much a factor). Given it comes from a developer which once thought that making its players’ real names public was a good idea, the way Hearthstone strips everything back to anonymity is impressive. It’s about the deck you face, not the player you face. I needn’t worry about being scrutinised or humiliated – win or lose, I’d be out of there and never seen again by my opponent. And I don’t care about them, either. I just care about the cards.

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The Bestest Best RPG Of 2014: Dragon Age Inquisition

In Dragon Age: Inquisition, you are the most important person in the entire world. People will follow you into battle, go along with your decisions and occasionally kiss you on the lips. There’s an enormous world to discover and it’s all there for you. Go and have an adventure. You deserve it.

Adam: Inquisition is like comfort food. A month-long banquet of comfort food, with all the trimmings.

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The Bestest Best WHAT Of 2014: Secret Habitat

Secret Habitat is an artgame. Its procedurally generated islands are full of procedurally generated paintings, which have been created by (unseen) procedurally generated painters. Fascinating and fulfilling, it is without a doubt the Bestest Best WHAT of the year. Adam, Alice, Graham and Pip donned their finest berets and sat down in a procedurally generated Parisian cafe to discuss.

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The Bestest Best Something In 2014: Legend Of Grimrock 2

Legend of Grimrock 2 sure was very good, everyone can agree. It took the style and mechanics of the original and expanded them in every direction, and the result is something that is definitely the best… something or other.

John: Ooh, this was a tough game. A lovely, tough game. Not just because it starts you off far too weak and dumps you in the middle of a vast labyrinth of levels with no sensible way to know which bits are going to be too difficult, but also because the puzzles require an extension be built on your brain.

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The Bestest Best Being Pleasantly Lost Of 2014: Bernband

Give up on trying to find your way around Bernband‘s neon alien futurecity. Give in to wandering, see where your tippy-tappy feet and the turbolifts take you. One minute’s wandering might take you through a bustling club, over a bridge with hovercars zipping past, to a horrible trumpet performance, then bumping into an alien weeing in a corner. Variety is the spice of life, They say.

Graham: Science fiction says that people living in crowded, loud, futurist cities will turn to virtual reality in order to visit peaceful forests and remember what the sky looked like. What it won’t tell you is that the reverse is true, too: I can see trees outside my window, but I long for a crowded metropolis full of strange aliens and jazz bars.

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The Bestest Best Gosh, What? A New Esport? Good: Smite

The last couple of years I’ve seen games in various stages of completion making overtures towards the professional gaming scene. Of these I’d say Smite – a third-person over-the-shoulder lane pusher has done the most to convince me of its intentions towards competitive gaming.

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The Bestest Best Horror Of 2014 – Alien: Isolation

A game about Alien rather than a game about Aliens. A game about fleeing and hiding rather than running and gunning. A game that uses a license as effectively as any in the history of the medium. Alien: Isolation is a worthy successor to Ridley Scott’s sci-fi horror classic.

Adam: We’re not using the X word.

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The Bestest Best Action: Middle-earth: Shadow Of Mordor

Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor‘s moment-to-moment biffing is a trick we’ve seen before, but it’s still impressive to watch your wraith-Ranger shift and flip with seamless animations between punching one gribbly uruk and gutting another. Yet it’s the Nemesis system, which gives the action context within the larger army of Sauron and world of Mordor, that makes every assassination matter so much more and which makes Middle-earth the best action game of 2014.

John: The highest compliment I can pay Mordor is to say it was 2014’s Kingdoms Of Amalur: Reckoning. Which is to say, the game I found the most enjoyable, the most effortlessly absorbing, this year. Yes, it’s vapid, but that’s part of its appeal.

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The Bestest Best Words Of 2014: Sunless Sea

Failbetter have been writing the bestest best words in gaming for a while now and in Sunless Sea they have created a worthy vessel to carry those words to new audiences. There is horror, humour and haunting in the cavernous depths, and through it all, your ship cuts through the waters seeking new mysteries and fresh hells.

Adam: Worse things happen on the Sunless Sea.

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The Bestest Best Strategy 2014 – Distant Worlds: Universe

Moving from the earliest steps toward the stars to space operas and sci-fi dreams that could be responsible for an expanded universe of spin-off novels, Distant Worlds has never seen a horizon that it doesn’t want to touch. It copes with the enormous scale by allowing players to pick and choose their responsibilities. Yes, the game was first released four years ago and, yes, it’s an expensive and acquired taste. But this is the most complete version of one of the most unique, enormous and engrossing strategy games ever made.

Adam: They should have sent a poet. And a playwright, and possibly a novelist or two.

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The Bestest Best Worldbuilding Of 2014: Dark Souls 2

Dark Souls II may not be the greatest Souls game ever made but despite its flaws, it’s still one of the year’s finest. Behind the hideous enemies and the stern challenge lies a world unlike any other – the combat systems and RPG elements may be at the heart of From’s series, but it’s the world of Drangleic that lingers in the memory.

Adam: An exercise in archaeology.

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The Bestest Best Kickstarter Of 2014 – Divinity: Original Sin

In a year when the genre seemed to be in the ascendant once again, Divinity: Original Sin is the most playful and experimental RPG in a strong field. Taking its cues from the intricately interactive world of Ultima VII as much as previous Divinity titles, Original Sin is one of the year’s finest games.

Adam: Partly crowdfunded, wholly crowdpleasing.

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The Bestest Best Co-Op Of 2014: Far Cry 4

When Far Cry 3 came out in 2012, we were as surprised as anyone to see it top our advent calendar. It’s less surprising to discover that Far Cry 4 offers many of the same joys, from the liberation of an exotic land’s outposts and fortresses to the liberation of player movement as you zip about with a grappling hook and wingsuit. There’s one big thing that’s new – or, er, newly good – and that’s co-op.

Graham: Far Cry 4 is the best co-op game not just in 2014, but maybe ever.

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The Bestest Best Adventure Of 2014: The Wolf Among Us

Adventure games have been experiencing a resurgence this past year, but our favourite was by a developer that’s hit a creative peak of their own after grinding away at the genre persistently for years. It’s The Wolf Among Us.

Adam: Wolf-a-Mongoose, as my computer just autocorrected, pips a couple of other contenders to the post in this category thanks to its new-noir style. If the quality of Tales From the Borderlands keeps up after a surprisingly strong start, it might be Telltale’s best series since the first Walking Dead, but in the battle of Clem and Bigby, the wolf is king.

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The Bestest Best Exploration Of 2014: Salt

Salt has been a real treat this year – a real alternative. Where survival games have (rightly) mostly focused on intense difficulty, Salt put its emphasis on just idling about. And that’s a fantastic thing to have in the mix. Even in its early alpha form, with minimal goings-on, it’s still the most pleasant exploration I’ve had this year, and that makes it Bestest.

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The Bestest Best 4X Of 2014: Endless Legend

Amplitude have released two games this year and either one would be deserving of a place in this bestest best December round-up. Dungeon of the Endless can slumber on in cryosleep for now though because it’s time to sing the praises of Endless Legend, the finest 4X game of recent times.

Adam: Science fiction, fantastic factions.

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The Bestest Best Landscape Of 2014: Mountain

Most PC games are about terrain, but Mountain was the only monadnock this year to cause the RPS chatroom to feel empathy, to mellow, and to excitedly compare notes.

Alec: Passive game-viewing is the new game-playing, apparently. I’m not quite ready to leave the homeland and sign aboard the HMS Twitch myself, but Mountain made for a happy medium. The game that plays itself. The game that tells me when something of note has occurred. Hell, the game which tells me which emotion to feel. A simple line of text and a tiny musical sting evokes so much more than an impeccably-rendered CGI face trying to show love or regret while orchestral strings swirl, it turns out.

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