2013 was an amazing year for gaming. Two new consoles were released: the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One, the former of which has set sales records and restored faith in those who feared home video game consoles to be a dying breed. An amazing library of new games was released that was highlighted by heavy hitters Grand Theft Auto V and The Last of Us, two nearly perfect games in my opinion. And on a personal level, it was the year I first discovered the Uncharted series, which has become my favorite video game franchise. Unfortunately, a year this amazing was hard to follow up, and to put it bluntly, 2014 kind of sucked in comparison.
2014 was plagued by issues throughout the year. New franchises including Watch Dogs, Titanfall, and Destiny debuted to disappointed fans who found none of these new series to live up to their hype. The Wii U and PlayStation Vita continued to struggle, with most people still not knowing either console even exists. And finally, the end of the year saw the beginning of a terrible trend in gaming that is completely inexcusable: broken games. Driveclub. Assassin’s Creed: Unity. Halo: Master Chief Collection. LittleBigPlanet 3. These are just some of the games that came to us buggy, glitchy, or dead on arrival. These are games that people paid full price ($60) and couldn’t use, whether it be due to faulty servers that prevented gamers from connecting online, or bugs in the game that deleted progress and made the game unplayable.
Since people like lists and bullet points, I will conclude this article by making a list of what I believe to be the three best and three worst things to happen to the video game industry in the year 2014. This can include game releases, console releases, new trends in games, etc.
The 3 Worst Things to Happen in Gaming for 2014:
- An Entire Fall/Winter of Broken Games – why should I pay $60 for something that isn’t ready yet?
- Remastered and Definitive Editions of Games – we want new games, not just re-releases of ones we’ve already played!
- PlayStation Network/Xbox Live Outages – it’s unfortunate that hackers keep doing this to us, but Microsoft and Sony need to seriously step up their security.
The 3 Best Things to Happen in Gaming for 2014:
- Nintendo Doing Their Job – Wii U may still be unpopular, but at least Nintendo is continuing to make good games that work. Whether its Mario Kart 8 or Super Smash Bros. for Wii U or 3DS, this was a good year to be a part of the Nintendo family.
- Xbox One Price Cut – everybody wins when companies make gaming more affordable, and at only $349 with a free game, it was a hard offer to pass up.
- Far Cry 4 – probably won’t win any Game of the Year awards, but its great characters, story, and gameplay made it my personal favorite game of 2014, and one of the few released this holiday that actually works.
As mediocre as 2014 was, I remain optimistic for 2015. My three most anticipated games are Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, Star Wars Battlefront, and Just Cause 3. Let’s hope this time next year I have more positive things to say about the industry.