FGUK’s The Best and Worst of 2014

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Dedwoods42 Writes:

2014 was a pretty rough year for gaming really, wasn’t it?

Microtransactions, on-disk DLC, day one patches and delays ruled supreme. Even #GG was hijacked by sexist imbeciles.

Choosing a favourite game, then, should be easy. Unfortunately it wasn’t, and I’ve picked three. They all worked on release day – which may be a coincidence, but still something to note.

Here they are, in no particular order.

1: Alien: Isolation. The epitome of terrifying fan service, Alien was incredible. My first experience of it was on the Occulus Rift – one that sold me on VR within seconds and terrified me to my core. I fell in love with it at that point, and the final retail game did not disappoint.

2: Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor. A sleeper if there ever was one, Shadow of Mordor released to almost unanimous critical success, despite having very little advertising or hype generation – and for good reason. It was a smart blend of ‘Akham’ style freeflow combat and a smooth stealth system that was like Assassin’s Creed but, you know, not shit.

As a side note – the Nemesis system gets my innovation award for the year – never before have I had a deep, personal vendetta towards a randomly generated NPC develop in a game.

3: Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel. I liked it so much I streamed it for 25 hours straight. Can’t really say much more positive about a game than that. More Borderlands is never a bad thing.

That’s me – let’s hope that 2015 goes a little smoother.
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I will be honest there weren’t too many games this year that really stood out as being amazing. I played through a few re-released games on the PS4 that I really enjoyed but they were from 2013, the game that I have enjoyed playing the most has been Mario Kart 8 on the Wii U. This game is so addictive and fun that I am still playing it now at least a few times a week, as other games have come and gone Mario Kart has been the ever present for me, there no other game this year has kept me hooked.

As for the stinker of the year I am going to have to plump for Destiny, whilst it is not unplayable, broken or truly awful… it just wasn’t the game that was sold on me. There was no story, very few worlds or areas to explore and worst of all this game seemed to have been cut back so that more parts of it could be released as paid for DLC, something I really despise in games.

MK8_201402_01Adam Belcher Writes:

In 2014 there was a clear winner for my game of the year. Alien Isolation.

As a massive fan of the franchise and specifically the first two films this game was a masterpiece. It captured all elements of the original films encounter with its attention to detail. The atmosphere created with the sound and lighting, and the smallest detail of the ships interior/systems and finally the true horror of the Alien itself. The addition of the Working Joe created a distraction and variation to the standard human enemy threat and did not feel tacked onto the roller-coaster of a storyline which felt true to the franchise. I couldn’t have hoped for a better game and The Creative Assembly team have truly delivered.

Ripley_Taylor_Samuels_Verlaine_1389089958Ian P Wrote:

Trying to choose my favourite game of 2014 has not been easy, overall the year was disappointing and, for me, one of the worst. Highly anticipated games have been delayed, titles that should have been held back had been released in an abhorrent mess, micro-transactions won’t go away and to appear not to be any time soon and promises of the ‘next gen’ experience sadly faulted. That being said 2014 did have its highlights and none shone as bright as The Vanishing Of Ethan Carter. A supernatural detective game set in the simply stunning surroundings of Red Creek Valley. It can be a little confusing and at times a little frustrating, but, overall, it is and absolute delight to explore a world so beautiful and paired with a soundtrack so wonderfully composed. It won’t hold your hand and it won’t guide you, it lets you, the player, decipher the clues and piece together the parts of the mystery for yourself. It is an outstanding tile, confident in its approach and worthy of your time.
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James H Wrote:

I think 2014 was a year of half-steps for the most part. We saw potential in games like Destiny and Titanfall, where the framework for gaming’s future was laid out. Although these were exciting glimpses of the future, none of them really delivered what we were promised.

One game that completely bucked that trend was Sunset Overdrive, and it gets my vote for my favourite game of 2014. Playing like Jet Set Radio with guns, the game oozed style and character, taking pot-shots at all the stereotypes we’d come to expect from games. It wasn’t perfect, but my time spent with Sunset was great. By stealing the best bits from of my favourite games and adding a genuinely funny script, it’s easily my favourite game of the year.

1-herker-heroSean Carr Wrote:

 I’m a little bit of a closet statistician. I love facts and figures thrown into a lovely spreadsheet. It’s how I earn a living and I love having my attention to detail challenged and something about Football Manager 2015 this year just completely captured me. Perhaps it was the addition of the first child to my family, limiting the amount of time I’d be able to dedicate to gaming and needed something a little more “Hands Off” that worked as a distraction.  I couldn’t sleep after a 3am feed, Football Manager was there.
The systems presented to allow you to manage a football team from around the world are excellent and as extremely in-depth, while offering the tension and build of the football season. I’m not the biggest of football fans and quite honestly these systems could be lifted and put into any other genre and I’d still enjoy it. I couldn’t have predicted I would be naming a Football game as my game of the year, but the robust, complex and challenging experience I found in Football Manager 2015 kept me coming back for a hundred hours since its release in October. If I can come in with only a little football knowledge and not the depth most fans have, then I can’t imagine a person who wouldn’t enjoy putting their time into building a footballing empire.
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Gary C Wrote:

The best game of 2014? For me? The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth from Edmund McMillen and Nicalis, Inc.

What started as a Flash game in 2011 was remade with a proper game engine and released in November 2014

The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth is a simple twin stick shooter that is quick to pick up and play, but can take months to master, and even then the sheer randomness of the game can take you from confident gaming guru to insecure down on your luck newbie within minutes.
With more than 4 billion seed combinations, over 350 Items, 20 challenges, 10 playable characters, over 100 enemies and more than 50 bosses there is a reason I keep going back to Rebirth.

The story is bizarre, Your mother is trying to kill you because God has commanded her to.. and you’re going to escape through a chest in your bedroom that takes you down to Hell.

Between both the Flash version and Rebirth I’ve collected over 400 hours in the last year, to compare I have averaged 15-20 hours on near enough every other game bought over the last 12 months, I’m not even that good! But I continue to play.

Binding_of_Isaac_Rebirth_06Derrick Ritchie Wrote:

 So here is the thing, I love flinging polygonal cars about. I mean I enjoy simulations, they are great, but the freedom to see a big hill, or a roaming field, and plough through it is what brings both adrenaline and laughter to my very being. So my highlight of the year is Forza Horizon 2. And I know it is not a classy game with a deeper narrative that is designed to make me feel emotional, but to hell with that. This is just great fun. Sometimes, that is all you want.

Honourable mentions to Binding of Isaac, Titanfall, Wolfenstien and Assasins Creed 2. Yeah yeah, the last one is old but old is not bad. Usually.

Happily I have been free from supremely disappointing titles. I probably would have liked more out of InFamous Second Son, after all running about repeating the same things over and over again is not exactly a sign of design genius, but it proved to be a nice distraction. Some more first party Sony output would have been welcome but my wallet is more thankful for that than I am. Also can we have consoles that do not require a Technicolor light show to be going on while I am using them?

Anthem-KeyArt-Horizontal-v2-RGB-jpgLee Rand (UglyGeezer) Writes:

2014 is a tough one to pick a top game from, on the whole it was a flat year, the best and the absolute worst seemed to consist of lazy HD updates (so many more on the horizon, please make it stop) and games rushed out for seemingly deluded deadlines.

I’m opting for Elite: Dangerous for my game of the year, for the way it absorbs my mind and time, really looking forward to seeing how this game pans out in 2015.

Biggest let-down? The game that seems to split opinion the most – DESTINY!

Destiny ended up being everything I feared it would be, far too serious and a jagged stick shoved up its arse sucking any fun out of it. The biggest noise I got from this game was the money people at Activision telling Bungie “No risk! Nothing silly! Play it safe””. A boring affair that lacks any real flair.

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