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New Horizons 2014 (Part 5 of 5)

Posted by Peter Nickless On Friday 17 January 2014ADD COMMENTS

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There are many certainties in life, the most often cited being death and taxes. Almost as certain is the annual appearance of our New Horizons list. This massive preview special casts aside sequels and spin-offs in favour of the new and original games we expect to cover in the year ahead. Enjoy!

Ultima pioneer Richard Garriott is back with a game to shake up the point and click-click-click RPG genre. SHROUD OF THE AVATAR will offer story-focused gameplay across five episodes. It will also abandon questing, grinding and character classes, which have been mainstays of this type of game for what feels like forever. The game will encourage real-estate acquisition, trading and crafting to populate the world. Look for this one on PC in late 2014.

EVE Online is set to have some competition in STAR CITIZEN, a crowd-funded space trading/combat sim by Cloud Imperium Games and Chris Roberts (of Wing Commander fame). Expect a single-player story mode known as Squadron 42 and multiplayer modes involving a persistent universe and server customisation for trading and playing with friends. This graphically impressive game uses Cry Engine 3 and is set for a PC release in early 2015.

Insomniac Games continues to change tack after a long history of making PlayStation exclusives to release SUNSET OVERDRIVE for the Xbox One in 2014. The first trailer shows cartoony characters leaping through a city, flying along zip-lines and customising guns to fight off waves of enemy mutants. Insomniac needs to work hard to regain its cred after the disappointing FUSE. Maybe this new IP is just the ticket. Read the rest of this entry »

New Horizons 2014 (Part 4 of 5)

Posted by Joel Guttenberg On Thursday 16 January 2014ADD COMMENTS

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There are many certainties in life, the most often cited being death and taxes. Almost as certain is the annual appearance of our New Horizons list. This massive preview special casts aside sequels and spin-offs in favour of the new and original games we expect to cover in the year ahead. Enjoy!

Dystopian nuclear disasters clearly take some time to cook up as NUCLEAR UNION has been on the boil since last year’s New Horizons. This ambitious third person shooter/RPG takes place in the recent past (2012) after the Cuban Missile Crisis (1962) resulted in a radioactive apocalypse. Developer Best Way promises realism such as farmers who breed cattle and grow vegetables. Oh, and deadly mutants too, so make sure you keep your Geiger counter handy for when Nuclear Union arrives on PC in Q2 2014.

Recycle your history books covering Victorian London circa 1886, as developer Ready at Dawn has re-imagined the era with horse-drawn carriages alongside wireless radios, lightning guns and zeppelins for THE ORDER: 1886. This third person action adventure will follow four members of a group evolved from Arthurian knights, as they battle various half breeds to save the world. While I’ve always hoped to see a were-Pomeranian, I expect PS4 players will face tougher lycanthropes in Q3 2014.

PARTICULARS may be set in the world of subatomic particles, but it can still be enjoyed with the naked eye. Mixing twitch gameplay with story and science, SeeThrough Studios is throwing a bit of everything into its supercollider. If you know that like bodies repel, opposites attract and external influences can affect your control, the gameplay will probably seem familiar. Sounds like online dating to me. A Steam Greenlight graduate, Particulars is now available in Early Access form, with no word as yet on the final release date. Read the rest of this entry »

New Horizons 2014 (Part 3 of 5)

Posted by Stevie McDonald On Wednesday 15 January 2014ADD COMMENTS

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There are many certainties in life, the most often cited being death and taxes. Almost as certain is the annual appearance of our New Horizons list. This massive preview special casts aside sequels and spin-offs in favour of the new and original games we expect to cover in the year ahead. Enjoy!

Following in the footsteps of its first offering, Dead Island, comes Techland’s newest endeavour HELLRAID. A first person medieval hack-and-slash, Hellraid is a marriage of the zombie carnage of Dead Island and the rich world of The Elder Scrolls series. With the option of magic or might, you can fight the armies of hell on your own or with friends in multiplayer mode. It is due sometime in 2014 for 360, PS3 and PC.

In homage to 8-bit games of the past comes HYPER LIGHT DRIFTER, a beautifully animated 2D action role-playing game with a haunting soundtrack. Wander through the ruins of an ancient civilisation and hone your weapon and tactics for battle with monsters. Initially just for PC, massive Kickstarter success meant developer Heart Machine was able to promise PS4, Vita, Ouya and Wii U versions as well, all due out in mid 2014.

Polished and slick, INCOGNITA is the latest game from Klei Entertainment. Described as a “turn-based tactical espionage game”, Incognita involves bringing a team of agents into a secure complex to collect documents and other items with the goal of making it to the top floor. However, alarms, guards, procedural generation and permadeath make this all easier said than done! The finished build of Incognita is set to arrive on PC in 2014 but the game is currently available as an Alpha release. Read the rest of this entry »

New Horizons 2014 (Part 2 of 5)

Posted by Stephen del Prado On Tuesday 14 January 2014ADD COMMENTS

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There are many certainties in life, the most often cited being death and taxes. Almost as certain is the annual appearance of our New Horizons list. This massive preview special casts aside sequels and spin-offs in favour of the new and original games we expect to cover in the year ahead. Enjoy!

A collaboration between Blacklight Retribution developer Zombie Studio and former IGN host Jessica Chobot as writer, DAYLIGHT is a first person, exploration based survival horror title set in an abandoned hospital. Armed with only a cell phone, players must negotiate a procedurally generated environment. While a single game will take under an hour, revealing the intricacies of the narrative will require multiple playthroughs. Daylight will be available as a downloadable title for both PC and PS4 in the first quarter of 2014.

For those who’ve been living under a rock, DESTINY is the much-anticipated online FPS from Halo creator Bungie. Featuring a post apocalyptic sci-fi setting ripe for expanded universe novels, Destiny and its three planned sequels could dominate the new generation. Destiny will forgo the dedicated servers favoured by most MMOs in favour of on-the-fly matchmaking, which could provide some interesting results. The game will release worldwide on 9 September 2014 for XBO, PS4, 360 and PS3.

Looking like the bastard child of Dragon’s Dogma and Dark Souls, DEEP DOWN is a dungeon crawler with some interesting twists courtesy of its story. While the game is set in New York City in the year 2094, its protagonist has the ability to explore memories trapped in monuments and artefacts. In the spirit of the times, Deep Down will feature procedurally generated environments, as well as randomized item and enemy placement. This PS4 exclusive from Capcom will be available as a free-to-play title from PSN sometime in 2014. Read the rest of this entry »