Saints Row IV
For as good as Grand Theft Auto IV was, a lot of people missed the outrageous shenanigans that they enjoyed in previous GTA games. There was a void in their hearts, and Volition’s Saints Row series has been more than willing to fill it.
Saints Row IV has a lot to live up to. Previous games have featured missions in which you spray literal shit out of a truck and weapons such as big floppy dildo bats — that’s a hell of a precedent. Saints Row IV will make you the superpowered President of the United States holding off an alien invasion with dubstep guns.
I think we’re in fine shape.
Grand Theft Auto V
Grand Theft Auto V is going to be a big deal. You know this, I know this, and Deep Silver knows this well enough to release Saints Row IV a full month before so that it has any chance of selling.
Rockstar claims that GTA V will be the biggest Grand Theft Auto yet, which is nothing to sneeze at. While the entire game seems to take place in the city of Los Santos, it seems to be as expansive as San Andreas on PS2. Between dense urban environments, an expansive countryside that includes rivers and mountains, the return of planes and bicycles, and even three playable protagonists, Rockstar’s claim seems to check out.
We’ll be playing the game along with the rest of the planet come September 17th.
Rayman Origins is one of the greatest 2D platformers that ever was, and anyone that tells you different doesn’t have your best interests at heart. The art and animations were charming and gorgeous, while the platforming was finely tuned to be tough but fair. The music was also catchy as all get out.
We should have played Rayman Legends, its sequel, by now. We should have played it, beaten it, loved it, and played it some more. Everything that we loved about Origins is making a return, and it even makes some creative use of the Wii U Gamepad. While the Wii U’s slow sales are an understandable reason to make Rayman Legends a multiplatform release, the game on Wii U is finished. There’s even a demo that you can download and play, with another on the way. It could be out on Nintendo’s platform right now but it’s not, with Ubisoft instead opting to release all versions simultaneously.
And so, we wait.
Beyond: Two Souls
David Cage, creative director at developer Quantic Dream, really likes to talk up his games. Hearing him speak, it seems that his goal is to make his games as cinematic and as close to playable film as possible. He wants us to know how much emotion he’s pouring into every character, while also being sure to let us know their exact polygon counts.
Beyond: Two Souls seems to follow that design philosophy to a tee, and depending on how well you liked his previous games can either be a blessing or a curse. Beyond follows Jodie — played by Ellen Page, Cage would have you know — across 15 years of her life. It explores what happens to people after death and will feature many psychological and supernatural elements. Willem Dafoe is also in it, sadly not reprising his role as Spider-Man villain Green Goblin.
Whatever your opinion on Quantic Dream’s efforts, there’s no doubt that Beyond: Two Souls will be worthy of your attention.
Watch Dogs is fascinating for at least a couple of reasons. It takes place in the near future, where people are so connected to the internet that they’ve unwittingly become extremely vulnerable. It also takes place in Chicago, which for unknown reasons doesn’t feature prominently in many video games.
This all culminates into an open-world game where the player is given free reign to hack into just about anything electronic — digging into financial records to take money from an ATM, changing traffic signals at will, and even stopping the L train in its tracks. Everything connected to the grid, so to speak, can and will be a tool at your disposal as you complete missions.
As one of the few next-gen titles that we know to exist — and the only one on this list — Watch Dogs is the easy closer for our list of most anticipated games this year.