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19 Downloadable Games to Be On The Lookout For in 2014

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If
you asked me a few years back about how I felt about downloadable games, I
would say I didn’t care for them. Something didn’t feel right about having a
game that wasn’t on a physical disc. Sure, it might have been cheaper and a way
to get smaller projects out the door, but if it didn’t come out on a disc, I
wasn’t interested. However, that has now changed, and some of my favorite games
have come out on the downloadable side of the home console and PC markets. 2014
has a lot of really interesting and fun-looking downloadable games coming out.
This list will include games from both big name publishers and indie/Kickstarter
groups, because a lot of the downloadable games that are coming out are from
those small developers. Keep in mind that there are hundreds of downloadable
games coming out and I can’t list them all. I will start with honorable
mentions and then move onto the actual list. I will also try to keep the list
as varied as possible since there are hundreds of first person-perspective
survival games that I honestly don’t care for and games that were inspired by
Super Metroid and MegaMan X. If you don’t agree with my list, that is fine. Go make
your own list and share your opinions about the games you are looking forward
to. That’s really all this list is about, the downloadable games I am looking
forward to. Let’s start with the honorable mentions. I also won’t include
Broken Age since it’s already out, and as
you already know if you’ve read my review, I think you should buy it. Here are
the honorable mentions.

Cuphead:
I wish there was more shown about this little run-and-gun game, but I really
like the art style that reminds me of the cartoons from the 30s, and the one on
one fights that it is advertising. It looks unique, and I hope we can get some
home console news about it in the future.

Soul Saga:
I like that this game is taking inspiration from the great 16-bit and
PlayStation RPGs of yesteryear, but some other games beat this one out. I am
also not fully hooked on the art style from what I have seen.

Below:
For now, an Xbox One exclusive with rogue-like elements, difficult gameplay,
and permadeath wrapped in a nice looking game. One game beat this one out to be
on the list, but this is still one of the last few unique Xbox One games coming
out that is worth keeping your eye on.

Rain World:
A survival platformer where you play as something called a Slugcat trying to
survive. It reminds me of those cinematic platformers like
Another World and Heart of
Darkness
in terms of animation and gameplay. It looks interesting, to say
the least.

Hohokum:
I have a hard time describing this very colorful game. No stressful goals or
anything. Just fly around and enjoy the beautiful visuals by artist Richard
Hogg, and the music that goes along with it. Just check it out for yourself
because I can’t put this game into words.

Transistor:
a cool action strategy game from the makers of
Bastion? Sign me up! Just wish there was a little more to see
besides the little snippets of gameplay and the drop-dead beautiful visuals.

Ghost Song:
This is yet another action platformer that was inspired by Super Metroid. Even
some of the assets the game has look too similar to the game I mentioned above.
That is why it is in the honorable mentions. It looks a little too much like
Super Metroid, and I hope once the game is released, the assets change, but it
still looks like a fun game.

Let the official list
begin now!

19. Natural Doctrine

Even though you would
know Kadokawa Games for their collaborations with Suda 51’s company Grasshopper
Manufacture, they are officially releasing their first in-house game, and it is
a tactical RPG known as
Natural Doctrine.
This game has some cool mechanics thrown in, like destructible environments
that players can hide behind or climb on top of, and the ability to snipe your
opponents. Oh, and if you die, the game ends. Hopefully you are a good
tactician so the battle doesn’t end after one soldier dying. This game is also
being led by the director of the popular
Patapon
franchise. The game is coming out for PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, and
PlayStation Vita. There are also some multiplayer modes competitive and co-op.
We will have to see how Kadokawa Games’ first game will pan out for them.
Hopefully they will have a home run.

18. A Hat in Time

Some people were
disappointed that this little game didn’t make it on my
Most Anticipated Games of 2014 list, but it doesn’t mean I am still not excited for it. It has
everything I love about platformers and it looks incredibly fun. It also
doesn’t hurt that it has famed composer Grant Kirkhope composing some songs for
the game. I just wish they would tell us that they have a home console release.
They say they have some news about it and then they never follow up, and that annoys
me a little. I prefer to play platformers on a home console whether it be on my
PlayStation 3, Wii U, Wii, Xbox 360, or whatever. I prefer to play certain
genres on certain platforms. It’s like how some people prefer playing shooters
on PC.

17. Project Cars

In a time where it
seems like every developer is going towards the consoles that can be more
graphically powerful, it is nice to see a game that can be on any console, with
nothing holding them back.
Project Cars
is that kind of game. Even though it is more about being super-realistic,
something that I am not always on board with when I want to play racing games,
this game looks amazing! The graphics and sound are top quality. Even watching
the trailer, some parts looked so extremely realistic that it was eerie. With
sharp-looking graphics, people who have experience with racing games, and being
on a multitude of consoles, this is one realistic racing game I don’t mind
owning.

16. Rime

Rime
looks to be, for a lack of a better word, interesting. It is being developed by
the same guys who made
Deadlight, a
zombie game that got mixed reviews. It combines elements of
Ico, Journey,
with the cel-shaded style of
Wind Waker.
It also doesn’t hurt that the creative director took inspiration from Studio
Ghibli films like Spirited Away and Princess Mononoke. It’s an overall
beautiful game, and I would probably use it for examples of why a different art
style gives a game an identity. Oh, and the composer for the game is Akira
Yamaoka, the guy who composed music for the
Silent
Hill
series and a lot of Suda 51 games. There hasn’t been a lot of gameplay
shown so far of the game, and that worries me since I heard
Deadlight’s combat wasn’t the greatest,
and I would hate to have one element of the gameplay ruin the experience of
something this promising. Once I get a PlayStation 4, you can count on the fact
that I will be downloading this game.

15. No Man’s Sky

Even after the
troublesome situations Hello Games has had with their studio getting flooded
and etc., a lot of us still have high hopes for the one game that blew everyone
out of the water during the VGX stream. I remember when I was watching it with
the staff at Gamnesia and I had to refresh my page to get the stream to work. When
it refreshed and was playing normally, this trailer popped up and my eyes
widened. A flying combat game set in a beautiful-looking universe that is
filled with procedurally-generated worlds to explore. It’s funny to think such
an amazing game is coming from the same developer that made the fantastic
Joe Danger games. I am not usually the
kind of guy who likes flight combat games, but
No Man’s Sky is easily one of the few flight combat/exploration
games everyone should check out, and it should be on all of the now current gen
consoles.

14. Ghost of a Tale

This game is like if
you combined the best atmospheric parts of
Dark
Souls
and combined it with Redwall and
The Secret of Nihm. You play the role
of a mouse on an island trying to find this treasure that is located high up in
a tower. The island is unfortunately infested with the undead souls of rats and
other beings that you will encounter on your adventure. I love what I have seen
in the alpha trailer of the game and it looks like something I would personally
play. So far, it is only going to be on PC consoles, but I hope in the future
we get some home console ports like on the PlayStation 4 or Wii U. Let’s see if
this little critter’s adventure has any stumbles.

13. The Girl and the Robot

Don’t lie, you thought
of Castle in the Sky when you first heard about this game. It has some elements
from that movie that seem familiar. However, is that really a bad thing that
this game has elements that remind you of a really good movie? The game does
look promising, with early footage showing a bit of combat and one type of
puzzle you will encounter. Of course, the game is still in production so there
isn’t much more to see, but I like the look of it and some of the music that
has been shown off. Hopefully the developer, Flying Carpet Games, can bring us
an experience filled with actions, emotions, and robot knights. I know early
impressions of the game doesn’t look all that interesting, but I bet in the
end, we can get a high quality game.

12. Road Redemption

Remember the
Road Rash series? Remember when biker
combat could actually be done well and
Ride
to Hell: Retribution
became an example of how not to make a good biker game? Well, if you have been having that
car combat itch that the recent
Twisted
Metal
game didn’t cure, you should check out Road Redemption! Like I said, this game is basically the spiritual
successor to the popular
Road Rash
franchise where you ride a motorcycle and use a multitude of weapons to take
out other opponents that are on motorcycles. I also like that you can push your
opponent into an ongoing moving vehicle and not waste any ammo. It just looks
like a load of fun, and it’s coming out for PC, Xbox 360, and Wii U, which is
nice.

11. Hyper Light Drifter

So, when I was looking
at games that had beautiful pixel artwork, I was going to choose between
Hyper Light Drifter and the Xbox One
exclusive
Below. While I really like
the look of
Below and its game mechanics,
Hyper Light Drifter is the more
interesting game. The world that you travel and fight your way through is more
visually pleasing, the combat looks more interesting, I like the little sprite
companion that is by your side, the different sub-weapons, and the pixel art
visuals are just amazing to look at. It’s just a cool-looking Kickstarter game,
and I hope it does well.

10. Bloom: Memories

Can anyone tell me how
someone made such a beautiful looking game? I mean, holy cow, this game’s art
style is beautiful. Outside of the gorgeous look, this game combines elements
you would see in games like
Thief,
where stealth might be a better option than fighting your way through the
baddies you encounter on this journey. There is also a mechanic where you can talk
your way out of encounters and even find yourself not hurting a fly the whole
time you play through the game. Hopefully the game is well designed enough
around those three mechanics of stealth, action, and negotiation to not lean on
one over the other. Once again, games like
Deus
Ex: Human Revolution
boast that you can tackle the game any way you wish,
but you really can’t. I am just curious to hear more about this beautiful
atmospheric game in the future.

9. Tengami

Let’s see here. We have
an adventure game that looks like a unique Japanese pop-up book, developed by
ex-Rare employees, and a soundtrack by a fantastic composer by the name of
David Wise. If this doesn’t sound like an amazing package of talent, I don’t
know what will.

8. Tales from The
Borderlands/Game of Thrones: A Telltale Episodic series

I already mentioned
these two games in
another list I made, so I won’t talk too much about them
here. I will say that we are finally getting a genre that fits the
Game of Thrones IP and we are hopefully
getting a more story-focused experience for the
Tales from The Borderlands game.



7. Massive Chalice

I am not the biggest
fan of tactical turn-based RPGs, but I have played my fair share of them, like
Valkyria Chronicles, which is one of my
all-time favorite video games. Hearing that Double Fine Productions, one of my
all-time favorite developers, was making a new game from Kickstarter, I checked
out the video and saw what they had to offer. Besides the very funny
Kickstarter video, it has gameplay inspired by the greats like
XCOM and Final Fantasy Tactics, you have customizable heroes, turn-based
combat, and permadeath! One of the mechanics that interests me is that you can
retire your best warriors to make new little baby warriors with their traits so
they can go and fight, and then those baby warriors can retire to make more little
babies that can kill! Since this is Double Fine Productions, I bet we will also
get some of their trademark writing and humor to help keep you invested within
the game’s world. With a talented group of people, rogue-like elements, some features
of Game of Throne’s noble families, and a tactical RPG inspired by the greats,
Massive Chalice will surely be one of
the more interesting tactical RPGs to be released on PC.

6. Karmaflow

A lot of small-time and
big-time developers like to throw around words like “unique” to express their
game, and for the most part, very few games deserve that word to be used to
describe them.
Karmaflow is one of
those rare few games that can use words like “unique.” Sure, it might be a puzzle
platformer, but it is also an epic rock opera with famous real-life metal band
singers voicing the characters. It once again has a beautiful art style that
gives the game its own identity, and it personally reminds me of something I
would see in some kind of European epic metal album cover or some kind of
character you would see in some kind of fantasy lore book. Either way, I hope
we get some console releases for this very cool sounding game.

5. Armikrog

I think I am getting a
bit too addicted to adventure games. I mean, here is another adventure game to
be on the lookout for and was also on my most anticipated list. Like I said on
my
most anticipated games list, I really enjoyed the claymation look of the
game since the entire world of
Armikrog
is made of clay. I like that the main character, Tommynaught is voiced by
Michael J Nelson, and his best friend Beak-Beak is voiced by Rob Paulsen. It
looks like a game filled with charm and I can’t wait for this game to be
released.

4. The 90’s Arcade Racer

While I am all for
racing games being realistic to a point that can be terrifying, I prefer to
just sit back and play some more arcade-style racing games.
The 90’s Arcade Racer is going to cure
that itch I have for games like
Rumble
Racing
, Rush 2049, Daytona USA, and Outrun. The game is also not afraid of color and to look fun. I
mean, I know we can play games that can give us multiple experiences, and the
term “fun” can be subjective, but this game just looks like a game you can sit
down and have a few quick races. If you are looking for a home console version
of this game, it is only coming out for the Wii U.

3. Shovel Knight

Combining the best
aspects of
Mega Man, Castlevania, and the NES Ducktales, the popular Kickstarter
game,
Shovel Knight is right up there
with one of the more highly anticipated games to be coming out soon. I really
love that your shovel is used for both platforming and combat, and not just
used for one or the other. What is also cool about this game is that while it
has amazing music by Jake Kaufman, it will also have some music composed by the
woman who did the soundtrack to the first
Mega
Man
, Manami Matsumae. When this game was announced, I really wasn’t into
the whole Kickstarter thing, but after watching a couple of videos showing off
demos of the game, I just kept getting more and more excited. The main
character also has a lot of charm. I mean, it’s a knight with a shovel on quest
to defeat evil. You have to have a little fun with that concept.

2. Child of Light

Okay, you know the
drill about this one. I mentioned a lot about what I really love about this
game coming out from Ubisoft in my
most anticipated games list. It has combat
that is very similar to the Grandia franchise, the water color art style is
drop dead beautiful, the music sounds fantastic, and it’s going to have this
dark fairy tale story done in rhyme. Just be sure to have space on any of the
consoles it will be on so you can download one of the more interesting RPGs
coming out.


1. Valiant Hearts: The
Great War

I feel like an idiot
for not finding out about this game until recently. Not only is Ubisoft making
a beautiful RPG, they are also making a very mature-looking adventure game
using the same engine used in
Rayman
Legends
. It follows the life of six characters during the First World War.
First off, that is a unique setting we don’t see that often. It’s always modern
warfare or World War II or something boring, and that has been done multiple
times already. The story is inspired by letters found during that war, which will
hopefully cause me to be more personally invested with the characters. I also
really like that they are using tools, and are designing puzzles that would be
accurate for that time of war. I am just so excited for this game. I wish it
was coming out for the Wii U also instead of only the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360,
PlayStation 4, and Xbox One, but I will be getting this game for my PlayStation
3 and enjoying the hopefully mature story of six people during World War I.

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