Top 5: Anticipated Games of 2014 5. Angry Birds EPIC! Rovio | iOS | 2014 Love em or hate em, there is no denying that Rovio changed the face of modern games. Angry Birds turned your grandma into a gamer. Rovio created one of the most frustrating addictive games on the market by building bite sized levels, perfect for a few minutes of gameplay. They proved that they are not a one trick development studio by adding new gameplay mechanics to their franchise, in Angry Birds Star Wars, and a completely different spin-off, Bad Piggies. Rovio is taking a dramatic left turn from their previous iterations and creating a role playing game. Outside of ports, I have not played a good, or even mediocre, rpg on my phone; I’m hoping that Angry Birds EPIC! will change that fact. Rovio said the necessary words to excite fans, turn-based, crafting, items and stats. No official release date has been announced, so calling this a most anticipated game for 2014 could be a misnomer. As long as no flinging mechanics are introduced at the last minute this game has the potential to become the biggest time suck on my phone. 4. Destiny Bungie | PS4, Xbox One, PS3, Xbox 360 | September 09, 2014 Short story: Halo meets Borderlands. Long story: Bungie revolutionized the first person genre when it released Halo on the Xbox original. Halo is the only reason that there is an Xbox brand on the market today. The game was a huge commercial and critical success and remains a fan favorite today. Through each iteration, Bungie refines and improves on the Halo formula. Bungie understands how to create addictive multiplayer experiences, huge worlds with a rich history and shooting combat that is accurate, fast and most importantly fun. The team polished Destiny for a few years now and each new reveal is met with excitement. All of this and Destiny is going to be a loot based massive multiplayer online game. Games like Diablo and Borderlands are successful because gamers like to hit that loot piñata and see what goodies come out. If Destiny can manage to capture the tight controls, weapon balance and movement Halo with a player-friendly scalable loot system, Destiny could be the only game you need this year. 3. Walking Dead: Season 2 Telltale Games | PS3, Xbox 360, PC | 2014 The first season of Walking Dead was my favorite game of 2012. It revitalized Telltale Games into a household name and told an emotional story unmatched by either the comics or the show. In Season 2 players control Clementine and explore her adolescence in the apocalyptic future. Two episodes released, but three more are scheduled (hopefully) by the end of 2014. If Telltale continues the quality, consistency and overarching story they established, the second season will surpass the excellent work from the original. Though this is a second season, and homages are made to the first, this is very much a standalone game. Players do not need to complete season one to enjoy season two. Telltale is able to craft an emotional story with multi-layered characters and place the player in situations where there is no easy choice. The gameplay and choices are serviceable but it is the story and characters that make this game one of the most compelling choices to play this year. 2. Batman: Arkham Knight Rocksteady | PS4, Xbox One, PC | October 19, 2014 Behold, the greatest developer to make a superhero game returns. After a copy and paste attempt to create a Batman game, by WB Montreal, Rocksteady is developing their last entry in the Arkham series. Arkham Asylum was the first good Batman game created, it took twenty plus years for someone to get it right. Then, Rocksteady upped the ante and made the combat more intuitive, the gadgets more wonderful, the world larger, the enemies varied and included additional Easter eggs for fans. If Rocksteady makes the same leaps and bounds again, “Holy Game of the Year, Batman!” Arkham Knight is a next gen release only which means they will not be cumbered with trying to make the engine and world acceptable for previous gen. Gotham will be five times larger than before and to assist with traversing the land, players now can access the Batmobile. I hope this is primarily used for traveling and doesn’t cause the game to breakdown into a makeshift Grand Theft Auto that tries to do too many things at once. If everything said so far wasn’t enough to excite you, Kevin Conroy is returning to voice Batman/Bruce Wayne. Conroy IS Batman (he did the Animated Series, Justice League, Batman Beyond and any Batman show worth watching). 1. Infamous: Second Son Sucker Punch | PS4 | March 21, 2014 Foul, you cry “Second Son already came out.” You are correct but I haven’t played it yet, a situation I will rectify in the coming month. The first two installments of the Infamous franchise captured the feel of a superhero comic perfectly, including over the top stories, zanny characters and ridiculously upgrading powers. Second Son appears to be more grounded, set in Seattle the first time the series is in a real world, and is willing to tackle political issues regarding surveillance, interment camps and the police state. Troy Baker, most overworked voice actor in the business, captured the voice and mannerisms of Delsin, a native american teenager finding his place in the world and within his family. The trailers indicate that this story will continue the trend of large set pieces, fantastical powers and close relationships. Delsin’s power load contains four unique and varying abilities. These will change how players dispatch foes, traverse the city and recharge powers. Second Son is the first must-have game for the PS4 and is being positioned as the spring’ s killer app. All indications point to the fact that this game is gorgeous, screengrabs and trailers look like replicas of Seattle (maybe better than real thing) and contain lighting, textures and views that are truly next gen. Level Up, Friends!