Not only do we love to help artists around the world create video games here at Digital-Tutors, we also love to play them. For many of us here, video games have played a big role in our lives ever since we were young, and like most 3D animators, modelers, riggers, programmers, etc., video games are something all of us share a common interest in.
Depending on who you ask, 2014 can be seen as a year of disappointments and duds, or the year when some excellent new IPs were established. Whichever boat you fall under, most of us can agree that 2014 saw the release of some great new video games, whether they were new installments or brand new franchises. As this year comes to a close, we've decided to take a look back at some of the games that were released this year. Here is the list of our favorite video games of 2014 (in no particular order). If you have your own list, be sure to post them in the comments below, because we'd love to hear them!
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© 2014 Bungie, Inc All rights reserved.[/caption]
Despite the overwhelming controversy
surrounding the release of Destiny, Bungie's first video game after creating the Halo Franchise, Destiny has been an astounding success for both the developer and publisher behind this sci-fi shooter/MMO/RPG. Whether you were one of the players who left the world and traveler behind after reaching the end game content or you've still stuck with it, one thing is certain, Destiny has certainly paved the way for a brand new franchise that is going to see many new installments down the road, and one that many of us here at DT are going to be purchasing.
One of the high points of Destiny is in the excellent gameplay mechanics, being that Bungie was the developer of five Halo games, you can definitely expect some rock solid gunplay, and Destiny certainly delivers on that end. Destiny also knows how to keep you invested in the game, playing that one more hour to try and obtain gear with just a little higher light rating so you can reach that next level. Before you know it, you've been battling through Strike missions for three hours, or taking down other opponents in the Crucible. With the recent release of the first DLC many of us here at DT have once again entered the thrall that is Destiny.
If you are on the fence about purchasing Destiny, you can watch our full Game Review by Game Artists
to help you decide.
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© 2014 Electronic Arts Inc. Trademarks belong to their respective owner. All rights reserved[/caption]
While Titanfall may not have been the "COD Killer" that many people pegged it to be, it's still an excellent game that introduces some innovative gameplay into a FPS that, according to some, has been a genre in dire need of some fresh gameplay mechanics and innovation.
Many of us here at DT thoroughly enjoyed this game, created by many of the developers behind the Call of Duty franchise. In fact, some of us found it so enthralling that after our initial Game Review by Game Artists
, they purchased an Xbox One just to play the game. There is nothing quite like engaging in an intense firefight between a Pilot, and hearing that "Your Titan is Ready" audio, and seeing your Titan drop from the sky, jumping into the cockpit, only to see the Pilot quickly run off to find a good place to hide. The ability to essentially completely alter the gameplay mechanics between Titan and Pilot in the middle of a multiplayer game is one of the reasons this game is so fun.
Dragon Age: Inquisition
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© 2014 Electronic Arts Inc. All rights reserved.[/caption]
Dragon Age: Inquisition is a fairly recent game having come out just under a month ago. However, it's the third installment of an already established franchise. Dragon Age 2 was a game that actually fell short in the eyes of many players. Dragon Age: Inquisition is kind of like a redemption game, as BioWare has listened to much of the fan feedback, and implemented it into this new release.. Many of the RPG lovers here at DT have already spent many hours in the world of Thedas, and likely plan to spend many more in it.
One of the truly impressive features in the game is the graphics. Being that this is an open-world game, where you can literally travel to any location that you see off in the distance, they devs are able to implement beautiful graphical fidelity, and take advantage of the next-gen hardware.
The Last of Us Remastered
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©2013 Sony Computer Entertainment America LLC. The Last of Us is a trademark of Sony Computer Entertainment America LLC.[/caption]
You might be thinking, The Last of Us came out in mid 2013, certainly not in 2014. However, The Last of Us Remastered came out a few months ago. While it essentially is the same game as the 2013 version in terms of overall gameplay and story, we truly enjoyed the opportunity to dive into this post-apocalyptic world with some new graphical updates, letting you get a chance to experience the game in a whole new light. Many of us here at DT believed The Last of Us Remastered should certainly get a nod and an inclusion into the list of our favorite games of the year.
Watch our Game Review by Game Artists
for The Last of Us: Remastered.
Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition
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Tomb Raider ® Square Enix Ltd.[/caption]
Just like The Last of Us Remastered, Tomb Raider came out in 2013, however we felt this one should certainly make it onto our list, because Tomb Raider Remastered is a game we certainly played a lot of in 2014. The original version of Tomb Raider was already any extremely solid title that rebooted the franchise in a very successful way. Tomb Raider Remastered takes what we already loved, and gave it a big graphics boost.
You can watch our full Game Review by Game Artists for Tomb Raider Remastered to see why we enjoyed this game so much.
Watch our Game Review by Game Artists
for Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition
Halo: The Master Chief Collection
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Microsoft © 2014 Microsof[/caption]
If you've kept up at all with video game news, then you are probably well aware of the massive launch problems
Halo: The Master Chief Collection had, and sadly it's still having a month after release. However, a few of us here at DT have stuck with the MCC and even though it's had huge problems, it's a game we've truly had a lot of joy playing, and it brought back some great nostalgia.
At this point, the game is playable after some much-needed patches. The fact that 343 Industries has put all four Halo games onto one disc is truly impressive, and the absolutely amazing remastering of Halo 2 is reason enough to play this game. The devs recreated the graphics from the ground up for Halo 2: Anniversary
and it shows. With the MCC it also demonstrates how the Halo games have really stood the test of time, because after ten years since Halo 2, these games are just as enjoyable to play now as they were then, even when playing Halo Combat Evolved and Halo 2 Classic with the outdated graphics.
Super Smash Bros. Wii U
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© 2014 Nintendo[/caption]
Super Smash Bros. for the Wii U is currently among the highest rated games of 2014 in the Metacritic score, and GameRankings. And it's rated so well for good reason too. This game is an absolute blast to play. You may have even joined us in our live stream of Super Smash Bros. on Twitch last month. This is the type of game that is great to play with a group of friends, do some trash talking, and just have a great time. One of the features we really liked about the game is the fact that you can play with up to eight players, and that's not eight players over the internet, that's eight players all playing on the same console!
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© 2013 Ubisoft Entertainment. All Rights Reserved.[/caption]
Similar to Destiny, Watch Dogs was another game that was accompanied with a lot of controversy
after it was released because the graphical differences between the E3 trailer and the game that was eventually released was one of the biggest talking points about the game. While according to some, it didn't live up the hype surrounding it, Watch Dogs was still thoroughly enjoyed by many gamers here at DT, and even though the graphics were downgraded, it's still very impressive in terms of technical aspects. The hacking feature of the game really added a new dynamic to the gameplay and was a very interesting aspect. Much of the online multiplayer was also a blast, especially the hacking missions, and being able to seamlessly join someone else's single player game, without them realizing it, and trying to hack them without being detected. It's something we have never really seen in a video game before.
While some may have pegged Watch Dogs as somewhat of a letdown, we are excited for the inevitable Watch Dogs 2. You can watch our full review to get an idea of what we enjoyed with the game in our Game Review by Game Artists
Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor
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MONOLITH LOGO, WBPlay LOGO, WB GAMES LOGO, WB SHIELD: ™ & © Warner Bros.[/caption]
It has been awhile since anyone has seen a game based around the Middle-earth lore, at least a game that has really done the franchise justice. As you can read in our Game Review by Game Artists
, Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor definitely has done the franchise justice. While it certainly may have taken some gameplay cues from some other popular games within the same genre, it does enough to differentiate itself. In addition, with the new Nemesis System it really adds a completely new element that truly feels like a next-gen experience. Not only that, but getting to hack, slash, and execute your way through hordes and hordes of Orcs is something just about anyone can enjoy.
With quite a few Middle-earth fans here at DT, it's no surprise that Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor easily made the list of our favorite games of 2014.
Yes, Rayman Legends is another release on next-gen hardware for 2014. Rayman Legends, despite its very kind friendly gameplay style, this is a video game that just about any age is going to enjoy, and there were many of us that certainly put some hours into this game. The gameplay mechanics are rock solid, and being able to play with five players simultaneously makes it a great game to play with a group of friends. In addition, like Super Smash Bros. Wii U, it's up to 5 people on the same console, not over the Internet.
The art style is another aspect of the game we truly enjoyed and the way the devs were able to achieve a 2D/3D look with completely 2D assets was really impressive. Also, the whimsical and unique levels throughout the game kept you engaged.
Watch our full Game Review by Game Artists
This War of Mine
This War of Mine might be a game that slipped under your radar, it's certainly not a AAA title, but it was somewhat of a surprise success of late 2014 that has gained critical acclaim among gamers, including ourselves. Instead of focusing on intense combat like most war-themed video games do, This War of Mine lets you play through the eyes of civilians, as you try to survive in a besieged and war stricken city. You must survive by gathering food, materials, etc., and it's your responsibility to keep the civilians alive. The game takes a unique approach to the typical survival game, and the sketched look to gives it an interesting aesthetic you don't see in many games.
Child of Light
Child of Light is a beautifully constructed game that reinvigorates an old style RPG side scroller. While these types of turn-based RPGs may not be for everyone, many of us found the game to be enjoyable. The devs at Ubisoft managed to bring something unique to the gameplay. One of the things that kept us enthralled with the game was the immersive environment, and the beautiful art style. While it's a game that may not be as action packed as something like Destiny, it delivers a compelling story and a unique experience that earned its place on the list.
This was our top list for our favorite games of 2014! Sadly, not everyone's choice at DT could make the top 12. If you feel differently about our choices, feel free to post your favorite video games of 2014 in the comments below!