Best of 2014: Zach’s Top 10 Video Games

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I missed out on a bunch of the big console releases this year because I’m still rocking a PS3 but I did get back into PC gaming with Steam and there were tons of great indie games released this year.  Here’s my picks for the best games I played in 2014 (and also came out in 2014).

  1. Wolfenstein: The New Order: I’ve been a casual fan of the Wolfenstein games, I played the “reboot” a few years ago but, like pretty much everyone else, The New Order blew me away with it’s level of action and it’s whole hog embracing of it’s crazy alternate 60’s where the Nazis reign supreme.  The weapons all feel great and most can be dual wielded to truly unleash hell on the Nazi scum in your way.  It also did something you would never expect from a Wolfenstein game and had actual characters, even fleshing out the series’ generic protagonist BJ Blazkowicz into something other than a grimacing portrait at the bottom of your screen.
  2. Broforce: I wrote a whole article about it earlier this year but Broforce truly feels like what we would make if someone told Everything Action to make a game.  It’s an old school side scrolling shooter a la Contra but all the characters are 80’s and 90’s action heroes like Robocop, Terminator, John Matrix, John Rambo, Cordell Walker, etc.  The guys at Devolver Digital are constantly adding new “bros” and fleshing out the game with new modes.  They also managed to make the the best Expendables game ever with Expendabros, which is free to download on Steam, so you literally have no excuse not to at least try it.
  3. The Walking Dead Season 2: Season 1 was my favorite game of 2012 and Season 2 kept up the quality you expect from Telltale but it’s not quite up to the level of the first season because it’s missing the added layer of you making decisions for Lee with Clementine’s protection foremost in your mind that added to the emotional impact of the game but now that you are controlling Clem, the decisions become a little more selfish.  The decisions are still gut wrenching as ever though and the new characters really grew on me, especially one who I then had to decide whether they needed to die or not in the final episode.
  4. Super Time Force Ultra: Just like Broforce, Super Time Force was another incredible Contraesque throwback shooter but Super Time Force twists your brain into a pretzel with it’s time shifting mechanic where you must use multiple copies of your heroes to be able to quickly overcome various bosses and obstacles.  It’s got a great, nerdy sense of humor and takes advantage of it’s time travel gimmick to throw you into some incredibly fun, unique levels.
  5. Game of Thrones: Fire from Ice: Although it just started, the first episode leads me to believe Game of Thrones is going to be one of the best Telltale series to date.  It’s a must play if you are a fan of the HBO show and Telltale’s style of decision making is perfect for trying to navigate the political intrigue of Westeros and it’s multiple protagonists seems like it’s going to evolve their system of characters remembering your actions in some exciting ways.
  6. Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare: CoD finally said, “fuck it”, and got rid of any last remaining sense of reality for it’s crazy future storyline full of mech suits, drones and Kevin Spacey.  After Ghosts, the story of Advanced Warfare was a big step back to the fun, blockbuster action of the Modern Warfare series, although it didn’t quite reach the level of Black Ops, and especially the multiple endings and decision making of BlOps 2.  The mech suit gave you the most freedom of movement you’ve had in a CoD game and there were plenty of futurisitic weapons and gadgets.
  7. The Gods Will Be Watching: Some of most intense gaming I did this year was trying to maintain the thinnest thread of control of the scenarios presented in The Gods Will Be Watching.  Taking on the role of an intergalactic undercover agent, you’ve infiltrated a supposed terrorist group and are put into vaarious, point and click situations like a hostage situation but there’s multiple, game ending factors that you have to constantly monitor and each decision has to be done with careful consideration.
  8. One Finger Death Punch: If you’re a fan of old school kung fu movies, One Finger Death Punch is a game definitely worth checking out.  It seems simplistic at first as you control a stick figure martial artist with only two buttons, allowing you to attack left and right but the game constantly adds in new twists in the form of the objective of the level or different types of enemies and it gets incredibly intense as you try to maintain your combo and avoid getting hit by 100s of enemies to get the highest score and medal at the end.
  9. Marvel Heroes 2015: I’m not really any MMO guy but the fact that this game is A) Marvel and B) free made me jump in and it’s a fun, mindless way to spend an afternoon.  The starting characters are a good mix and offer up a style for pretty much anyone (I’m currently rocking Taskmaster, who is able to melee and shoot).  It’s got a fun story that while it’s not going to blow anyone’s mind, allows you to ally and fight against a number of characters from the Marvel Universe.  The game is constantly getting updated as well, almost to an annoying level as every time I open Steam, it’s getting an update.
  10. Rambo: The Video Game: I played tons of games that were better than Rambo this year, but they didn’t come out this year so, by default, Rambo takes the ten spot on my list.  Is it mindless, yes.  Is it dumb, yes but it also kind of feels like a throwback to old school arcade light gun games and I had some decent fun playing through scenarios from the first three Rambos with my Playstation Move controller.

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