The delay of Watch Dogs was a huge blow struck to the launch of next-gen consoles this year; a disappointment to many who were ready to jump on board what seemed to be the first next gen game to truly push the envelope of creativity and design. Fortunately it was only a delay, and for Ubisoft it means another game slotted into 2014 on top of a very long list of incredible looking titles that are either confirmed for release or tentatively in development at this time.
If you've somehow avoided any of the hype regarding Watch Dogs you're probably living under a rock, which is a pretty fitting way to avoid a game based around information control in a digital era. Players will take the role of Aiden Pearce, vigilante and hacker extraordinaire and guide him through an open world city that's essentially a playground for digital manipulation. Delayed from its release this year Ubisoft has cited it's reasoning as wanting to ensure the game is "something that embodies what we wanted to see in the next-generation of gaming."
Which is fine by us really. Better to have the game launch in flawless condition than worry about it not making the impression that it's capable of; Watch Dogs looks as though it'll be one of the first strong steps forward into what this next console generation has to offer.
If Watch Dogs is supposed to guide players into the future of single-player sandbox then The Division is Ubisoft's multiplayer step. An ambitious title that combines open world concepts with co-op, AI and competitive elements against other players there is little about this game that isn't exciting to consider. Particularly so when you consider this will be one of first of a series of Tom Clancy related that will be proceeding in the wake of his recent passing.
Though details on the game are still a bit light the core story seems to focus on a disease that breaks out and spreads like wildfire one year after Black Friday, and the specialist team trying to contain what fragments of the world that are still intact are known as the Strategic Homeland Division. Or for short, The Division. Players utilise technology that is a blend of modern day and more futuristic weaponry, and work together to complete objectives that (seemingly) appear on the fly. It's a bold vision for cooperative gameplay to be sure, but one that promises something immersive yet unrealised in online play.
Rainbow Six Patriots
Another game whose development began at a time when Tom Clancy was still alive and has continued even beyond his death, Patriots has been somewhat forgotten in a sense that fans have been sitting around waiting to hear more. It's been more that two years since it's original announcement in fact, which (in defence of Ubisoft) was only ever brought forth to discourage anyone from leaking the game early. Even now we only have a cursory idea of the plot, most other details remain to be known.
That being said we know the game is set for this new console generation, and with so many huge titles launching (or speculated for launch) it makes sense for Ubisoft to throw us some more Rainbow Six news sometime soon. Release within 2014 seems a little unrealistic, but who knows right?
Child of Light
An action RPG in the same vain as Grandia? Say no more. Child of Light seems to have a blend of epic fantasy storytelling wrapped in a bundle of classic JRPG gameplay, and given that the visuals are going to be handled by the same engine that's delivered Rayman Legends I'm sure we can assume the experience will be visually arresting. Like most Ubisoft games Child of Light sits on both consoles, but currently is listed as being planned for digital distribution.
Open world seems to be the name of the game for Ubisoft in 2014, and The Crew brings the same sort of ambitious enthusiasm fuelling The Division to the racing scene. Set to feature a coast-to-coast persistent version of the United States players will find themselves joining impromptu races all over America either alone, cooperatively or in teams. Vehicle customization is a given, but the boast of a 20 hour campaign in a sprawling world is interesting to say the least.
There's plenty of reason to be excited for within The Crew, but racing games can be difficult to peg and there's a lot going on in a title this broad. The types and styles of races available are going to have a massive impact on the game, and level design on a map that's allegedly 90 minutes long to cross from east to west coast becomes paramount.
Far Cry 4
One of the biggest FPS franchises out there there are a lot of gamers looking forward to the next entry in the Far Cry franchise. Praised consistently for its visuals, engaging gunplay and entertaining crafting system the only thing that Far Cry has never really dove headlong into would be co-op or multiplayer.
That being said there are already rumored confirmations of Far Cry 4's co-op and multiplayer features, and with Ubisofts focus on making large scale open world games one can imagine that same enthusiasm will only work to make Far Cry a far more expansive single player story. It would be great to see crafting and RPG elements somewhat expanded upon as well, though it may go without saying.
One of the few rhythm games that hasn't drowned itself in a wave of similar titles, keeping its head well above water with updated song lists and dance moves. As long as there are motion sensors, songs, and dance moves then we'll likely see another entry into the franchise later in the year; but it will be interesting to see if the franchise decides to take any console-specific capabilities in mind.
Embarrassing recordings of you uploaded via Xbox One? Integrated twitch streaming of your skills on PS4? On second thought maybe it's just best to keep that sort of shame in the privacy of your own home.
Might and Magic X Legacy
Though not developed by Ubisoft it'll still be a game coming out under the companies publishing umbrella, and M&M fans will be pretty thrilled to see another entry into the series. Even more exciting is that it'll be a bit more focused on gameplay elements of the original five games, with plenty of references toward events that have transpired of the series' history.
It may not mean much for fans of twitch shooters, action games, or JRPGs but seeing another entry into the long standing series is pretty exciting. Few franchises can claim to be rolling along so well after over two decades after all.
South Park Stick of Truth
If you're a fan of South Park this game is a no-brainer, but for the rest of the world Stick of Truth is a game that looks to combine fantasy, turn based RPGs, and comedy into a single neat bundle; and from what we've seen so far the game looks nothing short of excellent.
So far we know the story follows the entire South Park gang as they're wrapped in a medieval fantasy realm, dressing like knights, elves, wizards, and bards while pretending to use magic powers or wield deadly weapons. Of course, this doesn't stop them from hitting one another with their 'stand in' weapons, so expect to spend most of your time making children attack one another valiantly in cardboard armor while beating each other in the face with hammers. Amazing.