2013 isn't even over, but we're already looking forward to next year with GameSpot's Most Anticipated for 2014 series. Which games are our editors most looking forward to over the next 12 months? In the last feature in our Most Anticipated series, we're looking at two games that are bringing fresh ideas and gameplay in 2014.
While we can probably expect the usual sequels over the next 12 months in gaming (and we already covered some of the likely best ones here and here), not all of 2014's most exciting games are building from already established worlds. The final two games in GameSpot's Most Anticipated for 2014 series are both new gaming properties that we can't wait to play. The first is Tom Clancy's The Division, a third-person shooter that, like Bungie's Destiny, looks to upend the traditional notion of an online game. The second is The Witness, a puzzle game from Braid creator Jonathan Blow that reminds us more than a little of the classic Myst. Read on as some of our GameSpot editors sound off below on why they're looking forward to these two games.
[The Witness] seems poised to evoke the same captivating mood that Myst did all those years ago.GameSpot Editor Carolyn Petit
In the summer of 1994, I had a tedious job as an office assistant. I spent hours upon hours faxing documents, filing documents, printing documents, and doing other document-related tasks. It was as mundane as mundane can be. That same summer, I got a CD-ROM for a game that billed itself as "the surrealistic adventure that will become your world." And become my world it did.
By night, Myst transported me away from the tedium of reality to a place of wonder, a series of lonely islands in which every detail seemed to have tremendous significance. Myst invaded my mind. My body might have been there at the office faxing documents for hours, but in my imagination, I strolled about the islands of Myst, puzzling out their mysteries.
Now, the creator of one of my favorite puzzle games of recent years, Braid, is riffing on Myst to create his next game, The Witness. While the puzzles in Jonathan Blow’s game have an entirely different format from Myst's, the island setting, with its sense of isolation and its mysterious, fascinating details, seems poised to evoke the same captivating mood that Myst did all those years ago. I'm so ready for another island getaway.
I'm as intrigued by The Witness because of outspoken creator Jonathan Blow as I am because of its Myst-like take on the puzzle game. Blow has always been openly critical of reward-driven game design, the idea that every action you take must be followed by a reward to keep you engaged. It's an idea that's prevalent in almost every game you can think of, even the brilliant Braid, so I'm extremely curious to see what he's done to make The Witness a little different.
It's like the very antithesis of the shooter, and for that alone it gets my vote.GameSpot Editor Mark Walton
That said, I'm a sucker for a good puzzle game too. The Witness' maze-like puzzles that are just as much about encouraging exploration of a beautiful island as they are about engaging the brain sound fantastic. This is a game I can imagine sitting down to with a glass of wine after a particularly hard week at GameSpot towers and getting lost in for hours. It's like the very antithesis of the shooter, and for that alone it gets my vote.
Check out all our coverage of The Witness here.
It's a dog-eat-dog world out there, and I am ready to prove my mettle.GameSpot Editor Kevin VanOrd
Reading The Hunt for Red October made me sleepy, so it's a surprise that I'm drawn to so many Tom Clancy-branded games. I love their atmosphere, but more than that, I love the feel. I love the way it feels to slide from cover to cover in Splinter Cell: Blacklist. I love the fluidity of the shooting and traversal in the most recent Ghost Recon games. I also love open worlds and exploring them with fellow combatants, and The Division seems to bring all these elements together, allowing my friends and me to make a difference in the devastated remnants of New York City.
Like another of my most anticipated games, Destiny, The Division dynamically brings players together--or pits them against each other. I love the idea of moving through the city, sometimes teaming up with others, and other times turning my gun against them. It's a dog-eat-dog world out there, and I am ready to prove my mettle.
Being part of a team of talented and competitive gamers, I am always on the lookout for a game that will test the skills we've long touted in multiplayer modes across a variety of genres. Tom Clancy's The Division definitely fits the bill as a multiplayer game; throw in a tactical shooting component mixed into an open-world format, and I'm practically salivating.
The Division could be the game to turn my fantasy of open-world firefights with my team into a virtual reality.GameSpot Editor Zorine Te
As far as stakes go, saving the world seems to rank pretty high, and where better to test my skills than in post-disaster New York City? The ability to join games using a smart device sounds like a fine idea on paper, but whether the feature is well integrated into the game or becomes a source of grief remains to be seen. Regardless, The Division could be the game to turn my fantasy of open-world firefights with my team into a virtual reality.
Check out all our coverage of Tom Clancy's The Division here.
And that rounds it up for GameSpot's Most Anticipated Games for 2014. Which game are you most excited to play next year? Did we miss out on any obvious games? Let us know in the comments below.