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Superior Sequels for 2014 Part Two

Upside-down karts and ferocious fireballs.

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? Today, we look at two platform-exclusive sequels: Infamous: Second Son and Mario Kart 8.

The two games on our list for today come from opposite ends of the sequel spectrum. Infamous: Second Son is the third in the relatively young Infamous franchise, and carries with it high hopes as the first of the series on a next-generation console. Mario Kart 8 is similarly the first for the series on new Nintendo home console hardware (the Wii U), but has a longer history stretching back to more than 20 years ago. But new or old, both games have hordes of fans eager to play their latest installments, including several of our GameSpot editors. Read on to see why we think Infamous: Second Son and Mario Kart 8 are deserving games in our Most Anticipated Games for 2014.

Infamous: Second Son
Infamous: Second Son

What's drawing my interest months before release is hints of a fascinating story waiting to unfold.

GameSpot Editor Tom Mc Shea

Tom Mc Shea

Sucker Punch makes open-world games that are seemingly built with my interests in mind. Infamous nailed exploration within a bustling metropolis, and the combat was so fast, so frenetic, and so unpredictable that I would rush happily into each fight, fingertips tingling with electricity. And choices? Yeah, your decisions may not have amounted to much more than pure good versus repulsive evil, but I love crafting my superhero in the image I want. It's because of such obvious strengths that I am downright giddy to see how a third iteration--and a lot more horsepower--could improve on the franchise's already high standards.

What's drawing my interest months before release is hints of a fascinating story waiting to unfold. Second Son is centered around revolution; a corrupt government body has turned Seattle into a police state, under the guise of being protective. I would make a joke about current events, but the NSA doesn't have the best sense of humor. Anyway, nothing gets me happier than good old sedition. If Sucker Punch can communicate the powerlessness a lone person feels when matched against oppressive laws, and the joy of overcoming such injustices, I'll happily tromp through the city like a chain-wielding George Washington.

The thing that gets me most excited is how Delsin Rowe, the game's protagonist, moves.

GameSpot Editor Maxwell McGee

Maxwell McGee

I like where Tom's going with this whole "chain-wielding George Washington" thing, and Assassin's Creed III has already set the Evil George Washington precedent with that one downloadable content pack. The ball is in your court, Sucker Punch. In all seriousness, when I think about Infamous: Second Son, the thing that gets me most excited is how Delsin Rowe, the game's protagonist, moves. And I'm not talking about dance moves.

This may seem like an odd choice in a game filled with explosive powers and an open-world re-creation of Seattle, but locomotion will make or break this game for me. Sucker Punch has already done a good job of making its previous protagonist, Cole MacGrath, light on his feet while still packing plenty of punch. When I watch Rowe slip between his smoke and human forms, or turn on a dime while tossing fireballs, the momentum and fluidity of motion seem honed to a tee. Hopefully that will hold true in the final release.

Check out all our coverage of inFamous: Second Son here.

Mario Kart 8
Mario Kart 8

It's great to finally get Mario Kart in glorious HD.

GameSpot Managing Editor Randolph Ramsay

Randolph Ramsay

There are those who like to throw around the accusation that Nintendo has become little more than a recycler, continually going back to its most famous franchises and repackaging them with little innovation. But as we saw with A Link Between Worlds and Super Mario 3D World, Nintendo is still capable of surprising us with new ideas. So will Mario Kart 8 be a safe sequel or a bold one? Certainly the antigravity mechanic showcased so far looks like it could significantly impact how a race plays, particularly if the ability to drive on walls or ceilings is incorporated in interesting ways on the game's various tracks.

Whether Mario Kart 8 breaks the mold or not, it's probably safe to say that it'll still be an absolute blast to play. After so may iterations on home consoles and handhelds, the Mario Kart formula is refined and slick--easy to play, awesome in groups, and occasionally heartbreaking (I'm looking at you blue shell). It's great to finally get Mario Kart in glorious HD, and if it retains the same sense of fun as previous entries, then it's already a winner in my book. But if it goes that extra step and shows me something new? Then that will be amazing.

Justin Haywald

After the hyper realistic cars in Forza 5, Need for Speed: Rivals, and Gran Turismo 6, I’m ready to take a break with some karts. Colorful characters, crazy tracks, and ridiculous rides are always more appealing to me than endless stretches of realistic road. (Don’t I see enough of that driving in real life?) And this will be yet another huge visual upgrade to a franchise I love. Nintendo took a long time to jump on the HD bandwagon, but Super Mario 3D World and Wind Waker HD have shown what a dazzling difference it makes.

This will be yet another huge visual upgrade to a franchise I love.

GameSpot News Editor Justin Haywald

Also, I really want more good games to play on my Wii U. I don’t regret purchasing the system, but the long periods between releases have relegated it to secondary status while PC and other consoles eats up the bulk of my gaming time. Kicking 2014 off with some Mario Kart might help break that trend...but more than likely it’ll still just be the console I break out solely for the can’t-miss Nintendo exclusives.

Check out all our coverage of Mario Kart 8 here.

Both Infamous and Mario Kart are platform exclusives. Are there other platform exclusives you're looking forward to in 2014? Tell us in the comments below. And make sure to come back tomorrow for our final two Most Anticipated Games for 2014.

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