Over the next ten days, Hardcore Gamer will be revealing its Best of 2014 Awards leading up to our Game of the Year. Today we present you with the Best IP, Sequel, Remaster and 2014’s Dark Horse:
Best New IP: Shovel Knight
Yacht Club Games struck gold this year with their retro style side-scrolling platformer. Shovel Knight is a nearly perfect game that really brought the NES aesthetic back to life. You go through the game defeating enemies, searching for treasure and heaving dirt. Shovel Knight is a modern day treasure fit for any kind of player from casual to expert. Its release on multiple consoles gave audiences such nostalgic feelings; from gameplay to music. Fans of old school Nintendo games will really dig it. However, Yacht Club Games isn’t even close to being finished with the title either since they’re planning a PlayStation release next year. We’re lucky to have unearthed this gem of a game in 2014. The future shines brighter than any treasure for Shovel Knight.
|Titanfall||Bravely Default||Destiny||Sunset Overdrive|
The Sequel of Sequels: Dragon Age: Inquisition
Franchises have their highs and lows, but everyone hopes sequels will surpass their last installments. While many ended up as disappointments this year, there were a couple that stood out, and at the top of the list was Dragon Age: Inquisition. Dragon Age II was a huge letdown, reusing assets to an alarming degree and taking a step backwards in design. Thankfully, the sequel fixes that. More than double the development time to craft the perfect specimen helped BioWare reclaim their footing in the RPG genre. Dragon Age: Inquisition is by far the biggest leap from its predecessor, and that’s why it’s the best sequel of 2014.
|Dark Souls II||Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare||Divinity: Original Sin||Forza Horizon 2|
Best Remaster: Grand Theft Auto V (PS4/Xbox One)
Grand Theft Auto V is one of the last generation’s greatest titles, and Rockstar made it even better on modern consoles. In its original incarnation it squeezed more out of the PS3 and Xbox 360 than any other game, with incredible lighting, physics and effects, and it’s a treat to see that amazing tech running in 1080p. The new first person mode drastically changes the dynamics of the game’s combat and exploration, and hundreds of animations were added to ensure that the mode feels as good as any dedicated first-person sandbox game. Improved to the point that it could almost be mistaken for a different game, GTA V is leagues ahead of every other last-gen port on the market.
|Halo: The Master Chief Collection||Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster||Pokemon Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire||The Last of Us: Remastered|
2014’s Dark Horse: Wolfenstein: The New Order
Wolfenstein 3D is still heralded for not just being the very first FPS game, but for providing a shooting experience that is still just as fun now as it was in 1992. Its successors, however, never quite enjoyed the same esteem until now. Wolfenstein: The New Order was almost expected to be as run of the mill as the last few entries in the franchise, that were decent at best but nothing memorable. However, Bethesda and MachineGames joined forces to create an unforgettable experience in The New Order. This purely single player shooter is driven by a strong narrative and countless breathtaking moments, and in such a multiplayer-focused FPS market, having a game like The New Order in 2014 was refreshing. With amazing production values, heart-stopping set pieces, and a flawless marriage of sci-fi and world war themes, Wolfenstein: The New Order was made for gamers who wanted a break from the noise of multiplayer offerings. A chance to immerse themselves in an imaginative and detailed world which almost echoes the same vibes as the 2009 hit war film Inglourious Basterds.
|Sunset Overdrive||Dragon Age: Inquisition||Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor||South Park: The Stick of Truth|