2014 Post-Mortem: March
It’s fair to say that the real gaming news began in March of 2014. With both high end corporate announcements and buyouts of companies, it was a month hinting at greater to things to come. March also had several big name releases for all platforms, including one that was hyped to be the killer app for one of the big new consoles.
VR was the name of the game for both this months big announcements. Social network gaint Facebook bought Occulus VR for £2 Billion dollars. This could be the seen to be a sign of things to come in the near future. Is Facebook looking to get into the games market? Or are they looking to use the Occulus Rift for other applications? With a hefty 2 billion price tag they must be planning something with their new acquisition. There had been some controversy in the buyout, Occulus had been a kickstarted project, leading some who donated (Not invested) money to the project to believe they’d been misled and demanded their money back. In other VR news of the month, Sony announced their own proprietary head set for the PS4 called ‘Morpheus’. The sad part of this announcement was that no one seemed to care, perhaps the hype train behind VR has begun to stall?
In terms of big name releases for March it’s hard to know where to start. The obvious dearth of big games that plagued January and February seemed to be at an end with an embarrassment of riches. First up came South Park: The Stick of Truth a well made JRPG set in the world of the South Park cartoons. Perhaps one of the best uses of an existing IP ever made, it stayed true to it’s foundations and was incredibly funny (to me at least).
Soon after we got the second episode of season two of the Telltale Walking Dead game. Claimed by some to be the best episode that Telltale has ever produced, it was clear that any worries people were having about Telltales out put were unfounded.
What followed these two games were perhaps three of the most successful games of the year. Dark Souls 2, Hearthstone and Titanfall. Each one of these games went on to receive both critical and commercial success, a sign perhaps that people were ready to start spending again. Dark Souls 2, part of the now infamous souls series was well received but was seen by some fans to be some what lesser to the previous games to the series but still a dam fine game. I would perhaps cite series fatigue but this is a series that seems to trap fans and have them begging for more.
Next up we have Hearthstone, Blizzards collectible card game based off the Warcraft license. With now a developing community and E-sports scene it’s fair to say that Hearthstone has been a success for the company.
Finally we have what was one of the most anticipated games of 2014: Titanfall. Set up by Microsoft as a system seller, having bought exclusivity to the game on console (the game appears on PC as well). Upon release it sold well and was reviewed decently but there was a clear air of disappointment in the air. Titanfall did not revolutionize the first person shooter genre or seller millions of Xbox Ones. It was a good solid game but nothing more. Maybe with further iterations of the series we’ll see it become the COD killer it was hyped to be, but for now Call of Duty is still the king.
That was March, an exciting month to be sure and a taste of whats to come further on in the year, for both better and for worse. This was the month when are belief in the all consuming hype around a game began to waive, Titanfall was just a good game, not a revolution. Anyone who hoped for any more was left sorely disappointed.