Stevivor’s GOTY 2014: Andy’s Top 3

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2014 is in the bag and Stevivor’s Game of the Year awards have been dished out, but a few of us wanted to talk in a little more detail about our personal choices. I’m Andy Gray, Staff Writer and Co Game On or Game Over writer; here are my top 3 games from the year.

3. Sniper Elite 3

I know what you’re thinking – “How the hell did this game end up on this list?” While I’ll admit, there were a couple other games I considered for this spot I kept coming back to Sniper Elite 3. I realize it may not be on a lot of people’s GOTY lists, but for me I played this game with a couple friends, mostly in co-op campaign and loved every minute of it.

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Admittedly I am a sucker for co-op campaign games. I’ve said it before and I’ll keep saying it. Games that allow me to play an actual full campaign with a friend (or a couple of friends) will always have a special place in my gaming library. With SE3 it had the feel of the first two games, but more finely tuned with more options to complete missions and not such a linear corridor shooter.

A fun campaign set in an area of the world that we don’t see many games set in. The real measure of this game though, is if another friend asked me to play the campaign with them again, I would do so without a second thought, because I enjoyed it that much. When all is said and done we play games because they are fun, and this one certainly qualifies for me.

2. Forza Horizon 2

When asked to explain what Forza Horizon 2 is I always say it’s like a marriage between the classic Forza experience and a Need for Speed title. While I appreciate Forza for its stunning visuals and attention to detail it’s always felt like an overly sterile racing game. Forza Horizon 2 peels back the realism just enough to make the game easily accessible for a multitude of racing fans.

If you want to follow a more traditional racing line, break and accelerate into and out of turns, all the while drafting for optimal speed—you can do that. If you want to go balls to the wall and live by the motto “braking is for the weak”—you can do that too. It’s up to you how you play, but regardless of the ‘how’ the ‘why’ will still be the same. FH2 has over 200 cars, spanning pickup trucks to high end super cars. No matter my mood, there was always a car that suited what I wanted to do.

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Most racing games are one-trick ponies. They are fun, but usually only offer up a handful of choices and try to do those very well. FH2 excels in variety, both in terms of vehicles, but also events. Racing down a seaside course in one event may quickly be followed by racing a squadron of fighter jets. The ability to tune a car to exactly the way you want it, all the while racing with/against friends made FH2 an easy choice to add to my Top 3 List.

1. Dragon Age: Inquisition

Dragon Age Origins was one of a handful of games that captured me from the moment I put it in my Xbox.  Sure, it wasn’t perfect, but I’ll be damned if I didn’t pour countless hours into it. Exploring every dungeon, every origin story, and every nuance it had to offer. When Dragon Age 2 came out I was expecting that same feeling, but bigger. I was crestfallen when Dragon Age 2 seemed so far removed from everything I loved about the original.

Fast forward to Dragon Age Inquisition. RPGs, at least the style I prefer, are few and far between on Xbox One right now and I was begging for a game that I could sink hours into while exploring a vast world. I enjoyed DA:I from the start, it was – to me – what the Xbox One was missing in terms of a classic RPG. A huge world to explore, different NPCs to meet, and a massive story that ever so slowly made me not only want to keep playing, but made me care about the characters.

As much as I was enjoying the game, there was one scene fairly early in the game that made DA:I stand out above all the other games I played this year. A simple song, sung with a depth of feeling that is rare in games now-a-days. After this song, I was completely in love with this game.

https://youtu.be/AgYxMVRtJr4

I’ve spent over 100 hours in the world of Ferelden and still feel like I have things to do and places to see. In an era where games are over in 10 hours and put back on the shelf never to be heard from again… unless there is DLC. Dragon Age Inquisition is a game I can easily see myself playing for quite a while yet and still find things I haven’t seen or experienced yet. I honestly can’t say enough good things about this game.

Honorable Mentions:

  • Pinball FX2 – Finally making the jump to Xbox One and a whole slew of table options.
  • Titanfall – A solid enjoyable shooter with giant freaking Mechs. What’s not to like?
  • Watch Dogs – A fun enjoyable modern take on a classic formula.

Stevivor’s Game of the Year 2014

Stevivor’s overall Top 5 Games of the Year

Stevivor’s GOTY 2014 staff picks