NoobFeed Game Of The Year 2014 [GOTY 2014]

Instead of picking a particular game as the GOTY 2014, NoobFeed Editors have decided to list down their top five games of the year.

By Admin, Posted 01 Jan 2015

In 2014, we saw the latest generation of consoles making their mark on the gaming industry, while the ever-growing strength of PC continues to impress. Here at NoobFeed, we asked our writers to shed some light on what games they think were the best of 2014. Some of them AAA, some of them lower budget, and all them from a wide array of developers and genres. Let’s take a look.

GOTY 2014,Game of The Year 2014,Hohokum,The Banner Saga,Entwined,Transistor,Kentucky Route Zero: Act 3,Dragon Age: Inquisition,Super Smash Bros. Wii U,Bayonetta 2,Shadow of Mordor,Child of Light,Super Smash Bros. Wii U,This War of Mine,Grand Theft Auto V,South Park: The Stick of Truth,Mario Kart 8,Far Cry 4,Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor,Wasteland 2,The Walking Dead: Season Two,This War of Mine

NoobFeed GOTY 2014 - Editor's Choice - [Callum Rakestraw]

5. Hohokum
Hohokum was refreshing. Aimlessly flying about its colorful, imaginative landscapes relaxed me in ways few games can. Its peaceful, playful nature came at a time when I needed something uplifting, for which I’m eternally thankful. It lost some of the magic once I figured out its formula and started tackling each area looking for what I was supposed to be doing than simply enjoying the sights, but that’s more a problem with how I’ve been conditioned to play games than a fault with Hohokum.

4. The Banner Saga
Any game that can make me pause for several minutes to think about numerous small decisions is something special in my eyes. The Banner Saga adds more weight to its myriad choices that affect the well-being of your caravan than most games built around morality do. The key lies in placing the lives of your troop in the balance based on what you say or do outside of battle, adding to the gravity of an already difficult situation by making you stress over every single small detail and how it could possibly screw you over down the line. That it’s also a fantastic turn-based strategy game is almost beside the point.

3. Entwined
I’m a sucker for a good love story. Entwined’s tale of two spirits trying to overcome the barriers that separate them across time struck a chord with me, even if the story wasn’t exactly front and center in-game. Its enchanting visuals and graceful gameplay kept me mesmerized for most of the Summer. While there were plenty of games vying for my attention, Entwined was the only one that kept me coming back to it constantly.

2. Transistor
Transistor is everything I could ask for out of a game. A fantastic story and world, excellent gameplay that manages to stay fresh throughout, and some of the best music around. Even on a second playthrough the game manages to keep you on your toes by spawning random enemies in every encounter – including those from around the end right from the start. It’s a game I wished I’d played more of, because there’s still so much I want to see.

1. Kentucky Route Zero: Act 3
Trying to describe what makes Kentucky Route Zero special is a challenge. I’ve been trying to figure out how to articulate my thoughts since finishing its third act a few months ago, and still I find myself unable to find the words.

It’s been on my mind constantly since I finished its third act a few months ago. Not a day has passed since where I haven’t sat back and wondered about it: about what it all means, what’s in store for the remaining two acts, how my seemingly innocuous decisions influenced their backstories and how things could have gone differently. Can’t recall the last time a game has inspired such constant reflection.

NoobFeed GOTY 2014 - Editor's Choice - [Adam Siddiqui]

5. Dragon Age: Inquisition
Dragon Age II was easily a disappointment for fans of the series, with repeating dungeons, lackluster customization and a lack of diversity. Everyone expected Dragon Age: Inquisition to revive the franchise, and it successfully did. BioWare listened and adapted, creating a dense world filled with activities to undertake and a story that encourages multiple playthroughs. After ninety hours I was still completing quests, finding new areas, and facing off against incredible creatures.

Dragon Age: Inquisition successfully builds a massive, gorgeous world with challenging and varied, objectives to undertake. Whether it’s heading into unknown territory in search of a rare ingredient for one of your party members or unknowingly engaging a new enemy type it was hard not to be mystified by how much of an improvement this was from the last game. Coupled with fantastic characters, both minor and major, with an incredible musical score and phenomenal voice-acting, and you have one of the most engaging RPGs to come out in a long time. Simply put, Dragon Age: Inquisition is what every RPG wants, and those interested in playing this genre of games should play.

4. Super Smash Bros. Wii U
Let’s face it: the Wii U has been the center of a lot of ridicule since its release. Now it’s finally here, the game we’ve all been waiting for Nintendo’s tiny box: Super Smash Bros. Wii U. First released on the 3DS, fans rushed into stores and logged into eShops around the globe to play this latest installment in the popular brawler. While lackluster online connections and the 3DS limitations did hinder the game’s performance, the Wii U version delivered on all fronts, giving us the hectic multiplayer brawler that has been popular in it was first released on the N64.

With a staggering roster of characters ranging from classic first-party games, like Mario, and thirdparty juggernauts, like Mega Man, Super Smash Bros. has a character for everyone. The simple controls ensure that anyone can play, but only few can truly master the game, encouraging players to test everyone. Running at a smooth 60fps players can create intense calamity on screen using the characters’ diverse moveset, especially if you decide to opt-into a 8-player brawl match, but combined with a great selection of items and dynamic stages at the game still continues to run smoothly. And that’s not even mentioning the excellent soundtrack, filled with scores from notorious Nintendo games, third-party titles and original music, large assortment of trophies to collect, and massive community of fighters looking to be the best Super Smash Bros. player around. If you own a Wii U, or planning to buy one, Super Smash Bros. is an absolute must buy and one of the best games of this year.

3. Bayonetta 2
When Bayonetta was first announced in September 2012, it shocked the gaming community. Not because it was actually in development, but because it was an exclusive for the Wii U. When the game was finally released fans were delighted to see that the action-style, intense sexual themes, and stylized combat mechanics were not only present but improved on. Dodging enemy attacks to engage ‘Witch Time’, performing deadly special moves using Bayonetta’s strange assortment of abilities and attacks, and attempting to achieve ‘Pure Platinum’ grades on every stage proved not only to be a challenge for even the most seasoned player, but a fantastic experience of joy and calamity. 

What truly made Bayonetta 2 a gem was its outstanding over-the-top action. Whether it was summoning demons using Bayonetta’s hair or facing against massive enemies each new battle was a colorful combination of gore, blade and bullets. It’s still hard to fathom such a violent and mature game is an exclusive to Nintendo’s console, but regardless, Bayonetta 2 is a stunning game action-adventure game.

2. Shadow of Mordor
Whether it’s delivering a death threat or killing the brother of a captain the actions your Talion performs in Shadow of Mordor carries great weight. Made possible by the Nemesis system Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor not only delivers a fantastic tale of revenge and brutality, for both fans and newcomers of the franchise, but encompasses the entire adventure into a ever evolving odyssey that changes based on your actions. Whether it’s killing a captain, making them flee in terror, or forcing your target to deliver a threat each one of these character specific Uruk remember what you’ve done to them and their kin. Each one of these specialized Uruk’s each have their own strengths and weakness ensuring that each battle with these powerful beast is a new challenge each time.

The story itself is a brilliant tale of redemption and vengeance, starring Talion a former Ranger of the Black Gate who was murdered by Sauron’s captain. Now possessed by an immensely powerful Wraith Talion seeks revenge for his family’s death while at the same time cooperating with his host, Calebrimbor. Weaved together with fantastic dialogue and incredible environments Shadow of Morder is an impressive title that delivers an outstanding experience. 

1. Child of Light
It’s impossible not to recommend Child of Light for Game of the Year. The beautiful visuals, amazing music score, wonderfully lush world of Lemuria immediately creates a sense of wonder and excitement. The graphics seem like they were ripped right from a children’s fantasy tale and the thought provoking story focuses on a lot of mature themes while maintaining a child-like fantasy atmosphere. Death, desire, isolation, vanity, abandonment, and loneliness are all used and conveyed throughout Aurora’s adventure, while encountering whimsical characters each with unique personas and combat abilities. 

As the story progresses so does Aurora. Her companions and herself build a profound bond with one another while attempting to save their own demons. They learn to accept their demons and find resolve in one another. Regardless of which platform you choose to play on saving the celestial bodies of the sun, moon and stars from the Dark Queen Umbra isn’t worth missing. Child of Light is a beautiful tale that touches a heart and warms a soul in a special way that video games rarely do.

Winner: Dragon Age: Inquisition
Dragon Age: Inquisition’s massive world and intimidating array of objectives to complete and task to undertake is outstanding. The vast and wonderful environments keep you guessing with deadly creatures, fascinating lore and exotic equipment to locate it’s hard not to lose yourself within each dungeon. Each new characters brings an entirely new world to enjoy, each evolving based on the decisions you're implemented and going to make. The character you choose to build, depending on their race and class, affect the world and change the story’s narrative even further.

Combat encourages experimentation. Each character class has their own array of talents that demand precision, especially in the higher difficulty, to ensure success. Dragon Age: Inquisition has an incredible narrative, satisfying combat, and an overwhelming amount of customizable options: it is everything one can hope from a near perfect game.

NoobFeed GOTY 2014 - Editor's Choice - [Jonathan Coutiño]

5. Super Smash Bros. Wii U
No flagship can sail without its main sail. Nintendo took its sweet time understanding this and that is why the last trimester of 2014 was the time we finally got the game every Wii U owner was waiting for: Super Smash Bros. for the Wii U. Let us forget for a moment that its 3DS brother was released months before, the fact is the new Super Smash Bros. is the killing app that is keeping the Wii U afloat.

With one of the most complete and biggest rosters in the history of the franchise, this new iteration of a fan-favorite improves almost every single aspect from previous iterations. Although the Wii U does not excel because of its graphic power, the game’s aesthetic value is incredible; not only does it run in glorious HD, but the character and level design are everything you would expect from a next-gen Nintendo console.

But the fun does not end when the match does, for the fighting is but a part of the whole picture. The game, as Brawl did, includes the map editor, several mini-games, events, an impossibly large collection of trophies and the section dedicated to trying out demos of the games where the characters debuted, to mention the most important features.

Probably, the only disappointment with this game is the lack of a story mode, which is not necessary, but, taking into consideration The Subspace Emissary, featured in the Super Smash Bros. Brawl, one could expect an improvement on a single player campaign; especially if you consider that, with more characters, there is a wider possibility of including different game universes and storytelling elements.

Despite this, Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, Nintendo’s weird auto homage is one of those games that will surpass sales records with no doubt; let us remember that Nintendo’s take on Skylanders/Infinity model, the Amiibos, made its debut in this game and, judging by its sales, we can expect great things for this plastic figurines and its impossible smart AI.

4. This War of Mine
When I first played This War of Mine, I knew it would be in my GOTY list without a second’s hesitation. This was the first game I actually had to stop playing because of the deep emotional impact it had on me. When my first character died, because of a rather dangerous scavenger run that went terribly wrong, I could not bear the pressure the game imposed in me after knowing my characters were not only hungry, tired and ill, they were also depressed because of the departure of the other one. The game makes you care for your characters in a level you never thought imaginable.

Imagine you are playing The Sims, but instead of weird comedy and ludicrous situations, your characters are facing the crude reality of war and death lurks around the corner every step of the way. This innovative and, I would like to say, necessary take on war games deserves every bit of praise it has had since its release. The trivialization of armed conflict we have had in video games for decades now becomes a very tangible situation with This War of Mine and, although you know you’re playing a game, you can do nothing but sympathize with people around the world who, in this very moment, face a similar scenario.

3. Grand Theft Auto V Xbox One/PS4
It may be cheating to use a game released and awarded last year, but there is nothing wrong with taking something good and improving upon it. GTA V was, almost unanimously, 2013’s game of the year and, now, a year later, its version for the next-gen consoles maintains the game’s name pretty high. Not only is the game remastered with higher definition graphics and lot more “life” within the streets of Los Santos, but the game also features a first-person perspective, which is a brand new characteristic in the franchise and, let me tell you, it actually gives you a whole new way to see, feel, and play the game. It’s one thing to control your character from the safe distance of the third-person camera, but it’s a whole different situation when the POV perspective immerses you into such a chaotic world.

Attention to detail has always been important for the developers behind the franchise, but the first-person mode took that to a new level, because, with such a camera, details are more easily noticeable and have to be taken care of. The things that made GTA V great in first place, like the tri-lineal storytelling, the humor, the plot, character design, and gameplay return in this new version, but with several tweaks that grant it its spot in the GOTY list.

2. South Park: The Stick of Truth
For may purists of the genre, South Park: The Stick of Truth is not a worthy RPG and deserves no place in the GOTY countdown; however, one must take into consideration that, by playing TSoT you are actually playing a 14 hour long South Park episode in which Trey Parker and Matt Stone had intimate involvement, and there are few things sweeter than that, especially for a die-hard South Park fan, like myself.

If you enjoyed last year’s seasonal episode trilogy of the series, loosely based in Game of Thrones, then you will definitively enjoy TSoT. The gameplay could be regarded as a very accessible first approach to RPGs, but a rather hilarious one. The game’s plot has everything you could expect from an epic South Park adventure and features most of the prominent characters in the series, including Mr. Hanky, Santa Claus, Jesus Christ himself, the Crab People, the aliens, and even the underpants gnomes, to name a few. It you didn’t have a controller in your hand and few HUD elements onscreen, you would actually think you are watching a South Park episode and that is one of its greatest achievements.

1. Mario Kart 8
Mario Kart is one of those games which, you can be sure, will sell and sell. There is not a single game within this franchise that is not a fan-favorite and, maybe, are still being played in reunions and sleepovers over the world. This time, Nintendo really outdid itself.

The new Mario Kart is an achievement of excellence in level design, gameplay, and replay value. Their controversial method of making half of the tracks in the game out of old tracks featured in previous iterations, but with a total makeover is nothing but a tribute to fans of the franchise. Graphics and music are also part of this aesthetic vision and both are absolutely delightful. Although the already had a well-rounded and excellent full game by itself, Nintendo kept making tracks and designing characters, which came in the form of DLC, further expanding the game’s replay value by half.

If you are reading this, it is quite possible you have played, at least, one Mario Kart game in your life, is one of the most memorable and famous Nintendo franchises and, if so, I can’t say much more that will sell the game for what it is. The game speaks for itself and, like many titles from previous franchise to come, this is a bigger version of an old classic; especially if you take into consideration the announced compatibility with the Nintendo Amiibos. Mario Kart 8 is the racing game to beat all other racing games.

NoobFeed GOTY 2014 - Editor's Choice - [Gabriel Polychronis]

5. Far Cry 4
Far Cry 4 is basically a more refined version of Far Cry 3, which can be seen as a negative or a positive. I for one, see this as a good thing. FC3 is a superb game, but it could have done with a bit more tweaking and attention to detail. This is where FC4 steps in.

FC4 is best described as a more energetic and rejuvenated version of FC3. I can see how many people may think it is not worth the money since it is so similar to its predecessor, but I enjoyed FC3 so much that I reached the stage where I was more than happy to receive an even better version of the game. Far Cry 4: essentially Far Cry 3 on steroids. 

4. Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor
A game that really executes the third-person action roleplaying genre to near perfection is Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor. I picked up this game on PS4 and right from the first scene of the game, I knew this was going to be brutal, but also thought provoking in its plot. Diehard Tolkien fans may notice the story contains a few inconsistencies, but this does not affect the quality of the game as a whole.

The vast open world that is available to you is visually impressive and really makes the most of the PS4’s hardware. It’s also full of Lord of the Rings lore to uncover and learn about, which never makes you want to leave any leaf unturned.

The best thing about this game, however, is the gameplay. You can either choose the stealth option, or dive head-on into a pack of Orcs. Whatever you choose, you will have a great deal of fun. That is a promise. Everything runs so smoothly, every press of a button as well as every animation. 

The PS4 hasn’t had a very good year in terms of games, but you will not be disappointed with Shadow of Mordor.

3. Wasteland 2
The sequel to the first ever post-apocalyptic computer RPG, Wasteland 2 sets the benchmark for all modern turn-based strategy games. That being said, the game still reeks of nostalgia and has clearly been developed with a true passion for Wasteland. Many aspects of the game pay homage to its father, the game that inspired the Fallout series, and is widely considered to be the first ever game to impose consequences for the player’s in-game decisions.

Rather ironically, I have written more about the first Wasteland, but that’s all you can think about when you play Wasteland 2. It’s so different, yet so similar to the first. Any Fallout fan must play this game, for without Wasteland, the Fallout series may be non-existent or something very different to what it is now.

2. The Walking Dead: Season Two
The very first instalment of Season Two was released in December 2013, but the next 4 episodes were all released in 2014. Also, the whole series was released on PS4 and Xbox ONE on October 21, 2014, thus I am placing this game in the running for GOTY 2014.

What a way to follow up the much-acclaimed Season One of The Walking Dead. Season Two in many respects hits harder than Season One. It’s heart-jerking, it’s thought provoking, and you’ll want to savour every second of gameplay. The game may not have the same effect for people who decide to play it now, as they can now play all the episodes in one go. For me, I had to painfully wait for each episode to be released over the course of about 8 months. But the good thing about this is that it added to the effectiveness of the game, but should still prove to be a GOTY contender. Just make sure you’ve played Season One first.

1. This War of Mine
I have never seen anything like This War of Mine. In most war games, you are actively partaking in fighting against your enemies. In This War of Mine however, you play a group of citizens, trying to survive the harsh reality of war.

Living in the calm and uneventful (usually) country of Australia, it is hard to imagine what it is like to be a pedestrian in a major war. This War of Mine gives a bit of an insight to that, and after playing this game, I left with a different point of view.

It is a platformer, but my word is it heavy. Your decisions affect not only yourself, but the others in your party. Do you stay in your shelter and rest, or leave in search for materials at the risk of being hurt or killed, or having your unattended shelter attacked my scavengers. It’s up to you. There is no ‘load’ button, so you really need to think hard before you act.

Thanks for reading! Happy New Year!

NoobFeed Staff
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General Information

Platform(s): Xbox 360, PS3, PC
Publisher(s): Electronic Arts
Developer(s): BioWare
Genres: Role-Playing
Themes: Action, Adventure
Release Date: 2014-10-07

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