Well folks, it’s Tuesday… and you know what that means: Most Anticipated of 2014 time! This time we’re taking a trip down to the world of crowdfunding, and showcasing titles funded through Kickstarter. There are three titles expected to release in 2014 that I’d like to show off here.
The campaign for Dreamfall Chapters makes me saddened that I missed the first two games in this series. It’s an old-style pc point and click adventure – a genre that we simply don’t see very often anymore. It takes place in a very interesting setting, a set of parallel worlds: Arcadia, a fantasy world founded in magic, and Stark, a futuristic steampunk-inspired vision of our own world.
While very strongly tied into previous games, they will be doing a digital comic retelling the story of the first games to catch those of us, like me, who did not experience them. The game is still a fair ways away – coming out later next year – so there isn’t a lot of video footage of the game to share. There is, however, one rather fascinating trailer (in addition to numerous dev diaries and the like) that gives a sense of the story and the imagery we’ll be dealing with in this one.
I’m excited for this genre to return, and I’m eager to explore such a fantastic world concept… and I’m even intrigued to read the comic to get a look at the story of some of the games I missed over the years. Red Thread Games, you’ve got a chance to breathe life into a genre long thought dead… I hope this lives up to the fantastic early showing they’ve given us.
War for the Overworld
War for the Overworld is something I have waited years for. When I was younger, one of my absolute favourite games was Dungeon Keeper. I played that for a long long time, and being the bad guy in a game like that was such fun that it just kept me coming back. Until you’ve slapped your minions to make them work faster, you haven’t lived… and the descriptions for the levels were such wonderful parodies on classic fantasy that it was utterly brilliant. A sequel was released, and while it wasn’t quite as satisfying as the first, it was still a great game.
Years later, someone finally digs that concept out of the vault… and comes up with a spiritual successor known as War for the Overworld. Playing as an evil overlord, you must expand your domain and destroy all the clean, pristine, benevolent do-gooders who try to remove your evil from the land. A land that is in desperate need of some evil. They’ve even got the fantastic narrator from the first Dungeon Keeper returning for War for the Overworld.
These games are real time strategy games in which the minions are mostly AI-controlled, but you have certain limited control over them through spells and other methods. Even the specific minions you get access to are determined by the game based off the structures you choose to build. It creates a very unique take on the rts genre, and one that has been sorely underserved… and to see a return of the Dungeon Keeper I remember so fondly.
The game is currently in what they are calling the ‘Bedrock Beta’ phase, a Steam-only beta that is hopefully a good sign that the it will be coming out soon. It was originally slated to be released this year, but for the sake of polish the release has been pushed to allow for further beta testing. No release date is available, but I am eagerly hoping it will be soon.
Last, but certainly not least, Soul Saga is a new JRPG that will be trying to hearken back to the classic JRPGs like Chrono Trigger, the early Final Fantasy games, Breath of Fire, etc… essentially my childhood favourites. Now obviously nostalgia plays a large part in why a lot of those games are so fondly remembered, but they were still fantastic games.
I love a good old fashioned JRPG, and this game looks like it may scratch that itch despite not being made in Japan. Taking cues from the Japanese-style stories, the turn-based combat, and the unique art styles that have defined the genre for years, this game was one of the first games I supported on Kickstarter, and I am so glad it will be coming next year.
Probably the most iconic aspect of a JRPG is the distinct and unique music, taking inspirations from every other genre of music and folding it together into beautiful soundtracks unlike anything seen elsewhere… and judging by the main theme which is on their soundcloud page, they are certainly taking this seriously.
Best of all? Everyone’s invited. Soul Saga will be coming to virtually every platform that embraces JRPGs… the Wii-U, PC, Mac, Linux, and most importantly to me… PS4 and Vita. I can’t wait to get my chance to spend some time with Mithos and Elise on my Vita.
For those wondering, I am also extremely excited for Project Phoenix and Mighty No. 9, but there is no chance either of those will make it in 2014, so you can look forward to hearing more about them at the end of 2014 when we look at the Most Anticipated of 2015. But we’re closing in on the end of the year – only 3 more weeks after this one so check back for more Most Anticipated of 2014. Also we’ll be doing our end-year roundup very soon so keep your eyes out for that.