It's now nearly a year since the end of last year, which means that for many whose phone operating systems use the Gregorian calendar, it's a time for reflection. Or, you know, to talk about our favourite games of 2014. We hassled some SPOnG contributors and pals until they wrote some words for us. Here's Chris O'Regan, host of the GMA-nominated Sausage Factory podcast and SPOnG regular...
For me 2014 has been a very unique year for videogames. With the new generation of consoles arriving at the end of 2013 many expected the same kind of leap of technology that saw the PS3 and Xbox 360 arrive in a blaze of glory. But that blaze didn't really happen. Yes, the technology had advanced, but by how much? Not a great deal, and certainly in the realms of PC gaming the advancements have been very incremental, with only virtual reality making its presence strongly felt.
It is the PC that garnered most of my attention in 2014 and not the Xbox One, PS4 or even the Wii U. I think this may have something to do with my choice for game of 2014. It is a reimagining of a very old title; that being Elite
, a game that is 30 years old this year and was given new life in the form of Elite Dangerous
I backed Elite Dangerous
on Kickstarter back in 2012 and patiently waited for its release, which occurred on 22nd November 2014 as a 'Gamma' version. I have no idea what that means, but as far as I'm concerned Elite Dangerous
is very much complete.
Like its ancestor, Elite Dangerous
is a space exploration and combat simulation. Players take control of a variety of ships that they can use to flit around the Milky Way galaxy, taking down pirates, trading commodities and possibly doing some gun-running on the side for a resistance outfit on a oppressed planet. Elite Dangerous
is completely open and the player can do what they want, provided of course they do not anger the local law enforcement or can blast themselves out of trouble.
The primary reason why Elite Dangerous
is my game of the year is the incredible visuals and audio design that it boasts. Every thrust, pivot and turn is accompanied by a groan from the hull as the player throws their ship around while trying to dodge enemy fire.
The entire interface does an amazing job of creating a cockpit that these vessels from the far future would likely have. The sense of speed and the emptiness of space is also represented so exquisitely it really feels like you're hurtling through the deep black. I cannot stress enough how utterly absorbing and brilliant Elite Dangerous
is. Well done Frontier, well done indeed.