Gaming

Your Guide To Surviving The Delay-Ravaged 2014 Fall Gaming Season

Ah 2014 — you once seemed so promising. This was to be the year the Xbox One/PS4 generation kicked off in earnest, but then, one after another, games promised for 2014 began to slip to 2015, until this started to feel like the year gaming forgot. Without games like Evolve, The Witcher 3 and Batman: Arkham Knight this upcoming holiday season looks pretty bleak.

But are things really that bad? 2014 may have lost some of its biggest games, but some major games have already come out this year, and a few more will arrive over the next couple months. As long as you’re willing to keep a slightly open mind, almost every big name delay can be replaced by a game that already had, or will, come out in 2014. Let’s make this holiday gaming season a merry one…

The Witcher 3

The massive, gorgeous RPG The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt was one of the first major 2014 games to be delayed, and it’s still one of the hardest pills to swallow.

Replace It With…

Dragon Age: Inquisition (November 18th)

The Witcher may not be coming this year, but Dragon Age: Inquisition, BioWare’s next open-world fantasy RPG, thankfully is. This one promises to be the biggest, deepest and most lively Dragon Age game to date.

Lords of the Fallen (October 28th)

Lords of the Fallen has, well, fallen under the radar a bit, but it looks like it’s worthy of greater attention. Essentially a arcade-style Dark Souls with more of an emphasis on Zelda-esque exploration and simple puzzle solving, Lords of the Fallen could be the game to fill that dark, violent fantasy void left by The Witcher 3.

Dying Light

Dying Light, a mad mashup of Dead Rising and Mirror’s Edge, looked like one of the more promising horror-themed games of the year until its delay.

Replace It With…

Sunset Overdrive (October 28th)

Much like Dying Light, Sunset Overdrive is all about leaping from rooftop to rooftop blasting hoards of hideous monsters, but, as a bonus, Sunset Overdrive is also absolutely bursting with color and style. This is one example where the replacement is probably going to be better than the game it’s replacing.

Evolve

Evolve, the new co-op alien hunting game from the makers of Left 4 Dead was receiving some very positive media coverage and slowly climbing many gamer’s must-have lists, until an unfortunate last-minute delay.

Replace It With…

Sniper Elite III (July 1st)

Sniper Elite III may seem to come from a completely different planet than Evolve, but the two games share a lot of gameplay similarities. The Sniper Elite games are very much about strategically hunting your opponents, and the game also features a variety of co-op modes and even the asymmetric “Overwatch” mode that should appeal to folks who were looking forward to the four-on-one gameplay of Evolve.

Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel! (October 14th)

Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel is, like Evolve, a sci-fi co-op class-based shooter and hey, it’s more Borderlands, so you know you want it.

The Order: 1886

Sony’s dark, horror-tinged shooter, The Order: 1886 was supposed to be the big PS4 holiday exclusive and its delay has left a lot of gamers wondering why they bothered to climb aboard the PS4 train early.

Replace It With…

Assassin’s Creed Unity (November 11th)

Hey, whattaya know, another game about a secretive society doing bloody, dirty things in old-timey Europe! Assassin’s Creed Unity (probably) won’t have werewolves in it, but otherwise should be a pretty solid The Order replacement.

Wolfenstein: The New Order (May 20th)

Underneath the polished facade, The Order: 1886 looks like a fairly straightforward historical shooter, and this year’s best under-the-radar straightforward historical shooter is Wolfenstein: The New Order. If you absolutely must blast weird shit with crazy weapons this year, this is the game to do it in.

Tom Clancy’s The Division

The Division is a massively multiplayer online shooter set in a giant, absolutely eye-popping post-apocalyptic New York. The Division is one of the most ambitious games currently in development, and one of the most unfortunate delays to beset 2014.

Replace It With…

Destiny (September 9th)

Well, picking a replacement is pretty easy in this case — I’m of course going with the other big MMO shooter that actually managed to make its 2014 release date, Destiny. See if you’re actually into the MMO shooter concept before The Division hits next year.

Xenoblade Chronicles X

If you’re a loyal Nintendo fan, the beautiful, futuristic RPG Xenoblade Chronicles X was one of the big landmarks on the 2014 Wii U release calendar.

Replace It With…

Tales of Xillia 2 (August 19th)

Arguably the biggest, deepest JRPG of the year, Tales of Xillia 2 has a very action-packed battle system and a ton of anime style much like Xenoblade Chronicles.

Bravely Default (February 7th)

Bravely Default may not be entirely in the same vein as Xenoblade Chronicles, but if you consider yourself a JRPG fan, this is a game you’re going to want to play.

Batman: Arkham Knight

And here it is, inarguably the roughest delay of 2014. For a good portion of gamers Rocksteady’s next Batman game was the reason to buy an Xbox One/PS4, and a lot of gamers have vowed to put off upgrading until Batman: Arkham Knight hits.

Replace It With…

InFamous: Second Son (March 21st)

InFamous: Second Son may not feature any licensed DC or Marvel characters, but make no mistake, it’s a superhero game right down to the core. It also happens to be one of the best current-gen exclusive games to date.

Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor (September 30th)

Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor may look like it’s taking most of its cues from Assassin’s Creed, but with its shadowy protagonist, special ghost powers and fluid combat system, it might actually have more in common with the Arkham games. And who doesn’t want to run around Middle-Earth as Batman?

So, there you have it, a few substitutions that might get you through the next few months. How do you folks plan to survive the fall gaming season? Sorry, “weeping quietly” will not be accepted as an answer.

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