2014 has been something of a strange year. Acting as the first full year of Playstation 4 and Xbox One’s lives it’s felt a little like a transitional year. New concepts and IP’s take their first steps alongside known quantities to live up to the full promise of “next gen” – and not all of them meet the vast expectations. Many more developers tinker behind the scenes preparing their next gen debut’s busily but behind closed doors – many of the most anticipated games are yet to come. The result is a somewhat quiet year without a clear GOTY, but plenty of great games regardless. Without much more ado, here is the next of my top 10 games of 2014.
Who’d of guessed a mutant apocalypse could be so colourful. So unhinged crazy. And so goddamn funny. But Insomniac Games proved the end times could be just that with their Xbox One exclusive Sunset Overdrive. Honestly there’s not much I don’t love about Sunset City and it’s inhabitants – crazed energy drink monsters or still human nutters. Insomniac Games takes the heart of Ratchet and Clank: the kooky weapons, sense of humor, seriously vibrant colours and applies it all to far a more adult – and real – world than ever before. As a result the world is effortless fun to get around, filled with charming writing and more importantly obsessed with explosions and madness.
Hairspray launchers, teddy bear rockets, the Chinese new year gun, a suspiciously phallic shotgun – Sunset Overdrives weaponry mirrors its punk rock anarchistic approach to the apocalypse superbly. Each weapon is just as fun as it sounds, and does pretty much exactly as it says on the tin. Setting mutants alight, lodging fireworks in their face or simply shooting them with lasers feels great. And when you land that explosive laden teddy in a big crowd of them… just wow. Neon orange energy drink blood flies out everywhere and big comic styled letters fire out “boom” directly above where the baddies were. Satisfying.
The stylized madness is wrapped up in a similar punk rock story. You’re a slacker, life’s going nowhere; the mutant apocalypse changes all that. Your out to have fun, decimating newly turned monsters and saving the innocent – you’re hero! Kinda. Customize your hero in just about every way you can imagine and set about saving the city. Get around using a system of grinds, jumps, wall-running and more – Sunset never wants you to walk – walking for lame-o’s. Travelling from one side of the city to the other is a piece of cake, and utterly thrilling. There’s a fast travel system, but I never even used it.
Add into that Sunset Overdrive is uncompromisingly funny and you’re onto an absolute winner. Or in this case second place. Still Sunset Overdrive is easily one of last years most inventive and charming games – I can’t wait to see what Insomniac do next.