game of the year

Leviathyn’s 2014 Game Of The Year Awards

As 2014 draws to a close, the staff here at Leviathyn have come together to generate their favorite games of the year. A year full of new IP’s, and stellar sequels, the competition for the coveted Game of The Year spot was tighter than ever. Join us as we walk you through the ten best video games of 2014.

Note: This list was comprised of votes from 15 different writers at Leviathyn, who each submitted ten games for consideration. Each game was given points depending on the number of votes it received and the ranking it was given. The points were then tallied and the ten top scoring games made this year’s GOTY list.

10. Child of Light

“Child of Light is both old-school and modern in its design.  This 2-D side-scroller features a JRPG-inspired combat system similar to the Grandia series.  Battles quickly become tense affairs with a focus on timing and strategy.  The upgrade system is simple but satisfying– just don’t expect anything like Diablo 3 or Disgaea.  The game in motion is wondrous to behold.  Princess Aurora’s world is a stunning combination of watercolor painting and pop-up book, and the story turns surprisingly dark and emotional for such an innocent-looking aesthetic.  Come for the fun turn-based combat, stay for the beautiful visuals.” – Christian Belland

child-of-light-06

 

9. The Wolf Among Us

“Telltale is a developer that’s gone from strength to strength in recent years and The Wolf Among Us was their slickest release to date. Though its narrative momentum did suffer from some delays and weaker episodes – the series kept people talking throughout the year. The world of Fabletown was brought to life in incredibly stylish and well-executed fashion and while it didn’t always hit the mark it was positively overflowing with ambitious ideas.”- Fergus Haliday

The Wolf Among Us Bigby in Green

8. Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft

“Since its beta, I’ve sunk countless hours – not to mention countless dollars – into Blizzard’s Hearthstone. It’s been incredible to watch the ambitious digital card game evolve and expand from it’s humble beginnings into one of the most competitive and interesting online games out there – and I can’t wait to see things continue in 2015.” – Fergus Haliday

hearthstone 2

7. Alien: Isolation

“Alien Isolation is scary. Period. This game differs from our previous Alien titles in that it borrows the ambiance and tenseness of the original Alien film. Taking place between Alien and Aliens, players assume the role of Amanda Ripley, Ellen’s daughter. Arriving on the space station Sevastopol, the game follows Amanda as she searches for her mother’s whereabouts, while making more than a few close calls with the Alien along the way. The Alien’s persistent AI means that once engaged, the Alien will continue to look for you. Running and fighting will attract it, and staying in the same place may actually raise the chance of being caught. This stress largely remains positive, and anybody looking to fill that survival-horror itch should do themselves a favor by snagging this title. Alien Isolation is available on PC, Xbox consoles, and PlayStation consoles as well.” – Devin Pitts-Rogers

alien-isolation

6. Dark Souls 2

“Dark souls 2 is the sequel to Dark Souls and the 3rd installment in the Souls series. Famous for its high difficulty, this game follows the story of the chosen undead as he ventures through drangleic fighting hollows, dragons and giants while never really knowing why as the undead curse revives you upon death at the cost of your humanity and some health.” – Ross Wilson

Dark-Souls-No-Easy-Mode

5. Destiny

“When Destiny was initially announced, it was apparent that Bungie wanted to create a game that hadn’t been made before. It’s an online RPG that, according to Bungie, isn’t an MMORPG. Yet players arrive in the game with meager gear and a starting level and can be increased with experience. Destiny cast the player as a male or female of the Human, Exo, or Awoken races. Players have three class options for their newly created avatar; the hardy Titan, the lethal Hunter, or the spell-casting Warlock. By participating in the main campaign, the player versus player crucible, and community events at large, anyone can unlock a larger sum of better weapons and armor. It is true that Destiny had some rather large shoes to fill based off of the reception of the Halo series. Destiny may come up a few shoe sizes too small, but we were too busy grinding for exotic loot to notice. Pick up Destiny on PlayStation or Xbox consoles. In order to play online (which is really the best part of the experience) be sure to have a PlayStation + account for the PlayStation 4 or an active Xbox Live Gold account for either Xbox console.” – Devin Pitts-Rogers

“Bungie’s first new IP since the Halo series, Destiny is an ambitious and flawed shooter.  The storytelling is uninspired, but the “mythic science-fiction” direction is at least a unique take on the space opera genre.  Destiny’s level design lacks creativity as well, but the gameplay shines through the derivative mold.  The shooting is a marriage of floaty Halo and twitch Call Of Duty, and it plays like a dream.  Beyond the hype and the stunt casting of Peter Dinklage, this is an MMO.  There is a grind, and the game is ultimately a slave to its genre on the same level that Halo wasn’t.  Anyone looking for a fun, smooth, and visceral RPG-lite shooter that only gets better with friends will be able to sink plenty of hours into Destiny.” – Christian Belland

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4. South Park: The Stick of Truth

“South Park Stick of Truth is the game South Park fans have been waiting for.  Period.  This game survived THQ’s collapse, and we should all be thankful.  Series creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker appreciate video games, and their love for the medium shows.  Most importantly, this game looks EXACTLY like an episode of South Park.  Obsidian captured the look and feel of the source material perfectly.  The writing and tone are razor-sharp, but the derivative RPG gameplay fails to live up to the same fidelity.  The classes play pretty much exactly the same, and the combat is nothing ground breaking.  Anyone who considers themselves a fan of South Park should play this.” – Christian Belland

Screw you guys, I'm going home.

3. Super Smash Bros. For Wii U

“Who would win?” A question that gets tossed around so much, and rarely do we get the chance to settle it for ourselves. However, if you have a copy of Super Smash Bros. for the Nintendo 3DS then you have the means to answer that fateful question. Legend of Zelda’s Link vs. Fire Emblem’s Roy, Sonic the Hedgehog vs. Mario, Pit vs. Shulk–all these matches and more are yours to experience on a variety of stages and with a number of useful (and not so useful,) items to help you punish your opponents, as you and up to three other friends battle it out with some of your favorite video game characters. – Tyson Jones

Mario Link Samus Kirby Smash Bros

2. Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor

“For many gamers and critics, Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor was one of 2014’s biggest surprises. Developer by Monolith Studios, Shadow of Mordor offered players the chance to stab, climb and sneak their way through a stunningly-realised take on Tolkien’s world set between The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. Though it definitely borrowed more than a few cues from series like Assassin’s Creed and Arkham Asylum, Mordor’s Nemesis System more than made up for it by setting a new bar for open world games and changing the way that we experience the stories within them.” –Fergus Haliday

“Gondor is under attack. Talion, a ranger of Gondor is stationed at the outpost with his family when Souron’s forces attack. He is forced to witness his family’s deaths before he himself is killed. Before he can be reunited with his family in the afterlife he is confronted by a wraith seeking vengeance on Souron’s forces. Talion is fused with the wraith and is returned to Middle Earth to exact revenge on Sauron’s dark forces. While on the quest for revenge, however, more is learnt of the wraith’s own mission for vengeance. Souron’s forces grow stronger as Souron himself does and the future of Middle Earth looks bleak as they advance into Mordor. Talion and the wraith must uncover the source of Souron’s strength and push back their advances while uncovering the source of his strength, the Rings of Power. He will gain notoriety as he advances on his mission, making his movements through the forces of darkness harder and making enemies seeking his head along the way. Action-packed and awash with the lore of J.R.R Tolkien’s Middle Earth, Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor captures the spirit of the Hobbit and The Lord of The Rings while delivering seamless, near-cinematic combat and character development, with the allure of vengeance completing the package.” – Theodore Senene

Middle Earth Shadow of Mordor Weapons and Runes Trailer

 1. Dragon Age: Inquisition

“Despite  a recent release, Dragon Age Inquisition has proven to be a contender for game of the year. Inquisition takes place only one year after Dragon Age II, meaning veterans to the franchise should recognize enough of the in-game world of Thedas. Other characters from previous entries also return to the franchise. Combining these character interactions with a deep combat system, and a quest system that can be exceed 80 hours, and it’s suddenly little wonder why this fantasy RPG took home the GOTY during this year’s The Game Awards.” – Devin Pitts-Rogers

“Dragon Age: Inquisiton is another masterful work out of Canadian-based developer, Bioware. Throughout your 70+ hour journey in Thedas, you will form relationships with a colorful cast of characters, whom I found myself thoroughly missing after the credits had rolled. Inquisition takes place in a huge open world, albeit sectioned off, which is a major improvement from the previous two titles in the series. With so much to do and see, you will find yourself lost in its world and lore, and the amount of decisions that Bioware allows you to make here only makes it that more immersive. Dragon Age: Inquisiton is not only the best game to release this year – but is one of the best RPG titles to be released in recent years.” – Tiffany MacDonald

Dragon Age Inquisition Cover



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