Let's move on to Day 2 of our "Upcoming RPGs of 2014" coverage!
I tried to find and post every single RPG that I could find that has either been confirmed for 2014, is seeking a full release in 2014 (in regards to games currently on services like Steam's Early Access or in an alpha or beta state), or slated to appear later this year.
The dates listed are their earliest confirmed dates, either being for Europe or North America. Note that we will be going through these titles in alphabetical order, and all release dates are obviously subject to change.
Child of Light (PC/PS3/PS4/WiiU/360/XBO)
Release Date: TBA 2014
Developer: Ubisoft Montreal
I am sure everyone was taken aback when they first heard that Ubisoft was interested in making a JRPG of all things. As the months went on and journalists finally got their hands on the game, however, suddenly it all became clear that their hearts were in the right place and game director Patrick Plourde was truly looking to pull from the classics in creating an authentic experience. The story has an almost Chopin-esque premise: after falling asleep in the real world only to wake up inside a mysterious fantasy world inside her dreams, a young girl named Aurora is tasked with bringing light back to the world of Lemuria after it was stolen by the Black Queen.
Class of Heroes 2G (PS3)
Release Date: TBA 2014
A surprise announcement, MonkeyPaw Games and Gaijinworks announced that they will be bringing the remake for this dungeon crawler title to the PS3 later this year. The HD release on the stronger hardware brings with it trophies, additional characters, a higher degree of customization, more voice acting with the NPCs, "dual-screen gameplay", and more. For more information, you can check out my review for Class of Heroes 2 for the PSP.
Conception II (3DS/Vita)
Release Date: April 15th, 2014
Developer: Spike Chunsoft
This one was a big surprise when it was announced for localization. Not only was the teaser a shot of an ultrasound, but the content of the game itself is a little different. Monsters that emanate from the Pandora Labyrinth plague the world, and it's up to the Disciples, humans gifted with divine powers, to put an end to it. However, this divine power only stays with a person until their 18th birthday, meaning Disciples will have to combine powers, or effectively "give birth" to create Star Children, who can fight for them in battle. The player has to bond with seven key heroines throughout the game, which strengthens them (in more ways than one) and helps to create the Star Children. Don't let the "Conception II" title fool you - the game is a standalone experience.
Release Date: January 8th, 2014
Developer: Interdimensional Games
A first-person sci-fi experience where you are the main character - someone who has found themselves warped ahead to the future. The game takes place on a giant spaceship where your crew of 17 members gets wrapped up in a plot similar to a mystery novel - a murder has occurred, politics is getting in the way of everything, and outside elements are threatening the ship itself. Think of Mass Effect where you never left the Normandy. The best part? Notable composer Jeremy Soule (Skyrim, Guild Wars 2) did the soundtrack.
Cosmic Star Heroine (PC/Mac/PS4/Vita/
Release Date: December 2014
Developer: Zeboyd Games
What happens when one of the most prominent indie RPG developers with a solid track record decides to make a game that harkens back to the likes of Phantasy Star and Chrono Trigger? Wait, I’m already sold. The story revolves around a legendary spy who has been exposed by her own government after discovering a dark secret . While trying to save the world, she has to avoid her many enemies and her adoring fandom that now know her identity in this sci-fi RPG. The game will also allow players to create and build their very own spy headquarters similar to the base-building mechanics of Suikoden.
Cube World (PC/Mac)
Release Date: TBA 2014 (currently in beta)
Much like Forge Quest, this upcoming open-world, procedurally-generated Adventure RPG utilizes 3D voxels inspired by Zelda and Diablo with a semi-destructible world with minor crafting of equipment and house building, and will be a fully-featured RPG that will allow players to create their own character from a list of races and classes, take on a variety of quests, and even tame their own pets and play with others online. The game has had an alpha release in 2013, but it looks to become a proper RPG with future updates that will continue to add core features throughout the year.
Dark Souls II (PC/PS3/360)
Release Date: March 11th, 2014
Developer: From Software
Yeah, this one is pretty self-explanatory. It’s more of that Dark Souls you know and love, but this time with a story that ties in some fashion to Demon’s Souls, a more approachable Covenant system, and a world that will be the double the size of its predecessor. The difficulty will be more dynamic, making the experience smoother.
Darkest Dungeon (PC/Mac/Linux)
Release Date: Fall 2014
Developer: Red Hook Studios
A dungeon crawler (go figure) with a large focus on atmosphere and the human factor. Players will be able to recruit different adventurers along the way, each of them have their own predispositions that must be accounted for along with a different range of attributes that add to the strategy.. In a feature similar to The Thing, each part member also has their own stress level and relationship monitor in what’s being called the Affliction system. The goal the developers are hoping to achieve is one of complete cohesiveness within the party when facing the greatest of challenges.
Dead State (PC)
Release Date: March 2014
Developer: DoubleBear Productions
From a studio made up of ex-Troika and Obsidian developers, Dead State has players organizing groups of survivors, hunt for food and supplies, and build their own upgradeable shelters to protect against the dreaded Zombie Apocalypse. The developers are promising a very dynamic game that is first and foremost about the dangers of trying to survive in that type of destitute environment rather than just the zombies themselves The lead designer, Brian Mitsuda, wrote the story to Vampire The Masquerade: Bloodlines. They are working in tandem with Iron Tower Studio whom are working on the aforementioned 'Age of Decadence'.
Deep Down (PS4)
Release Date: TBA 2014 (beta in Japan in Q1)
Developer: Capcom Online Games
After almost a year from its initial reveal, Capcom’s upcoming hardcore RPG mixes elements of Assassin’s Creed with the high Western fantasy of Blade of Darkness. You start from a home in New York City that acts as a hub, and by activating artifacts, they are able to delve into memories of the far past and arriving in randomly-generated dungeons to perform different tasks. No confirmation for the West, but the voice acting in the game is in English, so we may see this by the Fall.
Demon Gaze (Vita)
Release Date: April 22nd, 2014
Developer: Kadokawa Games
Pulling from the dungeon crawlers of old like Wizardry comes a story-driven title that exemplifies everything you would expect from the genre: you form a party, you head out into a three-dimensional dungeon to jump into turn-based combat with a range of baddies. As the name states, the main character of the game is a Demon Gazer who has the ability to recruit monsters into their ranks to either be summoned in battle or take advantage of their inherent attributes or abilities to imbue inside a party member. The game made a big splash in Japan, so I am definitely looking forward to this one.
Release Date: September 9th, 2014
The creators of the Halo franchise have highly-ambitious plans for this FPS/RPG hybrid set to release this Fall. The main focus is that everything in the game’s universe is connected to one another and completely dynamic. A party may be out exploring a corner of a planet performing a mission, and suddenly come across a different group doing their own thing. Suddenly, an event can happen in the middle of all of this, and both groups have the chance to band together to overcome these challenges that can occur at any given moment. In what is reminiscent of Borderlands, players will have a different assortment of weapons and abilities at their disposal to dispatch their adversary.
Destiny of Spirits (Vita)
Release Date: TBA 2014
Developer: Q Entertainment
First revealed at E3 last year, this monster-collecting RPG looks to utilize the benefits of social interaction By controlling a group of Chaos Spirits, players will participate in 3-on-3, turn-based, asynchronous combat with one another this is triggered based on one’s physical location. These spirits are obtained by earning and finding Summoning Stones and Destiny Orbs to help grow your collection. There are daily bonuses to keep players checking in, and contains a large assortment of allies to collect - each with their own unique portrait.
Diablo III: Reaper of Souls (PC/Mac/PS4)
Release Date: March 25th, 2014
Developer: Blizzard Entertainment
The first expansion for the legendary Action RPG series makes a number of improvements and content to convince players to return to the world of Sanctuary. New features include: a brand new Act where players will fight against the Angel of Death, Malthael; the return of the Crusader from Diablo II, who uses Shield skills and Holy magic to beat their opponents; an overhauled endgame to give high-level players plenty of things to do like a randomly-generated dungeon; and seeing the Level cap to 70, bringing along with it new skills and runes. Gone is the controversial real-money Item Auction house that was already absent in the console version. All in all, the expansion seemingly works to correct most, if not all of the glaring issues the original title had, and that is some really good news for those turned off by the original.
Divinity: Original Sin (PC/Mac/Linux)
Release Date: Spring 2014 (currently on Steam Early Access)
Developer: Larian Studios
A prequel to Divine Divinity (the first entry in the series), Original Sin tells the story of a world where hordes of orcs will soon overrun and decimate the last of the free human society. Their only hope is a warrior condemned to death who has been freed and a mystic heroine who has somehow been revived long after death. Both must find a means to work together while bearing some deep dark secrets they don’t dare to reveal. Unlike previous games in the Divinity series, combat takes place in a turn-based format with a focus on cooperative play. If players go the AI route, your partner has their own personality that influences their decisions both in and out of battle. With environmental hazards, an extremely versatile level editor, and a real return to roots for the developer, it’s a title to watch for.
Dragon Fin Soup (PC)
Release Date: TBA 2014
Developer: Grimm Bros
A story-based action adventure title set inside a messed up fairy tale world that takes inspiration from the Grimm stories of old. Each playable character is based off of a popular fairy tale figure that all have their own obvious flaw, like the alcoholic Red Robin who looks similar to the Little Red Riding Hood. Battles will be grid-based, with plenty of side content to do outside of the main story including cooking, mining, crafting, and raising pets.
Dragon Age: Inquisition (PC/PS3/PS4/360/XBO)
Release Date: Fall 2014
Once again taking place in the world of Thedas, a massive civil war has broken out between the Circle of Magi and the Templar Order. Along with a world that will be exponentially larger than its predecessors, equipment customization also plays a big role in the new title. Bioware has also promised that players will be able to import their saved games from the previous titles, and the decisions they made in those games will heavily impact the story and world around them. While the first game focused more on building a strategy through the heavy use of the Pause button and the second wanted to bring frenetic action combat to the forefront, Inquisition wants to hit that sweet spot in the middle and utilize the best of both worlds. By also having a new protagonist, this will allow skeptical gamers a chance to perhaps skip the other games altogether and hop right into the fray.
Drakengard 3 (PS3)
Release Date: TBA 2014
Developer: Access Games
In what can only be described as a prime candidate for one of the craziest announcements to be made this past generation that flies in the face of convention, the newest entry in this rather disturbing series serves as a prequel to the series the began over ten years ago. Instead of a story about a boy signing some contract with a dragon, this one is in many ways both hyperviolent and hypersexual. The main heroine, Zero, has been betrayed by her sisters who belong to a collective known as the “Intoners”, powerful beings who can manipulate the world at will through the use of song. Returning are all of the key development staff from the original Drakengard including Director Yoko Taro, Producer Takamasa Shiba, Character Designer Kimihiko Fujisaka, and composer Keiichi Okabe.
Release Date: TBA 2014
A free-to-play MMO created by a group of developers in Poland, this game takes place in a post-apocalyptic world where right from the very beginning, players are dropped into some random point in the world without anything on their person. The goal is to survive. You must create your own equipment and scrounge for materials, hunting for food, and building your own shelter - eventually working with others to build your own villages, towns, and even cities.
Eschalon: Book III
Release Date: February 14th, 2014
Developer: Basilisk Games
The next entry in one of the more impressive indie RPGs to come out in the past few years, Book III serves as the end to the trilogy the series. Featuring a very solid amount of depth, this isometric RPG features a large number of enhancements over its predecessor including higher quality visuals and audio; expanded statistical attributes for characters and monsters to make battles far more complex in nature; and even a soon-to-be-released editing tool for players to create their own maps and adventures.
We will continue with Day 3 of our coverage tomorrow!