The lights are on
While the next generation of consoles (and the accompanying games) is eating up a lion's share of online ink, it's important to remember that this generation has a lot of life left in it. We asked our editors and interns chime in on their most anticipated current-gen games coming this fall.
Mike FutterAugust 20 is the huge gaming day for me, and I won't even be in the country to take advantage of it. The Bureau: XCOM Declassified and Saints Row IV both arrive that day, and I'm going to have a hard time deciding which to play first. Do I combat an alien menace or… combat an alien menace?
Jeff CorkGrand Theft Auto V isn't the riskiest selection, but it's certainly a game that I've been looking forward to since our November cover story. I've always loved open-world games, and I'm excited to explore a Rockstar-built city with three different characters. I'm also looking forward to Saints Row IV; I'm planning to use it as a nice palate cleanser if GTA V's story starts taking itself too seriously.
Liz LanierBeyond: Two Souls is my most anticipated title coming up. I absolutely loved Heavy Rain and Indigo Prophecy/Fahrenheit, and I can't wait to see what Quantic Dream has planned for Beyond. With talent like Ellen Page and Willem Dafoe, it's sure to bring up the "Can games be art?" debate that gets people fired up every once in a while-- after all, it is only the second game to ever be screened at the Tribeca Film Festival. Plus, the incredible facial expression animations will be sure to show off what the PlayStation 3 is still capable of even with next-gen consoles around the corner.
Matthew KatoI like Watch Dogs' fundamental theme of privacy vs. security, and on a gameplay level I'm interested in how hacking is tied to picking up side-missions from the NPCs around you as well as the multiplayer. I'll be playing this on a next-gen console, but I think the current-gen experience is going to be just as strong. The game's overall design seems strong enough that Watch Dogs will be enjoyable no matter which system you play it on. I'm also very excited for Grand Theft Auto V!
Ben HansonEver since we did the cover story, South Park: The Stick of Truth has been at the top of my most-anticipated list. Frequent delays and the collapse of the original publisher haven't hurt my excitement for the game. When we were visiting the studio, I saw the South Park movie sitting on top of Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door for research on a developer's desk; this game was made for me. The Stick of Truth already looks nearly identical to the show, so I can't imagine it will be hindered by releasing on the current generation. Don't pack up your old console just yet, the South Park RPG is coming!
Joe JubaSaints Row IV is almost here, and I plan on devoting a lot of my time to it as I wait for the new hardware to hit. I couldn't get enough of the irreverence and fun of Saints Row: The Third, and from what I played at E3, it looks like this entry is doubling down in almost all respects. I love when a game can skillfully allow design to take a backseat to entertainment; even if Saints Row isn't the most balanced or challenging series, it absolutely nails those "I can't believe this is happening" moments unlike anything else.
Kyle HilliardI often ask myself, "If I could have any announced, unreleased game miraculously appear in my hands right this moment, what would it be?" It's not often the game I am most excited about, but rather the game I am most in the mood to play. Right now, that's Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2. The first one snuck up on me. I played through the terrible opening levels, and put it down for a month. I picked it back up determined to finish it, could not put it down, and was sad when I beat it. I want to know what happens next in the story after the surprise ending (and after playing the 3DS game), but to a greater degree, I am just in the mood for a great third-person action game with monsters.
Matt HelgesonSince I imagine GTA V (which I'm extremely excited for) is well represented, I'm going to make an off the radar pick: Media Molecule's Tearaway. This unique Vita game imagines a world made entirely of construction paper, allowing the developer to utilize its usual ingenuity in game design to make a platformer quite unlike anything we've seen before.
Matt BertzLike everyone else on the planet, I can't wait to dive into Grand Theft Auto V, but that's not the only game on my radar. What I've seen of Overkill Software's Payday 2 has me excited to test my heisting skills, and the epic scale and streamlined management of Total War: Rome II has convinced me to rejoin the fray after skipping Shogun 2. In between my warmongering and grand larceny, you'll probably find me on the ice in NHL 14.
Ben ReevesIt's an odd year, because I feel like most of my anticipated games have already come and gone: Tomb Raider, BioShock Infinite, The Last of Us, Pikmin. While this year may have been heavily front loaded, there are still a few games I'm looking forward to this year. Like a lot of people I'm still looking forward to Grand Theft Auto, but I want to be original, so my most anticipated game for this holiday is The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds. I've always been a huge fan of Zelda and Nintendo's follow up to the SNES's phenomenal A Link to the Past looks like it will be another perfect blend of adventuring and dungeon crawling puzzle solving. I can't wait.