COG’s Best Games of 2014 So Far – Cartman Riding a Titan with Neon Shooting From His Ass…

2014 started off with a bang as everyone got to know their new Xbox Ones and PS4s and there’s been no shortage of games to complement these consoles. The back half of the year is looking ridiculous but we can’t forget about the games that have made us stay up late and forget to eat in the first half! The COG staff has gotten together to compile their personal list of the best games of 2014 so far. Keep an eye out over the next few days for our worst of the first half too. We know you’re all opinionated buggers so why don’t you tell us what we missed? What was your fave game so far? The comments section is calling to you… go on and yell at us, WE CAN TAKE IT!

Infamous: Second Son

Few games manage to get everything right and for me the newest in the Infamous franchise managed to do just that. I found it to have an engaging storyline, stellar acting and cast, stunning visuals (I mean that neon though…) and challenging gameplay. Not only that the team at Suckerpunch even went the extra mile to give us the completely unique Paper Trail DLC which offered up a totally different experience from the main game. The beauty in it for me was that when I played it I remembered why I played games in the first place; to simply have fun and not nitpick it apart for a review. With the First Light DLC on the way where players get to take control of Fetch I can’t wait to dive back in to its world and find out more about one of the game’s best characters. – Shawn Petraschuk

Titanfall

My favourite game for the first half of 2014 is Titanfall.  Although overall reviews were mixed, I have had so much fun with it since its launch in March.  I have gamed many late nights with online friends, calling for my Titans and taking hardpoints throughout the various levels.  Respawn just launched its 4th update too, adding more game modes and more options, and there is new DLC in the form of maps already out with more to come.  This is one game that I will continue to come back to in the next few months, especially with my Xbox LIVE friends who I continue to game with. – Kirby Yablonski

Child of Light

A JRPG at its core, but with an absolutely gorgeous watercolor visual style that is quite memorable, even after the credits roll. Two player co-op is done in a new way where the second person can be incredibly helpful, but doesn’t need to be exceedingly skilled to do so. Combat is fun, exciting and will test your strategic thinking abilities for the best possible outcome. Basic at its core but a deep character progression and group builder really made my time with Child of Light a memorable and enjoyable handful of hours. One of the most unique art styles I’ve seen in a game and all its dialogue is written in rhyme, I can’t boast enough about how much I loved Child of Light from beginning to end. Not many games leave a lasting impression that stays with me long after it’s finished; this is one of them. - Adam Dileva

South Park: The Stick of Truth

I am not an RPG guy. In fact, most RPG’s bore me to tears. I’d rather pluck my armpit hair out than trudge through some of those mind-numbing turn based combat games. This all changed a few months ago when I sat down with The Stick of Truth. Matt Stone and Trey Parker’s vision for that definitive South Park game has finally been realized. It’s offensive, the graphics aren’t great and it had a few glitches but it was so much fun. The turn based combat was addictive and reliving some of those fantastically hilarious scenes from the show was awesome. I haven’t watched the show in years but Stick of Truth has given me plenty of reason to go back. It’s hands down my Game of the Year, so far. – Trevor Houston

This has been my favorite game that I’ve actually played of 2014 by a long shot. Side splittingly hilarious and chalk full of enough Easter eggs to challenge any Marvel film, it also filled me with nostalgia with its early Final Fantasy style game play. Sure, it’s got some control problems and isn’t very long, but there’s tons of replay value with all the collectables, unlockables and style of characters. I’m currently 8 hours into my second run through and it’s just as much fun! I particularly loved the night time parts (Randy believes you can get him off that ship, so just keep trying!) and, of course, the hilarious part where you venture into Canada (‘It’s a wolf, but dire’). If you haven’t played this one yet, definitely pick it up.Doug Mercer

Although this game was a little bit shorter than I would have hoped for, each second was jam packed with hilarious antics and RPG action.  South Park seems to have evolved a lot in the story telling department from what I remember of the potty humoured late night show when it first aired years ago.   The story, character interactions, side quests and pure stupidity had me in tears, along with my wife who often watched on because of her love for Cartman. How many other games are going to give you a chance to go cross dressing, wielding a giant dildo with underwear on your head while fighting a Kardashian fetus? NONE.John Elliott

Watch_Dogs

There has been a real lack of what I consider to be must-play game experiences on the new consoles. The slow, post-holiday release schedule never helps but I was even considering hooking up my 360 or PS3 for something decent to play in recent weeks. This is the next-gen, compelling game experience I’ve been waiting for. - Shad Forsyth

Dark Souls II

I was already a fan of the tough, but fun, Dark Souls and found it to be a rewarding gaming experience. When I finally got my hands on the sequel I was thrown into a vast world of varied, detailed areas, and a massive variety of weapons, equipment, and items – and of course, deadly enemies. To date I have sunk more than 140 hours into the game, have died hundreds of times due to my own carelessness or from encounters with other players looking for blood or honor. I have loved every minute of it, and have moved onto new game plus for an even more challenging experience.  The game has a deep, nuanced battle system, and tons to explore.  There are no regrets – just trying to cheat death and have fun doing it. - Matt Cullen

Rewarding, challenging, and downright addicting are the words that sum up my experience with Dark Souls 2. Whether it was venturing in the world alone or with a friend or two, I’ve had some of the most memorable moments result from the game. From the simple laughs of how silly my character looked as she painfully tried to roll with the heaviest armour and to the dances I did when I finally defeated a certain enemy/boss that took however many attempts, it’s definitely a game I invested a whole bunch of hours on that I can say I absolutely don’t regret. – Judi Azmand

Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze

I can’t applaud Retro Studios enough for what they did with this game. I was a huge fan of the original trilogy on SNES, and despite having switched hands from Rare to Retro in that time has managed to maintain the same magic it had way back then.  Donkey Kong has always felt like it had the perfect difficulty to reward ratio, beautiful scenery, enchanting music, and creative but fun-to-smash baddies. It’s the perfect platforming package… sorry, I think I gushed on the page a little.Royce Dean

Bioshock: Infinite – Burial at Sea Ep 2

Only one game has truly wowed me so far this year and technically it’s DLC. I don’t care though, it’s more Bioshock: Infinite, which by default makes it better than the large majority of video games released in the past five years. Sure it has one section that drags a bit and the combat isn’t amazing but in terms of character, atmosphere and immersion, Infinite’s final DLC is in a class of its own. Not only that but it wraps up the complete storyline for both Infinite and the original Bioshock. Whoever is responsible for making another Bioshock game for 2K is going to need a miracle to make something superior. - Lucas Raycevick