Upcoming PC Games To Watch Out For

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Summer has come and gone, and many highly anticipated PC games were released in that time. But, there will always be a handful of PC gamers that just won’t be satisfied because the upcoming PC games they were waiting for didn’t launch when they have the most time on their hands. Here’s a short list of games that should be available this fall and beyond.

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Hearthstone

Hearthstone
Hearthstone

Why we love it

Blizzard has created some unforgettable gaming series’. All of them involve the player controlling a guy, or a big group of guys, and having them run amok, laying waste to anything in their path. Hearthstone looks to break that trend by giving players a deck of cards with which to run amok. That’s right, remember when you made fun of the kids playing Magic: The Gathering in the lunch room? Well, you’re about to become one of those kids from the comfort of your computer chair.

Hearthstone is free to play, which is another departure for Blizzard. Rather than paying up front for the game, players are given access all of the most basic deck configurations. The decks are categorized by character class. Hearthstone is based in the Warcraft universe, so the classes consist of the druid, hunter, paladin, rogue, etc. All of the decks play differently from one another, so honing one’s strategy for their particular deck is paramount to the player’s success. The catch with the free-to-play formula is that players will be able to purchase booster packs for a chance to collect playable cards that don’t come with the starter deck. New cards are also attainable just by playing competitive matches over Battle.net. No release date has been announced for Hearthstone, but it has been expanding its number of beta participants on a regular basis, and the expectation is that the game will be out in the next few months.

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Why we’re worried

The free-to-play model is relatively new in the games industry. Over the last couple years, it has become a much more influential part of gaming, and with that comes good and bad trends. What worries me about this particular free-to-play game is that there is always a potential for pay-to-win. Hopefully the fact that booster packs are randomized will combat that potential drawback. But, if the game turns into a competition of who spent the most money to get that broken over-powered card, Hearthstone may fall short. 

DayZ Standalone

Why we love it

If you have read any of my writing about video games over the last few months, there’s a good chance you have heard me talk about the DayZ standalone. DayZ is currently a mod for the game ARMA II, which is an open world military shooter. The mod takes the open world concept and puts it into the zombie apocalypse. But, it won’t take you long to figure out that zombies aren’t the biggest threat in the game.

You are not the only one that is scavenging for food, water, and supplies. In the current version of the mod, the standard maximum number of people that are allowed on one server at a given time is between 40-50. That number is expected to increase when the standalone is released. Right now, playing the mod can be a bit frustrating because it is full of glitches, and the inventory system could not be more frustrating.

But, when the game has a team of developers working on an engine that is built from the ground up to support DayZ, and a completely overhauled inventory system that is comparable to Minecraft, there is good reason for big expectations from this remarkably unique concept. Players of the popular DayZ mod are eager to get their hands on the alpha version of the game, which has been delayed on more than one occasion. Lead developer Dean Hall has vowed to stop giving release dates, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see the alpha build accessible around Halloween, which would be all too fitting.

Why we’re worried

It’s been so long. People have been playing the DayZ mod to death, and while moderators are doing their best to fix things there, players are getting frustrated and antsy. The hype machine was firing on all cylinders a few months ago, but the waiting has caused some fans of the game to lose their enthusiasm. Just to be clear, I’m not one of those people. I’m willing to be patient, but I may be in the minority.

Elder Scrolls Online
Elder Scrolls Online

Elder Scrolls Online

Why we love it

As someone that poured hours into just about everything that Bethesda has made all the way up to Skyrim, Elder Scrolls Online is equal parts exciting, intriguing, and horrifying. The excitement comes from the fact that the Elder Scrolls series has consistently been one of the best RPG series’ available.

The intrigue comes from the fact that I get to see the Elder Scrolls universe in an entirely different context. The horror comes from the fact that Skyrim, while tremendous amounts of fun, was one of the buggiest games I had ever played, and now that buggy setting will be opened up to massive amounts of players all at once.

The optimist in me says that this is going to be amazing. I’ve enjoyed Skyrim so much that it almost feels like there’s no reason to not be excited by the prospect of sharing that terrific experience with all of my friends. But, there’s always a reason to curb your enthusiasm, especially when you’re talking about MMOs. Look for Elder Scrolls Online to drop sometime in 2014.

Elder Scrolls
Elder Scrolls

Why we’re worried

There are just too many things that could potentially go wrong. Elder Scrolls online will have a monthly subscription, which may turn off some gamers on a budget. As long as you’re willing to throw down your credit card on a monthly basis, Elder Scrolls Online has almost limitless potential.

With so many games going free-to-play, or finding other payment methods to attract players, the subscription fee is scary for many gamers. Hardcore MMO players will tell you that this is a great thing. Now we are given all of the content, no exceptions.

Nothing is locked up by a micro-transaction, and no one can beat you just by out-bidding you with real money. But, not everyone is so enthusiastic about having to lay down their credit card every month. Whether or not gamers deem the content worthy of the fee will ultimately determine the success of this game.

Watch Dogs

Why we love it

You’ve heard of a “hack n’ slash” before, but if I had to categorize Watch Dogs it would be a “hack n’ hack.” You take control of Aiden, a vigilante with the ability to hack into just about every electronic device in the city of Chicago. Imagine Grand Theft Auto with an emphasis on technology, and an incredibly interesting involvement of a Dark Souls-style game invasion mechanic.

You will be going around the city hacking into ATM’s, cell phones, and security cameras, feeling superior to all the NPC’s wandering the sidewalks of the city, then you’ll get a notification saying that you are being hacked. That means that another human player just jumped into your game and is attempting to steal everything you’ve already stolen. Now it’s your job to track this guy down and make sure he doesn’t get your stuff.

The potential chase segments that could ensue are enough to make me salivate. Maybe you track him down and kill him, ensuring the safety of your hard-earned goods. Or maybe he gets away and you decide to invade his game to get it back.

The amount of variability contained within every event in this game could be this game’s biggest selling point. I know everyone is tired of hearing the phrase “it’s like GTA combined with…” but this game is more than deserving of the hype it’s getting, even if it’s mildly derivative of other games. There is more than enough of a twist on that old free roaming formula to warrant every bit of excitement that people are feeling over Watch Dogs.

Watch Dogs
Watch Dogs

Why we’re worried

The free roaming features of this game are great, but I worry about the possible lack of direction. How many times are you going to split up a “spontanious” back alley assault before you lose interest? There hasn’t been all that much said about the mission structure, so there’s no reason to assume the worst. But, this game may have trouble surviving solely on the random nature of its action.

What do you think? Check out our leaderboard for some of the Best PC Games 2013 has to offer.

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