Our 2014 Gaming Resolutions

In a confession ill-suited for someone who considers themselves a writer (of sorts, anyway), I often find it hard to set and focus on appropriate goals, and it’s a habit that seeps into every realm I dare enter. However, I’m more inclined to set out and achieve success in those tasks laid out before me if I know I can somehow rope others into doing likewise, and so, with this in mind, last year I set out to force the other writers on the site to come up with their own New Year’s Resolutions, with the hope that doing so would allow us to take on the next twelve months with vigour. Unfortunately, some of us fell to the wayside in the process, and although I’d hesitate to say “they were never heard from again” (just in case they’ve only blocked me on Twitter and Facebook), it would be fair to say that not all of us found way to adhere to our resolutions. Not one to be dissuaded, the optimist in me decided that two times is the charm, so I once again set upon my fatigued co-writers with the intention of discovering how they plan to tackle the next inevitable and tedious rotation around the sun, along with any potential titles they’re most looking forward to getting their hands on in the coming months. The results form our 2014 Gaming Resolutions.

The management would like to apologise for the lack of images in this article, but there are other, more pressing, things to deal with and we’re sure you already know what all of these games look like so we’d just be trawling the ‘net for appropriately placed images which you’d likely ignore anyway with a subconscious thought of “yeah, I know what the game looks like, thanks very much”.  So enjoy all the words.


First, a brief résumé: I have managed to narrow my backlog down by exactly no games and increased it by several, so last year’s resolution was a complete failure.

This year, however, I will be setting my sights much lower in the hope of at least getting close to achieving my aims. For 2014 my goal is to play more social multiplayer games – and I’m not talking about Facebook here. I have, historically, been very bad at actually engaging with other people when playing with them online – not just because they’re usually insinuating something unpleasant about my mother, but also because I’m bad at starting up conversations with random people. As a result, my Steam friends list is mostly “real” friends, and I hardly ever have anyone to play with when I want to. So, for the coming months, I resolve to be more friendly and sociable when gaming, in the hope that it might benefit me somehow which is, after all, the reason we make friends in the first place, isn’t it?


So, if you cast your mind back to my resolution for 2013, it was to check myself into a Battlefield 3 addiction clinic. I had cast some three-hundred hours into the game and every other title was suffering for it.

Well, that didn’t really go according to plan, although I did find myself easing off a little in the summer and ended up with a total around the 450 mark. Still a ridiculous number, but not as bad as it could have been. Now that I’ve purchased Battlefield 4, you’re probably making a grand assumption about what this next resolution is going to be. Except it’s not what you’re thinking. I’ve maybe played the game for twenty to thirty hours since release. That’s peanuts really, in comparison to the start of my time in Battlefield 3. A small part of it is time – it’s like I need to dedicate some time to actually play games these days, because, god knows, life is sucking all my free time like some sort of black hole. But there is a bigger issue at play, which can basically be summarised by the fact that I feel unfulfilled by gaming at the moment.

I’m not sure if it is a shift in personal circumstances, a lack of time to actually become engrossed in anything or perhaps my tastes have shifted, but I generally can’t settle on anything for more than an hour before having to switch. In the space of four hours last week I played six different games. That’s just stupid.

And then I bought something on offer on Steam.

So, my resolution for 2014? Fall back in love with gaming. Because there’s a reason I’ve stuck with it for twenty-five odd years, and it sure as shit wasn’t to end on a crescendo of half-arsed console releases, micro-transactions and endless Candy Crush Saga clones. Fuck that shit. I’ll finish with gaming when I’m ready, and not a moment before!

As for what I’m looking forward to this year, I’d love the Occulus Rift to become a massive commercial success. It has the ambition and the potential to really shake the industry up and dust the cobwebs off of a lot of genres. To a certain extent the possibilities are endless, and while I know there are certain pot-holes and problems ahead, having played with one, I can say that it is all worth the risk. It’s a game-changer, pure and simple.


For last year’s resolution I sought to take more chances, and it was a decision that led to me covering the behemoth that is E3 by myself, and leading a small team of fellow writers into the Deutsch abyss that is Gamescom. While I may not have played as many smaller titles, or dived into weird and frightening new gaming experiences with the regularity that I initally wanted to, the fact I managed to take on the gaming event of the year and come out on top left me with the knowledge that it’s not only the biggest achievement of my life so far, but one I’m unlikely to ever take on again. However, despite being paired with the ever-chewable Ric and the gosh-he’s-so-tall Keegan, Gamescom was an experience that left me stressed out, strung-up and – after nearly being trampled by those hordes of stampeding Germans you hear about – unable to deal with large crowds without wanting to curl up into a ball and mumble something about nerds, deodorant, and the fact that all the non-UK attendees wearing press lanyards were wearing Witcher 3 tees.

Since then, I’ve found myself feeling not exactly cynical, but largely apathetic about the culture of gaming, if not the pastime itself. I still love playing games, and 2013 saw some of the biggest and best I’ve ever played, along with some fantastic endings that’ve helped prove how far the writing in the medium is evolving. I still love holding a controller and setting out on a new adventure, but I’m growing increasingly tired of the horrendous memes that refuse to die (in this, the year of Luigi), fanboys intent on trying to hack and destroy any website that dares not to like the same games they do, and the fact that we can’t even have a woman be tangentially involved with any aspect of the industry whatsoever without fedora-donning, neckbearded twats from Reddit or N4G try to absolutely destroy them, while explaining why they’re not sexist, misandry is real and, besides, women don’t like nice guys like them anyway.

In short, my resolution is to either try to do more to help make games and the culture surrounding them slightly less toxic and more positive, or to not let the worst examples of gamers put me off the industry entirely.


This year I’m going to get good at Street Fighter 4. Not just passable, which I like to think I’m hovering on the bottom edge of, but actually genuinely good. Capable of winning matches on a fairly regular basis, capable of pulling off combos that are impressive and difficult and – oh crap how am I ever going to manage to do this? I guess I’ll be in the practice lab for the next eleven months, before popping out in December to show off my progress. Wish me luck…

I’m sure you’ll all be shocked, but in light of my new resolution, the game I’m looking forward to is Ultra Street Fighter 4. New characters, new stages and every character newly rebalanced. I’m unbelievably excited and, technically, this is really just massively over the top DLC. I don’t even care, just put it in my console and let me play the precious.


Like it or not, My resolution is the same as last year – to actually play some games and not lose my ever-dwindling passion passion for gaming in general. Were I to say anything else, even as artistic license to provide you with some content, I’d be lying.

My non-gaming resolution is to not ‘collapse in on myself like a dying star’.


Sometimes I sit back and wonder what it is exactly that I’ve accomplished lately. My definition of accomplishment changes so frequently that I end up just believing I’ve done precisely nothing with my time, that I’m a failure, and so on and so on. It’s a vicious circle.

Well, in 2013 I accomplished something: I succeeded at fulfilling my gaming resolution. When I wrote that I wanted to make more games, I initially thought I was going to be making “game” games, with graphics and movement and goals and scores. What I made instead were interactive retellings of my life, slightly dramatised so they were more interesting/entertaining, with no graphics to speak of. And people said really nice things about them. I still can’t get my head around that. I’m still trying to do better. Always.

So this year I feel I should move away from producing games, and maybe focus on playing some that others have made in the same style. Truth be told, I don’t often play that many Twine games. There’s a wealth of them out there, and yet I’m still cautious about actually trying them out, despite the fact that most of them are only a few minutes long and can provide some interesting insights into other people’s worldviews and lives. Plus, it’s a medium that people are always trying to play with and push further; what started as just a text adventure suite has become so much more, thanks to inquisitive minds and people daring to think differently about games.

Although just focussing on Twine games seems unfair, so I think my ultimate gaming resolution for this year will be to play games by those who will barely receive any coverage at all; students making their first games, people discovering Twine for the first time, that kind of thing. How exactly I’ll find these I don’t know, but if I come across one I will make sure to play it, or experience it, or whatever. I will ignore the voice in the back of my head that’s still hoping everything will be BioShock Infinite, with lots of guns and explosions and a good story amidst all of it. I will accept that we cannot have everything and look for the beauty in the smaller pieces where no one else does. I resolve to rally not behind the small guy, but the smallest guy. Basically I’m going to go so hipster it’s unreal.

Either that, or I’ll stop staying up until the early hours of the morning playing RPGs on the PS2, because I haven’t slept all night and I’m pretty certain that every word here is gibberish. And the world is spinning and spinning and spinning


I did everything I set out to do in 2013. I played lemons, I whored achievements. 2014 is going to be different. I’m going to get a new console, probably a PS4, and I’m going to force myself to play it even though I won’t want to.

Yes, 2014 is where I do an Activision and take all the fun out of gaming.


Last year my aim was to play more multiplayer games – an effort which quickly grew irritating and was, ultimately, abandoned. I don’t think I’ll ever understand the ‘fun’ behind competitive player matches. This year I turn my attentions to becoming platform agnostic. The last few years have been solely dedicated to the Xbox 360, and with good reason. Excellent trade-ins, an ageing PC, the living room gaming scenario, achievements and everyone in my gaming group had one. With the arrival of next-gen our group has fractured, my PC gave up the ghost and already I’ve splurged on some PC gaming goodies thanks to a new rig. I’ve gone to the PS4, having been utterly unimpressed by Microsoft’s offering, and while some of our group are sticking with the 360, others have drifted to PC or immersed themselves in other activities like children, or real life activities… fools. As there is no compelling reason to stick with just one platform, I’m unshackling the chains and allowing myself to drift between anything I own.

This may be as unpopular as my view on multiplayer gaming, but I’m hoping 2014 will be the year the pixelated retro 8-bit graphical feel in games is killed off. Yes, some are charming, yes some rely on the old adage of ‘playability over graphics’, but I object to paying money for something that looks like it belongs on my Commodore 64. Every time I see a Minecraft screenshot I die a little more inside; some games pulled off the retro charm, but most used it as an excuse to skimp on production – I can see through the façade. 2014 should be the year of native 1080p graphics!


Being extraordinarily busy at work and with that exceptional summer meant I didn’t get very much gaming done in 2013, so it would be easy for me to say my resolution for 2014 is simply to make up for it. If anything, I’ll be playing even less, but come the year’s close I’d like to finally be able to say I’ve played through every core Metal Gear Solid game. It’s no secret that I’ve never played any of the legendary Tactical Espionage Action games, despite the fact I own nearly all of them (the first MGS is only a PSN download away), and having been left slightly cold by Sam Fisher’s latest, I’m more than a little bit eager to get my hands on a good old-fashioned proper stealth game. So, with that in mind then, the answer to which game I’m most looking forward to in the next twelve months is an easy one. Why, Metal Gear Solid V, of course.

Okay, truth be told, MGS V isn’t quite at the top of my most anticipated list (partly because I’ve never played any of them before, duh), but Hideo Kojima’s cold war era open world stealth-em-up excites me in a way games like The Evil Within, Watch Dogs and The Division can’t quite match. That and the chance to use that perfect segue was too good an opportunity to miss. With prequel Ground Zeroes slated for a March release, I’ve got a lot of catching up to do in a relatively short space of time.

Last five articles by Edward



  1. Mark R MarkuzR says:

    Is it just me, or is there a lot more cynicism in the world of gaming these days? The number of people I know of who are actively avoiding the Xbox One, after having been militant Xbox and Xbox 360 gamers, is incredible. Some are sticking with the 360, others moving to PS4 or PC, but there’s also a great number who are just giving up entirely. I also know of many who were just so utterly fucked off by the industry itself last year that they really can’t be arsed with it anymore.

    I know for a fact that I’m very jaded by the whole thing now. I want to go back to E3 this year but, other than it being something that I feel I HAVE to do for myself, there’s not really much reason to. I’m not excited about any games and the only title that I have any interest in whatsoever is the much-rumoured Fallout 4. Beyond that, I really couldn’t give a shit. The people ‘in’ the industry are veering more towards being utter wankers every day, the PR hype machines are knowingly lying through their arseholes about a lot of stuff, people are being bought out by the powers that be for positive coverage… it’s all just a fucking mess.

    I think if this collab piece rolls around next year, you’ll likely have me begging to be convinced to keep gaming.

  2. MCP says:

    Adam- Online is overrated. A better goal is to acquaint yourself with older single player games.

    Chris- Easier said than done. You may find that you haven’t left gaming as much as it has left you. Gaming doesn’t excite you anymore? Welcome to the club. Enjoy your stay.

    Edward-You’re going to find it hard to keep that resolution when you are one of the worst examples of a gamer. If you’re not using sarcasm towards anyone who disagrees with your weak podcasts and/or “journalism” you just flat out say they’re wrong.

    Hopefully 2014 will instill some maturity into you. But I seriously doubt it.

    Keegan- Fighting games stopped after Soulcalibur. Buy yourself a copy and a Dreamcast, you’ll be glad you did.

    MarkuzR- Play Superhero League Of Hoboken if you like RPGs. I can’t say you will like it, but you won’t forget it.

    Ric- Sounds like you are looking for games with story. Look no further than Infocom titles (any of them) and Portal by Activision.

    Richie- Or you could buy a system you are going to enjoy and save a few quid.

    Stu- Retro platformers? Lode Runner, H.E.R.O, Spelunker (original), Goonies (NES and Datasoft versions), Bruce Lee, Zorro, Montezuma’s Revenge. Enjoy.

    Tim- Good old fashioned stealth game? Thief series, hands down.

    End of line.

  3. Mark R MarkuzR says:

    MCP… am currently playing Superhero League of Hoboken on XTDOS.com… it’s mental! Will let you know how I get on with it. Can’t help but think that this is where they got the idea for Mystery Men from.

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