We’re back with our monthly preview of what to pre-order and play on PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 in the coming 30 days. What does May 2014 have in store? May has notoriously been a strong month for gaming, often producing Game of the Year contenders, but, again, and this is starting to sound like a broken record, we’re incredibly slight in this month. Companies just aren’t releasing a lot of games for the PS4 and the PS3 is slipping away at the same time, leading to the least amount of actual titles being released in the first five months of a year that I can ever remember. And I’ve been doing this a long time. Having said that, I can’t wait to play all three games this month. Which three? Get your calendar ready…
MAY 6: “MLB 14 The Show”
The PS3 version of “MLB 14 The Show” is already racing up the sales charts and dividing all-stars from minor leaguers with its expertly-designed, incredibly deep sports simulation. I wrote a mixed review of the PS3 version as it too often felt like little more than a roster update to last year’s acclaimed iteration of the award-winning series. It’s a good game but it felt a bit like treading water. And still I can’t wait for the PS4 version. The games in this franchise have always been ahead of the curve in terms of character animations and stadium graphics. Can you imagine how it’s going to look with a next-gen graphics engine? Could you possibly be more excited than I am? I doubt it.
MAY 20: “Wolfenstein: The New Order”
Is anyone else out there old enough to have grown up playing the “Wolfenstein” games? Just me. OK. A little history lesson. A whopping, hard-to-believe, 33 years ago, “Castle Wolfenstein” changed gaming forever when it was released for the Apple II, Atari 400, and Commodore 64. (Go look up those terms if you need to but they’re early versions of the iMac, Xbox One, and PS4). “Wolfenstein” had the kind of massive impact on shooter games that its template is still being felt. You can draw a line from “Wolfenstein” to “Doom” to “Goldeneye 64” to “Call of Duty” and so on and so on. But the series hasn’t really mattered in years. “Wolfenstein” back in 2009 did almost nothing critically or commercially, but here we are again giving it another college try in 2014. It is the 1960s and Third Reich has won World War II. Now it’s time to shoot some Nazis. It uses the same engine as the gorgeous “Rage”, which is great, but offers no multiplayer, which is not. We’ll have a full review in a few weeks. (Note: Buyers also get early access to the “Doom” beta. Go look that one up to, youngsters.)
MAY 27: “Watch Dogs”
Finally, right? We all got excited when we saw the screen shots from “Watch Dogs” when the PS4 was first announced but development hitches forced a delay until May, over six months after the release of the system for which this was supposed to be a launch title. Was it worth the wait? Unlike films, which almost always turn out lackluster after lengthy delays, games can sometimes be perfected. “Bioshock Infinite” was delayed multiple times and the final result was a masterpiece. One hopes the same thing happens with “Watch Dogs,” an open-world, crime-stopping experience that holds the potential to be a game-changer for a next-gen system desperately in need of one.