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50 upcoming PC games for 2014 and beyond

Escape Dead Island

Release date: Nov. 21

Dead Island may center around zombies, but fear is hardly a part of the equation. Our undead-slaying protagonists have always been immune to the virus transforming the populace, so diving headfirst into rotting flesh and hungry mouths was never really all that dangerous (well, we also had some crazy weapons to help us out as well).

This is certainly not the case here. Escape Dead Island is more akin to an adventure or survival game, as our hero is just a regular, non-immune schmuck. Careful movements and stealth are the name of the game you try to discover exactly what led to the outbreak. Theres also a chance that our mans starting to go a little bit crazy but we probably would be as well if society was falling apart around us.

Gods Will Be Watching

Release date: 2014

You're not going to like the positions that Gods Will Be Watching will put you in. You're not going to want to make the choices set in front of you. Some of them will be painful, others will be downright maddening, but a choice must be made and make a choice you must. The survival of your entire team of characters depends on it.

Gods Will Be Watching gives those who have been looking for an impactful choice-based game exactly what they asked for. We don't know if the game will be radically different with every choice you make, but we do know that the choices being made will have major impacts on the characters...and you. The Gods Will Be Watching...and so should you.

A Hat In Time

Release date: 2014

Normally when we read the words "indie" and "platformer," we assume that we're going to read about a new 2D platformer a la Braid or Super Meat Boy. Well, you know what they say about assuming: it makes an ASS out of U and ME. A Hat In Time is an indie platformer, but there's no comparison to be made with Braid; this game is playing a whole different game.

A Hat In Time gets its inspiration from the 3D platformers of yesteryear, like Super Mario 64 and Banjo-Kazooie, while getting its cel-shaded looks from Wind Waker. The game seems to be checking all of the right boxes, which makes us plenty excited for its impending release. We just have one request: 120 of whatever we have to collect. The number just works in this scenario, trust us.

Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number

Release date: 2014

Hotline Miami took the gaming world by storm in 2012, introducing a blood-soaked world of neon lights and itchy trigger fingers. Each stage played out the same way: answer a phone, get in a car, kill everyone in a building, rinse and repeat, but the game never once felt stale or boring. We were too busy worrying about a bad guy spotting us to feel bored.

Hotline Miami 2 looks to bring that same tension and insanity back later this year. Its already caused a bit of a stir with the first demo, putting players in a VERY uncomfortable position before lifting the curtain and revealing that the scene wasnt quite as dire as advertised. If Devolver is willing to toe THAT line, we can only imagine whats in store for us in the full game.

Hyper Light Drifter

Release date: 2014

One of the best things an indie studio can do to grab our attention is to create a nostalgic retro look thatll get our hearts palpitating. The minds behind Hyper Light Drifter seem to understand this idea, as they immediately listed A Link to the Past as an inspiration, and the rest of the community instantly sood up and took notice.

Hyper Light Drifter is one of those games, a 2D action RPG that follows a Drifter as he scavenges ruins for a cure to a disease hes contracted. This Drifter has an energy sword at his disposal, but he can upgrade his arsenal via in-game modules. Yup, sounds a little bit like Zelda to us. Theres a lot to like with this Drifter, and hopefully soon well be able to play it to see just how much well like it.

It Draws A Red Box

Release date: 2014

It takes a lot of fortitude for a company to sit down and ask the masses "what do you want to see in our game? We'll take anything." It takes even more to actually make a game with every single idea those fans incorporate. That's the idea behind It Draws A Red Box, and what sounds like it should be total chaos absolutely is in the best ways possible.

It Draws a Red Box is Smash Brothers and soccer and platforming all rolled into one, with full character customization to boot. It's manic, it's insane, and it's damn fun. Check out Hollander Cooper's full preview from GDC to see what we mean. This could be one of the best indies to hit this year, and it's all because a developer asked the fans what they wanted. Ask and ye shall receive.

Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris

Release date: Dec. 9

Can you imagine what it must be like to have an Egyptian god as your best bud (no, your cat doesnt count)? Wisdom of life and the universe, knowledge of the life beyond life--and Lara Croft just uses them to solve a few simple platforming puzzles. To think that she calls herself a genius.

Gamings leading lady returns with a few immortal buddies for some co-op action, and you better believe were excited. Sure, all eyes may be on the other Tomb Raider coming out sometime next year, but sometimes big things come in small, couch-friendly packages.

The Talos Principle

Release date:Fall 2014

When a developer describes his game as philosophical and deep, its pretty easy to dismiss their ambition as highbrow tomfoolery. Yes, we know youre ready to change the way we think about the world. Yes, we DO think youre just so, so clever. Please, tell us one more time about how your work is a metaphor for our own eventual demise--we promise that were listening.

Except that this time, maybe we are. What weve seen from the Talos Principle reminds us of Portal, and thats not just because of the tripods with lasers that are everywhere. The puzzles here are the real deal, so long as were challenging our brains we may as well strap in for this thought-provking event everyones going on and on about.

Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime

Release date: 2014

Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime is a game sporting our favorite kind of video game fun: manic, out-of-control, holy-crap-what-should-I-do-next action. Theres waves of enemies attacking our little space fort, and we have to defend it with the right weapons and tools at the right time. We can already predict were going to have trouble keeping up, but were going to try it anyhow.

Weve been trying to pinpoint a particular genre for Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime, but we just cant think of anything. Were shooting enemies with guns, so there are shooter elements; we have to choose which weapons to use at specific times, so strategy is involved; we have a tiny maze of ladders and passages to traverse to each weapon, so theres platforming; and were defending a spherical space base from enemies, so that brings in tower defense. Loves in a Dangerous Spacetime is a strategic tower defense action platformer shooter. Yeah, that sounds right.

Massive Chalice

Release date: 2014

Double Fine made Kickstarter the monster crowd-funding platform it is today with their Broken Age campaign, and we loved the first episode of that adventure. While we wait for more of that, our attention turns to Double Fine's OTHER really successful Kickstarter, Massive Chalice. We're down with any game that has "tactical strategy" in its description, but Double Fine at the helm helps too.

Those who've played one of Double Fine's other great games, Iron Brigade, will recognize the name of the man in charge of the project, Brad Muir. He also led the Iron Brigade development team, and he's bringing his expertise to Massive Chalice. We haven't seen much on Massive Chalice outside of concept art and a few gameplay bits, but the more we see, the more we want to drink from this chalice.