There haven't been any all-time classics in 2014, but the industry as a whole has made some promising innovations.
What can we say about construction projects where possibly hundreds have died, but we don’t know how, who they were, or even where they were all from?
What’s wrong with a self-assembly hero? A player-created protagonist doesn’t just solve the problem of players feeling unrepresented by the characters in their games, it crushes it.
This game isn’t trying to be a serious study of life, the universe or anything else – it is its self-awareness that makes it so good.
Acclaimed survival game This War of Mine gives players the chance to experience the wretched conditions of civilian life in a major city under siege.
Empire-building games, from Crusader Kings 2 to Civilisation V, feed our desire for power and control. But if you try to replay history as an ethical god-king, guess what happens? France invades.
Buying a game before the development process is finished is always a gamble – too often, it either goes very right or very wrong.
Should a game provide “value for money” and pad out its story with as many tedious hours of fetching things as possible, or is there merit in a short, sharp ending?
We should always be wary when outside agents attempt to co-opt video games to service an agenda - but I'm not talking about "social justice warriors", I'm talking about the gun lobby.
You’ll never go too far wrong with a commercial product that makes the players feel like supermen, but this is a miscalculation on the part of the developers.
We have reached the point where, for games to progress as an art form, the mainstream examples needs to be about more than just killing things for the sake of it.
When the balance of challenge and reward in a game gets out of sync, players can end up doing length, tedious tasks in exchange for a “win”. Do we even know what fun is anymore?
If some gamers want their reviews to be reviews, and others want theirs to be criticism, why don't we accept that the two don't have to be the same thing?
The descendants of role-playing games like Dungeons and Dragons exist in the physical and virtual worlds, and even though they might play very differently, they're still influencing each other.
Gone are the days when you just bought a game and then played it. With the pre-orders, rushed productions and all the patches, the relationship between producers and customers is becoming ever more adversarial.
One of the many post-release fixes for Total War: Rome 2, Daughters of Mars, has involved the addition of female soldiers, and a very vocal minority of players are suddenly very concerned with ancient history.
Escaping into video games is something that people have been doing since video games were first invented. But is it time wasted, or valuable escapism?
As a new wave of games reclaims outer space as a setting for action and adventure, we ask if we are looking at an empire striking back or just an attack of the clones.
If you love Minecraft, you'll possibly also love Dwarf Fortress - a game with a famously complex-yet-simple graphical and gameplay style that sees the player try to mine out and secure a home for dwarfs beneath the ground of a procedurally-generated world.
The breakdown of trust between the public and the police has been reflected by how comfortable we are killing them in games.
The International e-Sports Federation has reversed their men-only policy in favour of one competition for women, and one for everyone else including women. What kind of message does that send?
As the first-person shooter has evolved to be bloated in terms of costs and production requirements, its game play mechanics have atrophied over the years.
... and it's not foreign players in the Premier League.
In this game, driving between two points on the map in order to transport some logs becomes a gruelling, fascinating expedition.
Tackling ideas of sanity, darkness and fear is a welcome effort to move away from the violent and emotionally withdrawn stereotype of a video game hero.
In real life, we abhor terrorism and everything associated with it. So why do so many games manage to convince us that playing at it is fun?
Ubisoft's much-hyped Watch_Dogs isn't about shooting people - instead, it's all about hacking the world around you to control the city and trip up enemies. Yet this ambitous premise falls flat.
It shouldn’t need to be said, but you cannot seriously address a topic like genocide via the medium of a game where you unlock a skill for stabbing cyborg dogs.
The innovative Prison Architect tasks you with building and controlling a prison - and the definition of success requires choosing to harm those you're tasked to help.
Much like that difficult second album, the sequels to video games are easy to get wrong, so what's the best formula for a successful remake or sequel?