Pillars of Eternity (Q3-4 2014)
Obsidian Entertainment was one of the first and most widely recognized developers to take a new idea for an RPG to Kickstarter. Successfully funded in late 2012, Pillars of Eternity has continued to earn crowd source funds, allowing for a larger, more expansive title than first anticipated.
Originally targeted for an early 2014 released, it has only recently come to light through Obsidian's Josh Sawyer, that the game will slip closer to a Quarter 3 2014 release. Sawyer stated that the extra influx of cash allowed the team to expand upon the ideas, story and features that will ship with Pillars of Eternity, thereby requiring more time in development.
Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor (Q4 2014)
Fans of Middle Earth are already anticipating Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor, a game that is ostensibly bringing brand new and very innovative game play to the RPG scene. In development by Monolith Productions, Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor was leaked to the world in mid-2013 and later confirmed by Warner Bros. as being in development. While utilizing the Middle Earth IP, the story itself likes outside of traditional canon.
The game is said to bridge the gap between The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings trilogy and places players in the role of a ranger trying to infiltrate Mordor. Gameplay videos highlight the importance of every decision on the how the game progresses and that every game play-through will feature a vastly different experience.
POSSIBLE 2014 BUT NOT PROBABLE:
Mass Effect 4 (Q4 2014 or Q1 2015)
Bioware's second entry into the single player RPG list, Mass Effect 4, is only a "maybe" for release in 2014. There isn't even an official site for it as of this writing. This combined with the late 2014 release of Dragon Age: Inquisition, makes it unlikely that Bioware would pillage crossover fans of both series by releasing ME4 too close to DAI. In addition, Bioware has been largely silent on the development of ME4, raising speculation that it will likely slip to 2015 for release.
Mass Effect 4's basic premise is still largely shrouded in mystery but we do know that it will be a game without the original trilogy's protagonist, Commander Shepard. Even so, it has been hinted that players should hang on to save game files "just in case". Recent activity by developers also indicates that ME4 will share core elements with Dragon Age: Inquisition.
Bioware has big shoes to fill here, and a rather large onus to overcome with the kerfuffle surrounding Mass Effect 3.
Lords of the Fallen (2014)
Little is known about Lords of the Fallen outside the face that it is an action-RPG that has been favorably compared to Dark Souls. Even the official site for LotF is bereft of much useful information and the first screenshots for the forthcoming title from Deck 13 and CI Games were only released in mid-January. According to the development team, Lords of the Fallen is focused primarily on game play and the ability of players to "grow from being a random noob at the beginning and a skilled pro player at the end." How exactly that will happen remains unknown.
Torment: Tides of Numenera
Planescape: Torment is nearly always at the top of anyone's "best RPGs of all time" list and for good reason. Even today, the game brings elements to the RPG genre that have not been seen since. Enter Torment: Tides of Numenera. Called the 'spiritual successor to the original Planescape: Torment', Tides of Numenera is being developed by iXile Entertainment which features many of the original team behind Planescape.
According to literature and to the game's KickStarter page, Tides of Numenera will be largely story-driven with combat taking a back seat. Originally set to be released in late 2014, it has slipped to 2015. Insert sad-face here.
So there you have it: Some of the biggest "big house" RPGs coming sometime this year (or early next!). Do you have plans to play any of them? Which ones and why? Did we miss any that you are looking forward to? Let us know in the comments.
Suzie Ford is the Associate Editor and News Manager at MMORPG.com. You can follow her on Twitter @MMORPGMom.