It’s hard to believe, but it’s already New Year’s Eve. Man, 2014 just flew by. A lot happened in gaming during the course of the year; some big titles released for all systems, PS4 and Xbox One celebrated their first year on the market, and Christmas was ruined for plenty of gamers thanks to DDOS attacks on PSN and Xbox Live. Looking back on the year, 2014 had its fair share of big release titles and a lot of them surprisingly were plagued by launch issues whether it be because it of online issues or just bugs in general. Hopefully 2015 won’t continue the trend of releasing broken games and fixing them afterwards through massive patches.
Today we’re going to look forward to the year ahead in gaming, so join us as we each list our five most anticipated games of 2015… in no particular order.
Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End – I know all of us will have this one, but this offering from Naughty Dog will probably deserve it. Actually, there is no probably to it. If you’ve played any of the prior Uncharted games, you know this is going to look great and be an even better story. If you haven’t played any of the Uncharted games, then why are you even reading this because obviously you don’t like video games? But in addition to the series and developer pedigree, Uncharted 4 has already created it’s own intrigue with it’s tagline, “his greatest adventure yet and will test his physical limits, his resolve, and ultimately what he’s willing to sacrifice to save the ones he loves.” Seems pretty obvious that something big is going to happen. Looking forward to see what they have in store.
Mad Max – How can you not look forward to this? It’s the Road Warrior!!! Mel Gibson well before he lost his friggin’ mind. Badassery in a leather jacket and awesomeness on wheels. Shotguns, melee combat and V12 war machines. And it’s an open world adventure game brought to us by the same folks that brought us Just Cause? Oh yeah, I have high hopes. I’m going to need Gary to post the Futurama “Take My Money” meme here. There has to be a Thunderdome in this doesn’t there???
The Legend of Zelda – A new Legend of Zelda? I don’t even know the details of this game other than it’s not supposed to be a remake and I still I feel like I shouldn’t even have to plug this game. How can you not look forward to this? It’s The Legend of Zelda. Almost all of them have been great, at least most of the ones I’ve ever played, granted the last one of those so far was on the N64, but still, the only bad one in my opinion was A Link to the Past back on the NES.
Saints Row: Gat Out of Hell – Once again, I feel like I shouldn’t have to sell this. The only question is, can it live up to the over the top absurdity of the prior games? Let’s see, super human abilities from IV are back as well as what they are calling “Angelic Flight” where you get wings to fly around, and all of these powers will be used to save your boss from Hell? Yes, over the top absurdity seems to be pretty well covered here.
Godzilla – I honestly do not expect this to be a great game. I hope I’m wrong, but honestly I am hoping it will at least be decent. Godzilla is something of a guilty pleasure of mine. While I own all but one or two of the movies(at least the ones that I’m aware of), I’ve only played a couple of the games and honestly, it wouldn’t take much to make this the best Godzilla game I’ve played. Most of what I have been able to gather has actually been from the GameStop.com listing: it will feature various versions of Godzilla, the mission mode is 25 levels long, it will feature scene customization mode, environments will be destructible(that would seem like a no-brainer to me), will also include “a cast of monstrous legendary rivals”(I hope they are also playable), and apparently with enough power ups you can also get Godzilla to fly. Again, I am probably the only person here looking forward to this, I will probably be disappointed, but damn it, I will get this game.
The Witcher III: Wild Hunt – I haven’t played either of the previous Witcher games, because neither are on PS3, but that doesn’t mean I can’t be excited to blindly jump in to the third installment when it releases in early 2015. I love open world games, especially when the world is massive and beautiful, and that seems to be the case with Wild Hunt. I also love action RPG’s, so combine the two and you have a game that I absolutely will not miss out on. We’ve seen quite a bit from this game, but it was the 30+ minute gameplay demo that CD Projekt Red that really sold me on the game. You can watch that demo a little later on in the post. This is going to be one of those games that you can sink hundreds and hundreds of hours into. Both of the previous games have gotten great reviews, and I would be shocked if this doesn’t end up on a lot of Game of the Year lists come the end of 2015. I may not have played the other two, but I have huge expectations for this game and I don’t believe CD Projekt Red will let me down. If you’re not excited for this one then I don’t know what’s wrong with you.
Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End – When it comes to game development, I put Naughty Dog right up there with (and maybe even above) Rockstar. What that means is I’ll buy anything they put out, sight unseen. The three Uncharted games were amongst my favorites of the previous generation, with the second one being mind blowing at the time. Uncharted 4 is a day one all the way. The gameplay demo they showed off at PSX just further increased hype for it. These games have always been over-the-top action blockbusters, but Uncharted 4 seems like it’s retaining that while opening up the gameplay a little bit. It borrows from Naughty Dog’s most recent game The Last of Us in that stealth is now a viable option and you don’t have to kill everyone in sight. From what the show, the play area looked much larger with more paths, allowing for sneaky or guns blazing. Naughty Dog has never wronged me, and I fully expect this one to end up being the Game of the Year in 2015. I kinda feel bad for Naughty Dog; they’re so good that expectations for this are through the roof.
No Man’s Sky – I’m still not sure what exactly the “point” of the game is, as in what the objective is going to be and combat, but man I am pumped for No Man’s Sky. The size and procedural generation of it makes the game practically infinite. Flying around in your space ship, discovering and exploring new planets and wildlife, seems like its going to be ab absolute blast for a science fiction fan. I enjoyed Joe Danger a lot, and while this is an extremely ambitious game, I’m confident that Hello Games is going to deliver an amazing experience that will likely see plenty of us sinking hundreds of hours into. Plus I really like the colorful art style that has given the planets shown an exotic flavor. I think it fits well for the type of game Hello Games is crafting.
Axiom Verge – Every year now an indie game comes along and wows everyone. Axiom Verge is going to be that game in 2015. This game is being developed by just one person; Thomas Happ, who has been working on it for five years. That’s amazing to me, because the game looks absolutely amazing. It’s a retro action platformer that would be right at home on SNES. It’s heavily inspired by classics like Metroid and Contra. Retro style 8 and 16-bit games have been the rage in the indie community for a little while, but Axiom Verge just seems to have a little something extra special to it. I can’t tell exactly what it is. It could be the great art design, or sound effects, or the soundtrack that seems like it’s going to be great. Or could be the “glitches” and some interesting mechanics. It’s probably how awesome the bosses look though. Actually, it’s a combination of all that that just hits the right nostalgic note for me while being completely new. It’s coming to PC, PS4 (which is what I’ll be playing it on), and PS Vita. I’m super excited for it, and you should be too.
Bloodborne – I’m not a Dark Souls guy, but I did enjoy playing Demon’s Soul (and I didn’t beat it, because I had a lot of other games at the time and not nearly the patience to do so). I had been intrigued since its reveal, but it was the gameplay demo at PSX that really sold me on this and skyrocketed it past Xenoblade Chronicles X on my list. Bloodborne looks much faster paced in its combat and player agility, and generally more offensive oriented. And that’s more my playstyle. Sure there will still be a heavy reliance on countering and dodging, and generally playing good defense, and it’s likely to be every bit as punishing as the Souls games. It’s also extremely gory, which combined with the setting and type of play just looks flat out amazing. From Software knows how to do good bosses as well, and that’s something I think a lot of games these days either miss out on completely or don’t really do a good job of crafting great bosses (looking at you Destiny). It’s sure to be a great game, and likely another system seller for PS4 since it is an exclusive.
Grand Theft Auto V (PC) – If you have kept up with the plans for this technical double dip then you know this is hardly going to be a quickie carbon copy port. Full first person mode, repaired glitches, high res from top to bottom, lots of DLC, co-op Heist mode, and of course only on PC: The chance for the mod community to have a field day. If you take a gander at Grand Theft Auto 4’s life on the PC you will see some really impressive mods and if the likes of that can happen again for part 5 then the sky is truly the limit. The time traveling DeLorean Mod for part 4 is a personal favorite of mine. I am a bit of shameless junky for these games I admit but by all rights: If you are a fan of these kinds of games then the double dip absolutely will be worth it coming from the PS3 or the 360 to the PS4 or XB1 versions and most especially the PC version if that’s an option for you. Simply put: It’s almost like a brand new game.
The Order 1886 – This is a PS4 exclusive that I’ve been tracking for months that has all kinds of potential, if it lives up to billing. The time period is compelling. The setup is compelling. This could be a dark horse or sleeper hit of the year potentially. Creative director Ru Weerasuriya said that the decision to go ahead with The Order: 1886 was influenced by Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, and that should be enough to raise people’s confidence and interest levels by considerable degree. I do hope they reconsider the game running at 30FPS though. There is simply no need to shortcut like this on the PS4. I am not as picky about this for non twitchy games and non FPS games but ideally I would really like to see 60fps on any supposed “next generation” title and especially any PS4 exclusive.
The Witcher III: Wild Hunt – CD Projekt gets gamers. They especially get PC gamers. Their support for their products and their outright generosity are the industry standard as far as I’m concerned and frankly they are on a very short list of mine which is: If they put out a product that I’m even remotely interested in I will support it with my wallet. Thankfully their games have been fantastic. Each Witcher game has evolved and expanded into being one of the flagship RPG game series in all of video games. I am a bit picky about combat and certain gameplay elements and I readily concede these games are far from perfect but what they do they do very well and this new one really looks like it could be a masterpiece for the ages if it lives up to hype and billing. Just look up footage on YouTube and if that doesn’t sell you on it nothing will.
Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End – Naughty Dog can do no wrong in my eyes. They are another group of developers on a very short list that have earned blind loyalty/day one pre-order/ cost is no object status. This is their flagship series of action adventure games and unless something insane happens this series going to the next level on the PS4 simply promises everything that’s been great about the series going up and out which makes me downright giddy. I expect this game to be on a lot of GOTY shortlists at the end of 2015 including mine. I will go as far as to say it will take something very impressive for this to not win GOTY if it lives up to the pedigree and standards of the series, which I expect, and to say nothing about if it takes things to the next level which I consider a very real possibility. This game will be a system seller for the PS4 and rightfully so. Even die hard PC gamers concede that they wish Naughty Dog would bring their games over to the PC but they don’t and they probably won’t for the foreseeable future so this is the game that will likely make more of those folks blink and cave in.
Tom Clancy’s The Division – I disclaim this with the “Be ye aware of the Watch Dogs over-hype.” That being said I think there’s a lot of real ambition that has been expressed in regards to this title. I love action games. I love stealth games. I love shooter games. This game could conceivably marry all of those in a new balance with a fresh approach. I do have some potential concerns about narrative and online only and am someone who prefers single player games so it should tell you something if even with those caveats I’m looking long and hard at this game to see if it delivers on hype and billing. If it does, it will be something special.
Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture – I feel compelled to tackle ‘Rapture first. Perhaps this is little more than my being wrapped up in my own head, but I feel like some who know me might suggest I’d completely avoid ‘Rapture based on its title alone. My thoughts regarding– and abstinence from– religion are not exactly secrets, but this game at least seems to have very little to do with any kind of religion. In fact, I get the impression the title is almost ironic– everybody’s just gone, and nobody knows why, and the idea that they’ve “gone to the rapture” is as good a guess as any surviving humanoid might muster.
I’m rather enamored by the idea of a story that begins with just about nothing. Not just people. No monsters or zombies or deer or bunnies either. Just nothing. Nothing but “how come?”. I don’t have a PlayStation 4 (or any next-gen console, for that matter) just yet, but this title may make me begin to stash some cash away all by itself.
Mortal Kombat X – I’m all old and stuff, and that means I spent a good amount of my childhood behind the joystick of an arcade machine. I actually played most of my Mortal Kombat at a local 7-Eleven as opposed to a proper arcade. That’s right, kids– 7-Elevens used to have an arcade machine or two. Mine had Mortal Kombat and Street Fighter II right next to each other. As such, I’ve got a lot of love for both franchises, though admittedly a bit more for Street Figher than Mortal Kombat.
After having watched a trailer or three showcasing Mortal Kombat X’s gameplay, I’m thrilled to see that it’s still a two-dimensional fighting environment, just with 1080p High Definition characters which finally match the pictures on the sides of the arcade cabinet. That in itself is just amazing to me, and that’s not a word I use often. I’m not sure how I feel about the X-Ray vision used in some of the animations because I feel like it could take away from the visual impact of Fatalities, but that’s not nearly enough to cause my longing for the title to waiver even a little.
Star Fox Wii U – This is a game that I’ve been “anticipating” far longer than when I began preparation for this piece. For those unaware, the first Star Fox game was put out on the Super Nintendo back in the early nineties, just before said console rode off into the sunset. It was followed reasonably quickly by Star Fox 64 (put out on the Nintendo 64), and since then, some seventeen years have gone by with mostly nothing from the Star Fox franchise.
I mean, Star Fox Assault (put out on GameCube) is the closest thing to a real Star Fox game put out on a home console since 1997, and that one was put out at in a transitional year for gaming when no one was paying any attention to GameCube releases, and it went almost completely under the radar. It certainly went under mine– I hadn’t even heard of it until I was researching for this very piece– and I actually had a GameCube at the time that was still seeing heavy use.
This time, though, Nintendo is treating the Star Fox brand like the tentpole release it always should have been, and it will fly under no radar.
The Legend of Zelda – This is another one forward to which I’ve been looking since the Wii U was announced. I feel like every Nintendo console launch should include a Mario game and a Zelda game. Not necessarily in the box– just available. I’m more than tired of seeing a console announced and then being told I have to wait for another couple of years for Mario and Zelda. I think the Wii U launch would have done significantly better had they delayed it at least until the new Mario game was ready. As it happened, it took a year for Mario, and we’re just now having Zelda announced to us.
From what I’ve seen online, it looks absolutely fantastic, and I’m sure it will be a blast, but I really feel like it should have been done two years ago for launch. Nintendo can’t keep putting out consoles with almost no games, or at least no games that aren’t Nintendo games, and have the gall to express surprise when nobody buys those nearly-naked consoles. I feel like they got away with one when the Wii took off, and so they got lazy with the Wii-U release.
Borderline vitriol notwithstanding, I’m still really stoked for the next Zelda game– whenever they decide to put it out.
Tom Clancy’s The Division – Ah– the Tyler Perry of the gaming world is back, and with maybe the best game ever to bear his name on its box. This one looks to be at least vaguely similar to ‘Rapture in that the player is seemingly tasked with picking up the pieces of a shattered society. I must say, though, that the similarities at least appear to end somewhere around there.
The trailer I watched for The Division (I won’t be writing out “Tom Clancy’s” every time. No thanks.) included plenty of people (relatively), which is in stark contrast to what I saw of ‘Rapture. It seemed like most of The Division’s population was grouchy at the very least, if not full-on mean, but at least they’re there. In the world The Division is charged with repairing, simply showing up really does seem to be about 90% of the job. I mean, your job appears to be somehow salvaging some sort of civilization amongst lawless factions that might as well be warring tribes. Only they have guns. And in at least one case included in the trailer, flame throwers.
Flamethrowers? Take it easy, man! Can’t we talk about this?
I can’t wait.
So those are the games we are most looking forward to in the new year. Now that you know what games we’re most anticipating, we want to know which games releasing in 2015 that you are most excited for. Drop us a comment below and let us know, and also tell us why you’re excited for it. If it is a game not on our list, you may even get us excited for it.
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Have a Happy New Year everyone!