Another Best of 2015 List…And The Biggest Let Down
2015 has played host to a fair amount of quality games. The following titles have been picked out for excelling in certain fields, be it visual design story or music. This is NOT the definitive list of 2015. I, one person, can not play every game released, nor will my views reflects everyone else’s. The best games of 2015 are also being posted about on a individual basis, as they deserve more in-depth discussion. This list is purely a simple run down of titles that excelled in their fields…and the biggest let down of 2015 thrown in for good measure.
Best of 2015 titles covered so far:
The Witcher 3 – When one games has multiple candidates for ‘Best Story’ you know it’s a fine piece of work. The Bloody Baron is a fairly sized quest line that shows The Witcher at it’s best. It’s dark, disturbing and packed with the dark fantasy that The Witcher franchise is famed for. It’s the the constant switching of emotions that fuels this dark little tale. From disgust to sympathetic, The Bloody Baron is one of the finest tales to be told in modern video games.
Best Art Style
Bloodborne – Reflecting it’s tones and themes almost perfectly, Bloodborne’s setting of Yharnam is a beautiful nightmare. It’s almost a character within it’s self. Brooding, lurching over the player. Yharnam creates a sense of dread, never allowing the player to feel comfortable. The Gothic design, mixed with some fantastic imagery, allows Yharnam to linger in the players memory.
The Witcher 3 – Music forms a key part of creating a truly immersive video game. The Witcher 3 matches the beauty of it’s world with a equally beautiful soundtrack. Combing elements of The Witcher’s Polish heritage, with bold sounds, allows the music to breath life into the game. It may not get the credit it deserves, but that doesn’t make it any less amazing.
(the trailer is mostly built of things that never happen in the game)
Star Wars: Battlefront / EA’s Greed – Never before have I felt so disgusted with a video game release. While Battlefront looked and sounded the part, there was barely a game to be found. With only four maps, illogical design and a only a handful of decent modes, Battlefront felt Beta. The heavy advertising of the season pass (which is advertised twice on the in-game menu) was frustrating. EA’s barrage of adverts and paid placement at events like The Game Awards 2015 was obnoxious. Battlefront is simply a cash cow.
Until Dawn – I dislike interactive films, I hate quick time events and modern horror cinema is awful. I should of hated Until Dawn, but I didn’t. From the trailers, Until Dawn looked like a god awful modern Teen slasher in video game form. What we got was a snazzy take on horror from the mentor of Horrors bright young things. Self aware, slick and enjoyable, Until Dawn proved me wrong on all accounts. Even the trailers were snazzy enough to protect the game’s secrets…even if the actual marketing was lacking.
Warhammer : Endtimes – Vermintide
It’s Left 4 Dead set in the Warhammer universe. It’s honestly as simple as that, even developer Fatshark said as much. Taking the core elements of Left 4 Dead, and adding RPG elements, Vermintide is a utter joy to play. The four characters each have a role to play, allowing for player to form tactics and strategies to get through difficulty situations. Slicing through wave and wave of Skaven is truly satisfying. There’s not a huge amount to say, Vermintide is just straight up fun, and easily the best co-op experience of 2015, even with random players.
Nick Valentine – Fallout 4
Nick Valentine is what Fallout is all about. Age old questions inserted into the Nuclear apocalypse and made relevant to the game. At his core, Nick is the question of whether or not a machine can ever be more than it’s function. If they have memories, feelings, opinions and motivations, can we say they’re human? What defines what makes a human? Nick Valentine, as a character, asks these questions, resulting in the player to sit back and think.
Best AAA game
Harsh, punishing and brutal, Bloodborne doesn’t care about you. From it’s world, to it’s creature design, From Software created a masterpiece. While it may not hold the ‘Souls’ name, Bloodborne feels like the next step in the evolution of From Softwares hardcore titles. Death is unavoidable, but when it happens it’s your fault. Bloodborne is a harsh teacher, but you will learn. Progressing through the game is genuinely rewarding. Sound and visual design is wonderful, the ghoulish sense of wonder that oozes from every twisted corner is outstanding.
It’s the only exclusive from the new generation of consoles that is a genuine must play.
Best Overall Game -
Bloodborne – In all fairness, it’s hard to choose between this and Monster Hunter 4: Ultimate and the Witcher 4. In the end it all comes down to lasting impressions, and Bloodborne still raises the hair on my neck. It’s the stories that Bloodborne creates, those ‘water cooler’ stories you share with other players. This year was full of fantastic titles, namely Witcher 3, Monster Hunter 4 and Fallout 4, but Bloodborne left a mark on me. The accumulation of years of work, and a fresh approach that Western developers can’t replicate, From Software created 2015′s finest game in Bloodborne.
Side note – surprisingly works well via Vita remote play, honestly.
Most Anticipated Game For Next Year
I can’t truly nail one game down. I feel compelled to say Uncharted 4 like the fan boy I am, but my concerns for that game stop me from doing so. Overwatch is another title which stands out, even more so if the Beta is anything to go by. There’s also Horizon Zero Dawn, X-Com 2, Cuphead, Ratchet & Clank and maybe The Legend of Zelda Wii U.
Given the current climate, both politically and socially, Dues Ex: Mankind Divided could prove to be 2016′s best tittle. Human Revolution was fantastic, even asking questions that aren’t too far detached from a increasingly realistic future. If Mankind Divided follows the same path, we could be in for something truly special.