The New Year is here. In fact, it’s difficult to imagine five days have already passed since 2014. The older you get, the faster life seems to pass you by. Funny how that works.
Anyway, enough of that old fart reminiscing. I figured it would be a great time for me to share some of my most anticipated titles coming this year. There are a ton of awesome games on the way, if they live up to their name.
I’d like you to keep in mind that even though I’m excited for every one of these games, I have not pre-ordered any of them. There’s a reason for that, and yes I’m going to launch into a rant explaining that now.
The numerous poor game launches that played out last year serve as a great example for why I don’t pre-order. Watch_Dogs, Destiny, Assassin’s Creed Unity and a whole slew of other huge releases are proof that you should never believe the hype train. Yes, it’s easy to do. Yes, I fall for the hype just as much as you do sometimes. I’m human, and I make mistakes just like the rest of you – I’m not afraid to admit that.
$40 – $60 for a new game is expensive, especially when you don’t know what you’re going to get. Instead, I wait for the game to either drop in price a bit, or until enough information is available that I can gauge whether or not the game is worth my hard-earned money. That doesn’t necessarily mean I read tons and tons of reviews. Actually, one of the best ways I like to figure out whether or not I’m going to like a game is to watch a Let’s Player go through it before me. Obviously, if I’m concerned about spoilers I stay away from the ending of the game and various events that happen throughout. That said, a lot of them will include just gameplay videos that show off the mechanics and features of the different titles.
Needless to say, I make sure I’m going to like a game before I plop down money. That doesn’t mean I’ve never been let down by a game in the past, and that I haven’t made mistakes doing things this way. However, it’s less likely that I’ll fall into the ol’ marketing, hype train and gimmick trap that many fell for over the course of last year.
I advise you — nay, implore you — to follow the same strategy. At the end of the day though, it’s your money and you’ll do what you want with it.
2015 games I’m excited for
Now that we got all that bullshit out of the way, let’s dive right in.
These are not listed in any particular order, as I’m equally excited for all of them. So, don’t go into this thinking that the games on the top of the list are better, and vice versa. I’m just going to talk about each one of them and move on.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
You could say that RPGs are my jam. Both the original Witcher and Witcher 2 were a couple of my favorite games. It doesn’t hurt that CD Projekt Red is an amazing company, either. They released any and all DLC for the Witcher 2 for free when it first launched, and any follow-up editions of the game have included that content at no extra charge. They don’t try to nickel and dime the shit out of you like many of these other companies.
As for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt I’ve watched several gameplay videos and I’m very excited to hop back in to the series.
It moves into a fully open world game this time around, and as always it will rely heavily on story content. The story in The Witcher 2 was pretty awesome, as well. In The Witcher 3 Geralt of Rivia has lost his memories, so he embarks on a journey to find the Wild Hunt — a group of mysterious, wandering ghosts — to get them back.
All the same gameplay mechanics will return, including the unique signs that allow you to light enemies on fire or send them flying through the air with a sudden gust. New to the series is the option to shape the world around you. By helping local villages and performing various deeds you can choose the fate of the local populace. That means villages can also be destroyed by many of the monsters you fight. Sounds pretty fucking awesome to me!
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
I absolutely loved Peace Walker, which is essentially what Phantom Pain is taking after in terms of over-arching gameplay. You’ll have a home base to customize similar to PW, and you’ll be able to use the Fulton Recovery System to steal all kinds of baddies for your own army. It looks better than ever in glorious HD, and no doubt it will make for a great mini-game once we can finally dive in.
The rest of the game looks absolutely stunning too. I was in awe the entire time I watched the English gameplay video, which I’ve embed below. Seriously, give it a watch if you haven’t seen it already.
Say what you want about Demon Souls and the Dark Souls series, I absolutely adore them. I know some folks out there hate these types of “blisteringly-difficult” games and that’s okay, you probably have no reason to be excited for Bloodborne which is a sort of spiritual successor.
Since I recently picked up a shiny new PS4 for myself, I’m definitely looking forward to this exclusive.
Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End
Admittedly, I’d never played an Uncharted game until I picked up Golden Abyss for my PS Vita. As soon as I started playing though, I fell in love. It’s like a modern tomb raider, with tons more action, a much better story, improved characters and well, a dude as the protagonist.
A Thief’s End will be the series’ first jump into true next-gen and it looks fantastic. The demo Naughty Dog showed off at Playstation Experience last year was engrossing as all hell. I really am looking forward to this one.
The name alone suggests this might be the final title in the series, but we’ll find out soon enough.
Star Wars: Battlefront
Disney took the infamous Battlefront franchise and handed it over to Dice, a developer well known for wide-scale multiplayer action. It’s supposed to launch in time for the release of the first new Star Wars movie later this year, let’s hope it’s good. It’s about time this franchise gets a bit of justice.
Salt and Sanctuary
Salt and Sanctuary is a kind of Dark Souls-esque 2D platformer. To understand the game you really need to watch the demo, it’s difficult to describe. It looks fantastic, but what really has me excited is it will be available for the Vita. Since I do a lot of my gaming on the go, it’s the ideal platform for me.
Dead Island 2
Dead Island 2 takes place in a much larger area — instead of an island — closer to home, California. So, naturally you have the same RPG elements, zombies, tons of moddable weapons and seamless multiplayer with friends. What more could you ask for?
Here’s a gameplay video from Gamescom 2014.
I don’t really know much about this game but it definitely looks promising. Then again, you never can tell from just the CGI trailers whether or not the game is actually going to be good. It’s from Ninja Theory, the same folks responsible for Enslaved, Heavenly Sword and a few other titles. It’s being independently developed apparently, as the trailer so openly admits — hopefully that’s a good thing allowing for more freedom and polish.
Personally, I like the idea of a strong female protagonist. We don’t get that much these days.
In many ways, Lost Ark looks a hell of a lot like Diablo 3. However, once you actually sit down and pay attention to some of the particle effects, animations and just the general art you can really start to see where they differ. That’s not even taking into account the gameplay mechanics, which look to be batshit crazy and a bit over-the-top — but in a good way.
I haven’t wanted a Diablo-style Action RPG so bad in a long, long time.
Unfortunately, the game’s official site is in Korean and no one has any fucking clue if it will ever be localized. Let’s fucking hope so, otherwise we’ll have to put it down as the best Diablo 3 clone we’ll never be able to play.