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[GM Blog] My most anticipated games of 2015

 

 

As the mediocre gaming year of 2014 fades into memory, the looming year of new games 2015 provides us with new promises all the more sweeter. Many new IPs and spiritual sequels can be seen, alongside new entries in time honored series. From my vantage point, and in no particular order (other than the release date in chronological order where applicable) here's my most anticipated games of 2015.

 

Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. (March 13th, 3DS, turn-based strategy)
Developer: Intelligent Systems

S.T.E.A.M. is described as Nintendo's Valkyria Chronicles, which is all I needed to hear to start getting hyped about it. Literary heroes using steampunk technology to fight Lovecraftian aliens are the order of the day, and with producer Hitoshi Yamagami (Fire Emblem series) guiding it, take my money now please. And of course it has Amiibo support, because why wouldn't it?

Bloodborne (March 24th, PS4, action RPG)
Developer: From Software

The second spiritual sequel of the Souls series hopes to inject some (no pun intended) new blood into the notoriously difficult but rewarding gameplay by having firearms, transformable weapons, and regenerating health based on counter attacking. Set in an industrial revolution time period dripping with enough Gothic architecture to put Tim Burton into a coma, Bloodborne will hopefully be the sequel that Souls 2 failed to live up to.

Mighty No. 9 (April, multi-platform, action-platform)
Developer: Comcept/Inti Creates

Another spiritual sequel, Mighty No. 9 is Kenji Inafune's flaming middle finger to his old employers by making the Mega Man game they refused to do. And since Capcom put the axe on Mega Man Legends 3, everyone is hoping this will take off. The game's Kickstarter raised four times the inital target amount, enabling various ports, game modes, and characters. It's already going to have an anime series. With as much money as supporters have thrown at it, it could be a letdown, but has previous successful game kickstarters have shown, it's as good as the money that's been put into it.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (May 19th, multi-platform, action role-playing)
Developer: CD Projekt RED

In what's touted as the final Witcher game, CD Projekt RED wants to go out on a good note. More open world, more meaningful choices, more sex than an entire season of Game of Thrones. I remember being at E3 when the first game was being shown. It's amazing how an obscure fantasy novel series has now become one of the most fantastic European RPG in recent memory.

Splatoon (May, WiiU, third-person shooter)
Developer: Nintendo EAD Group No. 2

When Nintendo starts a new IP, they always find a way to make it their own. A squad based third person shooter with cephalopod pre-teens who can turn into squids at will while painting everything with colored ink does sound like something Nintendo would give a green light to. With an added single player and customization options, it looks like a worthy game to stop Smash Bros for a least an hour to have goofy fun with. The only issue is Nintendo's attitude towards online gaming which could hinder the fun by having voice chat in random matches disabled. But if there's a quick way to signal to teammates in a match, it's worth it to not hear which 12 year old made sexual congress with my mom last night.

Batman: Arkham Knight (June 6th, 23rd multi-platform, action-adventure)
Developer: Rocksteady Studios

Moved from an October release last year to June, Arkham Knight is the fourth game in the Batman Arkham series. But this time it's got Rocksteady back in the bat seat to put Bats in the current gen. While Paul Dini is not writing this one, I'm confident the story cooked up by the game's director and two others will give us a satisfying continuation of one of the best superhero games ever.

Galak-Z: The Dimensional (PS4/Vita/PC, side scrolling shooter)
Developer: 17-BIT

I've been tracking this indie title for a year now since I first heard of it. Initially just another 2D space shooter, 17-BIT found it's voice by making it into a forgotten 70s/early 80s Sci-Fi anime, complete with eyecatches and a hero in a snazzy red jumpsuit. It's a space combat roguelike, with generated levels in each playthough, and from the footage, some manic ship combat. Sony saw it's potential, so it's a console exclusive for the PS4 and Vita.

Persona 5 (PS3/PS4, Japanese RPG)
Developer: Atlus

Persona had a slow start in NA up until 3 and 4 became overnight sensations among anime fans and gamers alike with its introduction of dating sim style social links to strengthen companion bonds. After a six year wait, Persona is finally coming to the HD era of gaming. Stylish, with a new stealth mechanic and a plot involving high school cat burglars armed with physical manifestations of their psyche. And guns.

No Man's Sky (PS4/PC, First Person Adventure)
Developer: Hello Games

The game admittedly seems too ambitious for it's own good, but Hello Games seems pretty confident of their procedurally generated space adventure. To go from Joe Danger (a game I loved) to something of this magnitude, there's a danger it might be merely the same planets just with a different skin. But they haven't released a bad game to me yet, and I hold out hope that No Man's Sky will keep me coming back to see what happens next.

Uncharted 4: A Thief's End (PS4, third-person shooter)
Developer: Naughty Dog

Uncharted started out being derided as a Tomb Raider clone, only to surprise with big budget action movie thrills, a likeable main character, and exotic locals that showed off the PlayStation 3's abilities. Now Naughty Dog is gonna do it all again for the PlayStation 4 with A Thief's End. Featuring a slightly more grizzled Nathan Drake, the footage shown so far has proven to be impressive and while the story details are sparse, it's assumed that maybe, this is the final adventure of Drake. (probably not) Naughty Dog says Spring 2016.

Silent Hills (PS4, survival horror)
Developer: Kojima Productions

I personally think Silent Hill as a series stopped after 2004's The Room. Every game after that was from different studios, and it showed how much the series has strayed from its roots much like Resident Evil. Since he's single-handedly holding up the company, Konami thought wise to give the keys to Hideo Kojima who, alongside Guillermo del Toro to save the franchise. If what we get is anywhere near the "playable trailer" that P.T. was, this could be a game of the year contender, or good fodder for PewDiePie. As of 4/26/15, this game is canned.

The Legend of Zelda (2015 or not, according to Nintendo) (WiiU, action-adventure)
Developer: Nintendo EAD Group No. 3

Legend of Zelda + huge map + non-linear dungeon crawling = HYPE. I mean, do I really need to explain this? This could be the Zelda game everyone's been wanting for years, something that could jumpstart more Wii U sales...or it could be merely mediocre, and even then, 10 years down the road it'll get an HD remake that everyone will cream themselves over.
Not this year says Nintendo.

Drawn to Death (PS4, third person shooter)
Developer: The Bartlet Jones Supernatural Detective Agency

David Jaffe is a controversial figure in game development. A dickish, yet likeable guy, he's worked for Sony since the first Twisted Metal, and every time he announces a new game, I take notice. Last year at the PlayStation Experience he showed off this. It's free-to-play, a four player third person arena shooter, and the art design resembles some punk kid's doodles from math class. It may seem a bit lean on how many players in a match, but in these days of multiplayer online battle arenas, shooters are moving into that niche now. Expect various characters with specific abilities and skill based gameplay, if Jaffe is to be believed.

 

Honorable Mentions and why they were left out: Cyberpunk 2077 (CD Projekt RED said 2015 was the release year, but focused all their energy on Witcher 3, so it's unlikely we'll see this game soon.), Final Fantasy XV (Episode Duscae notwithstanding, I'll believe it when I see a street date set on this.), Deep Down (Capcom has been very silent on this one, they say 2015, but with no other details, I have nothing to say about it.)

 

 

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