Friday, 16 January 2015

5 Most Anticipated Games of 2015

2014 was an incredible year in gaming. From classics such as Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor, Alien: Isolation, South Park: The Stick of Truth and the perfect re-release of Grand Theft Auto V, no one can say that 2014 didn't deliver. However, with 2014 now behind us and 2015 ahead, it's time to look forward to the games awaiting us within the next 12 months. Going by this list it looks like 2015 might top 2014 is gaming awesomeness.


5- Batman: Arkham Knight


Since the release of Batman on the ZX Spectrum way back in 1986, there have been many videogames released based upon the caped crusader. Some have been good, some have been terrible, but I don't think any of them have been truly great. It's a shame really because out of all the superheroes out there, I firmly believe that Batman is not just the most interesting, but also the perfect vehicle for a pretty kick ass game. Thankfully though a developer out there saw the light, as back in 2009 Rocksteady Games, developers of the badass Urban Chaos: Riot Response, released Batman: Arkham Asylum, which offered players the best Batman experience to date. Then they followed it with Batman: Arkham City, which genuinely bested Arkham Asylum in every way. Now Rocksteady Games are getting ready to release the final part of the Arkham saga- Batman: Arkham Knight.

Though the series has been pretty fantastic so far, this is the entry we've all been waiting for. Set one year after Arkham City, Arkham Knight once again places you in an open-world Gotham City. The story focuses on Scarecrow spearheading an opportunity for all of Batman's enemies to come together and focus their efforts in order to try and kill the caped crusader once and for all. From featuring slick combat that has been become synonymous with the series overall, a huge open Gotham City to explore, the ability to finally get behind the wheel of the Batmobile, plenty of collectables to keep achievement lovers busy, loads of classic Batman villains to go up against, and the overall mystery as to who the new “Arkham Knight” truly is, Batman: Arkham Knight is going to be incredible.

4- The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt


I'm an RPG nut, but while I'll pretty much play any kind, the older I get I'm starting to move away from JRPGs. I don't know why exactly, but one non-Japanese RPG series that has captured my attention since 2007 has been The Witcher. Based upon the fantasy novel series of the same name by Andrzej Sapkowski, The Witcher series is helmed by CD Projekt RED, a Polish developer and saviour of PC gaming. I loved the first two games in The Witcher series, and 2015 will see the release of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, the final game in the critically acclaimed series.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is shaping up quite nicely, and it looks like CD Projekt Red is going all out on making it not only the best in the series, but also one of the best RPGs in years. The first noticeable aspect of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt are its visuals, which are rich, detailed, vast and just bloody gorgeous. From high mountain ranges soaked in thick fog, to lust forests that just demand exploration, I'm so incredibly ready to get lost in this world. Allegedly boasting a world 20% bigger than that of Skyrim, over 100 hours of quests to indulge in, combat that is based upon both magic and melee weapons and an in-depth dialogue system that lets you play how you want, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is looking to be the must-have RPG of 2015. Your move, Final Fantasy XV.

3- The Order: 1886



I've been a fan of SCE Santa Monica Studio for some time now. After releasing the underrated gem Kinetica for the Playstation 2 in 2001, the developer went on to stun the gaming world with the God of War series. Pretty much considered to be the most badass game across the globe, God of War put you toe-to-toe with various Olympian Gods. However as good as that series was, I was keen for Santa Moncia Studios to work on something completely new, and while they have been working on some rather interesting new titles, I wanted something that blew me away like when I first saw the trailer to God of War. It seems like they've done just that, as The Order: 1886 looks pretty damn epic.

The game is set in an alternate history London in, you guessed it, 1886. You take control of a team who are tasked with protecting the world against half animal/half human creatures. Coming across like a blend of The X-Files and a whole slew of stuff written by H.P Lovecraft, The Order: 1886 looks insanely dark, Gothic and creepy. Though essentially just a third-person cover based shooter, I'm hoping that the setting, characters, story and ultra crisp graphics will really make the game stand out. Out of all of our games on this list, The Order: 1886 is the one that will be out the soonest. Lets hope it lives up to expectations. You'll hear our thoughts on it in late February.

2- Xenoblade Chronicles X


 

I have to admit that I haven't really played much of the Xeno series, apart from Xenogears back in 1998 and, most recently, Xenoblade Chronicles. Xenoblade Chronicles really impressed me both in terms of gameplay and its visuals, though especially with its graphics considering that it was released on the Wii, hardware that even by 2011's standards was outdated as shit. So once I heard that Monolith Soft was developing a “spiritual successor” to Xenoblade Chronicles for the Wii U, I dusted off my rarely used Wii U from the corner of the room. Though a release date isn't set in stone, 2015 will see the release of Xenoblade Chronicles X, possibly the best looking game you'll ever see running on the Wii U.

Set in the year 2054, Xenoblade Chronicles X reveals that Earth has been caught in the midst of an ongoing war between two alien races. With causalities rising and no end to the war in sight, large Noah's Ark-like ships packed full of humans are sent off into the cosmos. You play the role of an evacuee who has landed on the planet of Mira. The game focuses heavily on combat and exploration both on-foot and inside huge robots, and after the viewing the trailer above, it's starting to look as if Xenoblade Chronicles X is the dark horse no one is really paying attention to. Why is it that a game running on dated hardware looks 10 times better than most games out nowadays? Needless to say, keep your eyes on Xenoblade Chronicles X.

1- Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain


I need this game now. Seriously. Ever since playing Metal Gear Solid back in 1998 on my original Playstation, I've been a huge fan of the series throughout the years. Though I had some worries about Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, after playing Ground Zeroes- essentially the prologue to The Phantom Pain- I was easily reassured that it still plays like Metal Gear Solid, that the story and writing are now a little more fine tuned and subtle and that, while I would prefer David Hayter in the role, Keifer Sutherland isn't such a bad Big Boss after all. Ground Zeroes was a little taste of things to come, and with the hype machine in full effect, The Phantom Pain is my most anticipated game of 2015.

Set in 1984 after Big Boss has been in a coma for 9 years, The Phantom Pain focuses on Big Boss' efforts in restarting his own army, following the climatic events of Ground Zeroes. Though we've now seen how the saga starts (Metal Gear) and ends (Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots), this entry is an important piece in the puzzle. Why? Because The Phantom Pain will apparently show Big Boss' downfall from respected mercenary to cold blooded, nuke loving psychopath. Offering the classic Metal Gear Solid gameplay but now set in a huge open-world, The Phantom Pain is a blend of various play-styles, themes, characters, stories and environments. It's shaping up to be both possibly the best and most experimental Metal Gear Solid so far. I seriously can't wait. How about you?


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