Many of us gamers joked around that this year’s E3 was really “the year of 2015”, as pretty much all the exciting things shown off were getting release dates next year. Well, friends, the year of 2015 is almost upon us and that means the games we’ve all been waiting for are finally within reach. The gamers here on the Cinelinx team have got together to talk about the games we’re most looking forward to (much like we have with our most anticipated movies), and why they sit so high on our lists:
Etherium – I know this may seem like an odd choice considering the wealth of amazing games coming out, but this is one I’ve been looking forward to for a while. For one, I’m a big real-time strategy fan and 2015 looks to be a year in which it will see a pointed resurgence. Etherium has been on my radar for a little while now, coming from developers with a solid history of RTS development behind them.
Beyond it being a fun looking strategy title, there’s another good reason I’m so looking forward to Etherium…It looks exactly like the Dune game I’ve been wanting for years. The Dune series (one of the seminal RTS games) have been quiet for a LONG time now, but Etherium seems to be capturing the spirit of those games (harvesting a rare mineral, avoiding local wildlife, etc.) and I can’t wait to see how it all unfolds.
Star Wars: Battlefront – It’s no secret that I’m a massive Star Wars fan, and the incredibly long drought in quality Star Wars games over the years have me itching for something awesome. Fans have been waiting a long time since EA took control of the license after Disney purchased Lucasfilm, but next year will bring their first Star Wars game to the table in a Battlefront reboot.
Gamers in general have been wanting Star Wars: Battlefront 3 for a long time, and it’s tortured development history has long been a subject of fascination for fans. While we’ve only seen fleeting glimpses of the game, it still looks impressive. Hopefully the release of the new Battlefront will final signal the start of flood of great Star Wars games once again, a new era for gamers and Star Wars nerds alike to enjoy.
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain – The Metal Gear franchise is easily my all time favorite, having played through all of them, and is about the only other thing I collect aside from Star Wars stuff. MGS remains one of my favorite gaming experiences, and is still a shining example of how storytelling can be powerful and engaging with video games.
It’s no shocker, then, that I cannot wait for The Phantom Pain, and feel like we’ve been waiting forever for it to finally happen. Metal Gear Solid 4 released early in the previous console generation, and the while the wait has been filled with smaller (but very fun) titles, it’s time to see Metal Gear back home on the big consoles. What we’ve seen so far of the game looks incredible, with a powerful engine we got a tease for in Ground Zeroes. All things considered The Phantom Pain may be the defining next-gen experience, and once again this franchise could be setting a standard for the industry moving forward. That’s what I hope for at least!
Honorable Mentions: These are some “gimmes” that I don’t think need any REAL explanation on why I want them so bad: Batman: Arkham Knight,Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, The Witcher 3, Zelda Wii U, Star Fox Wii U, No Man’s Sky.
Metal Gear Solid V : The Phantom Pain – I normally try to be varied in these articles and pick games that others won’t for sure pick, but I’m such an MGS fan that I can’t help it! I already saw up close a portion of the game at E3, we all got to see more in later events, and my goodness doesn’t that look amazing? I know lots of people hated the paid demo Ground Zeroes, but I loved it. That’s how much of a fan I am! I even put an MGS Foxhound sticker on my car. To me, Metal Gear is the Star Wars of the game universe. It’s so expansive and so fun to explore, and Kojima always does an amazing job of exploring something new with every release in the series.
Mortal Kombat X – I don’t know why I enjoy Mortal Kombat so much. I’ve played the franchise since I was little and I still suck at these games. Yet, there I was watching the gameplay at E3 like a little kid waiting for Santa to walk out into the Mall! Seriously this game is so exciting that even my girlfriend has been asking me “did you go pre-order Mortal Kombat? Make sure you do it!” The game itself looks excellent, great character choices, and even better gameplay. They have some great creative ideas heading into it, and there is a lot plan. There is so much stuff pumped into the game that during their short presentation at E3 they actually ran out of time trying to show us everything. The team was so much more energetic and excited to show off their game than anyone else I talked to, so that only means good things from my perspective.
Rainbow Six Siege – I don’t know why I’m listing this. With my luck it will be delayed and this game will make my list next year as my “most anticipated 2016 release.” It’s worth a shot though right? I mean it is Rainbow Six and I absolutely adore Rainbow Six! If (yes I know, if) the game releases this year then I’m calling it now, possible GOTY winner. The bad news is that this is a game that was dumped, rebooted, dumped, and transformed, and the old stuff we saw a few years ago was fantastic. The good news, the new stuff we got looked even better! It’s returning to core team tactics, and has a hardcore twist to it. This means the casual may be turned off, but core gamers like myself will love the challenge. Just like Vegas! Finally we get to talk about Rainbow Six again, it has been way too long!
Honorable mentions:Uncharted 4, The Legend of Zelda (My goodness!), Halo 5: Guardians, Star Wars: Battlefront, Batman: Arkham Knight. My goodness there are too many to list, it was hard just picking these! The year will be fantastic!
Hotline Miami 2 – I’ve heard one song from the soundtrack to this game and already I love it. Basically all this game has to be is more of the same – refined – and with a few well-executed new features. The fear is that they will try too hard to be ‘Hotline Miami 2’ and that this will show through during the gameplay and story. I have my suspicions that that won’t be the case though, and instead we’ll be delivered another exceptionally stylish arcade top-down kill-’em-up with a soundtrack to kill for. Pig masks on.
Hyper Light Drifter – The moment I saw the wonderfully styled retro graphics and beautiful aesthetic for this game I had to back it on Kickstarter. I was clearly not the only one, as they far exceeded their pitch amount. I have since intentionally avoided their dev diaries and all other screenshots and information about the game, so that it’s more of a surprise for me when I do finally get to experience it. I’m hoping for a great story underpinned by gorgeous 16-bit environments, animations, characters and sounds. I’m envisioning the immersion of Super Metroid with the style and wonderment of Fez, mixed in with a little dose of Sword and Sorcery. That’s a Michelin-level ingredients list right there. I’m looking forward to seeing how it tastes.
Just Cause 3 – Just Cause 2 was ahead of its time. The scope and beauty of it were boggling when I first played; it’s akin to the much later Far Cry 3 and GTAV. After completing the main story missions, and a good chunk of exploring and item collection, though, the desperately irritating issues in the game’s design make the talented art team’s efforts ruined; leaving an abandoned potential experience sat in my games drawer never to be played again. But! If they’ve listened to their fans; if they’ve played the damn game themselves and noticed its glaring myriad problems; if they’ve then approached these issues in the new game with both good design and a good budget, then we could be in for an incredible treat in number 3. We’ll see…
Zelda Wii U – Or as I like to call it The Elder Scrolls: Hyrule. It took all of three minutes and forty-two seconds for Eiji Aonuma to capture the attention of the gaming world at E3 this past year. Showing us gameplay from the tried and true original story The Legend of Zelda and from Windwaker to explain how they have always wanted to create the feeling of large and open world. Then he snaps his fingers and we are given the first snapshot into the gorgeous the “new world of Zelda.” The teaser was the first to pique my interest, but the gameplay shown the Game Awards on December 5th blew my mind. The moment that Miyamoto zooms into the map on the gamepad, then proceeded to zoom out TWICE to show the expansive realm of (what I’m assuming will be) Hyrule I knew that this game is going to be a big deal. If you haven’t watched Aonuma explore (on foot, in the air, and on Epona’s back) or divulge some aspects of the combat system yet, I highly recommend that you immediately open another tab and watch it. Now.
No Man’s Sky – Yet another title that was given a short gameplay trailer that was given absolutely no context. And yet again, I was blown away. I was almost obsessive in trying to find more out about this game and in the months since E3 a lot of information has surfaced and with each tidbit of information found and every gameplay trailer posted my excitement continues to grow. The fact of the matter is, is that the universe in No Man’s Sky is infinite (According to Sean Murray, the managing director at Hello Games) and that you can do things like chop down a tree, but not ride a dinosaur. Some of the planets are the size of Earth, some are duds, and you may encounter a black hole. There isn’t really a goal for the game, and if there was a goal it would be to get to the center of the universe. Regardless of how ambiguous the game seems at the moment I know that I absolutely cannot wait for this game.
Final Fantasy XV – So this game, too, was announced at E3. Except this particular title was not announced at this years exposition, but from 2006. This installment into the Final Fantasy series was originally known as Final Fantasy Versus XIII, but this year Square unveiled the rebranded name and gave us a glimpse at what they had been working on for past seven years. Since the announcement this year there have been a few more videos demoing gameplay that delve into the modern fantasy world that Noctis, the protagonist, is fighting to survive and protect his family in. This game does not have a confirmed 2015 release, but with Tetsuya Nomura leaving XV’s development to focus on Kingdom Hearts 3 there may be hope that this game with be a holiday release for the upcoming year. And, to be quite honest, this is the game that I am the most excited about in the next year. Hopefully it lives up to the hype.
Honorable mentions: Yoshi’s Wooly World, Kirby and the Rainbow Curse, The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3DS, Star Wars: Battlefront, Story of Seasons, Batman Arkham Knight, Uncharted 4: A Theif’s End
Chris “Danger” Kidd
Batman: Arkham Knight – The final chapter in the Arkham Trilogy is a title that fans of the Batman franchise (including myself) have been awaiting since it’s initial announcement in 2013. Even though it has been delayed a few times, it’s shaping up to be one of the top games for next gen in the new year. It has all the elements of the previous titles, plus The Batmobile, which makes it’s long awaited debut as well as a (spoilers) rumored appearance by another major DC stalwart.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt – The Witcher 2 was one of the best surprises of the past few years for me, and it created an excellent action RPG world that I happily invested massive amounts of time in. It dealt with mature themes, allowed for a large amount of player choice, and still had an amazing and engrossing central story. With The Witcher 3, CD Projekt Red appears to be going all out to create something bigger, better, and even more impressive. The first trailer and gameplay clips were gorgeous, and it looks like players can expect a huge, open-world, a deep story, and fast-paced action. Despite the recent delay (which I feel only shows the dev team’s dedication to making a game for the ages), this is hands-down my most anticipated game of 2015, and that’s saying a lot because…
Final Fantasy XV – I’ve been an avid Final Fantasy fan for almost as long as I can remember. I consider Final Fantasy VI to be one of the greatest RPG stories of all-time, and Final Fantasy VII literally changed my life and inspired me to become a game designer. I’ve played every Final Fantasy game multiple times, and I am GREATLY looking forward to Final Fantasy XV. For a while now, Final Fantasy has been slipping from the glory it once held. There have been strong entries, but nothing that inspired the fervor that the series used to. But XV has been in development for an incredibly long time. Based on the trailers, it’s trying edgy new things that the series hasn’t attempted before. Unlike XIII, it has a huge open world, and unlike most entries in the series, it seems to be pushing things further in an action sort of direction. With this much time and effort, I refuse to believe that Square Enix isn’t doing something they feel will be incredible, and I can’t wait to see how it turns out.
Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End – While I love the Uncharted series, if I’m being completely truthful, this game is on my list because Naughty Dog has grown better and better with every game they make, and they’re already one of the most impressive developers out there. The Last of Us was an absolute masterpiece, and Uncharted’s story of Nathan Drake has become more engaging with every entry. The gameplay trailer released recently was a great example of how beautiful a game can be running on the new generation of consoles, and it showed interesting new gameplay features and better AI as well. While technically I’m looking forward to Metal Gear Solid V a little more than this game, I wouldn’t be surprised to see this game giving Metal Gear a run for its money and I felt it needed to be represented on this list.
Honorable Mentions:Persona 5, Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, Starcraft II: Legacy of the Void (please let this be a 2015 release!), Rise of the Tomb Raider,The Order: 1886
2015 is set to be a big year for the video game industry and we can’t wait to see if all of these games pay off. Which games are you looking forward to most in the new year?
-The Cinelinx Team