Another year gone is another opportunity to look back at what was. Overall a pretty solid twelve months of video games that kicked off slowly (as they often do) and gained momentum as the months rolled on. Here are just a handful of my favourites from 2015.
UNTIL DAWN (PS4) – [usr 4]
A total sleeper hit, Until Dawn put you in control of a group of teenagers as they fight for their lives atop a blizzard covered mountain. On the run from deadly monsters, a serial killer, and much more, all your actions (or lack of) could potentially mean death for the character you play as leaving the door open to a variety of endings. The game is not only unique in the way the story plays out but graphically one of the most under-appreciated titles of the year.
It's certainly not for everyone but horror movie fans or people looking for an experience outside the standard fare of games should give it a look.
BLOODBORNE (PS4) – [usr 4.5]
Bloodborne is a nightmare, which I mean in the best possible way. Dark twisted art with a relentless sense of defeat around every corner make this an easy choice for the best game of 2015.
With a twist near the half-way point that will make you question your sanity, to the wonderfully replayable multiplayer component or chalice dungeons, this is a game that fans of the Souls series new and old absolutely have to experience.
THE WITCHER 3: WILD HUNT (PS4/XBO/PC) – [usr 5]
The Witcher 3 was, without question, the best game I played this year. With 100+ hours of quests and free updates (as well as a solid 5-10 hour addition with the excellent Hearts of Stone paid DLC pack), the game and lore seem endless.
The game’s story features a great cast of characters, some new and others returning favourites that will please fans of the previous games for sure. The core gameplay and combat mechanics have been substantially overhauled since the original Witcher titles to make combat really enjoyable and the whole experience that much better. While you might think there would be somewhat of a barrier-to-entry because of the original two titles, Witcher 3 does its best to provide enough material to keep everyone up to speed with the backstory, which is greatly appreciated.
If you're on the (Wild) hunt for a fan new RPGs with a deeper, more mature tone, this one is calling to you.
JUST CAUSE 3
While I wasn’t able to put enough time into this one to really give it a fair assessment, what hours I did squeeze out of it were pretty entertaining. Similar to the first and second games, the story is a bit lacking but what the narrative lacks the rest of the game makes up for with an obscene amount of action.
While I would have loved nothing more than to prop this game up atop the pile of great games I played this year, I just couldn’t. The feeling of “been there, done that” was just a little too overwhelming. That said, updated graphics and handful of interesting new components, such as the base building and weapon mods, combined with the classic Fallout 3 gameplay make it tough not to recommend.