Our Most Anticipated Games: Winter 2015 Edition
It has been three months since the last time we here at GameCrate sat down and chose the games we are personally anticipating the most. Since we last wrote on this topic we've passed through the busy months of October and November, and we've finally had a chance to properly play some of the games we were looking forward to for much of the past year.
But the game releases never stop, and 2015 will bring a fresh batch of titles, both AAA and indie, about which we can get excited.
Here are the games we are anticipating the most as 2015 dawns.
Nick's Most Anticipated Games
#5 Dying Light
This parkour-fueled zombie smasher is likely to be one of the first must-play games of 2015 when it releases on January 27, 2015 for PC, PS4, and Xbox One. There's plenty to be excited about with Dying Light, from the game's smooth combat and movement system to the ability to play as an elite zombie in one of the game's modes.
Zombies may have infested pop culture to the point of tedium at this point, but Dying Light is looking as though it just might have enough going for it to stand out from the horde.
After numerous delays, we'll finally get our hands on the conclusion to the Arkham series in June of 2015. The game has looked strong thus far, with the classic and refined Arkham gameplay combining with Batmobile-based vehicular combat.
Many gamers felt that Arkham Origins was a bit of a misstep for the series, but Arkham Knight will have original developers Rocksteady back at the helm, and right now all signs seem to indicate the game will offer more of everything franchise fans have enjoyed in the past, with better graphics and new features possible thanks to next-gen hardware.
I'm going to keep putting this game on these "most-anticipated" lists until it comes out, darn it. Hellraid is a first-person combat experience dripping in Gothic atmosphere and focused on melee combat. Gameplay footage makes the game look like a creepier, more combat-focused Skyrim, and the co-op potential and alternate modes that the game will include seem like they could be an absolute blast.
The game's developers credit games like Hexen. Heretic, Diablo, and Dark Messiah of Might and Magic as inspirations, which should be music to the ears of certain old-school game fans. We still don't have an exact release date for Hellraid, and the game's Early Access period has been cancelled, but I have my fingers crossed we'll actually be able to play the game by Summer of 2015.
I went hands-on with Overwatch at BlizzCon 2014, and found a lot to like about Blizzard's upcoming MOBA-inspired FPS. The biggest draw of the game for me is the sheer variety on display, with characters possessing vastly different powers, strategies, and event methods of movement.
Switching between a heavyweight gorilla designed for close-quarters combat and a nimble samurai who fires arrows and can climb walls is an expeirence you just can't get in other games, and that's one of the big reasons I'm eager for more information what Blizzard has in store and more chances to try out Overwatch in 2015.
Every time I get a chance to go hands-on with Evolve it just makes me more excited for the full release of the game. Most recently I was able to test-drive the game's Wraith monster and the single-player experience it has to offer, and it's looking very likely that Evolve is going to be a title which will devour hours of my life in 2015.
Evolve offers a rich variety of different gameplay experiences depending on your role in a given game, the map you're playing on, and the mission type. And with free DLC maps promised and hints at plans for additional hunters in the future, the game is only going to get bigger and deeper in the future.
I was tempted to include...
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. I'm hopeful that delaying the game to May will work out for the best, but so far the gameplay footage I've seen has felt like a bit of a mixed bag. Vibrant living cities and terrific monster design look to go hand-in-hand with clunky combat and groan-inducing writing and voice acting. Until I see some sign that the game is correcting course in these iffy areas, I'm going to hold off getting excited about The Witcher 3.
Quibian's Most Anticipated Games
It’s no secret that I’m kind of hard on Nintendo. I've been tired of Mario, Link, and the rest of the Nintendo gang since the 1990s. But I can’t deny the past year in which, despite using the same ole characters, Mario Kart 8 and Super Smash Bros Wii U were fun. In 2015 it looks like Zelda will be just as fun. After the preview that Shigeru Miyamoto and Eiji Aonuma shared at the Game Awards, I can’t lie, I was kind of excited to check it out.
My excitement for Arkham Knight waned a bit amidst all the great games that came out this past fall. However, Warner Bros.' recent release of their Ace Chemicals series of gameplay trailers renewed that excitement. So much action, Batman!
The gameplay clips from Final Fantasy XV keep getting better and better. In the most recent trailer from the Jump Festa 2015 event, we got a taste of the open world, the creatures within, and how battles will take place. Not to mention some pretty cool cutscenes. How can you not be excited for this one?
#2 Until Dawn
To be honest, when Until Dawn was announced earlier this year it didn’t really move me much. When I got my hands on it at PlayStation Experience, however, I came away thoroughly impressed. The portion of the game I played had you as Hayden Patteniere’s character running from a psycho trying to kill you, and it was stressful, scary, and exhilarating. Having a time limit on your choices also adds to that anxiety. I’m looking forward to playing the full game.
Did you watch the Uncharted 4 demo during the PlayStation Experience Keynote? Then you understand. If not, then watch this. At this point, Naughty Dog can do wrong. Uncharted 4 looks superb graphically, the gameplay looks phenomenal, and the sound design appears hard-hitting and immersive. I can’t wait.
I was tempted to include...
Quantum Break once again, but we haven't seen or heard anything since Gamescom back in August. I was hoping we'd see something new during The Game Awards, but there were hardly any Xbox-centric titles shown at the event. Hopefully we'll see something new this spring or around E3 in the summer. I'm still anticipating the game but I wish they'd give us something to keep the anticipation going.
I'm not so sure about...
Halo 5: Guardians. After the disastrous launch of Halo: The Master Chief collection, anything to do with Halo could be leaving a bad taste in the mouth of most fans. The free stuff and the current Halo 5 Multiplayer Beta might soothe some of the tension, but when it comes to the Halo 5 launch in November, will Microsoft and 343 Industries have all of their ducks in a row? We hope so.
Karim's Most Anticipated Games
#5 Grey Goo
Since its release in 2010, StarCraft II has maintained its dominance in the RTS genre with a robust competitive scene and an active ladder where hundreds of thousands of players play daily. While I've spent my fair share of time with StarCraft II (over 6,000 games played and counting), I do wish for an alternative game to dive into. After all, Dota 2 has League of Legends, so why can't StarCraft have its RTS counterpart?
This is where I get excited for Grey Goo. Petroglyph Games, a studio made up of former Command and Conquer, Age of Empires, and Rise of Nations developers has teased us with gameplay videos of their upcoming RTS title, and I for one can't wait to get my hands on it. Similar to StarCraft, the game pits three unique factions against each other where players will have to manage their units and economy in order to prevail.
Although I won't go so far as to say that Grey Goo will be better than StarCraft II, I am excited for a change of pace, which will come January 23, less than a month from now.
Often considered to be an outlier in the franchise, Majora's Mask remains one of the more opaque titles in the Zelda universe. From the creepy atmostphere to the psychosomatic struggles of the protagonist, critics have praised Nintendo for taking a risk with one of their most recognizable titles—a risk that paid off.
While I personally never got too far into the Nintendo 64 version of Majora's Mask (my friend would only let me borrow it for so long), I have perused numerous Majora's Mask videos and articles, so much so that I can't wait to get my hands on the 3DS version of it.
With a robust roster of seemingly countless mascots, it's not often we get a brand new IP from Nintendo, which is already pretty exciting to begin with. Like an epic game of paintball, Splatoon's gameplay consists of players shooting colorful ink against each other in an effort to get most of the territory inked before the clock runs out.
While Super Smash Bros. for Wii U is currently the forerunner for Nintendo's online play (followed by Mario Kart), I am curious to see what a third-person shooter would look like from Nintendo.
The wait is almost over. Almost.
It's been nine years since Star Wars: Battlefront II hit the shelves, and fans of the franchise have been eagerly waiting for the first-person/third-person Star Wars shooter that lets players engage in space combat in the air and on the ground. Set to come out around the time of the theatrical release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the third installment of the series will feature next-generation graphics courtesy of the Frostbite 3 engine and seamless ground-to-space combat.
After playing a dozen or so games of StarCraft: Legacy of the Void at this year's BlizzCon, I've got many reasons to be excited. For one, Blizzard is turning StarCraft on its head by doubling the number of workers and cutting down the number of minerals per base, dramatically increasing the pace and flow of the game.
In addition to economy changes, there are numerous unit changes and additions for all three races, though its unclear whether these changes will make it past the beta, which many are expecting to come out later this year. I'm also looking forward to the campaign, which will center on the Protoss race, effectively bringing the trilogy to its conclusion.
As the last expansion of the StarCraft II franchise, I'm mostly eager to see how the race and economy changes will be manifested in the professional StarCraft scene considering they will upend all existing strategies.
I was tempted to include...
Legend of Zelda, but Quibian has already chosen it. From the gameplay footage that I've seen, I can already tell that the next installment of the venerable franchise will be a massive hit, so really, this is a hidden #6, shhh....
I'm not that sure about...
Assassin's Creed: Victory. Have you seen Assassin's Creed: Unity? Considering Ubisoft's recent launch-day debacles and unusual post-release embargo dates on reviews, it seems the company has forgotten the most basic rule of keeping fans happy: ship a working copy. As Ubisoft is continuing to press on with a seemingly impossible-to-meet yearly publishing schedule, I don't have high hopes for Assassin's Creed: Victory.
Those are the games we are looking forward to, but how about you? Please share your own most anticipated titles in the comments below!