Here at Player2 we are not doing a traditional game of the year article. Our tastes vary wildly so finding one game that could qualify as the best game of the year would almost be impossible. So instead our writers got thinking about their own personal 2015 and the games they loved, the games they hated and the games that surprised them. Over the next few days we will be publishing these thoughts. Welcome to 2015: The Good, The Bad and The Surprising.
The Good – Until Dawn
When I reviewed this game, I expected a cheesy interactive horror flick, and that’s exactly what I got. But what surprised me about this title was just how much I loved it. I got really, really freaked out in a lot of places during the game. There were times I had to hand the controller over because I just couldn’t handle it anymore. Considering I was expecting something Scream-esque; this was a big surprise. Until Dawn also has a huge cult following on Tumblr, which I stumbled upon by complete accident, and was shocked to see. These characters resonated with a big group of people, and I was not expecting that at all. Another thing that surprised me was just how much fun this is to play in a big group of people. I played this with a group of friends not long ago, and everybody sat on the edge of their seat awkwardly anticipating what was going to happen next (well, all except for one of my mates who sat with his face turned into a pillow out of fear the whole time). It was a really great time, and I’d love to see more titles like this in the future.
The Bad – Monster Hunter 4
I have not been playing this franchise long- only since the third one. I bought it because it was something I could play on my DS with somebody else for a change. Despite not being a fan of the third one, I decided to pick up the fourth thinking maybe, just maybe, this time would be different.
I know lots of people love this series, but there’s something about ‘find monster, kill monster, repair gear, repeat’ that I just really didn’t enjoy. It had its moments when I played with somebody else, and I imagine it being a heap of fun if you were in a group- but the single player mode in this series has burned me twice now, and I won’t be giving it another go.
The Surprising – Neko Atsume
Holy heck this game took over my life for a good fortnight. As simple as this mobile game is in premise (collect cats, take photos of them, repeat), it sucks you in something wicked. Everybody I recommended it to got hooked immediately, and stayed that way for at least a week. Now with all the merchandise coming out around it, I can see this game staying at the top of a lot of people’s lists for a long time- and why not? It’s easy to pick up, doesn’t screw you around with micro transactions every thirty seconds, and is cute as crap! Pssst have you heard there’s a puppy version due out? Because there’s a puppy version due out.
The Good – Rise of the Tomb Raider
In a year that was chock full of super high quality open world experiences it is perhaps strange that my favourite game of the year was a narrative driven linear adventure. Rise of the Tomb Raider took everything that made Lara’s reboot great and polished it until it became one of the best adventures ever. There is nothing revolutionary here but there doesn’t need to be, it is a high quality ride from start to finish. What is even better is the multiplayer isn’t rubbish this time around meaning the game has legs beyond the, admittedly lengthy, single player campaign. Nathan Drake has some serious work ahead of him if he wants to topple Lara and reclaim his throne that is for sure. Well done Crystal Dynamics, well done.
The Bad – Batman Arkham Knight
Now let me get this in right now. Batman Arkham Knight isn’t a bad game. In fact it is a great game and while it has a few little niggles it is a must play for anyone with a slight interest in the Caped Crusader. The reason Batman lands in the bad category is because of the completely botched PC release. The game was downright broken and was in such a state that Warner Brothers were forced to take the unprecedented step of removing the game from sale. It wouldn’t be for another 3 months that game would be once again be on sale and even then many problems still persisted. There wasn’t even an attempt to smooth over fan’s ire with free DLC or a bonus of some kind. Nope WB’s response to fans was pretty much “tough bikkies”. Batman Arkham Knight is a text book example of how not to release a PC Game and hopefully every game company on the planet takes notice of how badly it turned out.
The Surprising – Transformers: Devastation/Dying Light
Yes I know I am cheating but I am the Editor so I am allowed to. Actually the reasons these two games are my surprises for 2015 are basically the same. Both games had no right to be good games, let alone great ones. Dying Light came from the creators of the promising-yet-terrible Dead Island games so I gave it little chance of being fun. Boy was I wrong. The parkour movement system along with meaningful story and interesting RPG elements made Dying Light one of the best Zombie games available (and there are a few of them). The game is well worth picking up and what’s more it is a game that has continued to have support from its developers who have improved the game significantly over the year since its release.
Transformers: Devastation had a lot working against it. It was announced at E3 with a release date set for two months later, It was a licenced property and it was being released by a company that has a reputation for cashing in. Luckily the game was being developed by the action masters at Platinum Games and it turned out to the best Transformers game ever. Excellent melee combat crossed with robots in disguise and a focus on the classic G1 versions of the characters makes this a must for fans. It is being sold at a budget price but don’t let that put you off, Transformers: Devastation is all class.