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.
2015: The Good, The Bad and The Surprising – Part 1
The Good – Fallout 4
Let me say firstly that from a critical perspective, Fallout 4 wouldn’t be my game of the year. It does have some problems, but as far as the games that I love and get the most from, Fallout 4 wins it hands down. The way Bethesda creates, then unleashes the player into it’s worlds is unquestionably unique, and whilst it can certainly be argued that they may have played it a bit safe with Fallout 4, it’s exactly what I wanted.
The sheer number of quests to complete, the depth of the building and crafting mechanics, all the way to the characters you meet and the things you can see. It’s what I want from video games, and despite already spending 80+ hours with it, I can see myself easily doubling that count by the time I’m done.
The Bad – Rugby World Cup 2015
I’ll readily admit that I’m not the biggest Rugby Union fan around, but I know enough about the sport to know that it’s world cup is one of the biggest sporting events on the planet. Rugby World Cup 2015, by contrast, is undoubtedly one of the worst games on the planet. Firstly, it’s a re-skin of a another terrible game that was released six month prior, Rugby ’15. Secondly, despite having the licence to the actual Rugby World Cup, RWC ’15 features exactly zero real life players. It’s controls barely work, and offer zero nuance when it comes to movement – outstanding in a game where side stepping or running around the opposition is the only way to score. The kicking mechanics, important in a Rugby game, are utterly broken and the commentary is blander than a potato.
It’s hard for me to detail fully how poor the controls are without going into an expletive laced rant, so I’ll leave it with this. Rugby World Cup 15 makes a better drink coaster than a video game.
The Surprising – Masochisia
You’ve probably never heard of Masochisia. I hadn’t either, until a copy graced my inbox for review a few months ago. I haven’t been able to get it off my mind since. An incredible, narrative driven, point and click psychological horror story that fully depicts the harshness of dealing with violent psychological abuse and its consequences on a young mind. You play a young man, whose family is about as messed up as you could imagine, who is trying to find a way to deal with the terrible feelings he is experiencing after the loss of his older brother as well as copping the majority of the anger and pain that his family is dealing with.
Made by one man developer Jon Oldblood, this tale is only a few hours long, but the story and its repercussions have stuck with me since. Even in a year like 2015, that is choc-filled with gaming excellence, Masochisia breaks emphatically into my top 5 games of the year, perhaps even my top 3. It is a triumph in video game narrative, and it’s a crime that more people haven’t given it a look. It’s a tough one to sit through, but it’s worth it.
I’ll admit right here, right now, that I was completely underwhelmed with 2014. Let’s be honest here, for gamers, there really wasn’t much to sing and dance about. But boy oh boy 2015 is a WHOLE different story! So what was good about it? Easily what has transpired in the space of a few weeks and here’s a list of games that encompasses every reason that I love gaming and made 2015 so good:
StarCraft 2 – Legacy of the Void
Rise of the Tomb Raider
Star Wars: Battlefront
Wow, just wow. In less than a month my ‘to play’ list went from non-existent to complete saturation. What a fantastic way to round out the year, fantastic game after fantastic game!
Usually I don’t like being negative on games, although as a critic and reviewer, your hand is somewhat forced at times. So I could tell you how I was disappointed with Nintendo’s Star Fox showing at EB Expo, or their delaying of the new Zelda game to 2016 (which, to be honest, we all saw coming). I could even go into a number of releases that just left me completely dissatisfied. But I won’t, the bad thing that stuck with me this year was EVO 2015.
Now let me first say, that EVO 2015 was completely and utterly EPIC! But something left me salty. It was the ULTRA SF4 finals between Momochi and Gamerbee. Picture this if you will, it’s the finals, the bracket has been reset and both players are going round for round, match for match. Then in the final match the unthinkable happens … Momochi’s fight stick loses its connection. Now rules state that you forfeit the round. Sadly due to this we had to endure two things:
The long wait for the round to end with Gamerbee getting a life lead
The long wait for a replacement stick to be found
And then we saw the final round which should have been nail bitingly epic and yet it felt more like a fizzle than an atomic bomb. Such a shame, the Hype Gods were against us that day.
This one definitely hit me out of left field. It’s hard to find a game that grips me and holds my attention for a lengthy period of time. One day a friend of mine sent me a game on Steam. Why? Because he’s awesome! That’s why! I digress, that game was Rocket League.
Such a simple concept and yet has such a deep skill set that can be gained. On top of that, it’s insanely fun and if you have a spare 10 minutes, you can start and finish a game then be on your way! Seriously, this game has ticked all the right boxes for me, I love it dearly and I’m still playing it to this day, everyone should.
That’s the end of part one of our 2015 wrap up. Stay tuned for more later in the week.