Let me preface by saying 2015 has been a great year for video games. No matter your preference in terms of platform (PlayStation, Nintendo,
Xbox or PC) or the types of genre you love to play - there has been something for everyone this year.
But there were indeed quite a few standout titles in both the big-budget (AAA) space and independent space that towered over their peers.
The beginning of the year brought us Techland’s Dying Light, a pseudo sequel to their on-going Dead Island franchise
- only with far superior parkour gameplay - allowing you to traverse this massive city - and an excellent day night system that rather than
being purely an aesthetic, became a mechanic in of itself. February welcomed us into The Order, a PlayStation 4 exclusive - by
Ready At Dawn - so beautiful that at times could be mistaken for film. The Order 1886 aimed to tell a cinematic
Victorian tale in a battle against Lycans - highly succeeding in that aspect - but the titles linearity hurt its critical response among
reviewers and gamers expectations alike.
The middle of the year brought the Batman back to our consoles with Rocksteady’s supposed
last game with the franchise in Batman: Arkham Knight and open-world fantasy shone bright with what is regarded as the best
Witcher title to date - with The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt - proving once again that CD Projekt RED are masters of their
craft. If there was one title this year that was an unexpected hit, it would have to be Until Dawn, a horror-adventure title
from an unproven developer (Supermassive Games) just blowing everyone’s expectations away (even ours) becoming a cult phenomenon
within the ‘Let’s Play’ community. And if that wasn’t enough 2015 ended with a deluge of open-world titles in Kojima’s
swan-song with Konami; Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain then a return to the post-apocalypse in
Fallout 4 from Bethesda, and capping-off 2015 with a return to ‘a galaxy far, far away’ just in time for
the film with Star Wars: Battlefront.
Quite the fantastic year for gamers I must say - but there was one highly-anticipated title this year that introduced many to twisted mind
of Hidetaka Miyazaki;
What can be said about Bloodborne that hasn’t already been touched upon in our
earlier in the year? Developed by From Software in collaboration with SCE Japan Studio, this PlayStation 4 exclusive delighted
fans and critics globally with its dark aesthetic, intricate level design stapled with a challenging but rewarding combat system and bosses that
will truly give you nightmares. With a recent DLC pack having been released (titled The Old Hunters), and the game itself being re-released as a
Game Of The Year Edition with said DLC included on disc - there literally is no better time to become engrossed in this macabre title,
just be prepared to die... a lot.
Conversely in 2015 the independent space has been steadily growing steam, so much so that many independently created titles are beginning
to get physical publisher deals and are invading store shelves everywhere! Alongside your copy of Just Cause 3 can now sit
indie titles such as Ether One or Shovel Knight - it’s clear that whatever void big-budget games are leaving,
the slack will be filled with a slew of growing independent companies going forward, and that was made clear with this years best multiplayer
title and our favourite indie game of 2015.
Who knew that playing football (or soccer to our American friends) with rocket propelled, radio-controlled cars would be not only so much
fun but highly competitive? Brought to the majority of gamers attentions through the July, PlayStation Plus subscription service; giving
Rocker League not only massive media exposure, but a consistent player-base that has stuck with the title month after month
and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. With the added functionality of console gamers being able to play against their PC
counterparts and a consistent amount of DLC both free and premium being added nearly every month it has resulted in a hugely successful title
for Psyonix - one that is already garnering eSport attention, and rightly so.
Rocket League has set a milestone within the indie scene or not only the positive aspects of partnering with Sony
and their PlayStation Plus service, but once again proving that addictive gameplay trumps all - even the kings of the industry.
What was your favourite game of 2015? Let me know in the comments below.