by Matthew Thompson
I’m back to finish up my countdown of the games I’m most excited to play in 2015. If you missed Part 1 you can check it out here. Now onto my top five!
5. Rime (PS4)
When I was making up this list, I went back and watched media for about 15-20 titles I was considering and just became really smitten with Rime while rewatching its trailers. More than anything it was that feeling I got seeing it in motion again that sort of drove it up to the number five spot. There are some more quantifiable reasons too. Like the beautiful vistas of Rime‘s island setting or the lovely yet mysterious atmosphere that it exudes. It’s a place I can’t wait to explore and the traversal and puzzles look to be a fun way of doing so. On top of that, I thought Deadlight was a solid first effort for developer Tequila Works. All the Ico vibes Rime sends out are a plus too especially since Team Ico doesn’t care for releasing games anymore.
4. Rise of the Tomb Raider (Xbox One, Xbox 360)
I can’t quit on my girl Lara yet. I have been pretty critical of the most recent Tomb Raider reboot for straying too far from what makes the series special to me, but there was still things I liked. And the trailer for Rise of the Tomb Raider showed off some more cool stuff. I was happy to see one of the reboot’s most successful additions, the bow, is making a return. The psychological aspects to the story setup are intriguing. Seeing Lara traipsing around in the snow and what looks a lot like an actual tomb is definitely a good sign. Also there was a bear. Bears can’t be a bad thing. At worst, this should be a fun cinematic action/adventure game with good exploration like the last one. But I’m hoping they can build on some of the new ideas (like the gear-gating) and bring back more of that classic TR feel with Rise of the Tomb Raider. At the very least, get rid of Sam. No one wants her back.
3.The Legend of Zelda (Wii U)
There are few things in gaming I enjoy as much as making my way through a Zelda dungeon. For that reason, I usually enjoy most games in the series to some extent. My disappointment in the series recently comes largely from the lack of a proper new explorable overworld. I’m not going to recount where they have each faltered in this regard, I’m just trying to point out how much I like the sound of the next iteration’s new open-world. They still have to show they can make this worth exploring and not feel too empty, but I am loving the direction it is headed. The graphics are stunning too. I can’t wait to see more on what Link’s next adventure has in store for us.
2. Mirror’s Edge (PS4, Xbox One, PC)
I love the original Mirror’s Edge. I can understand why others don’t feel as strongly as I do about it. Heck I didn’t like it nearly as much as I do now when I first played it. But no game has ever rewarded me for my practice the way it has. Finding ways to shave time off your runs through the use of a different maneuver or the discovery of a new path was just so satisfying and I imagine fills me with the kind of joy others might get from mastering a fighting or racing game. It is this passion I have for the original Mirror’s Edge, one of my favorite platformers of all-time, that has me so excited for the next entry because we don’t actually know a ton about the new one. They do seem to be making some smart tweaks to combat so it doesn’t hurt your flow of movement so much, but at the same time I’m more than a little weary of the move to an open-world. I’m not even sure this will be out in 2015. But I’m hoping for the best and can’t wait to see more of DICE’s next step for the series.
1. Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End (PS4)
Gaming’s best developer’s first original effort on the PlayStation 4? That alone is enough to put this at number one on my list, but on top of that I’m loving everything I’ve seen and read about Uncharted 4. The demo at last month’s PlayStation experience showed they were taking the combat to the next level in all the ways I was hoping. That means integrating traversal into the combat better, giving you more options on how to approach enemy encounters, larger areas to duke it out in, and improved enemy AI. A lot of the other little details described in the game’s recent Game Informer cover story certainly make it sound like everything is headed in the right direction for Nathan Drake’s next outing. With Bruce Straley and Neil Druckmann at the helm, there is little reason to expect anything but another excellent game from Naughty Dog. I hope we hear some info about the multiplayer soon too as I was once quite addicted to Uncharted‘s competitive modes and wouldn’t mind finding myself hooked again later this year.
Honorable Mentions: A Hat in Time, Mario Maker, Tearaway: Unfolded, Batman: Arkham Knight, Life is Strange, Kirby and the Rainbow Curse, Hover: Revolt of the Gamers, Dying Light, Helblade, No Man’s Sky.
That will do it for my most anticipated games of 2015. Feel free to let me know what yours are or what is desperately missing from my list in the comments below. Thanks for reading!