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Author Topic: Best Games of 2015  (Read 1143 times)

Offline Tuffty

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Best Games of 2015
« on: December 27, 2015, 05:21:34 PM »
That time of year again and what a year it has been! If there wasn't a game that came out this year which didn't continue to fuel your passion for video games or re-ignite it in some way, then I don't know what to tell you. But this topic is the platform for people to give their opinions on the best games they played this year as well as vent about any game in particular for whatever reason. You can list as many games as you want (try to be descriptive on why you like it!) and give any distinction.

5. AC Syndicate



Another year, another AC game? Absolutely, but as someone who has mostly played all of the main games in the series, Syndicate just so happens to be one of the best in the series. Following on from the disappointing Unity from last year, Syndicate essentially polishes up the core concept further and delivering the game Unity was meant to be, along with adding some old and new ideas to keep the moment to moment gameplay interesting. The story is engaging enough to follow playing host to a number of historical figures all of which are eccentric and charismatic in their own way.  Jacob and Evie Frye are good protagonists as they're on the hunt to stop Crawford Starrick, a villain almost cartoonishly evil but memorable.

There is plenty to do in the city as you embark on a number of side activities like assassinations, bounty hunts, cargo hijacking, train robbing, horsecart racing etc as well as find a huge number of collectibles which add some context to the setting. Victorian London is beautifully realised, enormous in scope and scale as you traverse it. The AC template remains the same, but on it's own merits, Syndicate is an historical adventure you won't want to miss.

4. MGSV : Phantom Pain



It's interesting how a game can rank so high on my list and yet at the same time, can easily be my most disappointing game (it's not, that belongs to another game which I can talk about later). The story i.e. the biggest draw to a Metal Gear game, is a big let down where you can noticeably see the game running out of budget and remaining left unfinished as the ending come to a close so suddenly without fanfare that isn't definitive and leaves a number of remaining storylines introduced in the game unresolved. Not exactly the best thing to do in a game billed as the last ever game in the series. Most disappointing of all was that even if it was all made according to plan, the story in itself is still disappointing. Such is the problem with adding prequels to a story that is already finished in MGS4, but you can still tell a good story without adding anything new to the story provided the characters are interesting and it provides some context on what happened to shape future events. The problem was that the game is marketed all along as the game where you get to see the downfall of Big Boss, how we went from the hero in MGS3 to the series villain, but it never happens. Add that on top of a nonsensical story that doesn't even take prominence until near midway through the end of Act 1 (in a 2 act story), bland characters, the downright embarrassing fanservice portrayal of Quiet.... Add in those changes to the gameplay (no codecs, few cutscenes, no memorable boss encounters etc) and it makes a disappointing package if you're a MGS series fan. In closing, I feel that MGS5 adds nothing to the series and on it's own is a forgettable story despite touching on some interesting themes, so much so that you could avoid playing it entirely and miss nothing from the timeline.

However, the actual core gameplay is fantastic and is almost the perfect realisation of what Kojima wanted from the series all along. The ability to infiltrate an enemy base however you want in these large sandbox environments, in any matter you see fit, is exciting and engaging. It pretty much is the poster child of emergent gameplay, where the game gives you a a host of systems and mechanics to toy with as you see fit to create some fantastic moments of action/stealth gameplay of which I've had many of them. It's through here that the game allows itself to show off it's comical eccentricities the series is known for as well which I appreciated. I can throw an inflatable doll of myself into an enemies path and have it distract them. I can put up a poster of an anime idol girl on a cardboard box and use it to lure enemies towards me. I can fire my own prosthetic arm as a remote controlled rocket. It goes on and I do appreciate that the game equally caters for different approaches to playing the game and have them all be fun. Some gripes with the gameplay start to emerge the longer you play it (load times coming in and out of environments...) but it is still easily has the best gameplay of the series to date and worth playing.

3. Rocket League



It's a football game. But you play as a car trying to knock a giant football into the opposing team's goal using flips and stunts. Offering some of the best multiplayer experiences I've had this year, Rocket League's tight physics and nail biting tension offers a game that's straightforward to play but also rewarding to master. There's a kind of beautiful chaos in each match, making each one unpredictable and still making me go on the edge of my seat and jumping off it in triumph when I score a goal. There isn't really much more to say, it's good, honest fun, a brilliant game of escapism that only videogames can offer.

2. The Witcher 3



Any other year, any. other. year. and this would automatically be in my number 1 spot. It is almost to a tee, the game I've dreamt about since I was a kid. A massive beautiful looking fantasy open world full of depth and content that I can engage with and feel part of backed up with a fantastic array of complex and engaging characters and engaging combat. The problem I've often felt with open world RPG's such as Skyrim was that whilst there was a lot of content and things to do, the actual stories themselves are throwaway to the point where it feels like a nice sandbox to be in, but not necessarily a convincing world to get immersed in. But in The Witcher 3, the quests you go on are backed up with excellent writing that makes you interested in this world and makes you feel a part of a world that is bigger than yourself but one that you can have an influence in. That doesn't just apply to the main quests but is also true of side quests. You embark on them not because they'll just give you interesting rewards but because you want to go on them, you want to have an adventure and you want to see where it takes you. It's a story of epic scale but also filled with little, quieter moments that give Geralt and the impressive cast of characters some added complexity and all backed up with some great voice acting too.

Some really dislike the combat, but I felt it was perfectly fine and a huge improvement over Witcher 2. It's all about making good builds and I was able to engage in all the little systems to make combat enjoyable. Putting it on a hard difficulty means you can only take a few hits, so some extra care needs taken before battle, especially on a witcher's contract against some big bad bosses and I love that concept that rather than just strolling to a location and hitting the monster enough times with your sword until it dies, that instead you should take the time to prepare. Read up  about it on the bestiary and find it's weaknesses. Go to a nearby village and buy some herbs to concoct a new potion to enhance your abilities, stock up on bombs, apply an oil to your blade to deal additional damage to the monster.

It's a game of huge ambition, amazingly pulled off by a relatively smallish team of developers. My playtime is around 120 hrs and I haven't even finished the main quest line yet, with the 15-20hr DLC to look at as well. It's safe to say that it is one of my favourite games of all time.

1. Bloodborne



I doubt anyone that knows me in any capacity would be surprised to see this on top of my list. Bloodborne takes the Dark Souls core and injects it with steroids, making it a faster more aggressive game to play in a dark, desolate and oppressive Gothic faux-Victorian era world. Despite some heavy resemblances to Dark Souls gameplay there are differences outside of it that sets it apart, mainly in it's story and it's setting. Because while The Witcher gave me everything I knew I wanted, Bloodborne gave me something I wasn't expecting, which was even more exciting. The setting was all new compared to Dark Souls but what I love about it was the turn from the early stages of a Van Helsing esque adventure against blood curdling beasts and horrific creatures to the shift into cosmic, Lovecraftian horror. In my mind, Bloodborne is not only one of the best action RPG's ever but also one of the most effective survival horror games, of which many elements are shared. Story telling is minimilastic but communicated through the environment and item descriptions that allow you to piece together what happened. The combat hinges on you not getting hit, as only a few swipes can kill you where healing items are scarce. Enemies are devilish, twisted monstrosities cursing and practically screaming at you with the sole intent to kill you.  Even revisiting certain areas can offer new surprises that are genuinely unsetteling. It's a game that continually fills you with dread, but also surprises and amazes as you continue to progress from area to area in ways that I wasn't expecting and made it one of the most tense and terrifying games I've had the pleasure of playing.

It is in a word, perfect. The combat is fast, frantic and exciting making every encounter a life or death situation that like Dark Souls, unrelentingly batters you into submission until you start to learn  and eventually overcome any difficult obstacles. It doesn't hold your hand but still gives you all the tools necessary to triumph if you're patient to learn. While it lacks the depth of customisation as in Dark Souls, it offers a more refined experience with what it has, a trade off that makes a game that's tightly polished and mechanically deep. The bestiary of enemies is diverse and unsettling, with the boss battles in particular being engaging and unforgettable whilst backed up with some stunning orchestral music. Every element is impressive on it's own right that when put together as a cohesive whole makes a perfect action, survival horror based RPG that refuses to let go.
« Last Edit: December 27, 2015, 05:34:14 PM by Tuffty »

Offline vlinorman

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Re: Best Games of 2015
« Reply #1 on: December 28, 2015, 05:37:00 AM »
Neither Witcher 3 nor Fallout 4 blew me away.

I had most fun playing an obscure doujin I randomly picked on Steam.


Offline shirenuファクトリー

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Re: Best Games of 2015
« Reply #2 on: December 29, 2015, 09:35:33 AM »
The reason why I need to do the game challenge next year is that I couldn't even easily think of 5 new games I had played in 2015. :lol:

I started Guild Wars 2? Fallout 4? Borderlands 2? Played mostly with Stryfe Don't Starve, 7 Days to Die,  Dungeon of the Endless, Orcs Must Die 2, lol. All fun games but not the type I would list as The Best Games, and I haven't really got into FO4 yet.
LJ★  ~Rest in Peace marimari, Jabronisaur, ChrNo & Fushigidane

Offline coachie

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Re: Best Games of 2015
« Reply #3 on: December 29, 2015, 05:11:53 PM »
Looking at my list, like last year, I havent played any new games in 2015, only older stuff lol
But I keep buying and buying!  :banghead:

Offline Tuffty

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Re: Best Games of 2015
« Reply #4 on: December 30, 2015, 08:48:06 PM »
Time for more awards!

The 'Wait, how come I didn't put this in my Top 5?' Award' - Transformers Devastation

I'll be frank here, I'm not much of a Transformers fan. I didn't watch the cartoon and the Bay movies are pretty bad. At most from my childhood I remember having an Optimus Prime toy and I can name a few characters. Having played this game however, I can understand why it's revered. The commitment to make it look as close to the original cartoons as well as including a whole list of supporting characters and references must make any Transformers fan giddy with joy but to it's credit, that was able to bleed over and make me excited too. What's not to love about being wailing on a Decepticon lackey before transforming into a truck and charging it into an enemy?

The game is more than just fanservice however, as Platinum's golden touch elevates this into a very solid character action game. It never drops below 60FPS, characters can dodge cancel out of combos at any time, the combat is fast and frantic and the soundtrack is rocking. Platinum doesn't get enough credit in being able to use music at the right moments to raise your excitement. It's a short game, but like any good character action game, you want to go back to replay it, to master the combat, play it on higher difficulties and enjoy a proper video game.

Biggest Surprise - The Fall : Episode 1

While technically released on the Wii U and PC last year, The Fall came out this year on the PS4 for the first time where I had the chance to play it. A throwback to point and click adventure game, The Fall tells a really compelling science fiction story around artificial intelligence that gripped me from start to finish thanks to it's smart writing. Highly recommended to anyone who thinks that sounds interesting, though you should be aware that it's the first in a trilogy of which the second episode hasn't come out yet.

Biggest Disappointment - Game of Thrones : A Telltale Game

This was a dream combination for me. Telltale working on a Game of Thrones game. It even started off promisingly with Episode 1 released last year. But as time went on it's like the writers just stopped caring. Previous Telltale games have been criticised for giving the player very little illusion of choice as the stories play out as they're meant to with a few changes, but in Game of Thrones that has never been more apparent. Characters acting stupidly beyond the player control for the sake of creating drama was so blatantly obvious in this game that it took me right out of it. The characters never change over the course of the game, remaining as a poor man's Stark family with no evolution. I also had the misfortune of playing this on the PS3 and the technical issues were unlike any recent game I've played. Loading times up to 4 minutes. Screen tearing. Screen freezing. Audio cutting out. The last 40 mins or so of the final episode didn't have any sound effects or background music playing which really deflated the final climatic sequence. It's the last time I'll be buying a Telltale game on Day One.

The 'Oh right, I should probably play those' Award - Batman Arkham Knight, Dying Light, Invisible Inc, Shovel Knight, SOMA

Most Anticipated Game - Zelda

It is largely excitement due to how much of the game we don't know at this point. An open approach to Zelda sounds fantastic on paper I'm very curious to see how it actually turns out. But at least you can have great confidence in saying it will look and sound amazing.

Offline pikapikapika

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Re: Best Games of 2015
« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2016, 01:05:59 AM »
It's hard for me to really do a best of list as I didn't play a lot of different games this year, mostly because I got a Wii U and was having too much fun catching up on the back catalogue and buying some new games for it ^^ great list though!!

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