As we move to the end of our look back, it comes that we have to look forward to the year ahead. In this day and age, companies spend millions hyping games so its always interesting to see what has people most interested in it. Some games live up to the billing, others do not, and in that regard 2014 was a rough year on the AAA circuit with the most hyped games having some problems. Still there are a lot of interesting things planned for 2015, and we could barely scratch the surface here in over 4000 words talking about titles planned for this year. There are plenty more to come, and we're just as interested about the year ahead as you are... though some of our writers take a certain... macabre interest in some developers. -- Don Parsons
Marc Flink Well, I thought I'd open the ball with The Order: 1886, which is going to be out on February 20th next year (2015). I think it looks absolutely amazing; the way it seamlessly shifts from cut-scenes to gameplay, the facial animations, the overall atmosphere. It's the best looking console game I've ever seen, which probably comes down to the black bars and the 30 fps. The setting is utterly fascinating to me, the alternate history with the lycans sounds really interesting, and I'm just praying it will actually be fun to play, and that it will last more than 5 hours.
Perry Ruhland I have no idea if Doom 4 will be releasing in 2015 or not, but I can guarantee it's going to be my most anticipated game until it does. As anyone who reads my First Person Saturday series knows, I simply adore Doom and the genre it has helped create. While I wasn't at Quakecon for the gameplay demo, the live tweets I read got me more excited than any trailer I've seen in years. If the game doesn't end up gracing us this year, I'd happily settle for the Witcher 3.
Rutledge Daugette I have to agree with Mark here, I'm SUPER pumped to play The Order: 1886. PS4-Exclusive, so I'll definitely be able to play it and the trailers and gameplay look fantastic. I also can't turn down anything that seems a bit steampunky with some supernatural connotations to the story!
Perry, I'll be intrigued to see Doom 4. I loved the original, and managed to make it through Doom 3 without freaking out, so I'm all for a new one :P
Marc Flink I'd personally love to see Id stand up and prove they're still a force to be reckoned with. Rage was a disappointment for me, so I really want Doom 4 to be fantastic.. But then again, it's been in development since 2008.. Who says it's even coming out in 2015 :D I'm not holding my breath!
Keith Elwood As far as The Order goes, I'm not especially thrilled at it being a PS4 exclusive, so it’s more than a bit 'meh' for me to where I'm just simply indifferent to it. Doom series is near and dear to my heart, so I have to agree with that to an extent. It and Quake were two of the first shooters I ever played. I'll have to definitely check that out.
My own nomination for most anticipated though would have to be the FPS aspect of Star Citizen. Yeah, it’s still in alpha development, but to see Chris Roberts come back by storm and do something amazing is something that has made this otherwise less than impressive year all that better.
Thomas Nelson Despite being the person that will more than likely be reviewing The Order: 1886 I will be the pessimist in this dialogue and say that there is a greater chance that this title takes after Watch Dogs than living up to the hype. The biggest developers in the industry pushed out some of the least polished games in 2014 and from that I think expectations need to be lowered for The Order: 1886.
This is far from the only game that I am personally looking forward to in the New Year but I want to introduce the remaining four episodes of Tales From the Borderlands. Episode one of this new Telltale series was one of my personal gaming highlights of 2014. I was in a miserable state being swept up writing page after page of nonsense essays for college when this game released out of the blue. I booted it up with mild expectations and was shocked to find the game an absolute joy to play. A fantastic first episode to what I hope will be one of Telltale's best series. Tales From the Borderlands: Zer0 Sum is currently my highest score for a reviewed game on TechRaptor.
Marc Flink I'd hardly call Ready at Dawn one of the biggest developers in the industry. Their previous projects have been ports and PlayStation Portable games. Some really good ones at that like GoW: Chains of Olympus. This is why I a bit of belief that Ready at Dawn will pull through; we’ve seen it before. Developers being "held back" and when given the chance, they create something special. I have some doubts about The Order, like I said, but I do believe that Ready at Dawn will be able to make something special.
Perry Ruhland What about Metal Gear Solid V? That Nuclear trailer is like a drug for me and every new gameplay bit thrown out there only makes me more and more excited. I remember in Gamescom a bit where the Fulton recovery system launches a C4-laden jeep into the air which Snake then detonates next to a helicopter. This sort of freedom and toybox-esque approach really has me excited.
Marc Flink I can't wait for MGS V. Hideo Kojima is a madman and I love him for it. It's a game that can be so serious at times, but then at other times it's just absolutely ridiculous. We all know it's gonna be awesome!
James Galizio I've been meaning to get into the MGS series, so I'm definitely interested in The Phantom Pain... unfortunately, I can't say much regarding the actual story considering that - again - I'm pretty much a newcomer to the series.
As for titles with the number "5" in the name, however... I'm sure that I'm not the only one really excited for Persona 5. I played through Persona 4: Golden a few years back on my Vita, and if Persona 5 is half as good as that was it's going to be a pretty strong contender for GOTY - though with how many other hyped jRPG's coming out next year, that's still some VERY stiff competition. And I'm not just talking about FFXV either!
Perry Ruhland I've played about ten hours of P4, and I think it's pretty decent. Also speaking of fives, Halo 5 is next year, and I'm not sure what to think. On one hand, it's Halo, but on the other, it's being made by 343.
James Galizio The only Halo game I've played to any decent extent was 3, during that brief stint when I owned an Xbox 360. I've heard that they shied away from everyone starting with the same loadouts each match starting with Reach, so I'm not very interested in 5. Beyond that, I JUST bought a PS4 for the titles coming in the spring, so I'm not very keen on picking up an "Xbone" any time soon - especially with all the titles I have coming for my Wii U, PS4, Vita, 3DS... etc next year.
Speaking of which, Bloodborne comes out in March, and is quite possibly the most hyped game by the "hardcore" gaming demographic, for the PS4. Now, I can't speak for every PS4 owner - especially considering how the system has become the default for multiplats this generation, attracting a good portion of the "dudebro" crowd (as crude as the terminology may be!) - but I would be inclined to agree that Bloodborne is one of my most hyped PS4 exclusives for next year. I absolutely loved the original Dark Souls, as well as Demon Souls - so to see Miyazaki back at the helm for another Souls-esque title is encouraging. Thoughts?
Marc Flink I haven't played any of the Souls games. I'm not a fan of being punished for my poor reflexes (they're quite poor :D) Always been more of a thinker. I can definitely see the appeal of these games though, and Bloodborne looks really good, and since it’s the director of Demon Souls, i imagine fans should be excited! I don't know. I might end up getting it in a year or two but it isn't a day one purchase by any stretch of the imagination for me, though I can totally see the appeal. And I'm really glad these games exist!
Don Parsons I'm going to toss out one here that is probably a bit odd being that its a smaller Indie game. Age of Decadence has been in development by Iron Tower Studios for al ong time now and slowly have been working their way through it. Age of Decadence is a game that is unforgiving in any sense with some of the hardest turnbased combat I've played and social skill puzzles to solve through. The game also has all sorts of choices for the character to go through and it matters where you've been and what you've done. Whether that's a thief, a loremaster, a mercenary, a praetor (think like a knight), an assassin, a merchant or something else there's multiple ways paths could have gone within them. It’s a game where you are in a world where things can and will kill you if you aren't careful. It’s a world where you have to make sure of what you're choosing because once you do it will be not just commented on but impact things. If you help Lord Antidas in the first city, then the imperial guards will remember you there, be more hostile to you, your activities may be mentioned to others and it goes on from there creating possible new issues or solutions for you to open up.
Age of Decadence is a grim world but it’s one that is fun to explore - to find the mysteries of the past and find out more about the people you didn't interact with on a different play through. The game, even in its current alpha state and unfinished features, has a lot of replayability but will be going into beta in January and probably getting released in the Spring
Keith Elwood I'm going to have to go look at that now. Regarding Dark Souls, it’s a fairly legendary title and one that I regret not having made time for as of yet, but I like that it is notorious for being difficult. If Age of Decadence is similar in difficulty level and depth, it could be a good contender. I wish more games focused on depth and difficulty rather than the current culture of pre-ordering and DLC being their entire content more or less.
Marc Flink Anyone looking forward to Evolve? That's coming fairly early 2015. Gotta say, not getting to play the PS4 Alpha really put me off and I actually don't have any real interest in the title now. Would've been nice to get to try it but I'm just gonna pass on it now, but it's supposedly highly anticipated. Any of you gonna pick it up?
James Galizio Evolve seems like an interesting concept, but I'm really not sure how much unique content that they're going to be able to squeeze into the game. Right now, I see a totally new franchise with what looks like one game mode for $60 and a season pass already confirmed... I just don't think I could justify it. If the game was download only and $30, I'd be all over it, but it seems like a game with a similar amount of content as the Payday series, but trying to stretch it out over a full retail title when I'm not so sure if it can.
Needless to say, I'm very skeptical. The game looks interesting, but not $60 and DLC interesting as of yet.
Perry Ruhland Speaking of indies, Apotheon is a title I've been looking forward to forever. A 2D Dark Souls in Greece, styled after classic Greek pottery? Yes please! Hellraid is also looking pretty great, as I love myself some Dark Messiah and Hexen.
Marc Flink Apotheon looks beautiful. I'm obsessed with Greek mythology, so I'm all over it. Coming to PS4 in January right? I know I'll be getting it for sure!
James Galizio Speaking of Greek-inspired games; Brandish: The Dark Revenant is coming out next month, and is looking fantastic. I've been in a roguelike kick the last few months, so seeing something similar coming from XSEED really excites me. It also happens to be a PSP game being released in 2015, which is just plain cool.
...Though probably not as cool as The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky SC will be! I finally played the first game when it hit PC this year, and I simply can't wait until I can finish Joshua and Estelle's story. If I had been allowed to, I would've nominated the previous game for our overall GOTY this year, and all I've heard says that this one is even better. I just can't wait!
Perry Ruhland On Apotheon, has anyone checked out Aztez? This one's a brawler focused on Mesoamerican art and culture rather than greek. I love it when game take on classical artstyles as a backdrop. All we need now is a platformer in the style of hieroglyphs (Or the nightmare sequence in Prince of Egypt) and my life will be complete.
Don Parsons It looks like a really interesting game. I am interested in how they do the Turn Based Strategy with it - and mixing that with a brawler could be fun. The art style in the trailer really stood out to me - especially as someone who is somewhat colour blind. The black and whites and the angles were done in a very harsh but well done method. Also the variety of moves and weapons shown seems to be pretty high and fits the stylistic method of the art for being over the top. It’s an odd mix to put with Turn Based Strategy but it definitely caught my eye.
Marc Flink The Witcher 3! Huge release coming up relatively soon, even after the delay. Huge open world, supposedly meaningful choices, a proven combat and crafting system, random events, monster hunting, great graphics. I'm very much looking forward to The Wild Hunt.
Don Parsons The Witcher 3 should be interesting to see how it comes. I'm interested what they'll do with Ciri given how they've built her up any sort of gameplay with her will either be insanely overpowered or a letdown.
I'm also still disappointed that despite the delay they are going to keep that whole silly thing on the DLC releasing over weeks unlocking quests and such. After another months long delay on the matter.
I do think that Witcher 2 had one decent method of doing choices with the game options changing significantly on what you did. It was risky but I applaud making separate chapters depending on where you went. The combat system... its okay. Its twitcher... its combat is ... okay and twitchy. Crafting is better as is the way they handle potions. I wouldn't mind toning down some of the magic and rolls for sure.
I do wonder with the greater Open World focus if we'll get a return to focus on being a witcher like there was more of in the first game with special monster hunts. I'd love to see that - with different unique monsters in areas and patterns it can add a lot. Work - sure. But could be worth it.
Marc Flink They've talked about that, and there's going to be plenty of monsters to hunt down. That took a backseat in Witcher 2 so they went out and said they were getting that aspect of it in The Witcher 3. So that's pretty nice.
I see The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt mentioned and will wager that this game will be one of the biggest releases in 2015. The hype behind this game when nearing release will be off the charts but I do hold some reservations when considering the length of the campaign and the difficulty of the previous title. I have seen developers comment on the length of the game as if hours invested translates to quality. I personally feel burned by the incredibly mediocre game that Dragon Age: Inquisition turned out to be. While I do not equate the two in the sense of characters or narrative I do consider the level of time investment demanded of the player to be a point of concern rather than an advertisement. The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings was a straightforward game but it was not a very crisp title to burn through. I remember it being challenging at points. I am not a fan of role-playing games that emphasize difficulty as a selling point and The Witcher franchise does make it a point to challenge the player from beginning to end. That is not a slight against the quality of the franchise as I am sure The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt will be a huge contender for Game of the Year in 2015 but it does mean that it may be an uncomfortable game for me to play.
Mark Flink I'm also a bit cautious about the Witcher 3.. I really hope it won't disappoint. The previous Witcher games haven't quite been my cup of tea. That kind of RPG is not quite what I'm most interested in, but I really really hope CDPR can pull it off. Glad they chose to delay it again, just to make sure it's actually ready.
Alright... No Man's Sky, personally I haven't jumped on the hype train.. I think it'll have a hard time living up to its reputation, but I still think it's going to be a an interesting experience. Hopefully it won't be too repetitive in creature and planet designs, but it's obviously one of the most anticipated games of 2015. We'll see what Hello Games can do.
Batman: Arkham Knight anyone?? Looks absolutely gorgeous and it's Rocksteady at the helm again, so we know it's going to be quality title. This is one of the games I just can't wait to get my hands on.
We also have Rainbow Six: Siege coming out. Not the Rainbow Six I was hoping that they were making, but it looks interesting nonetheless. I loved breaching houses in the SWAT series, so I'm looking forward to learning more about Siege. If only it wasn't Ubisoft making it.. :(
Eh, next Ubi game and it's another Tom Clancy game. The Division. Another massively hyped game I expect will get downgraded before it releases. The concept is still interesting, though with Ubisoft in 2014, I'm not truly interested in any of their titles. Certainly won't be picking them up on launch, that's for sure.
If it releases next year, which i somehow doubt, there's also Battlefront 3. Of course they said that DICE is making it first person which is massively disappointing. Can't start dissing a game that hasn't even been showed off yet. Who knows, maybe they'll go third person anyway and delay it to 2016 (that'll probably happen anyway) still, they'll want it to launch alongside the new Star Wars movie.... And EA has shown they don't care if games aren't finished at launch. (BF4...)
Rise of the Tomb Raider is coming as well, though I won't be getting that one because of the timed exclusive thing. A man has got to have some principles, so I'm boycotting that. Still, huge title, and i'm sure some of you has got to be looking forward to it. I loved the 2013 release, so I'm sure I'd like the new one as well. Maybe on steam for a dollar.
How about some Wii U titles? We've got the new Starfox game, the new Zelda game. Not a Wii U owner, but the Zelda demo at the game awards looked pretty damn good.
There's also the new Blizzard game Overwatch. That looks very interesting as well. Like a mix between *insert your MOBA of choice* and Team Fortress. So that's bound to be anticipated as well.
James Galizio No Man's Sky reminds me of Cube World, from what I'm seeing... and that can be a good thing if they pull it off well, but it needs to focus on the sort of things that Cube World excels at so far. Namely, having some meaningful areas to explore. Cube World had random dungeons that actually ended up being pretty cool - but I'm not seeing much like that in No Man's Sky as of yet. I know that caves are confirmed, but exploration can only entertain me for so long, if there isn't anything really worth exploring. It reminds me of the Spore space stage, I loved it for a few hours, but then after that? Boring. Dull. Same-y.
Don Parsons No Man's Sky looks like an exploring game that if you love wandering around a lot you'll love it. If you don't however you won't. It’s early yet but definitely not on my anticipated list.
Zelda as an openworldish game looks interesting to me. Zelda is already exploration and dungeon focused and less on plot so you don't end up with near as much narrative dissonance as you do in something like Dragon Age where the Open World actively goes against the story its trying to tell. I don't have a Wii U but I could see bugging my brother to use his to play it. I really like that Nintendo is willing to take some risks with the brand as well - Hyrule Warriors and now going for open world.
James Galizio As for Zelda, at least we KNOW that the game is going to have dungeons, and other secrets. I'm worried about how condensed the content will be; but I'm still interested regarding how well the game will play. I'm especially intrigued by the extra focus on the bow and arrow...
With regards to "Open-World" games (since we seem to be on that), I'm especially excited for Xenoblade Chronicles X. The first game in the series definitely was tied with Monster Hunter Tri for my favorite game on the Wii, and from what I've seen, "X" has the potential to be an easy GOTY. So much talent seems to be going into the game, and they've been working on it since the original Xenoblade released... I'm sure that most jRPG fans are as excited for the game as I am, and I'm pretty freaking excited.
...And then there is Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate coming in a month or two, and it really does seem like this year is going to be absolutely FANTASTIC for jRPG fans. I managed to play a couple hours of the demo that Capcom had at SDCC last year, and as a fan of the series since MHFU, I can easily say that MH4U is shaping up to be the best entry in the series yet, in pretty much every way. I know there are a few other Monster Hunter fans among us, so hopefully we can "collaborate" some multiplayer gameplay when it comes time to review it!
Keith Elwood The Division, I was interested in but not really anymore, given what we've seen with AC:U, Farcry 4 and Watch_Dogs. the same unfortunately goes for Rainbow Six. I loved the other Rainbow Six games because of their depth and reliance on out thinking your enemy, but yeah, its more so something
I'm not terribly hyped about given that Ubisoft is working on it. Its on Ubisoft to prove me wrong, on all counts. Zelda I havent played for years since Zelda 64. I'm not much into platformers, either.
One game I just found out about today is Project Aura, it seems to be a 4x RTS type game where you take control of a post apocalyptic colony and try to rebuild it. Its currently on Early Access on steam, and I might go and look into it further.
Another game I'm hoping is finished at least for its release state this year is Interstellar Marines. It seems to be trying to carry the torch when it comes to a thinking man's FPS game, but its being made by a small development team that don't have AAA Backing. That is both a blessing and a curse, of course, so we'll see if it gets major work done this year or not.
Thomas Nelson I think a provocative game to mention here would be Battlefield Hardline. Not much to it other than a standard Battlefield setup with a glossy paint job of a Hollywood crime thriller but it could work well in the end. I think it will be a hurdle for EA and DICE to get over considering the current negativity expressed more towards Ubisoft. If Battlefield Hardline actually manages to be an average game it may put EA on good terms with the gaming community for early 2015. Expectations from all corners seem to be very low for EA and if they can manage to publish a fair game it may do their public relations wonders.
Marc Flink Having played the beta for Hardline, I can honestly say that I don't have the slightest interest in it. It is literally Battlefield 4 with Police and robbers instead of soldiers. The multiplayer doesn't differentiate itself from BF4 at all. The only redeeming feature that Hardline might have would be its single player campaign, which looks at least a bit interesting for an FPS. Again, that was just the beta, and they pushed back the release to try and improve it, but I won't be getting it, or anticipate it at all.
Well, I think one of the last huge games we haven't talked about: Uncharted 4: A Thief's End. I'm not entirely convinced it'll drop in 2015, but there's a possibility. The gameplay they showed at PSX looked absolutely fantastic (apart from the bug where drake went through the map :D). I'm super excited for Uncharted 4, and I love how Naughty Dog said " We don't care, we're gonna get 60 fps from this no matter what", and it still looked amazing. Hopefully it won't get downgraded....
Anyway, there's also Star Citizen, and, Quantum Break for xbox one. Not really excited for any of these since I won't get to play them. No Xbox One for me, and my PC won't run Star Citizen, but it’s obviously high profile.
And that's it for our look ahead here today. Obviously we didn't get to every title and there's plenty to come this year that we hope to explore with you throughout the next 12 months!
What games are you anticipating this year? Any game you expect to disappoint? Tell us in the comments below!