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January 04, 2016

The Games Of 2015 That Impressed For One Reason Or Another


2015 was quite a great year for the gamer, we got some games that continued long running franchises and a slew of new titles that provided the ideas are still coming. Here are the games that left an impression on me for last year, be they good or bad, they left an impression.

Splatoon


Starting off with something amazingly colourful, Splatoon was the game no one considered Nintendo could make, it was an online shooter that contained a deep customisation system and since it launched has had constant updates via maps, weapons and gear. I remember at E3 2014 getting hands on with the title and walking away, feeling strange about it, I am not a massive online gamer, I have my vices of course, but could Nintendo make me want to play another game online, well when it came out the answer was yes.

The controls are the biggest learning curve the game throws at you, but once you have adapted to this different method of aiming, moving about the game world and aiming becomes a second nature. While a lot of people love the online, the game also has a single player campaign that also deserves to be mentioned, it contains some wonderful level design and very interesting boss fights. Overall the entire game provides players across the board something to enjoy and that is no easy feat in this day.

The Witcher 3 Wild Hunt


I honestly don’t believe I need to say too much about The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt that has not be explained before, the game is amazingly deep, offering up players the chance to experience a world that is teeming with details to be explored and characters full of life. The combat system might have been a little odd at times, requiring an almost superhuman ability to maintain camera control, but if you could adapt, it was rewarding.

But then outside of killing creatures, there was just so much to do, horseback riding, gambling and even Gwent, the game provided hours of fun, in which you could forget about the rest of the game and not feel bad. Of course, the game did have a few issues with performance at launch, but as with most open world titles, they added more humour and charm than anything else. At 140+ hours into the game and still not down, The Witcher 3 has proven you don’t need to be a mega publisher to create a game that demands player attention, you just need to create something with real heart.

Fallout 4


Fallout 4 is the sophomore game from Bethesda Game Studios since they got the rights to the series and the team have taken almost all the feedback on board from their first effort and given players a game that is just packed with things to do and see. Players can of course experience the story at whatever pace they want to, but the joys with the Fallout games is how just picking a direction and heading off can result in some of the most amazing finds.

Of course, they could have been content with just making a new world to explore and left it at that, but they brought in the faction system from Obsidians, Fallout New Vegas, expanded upon the Heartfire DLC from Skyrim to allow people to build their own towns and even allow players to build the weapons of their dreams. All of this amounts to a game that is worth of your time and while it may not be the prettiest game on the list, it sure is one of the most fascinating games of the year.


Rare Replay


When it was first announced that Rare would be releasing 30 games from their history into a compilation, my first though was, do they have 30? Once I saw the list, I realised they did have 30, but some of them were not really worth adding, of course players loved everything they did on the Nintendo 64, the very early product from Rare, while amazing at the time, did not stand the test of time sadly, which really dampens the package.

Though, while the games are the star of the show, there is more to be said with the entire package, it is filled to the brim with video extras that detail the development of some of the games, looks at games that were never made and more. The price alone provided players with a reason to look into the collection, but what was present, minus a few earlier titles, gave them a reason to stay.


The Order 1886


First thing you need to know about The Order 1886 is that it is one heck of a beautiful game, in fact in all of 2015, I don’t believe I found another game that came close to matching just how amazing it looked. The attention to detail on everything from the weapons, to clothes, to the items that littered the world to make it feel real, all proved that visually, we are only scratching the surface of what these new consoles can do.

Sadly that is where the fun stopped for the game, while there is nothing wrong with the gameplay on hand, though it does hold ones hand a little. When you are allowed to play, things just move to fast, I mean there were two story chapters that were cutscenes, that just killed the games momentum. The shallow gameplay turned people away and when you could complete the game within a few hours, there was never a reason to return.

Rock Band 4


When the music game genre died out a few years ago, people thought they were done for good, but they were proven wrong when Rock Band 4 was announced. At first glance the game appears to be the same as Rock Band 3, just with new songs, but the amount of smaller changes under the hood, so to speak, prove the team took the time to make things right. Guitar Solos are new and allow you to freestyle your way through set sections of songs, the ability to keep rocking out, without the need to pick the same setlist each time is impressive as well.

But by far the most impressive part of the game is that each and every single piece of DLC that you had purchased for any other Rock Band titles over the years is compatible with the latest entry. Which means my 300+ songs I had with Rock Band 3 all worked with the latest entry, giving me even more songs than I knew what to do with. The series may not have changed drastically like Guitar Hero did, but maybe that is the reason it just feels so good.


Of course, there were a lot more titles throughout the year that I enjoyed, Gears of War remake, the Uncarted Collection, Halo 5 Guardians, Super Mario Maker, Assassin’s Creed Syndicate and many more, it was a great year for games, so here is hoping 2016 is even better.

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