With 2014 done and dusted, and our virtual game of the year awards dished out to some worthy winners, it’s time to usher in a new year. So, with all the celebrations out of the way (and now that we’re sober enough to coherently collect our thoughts), now seems the perfect time for the Power Up Gaming team to reel off a few games we’re most looking forward to getting our hands on over the course of 2015.
Hayden Waugh: Limbo, the first title from this small Danish indie dev team, was nothing short of fantastic. I was immediately taken with the 2010 game’s monochrome graphics and subtle plot, plus the obscure and devilishly punishing puzzles.
Inside is due for release in early-mid 2015. At face value, it shares some similarities with Limbo: A visually stunning (though potentially depressing) venture through an eerie world that uses light and colour to accentuate the mood; I’m immediately intrigued. The 3D aspect makes it all the more impressive.
Hyper Light Drifter
Austin Flynn: I can’t believe that I’m writing this, but Hyper Light Drifter seriously beat out Monster Hunter 4, Final Fantasy XV, and the new Zelda title in my “games to get hyped about” list. In all honesty, I think it’s because with those other titles, I feel like I know what to expect. I’ve played earlier iterations of every single one, but with HLD I’ve only played a demo, and it completely blew me away with stunning visuals, fluid gameplay and an incredible amount of heart and soul.
While I don’t know if the game will live up to my huge expectations, I’m willing to wager the cost of a preorder that it will. That’s how head over heels excited I am for this. I even preordered the flipping soundtrack! With just one glance I think it’s pretty obvious that developer Heart Machine is putting a lot blood, sweat and tears into this one. I’ll be there later in the year with a review to let you know how it turned out, though, so keep your eyes peeled for that.
Batman: Arkham Knight
Georgie Catto: This year sees the brilliant Arkham series return to the hands of Rocksteady, the studio that made superhero games cool again. This time, they’re bringing the Batmobile, the sweetest ride ever created, as a playable vehicle.
All my superhero fantasies were played out in Asylum and City. Even the derivative Origins (produced not by Rocksteady, but by WB Studios) had its moments, but the series must expand or die. The Batmobile promises to expand the series in all the right ways. And while the thought of the Riddler laying out racecourses instead of riddles (as has been rumoured), does sound a little farfetched, the promised new villain and the return of the much-missed Scarecrow set the scene for a sequel that lives up to the hype.
Star Wars: Battlefront
Hayden: I remember playing the original, and the follow-up game, and had an absolute blast with them (no pun intended). It’s crazy to think that we’ll have a new Star Wars video game and movie, possibly in the same month, especially with all the advances in technology since their last instalments.
If everything goes smoothly, DICE’s Frostbite 3 engine will do the icy surroundings of Hoth and the lush forests of Endor justice. Hopefully there’ll be a quality single player campaign, some decent co-operative sections and it won’t be a mass breeding ground for multiplayer-only gameplay like Battlefield.
Tara Jayne: It’s no secret that I am a huge fan of the JRPG genre, and that Bravely Default was probably my favourite game of 2014. So, with that said, I can’t wait for its sequel, Bravely Second, to hit the shelves in 2015. I really hope that the developer takes on board the criticism of the first game, in that the storyline began to get very confusing and dragged the title down in its final act.
Regardless of whether they have listened, I’ll be picking this game up, most likely on opening day, and playing the crap out of it for a few weeks. I’m already getting pretty giddy thinking about it (and planning how I can best go into gaming hibernation. What are the best snacks, best drinks, best lounge pants to wear…?).
No Man’s Sky
Adam Lloyd: If Back To The Future II is to be believed, 2015 is the year of the hoverboard. In lieu of that invention coming to fruition, 2015 is all about one particular game for me; No Man’s Sky.
We are currently living through a golden age of space simulators, and with the likes of Elite: Dangerous and Star Citizen, there has never been a better time to be a wannabe spaceman (including the mid 90’s when Babylon Zoo were at the peak of their powers). So what separates No Man’s Sky from the rest of the herd?
For one, the game features a procedural generation system that means every planet, every tree, every rock, and every animal is randomly generated on the fly. This is the title that budding explorers have been longing for; a universe of infinite discovery where you are having totally unique experiences from any other players. Combine this with a classic sci-fi setting and that’s a winning combination in my book.
While little is known about the actual nuts and bolts of No Man’s Sky in terms of whether there will be a story or missions to complete, it does sound like there will be some sort of structure. Hello Games have confirmed that you will have to upgrade your hyperdrive to travel further away from your starting point, and there is an over-arching idea that there is something to see at the centre of the galaxy. Otherwise, No Man’s Sky seems to be a voyage of personal discovery. In an age where games such as Call Of Duty rarely allow you to sit back and smell the roses before taking you to the next cutscene or explosion, isn’t this enough?
It is for me, and I’ll be eagerly awaiting No Man’s Sky impending launch. Now we just need a release date.
Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate
Austin: Monster Hunter is quite possibly as close as I’ve ever come to having a legitimate gaming addiction. Having put in more than 500 hours into the series with two of my best friends/hunting buddies, I can say that I lost a part of my life to those games, and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.
If you saw my piece on everything Monster Hunter fans need to know about MH4U, you know why this game is worth getting excited about. New weapons (two to be exact, and they look incredible), new monsters and cats driving tanks – what’s not to adore about that? I’m also excited because Japan can’t hold it over the rest of the world’s head that they’re the only ones playing the newest MH. Seriously, those guys have all the luck.
Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward
Tara: Yes. Yes. Yes. Between Bravely Second and Heavensward, I’m going to be one hot mess in Spring. Why are the two games I’m most looking forward to coming out at the same time? Oh why?
I can’t wait to grab the first XIV expansion. Why, you ask? Oh, just because I can change my character to a little dragon girl, try out some new classes and jobs, new dungeons, flying mounts, cities in the sky, Alexander raids… I could go on.
I’ve been feeling a massive lull in my interest in this game for a while, so I won’t be renewing my subscription until the expansion is released. I’m sure many others will be doing the same, so everyone will be diving back into Eorzea and into great new content all at the same time. It’ll be like a big MMORPG party, and yeah, I must decide now on my optimum snacking and lounge pants…
Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End
Chris Mawson: As a huge fan of Naughty Dog ever since their Crash Bandicoot days, I couldn’t be more excited to see the Uncharted series make its PS4 debut in later this year. The PlayStation 3 trilogy were amongst my favourite games on the system; bested only by another Naughty Dog property, The Last of Us.
With Bruce Straley and Neil Druckmann (of TLOU fame) being drafted in to co-direct and write Nathan Drake’s first new-gen adventure, I am assured that A Thief’s End is in safe hands. The gameplay trailer showcased at last month’s PlayStation Experience was little short of stunning, with gorgeous visuals and refined gameplay mechanics, which include new climbing tools and improved stealth/combat-play, promising much.
The surprise introduction of Troy Baker as the voice of Nate’s long lost brother Sam, who, as has been recently revealed, will act as an AI companion similar to Ellie in The Last of Us, also piqued my interest. The chemistry and banter between Baker and Nolan North, who have worked together on numerous occasions, is sure to add a whole new dynamic to the series. And what will it mean for Uncharted mainstay, Sully? I can barely wait to find out.
What games are you most looking forward to in 2015? Let us know in the comments below!
Contributors: Hayden Waugh, Chris Mawson, Georgie Catto, Tara Jayne, Adam Lloyd.