2015 is loaded with a healthy amount of games to be released, and it’s only January. Everything from new titles and sequels, to re-releases and remasters in just about every genre are headed our way. Whether it’s a AAA title or a small indie, there will be plenty for all of us, and we’ll have to make some tough choices as to which ones are worth opening our wallets for.
Some of these upcoming games have us salivating in anticipation, be it a new entry to our favorite series or a new universe to explore, but others also have us a little concerned. Not all of the upcoming games are going to be good–sorry to have to break that to you–so we’ll be covering that as well.
We’ve taken a look over this year’s pending releases and considered all the information we can to determine what we’re excited for and what still concerns us. The list was so long that we turned it in to a giant podcast, which you can listen to or download up top, but for those of you unable to tune in, we’ve provided our lists below as well. Enjoy!
Assassin’s Creed: Victory
Kayla – Not much has been released on this title, but the little that has been dropped has been tantalizing. Victorian-era London assassin? What could go wrong? The released footage is absolutely delicious, and the chance of encountering famous historical characters like Jack the Ripper, Lewis Carroll, Charles Dickens, and Florence Nightingale? You can absolutely sign me up.
Batman: Arkham Knight
Paul – I want to see how Rocksteady closes out their time with the Batman franchise. Remember that until they released Batman: Arkham Asylum, Batman games were considered to be garbage. Batman: Arkham Origins showed that Rocksteady is the master of Batman games and this may be the last viable entry in the series.
Miles – This indie title has been teasing me for what seems like forever. It was announced with the Xbox One, but they’re have been very few updates since. Originally scheduled to launch last year, this procedurally generated indie dungeon crawler looks like something I’d immediately get absorbed in. The intriguing art style and small scale of your hero delivers a beautiful, yet haunting atmosphere. Hurry up and announce the release date!
Final Fantasy Type-0 HD
Kayla – Anyone who’s been on the What’s Your Tag? website in the past couple of weeks knows I’m excited for Final Fantasy Type-0 HD. The wide range of characters, the beautiful graphics, an expansive storyline revolving around a massive world, and the political machinations of multiple countries; it’s all a recipe for good gaming in my book. I’ve been following this one since the 2011 PSP release in Japan, so to finally have it overseas AND on a console? Delicious!
The Legend of Zelda Wii U (Working Title, Obviously!)
Brad – We still haven’t been given a release window for this one, but anything Zelda related I typically buy day-one. The art style screams Zelda, and the massive open world looks drop dead gorgeous. Getting to slow-mo jump off Epona to feather baddies with swarms of arrows is just icing on the proverbial cake. Nintendo is known for both quality and content, and I have all the faith in the world that Zelda U will exceed my expectations.
No Man’s Sky
Paul – As ambiguous as this game is, it has my attention. A procedurally generated universe that has no goal or plot, and players may never even meet each other–or even land on the same planet–seems insane on some level. This could turn out to be a huge time sink or just a waste of money, but I want to find out for myself.
Miles – Alan Wake was easily one of my favorite games of the last console generation. Remedy has always delivered amazing cinematic experiences and it looks as though Quantum Break is going to take that tradition even further. A few months back we were treated with an extended look at the gameplay, and ever since then I’ve been jonesing to get my hands on it. It hasn’t even been released yet and it’s got the best physics of any current-gen game that I’ve seen.
Miles – Realistically, I know this game will definitely not release in 2015, but my mind is already going wild with speculation of what this Xbox One exclusive might have in store–especially after folks at Microsoft have claimed it could be the “game of all time.” Platinum Games has an amazing track record and Microsoft has a ton of money to throw at new IP’s, so I have really high hopes for Scalebound.
Star Wars Battlefront
Paul – My love for Star Wars knows no end, even with the games. Despite what others thought of The Force Unleashed titles, I enjoyed them as much as the original Battlefront games and with 1313 cancelled, this is ‘The New Hope’ for Star Wars games.
Tales of Zestiria
Kayla – Another year, another Tales game. I curse my friend that got me addicted to this series of JRPGs. But despite all my jokes about a predictable story outline, Tales of Zestiria looks to be beautiful with a fantastic range of characters, great voice acting, and intriguing story plot.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
Brad – Currently this is the only game on my must-buy list, but I’m pretty much going in blindly. I haven’t even played the original, and I’ve only watched my girlfriend play through Assassin of Kings in passing, but what I’ve seen so far looks really damn good. I’m a sucker for open world RPG’s, so it’s just hitting all the right notes with me.
Xenoblade Chronicles X
Brad – Xenoblade Chronicles for Wii was a massive RPG, and an amazing one at that. Everything shown for X so far has been jaw-dropping, from the cinematics, to the action-oriented gameplay. Being the first true RPG to launch on the Wii U, it’s an easy sale for me.
Paul – If you can, in any way, justify why this game should even exist, I would love to hear it. Battlefield 4 is still broken, even though it was released in 2013. There is no justification to release a game that should be no more than DLC when the core franchise game still doesn’t work.
Halo 5: Guardians
Paul – Since 343 Industries took the reigns from Bungie, I am not happy with what has happened to Halo. Halo 4 was a disappointment, in my opinion, and the Halo 5 multiplayer beta did not sit well with me. I understand that they are trying to make their own mark in the series, but when you completely screw up a remaster, as they did with The Master Chief Collection, I don’t exactly have a lot of faith.
Life is Strange
Kayla – It looks beautiful, and I’m a HUGE fan of the art style. The game sounds absolutely intriguing, and I already want to get to the bottom of the mystery. But so many articles and promotions I see focus solely on the fact that the protagonist is a girl, rather than, you know, the game itself. Part of me is worried that more effort is put into developing and promoting the character over the game itself. Hopefully I’m worrying for nothing and we’ll get a wonderful game with a great protagonist and a great range of supporting characters from all walks of life.
Brad – The idea behind Mario Maker is pretty brilliant, letting users craft their own levels between different eras of the Mario Bros.’ iconic legacy and then sharing it with their friends. I’m just not sure how long that’s going to last for me. I barely touch level editors in games that already incorporate them as a bonus, so I don’t think I’ll really devote much time to an entire game based around it. I’m still curious, as I love Nintendo, but just not completely sold yet.
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
Kayla – I love the Metal Gear series and I’ll probably end up buying it, but $60 for a movie does seem pretty expensive. Hopefully Konami will make the deal sweeter by tossing in a game or something. All jokes aside, I hope Ground Zeroes really was following the same gameplay. I loved MGSIV, but I did feel like it became too combat-oriented rather than the stealth games I’ve come to enjoy. And will the storyline still be somewhat followable, or will we finally reach the point where too much is too much?
The Order: 1886
Miles – I’m calling it now. This is going to be the next Dark Sector. A huuuuge amount of hype followed by mediocre to terrible reviews and abysmal sales numbers. Gears of War clones are so 2008. The thing that really kills me about this title is that the period and backstory have such amazing potential, but from what we’ve seen of the gameplay so far, it doesn’t seem like a strong story will make up for the glaring issues with combat.
Brad – We’ve been over this one numerous times. Graphically, it looks pretty good. Its dated cover shooter mechanics mixed in with QTE’s aren’t really selling the game for me. Regardless of how interesting the story may or may not be, the core of the game just looks pretty awful so far. Hopefully I’m proven wrong, as nobody should endure paying for a bad game, but so far you can color me unimpressed.
Paul – This game seems to try to sell itself more on its art style rather than its game play. So far all of the demos have shown more Quicktime events than player controlled action. Unless there is some huge untold hook to this game, it just feels like it shouldn’t exist.
Kayla – It looks beautiful, the plot sounds like it could be really intriguing, and I love how so much of it is based off of the Knights of the Round Table. But so far the combat displayed seems… lackluster, to say the best.
Brad – I love Platinum Games. Love them. However, we haven’t seen as much as a screenshot for Scalebound since it was announced last June at E3 2014. Hopefully it’s a combination of Platinum’s iconic, flashy swordplay, with gigantic Monster Hunter-style boss battles. But who knows at this point? Only Microsoft and Platinum, so far.
Yoshi’s Wooly World
Miles – Nintendo has this weird obsession with taking your favorite characters and turning them into yarn or fabric. I don’t really get it. Sure, the art style is rather neat and it could end up being a really fun platformer, but the fact that Yoshi is made of wool does not make me want to play the game any more than if he wasn’t. I’d rather them focus on great gameplay than weird gimmicks.
Every Inevitable Last Gen Remaster
Miles – This trend is growing old and we’re only a month into the new year. I can already predict a huge number of last gen games will be getting the “next gen” treatment, and unfortunately that usually means really lazy “remastering” (upscaling) and DLC bundles. If you’re going take the time to port a game to Xbox One or PS4, please make it worth everyone’s time and money.
Unfortunately we are not soothsayers and cannot predict which games will fulfill our prophecies. We’ll keep an eye on all of these and other games as the year goes on, hopefully gaining a clearer picture of what will come to each of them.
What about you? What’s on your radar, and what concerns you? Let us know down in the comments!