As with every year developers across the planet bring forward their games and unleash them on the gaming scene for us to play and enjoy. The year 2015 was an exceptional year for the games industry and moreover for PC gaming. New records of concurrent users online with Steam were smashed, PC gaming saw even more recognition as a mainstream games platform and we even had our own stage at E3: a first for the show.
There have been some setbacks this year, Batman was a disaster for Warner Bros and didn't do the PC any favours either. The port that was worked on by a third party didn't even run for many gamers and even to this day it remains problematic - Warner Bros have now conceded that it may never run right. I hope the debacle that will surely be remembered for many years to come will act as a cautionary tale for any other publishers planning on treating PC gamers which such contempt. Moving away from the negative, here are the five games I rate as the best to arrive in 2015.
The Witcher 3
So let's mix things up and start with the best game, which for me was The Witcher 3. It is just an undeniable fact that CD Projekt Red have pushed the open world action RPG into new ground. A world that not only captivates with its barren beauty but gives you a narrative to rival any other. On top of the main game's merits we also have the deluge of extra content that is now available for players. Fifteen free pieces of DLC and then two substantial paid expansions - which even in them self sport the size of a full priced game. CD Projekt Red are one of the best developers out there and it's going to be interesting to see where they go next. This was an easy choice a few weeks ago but as I spend more and more time with Fallout 4 the gap is closing ever closer.
As the Christmas holidays settled in I decided to cosy up with Fallout 4 and do a bit (lot more) exploring. Fallout 4 is one of them games that you can't play in an evening or weekend, you need time to let it breath and in my opinion many weeks of digging before you can be even close to appreciating the sheer scale of this game world. Every night without exception I find something I didn't expect and then savour every second - picking through the debris and cautiously unwrapping its secrets. Sometimes a sad story, a message that never made it or a situation frozen time when the nuclear fire burned away everything but bone. While some players didn't like the similarities between this and its predecessor the fact remains Bethesda have still given us an absolute gem and one which thanks to PC modding will continue to grow over the coming months and years.
Zombies, zombies, zombies.. like World War 2 games and aliens, sometimes themes and genres just seem to take hold of the gaming world. Well out of a shambling tower of recent zombie games Dying Light stands up as the king and in many ways I think underrated in its own right. I reviewed Dying Light last year and am now eagerly awaiting the next big expansion - The Following, which is set for release on February the 9th. The developers Techland clearly had a lot of fun making this game with the many Easter eggs and nods to other games. However for me what makes this game stand out is the movement and parkour system. That feeling of speed and momentum that made Mirror's Edge such classic has been captured perfectly but then placed in an open world where you are literally running for your life at every turn. If you have never played or seen this game I cannot recommend it enough. Check out my review if you want a better idea of what to expect.
In December I travelled down to London to attend a live event organised by the Guardian looking at the best games of the year a panel of journalists and developers. On this panel was a chap called Rami Ismail and as it turned out he is one of the developers for Nuclear Throne. It was funny because a friend had just asked me if I would review this game: so this seemed an odd coincidence. Not only that but at the event I didn't win any prizes, however I was handed a free download code for this game.. fate had spoken and a review is now nearly finished. I love this game and am fast becoming addicted to its fast paced and insanely fun combat. That is really it for me, in a year with massive life consuming, marriage ending behemoths like Fallout 4 and MGS5 here is a game that just give me instant fun in spades. I don't care what games you play every PC rig needs this one their hard drive, my review should be on the site tomorrow.
It was a close call between Ori and the Blind Forest and this but I have to give it to GTA 5 for the sheer scope and spectacle that it is. Not only that but Rockstar did an exemplary job with the port by taking advantage of power of PC hardware and also adding new features such as the built it movie maker. There is no denying that GTA 5 is one of the most incredible games ever made and one which really shows how much more a game can be pushed into new levels of excellence by the open and powerful nature of PC gaming. I reviewed GTA 5 back in the early part of the year so if you want to know more of my thoughts please dive into the review section and have a gander.
In the next week I will be looking forward to the coming year and picking out the games I think you should keep an eye on.
Thanks for reading my review of 2015