The Best Games of 2015, PC Game Releases - Games Weekly

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Thursday, December 18, 2014

The Best Games of 2015, PC Game Releases

Rise of the Tomb Raider. Quantum Break. Halo 5. The Order: 1886. None of these games will be heading to the PC in 2015. It’s a shame, because they all look cracking, but it’s also inevitable. Sony and Microsoft have lined the coffers of top-notch developers, so their best games are released on the consoles first.

Which isn’t to say 2015 looks like a bad year for PC gaming quite the opposite. There are some awesome games coming out for both the PC and consoles. Evolve will be the game which will finally get asymmetric gameplay right. Batman: Arkham Knight is cracking its bat-knuckles and waiting to strike you in the face with a bat-fist of good Metacritic scores. And Tom Clancy’s The Division presents a dystopian world of techno-espionage wonderment.

There are also a lot of PC exclusives which look a lot more interesting than console exclusives. We’ll finally get to see Chris Roberts’ astonishing vision of intergalactic trade and combat in Star Citizen, which is revolutionising the industry. And it’s telling that BioWare, a company which pioneered intelligent, large-scale RPGs on consoles, is developing Shadow Realms as a PC game first.

We’re also expecting the release of Oculus VR’s Rift virtual reality headset, which is going to be a seismic change for the way PC games are programmed and played, and is testament to the flexibility of the PC as a platform. We’ve steered clear of indie games for this list, instead concentrating on the biggest, brightest games from some of the world’s best-known and most-loved studios and people. Consoles? Where we’re going we don’t need consoles…

Evolve’s premise is simple a team of four co-op players must track down and destroy a tentacled alien monster, which is equally keen to track down and destroy them. The twist? The monster is controlled by a fifth player, and the longer it lives, the stronger it gets.

developer Turtle rock Studios originally worked on left 4 dead before valve bought it out, so it should have a strong understanding of murky horror based co-ops. The game also includes a character whose head can fly off and scope out the level, a feature which is always at the top of our request list.

Dying Light
Zombie games can’t just be about zombies any more they have to carry a soul searching sub text. case in point: dying light, which probes the grey areas of zombie morality. When does a teacher stop being a teacher and become a fully paid-up member of the undead? it makes for a thoughtful and challenging take on the undead mythos. But if it all sounds a bit too portentous, don't worry you can still parkour up to a zombie and shove a crowbar through its head. even if it did teach you year 10 maths.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
We’ll admit that The Witcher 3 appeared in our ‘Games of 2014’ feature last year, but it’s actually, definitely, 100 per cent going to be released in February next year. Probably. That protracted development time is undoubtedly down to the ins and outs of building Wild hunt’s huge open world, which CD Projekt red reckons is 20 percent bigger than Skyrim’s and 30 times larger than previous Witcher games. decisions the player makes will have knock-on effects on the Byzantine storyline, while the ‘wild hunt’ of the title involves taking down numerous oversized beasties.

Batman: Arkham Knight
The Batman: arkham series has been one of the most surprisingly decent franchises of recent years, notably because it made a lot of shrewd decisions. it dropped pretensions of cinematic grandeur in favour of a tighter, more visceral atmosphere, and neatly balanced stealthy snooping with spine-snapping and skull-splitting.

While last year’s arkham Origins was a bit of a misstep, arkham knight returns the series to rocksteady Studios where it began. it feels like the franchise has found its feet again as a result, with just enough additions to make the dark knight’s return to Gotham city to take out the Scarecrow and his pals feel fresh and fun. it also introduces the Batmobile as a drivable vehicle which can transform into a tank and even be used indoors to solve certain puzzles. Such as locating and replacing the head gasket.

Battlefield Hardline
In a welcome change from every military first-person shooter ever, Battlefield: hardline takes the action from a generic middle eastern country and relocates it to urban america. The joy lies in using military grade hardware in the centre of a populous are a just ask Michael Mann, whose movie heat has been an obvious influence here.

Despite the huge shift in setting, it’s business as usual in terms of gameplay, which is very much your shooty manhunt, even if it does replace terrorists and soldiers with cops and robbers. and terrorists, apparently. it also imports Battlefield 4’s levolution mechanic, which means that players can predictably topple a crane onto the crowded streets of los angeles.

Gearbox software’s first venture into the MOBA genre looks like it’ll bring just enough new stuff to the well-worn formula to make it fun and exciting. So what is that new stuff? Borderlands style third-person gun battles, and a distinctive cartoony style, basically. Brilliant.

Get Even
Developed by the same Polish team that worked on Painkiller: hell & damnation, Get even is a promising, virtual reality-tinged horror shooter.

Fortnite was set to be the first unreal engine 4-powered game, but thanks to its protracted development time it’s been pipped to the post by tepid survival horror title daylight. Fortnite sounds a lot more interesting, though this co-op sandbox game invites players to assemble forts by scavenging items, and then attempt to survive the merciless onslaught of encroaching monsters. it’s part Minecraft, part Garry’s Mod and part dead rising. Our only complaint thus far is that the cartoony graphical style may not fully showcase unreal engine 4’s best new features and effects.

Star Wars: Battlefront
Next year, not only will episode 7 hit the silver screen, but ea dice is trawling lucas’ archives to make this game. it’s a sequel of sorts to 2004’s Battlefront, a dumb but much-loved multiplayer shooter set in the Star Wars universe. details are scant on the new game, but dice has proved to be a dab hand at shooters with the word ‘battle’ in the title and the Star Wars universe is a brilliant setting.

Tom Clancy's The Division
The division is set in a ravaged, virus-plagued vision of New york, and it pits a group of co-op players against ai enemies and other gamers. While it’s all very Tom clancy (you can bet terrorists are involved) there are some very cool elements here: a holographic topographical map which projects from the floor, real-time destructive physics and cinematic lighting techniques. What’s more, the astonishing Snowdrop engine built by ubisoft for next-gen consoles is the best looking engine of its generation so far. Bear in mind that we said pretty much the same thing about Watch dogs last year, though.

Homefront : The Revolution
The sequel to 2011’s US invasion game has had a rough ride. crytek uk began its development for publisher ThQ, but when ThQ went bump crytek itself acquired the iP. after a reshuffle, crytek then passed it on to deep Silver’s dambuster studios, along with most of crytek uk’s staff. development hell stories like these usually don’t bode well, but there’s something intriguing and slightly mad about homefront: The revolution. Set two years after the original, it depicts a version of america where the koreans have pitched up in Philadelphia and taken over most of the country.

Shadow Realms
It’s been a long time since a big studio and a big publisher have made a Pc-exclusive title, an RPG no less, but with Shadow realms, BioWare austin and electronic arts are doing just that. The game is set in both modern day earth and the parallel world of embra, featuring heroes from the former going to battle in the latter. There’s something quite cool about seeing people wearing hoodies and shirts going to battle against the intense humming of evil, and we like the idea of BioWare doing its own thing.

Human Element
Call of duty’s creative strategist robert Bowling left developer infinity Ward back in 2012, stating that the franchise had become stuck in a rut. Since leaving he’s set up his own studio, robotoki, and its first game, human element, is due for release towards the end of next year.

Obviously it’s a zombie game, because all games are zombie games, but it does sound like an interesting one. Gung-ho players can violently smash the undead hordes on their Pc, while more sedate gamers can support the jocks by exploring and scavenging the game world on their tablet.

Dead Island 2
While dead island developer Techland gets all sombre with dying light, the reins to its original zombie game have been passed on to Spec Ops: The line developer yager. Set a few months after the first game’s outbreak, the action takes place in actual california rather than its predecessor’s pretend asian island of Banoi. So despite the title, it’s not set on an island, although according to Google autocomplete we weren't the only ones to ask: “is america just a massive island?”. yager is keen to lighten the mood a bit, with protagonist Max treating zombie killing as if it’s an extreme sport, and dead rising-style weapon combos for more inventive kills.

Star Citizen
Here’s proof, if it was needed, that crowdfunding works: Star citizen has recently passed the $50 million mark. That’s an astonishing figure for a game which hasn't even been released, and enough of a budget to put Star citizen on the same level as most triple-a titles which is something a Pc-only space shooter would never achieve if it went down traditional funding routes.

as for the game itself, it’s expected to include support for virtual reality, and if it hits more targets by the time it’s released then even more features will be added. The game’s director, industry legend chris roberts, has released parts of the game as ‘modules’, so backers can explore ships or get a taste of the dog fighting. So not only is it one of the best-looking and most mind-blowing games of 2015, it’s also got the potential to revolutionise the way games are funded and made.

Mad Max
If there’s anyone we’d want to be making a Mad Max game it’s Just cause developer avalanche Studios. Based on the anarchic, post-apocalyptic film of the same name, the game features the titular tortured tough guy as he tries to recover his treasured vehicle. it will tie in with the upcoming cinematic reboot’s release date though Max himself looks more Gibson than hardy. We’re not entirely sure how avalanche will make the featureless expanses of the australian desert visually interesting, but we’re guessing that it’s likely to involve many, many explosions (and maybe even a grappling hook).

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