Feature – Xbox One Games of 2015

xbox-one-concept-full

I suppose being Microsoft it was inevitable, but still come on, a slim console already? Thankfully your old, tired, sluggish, hefty, dated, unattractive Xbox One will still play all the essential games you’ll ‘need’ for 2015. The slim console does not make the list…

2014 has still been a slow burner for Xbox One owners; many of the year’s top games were still available on the Xbox 360. Granted with a flash enough telly box and Dolby 7.1 super cinema surround wizards, you will be starting to reap the rewards of your £350 sploodge. Ubisoft via Assassins Creed Unity had the nuts to make an all-out next-gen only game in the run up to Christmas, look how that turned out:

One of a kind, Ubisoft Genrated, French Revolutionary Nigh-Terrors

One of a kind, Ubisoft Genrated, French Revolutionary Nigh-Terrors

It seems a lot of developers have had teething issues with the new dev. kit and have wisely delayed their fancy new products till the New Year. So then what in Moses are you going to spend all of your Santa money on once you’ve completed Dragon Age inquisition? Well, you’ll probably watch YouTube videos of Pewdiepie completing Dragon Age Inquisition. Not that HDeyes is terribly judgmental or anything, we’re just right. Anywho here are twenty of our personal hen picked gems to while away those previous hours of our and your lives in 2015:

20. Homefront: The Revolution

As much as the video below shows a lot of promise with its alleged ‘opened ended’ nature, we are still very wary of its predecessor. The original Homefront was utter bobbins which is why there is still an element of trepidation with the sequel. If there is even a sniff of patronising quick time events, we’re out. Still, it looks pretty:

19. Mortal Kombat X

The previous game on the 360 occupied a lot of our time collectively, granted some people relied heavily on some characters than others…though we also may have also paused the game in places so we could perfect the toe-curling fatalities. There’s not much that could be added here, just more polish, more gore? Yes, more gore. As tory mode that makes sense? Ha, don’t be silly:

18. Battlefield Hardline

The franchise rightfully steps away from the modern warfare mantel to a more urban, ‘war on crime’ setting. Incorporating car chases into the mix with multiplayer modes such as Heist, Hotwire and Bloody Money. A refreshing alternative to the predictable COD guff, or here’s hoping:

17. Dying Light

Granted there is nothing novel about a zombie apocalypse game, film or TV show anymore. But combine the free-running elements of mirrors edge into this survival horror game then you may just have something. Though, this isn’t way down the list for nothing. It will need to go some yards to stand out from the likes of Dead Island, Dead Rising and Left for Dead:

16. Cuphead

Not many games in the top twenty will be as visually striking as Cuphead. Paying homage to 1930’s artist Max Fleischer in their art style, Chad and Jared Moldenhauer have created something quite unique in this run and gun indie game. This is one of the many promising smaller titles hopefully breaking through the Triple A umbrella. Let’s hope it plays as good as it looks:

15. Grave

Coming a close second to zombie game cash cows is the emergence of the indie survival horror bandwagon. With the likes of Slender Man and Outlast soiling the pants of young and old consoles players worldwide. Just as Dying light may struggle, Grave will need to show some originality to stand out. The trailer certainly does that, you start as a survivor in a desert and find a sole house in the wastes, as you sleep a town begins to form around you with slightly unpleasant occupants. The game becomes a matter of using the daylight to prepare for the horror that waits in the impending dark. Maybe a game to play in the daytime with all the curtains open and a lot of people around to convince you ITS ONLY A RUDDY GAME!

14. Evolve

Here’s one of the big guns that currently sits teetering on the fence. Pre alpha tests have been returned tepid and unfulfilled. Left for Dead 2 was such a fantastic game and it’s maybe quite hard to replicate that kind of success. Evolve acts as an online co-op, four versus one player, marines versus monster combat. It should be a success then right? Maybe the fact that we have seen so much of the gameplay already is potentially a bad thing? Still the negativity surrounding the games impending release does not bode well. Personally I hope this is one of the great successes of 2015:

13. Kingdom Come: Deliverance

Ever wanted to play a fifteenth century simulation based in the historical Kingdom of Bohemia? I mean that’s pretty specific, but ok, here it is! You play Henry, the son of a blacksmith whose family were killed by an invading army. Predictable revenge ensues with what looks like a ruddy gorgeous RPG akin to Skyrim. Lovely:

12. Screamride

So everyone loved Rollercoaster Tycoon yeah? Good, Screamride takes that concept, screws it into a little ball, chews it and spits it right into your eyes. The suggestion from the trailer seems to imply that causing horrific accidents and death by building physic defying rides that send the punters flying into orbit or buildings is the aim……why have we waited so long for Screamride?!

11. Quantum Break

Remedy uses their famed Max Payne style time manipulation in a more expansive sense in Quantum Break. One female character can stop time completely to use in a detective capacity, where the male protagonist acts like a more refined Max Payne, with less slow motion jumpy shooting. Hopefully the trailer below will provide a much need visual aid to this god awful explanation:

10. Super Hot

This is a genuinely mind boggling concept. On the face of it the game looks like it still being developed, yet the understated desing really helps with Super Hot. Time only moves when you move. Think the Matrix combined with some awful acid nightmare and you’re pretty much there. Take a look for yourself below:

9. Below

So Below looks downright lovely. This top down adventure game based on a remote island sees you play a tiny warrior. The emphasis is very much around exploration and survival elements of the game, with the added terror of permadeath “brutal but fair combat”. I will have some of this please:

8. Lifeless Planet

Yet another striking exploration game that PC gamers have been enjoying since the summer. Lifeless Planet is a platform puzzle game based around exploring a mysterious planet from the perspective of a scientist. He is out to find a lost crew from a failed mission from the Soviet Union, surprisingly enough this is not the only concern the explorer will face. The game was supposed to be released back in 2014 so hopefully we won’t have long to wait:

7. Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain

The original Metal Gear still holds up as one of the most important games of our generation. Granted recent instalments have become a lot more cinematic which goes hand in hand Hideo Kojimas passion for Hollywood Blockbusters. The Phantom Pain continues on from the Ground Zeroes story, a small beta game which is a real-time open-world game based in a small enemy camp. Anyone who played the game would appreciate the numerous different styles of offense to complete your goal. So just think of that on a much greater scale. You will have AI companions to assist in your goals, a nice little base to develop your weapons, recruitment of enemy soldiers or prisoners to expand your base. But the one thing we are really salivating at is the Fulton Surface-to-air recovery system. Take it away Hideo:

6. Hyper Light Drifter

Acting as homage to the 8-bit generation, Hyper light Drifter has had story comparisons such as Studio Ghibli’s Castle in the Sky. Game comparisons have linked it to The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past and Diablo. The studio has even claimed that Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind was an inspiration. Other than instantly going back and watching these two masterpieces we now cannot wait for what looks like a potential for indie game of the year. The game has been delayed for a long while now, so hopefully we’ll see the finished product sometime in the New Year:

5. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

Confession time, I really struggled with the PC port predecessor on the Xbox 360. The Witcher 2 was a wonderful game but it felt a little too ‘PC’ at the time. Recent trailers of the sequel have left our jaws on the floor. If the game performers as well as the footage seems to suggest then this game could sweep up a multitude of awards at the end of next year. I do hope it lends itself more to the console generation, the scale and aesthetics look genuinely astounding, now deliver:

4. Halo 5

343 Industries keep the Halo bandwagon rolling by messaging a weary Masterchief for help. Excpectations levels are high, more for the open warfare combat that we expected to see in Destiny. The story has always been pretty convoluted but can be forgiven because of a fantastic sandbox combat element and a terribly addictive, time sapping multiplayer. The game is being lined up to coincide with the Halo TV series which will be produced by Steven Spielburg, this immediately makes me think cynical thoughts. But then this isn’t at number four for nothing now:

3. Toy Soldiers: Warchest

The greatest thing about being independent means we toe no line of objectivity with fear of being shut down at any moment. This elaborate rambling prefix is used to excuse us from our child-like excitement at the prospect of Toy Soldiers: War chest coming out this year, holy mother of Michael. It would have been number one if we weren’t thinking straight.

Now there is a plethora of tower defence strategy based games available. Defence Grid 2 has made great impressions on the Xbox One, potentially being one of the best small titles available on the Xbox games market. But nothing comes close to Toy Soldiers. The setting, the level design, the differing elements of game modes, the replay value due to the tough challenges, the co-op, the multiplayer, the sandbox style. Man we could wax on about Toy Soldiers for more than we’ve played both instalments so far. It mixes the best tower defence and action gameplay elements, couple with the strategy of placing and upgrading each turret depending on your funds makes this a must buy for 2015:

2. Batman: Arkham Knight

The guys at Rocksteady have been hard at work for the past three years putting the final touches on their practically impeccable trilogy. Let’s maybe pretend Arkham Origins didn’t exist for the time being, plus this was never Rocksteady’s game, Warner Bothers took up the mantle so they could make some money and basically rehashed the same game. But both Arkham Asylum and Arkham City are works of utter genius. Here we have arguably the best of all superheroes, existing in games that aren’t tied to his movies, with time to make the games perfectly. What more could you ask for? The trailer looks utterly phenomenal, both in looks, scope, detail, design and a ruddy Batcar to boot! This should be hands down the best of all triple a games next year, here’s hoping for a fitting end to a flawless trilogy:

1. No Mans Sky

Where would we be without game hype? I suppose maybe not as disappointed when we see a final game product looking nothing like when you saw it at E3 running on high-end PC’s, but that’s not the point. Hype makes us believe we’re about to experience a shifting landscape in the architecture of games, breaking the mould from yet another first-person army shoot-em up where you spend more time re-spawning than playing. More specifically it makes us think that No Mans Sky could be a generation defining game. A procedurally generated Galaxy exploration game is surely what every Nerd (yes that’s both you and us included) desires. Sean Murray and David Ream, the directors at Hello Games have suggested that it statistically impossible to find every planet on the game…..we like a challenge. The choices you make on each planet you discover are completely up to you; destroy every alien race and send the universe back to the dark ages. Take on space fleet and become some form of space pirate. Become a space exploration scientist and learn about each alien race, the decisions are endless. This is why No Mans Sky is our most anticipated game of 2015. Take a look for yourself and have a smashing end to the year:

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