It’s Christmas time! Sort of! It’s that heartwarming season that brings out the slobbering avaristic beast in all of us. There’s much buying and demanding of presents, many British people glumly resigned to the fact that they’ll get all the cold of the season and none of the snow, and millions of people across the planet fondling presents in front of loved ones with ostensible irony, while doing their very best to silently identify the goodies within.
In the spirit of these beautiful traditions, the remaining Critical Gamer crew present to you here a selection of their most anticipated games due for release next year. There’s no way of knowing for sure if any of these will actually be any good, but we want them now dammit!
Well I might as well reaffirm the fact that I’m really into Blackguards 2. I loved what I played so far after the obscenely difficult beginning, and I really just want more to play. It comes out in late Jan so I don’t have too long to wait.
The Witcher 3
I am a massive fan of both Witcher games, and the books which they mimic. Honestly the fact that it’s been delayed until my birthday month has actually pleased me as CD Projekt Red tend to release great games with a fair few issues in them. I’m hoping that the extra time will allow them to take a better shot of getting it right first time round. I know there’ll inevitably be a big overhaul from them at some point, as they seem to be great at revamping their games to be even better.
I love the dubious morality that is behind every character and every outcome. It’s more or less what defines the Witcher for me. When man is more of a monster than the monsters themselves you’re almost given interesting decisions to make.
Have you seen it? It looks great. Second best amiibo ever if they release a Ganondorf one.
I really enjoyed the multiplayer, but when they announced a campaign it set itself up as a game that I’m going to have to buy. I tend not to play multiplayer shooters that often anymore so a solid campaign is something that I’d love to play through – especially when it’s a shooter actually utilising a full spectrum of colours that don’t suffer a “–ish brown/grey” suffix.
Star Citizen/Squadron 42
However you feel about Chris Robert’s insanely crowdfunded space flight simulator first person shooter MMO mega game, if it pulls off even half of what’s promised it will be amazing. Whilst we probably won’t see anything as polished as a full release in 2015, it sure looks like there will be a few more modules to play with. The actual space flying bit should be getting multi-crew ships within the next few months and it’s also a safe assumption that we’ll get some hands-on time with the FPS portion of the game.
I’ve been really excited about this since the project was first announced, so personally I’m really excited to see what 2015 holds for Star Citizen. It would be great to have the first batch of missions for Squadron 42 as well, but with a release date that’s only slightly more predictable than that of Half-life 3, it’s hard to say if it will be in the next calendar year.
Just Cause 3
We’ve only seen a few teasing screenshots of Just Cause 3 so far, but if it’s anything like its 2010 predecessor then I’m already excited. Whereas GTA pioneered the art of chaotic dick-about excursions in an open world, Just Cause introduced a new level of madness. Grappling hooks, parachutes, mid-air plane hijackings, tethering guards to anything that happened to be passing at high speed; Just Cause 2 had everything.
If Avalanche were to simply build on what they’ve done with a new map on the current gen systems then I’d be happy, so I’m incredibly excited to see how they plan to tear up the new Mediterranean setting. With the additional promise of a wingsuit entering Rico’s toy box as well, it sounds like Just Cause 3 is going to be another explosive ride. I just hope they consider using better voice actors this time…
No Man’s Sky
The Hello Games developed, procedurally generated space adventure No Man’s Sky, is one of my most anticipated titles from next year. The announcement trailer was astounding, with the player finding themselves in a colour rich alien world which is home to huge dinosaur-like creatures. When the player then jumps into their spaceship and heads into space and then on to another world, it was like a childhood dream come true. Whether the game has enough activities to keep players exploring remains to be seen, but what has been shown is a game of huge scope and ambition, which has to be applauded.
Uncharted has become one of Sony’s most important exclusives, and developer Naughty Dog are the crown jewels in Sony’s stable of developers. I’m itching to play a next gen Uncharted, and see what Naughty Dog can do with the upgraded hardware. There has only been a teaser trailer released which makes it look like Uncharted 4 is a much more sombre adventure. But I have high hopes that we will still get the wisecracking Nathan Drake and mentor Sully, mixed in with the usual high octane Indiana Jones adventuring from the PS3 trilogy, but with a lick of next gen paint.
Star Wars Battlefront
The Battlefront series was hugely popular on the PlayStation 2, but after Battlefront 2, the series went through years of troubled development that led to the demise of developer Free Radical Design. Now in the hands of Battlefield creators DICE, the series is looking to launch on Sony and Microsoft’s latest consoles. The Battlefield series is probably my favourite multiplayer game at the moment, and with Star Wars being one of my favourite movie franchises, Battlefront is a match made in heaven for me. The E3 teaser trailer showed a Snowspeeder on the snowy world of Hoth, and a Rebel on a Speederbike weaving through the forest of Endor, and it looked fantastic. Re-enacting the main Star Wars battles, like the one on Hoth with AT-AT’s trying to take the Rebel base, while Snowspeeders try to defend it is going to be a whole lot of fun. I just hope the game launches without the problems that have blighted Battlefield 4 in the months since its launch.
I don’t play through the same game twice as a rule; certainly not if it’s an epic RPG. I just don’t do it. I have three kids, a full time job, and the attention span of a squirrel. That last may have been added for (dubious) comedic effect, but I rarely stick with a game for long once I’ve seen the ending. But Persona 4… I finished the “Golden” version on the Vita – through many sessions of multiple hours where I was utterly absorbed and borderline obsessed – and then started again from a save three quarters through to see a new ending. Then I gorged myself on every last one of the extras (including an overview of Jungian philosophy, no less). I then got several hours through a second playthrough before other games demanded my time for reviews (poor me, I know).
I then bought a beat ’em up primarily for the story (Persona 4 Arena) which actually turned out to be very good, and bought and finished Persona 3. Oh and by the way, I hate turn based combat, and the Persona series is all about the turn based combat. You’ll notice I haven’t actually said anything about Persona 5. This is because the above trailer doesn’t actually tell us anything except (a) the main character appears to be Harry Potter, and (b) the main character owns a mobile phone. But I’m in love with Persona, and love is blind.
Zelda Wii U (or whatever it ends up being called)
Basically I’m looking forward to this because it’s Zelda, and there hasn’t been an unimpressive ‘proper’ Zelda – in my opinion – for over two decades. I’m genuinely excited to see what Nintendo does with the series on their most powerful machine yet, and it’ll be interesting to see if they treat the GamePad features as an asset or a liability. The recently released gameplay footage gave me cause for concern if anything to be honest, as it was mostly just a man on a horse wandering past some trees. I’ve said it 47 times before, however, and I’ll say it at least 47 times more; only a fool would try to predict Nintendo’s next move with any certainty. I find it difficult to believe that they would mess up a major entry in one of their biggest franchises, with the added pressure that it is one of the few remaining titles up their collective sleeve which could potentially shift a few thousand more units of what looks to be their least successful console ever. So long as you don’t count the Virtual Boy, and nobody does.
So there you have it; our most anticipated games of next year that we could think of at short notice. But what about you, dear readers? Which games are you most looking forward to? Feel free to let us know via comments, e mail, skywriting, or YouTube videos of you performing interprative dance.