Best & Worst Games Of 2015
In any given year, video games, be they PC, console or mobile, provide brilliant and escapist fun. Some even sometimes single handily bring the industry forward. This could be though their use of graphics, scripting, animation or narrative but with each immersive leap into interactivity, games are evolving at an astonishing pace.
However, for every gem, there’s a stinker. While some game designers believe in it as an art form, others are content to coast their way through, simply knawing at chewed meat, nicking a story line here or there and adding random violence, safe in the knowledge that someone somewhere will buy into it.
2015 was no different and, as is tradition this time of year, let’s look at the high points and low points of what, all in all, has been another good year in gaming.
So then, the good and the bad….
Good: Everybody’s Gone To The Rapture
A really weird opener to our list this one, unlike anything played before. A Walking Dead/Heavy Rain crossover, open world, solitary wander-about through the UK countryside. The quaint and typically British village looks postcard perfect – a hall mark of the game – except that, as you might have worked out prior to purchase, everybody’s gone. At first, you don’t know why you’re all alone in Shropshire, save for the tells that promise this won’t be another post nuclear/zombie thing. It’s up to you, whoever or whatever you might be, to find out why they’ve all disappeared. You attempt to do this by exploring your environment and, by way of balls of light that direct you towards scripted clues, the more investigations you undertake, the more the game will reward you.
Bad: Obama Slots
It takes something particularly naff to make a slots game dull and, while politics is possibly the most important subject we should be thinking about, it doesn’t make for a great themed slot machine. No, the leader of the free world is no exciting reeler. To be fair, it works well and you certainly see what the designers were hoping to achieve but something’s are better left to their own. Still, at least it’s not a David Cameron slot machine where you could never quite trust it do the very opposite of what it promises and where pig symbols, wisely, scatter. This is just one of 100s, possibly 1000s, of themed slots on the market. Have a browse here for the best options for mobile slots games – but you may want to avoid the Obama title!
Good: Batman, Arkham Knight
The last in Rocksteady’s excellent Arkham series, this fourth part instalment does not disappoint. It’s a bigger and more epic game than City, even throwing in the Batmobile, which is every bit as awesome as you thought it would be, even if it does seem spiteful to give it to us now, just as the franchise draws to a close. While the game play and duelling hasn’t changed very much since 2009’s Asylum, this doesn’t matter. Each instalment has added greater scale of location and stuck with what worked; being tough and being sneaky. Hard, exciting and addictive, this certainly feels like a game that has left on a high, with an audience wanting more and with plenty of air left in the lungs.
Bad: Raven’s Cry
It’s not so much that this is an utterly debunked rip off of a vastly superior alternative, but that it’s a failed attempt at copying in the process. Blankly, it’s unoriginal and not very good. Take everything you love about the Assassin’s Creed franchise, and in particular here Black Flag, and strip it down for this shoddy rehash. If you can get past the crashing, you’ll cringe at the poorly scripted dialogue, delivered with an equal lack of skill. The gameplay was a pure creative lift of ideas, right down to ship combat.
Good: Star Wars Battlefront
So many spin off games, so many disappointments. It seems fitting that just as the movie franchise booms all over again, that the video game market finally gets the Star Wars game it deserves, save for the early Lego version. Play takes place in the film’s most iconic settings like Endor, Hoth and Tatooine which at last captures the spirit of the films. On the downside, it’s a little simple in the script and score but, let’s be honest, that’s not why you bought it and you’ll love it anyway.
Bad: Saints Row, Gat Out Of Hell
The ridiculous franchise finally out ridiculoused itself in a typically grotesque manner. In fairness, the gameplay holds up as you would expect but even this level of depraved silliness has its limbo bar and it would seem developers Deep Silver have sunk low enough to think it worthy of release but most consumers won’t. The title’s reference to hell is well placed as this feels like a once popular game’s descent into that exact location. It’s as if having Vlad the Impaler and Shakespeare injected into a game already certified mad would be too much for some people.