This year’s E3 has come and gone and if there is one thing that all gamers can agree on, it’s that the future of the games industry is bright and full of gaming goodness. Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo all focused strongly on games at E3, revealing a load of new sequels, re-releases and a fair amount of new IP’s.
While a good amount of games for the rest of this year were shown, including Far Cry 4, Halo: The Master Chief Collection and Super Smash Bros Wii U, a large majority of the titles revealed won’t see the light of day until 2015. While that disappointed some, others are choosing to look at the year as a whole and the exciting times that await.
This list will take a look at 10 of the biggest games that are currently scheduled to release in 2015 and why these 10 in particular could make 2015 the hottest year for gaming in quite some time.
10. Mortal Kombat X
Mortal Kombat 9’s release back in 2011 helped breathe new life into an MK franchise that hadn’t seen a quality game for roughly a decade. By rebooting the series, shifting back to a 2D fighting plane and introducing x-ray attacks, Mortal Kombat had finally regained what the fans truly missed.
Having been unveiled with a trailer just days before E3, Mortal Kombat X has already got fans excited as to what brutal and bloody ideas NetherRealm Studios has up its sleeve. While the series staples Sub Zero and Scorpion have already been confirmed, no other returning characters have been announced just yet, though four new characters were revealed at E3: Kotal Kahn, Ferra/Torr, D’Vorah and Cassie Cage (daughter of Johnny Cage and Sonya Blade).
Mortal Kombat 9’s story mode surprised near enough everyone that played it, with a solidly written, entertaining plot that retold the events of the first three Mortal Kombat games. If X’s plot (which is said to feature a new, original storyline) can match the quality of its predecessor, then MK fans will be in for a real treat. MK series creator Ed Boon also noted that the game’s antagonist will be a “surprise returning character”, which has led to speculation among fans with many suggesting that the antagonist is Shinnok, the fallen elder god from Mortal Kombat 4.
9. Tom Clancy’s The Division
Tom Clancy’s The Division was first revealed at the end of Ubisoft’s E3 conference in 2013. While it was originally due for release this year, it was announced back in May that the game would be delayed until 2015 (which hardly shocked anyone).
The Division takes place at a time where the United States has collapsed as a result of a disease that spread on Black Friday (and didn’t result in any zombies…hooray!). Players work as part of ‘The Division’ and are directed by the President to deal with any threats brought about by the epidemic and in doing so, doing whatever it takes to “save what remains”.
When a game is not only billed as being a massive multiplayer online third person shooter, but also an action role playing game, there is no doubt that the developer really has their work cut out for them, yet everything we have seen so far of The Division makes it seem like Ubisoft are on the right track to delivering a unique online experience, unlike anything we have seen before.
While it wouldn’t be surprising if the game was delayed until 2016, right now it looks like Ubisoft will be aiming to have the game released towards the end of 2015, which alongside Rainbow Six: Siege and another Assassin’s Creed could make 2015 a great year for Ubisoft.
8. Halo 5: Guardians
While there isn’t much information regarding Guardians at this current time, when a new Halo is announced, anticipation and expectations are always going to be ridiculously high and rightly so.
Running on a new, more powerful engine, Guardians will be continuing the Reclaimer Saga that began in Halo 4, however 343 Industries has kept quiet regarding the direction the plot will be taking. A lot of fan intrigue so far has been directed towards the new “Mirror Chief” character, with theories that the character is a woman and possibly even Cortana in some form. Bonnie Ross (343 Studios boss) dismissed those theories, confirming that the new Spartan is called Agent Locke and will have his origin story told in the Ridley Scott produced digital series, Halo Nightfall (which is set to be a part of the Master Chief Collection).
Admittedly a female Spartan having a big role in Guardians, whether it alongside or opposite Master Chief had me really intrigued not just for how she would interact with Master Chief, but also as to how gamers would react to it. So while the absence of a major female role in Guardians is disappointing (especially after the loss of Cortana in Halo 4), I’m sure 343 Studios will work to make Agent Locke an interesting character that players want to learn more about.
With Guardians likely to release in November 2015 (3 years after Halo 4), the wait for fans is going to feel like forever. Thankfully Halo: The Master Chief Collection will be arriving this November to fulfil everyone’s Halo desires.
Gamers have been anticipating the first next generation title from Demon’s/Dark Souls developer From Software ever since rumours and images of ‘Project Beast’ leaked. The sight of a character wielding a shotgun in a dark, mysterious area with horrendous beasts surely lurking around every corner had fans drooling over what From Software had in store for us.
We finally found out at E3, as Bloodborne was revealed with a trailer showing off the game’s protagonist brutally killing everything in his path, as he made his way through the dark and gruesome Victorian London inspired setting. From the gameplay trailer that followed, one aspect that really stood out was the somewhat faster paced combat, which Souls fans may not be completely behind, but stands as a good idea in appealing to those that found the combat in the Souls games a little too slow.
Visually, the horror/dark fantasy aesthetic manages to both stand out and look stunning whereas the addition of using a firearm looks and sounds good on paper, though it may not gel with the punishing combat style that From Software are known for.
As for Bloodborne’s plot, the story will follow the player’s traveller who is searching the city of Yharnam for a cure to his illness. Unfortunately standing in his way are not only the horrific monsters you would expect, but also the deranged inhabitants of Yharnam that are suffering from a curse. Like Souls, the plot is pretty minimalistic as it mainly sets the stage for what fans are expecting and that’s ridiculously tough, yet rewarding gameplay.
Bloodborne is set to be the first Sony exclusive game from From Software since Demon’s Souls, and there is no doubt that it’s an incredible exclusive for Sony to have bagged.
6. Star Wars Battlefront
Gamers have been excited for the latest Battlefront ever since the AT-AT foot came crushing down at the conclusion of the short reveal trailer at E3 last year. The game’s reveal was made even better by the confirmation that it would be running on the Frostbite 3 engine just like Battlefield 4. Let’s face it, the idea of Battlefront using the same engine as Battlefield is a mouth-watering prospect and it will no doubt result in epic, large scale battles on some of our favourite Star Wars planets.
Nothing more had really been heard regarding Battlefront until this year’s E3, where we were treated to a look at the development of the game. While the majority of the video shown focused on the team behind the game, we luckily saw a few seconds of early in-engine footage showing a soldier on a speeder bike racing through the forest on Endor. While short, those few seconds of footage have caused a real surge in excitement for gamers, which along with the confirmation of Hoth and Endor being playable maps in the game, has led to speculation as to what else will be included. Will we be returning to familiar planets like Tatooine, Bespin and Coruscant? What about planets and moons that were only mentioned in the films such as Nar Shaddaa and Taanab?
There’s so many possibilities for DICE and while many have been critical of EA (especially after Battlefield 4’s online issues) you can’t help, but be hopeful that they really knock it out of the park with Battlefront.
It’s fully expected that the game’s release will coincide with the release of Episode VII, so it’s safe to say 2015 will be a massive year for the Star Wars franchise and its fans.
5. Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
The end of Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker hinted at it, but it’s The Phantom Pain where we are set to see something that we have wanted to see for a very long time, and that’s how Snake went from being a hero and saviour to a terrorist with a vendetta against the patriots. The development of Snake turning into Big Boss is one of the most unique character developments in gaming, complex in the way it splits fans over the actions of Snake/Big Boss in a similar manner to that of Walter White/Heisenberg.
The latest MGSV trailer hinted at the change, as it showed Snake returning after 9 years in a coma, looking for revenge against those that destroyed Militaires Sans Frontieres (at the end of Ground Zeroes). The disturbing trailer that included Snake rubbing the ashes of his fallen comrades onto his face, as well as a bloody depiction of Snake as the devil (with his face covered in blood and shrapnel “horn” sticking out of his head) point towards The Phantom Pain being the dark, emotional rollercoaster we were hoping it would be.
A recent 30 minute demo from E3 gave us our best look yet at TPP’s gameplay so far, showing Snake infiltrating a village in Afghanistan. Everything shown looks excellent, from the returning fulton system (from Peace Walker) that allows you to send soldiers, vehicles and even SHEEP back to Mother Base, to the active weather system that showed off a sandstorm an an upgraded cardboard box that you can now pop out the top of to shoot enemies or even use as a distraction by leaping out the side of it and into cover.
It’s also been noted that TPP will be 200 times larger than Ground Zeroes was, which is incredibly exciting for those that enjoyed GZ (and hell even those that found it far too short). It would be interesting to know how large The Phantom Pain is in comparison to Red Dead Redemption, which many gamers were reminded of after the recent demo.
Everything we have seen so far of The Phantom Pain looks utterly fantasti, and it’s quite a pleasant surprise that MGS is managing to transition to being open world so well. As of now, many are expecting TPP to be released towards the end of 2015, though Hideo Kojima has said not to expect the game anytime soon. Whenever the game does get released, I fully expect it to deliver a new unique kind of Metal Gear Solid experience; different from what we are used to, but still as special as previous MGS’s.
4. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
When RPG fans hear that a game is going to be 20% bigger then Skyrim, it’s very likely that those gamers are going to keep a close eye on that title. The fact that the game in question will be the final time we get to play as Geralt of Rivia in The Witcher series, makes the title a must-buy for RPG and Witcher fans alike.
Continuing on from the excellent Witcher 2: Assassin of Kings, Wild Hunt follows Geralt as he must help to prevent the Wild Hunt army from wreaking havoc across the northern kingdoms. The Witcher series has constantly managed to provide a quality and mature narrative and just like the previous two entries, Wild Hunt will likely have a diplomatic twist to its plot, perhaps with rival kingdoms struggling to come to an agreement on how to deal with the Wild Hunt.
All of the previews for Wild Hunt so far have received nothing but praise, whether it be for the immensely detailed world that CD Projekt RED have created or the game’s stronger focus on monster hunting then it’s predecessors.
To go alongside the massive world in The Witcher 3, it’s being estimated that completing the main quest and all of the side quests will take 100 hours, so it’s fairly safe to say that CD Projekt RED are going all out to make The Witcher finale as epic as possible.
Stated by those who've seen it in action as being the first true next-gen experience. Come February 2015, we will all have our chance to see just how true that statement is.
3. Batman: Arkham Knight
When Batman: Arkham Asylum was first announced back in 2008, who could have predicted the utter quality that Rocksteady was about to unleash on us. Tremendous voice acting, two well-crafted narratives and an unbelievably smooth free flowing combat system that’s been copied and altered in a fair few other games ever since. Rocksteady managed to create the game we always wanted, we wanted to be Batman. We wanted to skulk in the shadows, watch enemies from above, utilise all of Batman’s gadgets and go head to head with the greatest villains from the Batman universe.
We wanted it. We got it and in 2015, we'll get to do it for one final time...
Set one year after Arkham City, many of Batman’s most notable enemies (including Two-Face, The Penguin and Harley Quinn) have formed an alliance to kill the dark knight once and for all. Scarecrow takes centre stage this time around, threatening to release his fear toxins throughout Gotham City.
Unsurprisingly, fans have already been coming up with theories as to how the Joker could make an appearance, though in all honesty, the end of Arkham City really was the most perfect way for Joker to go out. The image of Batman carrying Joker’s dead body is one that gamers are going to remember for a very long time and I fear that a reappearance in Arkham Knight would end up hurting that great moment. Plus the idea of Scarecrow (whose character design in Arkham Knight looks incredible) as the big bad is genuinely exciting, especially after his oh-so-memorable appearances in Arkham Asylum.
One of the most intriguing points surrounding the game is that of the Arkham Knight character. As a new original character that Rocksteady has created in collaboration with DC, gamers have been speculating as to who the Arkham Knight could be. Predictions have included the likes of Hush, Tim Drake, Damian Wayne, Jason Todd and of course…The Joker. Whoever it does turn out to be, my only real hope is that Rocksteady give a clear and believable motive for why that particular character became the Arkham Knight.
While it’s unknown what Rocksteady will be moving onto after Batman: Arkham Knight, it’s safe to say they are in the good graces of every gamer that’s played Arkham Asylum and Arkham City, as well as those that will play Arkham Knight.
2. The Legend of Zelda Wii U
Going into E3, we knew…we just knew Nintendo were going to reveal a new Zelda. We’d been dying to hear about an official Zelda for the Wii U from the moment we saw the Zelda tech demo when the Wii U was first revealed at E3 2011. When the trailer was shown at this year’s E3…we realised that the wait was indeed worth it.
Showing off beautiful cel shaded visuals (that look a mixture between Wind Waker and Skyward Sword), we saw who we assume was Link (though some believe it may be a different character) being chased by a large creature, who Link eventually attacks with his bow and arrow. While short, the trailer managed to excite Zelda fans across the globe, and it was made even better by the news that this Legend of Zelda will have a full connected open world, similar to that of the original.
Unfortunately there isn't much else known about the game at moment, though producer Eiji Aonuma mentioned that they are looking to “rethink the conventions of Zelda”, changing the manner in which dungeons and puzzles play out. The idea of change within the Legend of Zelda franchise always sounds great, because the alterations that Nintendo make generally turn out for the best (just look at last year’s A Link Between Worlds for example).
As of now, the game is set to be released in 2015 though with not much known about the game, there are fears that it could be pushed back until 2016. One thing is for sure, the Wii U needs a heavy hitter like a new Legend of Zelda to help build interest in the console and I’m sure once this is released, it will do exactly that.
1. Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End
As Sony’s leading franchise, it was only a matter of time before a new Uncharted was revealed to the world. That reveal came at E3, with a trailer showing a somewhat older looking Nathan Drake awakening on a mysterious island complete with pirate skeletons in cages.
As excellent as it looked, it was the voiceover conversation between Drake and Sully that really stood out. Drake asking if he can count on Sully one last time has led to many fans guessing that A Thief’s End could be the final Uncharted game (with the title of the game certainly adding to that notion). That could certainly be the case, though Drake’s words to Sully could also be taken as a sign that A Thief’s End is going to be the last Uncharted for just one of the two characters.
With Uncharted being such a massive franchise, it’s hard to imagine Naughty Dog finishing up with it, however The Last of Us was proof that Naughty Dog has what is takes to make a new IP as good, if not better then Uncharted.
The recent departures of Amy Hennig and Justin Richmond from Naughty Dog left many wondering what was to be of the next Uncharted, however the game is now in the very capable hands of Neil Druckmann and Bruce Straley, who worked as game directors on The Last of Us.
Whether this turns out to be the final Uncharted or not, there should be no doubts that Naughty Dog will deliver another epic adventure for Sony fans. And like its predecessors, expect to see Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End towards the end of the year.
What do you guys think of the games that are due for release next year? Are there other quality looking games that you feel should have been included in this list? Let us know in the comments below or tweet me @KingKicks
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