Now that 2014 is behind us, it's time to look to the future — and I must say — the next year of gaming looks very promising. Out of all of the games announced for 2015, I'm especially excited for five of them. Here they are in no particular order.
Batman: Arkham Knight
Ever since I first laid hands on Batman: Arkham Asylum, I was hooked. Developer Rocksteady nailed every aspect of that game, from the story and combat system, to the puzzles and side quests. Arkham City brought it to the next level and was even more amazing. WB Montreal did a decent job with Arkham Origins, but that game wasn't quite up to par with its predecessors. I'm excited that Rocksteady is taking back the reins to finish out the Arkham saga. In a world where many superhero games have been mediocre at best, the Batman: Arkham games are a shining light. I have the highest of hopes for Arkham Knight, and I seriously doubt I'll be disappointed.
Uncharted 4: A Thief's End
In terms of cinematic storytelling in a video game, it doesn't get much better than Uncharted. Each of Nathan Drake's adventures has been better than the last. I'm confident that, with the fourth (and possibly final) Uncharted adventure, Naughty Dog will kick it up yet another notch, delivering all of the amazing gameplay and story elements we have come to expect. We already know that the voice acting will be top notch, with Nolan North reprising the role of Nathan Drake, and Troy Baker joining the franchise playing the role of Drake's brother. So, as long as the rest of the pieces fall in place, Uncharted 4 will definitely be a game to watch in 2015.
The Legend of Zelda Wii U
The prospect of an open-world Zelda game is an exciting one for loyal fans of the series. Very few details have been revealed about the Wii U version of The Legend of Zelda so far, but what we have seen shows great potential. I'm a bit worried that this game will be pushed to 2016, but if it does, then I'll just have to be patient. I would rather wait a little longer if it means the game will be that much better.
In case you missed it, check out my article where I detail what I hope to see in the forthcoming Zelda adventure.
Xenoblade Chronicles X
If you live in North America, you may have missed Xenoblade Chronicles on the Wii; in fact, the game almost wasn't released in this region at all. I had a chance to play it, though, and I was blown away by the sheer size and scope of the massive world in that game. From what I have seen of Xenoblade Chronicles X for Wii U - which is not a sequel, but a spiritual successor to the Wii game - we will be getting more of the same. The game features an enormous world, a unique story with a Science Fiction theme, and role-playing elements with a real-time battle system. I look forward to exploring the expansive game world and fighting monsters 20-times my size. If this game contains as much content and as many side quests as its predecessor, then I know that I will be spending many, many hours delving into the world of Xenoblade Chronicles X.
No Man's Sky
According to the game’s official website, "No Man’s Sky is a game about exploration and survival in an infinite procedurally generated galaxy."
This basically means you can travel the galaxy and visit an unlimited number of planets, and every one you visit will be completely unique. As you discover a new planet, the game takes note, and other players will be able to see your name on that planet. The implications of that are staggering. Imagine what this game will be like: You get into your spaceship and find an uncharted planet to explore. As you walk around, everything you see on that planet - every rock, every plant, every fish, every indigenous creature - will be unlike anything else you, or any other player, will find in the game. Supposedly, there are an infinite number of possibilities. That's a pretty bold claim, especially when you consider that No Man's Sky is being developed by Hello Games, a tiny indie studio based in the UK. We don't know much yet in terms of the objectives or the narrative of the game, but based on what I've seen, No Man's Sky could be an incredibly groundbreaking, amazing adventure.
If you travel to a planet in No Man's Sky and it says, "Discovered by Me_Bender," just know that I got there before you!
That does it for my most anticipated games of 2015. What games are you looking forward to? Let us know in the comments, or send me a tweet @Bender_Guitar
Ben Holt is the one of the newest members of the Short Pause empire, a guitarist and amateur songwriter, and an all-around swell guy.