Gaming

20 Games You Need To Play In 2015

It's official - you can finally stop calling the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 'next gen' consoles.

No one made an announcement or anything, we're just of the opinion that the latest muscular graphics boxes have matured into fully fledged 'current' machines. After much delay, even the Wii U has come of age.

The next 12 months are promising to heal the hurts of a largely disappointing 2014, littered with broken launches and blockbuster flops. From monster sequels to monster hunters, these are 20 games we can't wait to get our thumbs on in 2015. 

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    Dying light

    Freerunning meets zombies in the new title from the chaps who brought us Dead Island. You're a special agent trapped in a Brazilian-esque quarantined slum filled with flesh-eating hordes and a civilian population eager to escape.  

    Initially a sequel to Techland's 2011 success, Dying Light's undead favelas and roaming gameplay had such a unique identity that the studio decided to make it a standalone title. With brutal hand-to-broken-hand combat and first-person platforming, this could be the first 'different' zombie game of the new console era. 

    Released: 30 January

     

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    Evolve

    Four versus one doesn't sound like a fair fight, does it? But 2K gives that solitary player in its multiplayer combat game a significant leg-up: Four hunters, each with their own specific team role, must work together to find and kill one monster before it levels up to become an unstoppable force of carnage.

    Yet another title that promises to change the face of online gaming, Evolve's previews scooped up more awards than pretty much any other title last year. We're hoping this one really is a game changer. 

    Released: 10 February

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    The Order: 1886

    Forget everything you know about the Victorian period. Well, nearly everything. Keep the smog-filled visions of a sprawling London, fat on an industrial revolution and sick with poverty - then add some Tesla coils, Arthurian knights and monster. 

    First showed it off at 2013's E3, the signs point to this being the story-driven combat title the PlayStation 4 has sorely missed. 

    Released: 20 February

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    Resident Evil Revelations 2

    Remember Barry? Barry Burton - one of the few cops to survive 1996's Resident Evil? Big guy, handy with a gun? Well he's back, looking for his daughter Moria who's managed to get herself lost in an island filled with (you guessed it) zombies - and Claire Redfield has managed to get herself mixed up in things as well.

    It's been 18 years since we first became acquainted with the undead of Resident Evil, but the latest title is promising the series' legions of fans some new scares in this episodic saga. And if that doesn't work, there's an HD remastering of the original on its way as well.

    Released: 15 March

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    Battlefield Hardline

    Cops vs robbers. But the cops aren't the roly-poly jovial sort and the robbers aren't dressed in black and white with bags marked swag. Battlefield's latest venture swaps the deserts and traditional warfare for urban environments and criminal operations. 

    The single player missions will see you investigating gangs and uncovering clues while the multiplayer will divide you onto opposing sides of the law: you're either a crook looking to achieve an illegal aim or a cop attempting to keep the peace. If it avoids the technical issues of the last Battlefield title, this could be one of the most addictive experiences of the year.

    Released: 20 March

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    Bloodborne

    Do you like dying? Do you long for a game that requires perfection, for a challenge so brutal that you'll empty hours of your life into just one boss battle? Did Dark Souls awaken something dark you didn't know you had in you? Then you'll be wanting to play Bloodborne.

    A PlayStation 4 exclusive from the creators of Dark Souls, this latest RPG dungeon crawler uses a clever game engine that creates new tombs and dank depths for every play through. You're never going to master this one, but it's going to be fun trying. 

    Released: 24 March

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    The Witcher 3

    If you take your fantasy high and with an extra side of dark magic, The Witcher 3 is the only RPG you're going to want to immerse yourself in in 2015.

    A game so large and complicated it's already been delayed twice (a good thing, we're assured), The Witcher 3 has a string of narrative options (penned by Polish fantasy author Andrzej Sapkowski), bundles of moral choices and an open world 35 times bigger than that of The Witcher 2. To be specific, that's VERY big.

    Released: 19 May

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    Batman: Arkham Knight

    The swansong of Rocksteady Studio's hugely impressive Batman series is shaping up to be quite the bruiser. The Joker is dead, leaving Arkham's criminals in disarray: an unlikely trio of Two-Face, the Penguin and Harley Quinn are looking to kill the bat, along with an unknown and well equipped Bat-a-like, the Arkham Knight.

    With an even bigger city to explore and protect, an overpowered Batmobile to drive around in and a potentially deadly conclusion to Rocksteady's series, we're expecting a "Game of the Year" performance from this title.

    Released: 2 June

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    No Man's Sky

    Like Asteroids, but bigger. And better looking. And with more advanced controls, procedurally created worlds to explore and - okay so it's nothing like Asteroids

    If No Man's Sky delivers everything it's promising, it's going to be one of the best games of the decade. Solar systems will be filled with planets; some will be teaming with lush plains and oceans, but most will be barren rocks. It's up to you to explore them and share your discoveries with the other players milling about the great big black. And when you're done discovering new life, you'll be able to engage in some deep space dogfights. Where do we sign up?

    Released: TBC 2015

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    Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

    Snake fans were left a touch disappointed with 2014's Ground Zeroes: thin on story, thick on stealth, it did little more than whet the appetite for 2015's main course.

    Mixing the well-known sneaking of the Metal Gear Solid series with a bewilderingly large open world environment, The Phantom Pain is a big, risky step for the franchise - but one we're sure they'll pull off. There's even a smartphone extension, which will allow you to control and develop your base of operations when you're away from your console. 

    Released: TBC 2015

     

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    Halo 5: Guardians

    Not got an Xbox One yet? Chances are you're waiting for this one to arrive.

    The second chapter of 343 Industries' continuation of the Halo franchise, the fifth instalment of the game is promising to answer a whole heap of questions left at the end of Halo 4 (what's Master Chief going to do without Cortana) and inevitably create a new load of mysteries for Halo 6. You'll be able to experience a beta of the multiplayer from the end of December 2014. 

    Released: TBC 2015

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    Inside

    If you've been longing for a new instalment to 2010's macabre adventure Limbo, you're in for a disappointment. It's not going to happen. We're sorry. 

    That's because Playdead has been busy working on their next grim tale, Inside. There are plenty of similarities: a small boy running through a bleak world (though they've even added a splash of colour to the mix this time), surrounded by deadly perils. If it shows even half the level of invention of Limbo, this is going to be huge.

    Released: Early 2015

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    The Legned of Zelda Wii U

    Big. That's the aim of Nintendo's new Zelda adventure. Miles and miles of sweeping landscapes for Link to explore, made all the easier with an interactive map on the Wii U's tablet controller. 

    In terms of what adventure Link will actually be getting himself stuck into, details are currently slim. The developers are promising a return to "the roots" of the franchise, so expect plenty of caves, dungeons and cutesy races to save. Come on Nintendo, make us a classic. 

    Released: TBC 2015

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    Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number

    Hotline Miami was hard. Really hard. But for some unbeknown reason, the gore-soaked acid trip had a sick charm that kept us playing, and playing, and playing. 

    Wrong Number is set to do it all over again. A top-down shooter of extreme violence and seizure-inducing colours, every bad guy has the chance to one-shot kill you - but the pace of this experience prevents it from becoming maddening. With arguably more style and punch than the original, you're going to want to play this just to hear the soundtrack.

    Released: Early 2015

     

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    Mario Maker

    Latching on to the popularity of LittleBigPlanet and Minecraft, Nintendo is letting you fulfil that wish you had some 20 years ago when you first played Super Mario Bros. - of building your very own side-scrolling adventure. 

    Using the Wii U's tablet remote, you'll be able to construct blocky platforming playgrounds. Once you've created your nearly-impossible level, you'll be able to share it with the wider world and download other makers' creations to test your skills. This could be one of the most addictive building experiences of the year, with less bewildering scope than the likes of Minecraft. 

    Released: TBC 2015

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    Uncharted 4: A Thief's End

    Drake isn't hunting for loot and treasures any more. Set some years after the events of Uncharted 3, Naughty Dog's loveable anti-hero is turned his hand to conspiracy theories, travelling the globe to discover the truth behind a legendary pirate treasure. 

    Despite losing their series writer and creative director in the past year, we're banking on Naughty Dog producing another console-selling Drake romp with The Last of Us's team now overseeing things. This could be the reason you buy a PlayStation 4 this year.

    Released: TBC 2015

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    Grim Fandango Remastered

    Yep. One of the best games of 2015 could be a title that first came out in 1998 - which says more about how good the original was than how bad the current industry is. 

    In 1998, LucasArts released a wickedly funny neo-noir adventure game that few have matched. Grim Fandango was a triumph of dark humour, story telling and puzzle play, in which players followed the misadventures of Manuel "Manny" Calavera in the after life. 

    The sharp remastered version promised for the PlayStation 4 in 2015 isn't going to add any new gameplay or features - just cleaner graphics and a reminder that a game doesn't have to be a triple A blockbuster to be any good. 

    Release date: TBC 2015

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    Star Wars: Battlefront

    Episode VII isn't the only new Star Wars title to get excited about in 2015. Deemed a reboot of Pandemic Studios multiplayer experience, the new game is set to mix a powerful graphics engine with the carefully structured gameplay of DICE studios - the minds behind the insanely popular Battlefield series. 

    We realise we're going out on a limb with this one - largely because nothing has been shown about the game other than a brief title tease. But the idea of DICE delving into the wealth of Star Wars' armouries gives us hope that this could be one of the better titles to bare the SW name. 

    Released: TBC 2015

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    Rise of the Tomb Raider

    If you haven't played 2013's Tomb Raider reboot, what on earth have you been doing? The moment you finish this list we insist you pick up a copy and educate yourself immediately. Okay? Good.

    Those of you who have experienced Square Enix's gritty recasting of a classic will already be eager to get to grips with Lara's next outing. When a close friend becomes dangerously ill, Lara sets off on the trail of a legendary artifact that could help restore their health. Forget learning how to use a bow and arrow - this is the story will see the fledgling tomb pesterer mature into a fully fledged grave robber. 

    Released: TBC 2015

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    Tom Clancy's The Division

    Another game that was once pencilled into 2014's bug-filled release calendar, we've given up trying to work out if Ubisoft's latest Tom Clancy title is being finely tuned to perfection or madly thrown together in a panic.

    Assuming the former, The Division is looking to build on the curiously addictive experience offered by Destiny: an RPG set in a fallen USA, crippled by a disease that spread on Black Friday through the handling of infected money. You're part of a special operations group, tasked with saving "what remains" by the President of the USA. With missions and tasks popping up all over a post-apocalyptic city, and friends joining in via tablets to control drones, this could be a properly "different" game. If it ever gets finished. 

    Released: TBC 2015