A myriad of video games were released in 2015 on various platforms such as Playstation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Wii U. Gamers had a wide variety of exciting and spectacular games to choose from. While numerous games had successful releases, five games truly raised the bar.
Batman Arkham Knight (released June 2015)
Succeeding the 2013 video game Batman: Arkham Origins, Arkham Knight is the end of the award-winning Arkham trilogy, based off of Batman, one of DC Comics’ most popular superheroes. In addition to Batman, Robin, Catwoman, Nightwing, Oracle and a few new characters assist Batman and offer cunning support throughout the game. The collection of DC characters from the original Batman comic adds a nostalgic touch to the game.
Playable in a third-person perspective, Arkham Knight delivers a wider open-world atmosphere, offering the player more freedom rather than sticking to a set storyline. Batman’s stealth skills, combat ability, gadgets, and detective artistry are put on display and highlighted in Arkham Knight. Batman needs all the help he can find to defeat his foes, Penguin, Riddler, Scarecrow, Harley Quinn, and Poison Ivy, just some of the villains who make an appearance. Chelsea Stark, writer for Mashable, states that one aspect she loves in Arkham Knight is that “it was fresh but also still true to the Batman series”.
Bottom Line: Sharp graphics, fun gameplay, comic nostalgia, and story all aid in creating a fun and exciting game.
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Microsoft Windows
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain (released September 2015)
Phantom Pain is the fifth installment of the Metal Gear saga, an action, espionage stealth games series. Phantom Pain begins in a hospital, with the main character, Big Boss, awakening from a nine-year coma. Shortly after waking up, Big Boss is attacked, and unsure of whom is trying to kill him. Big Boss made his first appearance in Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, the prequel to the Metal Gear series.
Gameplay is similar to previous Metal Gear games, with the fulton recovery system re-entering the game from Metal Gear Solid Peacewalker. Phantom Pain takes place after Metal gear Ground Zeroes, and before the original Metal Gear. Snake travels through Afghanistan, during the same time as the Soviet-Afghan War, using his stealth and close quarter combat skills. Fans of Metal Gear will appreciate the similar gameplay, fighting techniques, and recurring characters involved in Phantom Pain.
Bottom Line: Realistic story, acute graphics, and sticking to Metal Gear roots create another successful Metal Gear game full of action, stealth and suspense.
Platforms: PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, and Microsoft Windows
Super Mario Maker (released September 2015)
Super Mario Maker allows the player to customize his or her own Mario levels, choosing the music, structures, and enemies in the level. Customizable items are pulled from a variety of Mario games, including Super Mario Bros., Super Mario World, and Super Mario Bros. 3. Gamers can play through their own levels, as well as share their levels online and play other levels created by gamers.
Super Mario Maker has been positively received since its release; Mashable’s Chelsea Stark conveys that Super Mario Maker’s success is because of its ability to “give people creative freedom”. With boundless building blocks to create levels, Super Mario Maker offers gamers their own unique gaming experience.
Bottom Line: Characters and other elements from older Mario games add nostalgia for Mario fans, while customizations offer a personalized and fun experience.
Platform: Wii U
Bloodborne (released in March 2015)
Bloodborne follows the Hunter, the playable character, in third-person perspective gameplay through the fictional city of Yharnam. Gameplay is targeted towards exploration and weapon-based combat, while uncovering the mysteries of the world in detailed environments. Sam Prell, writer for GamesRadar.com, explains the appeal of the game. “Everything feels finely tuned and crafted, the combat is difficult but rewarding”.
An action role-playing game, Bloodborne allows the player to not only discover new areas, but also to find various new weapons, outfits, dangerous beasts, and rewards. With the city of Yharnam cursed with an unknown illness, death is hiding in every section of the game. In order to survive, the player needs to find the truth behind the secrets and darkness. When playing Bloodborne, Prell states that the game “drives me to constantly be on my toes and constantly be improving my tactics”.
Bottom Line: Intriguing story, fresh graphics, and a challenging yet rewarding game.
Platform: PlayStation 4
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (released May 2015)
Another action role-playing game, The Witcher 3 involves a high level of fantasy in an open-world atmosphere. Based on a series of fantasy novels, by Polish writer Andrzej Sapkowski, CD Projekt RED advanced The Witcher past paper print. The game was an instant success, selling over 6 million copies in six weeks.
The gameplay is controlled in third-person perspective, utilizing magic and swords to fight. The gamer plays as Geralt of Rivia, a man who hunts monsters, known as a witcher. Numerous locations are playable in the game, including the swamps of Velen, the Free City of Novigrad, Nilfgaardian Empire’s territories, and the Royal Castle in Vizima. Many of the player’s actions affect the world, creating different side quests and story lines. The Witcher 3 in the conclusion of Rivia’s story.
Bottom Line: Strong mix of reality and fantasy, and gameplay is more than 30 times larger than past Witcher games.
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Microsoft Windows