Sunday, 6 December 2015

Top 10 Games of 2015

Another year comes to an end, and another year of gaming is over. For me, this year was filled with a lot of expectations, a lot of disappointments and some unforgettable moments. So let's take a look at my top 10 games of 2015.

Black Ops 3 for me is a bit of a disappointment. While I enjoy the campaign and multiplayer, especially with the new specialists, the game is horribly unoptimized on PC and suffers from really bad memory leaks. Specifically the game runs really well... for the first few minutes. And then the framerate gets worse and worse and it keeps degrading the longer I run it. The game also feels like it's somewhat lacking compared to Advanced Warfare which I loved and played the heck out of. Lack of akimbo weapons, lack of those various weapon and camo drops from AW, and while the gunshop is a neat idea you still are restricted to what attachments you have unlocked or not. It's a decent game but doesn't hold up to Advanced Warfare's standards in my opinion. Still, I will probably play the fuck out of it since it's still a lot of fun at times.

Arguably one of the best adventure games ever finally got re-released digitally early this year and what a way to start of the year. I grew up on Grim Fandango, and I've played through it countless times over the years. Coming back to Grim's world after all these years, it still looks as great as it did in 1999 and graphically this game has held up incredibly well. The pre-rendered scenes have been remastered in glorious high definition and look as crisp as ever, and the game has even been given some beautiful lighting effects, though these are more subtle really. The game now also offers you to play it with more traditional point-and-click controls as opposed to the "tank" controls of the original game (which I kinda prefer, that's how I played the game in its original form). One of my favourite games of all time and definitely worth picking up.

The Old Blood is a standalone prequel to Wolfenstein: The New Order, and if you loved that game, this is definitely for you. It offers more of the stealthy action from New Order but mixes in a lot of new and fresh ingredients that makes it much more of its own experience. I won't spoil the game too much but it gets really interesting near the end. It did NOT disappoint in any way and I highly recommend picking it up if you're ready for even more Nazi killing fun!

Shadowrun Chronicles is pretty much an online co-op experience of Shadowrun where runners can meet up in hubs and go on missions together. I've played it a ton with my friends and while it still remains very tactical, I really love the cyberpunk atmosphere and the fun of customizing your character's look, gear and playstyle. It's a very fun game that I highly recommend picking up if you're looking for something more like a tabletop Shadowrun experience since the other games on Steam now are more single-player campaigns.

 I was pretty hyped for this game ever since I saw the trailers for it. And I was not disappointed. Paying a lot of homage to the classic Mad Max movies as well as Fury Road, the atmosphere, characterization and story is absolutely spot on in this game. It gets it right, so to speak. And while the gameplay is more on the generic side, it still offers a really good open-world fix for fans of games like Far Cry or Tomb Raider. A good little time-waster that will make you feel badass as soon as you fire it up.

It's definitely sad to hear that this will be taken off Steam next year for undisclosed reasons (though I have my suspicions Gearbox is involved). But this is probably one of the most solid packs I've ever seen released. Offering 32 classic PC titles that helped define the 90's in PC gaming, it's a hell of a deal. Whether you like Duke Nukem, Shadow Warrior, Blake Stone, Terminal Velocity, Rise of the Triad or any of the other classic titles from 3D Realms, this pack is a must-own for any PC gamer. I still play a lot of these games from time to time, both for nostalgic reasons and because I feel they have held up very well. They are all simple action titles that you can just pick up and play any time and that's what makes them so great in my opinion. Apogee means action!

I was kind of resistant to Undertale to begin with. It didn't seem like my cup of tea, the graphics seemed a bit bad and it didn't help everyone hyped the game to the end of the world and back. That kind of effect usually just makes me stay away from something. But oh boy am I glad I gave this game a chance because Undertale is absolutely deceiving. At the surface it might seem like nothing more than an Earthbound ripoff with terrible graphics and a soundtrack that doesn't seem to be able to decide what chiptune era it wants to reside in. The truth is Undertale has one of the best stories I've ever seen in a game, and it's also one of the most unique gaming experiences I've ever had in my entire life. I won't spoil it for you but let's just say this game has gotten under my skin. It has cut deep into my soul and left marks that will forever remain there. It's a game I am almost afraid to play because I know I will get even more attached to it as I have barely played beyond the first areas yet. This game is simply amazing and is so much more than it appears to be. It is definitely deserving of all the hype it gets and the only reason it's not on my number one spot is out of pure defiance as all the games on this list are games I enjoy and Undertale is no different. You definitely should play this game and it's so cheap you really have no excuse not to. It offers so much for how little it asks of you, trust me on that.

Tales From The Borderlands technically released last year but has gotten on-going episodes all year. It's remained one of the most enjoyable experiences I've had and while I hesitate to call it an adventure game since it plays more like a quick-time event movie, it's a great story with really well written characters. It's a bit less heavy on the Borderlands style humor but it still made me gigglesnort a lot so it gets points from me. Worth picking up if you like Telltale and Borderlands, which I do. In fact Borderlands is one of my favourite franchises ever so... this automatically is awesome to me.

You may be wondering why I am listing Duke Nukem 3D as a game of 2015. Well here are my reasons:
1. I can play it while I'm taking a dump
2. It has all the expansions and PSN multiplayer
3. It's fucking Duke Nukem
4. Your argument is invalid.

Fallout 4 is probably the game I was the most hyped for this year and boy did it deliver. Everything feels like a vast improvement over Fallout 3. Better controls, better combat, better graphics (seriously, I'm so glad they actually gave this game some colour), and a much better story that had me pretty involved from the beginning. And while it's anything but a perfect game, it hit all the right marks for me and I can imagine I will be playing this for years to come, and I can't wait to see the mod scene really take off for this game now that they can offer mods on consoles as well. The world feels a lot more alive than in Fallout 3 and less barren which to me is a huge plus, and there's just so much more to do as there's a whole new crafting system involved as well as building houses and settlements. It's a very dynamic game where everything comes together much better and synergizes more. Junk isn't just junk, it's now ingredients for your crafting and is a lot more involved than in Fallout 3 where junk was just junk and vendor trash at best. Sadly no Liam Neeson in this game but hey, we get Garrus so I'm happy. :P

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