At one point, I thought that 2015 wasn’t going to be a great year for games, but boy was I wrong. Regardless of whatever system you owned, there was something for everyone to enjoy (even the Vita, provided you liked your Japanese imports). It certainly made choosing winners for some of these categories more challenging, that for sure. Anyway, enough banter - here are my picks for this year and the next. Enjoy!
I appreciate this won’t be for everyone, but Life Is Strange resonated with me in a rather surprising way. There were some utterly cringe-worthy moments, both in terms of the over-exaggerated Americana vibe and some of the utterly ridiculous dialogue (it was hella bad, y’all) but I got really invested in Max’s adventure. There were honestly times when I forgot there was a paranormal sub-plot to it all, as I was getting really invested in the characters.
More importantly, it was something that I played with my other half, as both of us agonised over the choices to be made (and, for the record, she chose poorly. Many times.) Admittedly, I did have some issues with way it ended, but the overall journey was something I would very much like DONTNOD to return to again. In short, if you liked adventure games and fancy something new, you should absolutely give this one a look.
So, that was 2015. I've reviewed a tonne of games this year and there's plenty to choose from when asked to pick out some favourites. So here are some of the best, the worst and the most memorable moments and games from 2015. There's also a look ahead to 2016's games.
Man this was a busy category. But ultimately I had to be strict. Bloodborne is a bit too close to Dark Souls to be genuinely considered as a fully new IP. Rocket League is a sequel to the disastrously named Supersonic Acrobatic Rocket-Powered Battle-Cars. If Nintendo hadn't shot themselves in the foot by announcing the NX and killing my desire to buy a Wii U and enjoy some colourful rumblings with Splatoon, I might have gone that way. Lego Dimensions blew it by locking most of its £90 game behind multiple paywalls. Life is Strange was a genuine contender, but that ridiculous release schedule ruined the pacing and the hipster vibe made me want to tear off my own face a little bit too much for comfort.
Anyways, enough apologising, Until Dawn is a worthy winner. It should have been awful, especially after such a prolonged development, but the teen horror version of Heavy Rain was bags of fun. The interactive nature gave the player unprecedented control over the lives of the cast, meaning you could often kill off any characters that got on your nerves. The story could have been pants, but it finely balanced a mix of slasher movie scares with a supernatural twist that gelled together far better than expected. So much more than Hayden Panettiere in a towel. But that too. Until Dawn Review - A night to remember.Click here too see Brendan's other picks.
We haven't seen Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor drop below £17.99 on Xbox One which begs the question is an additional £9 worth the extra content?
It's been one hell of a year- and a fantastic time to be a games journalist. We've had scandals, hype and a ludicrous amount of controversy to sink our teeth into... but it's time to move past all that. We're here because we love games- so without further ado, I'd like to present my personal highs and lows of 2010.
Wait, what? WhaaaAAAAaaat?!
I can hear the incredulous shrieks from here. Sure, I've given games a higher score, but Deadly Premonition breaks every game design rule in the book and still manages to deliver a completely unique and worthwhile experience. The storyline is one of- if not THE- best ever told in a videogame to date, with perfect quirky characters and hilarious dialogue jarring with the overtly mature themes and horrifying exposition. Not to mention that Agent York is one of the most interesting and relatable protagonists in gaming history. There's nothing even remotely like it out there. It isn't so bad that it's good- rather, it's just damn good at what it does.
Put simply, Deadly Premonition is 2010's Killing In The Name Of; an alternative masterpiece that deserves to be lauded above the trendy coiffured hipsters that tend to dominate the scene at Christmas time.
Just go rent it already. So says Mr. Lester.
With so many great Indie titles to consider as my favourite game of the year, I've been under a lot of pressure to come up with an experience that's genuinely monopolised most of my time and affection. I decided to spend some time in my comfort zone: tense games of Team SWAT on Halo Reach where muscle memory and reflexes could let my mind wander onto the subject at hand. And that's when it hit me. By becoming my go-to game, my home away from home on Xbox Live, Reach has become my favourite game of 2010.Read on to find out WHY, as well as the rest of this year's picks
Yes, that’s right. They even let the Dealspwn newbie have a say on the gaming highs and lows of the past year. So grab a drink, sit back and take a look at my ramblings through the year that was 2010; a year filled with zombies, cowboys, very angry spartans, never-ending waves of Zerg, more zombies, meat-shaped cubes, Illusive Men, racing simulators, motion-control shenanigans, even more zombies, roof-leaping assassins, golden guns, ninjas, terrible MMO’s and mutants called Lily.
Oh, and zombies.
Game Of The Year
Red Dead Redemption, Fallout: New Vegas and Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood nearly won out here, but in the end I felt the nod should go to Blizzard’s return to the real time strategy genre with StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty. Overall the gameplay from the original had been left unchanged with only a few tweaks here and there, and yet it still played like one of the best and well balanced games in years. It was a smooth gameplay experience from start to finish, providing you could survive the Zerg rushes every other minute.
The storyline was incredibly well done, providing you could stomach the tongue-in-cheek macho nature of it all, detailing the continuing struggle of Jim Raynor as he fights against the Terran Dominion and hunts for his lost love Sarah Kerrigan, now the Queen of Blades for the Zerg. When the epic single-player was done, the monstrous online mode was waiting along with online leagues and serious competitive business for those brave enough to throw their hat into the virtual ring. With further developer and community support for varying game modes announced this year there is more than enough content to keep purchasers happy in the first of three releases for Starcraft II. Sure, £35 is pricey for a PC release these days (and it would sadly mean you were funding the evil that is Bobby Kotick) but those that took the plunge will tell you it is worth every penny, and for that reason is my pick for GOTY.Click here to see what else caught Carl's eye in 2010...
For me, 2010 hasn't quite been a landmark year we all expected, but a thoroughly consistent one. Almost every month, we've seen top-tier titles hit the shelves at such a rate it's reduced our financial ability to do something other than place yourself in front of the television and grab the controller. It hasn't always been great, and I believe we've seen far too many identikit challengers and recycled concepts for my liking, but I can't argue with the quality I have enjoyed that's made 2010 quite special, indeed.
I was torn between this and Red Dead Redemption, but ultimately it was the quality of Bioware's characterization, even against Rockstar's brilliant attempt, that swayed my hand. I loved Mass Effect 2, having found the first a flawed classic to endure rather than enjoy. It stepped up in every department, from the astonishing visuals, the pitch-perfect writing, pacing and plot-points, the visceral combat system and truly wonderful cast of companions. I was honestly distraught on the last mission when first one, then two, then three of my crew fell to the Collectors. And it was all my fault.Read on to see why Mass Effect 2 won my vote, and what other titles deserve a mention
There ain't no rest for the wicked. And money don't grow on trees. You've got bills to pay, you've got mouths to feed... and presents to buy. Luckily this nice low price for the Borderlands Game Of The Year Edition will help with the latter obligation, providing countless hours of brutal combat and exploration that's infinitely better with a mate. Grab a splitscreen partner or some friends online and it's difficult to find a more engrossing multiplayer RPG on a console. The GOTY edition comes with all the DLC and a Duke Nukem Forever beta invite, further sweetening the deal.
Please note: we've received reports that Zavvi have been having problems fulfilling the huge demand for this deal. Read the comments and get involved with your eyes firmly open.
We've featured a lot of Assassin's Creed 2 deals over the last few months- and quite rightly too. The recent complete and Game of the Year editions provide excellent value for money by including the DLC chapters... but thanks to an impressive preorder deal on the upcoming Platinum GOTY version, PS3 owners will be able to experience the unabridged Assassin's Creed experience for an extremely low price.
A suspiciously low price, even. HMV are currently providing a preorder price of £9.99, which is an £8 saving compared to the next best offering from Amazon. Still, the preorder can be added to the basket and their price promise should bind them to the agreement. Let us know how you get on!
You're probably sick to death of Assassin's Creed 2 commentary by now, but my full review will fill you in on most of the details. Stepping into the shoes of the flamboyant Ezio Auditore de Firenze, you'll scamper across Renaissance rooftops and deliver a bewildering variety of death to your stereotypical enemies. A raft of tweaks, improvements and genuine innovations elevate Assassin's Creed 2 far above its predecessor and into genuine gaming greatness.
Apart from a few little control niggles (which will occasionally send Ezio merrily leaping to certain death despite your best efforts) and a truly casual difficulty curve, Assassin's Creed 2 stacks up with the best open world sandboxes out there. The two DLC chapters add even more bang for your buck- and for less than a tenner, this has to be worth a punt if you haven't already enjoyed Renaissance Italy's deadly delights.
Many thanks to Jerec at Hot UK Deals!