The Big 15 – Stuff’s List of Games to Play in 2015

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2015, 15 games – coincidence? We think not.

The gaming year for 2015 is already looking stellar and while there are bound to be a few surprises leaping out of the woodwork and scooping up everyone’s spare time, what’s already on the menu is mighty appetising.

But there’s a whole lot to choose and it’s not always easy to make an effective selection. So we’ve taken the vast array of choice out of your hands and given you a rundown of what to play for the rest of 2015. Most of these games will keep you busy for more hours than you’ll have spare, so hopefully you’re not planning on sleeping for a while.

Here, in no particular order (and certainly not in order of release date), are the Big 15 for 2015. No, Call of Duty is not on the list. Yes, it would be if it didn’t release every year.

Tom Clancy’s The Division


The footage for The Division, the much-delayed third-person role-playing title that will have players roaming around a pandemic-destroyed New York City as part of a special unit sent to restore order after a virus has completely boned the US Government, speaks for itself. But we’re capable of a little speech ourselves. The clip above is taken from a multiplayer session, though you wouldn’t think so in the initial stages of play. It comes across as a tight integration of online play and single-player story, something that developer/publisher Ubisoft has been fiddling with a lot of late. There are elements of their recent outing Watch_Dogs on show but the post-apocalyptic vibe, story focus and the palpable-through-video multiplayer excitement has this high on our list for 2015.

Release Date: Late 2015 (TBC)

Star Wars Battlefront


This is the game that everyone believed Disney’s purchase of the Star Wars franchise would kill forever. Though there’s little information or really exciting footage available as yet the studio behind the reins of the upcoming new Battlefront, DICE, has a reputation for doing impressive (and destructive) things with the engines at their disposal. The fact that they’ve gone off to the locations of the original trilogy and have also had access to the original models used for Star Wars means that we can expect some old-school style settings, characters and – hopefully – a whole lot of multiplayer action for months to come.

Release Date: End 2015 (TBA)

Quantum Break


What do you mean you’re not familiar with Remedy? Max Payne? Alan Wake? No matter, the upcoming Quantum Break has all the hallmarks of this studio who are known for their storytelling and innovative approaches to gameplay. They gave the world Bullet Time, made players fight off nasties with a flashlight (and a shotgun) and now they’re giving them the ability to manipulate time on a larger scale. Quantum Break is the tale of a world beset by the breakdown of time. Players can move inside these ‘stutters’ and use them to their advantage, but these hiccups in continuity are also a hazard in and of themselves. It makes combat interesting though. Keep your eyes fixed on the Xbox One for a release date this year.

Release Date: 2015 (TBA – Xbox One)

Bloodborne


From the studio that made masochism in gaming popular comes Bloodborne, an outing in a Victorian London-looking setting that has been decimated by plague. Just what is up in this dark and brutal place is something that remains to be seen but Dark Souls fans will be very familiar with the combat, difficulty spikes and the never-dying aspect of the game. There are some evolutions however, firearms are going to be a thing but that’s cold comfort when some infected peasant has just stabbed you from behind with a pitchfork while a rabid animal is gnawing your face off. Prepare to have your patience tested when the game launches in March.

Release Date: 24 March 2015 (PS4 only)

The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt


We hope you have some time on your hands because the gameplay stint for The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt above is a long one. Best to reserve it for after-hours or your lunch break. In it you will see how developer CD Projekt RED have been teasing us, because this open-world (for the first time) adventure starring Geralt of Rivia is supposed to be here already. But this Xbox One/PS4/PC release has been repeatedly delayed in order to tweak the hell out of it prior to release – CD Projekt doesn’t want to release a broken game. But all of the footage, as well as past experience, tells us that May 2015 can’t come soon enough. And if there’s another delay, we might have to fire up The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings again to recover.

Release Date : 19 May 2015 (for now)

Just Cause 3


Have you every gone into a game blind but excited? That’s what we’re doing with Avalanche’s Just Cause 3, based purely on the strength of the last two games in the series. For those who’ve never played a Just Cause: first, shame on you. Second, this is what you’re in for: You know how you can go on a rampage in Grand Theft Auto and just indiscriminately blow things/people/cars up? The folks at Avalanche have turned that game mechanic into the main objective for a game, throwing in a grappling hook and copious amounts of things that go boom to turn the dial up to 11. Have we seen any actual gameplay for this sequel? No. Does it matter? No. When Rico Rodriguez stops by for a visit, you’re going to see ALL the stuff explode in a huge open world setting. That’s all we need.

Release Date: 2015 (TBA)

Mortal Kombat X


Mortal Kombat is a gaming institution, if you can call something that involves removing spines from defeated opponents an institution. But it’s also been one of the tightest, most controlled versus kombat games ever to hit the market (except that one game – we don’t talk about it). It’s certainly the most graphic. And the next instalment is set to land in April. Developer NetherRealm have been refining their art with the Mortal Kombat rebook, DC superhero title Injustice: Gods Among Us and the result is the all-out kombat that you can see above. There’s an expanded roster on the way and we’re predicting large-scale fights for the controller when MK X punches us in the face come April.

Release Date: 14 April 2015

Rise of the Tomb Raider


On the heels of the excellent, if a bit short, Tomb Raider reboot comes the second outing for the younger, grittier Lara Croft. Rise of the Tomb Raider, which is due for Xbox One and Xbox 360 at an indeterminate date later this year will see players heading from the varied climes of the last release to the much colder climes of Siberia to raid tombs. A lid’s been kept on most of what’s coming but the gameplay from Tomb Raider will be evolving to include an improved crafting system and there are a collection of environmental changes coming as well. As long as they keep up the story excellence, and with series writer Rhianna Pratchett at the helm that’s a certainty, RotTR is going to be an epic journey.

Release Date: 2015 (TBA)

Batman: Arkham Knight


The third outing for the Rocksteady-made Batman: Arkham games, Arkham Knight intends to allow players to ‘be the Bat’ more than ever before. How? An increased playground size (that’s Gotham, to you and me), new gadgets and the ability to drive the Batmobile around the city. It’s going to be an integral part of gameplay and, though it looks like Nolan’s Batman Tumblr, it’s got a few more modes than you’re expecting. But hey, any time we get to drive Batman’s car around, it doesn’t really matter what it does as long as it’s heavily armoured, fast and looks good. All those boxes are ticked, so we’re just waiting for the June launch sequence to initialise so we can track down the Arkham Knight. It’s going to be thrilling.

Release Date: 2 June 2015

Forza Motorsport 6


Forza is a no-brainer, one of the most popular racing titles ever to grace a gaming console. Forza is Microsoft’s exclusive, while Gran Turismo is the domain of Sony’s PlayStation but if you’re looking for accessibility then the Forza series wins out every time. And this time, players will be able to tool around the track in a selection of vehicles making their first official digital appearances – like the Ford GT, Shelby GT350 Mustang and F-150 Raptor – while partaking in the smooth racing that is a characteristic of the series. We’re expecting more details to be unveiled come June this year, with a release date to follow.

Release Date: End 2015 (TBA)

No Man’s Sky


Ambition, thy name is Hello Games. The developer behind No Man’s Sky has gone beyond the concept of open world and are going to be bringing an open universe game to the PlayStation 4 and the PC. It’s not going to be all stock-standard either, players will explore a procedurally-generated universe (either online or offline) which promises a lot of unique experiences. The point is to get to a certain point in the universe but since a lot of the gameplay is going to be randomly occurring, we’re expecting a lot of space battles, resource hunts and the possibility of setting up as a trader in-game to cause some massive distractions. We’ve yet to play it but the footage so far is looking tasty indeed.

Release Date: 2015 (TBA)

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain


You’re either a Metal Gear Solid fan or you don’t understand what all the stealthy fuss is about. The recent MGS: Ground Zeroes is a prologue for this outing, The Phantom Pain, where players will be taking the role of Big Boss/Naked Snake/Venom Snake (pick your favourite codename) to continue the events set forth in Ground Zeroes. These events will carry players over to Afghanistan at a time when it was controlled by the Soviets and will eventually get them over the cliffhanger ending from the last release. Which did its work well: we can’t wait to put that loose end to rest. One last thing – we’re in for another open-world adventure. Seems like 2015 is filled to the brim with them.

Release Date: 1 September 2015

Halo 5: Guardians


Do we actually need to explain this one? Perhaps. The problems locals have had with recent Halo releases aside, the next proper instalment of the series is looking to put players on the hunt for Master Chief, who winds up missing following warlike events. Some people don’t care about the storyline though, they’re only in it for the multiplayer but there are those who swear by completing the campaign. We’re like both, the campaign first and then the multiplayer stomping. It should be out towards year-end, with a more extensive reveal this June.

Release Date: Late 2015 (TBA)

Rock Band 4


Another outing that needs no introduction, Rock Band is on the way back after taking a break that was sadly needed when the market became saturated with a bunch of sequels and plastic guitars (thanks Activision). Harmonix are rolling out the reason we did all that drinking back in 2008 for Sony and Microsoft’s new consoles soon and they’ve promised a few new additions to the musical lineup. And if you have any old Rock Band downloadable content tied to your account, you should be able to use it come launch day.

Release Date: 2015 (TBA)

Adr1ft


It’s not usual for video games to do space correctly. Adrift (or Adr1ft) attempts to do it right (lack of gravity, slow and easy movements), while still putting players in a position to die horribly (lack of oxygen, large space-rocks whizzing by). The concept is interesting – you wake up in the wreckage of a space station with no idea what happened and have to piece together the events that led to all this destruction. Oh, and you have to piece together an escape vehicle which basically makes you an orbital McGuyver-type person. Adr1ft seems like an idea VR candidate as well, at least until we get that astronaut’s clearance we’ve been after.

Release Date: 2015 (TBA)

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