On the surface, 2015 looks set to be another year of big-budget sequels. But perhaps, in its very nature, the start of every new gaming calendar seems this way. Being unaware of which new Intellectual Properties (IPs) will earn the spotlight, it’s easier to focus -and build hype around- sequels, especially if they have ties to series with established pedigree.
Either way, the prominent sequels on the horizon should, perhaps, instil excitement – and not the standard fear of an increasingly stagnating mainstream video games industry. Indeed, looking ahead to Metal Gear Solid V: Phantom Pain may buoy this hopeful viewpoint. The title looks to revolutionise one of the best game series of all time by placing its superb (and updated) stealth mechanics and storytelling features in an impressive open world setting. Similarly, Wii U owners should be pumped for the console’s landmark sequel of the year: The Legend of Zelda. [pullquote]The game will be the first in the series to let us drive the batmobile.[/pullquote]Though little has been revealed about the title thus far, the game’s beautiful open world environment (as shown off via a few, short, teaser trailers) and status as the first truly next-gen Zelda should get most Nintendo fans excited – especially those who have stuck with the Wii U from day one (yes, all three of them). Equally exciting is this year’s Batman Arkham sequel, Arkham Night. The game will be the first in the series to let us drive the batmobile. If that’s not a revolution I don’t know what is…
In all seriousness though, Arkham Night does seem rather promising. The four year gap between the new title and Arkham City looks to have given developers Rocksteady plenty of time to come up with a sufficiently spruced up sequel (did I mention the playable batmobile?).
J.J. Abrams’ latest film, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, set for release this year, seeks to take the old intergalactic franchise in a new, refreshing, direction. As does Star Wars Battlefront…probably – very little information has been released by Electronic Arts (EA) about its series reboot, also due to come out in 2015. Nevertheless, when the game does eventually come out it should, at the very least, build on the series’ stellar mechanics with next-gen power. Furthermore, with the Battlefield studio, DICE, developing the title it’s hard not to throw ones replica Stormtrooper helmet up in the air with excitement.
Admittedly, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One’s marquee new exclusives, Uncharted 4 and Halo 5: Guardians, look far more like evolutions of their predecessors than some of the other big-name titles set to come out this year. Still, safety isn’t always a bad thing, especially when it comes to these games. Like an inverse of the New Year’s Eve party, Uncharted 4 and Halo 5’s respective release days promise a sure-fire evening of high-quality fun.
What’s more, 2015 promises some rather ambitious debuts too. At the front of this fresh pack is No Man’s Sky. As the world’s first ‘open universe’ game it will allow players to explore an ever expanding, procedurally generated cosmos.
So there you have it: a potentially great, refreshing, year of videogames. Or, maybe, just another twelve months filled by solid sequels and ambitious, but ultimately disappointing, new IP’s and series evolutions. Consider yourself informed…