Let’s take a look at the second half of games I dubbed a hit in 2015.
Shadowrun: Hong Kong – Ok, this is my personal under-the-radar favorite. Shadowrun is just a cool world (where cyber-enhanced street samurai can mix with magic and fantasy races like elves, orks, and trolls with no problem at all), and Hong Kong is the third game in the series, and it just keeps getting better. The folks at Harebrained Schemes are the only people I know to have gone to the Kickstarter well FOUR seperate times, and so far, they are three for three in good releases (Shadowrun Returns, Dragonfall and now Hong Kong). They have a minicampaign coming out for Hong Kong in 2016, and then Battletech in 2017. Can’t wait.
Pillars of Eternity – The big sprawling Baldur’s Gate style RPG genre was dead and mouldering away, but games like Pillars of Eternity and last year’s Wasteland 2 proved that under the right circumstances, the genre would rise like Frankenstein’s monster. The writing is good, the game play is challenging, and the world it builds is compelling. They’ve released part one of the expansion (The White March) with the second part of the expansion coming early in 2016. A sequel is widely expected, but not confirmed yet. More of these games please.
Heroes of the Storm – Blizzard taking characters from its various properties (Warcraft, Diablo, Starcraft, etcetera…) and throwing them together in a MOBA style game? It was widely anticipated, and quite frankly, it hasn’t just lived up to the expectations, it has exceeded them. The game is first class fun (even for someone like me who is horrible at MOBA style games).
Undertale: There’s nothing that grinds the gears more of “traditional” RPG gamers raised on hack and slash grind then a game that you can beat without fighting. Others hated it because of the more progressive bits of the storyline. But I wish those folks would actually discard their pre-conceived notions and actually play the game, there is a LOT to like in this game. Is it getting some more positive attention because of the negative backlash it gets from a certain part of the gaming populace, and those people who wish to use that reaction for political reasons? Sure. But the game IS GOOD. And if you can’t deal with a non-traditional game being popular, then I feel bad for you.
Mortal Kombat X: Fighting games fans were worried. MK9, despite being the best game in the series so far… it was basically, a “How we got here” recap of previous games (MK1-4 mostly), but since they covered existing storyline, people were wondering “Ok, but where do you go from here?” Turns out there was nothing to worry about, as the game brought back old favorites (slightly aged of course), and the next generation of fighters (Sonya and Johnny Cage’s daughter for example), and continued the storyline well. The gameplay was tight, and the series appears to be in good hands moving forward.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt – The Witcher series continues to be stunning and nearly overwhelming, but this game delivered on its promises and so much more. Yes, there was still moments of absurdity (like the sex scene that took place ON A UNICORN…) but the CD Projekt RED team delivered again with quite possibly the most stunning open-world game out there. I can’t wait to see what they do with the upcoming Cyberpunk game.
David "SirFozzie" Yellope is the operator of the "An 8 bit mind in an 8 Gigabyte World". (an8bitmind.com) While not QUITE yet at the stage of waving his cane and telling the kids to "get off his lawn", he does admit he owns three canes.