The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
The Witcher 3 presented one of the most mature and rich gaming experiences I have ever had the pleasure of playing through. Developer CD Projekt Red managed to elevate themselves above the standard “We have boobies in our game, so we are mature” trope, due the Witcher’s brilliant approach to adult themes. The writing is believable and relatable, regardless of the game’s mythical and medieval Eastern European setting.
While this brilliantly written world was a new thing to myself and many others, The Witcher series has always been known for its rich lore and expansive worlds. The difference this time around was the commitment to fun and accessible gameplay, the previous Witcher games could be hard to get into for some. I tried The Witcher 2 around release and it never really gripped me, definitely not in the same way Wild Hunt did.
It is also worth mentioning the developers themselves, they went above and beyond for the gaming community this year. Offering an impressive amount of DLC alongside The Witcher 3, as well as cutting the price of the game in half quite recently as a way of saying thank you for the games success. I really can’t wait for the next DLC to drop in February as the Hearts of Stone DLC was a really enjoyable bit of story that rivalled the Bloody Baron quest.
It feels like Bloodborne came out years ago in all honesty, but it was this year, I promise! Bloodborne released in February, and instantly became my favourite Souls game. This is likely an unpopular opinion to many, as quite a few of my friends prefer the calm and measured gameplay of Dark Souls. I much prefer the quick, visceral and dark gameplay of Bloodborne, a game that makes you react to things as they happen. I almost wish the game had released a little later into 2015, as it has kind of been forgotten by a lot of people. Which is a real shame, as it shows a real attempt to shake up the Dark Souls formula by From Software.
Until Dawn is a game that I thought I’d hate, I’m not a fan of the horror genre as I find they often rely on the same tropes that were around twenty years ago. What Until Dawn does is use these well-known tropes in order to help influence the player’s experience, you will often have to make certain decisions that will affect a characters chances of surviving. The writing is solid as well, even if it does take various aspects from well-known horror films. It repackages them in a way that manages to feel refreshing and new.