Shacknews has returned to begin a year full of gaming coverage. It all starts with the continuation of our annual tradition, where each staff member lays out a number of games that they're anticipating for the new year.
It won't take long to get the first blockbuster game of the year. Evolve didn't make its expected 2014 release, thanks to player feedback issued during the game's Big Alpha. Both 2K Games and Turtle Rock look to have taken their fanbase's feedback seriously and a more polished product will be ready for next month.
Since the Big Alpha, Evolve has added a pseudo "Titanfall-like" storyline, new game modes, and even a new monster. I wasn't originally a believer in the 4-v-1 formula, but the idea of controlling a massive monster and outwitting/outmuscling four humans quickly grew on me. With different monsters and Hunters to suit my play style, Evolve looks to offer a healthy variety and a fresh experience with each game.
Add the fact that Turtle Rock plans to issue DLC maps for free and Evolve looks to be a game that'll draw me in for a large part of 2015.
Batman: Arkham Knight
Warner Bros. had a lot to be happy about in 2014. Not every publisher gets the opportunity to push back a known quantity in favor of another major franchise that would wind up taking Game of the Year honors from several publications. Yet that's exactly what happened when WB sent the Dark Knight into 2015 to keep it from overshadowing critical darling Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor.
Now 2015 is here and it's time to start counting down to Batman's final adventure in the Arkham-verse. The Batmobile looks to be a tremendous addition to the series, even after watching how it's incorporated into the ground combat. The idea of faster travel has been one that I've ached for since Arkham City opened the landscape and the Batmobile will let me drive around in style.
It doesn't hurt that it's more of the Arkham formula that I've loved since 2009's Arkham Asylum. However the story ends, I'll enjoy every step of the journey.
Star Fox (Wii U)
If there's one game for Wii U owners to get excited about this year, it's definitely The Legend of Zelda. That's pretty much a given. And while I'm definitely dying to see it, I also can't overlook that another of my favorite series is finally making the jump to Nintendo's new console, with Shigeru Miyamoto promising Star Fox's arrival first.
It's always fun to think of new possibilities for the Wii U GamePad and I'm curious to see what Nintendo comes up with for its rail-shooting, dogfighting franchise. Even if it's something as simple as Arwing diagnostics on a second screen, just mixing it into the traditional Star Fox-style stages and the multi-directional space combat sounds exciting. There's ample room for innovation here, though, and I'm hopeful that Nintendo has something amazing up its sleeve.
Believe it or not, Nintendo's last console iteration of Star Fox was ten years ago with the beloved (by me, not so much by critics) Star Fox: Assault. That was two console generations ago. Fox McCloud's return is long overdue and I eagerly await my chance to jump into an Arwing again.
PlanetSide 2 (PlayStation 4)
Ok, some people might find it a little odd that one of my most anticipated games is one that came out in 2012. Let me put it this way. I grew up as a console gamer and I've often struggled to keep up with PC gaming trends, so even if I found a PC game that interested me, running it would often turn out to be a difficult endeavor. When PlanetSide 2 first released, the trend passed me by, even as Shacknews Chatty posters would often report on their outfit's weekly escapades.
Of course, this hasn't stopped me from following the game closely and it certainly didn't stop me from trying the PlayStation 4 version earlier this year. It's remarkable how Sony Online Entertainment has taken a purely-PC interface and translated it into a more-than-competent console experience. The console controls feel intuitive enough that I'm able to rack up kills and help out teammates wherever possible. Assuming they've worked out the kinks in the game's vehicle controls, PlanetSide 2 is the PlayStation 4 game I'm looking forward to most in 2015.
Those are just some of the games I'm looking forward to in 2015. Look for the rest of the staff to chime in throughout the week. But I'm also checking to see what you're all waiting to see in 2015. Be sure to join the conversation in Chatty and let us know your most anticipatd games of the new year.
Ozzie Mejia posted a new article, Most Anticipated 2015: Ozzie's Picks
I have to admit, I think Evolve will tank. It just doesn't seem like a concept that will hook people.
It'll require a balance that no game has achieved before. If the monster is too strong, it'll suck. If it's too weak, it'll suck.
The alpha's gameplay wasn't very good, so I don't have high hopes.
What? I had a blast with it.
Just my take. Movement felt schizophrenic the weapons were bleh and the matches I got into were just generally unsatisfying.
More Batman? Yes please. Beating up goons never gets old.
So many games I'm looking forward to, Zelda, MGSV, Batman. It looks like a good year, but my most anticipated game is Xenoblade Chronicles X.