Peek behind the curtain
It's a heck of a time to be a PC gamer. We've already looked back on 2014 with our 15 best games you might have missed and our 10 Best PC Games of 2014 features. Enough retrospect! Now it's time to peer into the future.
What does 2015 have in store? A lot, it turns out. And the onslaught's coming soon, considering how many games were delayed from Fall 2014 to early 2015—including huge titles like Evolve, Pillars of Eternity, and The Witcher 3.
And that's just the tip of the iceberg. These are the 15 games we're most excited to see in 2015.
Saints Row: Gat Out of Hell
Kick off 2015 by leaning back in your armchair, sipping scotch, and firing rockets out of the sides to destroy the denizens of hell. This more-than-an-expansion-less-than-a-full-game continuation of the Saints Row franchise looks absurd as always, with Johnny Gat attempting to rescue the Boss before he's married off to Satan's daughter.
What, you don't think that's crazy enough? Check out this promo musical.
Pillars of Eternity
I thought I'd already be playing Pillars of Eternity by now, but a last-minute delay pushed Obsidian's Baldur's Gate-esque CRPG back to 2015.
But if it's on a par with 2014's CRPG revivals (Wasteland 2 and Divinity: Original Sin) then we're in for a treat, seeing as both those games made it onto our Game of the Year list. And don't forget that if all goes well, we'll see inXile's Torment: Tides of Numenera in 2015 also.
After a decade on life support, the CRPG is alive and well once again.
Yes, one of our most anticipated releases for 2015 is a game from 1998. I think that's fair though, considering nobody's been able to purchase a copy of the game conveniently and legally for over a decade now.
From what we've seen of Double Fine's Grim Fandango remaster, the game's updated graphics are gorgeous. Whether you're playing it for the first time or reliving old memories, this looks like it'll be a fantastic resurrection for Manny Calavera, death's greatest travel agent.
We'll see two follow-ups to Dead Island in 2015—original developer Techland's Dying Light and Yager's Dead Island 2.
While Dead Island 2's fake California has me interested, Dying Light's first-person parkour movement and built-in Oculus Rift support makes it marginally more interesting to me at the moment. Plus, Dying Light will hit us first, releasing at the end of January.
Evolve is probably the game we've already played the most prior to its 2015 release—and I don't mean just behind-the-scenes. There's a good chance you've already played Evolve too, thanks to multiple public tests.
Now it's time to see whether the full four-versus-one monster hunting game can match pre-release hype. Don't forget you can jump into another public test in January, provided you've been in a previous one or own either Left 4 Dead or BioShock Infinite.
Mortal Kombat X
Who would've guessed I'd be looking forward to a new Mortal Kombat game in 2015? For years Mortal Kombat survived off its name and nostalgia more than the quality of its games, as the series slipped into mediocrity.
But 2011's Mortal Kombat reboot built a thrill-ride of a campaign on top of a strong fighting game foundation, and as a result I'm actually looking forward to seeing where NetherRealm goes with the follow-up. GET OVER HERE MKX!
Batman: Arkham Knight
Following 2013's prequel diversion Batman: Arkham Origins, the Caped Crusader returns in this Rocksteady-developed capstone. It certainly sounds like a Batman game: Scarecrow and the rest of the Rogue's Gallery return once again to try and kill their greatest enemy, and Mr. Bruce Wayne will don his familiar costume to fight them off.
But with an enormous city to explore (five times the size of Batman: Arkham City's) and a Batmobile to drive, this is the most ambitious Arkham game yet.
Just Cause 3
We know almost nothing about Just Cause 3, but come on—Rico Rodriguez is flying through the air on the back of a car.
I played the demo of Just Cause 2 as much as I play most full-length games, and if Avalanche can nail the same parachute/grappling hook/explosion combo with this game then Just Cause 3 is sitting at the top of my most-anticipated list.
Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number
Burst through the door. Grab a frying pan. Hit man in the face. Steal his gun. Shoot the two guards that just came into the room. Shoot another unsuspecting guard through a window. Run into the next room. Get stabbed by a knife. Start over.
All to a pulse-pounding, 80s-inspired soundtrack.
We've been waiting for Hotline Miami 2 since the credits rolled on the previous game.
Myst developer Cyan hasn't put out a large-scale game since 2005's Myst V: End of Ages. But thanks to Kickstarter we're supposed to get Obduction in 2015—a spiritual successor to Myst instead of a direct sequel.
Rand Miller and co. sound like they're building an interesting modern puzzler, with influences as broad as The Room and The Witness. For more info, check out the massive exclusive preview we did earlier this year.
Nobody does horror like Frictional. Penumbra, Amnesia—these are already classics of the genre.
So when you tell me in 2015 we'll get the first new Frictional game in five years, and that it takes place in some sort of underwater research facility? Yeah, that gets my blood pumping.
Rainbow Six: Siege
Lots of games have boasted destructible environments over the years, with Battlefield and Red Faction: Guerrilla leading the pack. Never has a game focused on that aspect as much as Rainbow Six: Siege though.
Siege takes the tactical SWAT gameplay the series is known for and shrinks it into small, contained environments where literally everything is destructible. Ceilings? Walls? Floors? Have at it. It's refreshing to see a game use next-gen power to improve the game and not just the graphics, and for that Rainbow Six: Siege lands on our list.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
Mix CD Projekt Red's strong storytelling with an open world on a par with Skyrim, add in a touch of dynamic environment evolution on a par with the kind of tall tales Molyneux used to spin about Fable, and—if all goes well—The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt could be the most ambitious RPG ever.
If all goes well.
We'll have to wait a bit longer than originally planned to play The Witcher 3, but hopefully taking an extra three months to polish the game will result in the definitive RPG of 2015.
Star Wars: Battlefront
Forget Battlefield: Hardline and all the controversy surrounding it. The Battlefield spin-off I'm actually looking forward to next year is the eleven-years-in-the-making Star Wars: Battlefront sequel.
Let's just hope it lives up to this leaked pre-alpha footage from the game canceled in 2008. Seamless land-to-space battles? Fingers crossed.
Imagine old-school Zelda's top-down boss fights, except you die in one hit. Or imagine if someone made a 16-bit Dark Souls mixed with Shadow of the Colossus. That's what Titan Souls is like: a hard-as-hell but addictive string of boss fights that's as charming as it is punishing.
In other words, I'm terrible at it and I can't wait to play more.
And so many more...
We've barely scratched the surface of what 2015 has to offer. The Division, Metal Gear Solid V, Roller Coaster Tycoon World, Project CARS, Grand Theft Auto V, Mad Max, Everybody's Gone to the Rapture, Apotheon, No Man's Sky (maybe), Assassin's Creed: Victory, Tacoma, Adrift, Hellraid—there are an overwhelming number of games slated for this year, and we haven't even seen what E3 has in store.
You better finish up your 2014 backlog in the next few weeks. Next year isn't letting up.