: My Top 3 Game Surprises Of 2015

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My Top 3 Game Surprises Of 2015

Every year, we have expectations. And while many of these expectations are met (and others fall well shy), there are other things that come out of the blue.

To me, it's these surprises that helps keep the industry interesting. I mean, as great as a game like Metal Gear V: The Phantom Pain is, nobody was surprised that it was great. I suppose the only way you'd be surprised is if you were never an MGS fan and MGSV was the first title that really hooked you. And that leads me to my picks, 'cuz one of them is similar to the situation I just outlined.

Let's start with a game I was convinced I would find just utterly dumb and perhaps even reprehensibly stupid. Sorry, but whenever I hear the words "teen horror," I immediately feel brain cells struggling for survival. And yet...

3. Until Dawn

Admittedly, I read all the comments from Sony and developer Supermassive Games about how it'd be a mistake to assume Until Dawn was just another brainless, cornball teen horror adventure. Thing is, I just didn't believe them. But after about an hour of playing, I started to realize that Supermassive had created something decidedly special, and while it did smack of some stupidity (hey, teenagers are stupid by definition; we were all stupid when we were teenagers), it was exceedingly well done. And the Butterfly Effect was very involving and because you could actually see the impact your decisions had, it made the entire experience that much less...vague. More tangible, I guess. And when eight different characters have their virtual lives in your hands, that's a pretty unique feeling. Very compelling, the whole way 'round and I enjoyed myself thoroughly.

2. Rocket League

Hey, I reviewed Supersonic Acrobatic Rocket-Powered Battle-Cars, even when most people had never heard of it. So, I was A. a little confused when I heard about Rocket League, because I just didn't think the first game needed a spiritual successor, and B. I was shocked to see the overwhelmingly positive response. I jumped on the bandwagon late, finally reviewing the game just last week and boy, was I happy. Maybe it's the online component that got me this time, or maybe it's just that this new version is simply bigger and better in every conceivable way. I still can't really explain why Supersonic didn't completely resonate with me but Rocket League absolutely does...but I don't feel the need to explain. I just love it.

1. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

Yeah, I know. For many, it was no surprise. But per my MGSV example above, I had never played any of the games in the franchise, despite hearing great things about The Witcher 2. On top of which, I quite frankly thought the game would be too massive and too aimless for me to become immersed. I know how great The Elder Scrolls is, for example, but the lack of a really driving core story always threw me, and I was worried Wild Hunt would be the same way. But CD Projekt Red managed to weave a fantastic story into a gigantic world that, thanks to its structure and inherently divided presentation, didn't feel anywhere near as overwhelming as it could've. It was a stroke of genius, I say, and it kept me coming back for more. I'm still wondering if I should give The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt overall Game of the Year because there are some questions there, but I know it was my favorite surprise of 2015.

Oh, and even though I'm not the authority on DLC by any stretch of the imagination, I say that Hearts of Stone expansion is the best piece of add-on content so far this generation.

1/1/2016 Ben Dutka

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New Comment System

Legacy Comment System (14 posts)

Friday, January 01, 2016 @ 10:42:59 PM

I still haven't finished my Until Dawn run, I like it a lot but I kinda don't want it to end.

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Friday, January 01, 2016 @ 11:22:29 PM

I've got Until Dawn but it's still in my massive games backlog(as all my other PS4 games are, but I did sample Battlefield Hardline & I liked what little bit I played of it) and Witcher3 is another game I want too, but I'll have to start playing Skyrim again before I can start on W3.

BTW about my play on Skyrim, I had almost 300 hours in the Skyrim Legendary Edition before, slew 8 dragons, had already discovered 256 different places, & I was just about to go after another dragon with a beautiful red-headed companion I met......when my old 60 gigger PS3 suddenly up & LYOD'ed on me.

But since my disc is still forever stuck in my old 60GB, I've bought another Legendary Edition & I'll have to start over fresh with it.

Anyways, about this Rocket League, can any one tell me if there's a SP mode????? All I saw was co-op & MP so far.

If there's an SP mode, I'd probably be interested in trying it out. But if not, then not so much.

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Saturday, January 02, 2016 @ 12:43:21 AM

There is season mode and you play against bots in Rocket League.

Biker question have you ever thought of playing games not in order in your back log?

I used to game the same way as you, only playing a game once I beat whatever game I was working on currently. I felt it was very stressful, and I sometimes stopped enjoying the games but made myself play them to completion anyway.

At any rate it was just a though, the witcher 3 is amazing, and so are some other games on your back log. I just wonder if you will ever play some of them :P

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Saturday, January 02, 2016 @ 5:23:47 AM

OK, thanks on Rocket League.

Yeah, I don't always go in any order of game age or console in my massive backlog & may just play a game I get today, rather than one that's been sitting for awhile.

But since I had already played Skyrim for almost 300 hours over a year ago, I've really been wanting to know how the end finally turns out, so I'd like to get back to it & get it fully out of the way.

Also there are those times that I start a game where I still have newer ones of the same franchise in my backlog too, like for example I'm playing AC3 right now, but I still have Black Flag, Rogue & Unity in my backlog so far, so I'll want to finish them one right after each other to keep up with the series.

Then since I already gave Battlefield Hardline a quick sample when I got it & liked it, I'll probably jump ahead to that.

I also may be playing 5 different games & switching back & forth on 5 different console at any one time too.

So in a nutshell I guess I do a real mixed bag when it comes to my gaming,LOL

Last edited by BikerSaint on 1/2/2016 5:30:36 AM

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Saturday, January 02, 2016 @ 5:36:14 AM

BTW, I sometimes have my moods with a game, chumping on the bit to play it & less than 10 minutes later losing the mood & putting it away once again till I'm in the right mood to play it.

And I might go through 5-6 straight games before I find "the one" that I'll settle in with for the rest of the day.

Crazy, isn't it?

Last edited by BikerSaint on 1/2/2016 5:37:20 AM

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Saturday, January 02, 2016 @ 12:47:19 PM

I do the same thing Saint. Drive myself nuts. Sometimes I just sit there wondering what would tickle me, and if I find something it might last days or just a few hours.

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Saturday, January 02, 2016 @ 1:09:05 PM

That's always the challenge.

To play less of more games or to play more of less games.
One path makes it easy to like lots of games with the feeling you never spent enough time with something. The other makes it easy to be more picky and stubborn about what you play.

Last edited by Temjin001 on 1/2/2016 1:11:42 PM

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Saturday, January 02, 2016 @ 2:34:14 AM

1.- Undertale. If you were a fan of Earthbound you have to try this!, hope it also make it to consoles.

2.- Fallout 4. Just because the same year we got the trailer of this massive open world RPG it was released. (take that FFXIIIVersus-XV lol!)

3.- Rise of The Tomb Raider. Didn't play it but this game just played a important point in this gen, imo the fact MS payed temporal exclusivity for a game that flopped even with great reviews just to counter Uncharted (that wasn't even released on 2015) cemented that Sony it's the winner of current gen.

Last edited by Oxvial on 1/2/2016 2:35:44 AM

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Saturday, January 02, 2016 @ 12:48:47 PM

They flopped it on purpose, stupid idiots.

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Saturday, January 02, 2016 @ 4:46:42 PM

@ oxvial & world , Rise of The Tomb Raider may have flopped it sales but its still a fantastic game, first time i've had so much fun with a Tomb Raider game in years, its so much better than Tomb Raider Reboot.

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Sunday, January 03, 2016 @ 7:45:35 AM

Shame because that tomb raider game looks great as was the last one.

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Saturday, January 02, 2016 @ 2:41:57 AM

Rocket League is so good. Sooooo good.

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Saturday, January 02, 2016 @ 6:38:21 AM

I admit I was surprised at just how good 'Until Dawn' was, but it's absolutely my kind of game and I was really looking forward to it. Even now, my only major problem with it is the dialogue, which just makes most of the characters difficult to connect with, personally.

I think 'Life Is Strange' was the only big surprise for me. I didn't think much of the concept, but my fiancee urged me to give it a chance, and I ended up loving it.
Other than that, I was already looking forward (to varying degrees) to all my favorite '15 games. Haven't tried 'Undertale' yet, though, which I know people are raving about.

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Saturday, January 02, 2016 @ 12:50:13 PM

oh yeah Life Is Strange is a big piece of talent. Major surprise love for me. But I've had to restart it a hundred times so it will be awhile until I actually get to season 3 to continue. It was like going back in time for me though, which is apropo.

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