GOTY2015-Day03_Feature

Game of the Year 2015: Part 3

Welcome to Press Play TV’s Game of the Year 2015 Awards! We will be releasing five lists over the course of this week, each covering genres or facets of the games scene that we think are important to our industry, culminating on Friday with our final “Game of the Year” decision. With each ultimate choice, you can also see the individual selections of our three judges: Senior Producer Nick Hawryluk, and guest judges Chris Nagy and Peter Kendall from How Do I Jump. We’ve tried to be as fair as possible, but we don’t make any claims to have played every game that came out this year- we even have a category for the best ones we missed from last year’s awards!  Plus, in the interest of transparency, you can also listen to our entire deliberations process in the embedded podcast at the bottom of this article.

Jump to another part of our Game of the Year 2015 series:
Part 1 • Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5

 

If you’ve played the ‘N’ games before, you sort of know what you’re getting into. Having played so much of the previous game, what surprised us most is that we haven’t gotten tired of this formula yet! The platforming in N++ is so silky-smooth that despite our thousands of horrific deaths we never felt like it was anyone’s fault but our own. Add to that a level count numbering in the thousands, and you have N++, our Best Platformer of 2015!

EDITORS’ PICKS: 
Chris: N++
Pete: N++
Nick: Dying Light

 

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We never knew the Fallout series needed a Philip Marlowe-esque detective, but now that we have Nick Valentine in Fallout 4, we just couldn’t imagine the series without him. His wise-ass personality leads to plenty of great verbal exchanges, but what really makes this character dynamic is his existence as a robotic ‘Synth’ in a world full of prejudice and paranoia about his kind. Nick Valentine is wonderfully complex, and he’s our Best Character of 2015!

EDITORS’ PICKS: 
Chris: The Bloody Baron (The Witcher 3)
Pete: Nick Valentine (Fallout 4)
Nick: Loader Bot (Tales from the Borderlands)

 

It isn’t often that a game comes around and completely redefines how we think about storytelling, but Her Story did just that. An FMV game in which you watch a series of police interrogation videos, Her Story’s brilliance is in its non-linearity. You’re searching through a database of videos by keyword, and the keywords directly correlate to the subtitles in each video clip, so the word “murder” might bring up entries from all across the timeline of the case. You’ll see this single actress in several different stages of emotion, and it’s not only your job to find out what happened, but try to keep everything about the chronology straight in your head. This is a game where the difficulty is completely up to the player’s intellect, not his reflexes, and we’d love to see more titles taking advantage of what Her Story has accomplished. We laughed, we cried, and our heads hurt while playing Her Story, and it’s our Best Story of 2015!

EDITORS’ PICKS: 
Chris: SOMA
Pete: Batman: Arkham Knight
Nick: Her Story

 

All three of our judges were in agreement: Tales from the Borderlands is a miraculous achievement in video game comedy, and it’s by far the funniest thing we’ve played this year. With a fantastic cast of unsavory characters, this game never goes where you’d expect. The villainous Handsome Jack returns this time for more of his trademark badgering, and he actually works better in this game than he ever has. There are also a few brilliantly fleshed out robotic companions, who in many cases steal the show! The screenwriting in this game is such an achievement- we really hope to see more from this series, and soon! Tales from the Borderlands is our Funniest Game of 2015!

EDITORS’ PICKS: 
Chris: Tales from the Borderlands
Pete: Tales from the Borderlands
Nick: Tales from the Borderlands

 

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This is a category we came up with to ‘honor’ a game we may have been looking forward to for a while, which then proceeded to release completely under our radars. The Overlord series has had some very bright moments in the past, but for this third game, Overlord: Fellowship of Evil, we heard absolutely nothing. Although, on second thought, if your game was as badly reviewed as this one, you might want to keep its release quiet too. Either way, when we heard this one was out we just had to say, “Wait, this game came out?”

EDITORS’ PICKS: 
Chris: Overlord: Fellowship of Evil
Pete: Massive Chalice
Nick: Halo 5: Guardians

 

Typically in a turn-based strategy game you expect to be tuning each character to work well with his or her team, but in Chroma Squad your fighters are physically combining forces, making the game’s focus on teamwork feel much stronger than in other turn-based titles. There’s also the meta-strategy of leading your fictional TV studio, managing marketing campaigns, fan opinions and characters’ gear upgrades. For having all of these aspects fit together so well and making us think outside the box, Chroma Squad is our Best Strategy Game of 2015!

EDITORS’ PICKS: 
Chris: Shadowrun: Hong Kong
Pete: Chroma Squad
Nick: Cities: Skylines

 

Ori and the Blind Forest is one of the most beautiful games we’ve seen in a long time. Everything about the art is working toward the same cohesive goal- from the beautiful character animations to the lush landscapes that change as you progress, it’s hard to choose just one image from this game to communicate how good it looks. For causing our jaws to hit the floor and keeping them there right through the ending, Ori and the Blind Forest wins our award for Best Art Direction of 2015!

EDITORS’ PICKS: 
Chris: Transformers: Devastation
Pete: Ori and the Blind Forest
Nick: Darkest Dungeon

 

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We felt this was a great year for digital canines- it’s only natural that we’d honor our favorite pixelated pup! With his knife, stun baton and hilarious little dog eyepatch, D-DOG from Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain was not only a good companion, but a valuable asset to Big Boss’ team. He’s able to sniff out enemies and hostages from a certain distance away, so infiltrating bases becomes a whole lot easier when D-DOG is there to let you know whether someone is around the next corner. Plus, we love how he sits in the passenger seat when we’re driving around the desert- we’re glad there’s a “pet button” in this game, because it’s as close as we’ll ever get to hugging this guy. For being a very, very good boy, D-DOG is our Best Dog of 2015!

EDITORS’ PICKS: 
Chris: Dogyu Force (Undertale)
Pete: Dogmeat (Fallout 4)
Nick: D-DOG (Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain)

 

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Being able to quickly sift through menus in a first-person loot game without pausing is so much better for the pacing- who would have thought? Seeming like a no-brainer in retrospect, Fallout 4‘s loot system made our jaws hit the floor. Gone is the time-sink of opening a drawer just to take a single item from it- and if you think that’s a small problem, consider that you’re opening several drawers, boxes and inventories per minute across a potentially 100+ hour game- that time adds up! The loot system in Fallout 4 is potentially huge for RPGs, and we sincerely hope more games take advantage of this idea, making it our Most Wanted Change in Games for 2015!

EDITORS’ PICKS: 
Chris: More Games Need the Fallout 4 Loot System!
Pete: “Corporate Indie Studios”
Nick: Hideo Kojima Please Come Back!

 

Jump to another part of our Game of the Year 2015 series:
Part 1 • Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5


The Game of the Year 2015 Awards were judged by Press Play TV Senior Producer Nick Hawryluk with guests Chris Nagy and Peter Kendall from How Do I Jump. Don’t think we made the right choices in a category? Let us know what you think should have won in the comments below!

Trophy from The Noun Project



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