Game of the Year 2015: Part 4
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
It’s always difficult to sell first-person melee combat in games, especially if you’re specializing in it like Warhammer: End Times – Vermintide, but developer Fatshark pulled it off brilliantly. A dark, creepy romp through a particularly grim saga of the Warhammer universe, Vermintide excels when you have three friends along for the rat-smashing ride. The five playable classes all play off each other extremely well, and each can craft or earn its own new weapons and equipment for added teamwork optimization. Plus, utilizing a Left 4 Dead-esque “AI Director” system, Vermintide ensures that no two playthroughs will be quite the same, and teammates must always stay on their toes. For giving us countless hours of fun with our friends, Warhammer: End Times – Vermintide wins our award for Best Multiplayer of 2015!EDITORS’ PICKS: Chris: Halo 5: Guardians Pete: Rocket League Nick: Warhammer: End Times – Vermintide
There’s a reason Monster Hunter is one of the most popular video game franchises in the world, and Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate proves that adding a few key elements to an already-great formula is better than trying to reinvent the wheel. The big change here is the increased mobility of monsters, which forces players to completely rethink the way they approach their hunts, and the hunters have been given a bunch of mechanics to combat this, allowing midair attacks, and letting players do some crazy acrobatic fighting moves if they work well enough as a team. For taking some of our favorite co-op gameplay and making it even better, Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate wins our award for Best Co-op of 2015!EDITORS’ PICKS: Chris: Warhammer: End Times – Vermintide Pete: Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate Nick: Warhammer: End Times – Vermintide
Developer Frictional Games is no stranger to intense atmospheric horror, and SOMA represents a triumphant return for the studio. There’s so much to the design of this game that makes you feel isolated and unsafe- from the claustrophobic undersea setting to the weird bio-tech tentacles sprouting all over, it didn’t take much for us to jump when walking through SOMA’s halls. Pair that with some truly terrifying monsters that require stealth rather than force, and you have a recipe for soiled pants. It doesn’t help that the game is playing with some unsettling ideas of human and robotic existentialism either, themes that compound the psychological horror by exploring this territory in a way we’ve never seen before. Because we still think about it at night, SOMA is our Scariest Game of 2015!EDITORS’ PICKS: Chris: SOMA Pete: The Park Nick: SOMA
There’s always one game each year that we just can’t put down, but Fallout 4 was excessive even for our standards. There’s such a volume of content in this game that, even dozens of hours in, we still feel we haven’t scratched the surface- there will always be new weapons to find, places to explore, and stories to learn. Add to that the ridiculously engaging settlement building mechanics (which some of us have played even longer than the traditional wasteland wandering) and you have a time-destroying, relationship-ruining, productivity-decimating good time. Because we don’t see ourselves giving it up for a very long while, Fallout 4 is our Most Addictive Game of 2015!EDITORS’ PICKS: Chris: Fallout 4 Pete: Her Story Nick: Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
Holy Potatoes! A Weapon Shop?! is a game in which you play as human-like potatoes who run an RPG weapon shop. If there were ever a title that more specifically captured the nature of the game it described, we’d like to hear it. Bonus points for all the weird punctuation! Holy Potatoes! A Weapon Shop?! wins our award for Best Game Title of 2015!Editor’s note: the ‘Best Game Title’ award has nothing to do with a game’s quality. It literally refers to the title of the video game. EDITORS’ PICKS: Chris: Persona 4: Dancing All Night Pete: A Fistful of Gun Nick: Holy Potatoes! A Weapon Shop?!
There are so many things wrong with the title Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth2: Sisters Generation. We’re huge fans of the completely inappropriate semicolon, lack of spacing before the ‘2,’ and completely out-of-nowhere ‘Sisters Generation’ at the end. This category is only about the name of the product, and from looking at this name we know absolutely nothing about the game except that it must be Japanese. Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth2: Sisters Generation is our Worst Game Title of 2015!
Editor’s note: the ‘Worst Game Title’ award has nothing to do with a game’s quality. It literally refers to the title of the video game.EDITORS’ PICKS: Chris: Little Battlers eXperience / Cardboard War Machines Pete: Infinifactory Nick: Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth2: Sisters Generation
Dirty Bomb is a free-to-play shooter that gets it right. It features several classes, each with its own ‘rock-paper-scissors’ strengths and weaknesses when stacked up against the others, who battle it out over various objectives. On top of that, there’s a collectible card system that players can unlock to change the loadouts of their favorite classes- sometimes drastically, but always according to the developers’ designs, ensuring that the balance of the game stays intact. This one has just the right mixture of fast-paced goofiness and tactical mindgames to make any shooter fan keep coming back. Dirty Bomb is our Best Shooter of 2015!EDITORS’ PICKS: Chris: Warhammer: End Times – Vermintide Pete: Halo 5: Guardians Nick: Dirty Bomb
Very few titles can mix gameplay and story in a way as cohesive as Undertale. This is an RPG with combat mechanics that don’t actually require combat- you can complete it without killing anyone! If you do choose to fight though, the response to your deeds might surprise you- even restarting from the beginning might not erase your character’s imprint on this world. There are so many creative and hilarious moments where Undertale’s characters play with the gameplay systems as well- we were very impressed by its ability to mess with the medium. For blowing our minds and making us laugh, Undertale wins for Best Game Design of 2015!EDITORS’ PICKS: Chris: Undertale Pete: Her Story Nick: Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
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