Today I want to bring you my favourite games that have been released in 2015, I will say now though that this list may change slightly, I haven't played Just Cause 3 or Fallout 4 yet, either of which may well be on this list, but due to their late releases may be featured in next years list. So here we go, the best of the best games that have been released in 2015(that I have played). There will be games on this list, and I will count them down in descending order, starting with.....
Assassin's Creed Syndicate takes the number 7 spot on my GOTY Awards, Syndicate is a very good game, with superb characters and amazing visuals and the missions are designed perfectly. You will be taken from the mud filled workhouses to places of much greater affluency, which will remain nameless due to spoilers. The reason this game has only reached 7th place is two fold, firstly the franchise needs to take a break, let me explain, while this is a very good Assassin's game, the formula that governs this game, is still far too close to the last entry, Unity. The second reason is that the free running still hasn't been fine tuned, this would be acceptable on the first or second, even the third entry, but on the ninth, it is unacceptable that one of the core mechanics of the series still hasn't been improved enough with each passing year. There were still many occasions when I wanted to go somewhere, or climb something, but my character would either get stuck mere inches from the top, or simply refuse to climb it. Combine this with section(though few are still present) when you need to chase and catch an enemy, as you may be able to imagine, this often does not turn out well! Those are the reasons Assassin's Creed Syndicate got number 7 on my GOTY list, onto number 6!
Borderlands The Handsome Collection packages together Borderlands 2 and The Pre-Sequel along with all the DLC that has been released for both games. While The Pre-Sequel is a somewhat lacklustre game, Borderlands 2 is one of my favourite games of all time. So to have the opportunity to play it again, with all of the DLC I never picked up on the PS3 was a chance I couldn't pass up. There are 4 Campaign based DLCs for Borderlands 2 and 1 for The Pre-Sequel, along with a large collection of smaller bit of DLC, which can be just as good as the high standard set from the main DLCs. Tiny Tina's Assault of Dragon Keep(the final Campaign DLC released for Borderlands 2) is the second best DLC I've ever played, beaten only by The Last of Us Left Behind, it is a 5-7 hour campaign that all Borderlands fans should take the time to play! All in all Borderlands The Handsome Collection has taken many, many hours from me, and it still a joy to go back to every now and then. With a diverse range of classes, and more guns that any single person could count, Borderlands is a fantastic game, even under the scrutiny of time!
Call of Duty Black Ops 3, this years franchise entry from Treyarch, and it is easily my favourite Call of Duty since Black Op 2, and it could well surpass that! With is subtle tweaks on the movement system, there to help with traversal but not used as frequently in fire fights as Advanced Warfare. There is quite frankly superb weapon balance; I have always thought that the tell of a well balanced game, is when you can Google what the most powerful weapon is, and come up with tens of ideas on what it is. I personally have gravitated towards a few of them, but I know I could do just as well if I wanted to spread out and use other weapons. I will admit that I haven't even touch the campaign yet, but I have sunk a decent amount of time into Shadows of Evil, the new Zombies map, which it perhaps too complicated to want to get into on a very regular basis, but has enough hidden secrets that it still brings me back to it from time to time. There is also the Free Run mode, which I dismissed as a tiny tag on, and while it is very small(I completed all the tracks in around 25 minutes) it has continued to bring me back to beat my previous best times. Looking at the bigger picture of Black Ops 3, it is the complete package, with a superb multiplayer and enough other activities to keep you going even if and when you get bored of the multiplayer. Black Ops 3 has definitely earned 4th place in my best Games of the Year.
Coming into the podium positions, we have the Dark Knight himself Batman Arkham Knight. The Arkham Trilogy is one of my favourite series, and Rocksteady finished it of with style and poise. While I am aware that many people correctly guessed and were disappointed with the identity of the Arkham Knight, I was blissfully aware until the moment of reveal. I think this game gets an unnecessary amount bad press because of the quite frankly atrocious version of the game on PC, but because of this I think many people don't give this game the credit it deserves. This game wraps up the Batman games with what is in my opinion the best story to date, set it the best and most detailed world yet. One controversial addition to the game was the Batmobile, I think for 90% of the time it fits in very well, but it is that remaining 10% that causes people varying levels of grief.
Other that the occasionally sloppy use of the Batmobile Arkham Knight is a game that should be celebrated and played, in previous years this game might have topped my list, but it was beaten out by some tough competition!
Now we come to a truly stunning game, and one that has taken the number 2 spot in my heart this year; Witcher 3 Wild Hunt. Unlike some of the people playing Witcher 3, I hadn't played any of the previous games, so I was a little daunted when I first started playing, but I soon got to grips with the story and mechanics. This isn't a perfect game, in fact there are some level balance issues which really annoy me, but when this game does something right, it blows you away. Whether it be the best Quests I have ever played, or the vistas that just make you want to put your controller down and enjoy. Witcher 3 is one of those games that pulls you back in from time to time and reminds you how a game should be made. Although it isn't my favourite game ever made, I have no hesitation in saying that it is my favourite Fantasy game, even topping the spectacular Skyrim! High praise indeed!
Was there ever any doubt? The game that I have put the most hours into, thought about or played every day since launch, and the driving force of content since release on this website. Destiny The Taken King is my favourite game released in 2015. You might argue that it is a DLC and not a game, but it changed the whole game, and in my opinion was how the game should have launched last year, so yes it is a game, and a fantastic one at that. I could write about Destiny until I wear my keyboard down, but let me just run you through some of the things that make this game so amazing. The campaign, although far shorter than I was expecting, was filled with more details of the characters I had grown to love over the last year, and all of it was paced superbly, it actually feels like you are fighting a war against the Taken. There is also the Raid, Kings Fall in hands down the greatest single experience I've ever had in a game, I have played all of the previous Raids many times, but Kings Fall seems a more developed experience. From the platforming to the mechanics, it is a fluid and fantastic experience, and something that should be commended.
So there you go guys, my favourite games that have been released in 2015, I truly think that has been an amazing year for gaming, and one that we will look back on in future years and marvel at. Now you know what my favourite games are, I want to know yours, let me know in the comments below, or on Twitter!This won't be the last you hear of me in 2015, but I'm already planning some exciting things for 2016, I hope you are as excited as I am!
Thanks for reading,
Today I though I would bring you some tips and tricks to help new and veteran players alike settle into the game, up first in the fast travel station. Especially in the Handsome Collection where everyone has all pieces of DLC the fast travel station can get a little clogged up with locations, especially when you have completed the campaign and DLCs. Note though that these locations will only be for Borderlands 2, as I haven't put enough time into The Pre-Sequel to know the locations.
1: fast travel locations
Okay, so I will break it down into separate components.
Borderlands 2 Base Game:
Three Horns - Divide
Three Horns - Valley
The Highlands - Outwash
Caustic Cavers(only available after you have got to a certain point in the campaign)
Wildlife Exploitation Preserve
Arid Nexus - Boneyard
Arid Nexus - Badlands
Captain Scarlett and Her Pirate's Booty
Oasis(Starting Point for the DLC)
The Rust Yards
Mr Torgue's Campaign of Carnage
Badass Crater of Badassitude(Starting Point for the DLC)
Badass Crater Bar
Sir Hammerlock's Big Game Hunt
Hunters Grotto(Starting Point for the DLC)
Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep
Unassuming Docks(Starting Point for the DLC)
Lair of Infinite Agony
Mines of Avarice
The Horrible Hunger of the Ravanous Wattle Gobbler: Glutony Gulch
Sir Hammerlock vs the Son of Crawmerax: Wam Bam Island
How Marcus Saved Mercenaries Day: Marcus's Mercenary Shop
TK Baha's Bloody Harvest: Hallowed Hollow
Mad Moxxi and the Wedding Day Massacre: Rotgut Distillery
Right moving on from that rather large "tip" we have something that is quite common in Borderlands 2, and that is farming enemies for specific weapons. If you want an item which is dropped from an enemy, you just need to fast travel to the appropriate location, go to the enemies location, and kill the enemy. The difficulty lies when you want to earn a mission reward item, take for example the Sand Hawk, which is the most popular mission rewarded item in the game. It is earned by progressing so far into the Captain Scarlett DLC, you will then be given this item as a reward for a mission. However, in the case of the Sand Hawk and many more mission items,(Moxxi's Ruby is another) you may want to earn a specific element or manufacturer, if this is the case and you don't get a desirable reward when you first go to turn the mission in, follow these steps.
1: Go to turn in the mission, check to see if it is a satisfactory model of the weapon. If not go to the dashboard of your console, and exit the game(it is vital you don't save the game).
2:Go back into the game, check what the mission reward item is now, and repeat the step above until you are proposed to get a weapon you like the look of, then except it.
3: resetting missions
Next we have a rather neat trick if you want to play missions again, and linking back into tip 2, if you want to get a higher level mission reward(which can only be redeemed once per playthrough). All you need to do is from the main menu, press triangle or Y(which ever button is tied to selecting your character). Next select which ever character you want to reset the missions for(even if it is the character you are currently playing as), then when you are given the option whether you want to play in normal mode, True Vault Hunter Mode(TVHM) or Ultimate Vault Hunter Mode(UVHM is unlocked by completing TVHM), then along the bottom of the pop up box, you should see a button assigned to resetting mission progress. Simply press that button and all missions will have been reset. Note though, that this will erase all your mission progress for all segments of the game, Main Missions, Side Quests and DLC Missions will all be reset, and your old version of completed missions will be unredeemable once you have resent your missions. Note though that your weapons, level, BaR(Badass Rank), and customisations will not be reset by doing this.
I think that brings me to the end of these tips for now, I do have more for the future if you all like this one, do let me know, and I will start work on the next!
Thank you very much for reading,
One of the many things that has been packaged together in the Handsome Collection is series the headhunter packs. These were released quite late in the games life cycle, in fact they were the last thing to be released for the game. There are five of them in total and seeing as they take less than a hour to complete each one, I though I would do a review for all of them together, so as I said there are five of these packs, each lasting between 30-60 minutes. The rule of thumb seems to be that there is one main mission, leading to a boss fight and then one more side mission. The boss fights aren't overly hard but can pose a slight challenge first time, before you get to know them.
I would have to say that my least favourite pack would have to be The Ravenous Wattle Gobbler, just because it feels like to least unique area. It is all set in a kitchen area with a little outside, but non of it feels original, despite this the boss fight, in the form of The Wattle Gobbler, is probably the hardest fight of the lot! All of the bosses fit into a quite close range of difficulty, with non of them taking an age to complete(first time) but non of them being a breeze to beat. That being said, if you are a few levels above them, the fight will be over before it has truly begun!
Due to their size and number it is clear that Gearbox have really had a fun time creating very diverse areas and NPCs to talk to. I would have to say that the snow themed pack, or How Marcus Saved Mercenary's Day, is my favourite, the "main" mission is very fun and the boss is a blast to fight. Non of these packs have massive areas to come with them, and most of them become dormant once you have completed the main mission, which is a shame as there are new enemies, though it could be argued they are just reskinned or borrowed from one of the four main DLC packages!
One rather nice thing about the headhunter packs and specifically the Mercenaries Day pack, is that the main missions, despite being short do give you a lot of XP from the enemies which are rather easy to dispatch. Once you have bested the beast of each map the bosses themselves will drop loot, but in some cases there are areas where you can unlock chests in the hope of some good loot, these are also very nice to open after the thrill of the fight!
All in all these are well worth your time, and although for me only the Mercenaries Day pack mission holds a place in my memory, you will want to go back and fight all of the bosses numerous time. You could run through all of the packs in about 2 hours to 2 and a half hours! Short yes, but also rather fun, with bosses you will want to come back to again in the future!
Lastly I would like to give you all the fast travel locations for each of the packs, as the fast travel station can get quite packed up!
TK Baha's Bloody Harvest: Hallowed Hollow: 8.5/10
The Horrible Hunger of the Ravenous Wattle Gobbler: Gluttony Gulch: 7.5/10
How Marcus Saved Mercenarys Day: Marcus's Mercenary Shop: 9.5/10
Mad Moxxi and the Wedding Day Massacre: Rotgut Distillery: 8/10
Sir Hammerlock vs the Son of Crawmerax: Wam Bam Island: 8/10
Thanks for reading,
If you live in the US then you might have already got your hands on Borderlands The Handsome Collection, and if you live in Europe you will have to wait until tomorrow for the launch of the game. It got my copy today and I have been playing the heck out of it, and I thought I would bring you my first impressions of the first ever Borderlands game to be released on the Playstation 4 and Xbox One!
I have worked my way through the first quarter or so of the main campaign, basically killing time until I could get my hands on the new content, which is advised you start at level 15. I have only played the head hunter pack how Marcus Saved Mercenaries Day, which if you didn't know ends up with you fighting a rather large snow man as the final boss. I knew they were short sections of gameplay but I got to the boss section after only about 20 minutes play time. However there are side missions I can go on and do now, and I can honestly tell you all that the boss fight at the end is incredibly enjoyable, and there are another 4 headhunter packs still to go through!
I have been waiting for the release of this game even before the game had been announced, ever since The Pre-Sequel was released last year I have been waiting for the inevitable next-gen release of the Borderlands games. I am very glad to say that it is living up to expectations. I have only ever owned Borderlands 2 before, and I never had any of the DLC for it, so going into this game I knew there was a lot of content I had never played before. Unfortunately I could not bring my saved character from my PS3 playthrough over to the PS4 due to the fact that I no longer own a PS3, this was a little disappointing, but I have found that starting again has been a rather nice experience!
As you can see above I have already earned my first Legendary weapon, it was earned totally randomly from the one of the side-quests I've done today, unfortunately this weapon is now far to under levelled to be on any use but I did appreciate my luck in getting it! The games runs at a smooth 1080p 60fps, which means that this game looks gorgeous, all the explosions and enemies have been rendered in stunning detail, in the time I have spent with the game I haven't noticed any drops in frame rate, though it would have to drop below 30fps for me to actually notice it!
I am yet to touch any of the 4 main DLCs for Borderlands 2, any of the Pre-Sequel or the Claptastic DLC which is getting some amazing reviews from the community. I have gone with the same class I had back on the PS3, Gaige the Mechromancer and it is a delight to be back with that character, even if I have lost the items I had before. This is a game that will be taking a lot of time from me, even just going once through all the content will take an age, and that is before I get into working towards getting some of the rarer legendary items in the game. I highly recommend you pick this game up either now or when it releases in Europe tomorrow, it is a truly great experience that everyone should know. Expect a lot more content here in the future relating to Borderlands!
Thanks for reading, pick this game up now!
Now you have a reason; a reason to go to that place that sucked hours from your life. The place that satisfied your addiction for loot, guns and a unique art style. The place full of laughs, bandits and most of all, good memories. If you haven't worked out what I am talking about it is Pandora. Well technically we will be going back to the moon of Pandora and orbiting space station. Yes today marked the day I have been looking forward to for about a year now, the announcement of the next Borderlands game. So imagine my disappointment when I read with a heart full of dread that the newly announced Borderlands: Pre-Sequel will only be making its gun and fun filled appearance of PS3, Xbox 360 and PC! I will get back to that fact shortly though, first lets talk about this new game which will doubtlessly be as packed with guns as its predecessors. The Pre-Sequel will be taking place on the moon of Pandora and the orbiting Hyperion owned space station, which raises the tantalizing question of: Will moon walking be in the game! Technically it will be in there, though it looks like you are going to be limited as to how long you will be able to stay out of the gravity fields.
This brings me on to one of the largest changes in the Pre-Sequel, oxygen! In this outing of the series you will have to not only watch out for your health and shields but also your oxygen levels. Let me first say that whilst you are indoors or in a gravity shield you will not be consuming your oxygen level. However once you march out onto the not so barren moon you will start consuming oxygen. In the short amount of gameplay we have seen your oxygen meter ticks down at a surprisingly quick rate. During this section of gameplay we also see a machine put a large gravity field up around you, how many/common these will be is unknown, but if your aren't in one of these fields when you open a chest all the loot from that chest will float away into the ether, it will eventually float back down, though I doubt you will want to hang around to see that happen.
As with previous Borderlands games you will have 4 totally new playable characters to enact your adventure with. You can choose from, Wilhelm(the boss from near the beginning of Borderlands 2), Nisha the Lawbringer(or the sheriff of Lynchwood in Borderlands 2), Athena who totes a captain America style shield and last but very much not least, we will have Claptrap as a playable character, called Fragtrap! Beyond Athena we know very little about who these characters are and what their special abilities are, but we are in for a treat with whatever abilities Fragtrap has!
There are also two new types of weapons in the game, cyro weapons and laser guns. Yes you read that right laser guns are making their debut entry into the franchise. Cyro weapons will freeze your opponent in a large block of ice and then are much easier to dispatch. I suspect that cyro weapons will act similarly to the slagging weapons from BL2, where by you have a certain percent chance that you will freeze your enemies.
My biggest problem with the game from what we have so far heard/seen, is the fact that PS4 and Xbox One owners will be unable to get their hands on this beast of a game. Gearbox have said that they think that enough of their fans still have a last gen console and thus it is not in their best interests to release the game on next gen consoles. I really can't see the sense behind this move, and I think if the Borderlands community makes enough noise, then at E3 this year we will hear news about a next gen version of the game! I hope with all my heart that this will be the case, but we will just have to cross everything and hope Gearbox and 2K see the error of their ways. Well I see it as an error anyway!
That brings me to then end of my piece/rant I hope you are as excited for this game as I am!
Thanks for reading,
Friends of The Games Critic:
My name is Ed, I write everything here, covering all kinds of games, but I only play them on the PS4!