TPN’s gaming guru previews 2015’s most-anticipated releases


By Stephanie Roman / Staff Writer

­­­Already, 2015 boasts a huge catalog of video games to look forward to, and the dizzying excitement makes it hard to choose what to plug into my systems.  Let me sift through some of these anticipated titles, and deliberate on what games I’m most eager to play.

My Top 5:

Final Fantasy XV (Square-Enix, TBA 2015)

First of all, “Final Fantasy XV” has effectively been in development since 2006 — under a different name and for last generation’s set of consoles. It’s unacceptable that the Japanese video game developer and publisher Square-Enix took nine years to make the game playable, and even then it’s not guaranteed to actually hit retail this year. However, if and when it does finally make it to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, the stakes will be huge. “Final Fantasy XV” has a lot to prove to the JRPG (Japanese role playing game) console market and to the 27-year-old series, which is why I look forward to it as my most anticipated game of 2015.

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain (Kojima Productions, TBA 2015)

It’s showtime again for Kiefer Sutherland’s performance as Big Boss (who might actually go by the codename of Venom Snake, for some reason) as “The Phantom Pain” follows up on the events of 2014’s “Ground Zeroes.” What will Hideo Kojima dream up this time? Whatever the case, snag it on PC, PlayStation and Xbox systems whenever this monstrosity retails.

Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End (Naughty Dog, TBA 2015)

Treasure hunter Nathan Drake comes out of retirement for one final mission. With a remarkably dark tone and aesthetic atypical of previous Sony-exclusive “Uncharted” games, let’s hope Drake makes it out OK.

Star Wars: Battlefront (EA, Holiday 2015)

Let’s not for a second forget that “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” debuts this year. “Star Wars: Battlefront,” the long-awaited return to the third-person shooter franchise, will definitely set the bar high for the holiday season’s release of both the game and film.

No Man’s Sky (Hello Games, TBA 2015)

The premise: in a starship, fly from planet to planet through an infinite, procedurally-generated open universe. Discover indigenous flora and fauna and battle for domain over these planets and galaxies. Did I mention the dinosaurs yet? Note that Nintendo and Microsoft owners are excluded from this deal, so consider looking into a PlayStation 4 or PC alternative because this game’s art style and music are totally awesome.

In addition to the games I’m extremely invested in, there are several drops by prominent game developers, studios and franchises to get pumped about. Three brand new IPs (intellectual properties) already look like they can seize the industry and upset the sequel-oriented design process — however, that certainly doesn’t mean I discount the sequels so easily, as there are some pretty notable ones.


Bloodborne (From Software, Inc., 3/24/15)

Directed by Hidetaka Miyazaki of the acclaimed “Dark Souls” and “Demon’s Souls” games, “Bloodborne” looks to be every bit as cruel and challenging as its predecessors, but with huge increases in its pace and dynamism. Weirdly, it’s a PlayStation 4 exclusive, but that means fewer smashed controllers and game-induced fits for everyone else.

The Order: 1886 (Ready at Dawn, 2/20/15)

Monsters threaten to kill everyone in this highly steampunk vision of 1886 Victorian London. The game revolves around four protagonists who are knights in the crusade against the beasts, and a group of monsters who are part man, part animal. None other than King Arthur and his Knights of the Round founded this hunting tradition, which appears now as a PlayStation 4 exclusive. Perhaps if it’s successful enough, it’ll jump to other systems.

Tom Clancy’s The Division (Ubisoft Massive, TBA 2015)

A pandemic-stricken U.S. reels against despair. Enter special forces known as the Division. Part survival game, part RPG (role-playing game), part shooter and entirely online, “The Division” appears to be a totally cool mix of gaming genres and shouldn’t be skipped. Gamers on PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One should definitely look into this.

Batman: Arkham Knight (Rocksteady Studios, 6/2/15)

Batman is back to tackle his familiar nemesis Scarecrow as well as  newcomer Arkham Knight, one year after the super-prison and anarchic events of 2011’s “Batman: Arkham City.” Expect the familiar mechanics of batarangs, fluid combat and detective vision. Most excitingly, “Batman: Arkham Knight” introduces a new feature that hopefully operates smoothly: a driveable Batmobile.

Halo 5: Guardians (343 Industries, TBA 2015)

It’s always a huge ordeal when a new Microsoft-exclusive “Halo” game is released. Right now, there is little knowledge out about the forthcoming fifth installment, except that main man Master Chief is missing and he’s the only one who can save the galaxy from an unspecified threat.

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