2015 is another year where we’ll play a host of amazing games we didn’t know could provide us with so much joy and entertainment. At the same time, there will no doubt be a few high-profile mistakes that should have been avoidable.
Below is a brief list of things most gamers would agree they want to see in this new year.
Keep Survival Horror Alive
It was on Sony’s original PlayStation that most of us started seeing our first taste of survival horror.
Resident Evil ditched tons of weapons, armies of enemies, and vast worlds to explore, and instead gave us a scarce supply of bullets, few but terrifying creatures, and it all took place in a creepy mansion. For the longest time, survival horror games were releasing by the boatloads, but eventually the craze died down.
Recently, the survival horror genre has experienced an amazing revival in our industry, partly due to the incredible response from Minecraft. From Five Nights at Freddy’s and Slender to Alien Isolation and The Evil Within, both big-budget studios and indie developers are capitalizing on the fact that many gamers are getting tired of the run-and-gun formula and instead want a different challenge, preferably one that scares your pants off.
No More Broken Launch Games
It’s hard to believe that so many people dropped $60 for a video game last year, perhaps even set aside some time to enjoy it for the first time, only to find that they paid for something that is pretty much unplayable.
The number of high-profile failures and mishaps was surprising last year, to say the least. Huge games like Halo: The Master Chief Collection and Driveclub launched with huge issues, requiring countless subsequent patches. As of this writing, three months after launch, Halo’s matchmaking system still doesn’t work.
Ubisoft also got a lot of flak for Assassin’s Creed: Unity, a game with glitches that had nearly the entire gaming community either enraged or laughing. The fact that most of these big-budget games require you to download a heavy patch before playing is something we hope doesn’t become the norm.
Games have certainly come a long way, and each new generation brings new advancements that offer some of the most incredible experiences possible, but at least older consoles like the SNES offered the opportunity to pop in a new game and start playing within seconds.
Games are, of course, very difficult to make and get right, but designing a great game that is ready for market should be a requirement before releasing. If there’s one thing we want to see in 2015, it’s less games that launch broken simply because developers want to get it out in time for a specific date.
More Awesome Mobile Games
It wasn’t too long ago that everyone assumed smartphone gaming would take over the mobile game industry. However, after a brief period of incredible growth and excitement, things have settled down and we now realize that Nintendo’s handheld consoles are here to stay.
In fact, while smartphones are plagued with free-to-play games, the 3DS has delivered some of the most memorable portable games in the last few years.
Even so, recently we’ve seen a lot of amazing mobile games come out that, despite not making millions and millions like Clash of Clans, are some of the best games you can buy for your smartphone.
Games like 80 Days, Monument Valley, and Hearthstone aren’t there to make money from your impatience or make a quick buck, instead they provide excellent gaming experiences.
We would like to see more of in 2015, and with Nintendo’s recent announcement that they are entering the smartphone gaming market, that is just what we might see.
More Indie Games, Please
Year in and year out we’re spoiled with an incredible treasure-trove of indie games, handcrafted by small teams with big ideas and plenty of passion. In fact, some of the best video games that were released in 2014 were indie titles. Games like Shovel Knight and Yacht Club helped further prove what we already know: gamers care more about fun gameplay than awesome visuals, big worlds, and all that other stuff investors think are important.
What’s interesting is that while indie developers are experiencing a golden age, AAA developers are going through a rough patch over the past few years. It is the large studios struggling to release games on time and without bugs or non-functioning features.
Quality over quantity is truly what rules the gaming environment today.