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Gordon's Most Anticipated Games of 2015 / 17th January 2015



Bloodborne:

Arriving almost one week after my birthday, Bloodborne, the latest dark fantasy RPG by From Software, is probably my single most anticipated game of this year. Not just because I’m a big fan of Hidetaka Miyazaki’s games (Dark Souls director), but because its gothic Victorian tone is both exceptionally beautiful and suitably haunting. And with Miyazaki at the helm, Bloodborne will hopefully avoid making the same mistakes as From Software’s last major release, Dark Souls II.


From what we’ve seen of the game so far Bloodborne in some ways is very much a successor to the Souls series, yet in other ways is a true departure from what fans have become accustomed to. Combat has, by all accounts been sped up, with individual battles feeling more frantic and less predictable than what players will have been used to. Not only that the dependence on light, medium, and heavy armour sets appears to have been side-lined in an attempt to accommodate this faster pace.


With these new mechanics, the jaw dropping setting, and many of the more traditional features you’ll find in any Souls game - such as the inter-connected game world or persistent online features - Bloodborne looks set to force its way on to more than a few pre-order lists this year, mine included.


Total War: Warhammer


Thanks to an accidental slip up earlier this week it was revealed that Creative Assembly - the team behind the award winning Total War series - are currently applying their expertise in the real-time strategy genre to the long running table top strategy series Warhammer. And although details are sparse on what exactly is set to feature, as soon as it was announced I was so pleased I almost punched the air.


According to recent press releases the Warhammer franchise had been in development at THQ. However when the publisher went bust, the team behind the Warhammer 40K strategy games (Relic Entertainment) and the rights to the series, were picked up by Sega. Since then Creative Assembly have been working on a new game in their Total War series and is set to utilize Warhammer’s pre-existing fantasy universe.

While Total War: Atilla is set to be released next month, its similarity to the underwhelming Rome II has meant that it hasn’t grabbed my attention in the same way as Total War: Warhammer. Although I’ve never really played the Warhammer series, I am familiar with its various factions and setting. And now with the freedom of a non-historical setting and the greater artistic licence that provides, I’m willing to bet that Creative Assembly will produce something special. As to whether it arrives this year, I’m not so sure, but I can still hope.         



The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt


After the immense success of their very first foray into the console market with The Witcher 2, CD Projekt have unsurprisingly pushed on to ensure its successor, The Witcher 3 will be launching simultaneously on PC and next-gen consoles. It was an announcement that was greeted warmly, and finally - after its delay from the holiday 2014 period - it’s due for release this May, and so it’s something I’ll definitely be looking forward to. 

   


The gameplay footage we’ve seen looks truly breath-taking, and alongside the already robust close combat and exceptionally strong narrative, The Witcher 3 is shaping up nicely. Not only that, but the decision to create a truly open-world for players to explore will hopefully allow players to delve even deeper into the well-realised fantasy setting CD Projekt have been crafting for years.

Finally the inclusion of optional monster hunting missions (a core aspect of the lore behind the Witchers) looks likely to be the icing on the cake, and should it result in the removal of many needless fetch quests that have plagued recent RPGs then all the better. The Witcher 2 many have divided opinions on its release, but Wild Hunt looks set to wow us all in a few months time.

 
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