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



Quantum Break

Remedy Entertainment are a team that first came to my attention with the original Max Payne game, a title that was undoubtedly as flawed as it was brilliant, this, they followed up with a sequel devoid of the original’s failings, resulting in a spectacular, action packed noir experience. Following the announcement of Alan Wake, however, my excitement for their work was nearing fever pitch, and although it would be almost five years before the game would eventually see the light of day, I was smitten. From its episodic structure to the stunning visuals, flawed protagonist and complex narrative, coupled with the developer’s unabashed love for Twin Peaks, Alan Wake became something truly special for me.


Now, almost five years after its release, we are now only months away from the launch of Remedy’s latest effort, an Xbox One exclusive that is bound to turn heads with its jaw dropping visual quality-particularly the character models, which have been made so lifelike thanks to the implementation of Dimensional Imaging’s DI4D Pro, a nine camera performance capture system (we should have more on this TIGA award winning technology in a new feature coming soon). Yet, undoubtedly, the most interesting aspect of the project is the manner in which the game interacts with the television series that will come on the disc when the title ships later in the year; during the story, the player will - at points - take control of the antagonist, Paul Serene, and choose from a selection of potential futures, doing so will bring an act of the game to an end and see the player prompted to view an episode of the show to further the story arc along the path that they have just chosen. Personally, I am always eager to see companies showing some creativity and ambition, and these are qualities that Remedy have in abundance, but will Quantum Break be the ultimate showcase of this? Most certainly.


Forza Motorsport 6


Having only just been officially announced (no release date was mentioned, I am only assuming that we will see it this year), Forza 6 automatically became one of my most highly anticipated titles, as the series is primarily why Microsoft will always be able to sell a new Xbox console to me with every passing generation. It is undoubtedly the finest - and most critically acclaimed - series of racers in the world today, which is exactly why a new release is something to be very excited about indeed.


When the Forza series made the transition to the Xbox 360, it came into its own, yet the monumental change from Forza 2 to Forza 3 was nothing short of profound, and I am hoping for a similar leap once again as we move towards the second release in the series on this generation of consoles. Forza 6 will surely be the most technologically advanced entry thus far; with superior physics, enhanced visuals-possibly even a new graphics engine-and the inclusion of varying weather effects for the first time, coupled with a substantial increase in on disc content from the unfairly maligned Forza Motorsport 5, Turn 10 will undoubtedly be going all-out to ensure that they create the finest driving experience to date. I certainly wouldn’t object to seeing the inclusion of some point-to-point racing, perhaps even rallying, yet with better graphics, more Ferrari’s and both Mugello and Suzuki reinstated, I’ll be over the moon with Turn 10’s latest effort as it steals another two hundred or so hours from my life. Now, roll on E3 so I can actually see the game in motion!


Kingdom Come: Deliverance


The role playing genre is typically full of space faring adventures or fantasy fares full of dragons and magic, but with their first game, Warhorse Studios are promising to deliver something completely different. Recreating a 9km2 area of the real world, players undertake a quest for revenge, controlling a blacksmith’s son as he traverses a visually stunning, beautifully realised world of lush forests, beautiful rolling hills, quaint villages and a bustling city.


Following the release of Dragon Age: Inquisition back in November, The Witcher 3 is set to bolster this generation’s repertoire of RPGs, meaning Kingdom Come will find itself in good company. Yet it will undoubtedly stand apart from the competition with its gritty approach to the genre; with its highly realistic combat system, adaptive AI, CryEngine powered visuals and a vast array of mini-games and quests, Kingdom Come: Deliverance looks set to offer up a thirty hour experience like no other, making it a genuinely exciting prospect.


Cuphead


When Treasure released Gunstar Heroes on the Sega Mega Drive, they effectively turned the run and gun genre on its head with some utterly brilliant level design, weaponry and a vast array of interesting boss encounters. Fast forward more than twenty years, and what have we had since to compete with this gaming classic? Nothing. Yet now, Studio MDHR look set to change that with a beautiful, 1930’s cartoon styled gem that looks set to be one of the most exciting releases of 2015.





With varied gameplay, a plethora of attention grabbing bosses, co-operative play and a blistering soundtrack inspired by the likes of Cab Calloway and Henry Mancini, there can be no doubting that Studio MDHR are onto a definite winner with this one, and if the finished product plays half as well as its highly stylised visuals, then Cuphead is sure to be one of the best games of the year ahead.

 
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