The Wishlist is home to our tech desires. It may be improvements to existing things, or something that doesn’t exist yet, but we really, really want.
Each year the gaming industry reveals forthcoming releases at the E3 Expo, so I use those announcements to make a shopping list (and a budget!). Before getting on to my 2015 list, let’s take a look back at my 2014 list and other recent purchases…
Many years will see me make a list after E3 and then not stick with it. This year, I have actually picked up everything that I said I would, and I’ve been very happy with my choices. The Golf Club Game has had less play time than I expected, given my history of playing Tiger Woods and Links over the years, but it has still been enjoyable and a worthwhile purchase, especially since it’s priced significantly lower than most console titles. Some of my Tiger Woods playing friends find it significantly harder to play, but that’s because they were used to affecting the flight of the ball after they’d hit it, which is clearly unrealistic – I like simulations, so I’m all for it. FIFA15 is a game that I haven’t played half as much as my son; in fact I probably haven’t played it without him. I probably wouldn’t have picked this one up as soon, since I already had FIFA14 via EA Access, but I managed to find a download code at a price that made it not worth waiting for it to release on EA Access (which it now has) – I doubt that I’ll be picking up FIFA16 until it’s in the Vault. Disney Infinity 2.0 Marvel Superheroes has been a lot of co-op fun in our house. We haven’t used the creative aspect of it, but we have played a lot through the included Avengers story, and we’ve added the Spiderman playset. Overall, if you include my son’s pocket money purchases and gifts from family members, there’s been a lot of money spent on Disney Infinity characters and the like, but I don’t feel like it’s been a waste. Halo: The Master Chief Collection has let me relive the fun I had playing co-op Halo with friends, and let me relive it with my son. It’s been an incredible bonding experience playing through the 4 games and we’ve now got the Halo 3: ODST levels as DLC to play through before Halo 5: Guardians comes out. NBA 2K15 had some significant problems with the online components when it launched. Didn’t bother me as we were happily playing local multiplayer. This series is still the gold standard for sports games, both in terms of gameplay and presentation IMHO.
Aside from what I had on my 2014 wishlist, the last year or so has been a good one for me in gaming terms. I’ve already made my feelings clear on Elite: Dangerous, which I’m now enjoying on Xbox One in addition to PC. There are two other games that I’ve thoroughly enjoyed on both those platforms; neither are mainstream, both have provided a welcome change of pace with respect to the play style, and they both came with a cracking soundtrack: I heartily recommend Valliant Hearts: The Great War and Life Is Strange. In addition, I’ve played a lot of Lego Marvel Superheroes and more recently Lego Jurassic World with my son and we’ve had enormous fun with both.
Without further ado, these are the games that I’m most excited to buy so far for the rest of 2015:
Rare Replay – It’s 30 games from Rare’s back catalogue for £20($30) and it includes Grabbed by the Ghoulies – I’m in!
Super Hot – I played the prototype of this game a while back and found it really addictive. Since then the art style has changed up a little bit, for the better it would appear. It has a unique look and a really cool mechanic where time only advances when you move. It’s easier to understand when you see it in action, so go and check it out.
Star Wars: Battlefront – First up, the obvious thing is that this looks incredible. When the first trailer was released for this game you could be excused for confusing it with a movie. That said, trailers can be misleading, so it was refreshing to see some gameplay footage from E3. I have seen some people saying that they’re disappointed that this plays like the old DICE Battlefield/front games, and perhaps that’s not what is needed in 2015. Stuff their opinion – that’s exactly what I want it to be!
Disney Infinity 3.0 – As I said earlier, Disney Infinity 2.0 has had a lot of play in my house. We’ve really enjoyed the Marvel characters in that game. The only place to go beyond that for me would be Star Wars. I’m just pleased that Disney keep buying up all the things that I care about, cos it makes life easier. I said to my wife (when discussing another trip to Walt Disney World) that as long as we set aside enough money to pay the bills, the mouse can have the rest! 😉
Shenmue 3 – During E3, it was announced that Shenmue 3 would have a Kickstarter campaign to fund it. I’ve been one of the many who have been hoping for this game for years, so I backed it straight away. At the time of writing, it is approaching double the $2m goal, so it’s definitely happening and I’ve already bought a copy. Happy days.
Rise of the Tomb Raider – Rarely have I been so blown away by the visuals on a gameplay video as I was watching Lara Croft climbing up an icy mountain. The last Tomb Raider was great, and I expect nothing less from this one.
NBA 2K16 – I love basketball, and my son loves basketball, so 2K Sports are going to get my money for their NBA game every year. This year they have NY Knicks superfan Spike Lee involved in the production, so I’m expecting a more story-based career mode, which will be good as long as you don’t have to play for the Knicks!
Tom Clancy’s The Division – I know technically this isn’t out until 2016, but we are expecting a beta on Xbox One this year and I’ll be all over that because although I have been very excited about this game, I’m not sure that it fits in with how I game these days, so I’m not sure if I’ll be buying it. I’m also a bit disappointed that they’ve cancelled the 2nd screen experience, which would have let someone with a tablet join the game controlling a drone. That sounded like a great mechanic, but apparently threw the game out of balance. It still looks cracking though!
Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Seige – This Tom Clancy game is definitely out this year, and I wasn’t fully on board until E3, when they announced two things: 1) Terrorist hunt mode is back, and 2) You get Rainbow Six Vegas, and Vegas 2 bundled in with this. Those were great games and the chance to revisit them is very appealing.
Halo 5: Guardians – I’m now so invested in this series that I’m not missing the next chapter.
A little further out, I’m looking forward to seeing how two newly announced games turn out: Cuphead, a tough side-scrolling platformer with 1930s cartoon style graphics – what’s not to love? Unravel is another platform game, which looks utterly charming – I hope it’s as good as it looks.
I’m going to give an honourable mention to Gears of War: Ultimate Edition, which I’m playing in beta at the moment. It’s a really nice remake and I like it a lot, but as I’ve alluded to, the way I spend my gaming time has changed over at least the last console generation, so I’m not sure it’s a purchase yet. I do know that I’ll have a lot of friends playing it.
[Update] I’ve just realised that Lego Marvel’s Avengers is due out this year. After the many, many hours that my son and I put into Lego Marvel Super Heroes, this is a no-brainer!