2015. It hasn’t been the greatest year for video games. Yet.
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But there are still a handful of great games that you’re gonna want to be playing. Particularly if you’ve just spent the big bucks on a brand new TV and have a new console to match.
Here are some this year’s finest so far…
“Bloodborne. Bloodborne. Bloodborne.”
This is what I do. I wander around the city at night dressed as a monk chanting Bloodborne over and over again. Then I go home and I play Bloodborne. My child is starving. My wife… I have no idea where my wife is. By the time you’re reading this I might not even have a wife. My house is covered in moss. I have a beard. I smell really, really bad.
But guys. Bloodborne is a really good video game.
Really good video game is probably understating it a bit. This is the only game. The only game I expect to be playing for the next month at least.
Bloodborne is the latest game by Hidetaka Miyazaki of Demon’s Souls and Dark Souls fame. Miyazaki’s games are not for everyone, but they should be. Because they are phenomenal. They are punishing, uncaring, brutal, beautiful, original, strange, otherworldly, impenetrable. Bloodborne is no exception.
If you like challenge, if you like video games that cast a compelling spell over your senses to the point where you stop caring about everything else in your life including – especially – personal hygiene? Bloodborne is the game for you. It’s special. It’s very special indeed. It’s genius actually.
Ori and the Blind Forest (Xbox One/PC)
Are you a fan of things that are objectively good like Super Metroid?
Of course you are.
You are going to like Ori and the Blind Forest.
Ori and the Blind Forest is a gorgeous, accessible 2D platformer with simple RPG elements. It has more than a whiff of Ghibli about it and – most importantly – there’s a rudimentary joy in simply running and jumpng around its gloriously rendered environments.
You get the sense that Ori and the Blind Forest is a little too much in love with its own universe – it verges on the self-indulgent with its cut-scenes at times – but it’s as good a game as I’ve played this year (outside of Bloodborne). It puts a modern twist on old tropes and is tactile and rewarding on a minute to minute basis. Ori and the Blind Forest simply feels good to play on a minute-to-minute basis. A must play.
Grow Home (PC)
Grow Home is like when Beyonce was just like, ‘hey everyone, here’s an album I didn’t promote or announce or discuss’ and just sort of dropped on iTunes like a glorious surprise.
In a universe where video games are announced, then hyped, then previewed, the slowly drip-fed over a period of years Grow Home is completely the opposite. Major publisher Ubisoft just sort of threw it into the wild unannounced and it ended up being one of their best video games in a good long while.
Grow Home essentially a cool little experiment gone right. It’s a game about climbing and moving upwards and it’s unlike anything you are likely to have played before. Give it a shot!
Dying Light (Xbox One/PS4/PC)
Dying Light is about killing zombies, which is video game land is about as generic as Nazis, aliens, or Nazi-Alien-Zombies when it comes to enemies. But that doesn’t mean you should dismiss Dying Light: there’s a lot to love.
There’s a sprawling, gorgeous environment to traverse, using all that beautifully executed parkour. There’s incredible heights to be climbed, there are numerous objectives to pursue. Dying Light is without doubt a ‘video game’ in the most modern sense of the word. In a sense it feels like its high concepts were designed in a board room by marketers, but the execution is near-flawless.
It’s also a helluva good game to test out a brand new TV on. Looks good.
OlliOlli 2: Welcome To Olliwood (PS4/PS Vita)
OlliOlli 2 is kinda the perfect video game for a certain type of person. If you like retro aesthetics, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater and the need to beat your friends high scores in video games, you’re going to love OlliOlli 2: Welcome To Olliwood.
It ticks all those boxes and more.
OlliOlli 2 is one of those compelling ‘one-more-go’ games. It also works well as a ‘pass-the-controller’ game. It’s fun, frustrating, fair, quirky, unique but also familiar. You’ll know how to play OlliOlli 2 within seconds, but you’ll spend hours trying to master it.
OlliOlli 2 does what video games are supposed to do.