Every time a new year begins we have a tendency to reset all things around us, to get a fresh start and to promise all kind of things that may or may not be accomplished. For the video games industry, the promises may refer to: developing and publishing new IPs, releasing games when they are finished, without glitches and issues that could make them unplayable, and bringing innovation and creativity to the table.
Most of those promises are forgotten as time passes by, making us (the gamers) to play sequels, prequels and remastered editions of the games we liked in the past instead of something new, or to wait until the patches are ready, because the game is crashing when we press “Continue Game” in the main menu. Or we can’t go online on our consoles because the servers are done, after their security were tested by some anonymous hackers.
But all these things represent only the ugliest parts of the industry, which are counterbalanced by the memories we form each time we get the hands on something new and unexpected. And this happens at least one time a year (remember Telltale’s The Walking Dead, PlayStation’s Journey or Blizzard’s HearthStone)!
I don’t know which game or games will leave the same impression on us in 2015, but we will start searching right away with January’s releases:
The first game which will launch in 2015 is Warhammer Quest, based on the Games Workshop’s multiplayer board game from 1995. Initially Warhammer Quest was released on iOS devices in 2013, but now it is ported for PC, Mac and Linux with microtransactions as a “bonus”.
Chariot is a humoristic physics-based couch co-op platformer in which a brave princess and her suitor carry a funeral wagon through ancient caves, fending-off swarms of looters while amassing riches, to bury the King’s remains in a worthy gold-filled tomb. The game is already available for Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and Steam, but soon it can be played on Wii U too.
Funk of Titans is an exclusive platformer game for Xbox One, in which you are tasked to defeat the Music Titans in the name of funk by Zeus himself. As Perseus you will be jumping platforms, collecting vinyls, beating enemies, riding Pegasus and confronting the evil Music Titans in epic dance battles.
The 1996 classic first-person shooter is coming on PlayStation 3 and PS Vita this month after a very long wait. The Megaton Edition will include the original version of the game released in the ’90s, the Duke Nukem 3D: Atomic Edition and three unique expansion packs.
Dwarf Naurim, Wizard Zurbaran, Takate and the other characters from Blackguards are back for a new adventure based on the RPG rulebook of The Dark Eye, The game will stay focussed on turn-based, tactical battles with a group of scoundrels as anti-heroes., but it will come along with some revisions, optimisations and simplifications.
The first Resident Evil game is often described as the best title of the series and as one of those games that defined the survival-horror genre of nowdays. On January 20th we will have the chance to play or re-play this legendary game in HD format and 5.1 surround sound, before Capcom launches Resident Evil: Revelations 2 in February!
Saints Row: Gat out of Hell is a standalone expansion to the open world action-adventure video game Saints Row IV, developed by Volition and published by Deep Silver. The plot starts with the leader of the Saints being captured by Satan, with the intention of marrying him with his daughter, Jezebel. Following them into Hell, Johnny Gat and Kinzie Kensington must reunite with deceased enemies from their past as well as former Saints in order to stop Satan and rescue the Boss.
In Citizens of Earth, the player explores a real-world inspired place as the Vice President of Earth who prefers to recruit people with various specialties to let them fight his turn-based battles for him while he figures out what on earth is going on.
Raven’s Cry plunges you into the dark world of the Golden Age of Piracy, as you follow the story of Christopher Raven and his quest for vengeance against the men who murdered his family. Reality Pump Studios has recreated the world of the 18th century Caribbean in painstaking detail, leaving behind the family-friendly tropes common to portrayals of this era and instead bringing you a gritty, realistic pirate experience like you’ve never seen before.
Raven’s Cry will also launch for Xbox 360 on January 14th and for PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 on January 28th, but these dates are currently available only for Europe.
After sixteen months since its release on Xbox 360 and PS3, GTA V is launching on PC. Starting on January 27th, the PC gamers can hang out with Michael, Trevor and Franklin on the streets of Los Santos city, while helping them out to realize which are the most important things in their lives.
The PC version will include the first-person view option, an increased draw distance, finer texture details, denser traffic, upgraded weather effects, and new wildlife and vegetation, as the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 versions.
Techland‘s Dying Light, is a first-person free running action survival horror game with zombies and a dynamic open world, with a day and night cycle. The game allows weapon crafting and has free running mechanics. During the day, players will have to scurry around the urban environment salvaging anything they can come across, because at night is when the infected become extremely aggressive and dangerous.
The game is a remake of the JPRG Hyperdimension Neptunia mk2, but with a new selection of playable characters. The players will return to the world of Gamindustri, where the Criminal of the Free World, Arfoire, has defeated the four CPUs of Gamindustri. It is now up to their younger sisters to free them from captivity.
Last year Double Fine has revealed the intention of releasing some of their classic titles on PC and consoles with a HD retouch. The first title to receive this special treatment is Grim Fandango, a 1998 dark comedy neo-noir adventure that Tim Schafer as the game’s project leader.
Ubisoft will re-release in HD Edition the turn-based strategy classic Heroes of Might & Magic 3: The Restoration of Erathia at the end of January 2015 on PC, Ipads and Android tablets. The moment of re-launching the game was well planned, because this year we will celebrate the 20th anniversary since the Heroes series first launched.
Dontnod Entertainment, the studio responsible for Remember Me, will launch the first episode of their episodic interactive video game “Life is Strange” at the end of January. The story focuses on Maxine Caulfield, a photography student who discovers that she has the ability to rewind time at any moment, leading her every choice to enact the butterfly effect.
This is the list of the video games that have been announced for launch in January 2015, a list that can be expanded in the next weeks if new titles are going to hit the stores. As you saw, the trend at this moment is to re-release old games for the new consoles or portable devices, but games like Dying Light, Life is Strange and Raven’s Cry are the proof that there is always room for something new.
Until next month I want to ask you which of those titles are you eager to play as soon as they become available?
I choose to play games because of their storylines and not their graphics. If a game doesn’t have a good story, that makes you connect with the protagonist or other characters, then you won’t remember it after a couple of years.