Published on January 22nd, 2016 | by Matt
GOTY 2015 Laurentius’ Top 5
2015 brought some interesting and fun games, although for me most of it was dominated by a couple titles. A lot of anticipation followed for some of these games, and in certain cases, the hype may have hurt rather than helped. With my own game experience being so much more limited than in years passed some quality games like Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain, Halo 5, Call of Duty: Black Ops 3, and Laura Croft: Rise of the Tomb Raider passed me by without me being able to experience them in time for this review. The list that follows is my personal top five, and comes through the lens of my more limited gaming experience this year.
5. Minecraft: Story Mode
One of the many Telltale games that came out this year and one of the more anxiously anticipated games, for good or for ill. With a strong voice cast like Patton Oswald, Catherine Taber, Ashley Johnson, Martha Plimpton, and Brian Posehn, as well as the strong writing which Telltale is known for this game exceeded my expectations for how good it would be. It is still a work in progress, so we shall see if its quality holds up over the later episodes.
4. Just Cause 3
This game is fun. Just flat out fun. Just Cause 3 follows in the footsteps of its predecessor, but tightens up the elements of travel and pacing that bugged me so much in Just Cause 2. The plot is still not the greatest and my most memorable experiences with this game came from goofing around with explosions and tethers more than accomplishing objectives. There are some great character moments which made me laugh, but some of the deeper moments were lost on me due to not knowing the full backstory. The wing suit and the dual tethers made for interesting gameplay moments and allowed you to go through the game without needing any bullets, although bullets do definitely help.
3. Fallout 4
Fallout. Fallout rarely changes.
This game was as highly anticipated as they come, and for me I was waiting with bated breath to explore the Commonwealth and get to collecting those caps. While it was good (and I am still crunching through the game) there are some frustrating mechanics which keeps this game from moving any higher on this list for me. The ability to mod any weapon and most clothing to add stats make for interesting builds, and the ability to name guns have me making lots of fun puns and sometimes, blatantly ripping off Destiny (more on that game later). The settlement mechanic, while a fun concept, in practice does not have enough tools to be truly impressive without using console commands on the PC which, as a PS4 player of this game, makes it a failed mechanic with the current in-game tools. The visual bugs in the game are rampant, but do make for some funny moments, like hitting a guy so hard his limbs start rotating around his body like a clock. Overall, the failed settlement mechanic, the visual bugs, the mediocre writing, and the lack of choice in quests keep this good game from cracking the top two.
2. Tales from the Borderlands: A Telltale Games Series
Quite possibly the best Telltale Game I’ve played to present. With the talents of the superb Laura Bailey, Troy Baker, Ashley Johnson(again), Patrick Warburton, and Chris Hardwick this game makes a fun rip roaring adventure in the world of Pandora with great original characters mingling with characters from Borderlands 2 in an interesting and great way. The musical direction of this game was top notch, and it lead me to some awesome new music that I now listen to all the time. It also managed to build and improve with each episode. The Borderlands cell shaded style lead very well to Telltale Games’ distinctive style and it managed to incorporate relatively tight shooting mechanics in certain scenes. The characters were well written and performed superbly solidifying its place here at number 2.
1. Destiny: The Taken King
This expansion to what may have been the most disappointing games of 2014 helped turned around Destiny for me, and actually got me back into the game. The King’s Fall raid has lasted longer than any other raid in Destiny without any sort of cheesing of the mechanics. Also, with the implementation of challenge mode for the hard mode version of the raid helps keep the raid fresh and greatly improves the loot drop system, and seeing all those drops when the challenge mode kill is accomplished makes it feel worthwhile of the effort put forth. The challenge mode also helps to increase variety in the raid which gives Destiny some more legs. This installment also actually had a good story, something that last year’s base game lacked due to the development hell that happened just before it came out. The fact that this game which I had written off in July was able to attract me back in and get me to log in every other day solidifies its place as top game of 2015 for me.