So you’ve read our Top 5 Staff Picks for PC gaming in 2015, but you know there are more games coming than that, right?
Developer: Turtle Rock Studios
Publisher: 2K Games
Release Date: February 10, 2015
Turtle Rock Studios may have kept quiet on Evolve a bit longer than the others in this list, but that does not mean that this game is any less anticipated.
Evolve is a re-imagining of a cooperative first-person shooter (FPS) that promises to upend the genre completely. You play either the adaptable monsters, who grow and undergo these proverbial evolutions in the game, or join the hunters. These human hunters form four person teams in an effort to subdue these monsters.
The co-op atmosphere of the game designed for online multiplayer, with each character (hunter and monster alike) provided with unique capabilities. With introduction of various choices, it will players to try each one and find one that fits your given playstyle. However, Turtle Rock isn’t repeating the mistake made by other games and will allow you to play the game in offline and in single player modes.
While there are various options for matches, there still is one fallback to the main storyline that is implemented. It won’t actually have a separate story single player campaign; but more interestingly, you will be able to switch freely between the four hunters. While not in use, AI will take over all others, allowing for a drop-in and drop-out style of play. In a sense, this options adds a layer of real-time strategy (RTS) to the evolved FPS experience.
To drive it further home, there are other areas in which we foresee Evolve setting itself apart from the Call of Duty’s and Battlefields with a truly novel idea. While it isn’t the only FPS looking to change up the genre’s conventions (between Splatoon, Overwatch, Titanfall, and Drawn to Death), this one has the weight of Left4Dead’s developer squad behind it.
Publisher: Warner Bros Interactive Entertainment
Release Date: January 27, 2015
Speaking of Left4Dead, you might ask: Where are all the quad-op zombie games? Techland and Warner Bros. Entertainment seem poised to satisfy that itch with an open world action adventure zombie game of their own. It won’t be long now before you get to see the Dying Light.
The game is set in a small city in Harran, Turkey, which has been subject to quarantine following an outbreak. The outbreak would have been the least of humanities worry, that is, if the infected hadn’t become a violent danger to others. The only hope for survival is Kyle Crane, an undercover operative that becomes witness to a breakdown of civilization’s rules.
Many might consider the similarities between this endeavor and Techland’s other zombie game, Dead Island, which some might become worrisome in the final product. At this point, it seems that many can rest assured the Polish devs learned their lesson in regards to the zombie bait DLC controversy. Writer Dan Jolley helped the team frame a story that will match the game’s quality, and they took special care to ensure they got representation of female characters right. You can read more about this here.
Outside the character development, there are a few things under the hood that have been set in place to frame the games graphical architecture. Techland promises an open world, dynamic day and night cycles, and a heady combination of free running and melee combat, that will make the game quite the engaging challenge. It is also rooted in the free-running sport known “parkour”, which will no doubt draw from a demanding physics engine. Above all else, Dying Light is poised to offer a superior experience on PCs, as it will output on 1080p, full 60FPS.
Developer: Slightly Mad Studios
Publisher: Slightly Mad Studios
Release Date: March 17, 2015 Windows / After Q1 2015 SteamOS
Slightly Mad Studios’ upcoming racer proves itself to be a rarity, offering a true multiplayer experience. The game is currently slated to launch on the Nintendo Wii U, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. More importantly, its expected to portray and prove its graphical prowess on Steam Machines and the Windows platform. Thanks to the unique way the game was funded and developed, Project CARS promises to be a stellar experience regardless of platform, but PC owners undeniably get the most potential.
So, what exactly pushes the game to top-tier performance on the PC? Slightly Mad wasn’t holding back when it considered 4K resolution to be included in the final production. Thanks to their deal with NVIDIA and Panasonic, the company is pushing the limits visually and with hardware performance. You may even recall this display where four NVIDIA Titan PCs outputted the game at full 4K, at 60Hz on three connected monitors.
STARCRAFT 2: LEGACY OF THE VOID
Developer: Blizzard Activision
Publisher: Blizzard Activision
Release Date: Unannounced
Many hardcore PC gamers would forgive you if you forgot that Blizzard’s Legacy of the Void is even a thing. While Starcraft was the biggest thing in eSports for many years, the proliferation of competitive PC games, in general, and the long period of time between the original and its sequel, has meant that Starcraft 2 has competed for the spotlight. However, the end result wasn’t exactly becoming the star of the show. Many would argue that the uneasy transition for Starcraft 2 into competitive gaming scene was largely due to the meticulous and dedicated South Korean pro gamers.
Here and now, however, we can look forward to a culmination of Blizzard’s sprawling epic, a story so large that they decided to split up Starcraft 2 into three different games. While Wings of Liberty and Heart of the Swarm focused on the stories of embittered Terran Jim Raynor and the vengeful Brood Queen, Sarah Kerrigan, respectively. Now, Legacy of the Void attempts to focus on Artanis, a high templar turned hierarch of the unified Protoss Protectorate. Artanis will struggle to rally his people and unify them in the looming final battle that will determine the fate of the world against the xel’naga, and their fearsome leader, Amon.
STAR WARS BATTLEFRONT
Developer: EA DICE
Release Date: Holiday 2015*
Understandably, there is still so much we do not know about this game,. However, that doesn’t put a damper on or dim any of the hype for it.
For those looking for confirmation, there has been a verified connection that the upcoming seventh Star Wars film will have with the game. There are things the new film will introduce that the people at EA DICE are privy to, and they will be able to add many of these features to the game as well. When you add in the fact that LucasFilm has declared that this will be the first of a new series of Star Wars media that will establish new canon, being that all current titles are currently restricted to the Extended Universe, Battlefront now rises to prominence as one of the most important games in the Star Wars fandom.
Many would ask: are EA DICE guaranteed to hit it out of the park? Not necessarily. The company has veteran developers under its belt, but the company’s reputation recently took a hit with the controversial release of Battlefield 4. To be brief, the game released in such a broken state that EA’s own shareholders pursued a class against the lawsuit against the company. The lawsuit remains ongoing.
Still, if you do not trust DICE to do justice to this game on its own, many can rest assured that LucasFilm is keeping a close watchful eye on their progress. Many know that DICE, as a studio, can produce good games. All problems aside, there was much to like even in Battlefield 4.
The studio has refined the way they make shooters, and those 20+ years of experience will serve them well in helping chart the future of Star Wars in games, as well as in popular culture.
Still, we would love to hear from you. What PC game are you looking forward to this 2015? Share your thoughts with us in the comments.