On to more positive things today! Our best surprise category takes into account the games that came out of nowhere to shock us in the past 12 months, but in the best ways possible. Maybe it was a game that came out of nowhere, maybe it was a game we thought would be terrible, maybe it was a completely sneak release.
And the winner is…
Asim: I was already looking forward to this, but never expected to like Supermassive’s interactive teen horror game this much. Until Dawn achieves exactly what it sets out to do. It delivers a story and characters that are better than most modern horror movies, keeping you on the edge of your seat until the credits roll. The fact that you control what happens (almost like a director) is the icing on an already very delicious cake. Sure, it doesn’t do anything groundbreaking, but there are some interesting ideas and choice mechanics present, all executed brilliantly. It’s also a game you can enjoy with a partner or family member, making decisions together (or arguing) as you progress.
Gari: After seeing and playing Until Dawn at both E3 and Gamescom, I enjoyed the small chunks of what I did play, but was worried that the overall package once released would be very forgetful and wouldn’t offer much in terms of length and more importantly, depth. Once the game was out in the wild, It hit me just how special this game was. A compelling story alongside brilliant voice acting and a game that had me hooked from start to finish, Until Dawn was a title that really shocked me at just how refreshing and enjoyable it was and although there are titles similar to it out there, Until Dawn offers something that others don’t in terms of it’s fantastic teen horror setting made famous by movies such as Scream and I Know What You Did Last Summer. Until Dawn had favourably positive reviews and rightly so. Do yourself a favour and buy Until Dawn as there really isn’t anything else like it and not only is it one of the best titles of 2015, its one of the best games you’ll get to play in this generation so far.
Nico: I’m not sure about you, but while I was excited about this game and the build up, I never expected to be as drawn in and feel the emotions I did whilst playing through Until Dawn. This is the style of game that is for a niche audience, but it may just spread across to more simply because of how good it is!
EVERYBODY’S GONE TO THE RAPTURE
Deb: I had heard many things across social media about this game, seen many screenshots and read into the hype around it, but honestly at first it just didn’t seem to grab my attention. This all changed once I heard the soundtrack. I did a little digging into the game and whilst it didn’t sound like much I decided to give it a shot based on the musical score. I now look back now and wish I had jumped on it right away! The graphics were absolutely stunning; I felt like I had actually been transported to this quite village. The story was bewildering at first, not to mention there were a few small annoyances like the walking speed (since sped up!) but as the pieces came together and I explored the vast beauty this town had to offer I was utterly captivated. I was surprised at how many different emotions welled up inside me, and not for a long time have I experienced a story so deep. By the end I was in tears and lost for words. Truly, this game surpassed all my expectations and then some. It has left such a huge impression on me, made me look at the world differently and there just aren’t enough words to explain it; it just resonates with my soul.
Nick: I knew I wanted a tycoon style game to reinvigorate my old passion for titles like Theme Hospital and Dungeon Keeper, so grabbed myself a copy of Introversion Software’s Prison Architect thinking it would burn a few hours if nothing else. One month later I was still trying to figure out more efficient layouts and prison plans. The visuals are clean and simple, the gameplay can be deep and rewarding, and it’s as addictive as some of the best tycoon games ever made.
Ben: Platinum Games. Transformers Generation 1. A match made in heaven. This came out of nowhere, leaking a few days before E3, then finally getting announced and released within the space of a couple of months. A fantastic game that’s now ridiculously cheap, Transformers Devastation is a fast paced nostalgic romp with enough disguised robots to shake a stick at.
Charles: I have been a FIFA fan since around 2009 when FIFA ripped my allegiance from PES by being a better game in my opinion. This year is the first time since then that I have strongly considered buying PES and it has on occasion actually made me think it is better than FIFA.
WOLFENSTEIN: THE OLD BLOOD
Robin: For a low-budget spin-off, The Old Blood delivered a lot of content, that carried on from the simple, old-fashioned FPS fun of The New Order.
And there we have it! Were you as surprised as us? Join us tomorrow for even more Game of the Year 2015 content, where we’ll be talking through the old games that kept us coming back for more this year.