The best PC games of 2015 and 2014

Here on the PC there’s new games every week, and that trend’s not getting bucked in 2015. Infact, it looks like 2014 shooed off all the top PC games and decided to be a year of tension building before the world of games explodes in 2015, showering us with all kinds of treasures from extraordinary space adventures to sneaky heist simulations.

This is our list of what to watch out for in the next twelve months. Some we’ve already played, some we’ve only just heard about, but they all make us super excited to be gamers this year.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

Gaming’s prettiest RPG returns in The Witcher 3 and this time we’re going true open world, allowing monster hunter Geralt to thunder around on horseback seamlessly from town to forests. After the last game’s regicide plot, Wild Hunt will spin a yarn much closer to Geralt’s heart as he attempts to crack the mystery of his past.

Expect dark moral choices to pounce on you from every corner, and the consequences of your actions in the previous games to hound you. Wise decisions won’t be limited to just conversations, with combat now having a solid set of new magic signs to bolster Geralt’s arsenal. There’s now even choice in navigation, as Geralt can climb cliff-faces and hike lesser-trod paths. It’s all in aid of creating the most liberating RPG on the planet. Should developer CD Projekt succeed, The Witcher 3 will be 2015’s most engrossing RPG.

 

Grand Theft Auto V

We’ve been forced to wait over a year for it to arrive, but when Grand Theft Auto V hits PC we get the best version possible: huge resolution textures, heavier traffic, more wildlife to hunt, a first-person view, and framerates not determined to bog you down. GTA’s satirical Los Angeles is huge, and it’s going to look phenomenal on PC.

It’s also a great game too, perhaps the best GTA Rockstar have made. Three distinctly different protagonists that you can swap between at any point drive the action, and the missions on offer never fail to entertain. And then there’s GTA Online vying to become your weekend multiplayer go-to; a sandbox to get together with friends in and run amok, rob every bank in the state, and buy a sweet penthouse.

 

Dying Light

Techland’s successor to their Dead Island games, Dying Light is an open-world shooter that takes Dead Island’s gleefully gory heart, adds parkour, and features a day/night cycle crucial to the game’s core. Night is to be feared: that’s when the worst of the worst of Dying Light’s nightmarish shamblers come out to play, and hopping from rooftop-to-rooftop may well be the best option when it comes to survival. Hopefully Dying Light proves to be a much more technically competent game that its predecessor (Dead Island was notoriously rough around the edges), and becomes a co-op necessity for zombie lovers everywhere.

Read what Rob thinks of Dying Light here.

 

Total War: Attila

395 AD is the year. The Hunnic Empire are rising. Soon to be led by Attila, they will become the greatest threat the Roman Empire has ever seen. This is the stage for Creative Assembly’s next grand strategy. Hopefully learning from their mistakes on Total War: Rome II, Attila will bring the political and military strategy pillars we’d expect from a Total War game, but with a few new flavours. Thanks to the existing strength of the Western Roman Empire, your starting location will be larger and stronger than typical Total War starts, yet plagued with political strife and diplomatic fights. This signals a much improved diplomacy system, but worry not if burning your enemies to the ground is your preferred approach. Total War: Atilla features destructible constructs and a new ‘raze’ mechanic to put entire towns to the sword.

Evolve

Evolve is the ultimate cage match. It’s four players trapped in a closed-off forest armed with massive shooters and insane gadgets. But they’re not fighting each other. No, they’re up against a massive monster – also player controlled – who as the match goes on can scoff its face to force itself to evolve into bigger, meaner forms. Just quite who is the hunter and who is the hunted in Evolve isn’t clear cut, but to win the humans must work as a close-knit team to corner the beast and blast it apart.

There’s a fair amount of Left 4 Dead in Evolve’s DNA, but its interesting approach asymmetry is what makes it one to watch. Between encounters with the monster, the co-op players have fleeting moments of quiet, and the tension begins to boil. The puppeteer of the monster has control of when to burst this bubble, allowing them a degree of psychological warfare as they ratchet up the fear before bursting out and roasting everyone in a breath of fire.

 

Homefront: The Revolution

After the cookie-cutter FPS that was Homefront, the last thing we expected from the franchise was the truly excellent-looking Homefront: The Revolution. Now in the hands of Crytek, the Korean invasion of the USA has gone open-world for a more Far Cry-like experience. Philadelphia is The Revolution’s home city, and will house the game’s uprising against the occupying Korean forces. It’s an uprising of four players, as Homefront is fully playable in co-op. Crytek are going for a broad set of open-world activities, and completing each will have a noticeable effect on the streets of Philadelphia.

Read Julian’s impressions of Homefront: The Revolution here.

 

Batman: Arkham Knight

Rocksteady are back behind the wheel of the Arkham series this year, and they’re rolling out the big guns. No, not Batman’s impressive arms, but his Lamborghini-come-tank personal transporter, the Batmobile. With the streets of Gotham city finally opened up, the Arkham series’ staple of swift, fluid combat now comes packaged with destructive car chases.

The Joker is also absent from proceedings due to the events of Arkham City, which means that Rocksteady have to get inventive when it comes to a new antagonist. Whilst there will be plenty of the Dark Knight’s expansive rogues gallery involved, the central villain is the Arkham Knight, a techno mirror-image of Batman with an equally tight-lipped approach to identity. With a bit of luck, the Arkham Knight mystery will be one to rival the Bat’s greatest cases.

 

Mad Max

Finally an official Road Warrior game is on its way thanks to Just Cause developers Avalanche. There’s been very little of the game shown so far, but expect Mad Max to offer up an open-world that expands the films’ universe, with vehicular carnage being the main element of the game.

With the Just Cause guys pulling the strings, you already know that the Mad Max films’ sense of violent insanity will be transferred wholesale into the game.

 

Rainbow Six: Siege

Rainbow Six: Siege wows thanks to its absurdly destructible environments. Machineguns perfectly puncture plasterboards and C4 charges reduce floorboards to splinters. But not only is Siege a violent eulogy to military hardware, it also harks back to Rainbow Six of old. Siege’s multiplayer has a separate planning phase that requires both sides to make initial tactical decisions. For Team Rainbow it’s sending drone into the hot zone to locate a hostage. For Team Terrorist it’s barricading windows with shutters and reinforcing walls with bulletproof braces.

With preparations made, the chaos ensues. E3’s multiplayer reveal demonstrated a Counter-Strike style single-life system, with players falling in battle not resurrecting until the next round. Deaths are announced loudly with a big HUD prompt, and acts as a constant reminder that you may soon be the last hope your team has of victory. It’s a kind of pressure we can’t wait to experience.

Witness Rainbow Six: Siege‘s lethal multiplayer here.

Pillars of Eternity

Leading a pack of nostalgic RPGs in 2015 is Pillars of Eternity, Obsidian’s spiritual successor to the Forgotten Realms games of yesteryear. Headed up by RPG superstar Chris Avellone, the Pillars of Eternity team have created a brand new universe with untold stories, unseen races, and unexplored dungeons. This is perhaps the most exciting element of Pillars of Eternity; it’s bespoke. Virgin. Fresh.

With that new world comes the promise of complex RPG systems and real-time combat that embraces all the possibilities of multi-character parties. The combinations and timing of attacks will be vital to making it through Eternity’s encounters alive. It’s a challenge that no doubt has Icewind Dale veterans grinning with glee.

Read Fraser and Jeremy’s impressions of Pillars of Eternity here

 

Overwatch

Blizzard haven’t developed an new IP since it launched the StarCraft universe back in 1998, so Overwatch is a massive new step for the company. It’s also in a genre that they’ve never attempted before: multiplayer FPS. Overwatch is Team Fortress meets DOTA. Its cartoony visual style and frantic pace make it exciting, whilst the use of hero characters demands players learn how to effectively use multiple sets of unique abilities.

Like a MOBA, mastering the skills of all heroes will be vital to knowing both your capabilities and your enemy’s, but the experience is wrapped up in the much more familiar shooter package. Not only does Overwatch look mechanically refined, but like all other Blizzard games there will be an unfolding narrative to get on-board with too. And any story featuring a bespectacled gorilla in power armour is sure to be something worth paying attention to. When it finally releases in 2015, it’s going to become an instant hit.

Read Tim’s impressions on Overwatch’s reveal

 

No Man’s Sky

Space is in right now, and Hello Games’ interplanetary exploration game No Man’s Sky is showing off something really stellar: procedural generation. You see, all of No Man’s Sky’s universe is created on the fly by computer code. There’s not one planet, one alien creature, or one asteroid that’s been crafted purely by an artist or designer. Which means in almost everything you do, you’re the first to do it.

It’s also an intensely beautiful game. As you descend into a planet’s atmosphere the inky blackness of space gives way to bold, fluorescent colours. Thick forests filled with interesting beasts are just begging to be explored. And considering there’s no real aim of No Man’s Sky other than exploring the galaxy, it’s a good job finding these uncharted worlds seems so compelling.

 

Heroes of the Storm

It wasn’t going to be long until Blizzard entered the MOBA fray, and Heroes of the Storm is their stab at taking on Dota and League of Legends. Yet this 5v5 arena game isn’t just another Dota clone. Instead Blizzard are making a game that appears to be vastly more accessible than your regular MOBA, whilst still tightly holding on to the core characteristics of the genre such as complex heroes and memorising skill sets.

The heroes in question are favourites chosen from Blizzard’s IPs – Warcraft, Diablo, and StarCraft – and bring their unique approaches to battle arenas that not only ask teams to defeat each other, but also complete side-quests. Heroes of the Storm has multiple maps, each with unique themes and quests built in to divide up your attention. One requires you to power up a golem that can rampage through your enemy’s base, whilst another allows you to transform into an unstoppable Dragon Knight if you capture a shrine. Not only does this provide variety, but it’s intensely fun. And that’s what will be Heroes of the Storm’s key appeal when it finally hits in 2015.

Read Tim and Nick’s impressions of Heroes of the Storm here.

 

Satellite Reign

Satellite Reign is a spiritual successor to Syndicate, and unlike the 2012 reboot not only looks and plays like the original game but also appears to be quite good. The Blade Runner-inspired cityscape looks absolutely stunning, and will be the perfect stage for your squad of cyberpunk soldiers to storm about – huge coats billowing – and splatter brains all over the pavement. The combat looks satisfyingly tactical with shades of both the original Syndicate games and modern real-time tactics games. It certainly looks to be yet another nostalgic Kickstarter success.

 

Star Wars: Battlefront

We all got a little sad when Star Wars: Battlefront III was cancelled, but Battlefield developer DICE has taken on the series to bring us a reboot that should bring a smile back to our faces. So far the development process has been kept a tight secret, but the brief footage revealed at E3 2014 showed a stunningly photo-realistic recreation of Star Wars’ most iconic locations. DICE are already masters at combined arms warfare, so the mix of giant walkers, hurtling speeders, and on-foot troopers should be in good hands.

The Division

Ubisoft promise an awful lot with The Division: a wide-open apocalyptic city that houses an MMO shooter that doesn’t stick to the MMO rulebook. Played as a co-op third person shooter, the Division offers up Tom Clancy-inspired missions in a world devastated by a plague spread through the handling of money (fun metaphor!). But as you explore the city’s absurdly detailed streets, you may come across squads of other players also trying to survive.

Despite a revolutionary-feeling first reveal, information on The Division has been scarce. But it’s clear that this is a game with distinct ambition. Ambition that we pray it can deliver on.

 

SOMA

A science-fiction horror set in an underwater research facility, the masterminds behind Amnesia: The Dark Descent at Frictional Games may have left creepy old mansions behind, but they’re holding tight onto pure terror with SOMA. Scant details have revealed terrifying machines that slowly begin to take on human characteristics, and screenshots released so far show a blend of Bioshock and Alien. We’re positive that SOMA will be as freaky and intriguing as both.

 

Dead Island 2

While Techland make a Dead Island game called Dying Light, Spec Ops: The Line developer Yager are hard at work on the real Dead Island 2. They’re sticking tightly to the insane formula of the first game, with absurd weapons and a focus on bashing things until they burst in a torrent of ketchup. But this time there’s a brighter, more cartoonish look to the game, which seems to enable a further leap in the insanity levels. It looks faster, more comedic, more bloody. Hopefully it will also be more finished, and thus a whole lot better than its predecessors.

 

Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain

For once in its life, Metal Gear Solid is treating the PC like a first class citizen and coming to the platform in a timely fashion. Built on the fancy new FOX engine, MGS5 is a huge leap for the series, featuring expansive, open-ended levels that allow players to pick their approach to objectives and freely play about with the game’s systems. From using a horse as moving concealment to attaching a sky-lift parachute to enemies you need to quickly move out the way, Snake has a plethora of toys available to him that both fulfil tactical needs and the level of idiosyncrasies expected from MGS creator Hideo Kojima.

 

Torment: Tides of Numenera

Alongside Pillars of Eternity, another RPG looking to get you all warm and fuzzy with nostalgia is Torment: Tides of Numenera. A spiritual successor to Planescape: Torment, this classic isometric roleplayer will carry on the heavy themes of its inspiration, but transfer the action to the setting of Numenera (an already established pen-n-paper RPG world). Expect a heavily story-led, dialogue-rich campaign exploring the darkest corners of existence and mortality, a solid helping of wit, and tactical combat rife with opportunity. With Wasteland 2 director Brian Fargo driving the project forward, and a team including veterans from the original Torment game, Tide of Numenera could become the successor we’ve been waiting 15 years for.

 

Star Citizen

Without a doubt the most wildly ambitious game of 2015, Star Citizen aims to be the ultimate space exploration game. Taking to the skies in one of numerous ridiculously detailed craft, you will be able to engage in military service, become a reputable trader of goods, live the life of a smuggler, or become a universe-famous race pilot. But Star Citizen doesn’t stop there. Unlike most space games you can disembark from your ship and walk around planets and space stations in first person to trade face-to-face with NPCs. And then, should things get hairy, you can pull guns out on your enemies as the game becomes a first person shooter.

At its core Star Citizen is a player-driven experience, with numerous pilots interacting with each other to drive the universe forward. Completing specific government approved actions will help you become a ‘citizen’, which will grant you bonuses such as tax-breaks. And whilst this sandbox-based systems-heavy world is the lifeblood of Star Citizen, there’s still a more cinematic, narrative-led experience to be had in Squadron 42: the game’s singleplayer/co-op campaign. Star Citizen really does have the scope to be a game for everyone then, and it’s immediately clear that all of its $60million crowdfunded budget is going somewhere special.

 

Human Orbit

Messing with people’s lives and minds may be inadvisable in real life, but in Human Orbit it’s the main game mechanic. Set aboard a space station floating above an alien planet, Human Orbit casts you as a malfunctioning droid with the ability to tap into the ship’s core systems. And with that power, the lives of the 100 crewmembers are suddenly at your mercy. There are obvious pranks that you can pull – luring someone into an airlock and then flushing them out – but it’s the more subtle manipulations that make the game intriguing. Choose a low-ranking cleaner and through email hacks, dietary changes, and tactical ‘accidents’, boost them up the career ladder until they stand at the helm of the entire ship. As a ‘choose your own goals’ game the possibilities in Human Orbit seem endless. Provided the AI of the crew is complex enough for the systems to work, Human Orbit could well be a meddler’s paradise.

Read Julian’s preview of Human Orbit here.

 

StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void

The final piece of the StarCraft II puzzle, Legacy of the Void swings the point of view around to the Protoss camp. A race of hyper-advanced, ethereal beings, playing Protoss equips you with an intense variety of laser-shooting, teleporting machines and craft that offer up an exceptionally different tactical approach than the Terran and Zerg armies of the previous two games.

The main pillar of Legacy of the Void will be the campaign, which sees Protoss High Templar Artanis cope with the splintering of the his race and the breakdown of diplomacy between each of the Protoss factions. New units will be provided to Artanis depending on what faction you decide to ally with, making narrative choices an important long-term gameplay decision. Alongside diplomatic struggles, the Protoss will also have to face a new evil in the form of Amon, a threat that also targets both the Zerg and Terran forces. Blizzard are clearly aiming for an epic face-off for the conclusion of the StarCraft II saga.

The campaign’s new units will make an appearance in the multiplayer too, which will also undergo refinements and changes to ensure StarCraft II remains a constantly exciting fixture on the eSports circuit.

 

Armikrog

3D graphics are overrated. Real developers work in clay. Armikrog, the Kickstarter project from Doug TenNapel, is a point and click adventure entirely sculpted from clay. A spiritual successor to TenNapel’s beloved The Neverhood and created by largely the same team, it’s an irreverent off-the-wall story about spaceman Tommynaut and his blind dog Beak-Beak who solve a bunch of undoubtedly insanely difficult puzzles in attempt to escape the Armikrog fortress. The distinct style and humour of the game is the clear pull here, but we’re also exceptionally excited to hear the soundtrack from bonkers composer Terry Scott Taylor.

 

Just Cause 3

There’s nothing quite like Just Cause’s unique brand of sandbox mayhem, and while Just Cause 2’s multiplayer has been happily keeping everyone busy, developer Avalanche have a few ideas on how to kick the action up a few notches. Just Cause 3 will relocate grapple-hook enthusiast Rico to the Mediterranean to crash a helicopter (or similar) into the face of evil dictator Di Ravello. The new map will be around the same size as Just Cause 2’s, but with significantly more verticality, meaning taller buildings to scale, and subterranean caves to go spelunking in.

Unfortunately Just Cause 3 won’t be shipping with multiplayer, but we’re pretty sure that there’ll be more than enough rocket-propelled insanity parachuting down with the single player to make this a justified pick-up.

 

Project CARS

Another crowdfunding success story, Project CARS offers a sandbox experience for racing enthusiasts. Pick your preferred racing style and attempt to make a career out of it. From small, nimble karts to high-performance F1 cars, there’s a multitude of different motorsport paths to pursue, with realistically recreated tracks to compete on.

Built on the Need for Speed: Shift engine, developer Slightly Mad Studios has worked with motorsport veterans such as Top Gear’s ex-Stig Ben Collins and Touring Car Cup winner Nicolas Hamilton (brother of Lewis) to ensure their simulation is as painstakingly accurate as possible. Systems to ensure tires behave as they should and how weather affects car handling are all implemented to make sure Project CARS is a key event on the racing game calendar.

 

Prison Architect

Everyone and their dog has been playing Prison Architect for months now thanks to its long use of the Steam Early Access model, but it will only be in 2015 that the game finally exits beta testing and becomes a full game ready to take its stabilisers off. At the moment Prison Architect feels like a group of well-functioning but obviously still in development systems. Hopefully by the time it’s released these systems will have knitted together to make a complex and reactive simulator that allows you to bring down the heavy hammer of the law on all those damn tiny convicts. It’s all they deserve, after all.

Armello

A combination of board game-inspired hex tile, turn-based moves and battle cards, Armello asks you to march upon The King; a monarch suffering from The Rot. Each turn his symptoms become worse, and he must be eliminated – by force or by curing the Rot – in order to win the game.

The board and characters are lovingly drawn in a hand-animated style, and the anthropomorphic animal soldiers in the game have a enchanted, fable-like quality to them. The systems appear to be exceptionally intricately designed for a tight game, and procedural elements and a questing system make each new match of Armello a unique playthrough. There’s online multiplayer, but local play with friends around the same PC looks like the setting where Armello will really shine.

 

Superhot

When it first appeared as a browser game in 2013, Superhot wowed with its imaginative rethink of what made an FPS. Out the window went pray-and-spray tactics and sprinting between cover. Instead Superhot turns shooting into a carefully considered strategic dance. Time only flows when you’re moving, which means standing still brings the game to a complete stop. That gives you time to assess your surroundings, discover where enemies are, and predict where bullets will travel. Pull the trigger yourself to put bullets ready to fly when you start walking again, and then sprint to put your plan into action. The whole system brings an odd turn-based strategy feel to the proceedings, and the level of thought required makes this a game to stand alongside Portal rather than Call of Duty.

Thanks to a Kickstarter campaign, what was a tiny experiment made in seven days is going to become a full game in 2015. It could also be the freshest, most exciting shooter of the year.

 

Volume

Indie darling Mike Bithell returns in 2015 with Volume, and whilst it couldn’t be more different from his breakthrough act Thomas Was Alone, it will require the same intelligent approach. Volume is a stealth game heavily inspired by the first Metal Gear Solid game. Demanding exactly zero contact with the enemy and absolute silence from your actions, Volume requires swift planning and execution and the use of decoys to complete a variety of heists.

As with Thomas Was Alone, there’s a strong narrative that runs alongside its complex gameplay. A sci-fi retelling of the Robin Hood legend, Volume’s lead Robert Locksley will perform heists in an AI simulation (voiced by Danny Wallace) and face off against Andy Serkis’ Guy Gisborne. The heist simulator can also be used to construct player-made levels, meaning there will likely be a strong collection of new maps on Steam Workshop within weeks of Volume releasing.

 

Heat Signature

Heat Signature is a game all about breaking into spaceships. Zooming around the galaxy in a tiny defenceless craft, it’s your job to complete randomly-assigned mission objectives such as ‘Steal this massive dreadnaught’ or ‘assassinate this captain’. To achieve these objectives you’ll need to sneak up on some procedurally generated ships, dock with them, and then creep around their interiors trying to find their secrets.

Developed by Tom Francis, the chap behind Gunpoint, Heat Signature looks to have the same fascination with turning systems on their head and using the environment to your advantage. Like Gunpoint’s hero detective, your character in Heat Signature is unarmed and completely defenseless. Keeping your heat signature low and off the enemy’s radar will be imperative.

 

Maia

A colony building and management game with heavy 1970s sci-fi influences, Maia asks you to attempt to secure a foothold on the planet 3452C[maia]. There is a problem though: it’s a desolate, toxic, solar-flare ridden rock that will do pretty much anything to ensure life fails on its surface.

Taking cues from the likes of Dungeon Keeper and The Sims, Maia requires you to not only anchor in and set up base, but keep your colony going and expanding. The hostile geography of Maia will ensue this is a tough ask, but to make matters worse your colonists need to be kept happy and well for fear that they’ll all go insane.

Maia is currently in Early Access on Steam, and is due to upgrade to full version in 2015.

 

Frozen Cortex

Developer Mode7 transfer the turn based tactics of Frozen Synapse into the sports arena with Frozen Cortex; a futuristic game of American Football. Like its more murderous older sibling, Frozen Cortex requires you to plan out moves against an opponent and then execute them. The big difference between the Frozen games and traditional turn based games though is that players take their turns simultaneously, making a game much more about predicting your enemy’s movements rather than reacting to them.

The football setting is perfect for the Frozen formula, allowing you the time to make tactical choices for every one of your players, and capitalising on sport competitiveness. The addition of leagues and seasons make it a game that will quite happily sit in our multiplayer rotation.

 

Rise of the Tomb Raider

Rebooted Lara returns for another gritty adventure in Rise of the Tomb Raider, but things aren’t all hunky dory for our favourite ancient treasure hunter. After the harrowing nightmare that was her tenure on the island of Yamatai, Lara is seeking mental health counseling to help her deal with the resulting post-traumatic stress. But whilst a game exploring the mind and motivations of Lara would be an interesting diversion, we doubt she’s going to be lying on the consultation couch long. From the cinematic trailer, it looks like we can expect a trip to colder, wetter regions populated by bears as we embark on a further journey through Lara’s formative years.

 

Doom

The original FPS makes its return in 2015, and Doom doesn’t intend to learn from the modern shooter crowd. Instead it’s going back to what made the original game great: dodging bullets, chainsawing up hellspawn, and generally being a bit of a badass. There’s no cover or bouncing health bar here, just massive boomsticks, absurd amounts of gore, and a pace that doesn’t give up. Essentially a remake of the original game built on the very flash id Tech 6 engine, so far it appears Doom will look and play brilliantly.

Read Tim’s first impressions of Doom here.

 

Predictions and Rumours

Assassin’s Creed

2015 will of course see an Assassin’s Creed game release, and it feels like we could be heading back to the high seas. Edward Kenway was the series’ best received Assassin since Ezio, and the ability to sail the open oceans was absolutely liberating. Unity’s Paris feels tiny in comparison, but we’re willing to bet that the smaller scale is just a testing ground for the new graphics tech. With all the bugs worked out and the developers comfortable with the new engine, a shiny sequel to Black Flag must surely be on the cards. Co-op naval battles? Yes please.

Call of Duty

It’s Treyarch’s turn to take up the Call of Duty reigns again, and this time will have the added freedom of the new three-year development cycle Activision have adopted. Treyarch work within their own universe, but we’re expecting them to move on from the Black Ops storyline to compete with the newness of Advanced Warfare. There will most certainly be a new gimmick; we’ve recently had a dog and Kevin Spacey so there’s a lot to live up to. We also hope that they’ll revisit Strike Missions; non-linear branches to the main campaign that never worked in Black Ops II, but is a glimmer of innovation the series sorely needs.

Fallout 4

Todd Howard and his team from Bethesda have been suspiciously quiet since Skyrim released in 2011, so they’re certainly at work on something. That something is surely Fallout 4. It’s been six years since Bethesda resurrected the Fallout games with Fallout 3, and since then they’ve developed a new engine that’s been primed and tested by Skyrim and is now ready to power a filthy retro future. Rumours have circled around the web about a Boston setting and various attached voice actors, and even a trademark filed on the title “Fallout 4: Shadow of Boston”. Bethesda have done all they can to debunk these rumours, but considering the wait, the lack of output from the team, and the logic of the Elder Scrolls/Fallout cycle, Fallout 4 is surely on the horizon.

Left 4 Dead 3

Valve quickly followed up Left 4 Dead with a sequel, but the wait for a third entry in the zombie co-op shooter series has been longer than any of us would like. It’s been made worse by the odd tidbit of information that has escaped Valve’s sealed doors. First we had screenshots of a presentation that showed Left 4 Dead 2’s Plantation level recreated in Source 2.0, and then later on in the year ex-Valve employee and Counter-Strike creator Minh Le claimed in an interview to have seen Left 4 Dead 3’s concept art.

Our best bet: Left 4 Dead 3 will be Valve’s Source 2.0 debut. The new engine needs to make an appearance soon since the original version of Source is now a decade old. And with the lessons Valve have learnt from Dota 2, we could well see a beta version of L4D3 in 2015.

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