New IPs are considered what really fuels games industry. People don’t like sequels, even though the second game in a series is usually the best, but they’ve recently learnt there’s something worse than them – remasters. Anyway, 2015 is going to be pretty rich, talking about new intellectual properties, mainly because of indie developers getting bigger thanks to their previous successes and some AAA publisher that has made a good amount of careful investments on new titles included in well known genres like shooters. It’s great to see that those IP involve all the platforms now available on the market – from PC to Wii U, going through Xbox One and PlayStation 4 -, since this means the industry has finally understood the right way to grow and meet gamers’ expectations.
So, here you have the intellectual properties we think you should not miss in 2015. Let us know your opinion about them in the comments section below.
TOM CLANCY’S THE DIVISION
Ubisoft Massive is hard at work on Tom Clancy’s The Division, a game that promises to bring to PS4, Xbox One and PC the best of three genres: RPG, TPS and MMO. Gamers will be catapulted in a dangerous New York isolated because of a virus transmitted via the contact with money – a sophisticated metaphor of how much capitalism has harmed our world in the last thirty years or so. The Division will be about cooperation in almost every corner of its huge map, but there will be Dark Zones where gamers can fight each other in PvP: there you can gain some loot – rarity is based on colors as in Destiny -, if you are able to complete the session without dying and exit safe and sound those zones. Tom Clancy’s The Division is officially slated for 2015 but, at this point of the season and with Rainbow Six Siege incoming, we doubt it will make it before next year.
This exclusive game by Nintendo is finally about to unleash all the power of the TPS genre on Wii U. And it will do respecting the unique Nintendo style, making it almost a family game where you don’t have to kill any other gamer but just use your ink to fill the maps or reach any other given objective. I have played Splatoon at the last Gamescom and, apart from some issues handling the camera, it’s very nice… potentially a fresh take over a genre that has become increasingly more violent and repetitive in doing so. At the latest Nintendo Direct, it was announced that the game will have a local multiplayer mode for two gamers and a sort of Annex mode in which you have to conquer with ink all the zones of the map before your opponent does. Splatoon is slated for May 29 and we look forward to put our hands on it.
Slightly Mad Studios is going all-in with this new racing game that promises to revolutionize the console genre. Project CARS has been in development for years and has been delayed several times before finally reaching a solid May release date for PC, Xbox One and PlayStation 4. Among the peculiarities of this game, that will be based on multiple cars and tracks categories with different driving models, we see the development process completely backed by gamers via WMD (World of Mass Development) portal, where everyone who put some money on it could access early version and provide his feedback. So, basically, Project CARS could be the perfect racing game once it ships: shall this innovative process work? We’ll see next month
After several delays occurred to its beta, Deep Down is about to unleash on PlayStation 4, at least in Japan. Capcom has always shown a certain degree of optimism about the release of this ambitious free-to-play project for Sony’s current-gen console here in the West, so it is probable that by the end of the year we’ll see and play something concrete if not the complete game. In a first moment, Deep Down looked like the next-gen version of Dragon’s Dogma, the appreciated RPG for PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, but at deeper look it appeared clear that Capcom took a lot of inspiration from Souls series in doing it. If you add the procedurally generated dungeons, it even has something more in common with Bloodborne, that’s on the store shelves since March. And we don’t think there’s something to complain about this…
505 Games’ Adr1ft could be video games’ Gravity. The game seems to be inspired to Alfonso Cuaron’s movie, mainly because of its sci-fi space setting, and in fact you will be handling a man in orbit, floating around after the wreckage of his ship. There will be lots of physics to work on and that’s the reason why Adr1ft will be out exclusively on Windows PC, PS4 and Xbox One, and couldn’t be made on older hardware. TBD 2015, and we look forward to seeing more about it.
Capybara Games first introduced Below at E3 2013 during Microsoft’s press conference, and it suddenly had gamers’ attention: the team is the same that worked on Superbrothers: Sword and Sworcery EP, and it seems like they have all the intention to replicate that huge mobile success on Xbox One with a couple of interesting ideas. Part of the pack, in fact, will be the permanent deaths of your character and the very tiny protagonists with the camera pretty far away from the action. Looks like Capy wants us to feel the danger of being so distant from the surface. We’re ready to play it and hopefully we will this year.
EVERYBODY’S GONE TO THE RAPTURE
Do you remember Dear Esther, and all the controversy about paying for a game that short? Well, in my opinion it was among the best games I’ve ever experienced – beware, I said experienced, not player… that’s the difference – and, from the moment I bought it, The Chinese Room officially entered the list of my favorite developers. Now, the software house from Brighton is working on Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture, a PS4 exclusive being made with the cooperation of SCE Santa Monica Studio. The game will take place in a village in Shropshire during the Apocalypse and will follow the stories of six different characters as they approach the end of the world. The Chinese Room promised more gameplay in comparison with Dear Esther, as gamers will be able to have lots of interactions with the locations to understand what’s going on.
Planned to release in the first half of 2015, Inside is the new game from Playdead Studios. The creators of Limbo are working on this brand new IP, a 2.5D platform game that promises to maintain the gameplay the Danish studio has become famous for and try to innovate where needed – for example, the graphics. There will be some more color in the game, where it will have a deep meaning: as shown in the E3 2014 trailer, apart from light effects, there will only be red on the protagonists’ jacket, where everyone else will be grey, black or white. Inside is about to release on Xbox first.
Supermassive Games is about to offer his vision of horror games with Until Dawn. The title has been through the so called “development hell”, with its gameplay and story being revised a couple of times before reaching its current form. After Gamescom 2014, we have a teenager horror game with no more the use of PS Move and upgraded for PlayStation 4 in terms of graphics. Until Dawn is now defined by many the Heavy Rain of horror games, where your decision to support a friend of yours instead of another has an impact over the story. One more defining development choice regards the visuals: you will be able to pass from the lockdown shot à la classic Resident Evil to the more modern shot from behind the protagonists.
NO MAN’S SKY
No Man’s Sky promises to be a dream come true for sci-fi fans. Hello Games is hard at work to deliver a truly “open universe” experience, where planets are procedurally generated to provide an eternal sense of freshness and discovery. No Man’s Sky is based on exploration and includes upgrades like weapons for the player’s ship, but there will also be some sort of storyline to follow. The game will be out on PlayStation 4 first, but it is expected to arrive on Windows PC and Mac, too, and recently there’s been some talk about a Xbox One version. The official soundtrack is being made by 65Daysofstatic, an experimental/post-rock band that delivered an amazing live performance at Video Game Awards in 2013.
Controversial Jonathan Blow is preparing his explosive return to the games industry with The Witness, a new puzzle game that will ship for PlayStation 4 first. From the creator of the acclaimed Braid, one among the first indie games to reach critics and public success, The Witness will feature islands as main setting, each of them divided into subsections that gamers can explore to solve the way they can their puzzles. Each puzzle will teach players something useful for later puzzles, so the game experience will feel really fluid, and probably a bit less challenging and spooky than Braid.