I’ve been dreading this moment for far too long, today I had to make one of the most difficult decisions in my entire life. To choose between The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt and Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, only one can be the Game of the Year for 2015, so who goes home with the glory and will be remember for years to come and who will still be remembered for years to come?
Winner Winner Chicken Dinner: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is an absolute triumph , after far too long of a gaming drought, Witcher 3 picked me up, renewed my faith in gaming, and gave me one of the best experiences not only of 2015 but ever as a video game. Though I was a relative outsider to this and MGS V (I’ve played some but not all of the other installments in each franchise) picking up and playing this was easy as you’re engrossed into the world and search for someone who feels like they’re a daughter to you. Though the quest is long and quite a trek it never grows old or boring, the tale of The Witcher 3 one that I couldn’t get enough of.
The scope of the game is a triumph as well. Even among the first few levels the story arc to The Baron and when I compared my results to what happened with the playthrough of my friends makes The Baron’s story a memorable, dark, and haunting one no matter what choice you make. The only pitfall with these in game choices is that I thought I had everything ready for my final mission and I still got the worst ending, which made an emotional impact on me-my ending was still interesting but it plagued me and brought down all my efforts.
Sure that was an instance of a bad moment but there are so many good moments in the Witcher. The game will make you sift through a barrage of emotions, the victory of killing and severing the head of a Griffin, romancing one or many of the female characters, the expanded lore of the game and eerie locations you’re taken to. The Witcher 3 is full of life and death and gave me one of the most engrossing games I’ve ever played. It’s a damn achievement of a game and if you haven’t already put developer CD Projekt RED on your radar then you sure as hell will after playing this.
Silver Metal (Gear): Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
After what could be the most intense opening ever in a game, I floated around and eventually completed all main missions and half of the side missions in MGS V. That may not seem like much but the game is vast and like the Witcher its environment is thriving with life and little things like leaving an unconscious enemy in a puddle will drown him. The buddy element and glimmers of story make MGS even more of a delight as it boasts some of the most addicting gameplay I’ve gone through ever. What brings down MGS V is that it’s light on story and from a man like Hideo Kojima, whom to me is like a Quentin Tarantino of video games in his narrative, it’s slightly disappointing but still makes for one of the year’s best.
Bronze: Batman Arkham Knight
I adored the newest entry in the Batman series, seeing how Arkham City is one of my favorite games of all time. Arkham Knight pulled most of the right strings but it just wasn’t the complete experience that Arkham City was and there was very little closure in the end for a game with so much potential. The Arkham Knight himself is fascinating and the Batman story is a great one but the game just doesn’t reach the heights of its predecessor, but still is an experience not to be missed.
Honorary Mention: Star Wars Battlefront
I undoubtedly fanboy over Star Wars and Batman. Both games scratch that tough to reach itch that I have for each series. I am in love with the combat especially the dogfights in Battlefront. I excel at them and though the gameplay is simple, damn is it fun and I’ve spent my time more on this game than most I’ve played this year. The biggest pitfall is the lack of a single player mode that isn’t just a horde mode add on. Also it’s light on content. There’s no way that Battlefront belongs with the other titles but it has a spot reserved in my heart as there’s hope for the future on a great foundation.