The PC Gamer guide to the games of 2015

PC Gamer

Games of 2015 1

2014 is dead—nyoooo! It was pretty good, but it could do nothing to halt the unstoppable wave of new games 2015 will bring. There are talky games, shooty games, driving games, games that let you bake bread and games that let you become bread. There are new monsters to kill, new plot twists to uncover and new armies to command; it's going to be awesome. Here's your guide to the games of 2015, carved into genre chapters for your perusal.

Page 2: OPEN WORLD ACTION
Page 3: ACTION
Page 4: FPS
Page 5: RPG
Page 6: ACTION RPG
Page 7: 2D SHOOTERS & TWIN-STICK GAMES
Page 8: FIGHTING GAMES
Page 9: STRATEGY
Page 10: ADVENTURE
Page 11: EXPLORATION AND SURVIVAL
Page 12: MMO
Page 13: PLATFORM
Page 14: PUZZLE
Page 15: SPORT
Page 16: SIM 
Page 17: RACING

What are you looking forward to playing most this year?

OPEN WORLD ACTION

Open worlds are all the rage at the moment, particularly for big studios with the budgets to create massive virtual playgrounds. There are some promising specimens coming in 2015, including the delayed release of Batman: Arkham Knight. Elsewhere, Assassin's Creed: Victory will give us Victorian London to explore, GTA 5's Los Santos is sure to amaze and we're getting the madness of MGS 5: Phantom Pain on PC as well. We're also excited about The Witcher 3's open world. You'll find that on our RPG page.

Grand Theft Auto 5

Grand Theft Auto 5

Developer: Rockstar North
Publisher: Rockstar
Release date: 27 January, 2015
Link: Official site
Took them long enough. Grand Theft Auto 5 first came out late-2013 to critical acclaim and commercial success. Last year, it made it to PS4 and Xbox One, and now, finally, PC is getting its turn. It'll be worth the wait. Not only does the PC version get all the features of the enhanced editions—including amassively expanded soundtrack and first-person mode—it will also boast native 4K support. PC is soon to be the definitive way to travel Los Santos.

Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain

Metal Gear Solid 5 The Phantom Pain

Developer: Kojima Productions
Publisher: Konami
Release date: 2015
Link: Official site
Big Boss returns for the sequel to Metal Gear Solid 5: Ground Zeroes, and the prequel to Metal Gear 1. Okay, so the timeline—hell, the entire Metal Gear plot—can be confusing. All you need to know is that The Phantom Pain promises an expansive stealth adventure set across a series of large open-world environments. Not only that, but here you're actually building up Big Boss's mercenary haven. You can capture guards, upgrade buildings and even befriend a one-eyed wolf cub.

Batman: Arkham Knight

Batman Arkham Knight

Developer: Rocksteady
Publisher: Warner Brothers Interactive
Release date: June 2
Link: Official site
The Arkham series is still one of the best interactive realisations of a superhero fantasy ever, and that’s hopefully set to continue with Arkham Knight. It’s already clear from early stealth and combat demos that AK is taking a the-same-but-bigger approach to the latest sequel, but technological advances have allowed for a massive leap in fidelity since Arkham City. The new city is huge, incredibly detailed, and full of criminals to punch, and punch them we will repeatedly in June.

Assassin’s Creed Victory

Assassin's Creed Victory

Image via Kotaku.
Developer:Ubisoft
Publisher: Ubisoft
Release date: TBA
Link: Announcement
A collection of leaked images revealed the setting for the next Assassin’s Creed game: Victorian London! It’s an excellent fit for AssCreed, and we already have very clear opinions about what Ubi should and shouldn’t do with it. Most of all we hope it won’t slip out with all the technical problems that Assassin’s Creed Unity had. Will Ubi’s strict annual launch schedule claim another victim, or will Victory be a rainy, smoggy return to form for the series?

Assassin’s Creed Rogue

Assassn's Creed Rogue

Developer: Ubisoft
Publisher: Ubisoft
Release date: Early 2015
Link: Official site
It might be easier to think of Rogue as Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag 2. It’s got the sailing, port assaults and scattered structure of Pirate Creed, but this time you play as Shay Patrick Cormac, a templar with a big musket and a cool jacket. Explore the North Atlantic, visit young New York, see the sights, skin a whale. It came out on console boxes last year, but it’s due out on PC “early 2015.”

Dying Light

Dying Light

Developer: Techland
Publisher: Techland
Release date: January 27, 2015
Link: Official site

The creators of Dead Island have ditched that series, going their own direction with a new open world zombie-‘em-up. Though, as we learned from a preview build, combat is often unwise and melee weapons break quickly. More important is the ability to freerun over rooftops, avoiding the slow, stumbling infected below. Dying Light also includes a day/night cycle and a story interesting enough that we want to know more (though Techland asks that we don’t spoil the setup.) It’s out the first month of the year, so there’s not long to wait.

Dead Island 2

Dead Island 2

Developer: Yager Development
Publisher: Deep Silver
Release date: Spring 2015
Link: Official site
It’s best not to take that title literally, Dead Island 2’s zombie apocalypse takes place on the mainland, in California. Techland have handed development duties to Spec Ops: The Line developers Yager, but don’t expect any harrowing commentary on war and human nature either, this is going to be another romp about teaming up with friends and chopping up zombies, and will hopefully be a little more technically refined than the first game.

Just Cause 3

Just Cause 3

Developer: Avalanche Studios
Publisher: Square Enix
Release date: TBA 2015
Link: Official site
Rico returns in another chaos-filled open world adventure. Expect another absurd romp with your magical grappling hook and infinite parachute. This time, we're off to the Mediterranean, as players are tasked with taking down dictator General Di Ravello. Avalanche has also revealed a more varied terrain; with a map that features more verticality and explorable caves.

Saints Row: Gat Out of Hell

Saints Row - Gat Out of Hell

Developer: Volition
Publisher: Deep Silver
Release date: 20 January, 2015
Link: Official site
It's not exactly Saints Row V, but standalone expansion Gat Out of Hell promises to be a departure from virtual Steelport. Notable differences include the fact that you'll no longer play as The Boss, but rather pick between supporting characters Johnny Gat or Kinzie Kensington. Also: it's set in hell. That means more crazy superpowers, oddball activities and bizarre weapons – from an exploding frog cannon, to an armchair gattling gun.

Mad Max

Mad Max

Developer: Avalanche Studios
Publisher: Warner Brothers Interactive Entertainment
Release date: 2015
Link: Official Site
The creators of the Just Cause series invite you to play as the titular Aussie ass-kicker in a post-apocalyptic open-world Outback. Build custom cars for vehicular mayhem, dish out devastating combos in melee combat, and hunt down the bandits who stole your iconic Interceptor.

ACTION

Welcome to a collection of action games that don't quite fit into other categories. The rumoured summer release of the Oculus Rift will give us a chance to experience Eve Online's universe in a more hands-on context than the MMO offers. We can expect to hear much more about Ubi's pretty but poorly-explained post-apocalypse co-op survival thing, The Division, and we'll hopefully learn more about IO's return to the Hitman series. We're even more excited to hear details of the next Deus Ex game. 2015's shaping up nicely.

Mirror’s Edge

Mirror's Edge

Developer: DICE
Publisher: EA
Release date:TBA
Link: Official site
DICE are making a million things at the moment, so it’ll be a long time before we see this modern reboot of the cult run-’em-up, Mirror’s Edge. Producer Sara Jansson posted in June 2014 to remind everyone that the game’s still in production, saying that it will feature “advanced combat that is integrated into an improved fluidity of movement.” Some fans would rather see combat taken out altogether, but maybe DICE and EA can make it work with a revamped system.

Star Citizen

Star Citizen

Developer: Cloud Imperium
Publisher: Cloud Imperium
Release date: Ongoing module launches throughout 2015 and beyond.
Link: Official site
Chris Robert’s remarkably ambitious space sim is slowly coming into focus. A windfall of tens of millions of crowdfunded dollars are going into the production of the ultimate space game. Want to walk around your ship? Want to visit planets and wander around shops with other players? Want to fight for control of space stations in zero-G first-person combat? Star Citizen’s feature list has it all. For millions, on paper, it’s the dream game. Can they pull it off?

Tom Clancy’s The Division

The Division

Developer: Ubisoft Massive, Ubisoft Reflections, Ubisoft Redstorm
Publisher: Ubisoft
Release date: 2015
Link: Official Site
Open-world online shooter The Division got our attention when it was announced at E3 this year, though we haven't heard a heck of a lot about it since, other than that it's been confirmed for PC. Featuring co-op squadplay against AI opponents and firefights with other multiplayer squads, we were most taken with the impressive visuals and the atmospheric setting: a wintery New York City a few weeks after a biological attack.

EVE Valkyrie

EVE Valkyrie

Developer: CCP Games
Publisher: In-house
Release date: TBC
Link: Developer website
Rumour has it that the first consumer model of the Oculus Rift will be hitting in summer 2015, and EVE Valkyrie is looking like one of its killer apps. While Star Citizen and Elite are hardcore sims, this is unashamedly an action-heavy dogfighting game. It works brilliantly in the Rift and seeing EVE’s sci-fi universe up-close is a thrill. But Valkyrie is being made especially for virtual reality headsets, so you’ll need the hardware to experience it.

Hyper Light Drifter

Hyper Light Drifter

Developer: Heart Machine
Publisher: Heart Machine
Release date: Early 2015
Link: Official site
Beautiful art, snappy combat and a world of robots and monsters await in Hyper Light Drifter. Top-class pixel art recalls the 16-bit era, but Heart Machine promises “modernized mechanics” and “designs on a much grander scale.”

Gigantic

Gigantic

Developer: Motiga
Publisher: Motiga
Release date: TBA
Link: Official Site
Gigantic is a team-based action game all about destroying the opposing team’s guardian which is, well, gigantic. An arena combat game with a unique art style, Gigantic is the first project to come from Motiga. It has a lot of competition from other recently announced arena games like Blizzard’s Overwatch, but Gigantic puts a spin on the genre that will help it stand out.

Hunt: Horrors of the Gilded Age

Hunt Horrors of the Gilded Age

Developer: Crytek Austin / Crytek Frankfurt
Publisher: Crytek
Release date: TBA 2015
Link: Official site

Hunt looked wonderful when we saw it at E3 in June, a combination of Left 4 Dead-style four-player co-op against AI monsters with third-person action and shooting that reminded us of Resident Evil 4-5 set in the 19th century… with procedural level and enemy generation. We got worried when Hunt’s studio, Crytek Austin (formerly Vigil Games) experienced significant layoffs, shifting Hunt to Crytek Frankfurt for completion. It’s never encouraging to see a game change hands mid-development, but we’re still holding out hope that the ex-Vigil team’s ambitious and refreshing vision will take shape. A closed beta was announced in December 2014, though it’s unclear when it’ll run.

Fractured Space

Fractured Space

Developer: Edge Case Games Ltd.
Publisher: Edge Case Games Ltd.
Release date: 2015
Link: Official site

Fractured Space will transition to a free-to-play model sometime next year, but for now it’s on Steam Early Access. Tyler has been enjoying its giant spaceship lane pushing, where two teams of five capture mining stations to earn buffs, then go after each other’s home bases. It’s pretty far from complete, but the essential design is sound—sneaking up on a Flagship in a cloaked Assassin, materializing like a Romulan warship, then blasting it with rockets is one of its especially satisfying joys.

Io's next Hitman game

Hitman

Developer: Io Interactive
Publisher: Square Enix
Release date: TBA 2015
Link: Announcement post

In early January 2014, Io Interactive posted an open letter to their fans. In it, they revealed the existence of a new "AAA Hitman game" for PC and current-gen consoles. More importantly, they reassured fans that this wouldn't be another Absolution. "The game concentrates on the core Hitman fantasy of using a wide range of tools to take out a diverse group of targets across expansive, exotic locations around the world," Io wrote. Specifically, the new Hitman is inspired by Contracts and Blood Money, and, with luck, will be a return to the formula that made the series great.

Space Pirates and Zombies 2

Space Pirates and Zombies 2

Developer: MinMax Games
Publisher: MinMax Games
Release date: Q1 2015
Link: minmax-games.com
The second coming of (the somewhat-unfortunately named) SPAZ transforms the space shooter into a behind-the-thruster action game that’s more Freelancer than Asteroids, as its predecessor was. There’s still a great focus on random generation and ship building, and you’ll have to make careful design choices about component positioning, weight, hull integrity, and engine power. SPAZ 2 also promises a living galaxy that isn’t player-centric—200 other pilots are crawling the galaxy who are “able to do everything the player can, including forming dynamic factions, building structures, controlling territory, and going to War.”

Titan Souls

Titan Souls

Developer: Acid Nerve
Publisher: Devolver Digital
Release date: Q1 2015
Link: Official Site
Originally made for the Ludum Dare 28 game jam, Titan Souls has been tapped to become a full sized experience. It looks like a 2D, pixel-art Shadow of the Colossus, the only enemies being large bosses with distinct weak points. The original is available to play for free here and is hard as nails.

Amazing Frog?

Amazing frog

Developer: Fayju
Publisher: Fayju
Release date: TBA 2015
Link: Official site
A sandbox dick-about in the vein of Goat Simulator, Amazing Frog? is set in the magical kingdom of Swindon, UK, where a farting frog frolicks with friends for environmental bonuses. Fire yourself out of cannons, hit bouncy castles for points, jump off things, parkour up things. Swindon is your oyster.

Rebel Galaxy

Rebel Galaxy

Developer: Double Damage Games
Publisher: Double Damage Games
Release date: TBA 2015
Link: Official Site
Rebel Galaxy is a space game about shooting first, learning how to dock later. Unlike Elite: Dangerous, for instance, it emphasizes the action over the minutiae of space travel. It promises a big ship, an open galaxy with randomly generated solar systems and quests, and the experience of “feeling the concussion of a broadside blast, and the impact on your deflectors as they absorb a particle beam meant for your shield generator.” Also, shady space bars.

Jotun

Jotun

Developer: William Dubé
Publisher: William Dubé
Release date: TBA
Link: Official Site
An action-exploration game, Jotun challenges you to fight your way through a randomly-generated viking purgatory by killing giant norse elementals in an attempt to reach Valhalla. The game’s creator, William Dubé, describes it as “the mood of Journey and the scale of Shadow of the Colossus in top-down 2D,” which sounds pretty great if he can pull it off.

Overgrowth

Overgrowth

Developer: Wolfire Games
Publisher: Wolfire Games
Release date: TBA
Link: Official Site
Overgrowth, also known as “that 3D brawler where humanoid rabbits fight each other, oh man, what is this,” doesn’t have a set release date, but sometime in 2015 seems like a reasonable guess. It feels like it’s been in alpha for forever, but maybe that’s just because we really want to be a fighting rabbit-person.

The Very Organized Thief

The Very Organized Thief

Developer: Redefinition Games
Publisher: Redefinition Games
Release date: TBA
Link: Official Site
Starting as a free Unity game, The Very Organized Thief wants to be bigger, but unfortunately failed to meet its Kickstarter goal. Since then, it’s made its way to Steam Greenlight. It’s a casual stealth game about sneaking around somebody’s house with a list of things to steal, and has no combat. You have to find keys, disable alarms, and get the loot before you get caught.

BattleCry

Battlecry

Developer: BattleCry Studios
Publisher: Bethesda
Release date: TBA 2015
Link: Official site
Not to be confused with Battleborn, this is Bethesda’s competitive 32-player third-person brawling game with art direction from Half-Life 2 and Dishonored whizz, Viktor Antonov. It’s bloody, thanks to the inclusion of dismemberment and classes that wield massive cleavers, but the sketchy art style keeps things light, and you get to fight in beautifully realised eastern European industrial zones. Classes include archers, punchy brawlers, knife-wielding duellers and enforcers, who wield the aforementioned cleavers.

Kakexun

Kakexun

Developer: Kenji Eno
Publisher: Kenji Eno
Release date: TBA
Link: Game’s Indiegogo
Famous Japanese game developer Kenji Eno passed away nearly a year and a half ago, but that isn’t stopping his friends from creating a game based on his final design. Kakexun is a psychedelic game comprised of a mix of “story stages and action stages.” It’s very hard to explain, and we highly recommend visiting the game’s Indiegogo to witness the madness for yourself.

Dreadnought

Dreadnought

Developer: Yager Development
Publisher: Grey Box Games
Release date: Early 2015
Link: Official Site
These aren't sleek, swift, easily-maneuverable fightercraft we're talking about. In Dreadnought, a tactical action multiplayer game from the developers behind Spec Ops: The Line, you'll pilot truly massive spaceships and battle other flying behemoths in team deathmatch and elimination modes.

Dark Souls 2: Scholar of the First Sin

Dark Souls 2 Scholar of the First Sin

Developer: From Software
Publisher: Namco Bandai
Release date: 3 April, 2015
Link: Dark Souls 2 site
Prepare to dive into some original sin with From Software's remastered version of Dark Souls 2. That a year-old game is being remastered is unusual, but it's a side-effect of the studio releasing the game on new-gen consoles. Scholar of the First Sin brings enhanced graphics, performance and DirectX support, all bundled with DS2's three DLC add-ons. Fortunately, existing owners aren't being left behind. A free patch for Dark Souls 2 will bring Scholar's expanded story and additional NPCs.

Deus Ex Universe

Deus Ex Universe

Developer: Eidos Montreal
Publisher: Square Enix
Release date: TBA
Link: Announcement post
Deus Ex: Universe is Square Eidos's name for a whole series of upcoming Deus Ex stuff, including at least one proper "core game". We don't know what this game is called, when it's due for release, or even if it'll be a narrative follow-up to Human Revolution. What we do know is that it'll run on the Dawn Engine, a modified version of Hitman: Absolution's Glacier 2 Engine. Eidos Montreal recently released an in-engine screenshot showing what can be done with the tool, and the result looks awfully Deus Ex-y. We do, of course, have a wishlist of features we'd like to see in any new Deus Ex game.

Halo: Spartan Strike

Halo Spartan Strike

Developer: 343 Industries/Vanguard Studios
Publisher: Microsoft
Release date: Early 2015
Link: Official site
The follow-up to largely ignored Halo twin-stick shooter spin-off Spartan Assault works across both tablets and PC via your Steam saves, and includes Halo 4’s slightly rubbish enemies the Prometheans, as well as the ability to run over enemies in a Warthog. Essentially, it’s there to remind you that none of the proper Halo games have come out on PC since Halo 2, but nonetheless it looks pretty enough.

Dungeon Defenders 2

Dungeon Defenders 2

Developer: Trendy Entertainment
Publisher: Trendy Entertainment
Release date: 2015
Link: Official site
The sequel to popular tower-defense action RPG Dungeon Defenders entered early access in 2014, and plans to become free to play once it officially launches. In co-op play, teams defend their base against wave after wave of A.I. creatures with a mixture of automated turrets and third-person combat.

TerraTech

TerraTech

Developer: Payload Studios
Publisher: Payload Studios
Release date: TBA
Link: Official Site
Build a fleet of vehicles to fight for an alien planet’s resources. As you destroy your opponents you can scavenge parts from them, growing and upgrading your machines even more. TerraTech currently has a demo on its site and will be hitting Steam early access sometime in January.

Human Element

Human Element

Developer: Robotoki
Publisher: Robotoku
Release date: November 2015
Link: Developer Site
Cooperate with, or battle against, other human players 35 years after the zombie apocalypse. Build and fortify your base, scavenge for resources, and plans assaults on enemy forts, using every weapon at your disposal, including zombies themselves.

FPS

It's going to be a good year for shooters. You've got Rainbow Six: Siege for tactical shooting, Killing Floor 2 for co-op shooting, Evolve for monster shooting and Super Hot for slow-mo shooting. You never know, Battlefield Hardline and Evolve may yet turn out to be surprisingly great, and if they're not, Reflex should provide a nostalgic fix to compensate.

Battlefield Hardline

Battlefield Hardline

Developer: Visceral, DICE
Publisher: EA
Release date: March 20
Link: Official site
The 2014 beta test had the tenor of a mod for Battlefield 4, as though opposing armies had been reskinned to fulfill Hardline’s cops vs. robbers fantasy. Cops and crooks exchanged RPG fire on deserted city streets and zipped round in slippery cop cars. It was weird, so the devs decided to withdraw for a while to get things right. The finished version comes out on March 20, and comes with a Miami-based single player campaign in which you play a detective, Nick Mendoza, on a mission to bust apart a local drug ring. Expect entertaining cop-movie cliches aplenty.

Call of Duty 12

Call of Duty 12

Developer: Treyarch
Publisher: Activision
Release date: Late 2015
Link: Call of Duty site
Okay, so we don't know what it is yet, but we know it's going to happen. Call of Duty is just too big to skip a year. For 2015, expect Treyarch to be in the spotlight—maybe for a Black Ops sequel, or perhaps something new. All we know for sure is that they've got a lot to live up to. Ghosts had a dog, and Advanced Warfare had Kevin Spacey. CoD 12 is going to need something special to out-gimmick those guys. Perhaps a dog voiced by Kevin Spacey? We can but dream.

Rainbow Six Siege

Rainbow Six Siege

Developer: Ubisoft Montreal
Publisher: Ubisoft
Release date: TBA 2015
Link: Official site
his fierce, tactical multiplayer shooter rapelled into E3 2014 to much applause, partly because it replaces the dodgy-looking Rainbow Six Patriots, but mostly because of the return of recognisable R6 elements like sneaky SWAT cams, breach charges and tactical shotguns. The Counter-Strike style round system and playable terrorists are new, though. Before each hostage rescue, both teams get a setup phase. The cops can scout the crims with recon cameras while the hostage-takers setup screens and wall-armour to control the cops’ entry points. Expect lots of destructibility as well, thanks to the new AnvilNext engine.

Killing Floor 2

Killing Floor 2

Developer: Tripwire Interactive
Publisher: Tripwire Interactive
Release date: TBA 2015
Link: Official site
This is sure to be the messiest of 2015’s shooters. This follow-up to Tripwire’s excellent co-op monster-blaster is going big on the gore, but we’re more excited about the guns. Tripwire also made Red Orchestra and Red Orchestra 2, and are experts at making virtual guns feel deadly and exciting to fire. In addition to the usual array of shotguns and (delightfully meaty) handguns, they’re also adding close combat weapons like Katanas. Ready your mop.

Overwatch

Overwatch

Developer: Blizzard
Publisher: Activision Blizzard
Release date: TBA 2015
Link: Official site
Blizzard take on Team Fortress 2 with a colourful team shooter set in a brand new universe. Every hero serves as a different class with unique special abilities and weapons. Play as an armoured ape who can shield his enemies, or a woman who can teleport and plant explosive grenades, or a samurai archer who can clamber up walls that other characters can’t. The heroes will be tied together with a story told outside of the game that may well make use of Blizzard’s talented CG movie department.

Evolve

Evolve

Developer: Turtle Rock Studios
Publisher: 2K Games
Release date: February 10
Link: evolvegame.com
Turtle Rock’s monster-versus-hunters shooter is ambitious in its asymmetry. The eleven human (and one robot) Hunters are all deliberately different—each of the medics heal completely differently, for example. We love the look of Evolve (it may be the best-looking game on PC when it launches) and its focus on movement, evasion, and teamwork. The big question is whether a dozen maps and a handful of modes will be enough to sustain hardcore players and how much of the game’s post-launch content will be paid.

Battleborn

Battleborn

Developer: Gearbox
Publisher: Gearbox
Release date: TBA 2015
Link: Official site
Gearbox describe this as a “hero-shooter”. Why are we shooting the heroes? The churlish response would be “because MOBAs are really popular right now” and there’s a chance a first person shooter lane-pusher/competitive shooter hybrid might find an audience. And why not, the art is bright and colourful, the characters are bright and varied, but will Gearbox face opposition from Blizzard’s upcoming arena shooter, Overwatch?

SUPERHOT

Superhot

Developer: SUPERHOT
Publisher: SUPERHOT
Release date: TBA
Link: Official site
The 7 Day FPS game jam entry impressed us in its early form. The twist is simple: time only moves when you do. Pause mid-fight and you’ll see bullets hanging there, tearing beautiful red trajectories through the air. The full version is sticking to the striking red-and-white aesthetic, and will feature swords. HOT.

Fortnite

Fortnite

Developer: Epic Games
Publisher: Epic Games
Release date: TBA 2015
Link: Official Site
Combining crafting and shooting, Fortnite pits you and your teammates against a horde of monsters—scavenge materials by day, build up your base and defenses, then weather the siege at night. Epic Games announced that it was working on Fortnite quite a while ago, but only recently released hard details and is currently accepting applications for the closed alpha.

Verdun

Verdun

Developer: M2H, BlackMill Games
Publisher: M2H, BlackMill Games
Release date: February 2015
Link: Official site
The trenches of World War 1 are a relatively unexplored setting for an FPS. Verdun addresses the challenge with a gritty, grim squad shooter that explores WW1 in rifle-deathmatch and Frontlines mode. Frontlines’ levelling system has you upgrading squads with different tactics and combat roles. One to watch.

Toxikk

Toxikk

Developer: Reakktor
Publisher: Reakktor
Release date: TBA 2015
Link: Official Site
Another shooter taking advantage of the Unreal Engine, Toxikk is a back-to-basics arena shooter that focuses on precise movement and skill. It’s a love letter to Unreal Tournament and shooters of the past, featuring weapon pick-ups, health packs, and jump pads. Reakktor is very particular about pointing out it won’t be free-to-play, wanting everyone to be on a level playing field, and will be releasing an SDK for the community to make maps of their own.

Reflex

Reflex

Developer: Turbo Pixel Studios
Publisher: Turbo Pixel Studios
Release date: TBA 2015
Link: Official site
Two words sum up why Reflex represents such an exciting return to old-school twitch shooters: jump pads. Yes! The super-quick movement and classic weapons of Quake 3 and Unreal Tournament have been faithfully recreated in a modern engine that supports quite excellent gib effects.

Block N Load

Block N Load

Developer: Jagex
Publisher: Jagex
Release date: Feb 2015
Link: Official site
A 5vs5 tactical PvP shooter with an emphasis on construction destruction. Players are given immense potential to shape their arenas by building defences, digging tunnels and, of course, blowing stuff up. Helping realise this tactical potential is a cast of heroes that each offer different specialisations; giving players the opportunity to focus on combat, defence or support roles.

Hellraid

Hellraid

Developer: Techland
Publisher: Techland
Release date: TBA 2015
Link: Official site
Visions of Hexen come unbound at the sight of this pulpy new first-person hack ‘n slash game from Techland. The gates of hell have popped open and need closing sharpish before the monsters unleashed overrun the entire planet. Decapitate and de-limb hellbeasts with axes, swords and spears, or throw fireballs to simply melt them.

Homefront: The Revolution

Homefront

Developer: Deep Silver Dambuster
Publisher: Deep Silver
Release date: TBA 2015
Link: Official site
Mediocre reviews, poor sales and the ultimate closure of both its original developer and publisher seemingly couldn't stop Homefront from getting a sequel. Homefront: The Revolution was originally in production by Crytek UK. They too closed, and now Deep Silver has taken the project on board. It'll be worth the effort if they can deliver on the game's promise of resistance fighters in an occupied open-world Philadelphia.

Bedlam

Bedlam

Developer: RedBedlam
Publisher: KISS ltd
Release date: TBA 2015
Link: Official site
Bedlam is a nostalgic shooter about the history of shooters. Blast through levels that look suspiciously similar to Quake, shop up enemies with flaming swords Hexen-style and blast your way through a Pac Man maze, complete with ghosts. The devs pitch it as “a shooter for those who survived online gaming in the 80s and 90s."

Black Ice

Black Ice


Developer: Super Duper Garrett Cooper
Publisher: Super Duper Garrett Cooper
Release date:
Link: Official site
In Black Ice you play a hacker trying to fend off waves of viruses using lasers inside the PC—far more exciting than just installing AVG. There’s a free demo that you can play in your browser if you want to see Black Ice’s Tron-like environments first-hand. A pre-release version is available on Steam early access, but more weapons and randomised loot needs to be added before the game is feature-complete.

Blockstorm

Blockstorm

Developer: GhostShark
Publisher: IndieGala
Release date: TBA
Link: Official site
A shooter set in a world of breakable blocks, a familiar idea to anyone who’s tried Ace of Spades. The neat thing about Blockstorm are the creation tools. The same tools the developers used to build the game are available to players, which means anyone can create a map or mode. It’s on Steam early access, of course, and won’t be finished until the devs have added “5 new online multiplayer game modes” as well as new maps and new characters. There’s a free demo here.

Star Wars Battlefront

Star Wars Battlefront

Developer: DICE LA
Publisher: EA
Release date: October
Link: Official site
Confirmed as EA’s big first-person shooter for 2015 and arriving just as Episode VII lands at the back half of the year, this is the Frostbite-powered Star Wars shooter you’ve been waiting almost ten years for. We know Hoth and Endor are in it. What else will make the cut? Mustafar? We should hear more about Battlefront soon.

Ratz Instagib 2.0

Ratz Instagib

Developer: Lizzard4000
Publisher: Lizzard4000
Release date: TBA
Link: IndieDB page
The current version of this Unity-built labor of love is freely available on sites like Kongregate, but the “2.0” iteration of the game is getting worked on further in preparation for a full release on Steam. Ratz is marriage of some of our favorite classic FPS stuff: super-sized “rats” maps, Quake-style rocket-jumping (with railguns), and instagib, the frenetic, one-hit-you’re-dead mode from Unreal Tournament.

Interstellar Marines

Interstellar Marines

Developer: Zero Point Software
Publisher: Zero Point Software
Release date: 2015
Link: Official Site
With single-player or co-op story mode and cross-platform multiplayer team deathmatches, this tactical sci-fi FPS features tense battles and a horror-infused atmosphere in immersive arenas across the galaxy. While it's been in development for years, 2014 saw a host of new content released.

RPG

2014 was brilliant for RPG fans. We had Divinity: Original Sin, Dragon Age: Inquisition and Wasteland 2 to keep us going. 2015 is looking good, too. The Witcher 3 could be superb, Pillars of Eternity looks gorgeous and played well in alpha and we can look forward to Bioware's experimental multiplayer RPG, Shadow Realms.

The Witcher 3

The Witcher 3

Developer: CD Projekt RED
Publisher: CD Projekt RED
Release date: May 19
Link: Official site
The most exciting RPG of the year has suffered a couple of delays—nothing too serious, we hope. It’s Geralt’s final adventure as the gruff protagonist of the series, but it’s his biggest ever. CD Projekt RED estimate that the Witcher 3 is 35 times bigger than The Witcher 2, with a vast and stunning open world populated by strange creatures borrowed from European folklore. If you’ve ever wondered what a Bogling is and how to kill it, this is the game for you.

Pillars of Eternity

Pillars of Eternity

Developer: Obsidian
Publisher: Paradox Interactive
Release date: Early 2015
Link: Official site
Any fan of Infinity Engine classics like Baldur’s Gate should take a look at Obsidian’s new RPG. A nostalgic elevated camera angle, detailed party customisation and reams of dialogue are all promising signs that Obsidian will do the old-school RPG format justice, but it looks better than any ‘90s RPG could. The Unity engine allows for beautifully detailed environments and clever lighting effects. We’re very excited about this one.

Torment: Tides of Numenera

Torment Tides of Numenera

Developer: InXile
Publisher: InXile
Release date: TBA 2015
Link: Official site
With over $4 million raised on Kickstarter, it's clear that people are excited about Torment: Tides of Numernera. It's easy to see why, too. It's a 'spiritual successor' to the RPG masterpiece Planescape: Torment. Despite using a different setting—the varied and expressive Numenera RPG ruleset—it retains the philosophy of complex, in-depth storytelling and flexible decision-making. Expect a vast campaign that reacts and shifts in response to your actions.

Cyberpunk 2077

Cyberpunk 2077

Developer: CD Projekt RED
Publisher: TBA
Release date: TBA
Link: Dev blog
CD Projekt RED announced this futuristic RPG with a teaser trailer years ago, and barely a peep has been heard of it since. The studio is no doubt busy putting the finishing touches on The Witcher 3, and it’s unlikely we’ll see this one in 2015, or even 2016. Still, the idea of a cyberpunk RPG rendered with the sumptuous detail of The Witcher games is exciting. We’re willing to wait.

Mount & Blade 2: Bannerlord

Mount & Blade 2

Developer:Taleworlds
Publisher: Taleworlds
Release date: TBA
Link: Official site
Mounts? Blades? Bannerlords? A safe bet that all will make an appearance in Mount & Blade 2: Bannerlords. The original Mount & Blade—or at least, the standalone Warband follow-up—was a great RPG strategy about starting out with nothing, and building up an army that could shake empires. Yes, it looked ugly as sin, but past that it was as deep as it was compelling. If the sequel can be more than that, it has the chance to be one of the most exciting games of the year.

Darkest Dungeon

Darkest Dungeon

Developer: Red Hook Studios
Publisher: Red Hook Studios
Release date: February 3 (Early Access)
Link: darkestdungeon.com
Our most-anticipated roguelike. Darkest Dungeon’s grounded, low-fantasy art is the perfect costume for its gritty, permadeathy adventure. An XCOM-style party system pairs with Darkest Dungeon’s interesting focus on mental health as a mechanic. Characters can lose their cool in the heart of battle and become a liability or spontaneously become more dangerous when shaken by horrific encounters.

Moon Hunters

Moon Hunters

Developer: Kitfox Games
Publisher: Kitfox Games
Release date: Q4 2015
Link: Official Site
A procedurally generated game about creating and discovering your own mythology for one to four players, Moon Hunters blew far past its Kickstarter funding goal of $45k. You and your allies must complete tasks and deeds to earn yourself a reputation in the world. It has a village building aspect, hack-n-slash combat, and emphasizes that it’s easy to pick up and play.

Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII

Lightning Returns

Developer: Square Enix
Publisher: Square Enix
Release date: TBA 2015
Link: Official site
The third and final game in the Final Fantasy XIII trilogy. As the title suggests, Lightning's back, and this time is against the clock—given thirteen in-game days to prevent the end of the world. In addition to the time pressures now placed on the player, LR:FFXIII features a new battle system that combines the Final Fantasy XIII paradigm-shift system with Final Fantasy X-2 style costume changes.

Blackguards 2

Blackguards 2

Developer: Daedalic Entertainment
Publisher: Daedalic Entertainment
Release date: 20 January
Link: Official site
The sequel to Blackguards will bring more turn-based tactical battles to fans of the original’s band of scoundrels. This time they’re led by Cassia, a determined warrior who wants to claim the Shark Throne and return the Blackguards to their former glory. Daedalic say the sequel “will involve mechanics that have been requested by players of the first game, like improved line of sight, cover and formation.”

Citizens of Earth

Citizens of Earth

Developer: Eden Industries
Publisher: Atlus
Release date: TBA 2015
Link: Official site
You're the Vice President of the World and, as such, don't want to get involved with all the hard-work and fighting that comes from completing an RPG quest. Far better to get the little people to do it all for you. Described by its developers as "Earthbound meets Pokemon," Citizens of Earth will let you secure the services of any NPC in the game. Their profession defines their skills for battle, so clever recruiting is the way to make it through this quirky RPG.

Dragon Fin Soup

Dragon Fin Soup

Developer: Grimm Bros
Publisher:Grimm Bros
Release date: April 2015
Link: Official site
That the playable character is described as a "raging alcoholic" is only the second most surprising thing about Dragon Fin Soup's story. The first: the world she lives on exists on the back of a Turtle Dragon God. It's a SNES-style RPG with roguelike elements; offering a simple take on turn-based combat, and a combination of procedurally generated environments and scripted story sequences.

Frontiers

Frontiers

Developer: AAD Productions
Publisher: AAD Productions
Release date: TBA 2015
Link: Official site
Frontiers is a sedate first-person RPG that is more about exploration and discovery than combat and levelling. It draws inspiration from Daggerfall—taking the concept of a massive world full of discovery, but without the need to grind low-level monsters to reach the most interesting places. You can go anyway at any time, and, thanks to the planned mod support, find potentially anything.

SanctuaryRPG: Black Edition

SanctuaryRPG

Developer: Black Shell Games
Publisher: Plug In Digital
Release date: TBA 2015
Link: Official site
SanctuaryRPG is a first-person dungeon crawler roguelike with RPG elements, a deep combat system and a consistently amusing tongue-in-cheek humour. Oh, one more thing: it's rendered entirely in ASCII. Nevertheless, it's a complex and expansive game, and one well worth checking out. You can play the free version from the game's official site. The Black Edition, currently in Early Access, is an updated and further enlarged Steam version.

Heroes of Might and Magic III: HD Edition

Heroes of Might and Magic 3 HD Edition


Developer: DotEmu
Publisher: Ubisoft
Release date: 29 January
Link: Official site
Updated to run in widescreen and HD, this well-liked 15 year-old game quietly nudges onto PC next month, complete with a new online lobby that’s Steamworks compatible.

else Heart.Break()

Else Heart Break

Developer: Erik Svedäng
Publisher: Erik Svedäng
Release date: Early 2015
Link: Official site
else Heart.Break() is an exploration-based RPG adventure set inside a digitised city. You play as Sebastian, who has moved to Dorisburg to figure out who he wants to be. Expect friends, romance, and important conversations held over cups of coffee. Also the ability to hack into just about any computer system—allowing you to break into secure facilities and just generally muck around.

Kingdom Come: Deliverance

Kingdom Come Deliverance

Developer: Warhorse Studios
Publisher: Warhorse Studios
Release date: 2015
Link: Official site
If you're an RPG fan you'll be no stranger to plodding through Medieval kingdoms. What's that up ahead? It's a dragon! Better kill it's face off and deliver its gall bladder to the local elf enchantress, before riding a Dwarf to Valhalla. Not in Kingdom Come: Deliverance you won't. It's a realistic RPG. Strictly no dragons. Instead, you'll get sleep at regular intervals, eat hearty meals, complete open-ended objectives and earn reputation among NPCs.

Shadow Realms

Shadow Realms

Developer: BioWare Austin
Publisher: EA
Release date: TBA 2015
Link: Official site
This 4vs1 action RPG from the makers of The Old Republic has one player setting traps and altering parameters for the other four players. BioWare is gunning for an episodic structure with this contemporary fantasy game, offering malleable classes and watercooler story moments (because every workplace on Earth has a watercooler).

Serpent in the Staglands

Serpent in the Staglands


Developer: Whalenaught Studios
Publisher: Whalenaught Studios
Release date: Q1 2015
Link: Official Site
Funded through Kickstarter in April, Serpent in the Staglands is now on Steam and awaiting a Q1 release. It is an isometric, real-time ARPG where you control a party on a perilous quest. It emphasizes an open story and exploration the moment you start the game, putting you in charge of the path you take.

Dragon: The Game

Dragon The Game

Developer: Red Level Games
Publisher: Red Level Games
Release date: TBA
Link: Official Site
True to its title, the game lets you play as a dragon in an open-world RPG where you can choose to be a town-terrifying monster or a benevolent guardian. Fly, hunt, eat, and age as you grow more powerful and do battle with other monsters in the realm.

Dex

Dex

Developer: Dreadlocks Ltd.
Publisher: Dreadlocks Ltd.
Release date: TBA 2015
Link: Official Site
In a gritty cyberpunk future you'll travel the dangerous streets of Harbor Prime, earning money for black market cybernetic enhancements by working as a mercenary. Immerse yourself in the story of a rogue A.I. surpassing the limits of human intelligence in this stylish, side-scrolling RPG.

ACTION RPG

There's no announced expansion for Diablo 3 this year, but there's plenty more for action RPG fans to look forward to, not least the visually stunning Lost Ark and the gritty and complex leveling of Grim Dawn.

Grim Dawn

Grim Dawn

Developer: Crate Entertainment
Publisher: Crate Entertainment
Release date: TBA
Link: Official site
Path of Exile provided a good distraction for action RPG fans this year, can Grim Dawn steal that crown? You play as a warrior in a land where humanity is on the brink of extinction, and must fight thousands of creatures to avoid going extinct yourself. Expect lots of complex RPG development over the course of your playthrough, accentuated by a wealth of custom items, crafting recipes.

Magicka 2

Magicka 2

Developer: Pieces Interactive
Publisher: Paradox
Release date: TBA
Link: magicka2.com
The current holder of our "Most Creative Use of Friendly Fire" award, Magicka 2 is setting up to be more of the same irreverent, cooperative, isometric spell-slinging that we liked in the original, though presumably much less buggy at launch.

Kyn

Kyn

Developer: Tangrin
Publisher: Versus Evil
Release date: TBA
Link: Official Site
A norse-themed RPG with Diablo-like combat, Kyn puts you in charge of a team of adventures battling the undead. Customization of your party and exploration of its open-world are key parts of Kyn, which looks to be trying hard to differentiate itself in the world of top-down, skeleton whacking games.

Bombshell

Bombshell

Developer: Interceptor Entertainment
Publisher: 3D Realms
Release date: Early 2015
Link: Official site
She’s a bomb disposal expert with nothing to lose. She rides into the world with a robot arm on a Harley Davidson to gun down robots with a big shotgun. This action RPG is the latest from Rise of the Triad developers, Interceptor Games, and is set across four planets full of aliens. Why do the aliens need to die? They’ve kidnapped the president, of course. Silly aliens!

Lost Ark

Lost Ark

Developer: Tripod
Publisher: Smile Gate
Release date: TBA 2015
Link: Official site
Close your eyes and imagine Diablo 3. Now imagine that instead of Diablo 3's already impressive attack animations, the particle effects have been ramped up 100x. Now imagine that other players are with you, that their own attack animations are piled into the mix, and that your mouth is agape at the sheer spectacle of it all. That's Lost Ark. No, really. Just look at this trailer.

2D SHOOTERS & TWIN-STICK GAMES

Do you want to kill some pixels? If you like explosions and great weapons look no further than Nuclear Throne. For blood and sweet tunes, you've got Hotline Miami. For environmental destruction and comical uses of the word "bro" check out the brotastic Broforce. For spectacular movement and procedurally generated universes keep an eye on Galak-Z.

Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number

Hotline Miami 2 shot

Developer: Dennaton Games
Publisher: Devolver Digital
Release date: Early 2015
Link: Steam
Dennaton invite Hotline Miami 2 players to build Hotline Miami 3 for themselves using the packed-in level editor tools - it’s the only way they’ll get a sequel. Dennaton are packing every idea they have into the final iteration of their brutal, lightning-quick top-down shooter, but won’t deviate far from the proven formula. Expect a great soundtrack, a throbbing neon world and relentless, brutal killing.

Nuclear Throne

Nuclear Throne

Developer: Vlambeer
Publisher: Vlambeer
Release date: TBA 2015
Link: Official site
Vlambeer are masters at selling impact in games. Nuclear Throne is a glorious shooter not just because of the randomised weapons, levels and creatures, but because every time you fire a gun it feels amazing. This one’s only going to get better as more levels and guns are added.

Galak-Z

Galak Z

Developer: 17 Bit
Publisher: 17 Bit
Release date: TBA 2015
Link: Galak-Z
A beautiful, frantic arcade shooter set in a procedurally generated open universe. Asteroids, Gradius and R-Type are listed as influences, but none of those games can match Galak-Z’s luminous explosions and zippy, responsive movement. We can’t wait.

A Fistful of Gun

A Fistful of Gun

Developer: FarmerGnome
Publisher: Devolver Digital
Release date: Spring 2015
Link: Steam page
Round up a posse for A Fistful of Gun's top down, co-op action. The Wild West themed shooter will support up to nine players online or off, with a variety of unique character classes that each use a different control scheme depending on the gun they carry. Try out the original freeware version for an idea of what to expect.

Tower 57

Tower 57

Developer: benitosub
Publisher: TBA
Release date: TBA 2015
Link: Indie DB page
Co-op actioner Tower 57 pulls inspiration from 1991's Alien Breed shooter, but its look is 16-bit art deco pixel art crossed with moody cyberpunk. The art may be the star of the show when Tower 57 releases in 2015. Pixel artist Cyangmou previously worked on the charming Adventure Time: Explore the Dungeon Because I Don't Know! and atmospheric Halfway.

Broforce

Broforce

Developer: Free Lives
Publisher: Devolver Digital
Release date: Early 2015
Link: Official site
The bro-centric action platformer's Early Access incarnation is already fun and filled with features. Despite boasting a campaign, co-op challenges, and full Steam Workshop support, it's set to expand further next year with an official full release. You play as hyper-aggressive caricatures of action film stars in an all-out assault against terrorists, Satan and undestructed scenery. Expect explosions, carnage and an excitable announcer.

Capsule Force

Capsule Force

Developer: klobit
Publisher: klobit
Release date: TBA 2015
Link: Official site
Multiplayer 2D arena battles inspired by ‘80s space anime. Thanks to the likes of Towerfall this is an increasingly contested niche, but Capsule Force’s blazing visuals and big lasers could earn it a spot in our couch-game collection.

Brigador

Brigador

Developer: Stellar Jockeys
Publisher: Stellar Jockeys
Release date: Spring 2015
Link: Official site
Great Leader is dead. You have one night to liberate the city of Solo Nobre. How? Pick a mech, load it up with weapons, and patrol through the nine districts shooting every enemy that stands in your way. Brigador is an '80s cyberpunk anime disguised as an isometric twin-stick shooter. It oozes style, and its short, highly replayable campaign sounds perfect for frantic, stylish and tactical mecha-combat.

DieselStormers

DieselStormers

Developer: Black Forest Games
Publisher: Black Forest Games
Release date: Q2 2015
Link: Official site

Tom Marks had a few good things to say about DieselStormers when he tried out the Early Access version in mid-2014, though we didn’t think it was ready for consumption just yet. There’s more to be done in this 2D co-op shooter before release in 2015, but we can sense that it has potential, and that the developer is committed to it.

Assault Android Cactus

Assault Android Cactus

Developer: Witch Beam
Publisher: Witch Beam
Release date: TBA 2015
Link: Official site
This brilliantly named twin-stick shooter is available on Early Access, and has ademo you can try right now. There are eight heroes to choose from and thousands of robots to blow apart with rockets and streams of noisy machine gun fire. Includes co-op for up to four pals.

Rive

Rive

Developer: Two Tribes
Publisher: Two Tribes
Release date: Early 2015
Link: Developer’s Site
Rive is a 2D shooter about hacking enemies on the fly to fight for you instead of against you. From the trailer, it looks like a lot of robots hacking other robots to blow up more robots, which we are totally on board with in concept. It’s not quite as straight-forward as your classic Metal Slug-style shooter, moving much faster and allowing 360 degrees of stuff to shoot.

Mighty No. 9

Mighty No 9

Developer: Comcept and Init Creates
Publisher: Comcept
Release date: April 2015
Link: Official Site
Keiji Inafune might have left Capcom, but that doesn’t mean he wants to stop making Megaman games. Practically, it looks like Inafune remaking and updating the Megaman formula from the ground up, even though the project can’t legally be associated with the series that made him famous. Mighty No. 9 raised nearly over $3.8 million on Kickstarter, well past its $900k goal, and is still accepting crowd funding pledges at its official site.

Hatred

Hatred

Developer: Destructive Creations
Publisher: In-house
Release date: Q2
Link: Official Site
Don’t get too close to Hatred or you’ll cut yourself, ‘cause it’s just so damn EDGY. This embarrassing shooter looks like the kind of thing a developer would release in the late ‘90s to rile up tabloid newspapers. It prides itself on being controversial, but it’s about as subversive and provocative as an episode of Two and a Half Men. If Hatred had a human form, it’d be a guy with a ponytail, sunglasses, and a long leather trenchcoat, holding a Fear Factory CD.

FIGHTING GAMES

There aren't enough multiplayer punching-and-kicking games on PC, but that'll gradually change as we bicycle-kick our way through 2015. The immortal Street Fighter series returns this year with cross-platform play that'll let us take on PS4 owners. There's also Mortal Kombat, if you like silly stories and spine-snapping finishers.

Street Fighter V

Street Fighter V

Developer: Dimps, Capcom
Publisher: Capcom
Release date: TBA 2015
Link: Official site
Finally, we’ll have the power to fight against console players in Street Fighter V. Cross platform play makes complete sense for a fighter, as long as Capcom can keep lag away. Anyway, Ryu and Chun-Li are confirmed for the roster, along with returning character Charlie Nash. Watch Ryu and Chun-Li duke it out here and note the neat painterly flourishes for big blows.

Colossal Kaiju Combat: Kaijuland Battles

Colossal Kaiju

Developer: Sunstone Games
Publisher: Sunstone Games
Release date: TBA 2015
Link: Official link
A low-fi beat ‘em up starring huge kaiju creatures. The giant dino models are simplistic, but that only makes it easier for the community to create their own skins for their favourite stompy fighter. If you’re not interested in customisation there are only four fighters to choose from in this release. One for those nostalgic for the likes of Godzilla: Save the Earth.

Mortal Kombat X

Mortal Kombat X

Developer: NetherRealm Studios
Publisher: Warner Brothers Interactive
Release date: April 14
Link: Official site
Things you will see and hear a lot of in the next entry for the famously gross beat-’em-up series: blood, spines, skulls, “FATALITY”, eyeballs, “get over here!”, a figure frozen mid-kick, a frozen figure shattering while being kicked, ribs breaking, “nyaaaargh”, an ogre throwing a knife-wielding little girl at his opponent, “NAAAARGH”, the wet squelch of a popping heart, “SCORPION WINS”.

Dead or Alive 5: Last Round

Dead or Alive 5 last round

Developer: Team Ninja
Publisher: Koei Tecmo Games
Release date: February 17 2015
Link: Official site
Team Ninja call this the “definitive series finale” with 34 fighters—more than the series has ever had in a single game—and lots of absurd but sumptuous stages. We seem to be getting more and more beat ‘em ups on PC, which is brill. Guilty Gear XRD -SIGN- next, please.

Gang Beasts

Gang Beasts

Developer: Boneloaf
Publisher: Double Fine
Release date: TBA 2015
Link: Official site
Guide your wobbly fighter to victory by grabbing, punching and falling over your opponent. Gang Beasts is simply hilarious, in the same way that a drunken brawl in a teletubby bar would be. It’s in early access at the moment, but all it’s already great couch-multiplayer fun.

Dragonball Xenoverse

DragonBall Xenoverse

Developer: Dimps
Publisher: Bandai Namco Games
Release date: Feb 5, 2015
Link: Official Site
The next entry in a long series of fighting games based on Dragonball Z, this time with a slight twist. Like previous games, you play through events from the show, but Xenoverse has you create a custom character and fight to make sure the original timeline isn’t altered by… evil forces. If the anime doesn’t interest you then that sentence probably didn’t do much to sell you on the game, but fans of the show will be excited to hear that Dragonball Xenoverse will feature an original video anime relating to the game’s plot.

Dynasty Warriors 8 Empires

Dynasty Warriors 8 Empires

Developer: Omega Force
Publisher: Tecmo Koei
Release date: Jan. 30, 2015
Link: Official Site
Let’s be real here, you know about Dynasty Warriors. It’s an all-out hack ‘n slash about carving through legions of enemies like they were butter on a hot day, and it’s a formula that people either seem to love or hate. Empires is the second expansion to Dynasty Warriors 8, which came out on PC in May. Unfortunately, North America will have to wait an extra month past the Japanese and European release date, getting it on February 27th instead.

Brawlhalla

Brawlhalla

Developer: Blue Mammoth Games
Publisher: Xaviant Games
Release date: 2015
Link: Official site

Brawlhalla is a bit like Smash Bros., only simpler and without Nintendo characters. It’s the same set-up, though: four players on a single screen whack each other off platforms. It might not bring serious Smash fans to the PC, but we had a good time with it (and we really need our own versions of the Nintendo games we’ll never see ports of). Brawlhalla is currently on Early Access, though it’ll be free-to-play when it releases, so keep in mind that you’ll be able to try it for free at some point if you’re not sure about buying in just yet.

STRATEGY

There's a trio of Total War games coming out this year, and that's just the beginning for strategy fans. Hearts of Iron 4 looks encouragingly complex and the creators of the excellent Wargame series are bringing us an RTS set in the modern era called Act of Aggression.

Starcraft 2: Legacy of the Void

Starcraft 2

Developer: Blizzard
Publisher: Blizzard
Release date: 2015
Link: Official site
The third part of the Starcraft 2 trilogy deals with the robo-favouring, reality-warping Protoss. Expect a campaign that deals with the 'Toss's attempts to reclaim their homeworld of Auir—and the return of previous SC2 stars Jim Raynor and Kerrigan. Also expect that, whatever the campaign brings, LotV's true longevity will hinge on the changes Blizzard make to Starcraft 2's multiplayer.

Hearts of Iron 4

Hearts of Iron 4

Developer: Paradox
Publisher: Paradox
Release date: 2015
Link: Announcement
The long-awaited sequel to the World War 2 strategy series is almost here, and it’s looking very slick. Take control of a nation in 1939 and tailor its production facilities, research priorities and battle tactics to win the war. There’s lots to think about. Terrain and seasonal change will have an adverse impact on your units and a day-night cycle will grant an advantage to nations who research fast-attack tactics.

Act of Aggression

Act of Aggression

Developer: Eugen Systems
Publisher: Focus Home Interactive
Release date: TBA
Link: Official site
Between RUSE and Wargame: Airland Battle, Eugen has been making some of the most interesting RTS games around. Now they're planning a return to the '90s, and the “golden era” of the genre. Expect base building, resource gathering and unit production, all set against a near-future techno-thriller story.

Satellite Reign

Satellite Reign

Developer: 5 Lives Studios
Publisher: 5 Lives Studios
Release date: TBA 2015
Link: Official site
A cyberpunk, tactical RPG/strategy influenced heavily by classic Syndicate. Form a team, commit cybercrime for clients and get sucked into the hidden power struggle being waged by the city’s technocratic elite. The early access edition of the game is already sporting some lovely wet neon streets, but it lacks the interesting structure of the final game. In its finished form Satellite Reign will essentially be an open world adventure that draws you gently along a central plotline as you take jobs and try to get by. That’s a great way to realise the Blade Runner fantasy.

Mordheim: City of the Damned

Mordheim

Developer: Rogue Factor
Publisher: Focus Interactive
Release date: TBA 2015
Link: Mordheim: City of the Damned
This take on Games Workshop’s overlooked turn-based tabletop game is lingering in Steam’s Early access section for now, but with a bit of spit and polish, it could be great. You control a warband from the Warhammer universe and try to avoid horrible death as you loot and pillage the doomed city. The city has been struck by a magical meteor however, and is now full of demons and rival gangs, so look out for that.

Battle of Empires: 1914 - 1918

Battle of Empires

Developer: Great War Team
Publisher: Best Way Soft
Release date: TBA 2015
Link: Official site
There aren’t many games set during the first world war, so this gritty strategy game could fill a hole in the library of many a wargame aficionado. The Early Access build contains two campaigns for France and the Russian Empire already, but the team want to test multiplayer to make sure the game is correctly balanced before full launch.

Grey Goo

Grey Goo

Developer: Petroglyph
Publisher: GreyBox
Release date: 23 January
Link: Official site
The ex-Westwood devs at Petroglyph are returning to the classic RTS formula. This time, there's a twist... or, more accurately, an ooze. One of the three factions, the titular Goo, has massive, moving amorphous blobs for bases—instantly spawning units to make for an unpredictable foe.

Massive Chalice

Massive Chalice

Developer: Double Fine
Publisher: Double Fine
Release date: Spring 2015
Link: blog.massivechalice.com
Double Fine’s take on XCOM, Final Fantasy Tactics, and Fire Emblem has (with Rogue Legacy) the unique distinction of being a game where you have to think well beyond the life of a single character, and forward into the generations of that character’s children that you’ll also bring into battle. Positive and negative character traits are passed down the lineage, so you’ll have to find worthy mates for your best warriors. In October, we called Massive Chalice “probably the most mechanically complex game Double Fine has produced since Brutal Legend.”

Conquest of Champions

Conquest Of Champions

Developer: Kihon
Publisher: Kihon
Release date: TBA 2015
Link: Conquest of Champions
This hybrid collectible card game/turn based strategy has you playing cards to summon units in combat on a gridded game board. Pick a hero and earn experience and gold in ranked matches. You can spend your winnings on new cards or pay real money to unlock decks early. Conquest of Champions is free-to-play in early access, but is already charging money for card sets. We’d recommend waiting until the game’s actually finished before putting cash into it, though.

Call to Arms

Call to Arms

Developer: Digitalmindsoft
Publisher: Digitalmindsoft
Release date: Late 2015
Link: Official site
This spiritual successor to the excellent Men of War games from Digitalmindsoft is set in the modern era and features conflict between two factions, the United States Army and the Global Revolutionary Movement. Expect intense tactical micromanagement of your troops on modern battlefields adeptly rendered by the team’s advanced engine. It’s heading into Steam early access early next year, and aims to come out before 2016.

Total War: Attila

Total War Attila

Developer: Creative Assembly
Publisher: Sega
Release date: 17 February
Link: Official site
Creative Assembly return to Rome to oversee its fall. Starting at the end of the 4th Century, Attila stars a Rome huge and bloated, and under constant attack from barbarian forces. Into this steps Attila. For Rome, the Huns are a portent of the apocalypse—and the game will map their rise to the breaking of the Seven Seals. It's not just horsemen, either. Attila brings expanded disease and siege systems to the campaign map, and reintroduces the Family Tree politics of previous Total Wars.

Total War: Arena

Total War Arena

Developer: The Creative Assembly
Publisher: SEGA
Release date: TBA 2015
Link: Official site
Arena is boldly attempting to repackage Total War’s famously complicated battles into a friendly free-to-play multiplayer format. Each player controls three units led by a powerful general in massive 10 vs. 10 battles. Your units and chosen general can be upgraded with victory points to unlock new units. Arena plays fast and loose with history, so expect to see some strange all-star lineups on Arena’s ancient battlefields.

Total War Battles: Kingdom

Total War Battles Kingdom

Developer: Creative Assembly
Publisher: Sega
Release date: TBA 2015
Link: Official site
The third Total War title announced for this year. What's this one, then? It's a free-to-play tablet and PC strategy from the team responsible for Total War Battles: Shogun. This one promises to be more in keeping with the main Total War series. Both realm building and tactical battles are planned as you compete to secure the dominance of your 10th century kingdom.

Dungeons 2

Dungeons 2

Developer: Realmforge Studios
Publisher: Kalypso
Release date: TBA 2015
Link: Official site
A Dungeon Keeper-style management and strategy game loaded with dark humor, we’re hopeful that Dungeons 2 will be a better stand-in for its source material than the microtransaction-heavy war crime that EA released in 2014. You take control of a dungeon lord to erect a network of hero-hurting dungeons, taking direct control of minions when you please. Four-player online or LAN multiplayer is on offer too.

Unsung Story: Tale of the Guardians

Unsung storty

Developer: Playdek
Publisher: TBA
Release date: TBA 2015
Link: Official site
Playdek's tactical RPG springs from the mind of Yasumi Matsuno, who created Final Fantasy Tactics and the Ogre Battle series. The game uses an interesting triangular tile system for combat, which is a bit different than the usual square or hexagonal grid. Matsuno came up with a new fantasy world for Unsung Story, which is enough to get us excited. Bonus: Vagrant Story and Final Fantasy XII composer Hitoshi Sakimoto is onboard to work on Unsung Story's music.

Galactic Civilizations 3

Galactic Civilizations 3

Developer: Stardock Entertainment
Publisher: Stardock Entertainment
Release date: TBA 2015
Link: Galactic Civilizations 3
You’ll need a 64-bit system to run Stardock’s ambitious 4X space strategy sequel. Take command of one of the universe’s big movers and face down the alarmingly clever AI the series is famous for. Those GBs will be working hard to simulate dozens, even hundreds of planets, but we can see ourselves accidentally spending more time in GalCiv 3’s advanced ship designer.

War for the Overworld

War for the overworld

Developer: Subterranean Games
Publisher: Subterranean Games
Release date: TBA
Link: Indie DB page
An Early Access RTS/god game, War for the Overworld clearly has its eye on the Dungeon Keeper legacy. Expect the genre's usual mix of minion management, trap-laying, and hero-murdering. As of the end of 2014, developer Subterranean Games was still cranking away on War for the Overlord's beta, adding modes, features, and smartening up the AI.

Convoy

Convoy

Developer: Convoy Games
Publisher: Convoy Games
Release date: 2015
Link: Official Site
Described as Mad Max meets Faster Than Light, this tactical roguelike drops you on an arid planet and sends you to scour the wasteland for replacement spaceship parts. Defend your convoy in real-time combat and engage with randomized text-based events.

C-Wars

C Wars

Developer: Onipunks Studio
Publisher: Onipunks Studio
Release date: TBA 2015
Link: Official site
Imagine if plants vs. zombies was set in a futuristic anime world full of robots that shoot lasers. You move your hero around the layered battlefields striking zombies down with your knife attack, but can summon robot guards, heavy weapon warriors and a huge mech for help. Set manage their formations and watch as your miniature army decimates dozens and dozens of scum. You can download a playable demo for free if you want to try it out.

At The Gates

At The Gates

Developer: Conifer Games
Publisher: Conifer Games
Release date: TBA 2015
Link: Official site
It seems to be a Civilization tradition that the series' lead designers end up dissatisfied by what they've made. Civ 5 lead Jon Shafer is no exception: he's publicly expressed his frustration with the game's AI and combat. His next 4X strategy, At The Gates, aims to rectify these issues. It's designed to make the end game more interesting—forcing players to innovate as the world's resources are consumed.

Blitzkrieg 3

Blitzkrieg 3

Developer: Nival
Publisher: Nival
Release date: Early 2015
Link: Official site
An “MMORTS” set during World War 2 that includes single-player campaigns and free to play online mutliplayer with an optional subscription. Build bases and fend off enemy attack as the USSR, Germany and the USA.

Chaos Reborn

Chaos reborn

Developer: Snapshot Games
Publisher: Snapshot Games
Release date: Early 2015
Link: Chaos Reborn
Julian Gollop’s classic competitive tactical wizard-vs-wizard battles are back in modernised form. You play as a lazy wizard who must summon monsters to do his fighting for him on a hex-grid that represents intervening terrain. Your opponent is doing the same, but both are slave to the unpredictability of magic. Summon illusions to throw your opponent off, and don’t take it too hard when a big spell backfires leaving you wide open to a fireball.

Crookz

Crookz

Developer: Skilltree Studios
Publisher: Kalypso
Release date: TBA 2015
Link: Official site
Crookz is the game version of a '70s B-movie heist flick. It's a tactical strategy about recruiting and managing a team of pro thieves as they plot to the pinch the largest jewels—all while wearing the widest flairs. You'll need full use of espionage, stealth and quick-thinking to make it in and out without detection. Tools such as camera jammers, chloroform and explosive charges should help you get the job done.

Invisible, Inc.

Invisible Inc

Developer: Klei Entertainment
Publisher: Klei Entertainment
Release date: TBA
Link: Official site
Shank, Mark of the Ninja and Don't Starve is an impressive back catalogue to hold, and Klei are set to continue their run of hits with Invisible, Inc. It's a turn-based tactical sneak-'em-up—think a heist version of XCOM. In it, your spy squad must infiltrate procedurally generated corporate buildings, pinching information as they go. If you haven't noticed the pun of the title yet, try saying it out loud.

Caribbean!

Caribbean

Developer: Snowbird Games
Publisher: Snowbird Games
Release date: Early 2015
Link: Official site
A strategic trading game built in an improved version of the Mount & Blade engine, Caribbean promises players plenty of freedom on the high seas. You can build a business empire as a merchant or terrorise trade routes with a well-fitted brig and steal your fortune.

Beyond Sol

Beyond Sol

Developer: Praxia Entertainment
Publisher: Praxia Entertainment
Release date: TBA 2015
Link: Official site
Build huge orbital space-cities and defend them from assault with your customisable ship, then strike out into the galaxy to find resources and amass a fleet of your own. You can even compete with friends in open world multiplayer mode, or form alliances. You can download an early pre-alpha build of the game for free from the game’s site.

Toy Soldiers: War Chest

Toy soldiers war chest

Developer: Signal Studios
Publisher: Ubisoft
Release date: TBA 2015
Link: Official Site
Toy Soldiers expands on its action/RTS/tower defense genre-bending by deploying new hero characters to the battlefield. It also leans more heavily into its toy theme. Why have stodgy World War-inspired battles when the Kaiser could, instead, go up against glittery heroine Starbright and her army of unicorns and kiss-blowing fairies?

Offworld Trading Company

Offworld trader

Developer: Mohawk Games
Publisher: Stardock
Release date: TBA
Link: Official site
Soren Johnson—lead designer of Civilization IV—is now making a real-time strategy. This isn't your traditional RTS, though. Offworld Trading Company is a strategy in which your primary weapon is money. Your aim is to buy up all of your competitors' shares, thus taking control of the entire planet's economy. There'll be plenty of opportunity for dirty tricks, too. If a rival is, for instance, buying up the world's supply of water, a well-placed EMP attack can destroy his production.

Dwelvers

Dwelvers

Developer: Rasmus Ljunggren
Publisher: Dancing Devils
Release date: 2015
Link: Official Site
This early access real-time strategy game puts players in the role of an evil overlord managing a team of minions as they build their own dungeon. Build weapons, manage supply chains, raid other settlements, keep your workers happy, and battle the worst monsters of all: humans.

Worlds of Magic

World of Magic

Developer: Wastelands Interactive
Publisher: Wastelands
Release date: TBA 2015
Link: Official Site
Developer Wastelands Interactive aims to combine classic D20 rules with 4X strategy and procedural generation in this high-fantasy strategy game. Don't forget to use the magic.

Might & Magic Heroes 7

Might & Magic Heroes 7

Developer: Limbic Entertainment
Publisher: Ubisoft
Release date: 2015 TBA
Link: Official Site
The next addition to the long running Might & Magic Heroes series, the seventh full game looks to continue the story of the sixth. Might and Magic Heroes is a turn-based strategy RPG that takes place on an overworld map. Players take turns building their cities and armies before getting into battles, which are also turn-based on a grid battlefield.

ADVENTURE

Between Game of Thrones and the new Minecraft game, Telltale have plenty on the boil in 2015. If you prefer traditional point 'n clicks then a remastered Grim Fandango and the second half of Broken Age should do nicely. We're particularly keen to explore Firewatch, a funny and intriguing mystery game set in the Wyoming wilderness. 

Minecraft: Story Mode

Minecraft

Developer: Telltale
Publisher: Telltale
Release date: TBA 2015
Link: Official site
Tales of the Borderlands may have proven Telltale's talent at turning an existing game world into a compelling adventure, but Minecraft? That's the challenge the studio has set themselves with Minecraft: Story Mode. Moreover, they've promised not to make it an official telling of "Steve's" story, or to reveal too much about the world of Minecraft. What's left? According to the game's announcement, the story has been inspired by—and made in collaboration with—members of the Minecraft community.

Firewatch

Firewatch

Developer: Campo Santo
Publisher: Campo Santo
Release date: TBA 2015
Link: Official site
Explore the Wyoming wilderness in this beautiful and funny exploration game from the indie superteam at Campo Santo. You’re doing rounds of your territory as a summer fire lookout, but start encountering mysterious goings on in the neighbourhood. Luckily, you’re not entirely alone. You can reflect on everything with your trusty companion, Delilah, who’s always available on the other end of your handheld radio.

Broken Age: Act 2

Broken Age

Developer: Double Fine
Publisher: Double Fine
Release date: Early 2015
Link: Official site
Broken Age: Act 1 left us on a cliffhanger that we've waited almost a year to see resolved. Originally planned for the end of last year, the second half of Double Fine's point-'n'-click return is now set to arrive in the early months of 2015. In addition to the conclusion of Shay and Vella's story, Act 2 is set to challenge adventure veterans with a series of larger and more difficult puzzles.

Grim Fandango Remastered

Grim Fandango

Developer: Double Fine
Publisher: Double Fine
Release date: TBA 2015
Link: Announcement post
Initially announced for PS4 and Vita only, our cries of despair were saved by a Double Fine tweet confirming a fresh PC edition of Grim Fandango, supposedly “remastered” for modern audiences. We’re not sure exactly what that means yet, but we’re hoping for widescreen support, a new control system and maybe some high-res renders of the land of the dead’s beautiful backgrounds.

Tales From The Borderlands

Tales From The Borderlands

Developer: Telltale Games
Publisher: Telltale Games
Release date: Throughout 2015
Link: Official site
Last year, Telltale released the first episode of its five-part Borderlands spin-off. Set after the events of Borderlands 2, it tells the story of Hyperion employee Rhys and con artist Fiona as they set out in search of the elusive Vault key. The first episode showed how well the personality of Gearbox's shooter series could translate to and adventure. Hopefully the remaining parts only build on the momentum it generated.

Game of Thrones

Game of Thrones

Developer: Telltale Games
Publisher: Telltale Games
Release date: Throughout 2015
Link: Official site
Telltale's Game of Thrones series is already underway, and the first episode gave us an idea of how future instalments will work. Starting at the end of the TV show's third season, it tells the story of House Forrester, and shows how their lives are affected by the events and characters from the show. A further five episodes are set to release over the course of the year, taking players up to just before the start of season five.

Life Is Strange

Life Is Strange

Developer: DONTNOD
Publisher: Square Enix
Release date: 30 January
Link: Official site
There are shades of Twin Peaks and Heavy Rain in this episodic mystery about a young girl who can rewind time. Max and her friend Sam embark on a journey through the darker side of their home town, as they attempt to find the truth behind the disappearance of another student. Told over five parts, expect Max's time-tampering to have marked and potentially disastrous effect on their future.

Way of the Samurai 4

Way Of The Samurai

Developer: Acquire
Publisher: Ghostlight LTD
Release date: January 2015
Link: Steam page
Turns out there's more to learn about the way of the samurai. By looking at the console version of Way of the Samurai 4, we've learned that they like pink kimonos and swordfighting. The series is known for being a bit of a samurai life sim, splitting gameplay up into combat, character progression, and events that lead to multiple endings. The PC port promises a new UI and support for both gamepads and keyboard controls.

Cradle

Cradle

Developer: Flying Cafe for semianimals
Publisher: Flying Cafe for semianimals
Release date: TBA 2015
Link: Official site
A surreal first-person game about exploring a strange science fiction world that also explores your character’s relationship with a mechanical girl. You have to restore your clockwork friend by finding parts hidden in the Mongolian hills, which hide strange machines and cities. We don’t know much about this enigmatic adventure game but early footage looks beautiful.

Virginia

Virginia

Developer: Variable State
Publisher: Variable State
Release date: TBA 2015
Link: Variable State
The Twin Peaks influence is immediately clear in Variable State’s adventure game. You play a recently-graduated FBI agent on a mission to discover the fate of a missing boy. The devs say it’s “inspired by our collective love of 90s TV dramas like Twin Peaks, The X-Files and The Outer Limits, we wanted to create a game which captured their mixture of the inexplicable, the absurd and the mundane.” We’re looking forward to this one.

Syberia III

Syberia III

Developer: Benoît Sokal
Publisher: Anuman Interactive
Release date: TBA 2015
Link: Official Site
The last entry in the Syberia series came out 10 years ago, but creator Benoît Sokal is reviving it along with its signature leading lady, Kate Walker. Syberia is a point and click adventure game with a steampunk theme. It was originally supposed to begin development in 2010, but had trouble with funding. Now, with the recent return in popularity of the point and click genre, Syberia should feel right at home.

The Black Glove

The black glove

Developer: Day for Night Games
Publisher: Day for Night Games
Release date: TBA
Link: Developer’s Site
Even though The Black Glove fell woefully short of its Kickstarter goal, Day for Night Games is determined to complete it. Made up of ex-Bioshock developers, the Kickstarter trailer showed us a surreal adventure game with real promise, but even a last minute plug from Ken Levine couldn’t push it to its goal. Not many details are known about The Black Glove’s gameplay, but its got a great team behind it. Hopefully they can get it done.

That Dragon, Cancer

That Dragon Cancer

Developer: Ryan Green, Amy Green, Josh Larson
Publisher: Ryan Green, Amy Green, Josh Larson
Release date: October 2015
Link: thatdragoncancer.com
A touching memorial to Joel, the son of Ryan and Amy Green, who passed away from cancer at a young age. That Dragon, Cancer is important work, a reminder that games have power as expressive records that can capture pain, loss, humanity, and who a person was.

Midwinter

Midwinter

Developer: Chilli Hugger Software
Publisher: Chilli Hugger Software
Release date: TBA
Link: Developer’s Blog
A remake of the 1989 Atari and Amiga classic, Midwinter is being made by many of the same people who were on the original’s team. They aim not just to make an updated version of the game, but a version that fully realizes creator Mike Singleton’s vision. It’s unclear exactly what they’ll add or change, but you can be sure it will be a first person action-adventure game with quite a lot of snow.

Children of Liberty

Children of Liberty

Developer: Lantana Games
Publisher: Lantana Games
Release date: TBA 2015
Link: Official site
It’s the eve of the American Revolution and four young spies are on a mission thwart the Redcoats. That’s the enigmatic background for a stealth game that blends 2D character sprites with 3D environments.

Sunless Sea

Sunless Sea

Developer: Failbetter Games
Publisher: Failbetter Games
Release date: Feb 2015
Link: Official site
Experience strange happenings on the endless Zee. London has sunk into a subterranean nightmare, but humanity survives. Take a skiff and start exploring the islands nestled in the dark. They’re full of strange characters with strange stories to tell. Collect them, report back to the authorities in Fallen London, earn some coin and upgrade your ship so you’re ready to go deeper into the darkness.

Last Life

Last Life

Developer: Rocket Science Amusements
Publisher: Double Fine Productions
Release date: 2015
Link: Official Site
A sci-fi noir adventure featuring a private detective who, after being killed, is resurrected through advanced 3-D printing technology and attempts to close the case on his own murder. If that's not appealing enough, this successfully Kickstarted adventure takes place on Mars.

King’s Quest: Your Legacy Awaits

King's Quest

Developer: The Odd Gentlemen
Publisher: Sierra Entertainment
Release date: Fall 2015
Link: Official Site
After several false starts, the reboot of the King's Quest series is due to appear this fall. Developed by The Odd Gentlemen, the makers of The Adventures of P.B. Winterbottom, it will eschew a point-and-click format and instead provided a combination of platforming action and puzzle-solving.

SOMA

Soma

Developer: Frictional Games
Publisher: Frictional Games
Release date: TBA 2015
Link: Official site
SOMA is a sci-fi horror from the creators of Amnesia and the Penumbra series. It's set in an underwater complex where machines are coming to life—taking on increasingly human traits. Add in corridors infected by strange, alien machinery and you've got a recipe for a chilling and creepy adventure filled with puzzles, exploration, and—at a guess—a fright or two.

Ladykiller In A Bind

Ladykiller In A Bind

Developer: Love Conquers All Games
Publisher: Love Conquers All Games
Release date: TBA 2015
Link: Announcement post
Or, to give the game its full title, My Twin Brother Made Me Crossdress As Him And Now I Have To Deal With A Geeky Stalker And A Domme Beauty Who Want Me In A Bind!! MTBMMCAHANIHTDWAGSAADBWWMIAB!! is an erotic visual novel about social manipulation from Christine Love, the creator of Analogue: A Hate Story. Given the theme, things will no doubt get pretty kinky. Hopefully they'll at least be some post-bondage cuddling if things get a bit too intense.

Armikrog

Armikrog

Developer: Pencil Test Studios
Publisher: Pencil Test Studios
Release date: TBA 2015
Link: Steam Greenlight page
It's not a sequel as such, but Armikrog has more than a little in common with late-'90s adventure The Neverhood. It's made by the same creators, for one thing. More to the point, it's a claymation point-'n'-click. Armikrog tells the story of space explorer Tommynaut and his blind dog Beak-Beak. Its developers promise a roster of quirky characters and unique settings—all made possible by the $974,000 the game attracted on Kickstarter.

Blackmore’s Bane

Blackmore's Bane

Developer: iOiOi
Publisher: iOiOi
Release date: TBA
Link: Blackmore’s Bane
A “steampunk graphic adventure” about hunting a serial killer through Victorian London, you play as the Blackmores, a genius family of scientists and intellectuals with access to the highest technology. The team list voice talent like David Hayter of Solid Snake fame and Donna Burke, who has acted and sung in Final Fantasy and Metal Gear.

Caffeine

Caffeine

Developer: Incandescent Imaging
Publisher: Incandescent Imaging
Release date: Mid 2015
Link: Official site
That the world has run out of caffeine is only the start of Caffeine's terrifying set-up. It's a first-person psychological horror adventure set in a world where corporations create synthetic coffee by mining minerals in space. You wake on one of these space stations, alone and with no memory. Over three planned episodes, Caffeine will let you explore the station—solving puzzles and unravelling the mystery of who you are and what happened to everybody else.

Dead Synchronicity: Tomorrow Comes Today

Dead Synchronicity

Developer: Fictiorama Studios
Publisher: Daedalic Entertainment
Release date: TBA 2015
Link: Official site
A dark, dystopian point-'n'-click that nevertheless names Day of the Tentacle and Monkey Island as inspirations. Perhaps not to the extent that you'll need to USE DESPAIR ON EXISTENTIAL CRISIS, but expect dialogue trees and inventory puzzles as you take on the role of man-with-no-past Michael. He's got plenty to deal with; namely a series of natural disasters, an unnatural pandemic and the dissolution of time itself.

Decay: The Mare

Decay The Mare

Developer: Shining Gate
Publisher: Daedalic Entertainment
Release date: February 2015
Link: Announcement post
The first two episodes of horror point-'n'-click Decay: The Mare were released on PC last year. If you missed them, it's because they were only available through the Windows Store. The series has now been picked up by adventure specialists Daedalic, who, alongside a third episode release, will bring the full series to more visible PC storefronts. In it, you play Sam—a recovering addict who visits rehab and, instead, becomes stuck in an seemingly unending nightmare.

Return of the Obra Dinn

Return of the Obra Dinn

Developer: Lucas Pope
Publisher: Lucas Pope
Release date: TBA
Link: Official site
From the creator of Papers, Please comes a game about mystery, murder and time travel. In Return of the Obra Dinn you play as an insurance adjustor tasked with discerning the fate of the titular ship, which has returned to port in circumstances as mysterious as its disappearance six years prior. Using 1-bit rendering to create a striking aesthetic, the game asks you to explore the ship, and travel back in time to view a frozen tableau depicting the moment of each crewman's death.

Oort Online

Oort Online

Developer: Wonderstruck
Publisher: Wonderstruck
Release date: TBA 2015
Link: Official Site
Claim land, build a home, and explore a completely player-driven economy in this promising online MMO sandbox with voxel-based visuals. There are monsters to battle, a robust crafting system, and you can fight other players in PvP zones.

EXPLORATION AND SURVIVAL

If you're looking to get lost in some beautiful worlds in 2015 then these games have you covered, whether you're after a horrifying survival experience or a placid hiking sim. No Man's Sky is one of the most exciting options this year, offering an entire universe of planets to claim and weird wildlife to photograph. Also look out for The Long Dark, Project Zomboid, Starbound, Heat Signature and Pathologic.

No Man’s Sky

No Man's Sky

Developer: Hello Games
Publisher: Hello Games
Release date: TBA 2015
Link: Official site
Explore a procedurally generated galaxy of weird and wonderful sci-fi worlds, each of which could easily form the cover of a pulp ‘60s paperback. Fly seamlessly from space to planet’s surface and dodge pirate fleets and huge monsters respectively. No Man’s Sky is an indie game with astonishing scope, but the videos they’ve released so far suggest they might just deliver on that promise of a vast and varied universe.

Adr1ft

Adr1ft

Developer: Three One Zero
Publisher: 505 Games
Release date: TBA, 2015
Link: Official site
It calls itself an “FPX” (or “first-person experience”), and has a number in the middle of its title. Despite all this, Adr1ft looks like a strong contender for Gravity: The Game. You play as an astronaut, stranded and alone among the wreckage of a derelict space station. Survival means finding resources, solving challenges and repairing a damaged escape pod.

Salt

Salt

Developer: Lavaboots Studios
Publisher: Lavaboots Studios
Release date: TBA 2015
Link: Official Site
Explore a vast, procedurally generated ocean, visit mysterious islands, find treasure, and battle pirates and other enemies in this charming indie adventure. Play on a random map or share world generation seeds with others to allow you to sail on the same virtual ocean as your friends.

H1Z1

H1z1

Developer: Sony Online Entertainment
Publisher: Sony Online Entertainment
Release date: January 15
Link: Official Site
A possible contender for DayZ, H1Z1 is a multiplayer FPS survival sandbox with a focus on scavenging, crafting, building, and, naturally, battling hordes of zombies and other players. It's set to launch on January 15th in paid early-access, and will be free-to-play with microtransactions for cosmetic items when it officially launches.

Solarix

Solarix

Developer: Pulsetense Games
Publisher: KISS ltd
Release date: Early 2015
Link: Official Site
A sci-fi psychological horror game, Solarix combines stealth and survival elements. You have been stranded on a ship while avoiding your infected crewmates, and now a clean-up crew wants to make sure there aren’t any survivors. Solarix also plans to have open-ended levels to offer more choice than linear titles like Dead Space.

Delver

Delver

Developer: Priority Interrupt
Publisher: Priority Interrupt
Release date: 2015
Link: Official site

Delver is a first-person roguelike—which these days is shorthand for permadeath and randomized levels—with a “crunchy” pixel art style. It’s on Early Access now, and the devs say it’s playable despite bugs and rough edges. It’s all the usual roguelike stuff: monsters, potions, loot, dying. One bit of good news is that it has modding support. There’s no estimated release date listed, but we’re guessing it’ll be complete sometime in 2015.

Project Zomboid

Project Zomboid

Developer: The Indie Stone
Publisher: The Indie Stone
Release date: Q1/Q2 2015
Link: projectzomboid.com
Zomboid stands out in the sea of zombie survival games as something that’s roguelike-like, certifiably sandboxy, and real-time in its combat. You comb a Kentucky suburb for useful weapons and supplies to survive as long as possible, managing your character’s fraying emotional state and health carefully while eventually erecting your own shelter in Zomboid’s isometric world. The Indie Stone is shooting for a late Q1 release at the earliest, but there’s still important work still to do on building stealth, NPCs, vehicles, and overhauling Zomboid’s UI.

The Deer God

The Deer God

Developer: Crescent Moon Games , Cinopt Studios
Publisher: Crescent Moon Games
Release date: Early 2015
Link: Developer’s Site

Chris L. played a bit of this Early Access sidescroller and mostly liked what he saw. You, a deer, go on a treacherous journey while avoiding predatory animals and the elements. There’s a bit of double-jumping, a bit of reincarnation, and the horror of watching your fawn die in front of you. Eep. It’s in Early Access for the start of the year, but should be released soon.

The Long Dark

The Long Dark

Developer: Hinterland Games
Publisher: In-house
Release date: TBA
Link: Developer’s Site
A realistic survival sim where nature itself your biggest enemy, not zombies or bandits. Set in a frozen Canadian wilderness, every day you don’t die of exposure, starvation, or a wolf attack is a victory. Scavenge supplies from abandoned houses, craft tools, and hunt and cook food to stay alive. Boasts a unique hand-painted art style, like concept art come to life, and an episodic story mode starring the voices of both Commander Shepards is planned.

The Flame in the Flood

The Flame in the Flood

Developer: The Molasses Flood
Publisher: The Molasses Flood
Release date: TBA
Link: Developer’s Site
Described as a rogue-lite river journey, The Flame in the Flood was recently funded on Kickstarter, pulling in $100k over its $150k goal. We haven’t been shown much in the way of actual gameplay, but the art in the trailer looks great, and is paired well with music from Chuck Ragan. Playing it will be a struggle to survive in which we manage hunger, energy, warmth, and the like as we travel down a huge, procedurally-generated river.

ReRoll

ReRoll

Developer: PIXYUL
Publisher: PIXYUL
Release date: TBA
Link: Official Site

PIXYUL has an extraordinarily ambitious goal for ReRoll, an upcoming online open-world survival game: using drones, it plans to map the entire planet to scale and make that the game world. The entire earth. Beyond that not-so-small detail, ReRoll aims to be a pretty standard survival RPG, complete with scavenging and crafting, but that hinges on quite a big caveat. You know, the whole scanning the earth thing.

Shelter 2

Shelter 2

Developer: Might and Delight
Publisher: Might and Delight
Release date: February 2015
Link: Official site

Care for your cubs as a mother Lynx, and probably be devastated when you screw up in the face of unsympathetic nature. Shelter 2, which was slightly delayed in 2014, is one of the most unique-looking games coming in 2015, with a geometric hatching that is bold and appealing. And those Lynx are damn cute.

The Forest

The Forest

Developer: Endnight Games
Publisher: Endnight Games
Release date: TBA
Link: Official site
The creepiest thing about the hunters that surround you in The Forest’s forest is the way they stare. They don’t just chage up and try and murder you (though it would be easy enough considering your unarmed and toolless state at the start of the game) they just stand off a way and watch. Sometimes they’ll circle to get a better look at you. When they think you’re easy pickings, then they strike. It adds a chilling edge to a beautiful survival game. Live off the land, construct shelter and build traps and effigies to scare the locals away.

DayZ

DayZ

Developer: Bohemia Interactive
Publisher: Bohemia Interactive
Release date: TBA 2016
Link: DayZ
It feels like Day Z has been around forever. We’ve already had amazing experiences exploring the huge zombie-infested landmass. Day Z is just a brilliantly novel use for Bohemia’s engine tech, but still has a long way to go before it’s bug-free and feature complete. The zombies still aren’t much of a threat, but that doesn’t matter when the place is still full of terrifying human survivors. Take it slow, keep your eyes peeled and if you see a clown mask, run.

Death in Candlewood

Death in Candlewood

Developer: Rosebud Games
Publisher: Rosebud Games
Release date: Late 2015
Link: Official site
It’s America, it’s the 1940s, you’re exploring the city of Candlewood, which has “over 1,000 navigable buildings”, and there’s horror afoot. Edgar Allen Poe is a prime influence for the talented team of vets, who have worked on the likes of Silent Hill: Origins, FEAR, The Witcher and more. Explore the city in first-person, keep an eye out for ambling husks and be sure to stock up on shotgun ammo.

Crossing The Line

Crossing the Line

Developer: Zomboko Entertainment
Publisher: Zomboko Entertainment
Release date: Spring 2015
Link: Indie DB
The titular line refers to the line between life and death. One one side, there’s you, a detective trying to figure out the mystery behind his wife’s death. On the other side, there’s monsters. You can hop too and fro between the real world and the shadow realm to outwit your enemies. “When you enter [the shadow world], time seems to stop and you have limited opportunity to destroy your enemy’s soul. After that you come back to your body, time resumes its flow and your foe falls dead.” This sounds deeply unfair. I can’t wait to do it.

Planet Explorers

Planet Explorers

Developer: Pathea Games
Publisher: Pathea Games
Release date: TBA
Link: planetexplorers.pathea.net
If we were being crude, we’d call it 3D Starbound. A single- and multiplayer voxel open-world game, Planet Explorers has plenty of Minecraft in its DNA, with collection, crafting, and wandering being some of the big verbs open to the player. The sci-fi focus opens it up to some creative forms of movement that suit it as a sandbox game, though, like jetpacking and gliding. It also features LAN mode.

Submerged

Submerged

Developer: Uppercut Games
Publisher: Uppercut Games
Release date: TBA
Link: Official site
This third-person, Unreal Engine 4 game features a wall-climbing mechanic, which you’ll use to explore a ruined, drowned city for supplies. You’ll also navigate the world in your humble kayak as Miku and her brother Taku, young Polynesians just looking to survive in some abandoned ancient ruins. This’ll be Uppercut’s first PC game as a studio (they previously made EPOCH and EPOCH 2 on mobile devices), but it’s looking gorgeous.

UemeU

Uemeu

Developer: Omnigon Games
Publisher: TBA
Release date: Q2 2015
Link: Official site
Omnigon Games calls UemeU a "next generation sandbox game" that's as much an engine as a game. The build mode includes tools for altering train, building structures, even controlling weather and time of day, while the Play mode gets all Second Life with customizing an avatar and action abilities and checking out all the weird, weird places other players have constructed.

Project Isolation

Project Isolation

Developer: Smalls Studios
Publisher: TBA
Release date: Q3 2015
Link: Indie DB page
Survive in a Canadian wilderness populated by zombies, NPCs, and other players. Project Isolation is a multiplayer survival game with big ambitions. We’re a bit worried that the creator has bit off more than they can chew, and in a market already served by DayZ, Rust, H1Z1, and other open-world multiplayer survival games. From the looks of it, though, its focus on hunting and trapping could be a unique addition to the growing genre.

TUG

Tug

Developer: Nerd Kingdom
Publisher: Nerd Kingdom
Release date: 2015
Link: Official site
A multiplayer open-world sandbox-RPG (phew) that's already on Steam Early Access. TUG is one of many games iterating on the Minecraft legacy, blending open world exploration with crafting and building. Developer Nerd Kingdom is building its own engine for the game, so expect new features, including the multiplayer, more complex building, and AI to come online throughout 2015

Subnautica

Subnautica

Developer: Unknown Worlds
Publisher: Unknown Worlds
Release date: 2015
Link: unknownworlds.com/subnautica/
This underwater, first-person exploration game is still taking shape in Early Access, but it’s a setting that we desperately want to see more of. The creators of Natural Selection 2 have a knack for great graphics, and we’re already curious about how Subnautica will combine Minecraft-like crafting and gathering with survival and science.

Life is Feudal

Life is feudal

Developer: Bitbox Ltd.
Publisher: Bitbox Ltd.
Release date:Q3 2015
Link: Official site

The use of caps-lock on the Early Access store page may dissuade you from trying Life is Feudal now (it’s in ALPHA!), but many of those playing now seem happy to be involved in the development of this 64-player survival sandbox (based on the user reviews). Its has medieval farming, building (make a town, make a city), cooking, crafting, and combat, as well as terraforming and tunnel building.

Cult County

Cult County

Developer: Renegade Kid
Publisher: Renegade Kid
Release date: TBA
Link: Renegade Kid site
Cult Couunty’s Kickstarter raised less than 10% of its target in 2014, but that won’t stop Renegade Kid from pressing on with development of their first-person survival horror game. The Dementium creators want to to make something that blends the episodic story format of The Walking Dead with the spooks of Silent Hill and Resi. “Will you join the cult of perfect you?” the tagline asks, to which I reply “will there be ice cream?”

Inner Space

Inner Space

Developer: PolyKnight Games
Publisher: PolyKnight Games
Release date:October 2015
Link: Kickstarter

Not to be confused with the old shareware game, Operation: Inner Space, this is an abstract exploration flying game where you map uncharted worlds. One thing that stands out: your airplane seems to do just fine flying under water. The project was funded on Kickstarter in late 2014, and its estimated release is set for autumn 2015.

Pathologic

Pathologic

Developer: Ice-Pick Lodge
Publisher: Ice-Pick Lodge
Release date: November 2016
Link: Official site
The original Pathologic was an eerie cult treat—its weird, unique mystery overcoming poor translation and technical issues. Now, thanks to Kickstarter, Ice-Pick Lodge have secured $333,000 to remake it. Once again, the game will give you twelve days to rescue a town from a deadly plague. And once again, you can't save everyone. Who you choose to see, and when you choose to see them, will ultimately define who lives, who dies, and whether you'll progress through this strange and hostile world.

7 Days To Die

7 Days To Die

Developer: The Fun Pimps
Publisher: The Fun Pimps
Release date: TBA
Link: Official site
Building? Crafting? Mining? Exploration? Axes? Yup, 7 Days To Die has it all. It also has zombies, which is how you know it's a survival game. It's been in Early Access for just over a year now, and there's still more being poured into its sandbox world. Expect missions, vehicles and zombie bears to appear before the game's official launch.

Darkwood

Darkwood

Developer: Acid Wizard Studio
Publisher: Acid Wizard Studio
Release date: TBA 2015
Link: Darkwood
Moody top down survival horror set in a forest full of twisted creatures. Use your flashlight wisely—the path you’re illuminating is also a beacon to local nasties. The open world is procedurally generated and there will be “roguelike elements”, so expect to meet a bad end often as you try to unravel the secret of the wood.

AQP

Aqp

Developer: Chevarria Arts
Publisher: Chevarria Arts
Release date: TBA 2015
Link: Official site
An ambitious indie attempt inspired by Grand Theft Auto, AQP aims to give players a whole city to explore. You run and drive as a Dave Grohl-a-like called Steve, seeing the sights in environments rendered using Unreal Engine 4. Worried about getting bored? Don’t worry, there will be weapons, too, and zombie DLC is planned.

Beasts of Prey

Beasts of Prey

Developer: Octagon Interactive
Publisher: Octagon Interactive
Release date: TBA 2015
Link: Steam page
We praised its “accessible crafting system, good sound design and base-building potential” in our early access review. It’s a sandbox game full of dinosaurs to hunt and buildings to craft. The servers expand procedurally based on the player population, but felt a little empty when we tested things. Hopefully Beasts of Prey can find its audience as it adds more dinosaurs. More dinosaurs solves everything.

Resident Evil HD Remaster

Resident Evil HD Remaster

Developer: Capcom
Publisher: Capcom
Release date: January
Link: Official site
The 2002 Gamecube remake of the brilliant original Resident Evil has never made it to PC before, other than through emulation, so consider this a treat for early 2015. It’s really the best the old-style fixed camera survival horror Resi got—having the game’s already impressive textures at hi-res should make for an impressive port.

Heat Signature

Heat Signature

Developer: Tom Francis
Publisher: Tom Francis
Release date: TBA 2015
Link: Official site
The second game from former PC Gamer staff member Tom Francis is about hijacking spaceships by landing on them and making your way through the corridors of a vessel with a Hotline Miami-style top-down shooting interface. The galaxy is procedurally generated and it looks very pretty, too.

Resident Evil Revelations 2

Resident Evil HD Remaster

Developer: Capcom
Publisher: Capcom
Release date: 18 February, 2015
Link: Official site
Look, there's no way round it: in Resident Evil Revelations 2 you play as a guy called Barry. Barry Burton, to be exact. Mr. Jill Sandwich returns as one of two leads for this episodic Resi series; the other being Resident Evil 2's Claire Redfield. As always, you're facing a series of bioengineered monstrosities—this time while you attempt to escape a remote island.

Edge of Space

Edge Of Space

Developer: Handyman Studios
Publisher: Reverb Publishing
Release date: 2015
Link: Steam Store Page
Marooned on a distant planet, it's a desperate fight for survival in this indie sandbox RPG. Harvest and gather resources, craft weapons and tools, build facilities and vehicles, and battle bizarre enemies like jetpack-wearing penguins and laser-sharks.

Starbound

Starbound

Developer: Chucklefish
Publisher: Chucklefish
Release date: TBA
Link: Official Site
Currently on Steam early access, Starbound was initially crowdfunded last year and destroyed the goals it set for itself. A 2D platformer, Starbound is all about travelling to different planets where you can mine, fight, build, craft, or farm as you see fit. It’s similar to games like Terraria, and is being actively updated with nightly, unstable builds.

MMO

The traditional subscription MMO is a fading genre, but there are still a few to watch in 2015.

Trove

Trove

Developer: Trion Worlds
Publisher: Trion Worlds
Release date: TBA
Link: Official Site
The phrase free-to-play, voxel-based, block building, MMORPG could only have more buzzwords in it if Trove was also a MOBA, but thankfully that isn’t the case. Currently in open beta, Trove mixes the standard looting and dungeon crawling staples of an MMO with the block-based, or voxel in this case, world building made popular by Minecraft.

Wander

Wander

Developer: Wander
Publisher: Wander
Release date: TBA
Link: Official Site
Everyone starts as a tree before growing into much more… we think. Wander is collaborative, non-combat MMO that encourages players to explore and experience the beauty of the world together. The game is all about discovery and being in the world with others, not grinding XP and completing quests.

Camelot Unchained


Camalot Unchained

Developer: City State Entertainment
Publisher: City State Entertainment
Release date: December 2015
Link: Official site
Plenty of MMOs have borrowed from Dark Age of Camelot's three-way Realm vs Realm combat, but few have made it the primary focus. Headed by DAoC's lead designer, Camelot Unchained plans to do just that. As an MMO, it will feature no experience game from PvE. Instead, everything is geared towards the three-way war—from the player-driven economy through to the twisted lore.

Triad Wars

Triad Wars


Developer: United Front Games
Publisher: Square Enix
Release date: TBA 2015
Link: Official site
Instead of a direct sequel to open world hit Sleeping Dogs, United Front Games is making a spin-off, a massively multiplayer online action game set in the seedy world of the Hong Kong triad. Expect a whole lot of turf raiding, fightfighting and shooting pulled from Sleeping Dogs, and plenty of gang-on-gang violence. And it's going to be free to play.

Warhammer 40,000: Eternal Crusade

Warhammer

Developer: Behaviour Interactive
Publisher: Games Workshop
Release date: TBA
Link: Official site
Eternal Crusade bills itself as a third person massive combat RPG. Think an MMO with third-person shooting, space marines, and an unusual quantity of chainsaw swords. Eternal Crusade launched in early access form in 2014 with a $40 buy-in and no ongoing subscription. As you'd expect from Warhammer 40K, this is mostly a PvP affair, so be ready to jump into some marine-on-ork violence.

World of Warships

World of Warships

Developer: Wargaming.net
Publisher: Wargaming.net
Release date: TBA 2015
Link: Official site
The next in Wargaming's "World of…" series. Previously we've fought on land and in the skies, and now it's time to take to the sea. World of Warships puts you in control of massive, gun-laden boats, and sets you against a team of similarly massive, gun-laden boats. It's a full-scale boat off, utilising an armoury that can include everything from cannons to swarms of aircraft. The diversity of styles should make for one of the studio's most tactically varied games to date.

Entropy

Entropy

Developer: Artplant
Publisher: Artplant
Release date: TBA 2015
Link: Official Site
Engage in space combat, a dynamic economic system, ship and character customization, and deep space exploration in over a hundred different star systems in this sci-fi MMO. It sounds a bit like EVE but with a great focus on dogfighting. It's been working out its early access kinks since early 2013.

PLATFORM

Games for those who like running, jumping and puzzling, Apotheon and the Iconoclasts both look excellent and a sidescrolling Chinese outing for the Assassin's Creed series could be good, too.

Assassin's Creed Chronicles: China

Assassin's Creed Chronicles China

Developer: Ubisoft
Publisher: Ubisoft
Release date: TBA 2015
Link: Season Pass page
Originally planned as part of Assassin's Creed Unity's Season Pass, Chronicles: China will now release as a standalone 2.5D platformer. Set in China in the year 1526, you play as Shao Jun—last Assassin of the Chinese Brotherhood and trainee of Ezio Auditore. Her mission? Revenge, likely involving a selection of weapons and stealthy tools.

Gravity Ghost

Gravity Ghost

Developer: Ivygames
Publisher: Ivygames
Release date: January 26
Link: gravityghost.com
With game design and art by Erin Robinson (Puzzle Bots), and music by Ben Prunty (FTL), Gravity Ghost will be a mellow counterpart to most other platformers in 2015. You grapple with gravity and inertia as you float in a 2D starfield, gliding gracefully between planets to reach the next screen. It’s a uniquely calming take on motion in games.

The Swindle

The Swindle

Developer: Size Five Games
Publisher: Size Five Games
Release date: TBA 2015
Link: Official site
A 2D heist-'em-up from the creator of Gun Monkeys and Time Gentlemen, Please. In The Swindle, you play as shady figure hiring thieves for procedurally generated missions. You also play as the thieves—clobbering guards, hacking into systems and stealing cash for future upgrades. It was, for a time, cancelled, but has been brought back as an RPG-lite stealth roguelike with a steampunk aesthetic.

Kalimba

Kalimba

Developer: Press Play
Publisher: Press Play
Release date: Jan 2015
Link: Official Site
A puzzle platformer that originally released for Xbox One in mid-December, Kalimba puts you in control of some adorably fluorescent totems—the catch is that you control two at once with the same input. It features full boss levels, co-op, tons of collectables, and some rather forgiving checkpoints for it’s instant-death obstacles.

Ori and the Blind Forest

Ori and the Blind Forest

Developer: Moon Studios
Publisher: Microsoft Studios
Release date: TBA 2015
Link: Official Site
A beautiful and atmospheric 2D action adventure game, Moon Studios cites inspiration from classic games like Super Metroid and The Legend of Zelda. Ori and the Blind Forest has a very distinct watercolor-like style, and appears to be a loving homage to platformers of the past while creating something new.

20XX

20xx

Developer: Batterystaple Games
Publisher: Batterystaple Games
Release date: TBA 2015
Link: Official site
Does that screenshot make you think of Megaman? It’s an obvious inspiration for this “co-op friendly action platformer roguelike” from indie team Batterystaple. Jump around procedurally generated levels collecting weapons and upgrading your little warrior.

Axiom Verge

Axiom Verge

Developer: Thomas Happ Games
Publisher: Sony
Release date: TBA 2015
Link: Official Site
This action platformer might look like Super Metroid on first glance, but Axiom Verge’s trailer reveals mechanics like digging, a lightning gun, some tools we can’t quite identify (a gun that shoots blue squares and creates platforms?) and great-looking Giger-esque art. It features a great mix of classic 16-bit pixel art with more modern effects.

Mushroom 11

Mushroom 11

Developer: Untame
Publisher: Untame
Release date: TBA
Link: Official Site
Guide an amorphous blob through a ruined, desolate landscape by nudging its constantly changing shape along. Mushroom 11 is a unique take on a puzzle platformer—one of those concepts that feels like it should have been done before. It was designed with tablets and the PC in mind, so it was designed with simplicity in mind, but that simplicity is one of the most appealing things about it.

SpeedRunners

SpeedRunners

Developer: DoubleDutch Games
Publisher: tinyBuild
Release date: Early 2015
Link: Official site

We’re pretty fond of SpeedRunners, even in its Early Access state, so we have nothing but high hopes for the completed version. It’s a 4-player competitive platformer about staying on the screen, and has both local and online multiplayer, as well as AI bots.

The Iconoclasts

Iconoclasts

Developer: Konjak
Publisher: Konjak
Release date: TBA
Link: Official site
A beautiful sidescrolling action game from talented designer and artist Konjak. There are echoes of Cave Story to its open structure and exciting shmup combat. Konjak released alphas in 2011 and 2012 but is working on a bigger, prettier version. Read our hands-on impressions to find out why that’s such an exciting prospect.

Four Sided Fantasy

Four Sided Fantasy

Developer: Ludo Land
Publisher: Ludo Land
Release date: February 2015
Link: Official site
This Kickstarted indie platformer is all about its “screen wrap” mechanic, the same mechanic that allows Pac-Man to reach the right side of the screen when he enters a tunnel on the right side of the screen. In Four Sided, though, you have the power to lock the screen’s position, stopping it from scrolling so that you can move from one opposite corner to another. Four Sided should be a great addition to the family of mind-bending platformers that Braid belongs to.

Apotheon

Apotheon

Developer: Alien Trap
Publisher: Alien Trap
Release date: January 2015
Link: Official site
Apotheon is an action platformer that mimics the style of Greek red-figure vase painting. It's a beautiful look—but it's not just the artistry that makes Apotheon intriguing. It's being made by Alien Trap, the developer of Capsized. That game was a physics playground dressed up like a sci-fi adventure. While Apotheon won't have a jetpack, it seems to utilising a similar physicality in its combat and platforming.

Blackhole

Blackhole

Developer: FiolaSoft Studio
Publisher: Playman
Release date: TBA 2015
Link: Official site
This 2D futuristic platformer is set inside a black hole, which luckily happens to contain a habitable world and not a crushing, deadly singularity. You play as the coffee guy on board the crashed spaceship who must repair his vessel, escape the black hole and then close it to save Earth. This will involve lots of puzzles that let you manipulate gravity to walk on walls and ceilings. Think of it as a slower, thinkier VVVVVV.

Chasm

Chasm Screen 04

Developer: Discord Games
Publisher: Discord Games
Release date: TBA 2015
Link: Official link
Kickstarter-funded, procedurally generated Metroidvania adventures in a hack ‘n slash setting full of skellies, tombs, mummies and traps, all rendered in adorable pixel art. Custom gear and weapon adds some persistence to your spelunking, and you’ll find additional challenge in time trial and “hardcore” modes.

Vagante

Vagente

Developer: Nuke Nine
Publisher: Nuke Nine
Release date: 2015
Link: Official site
Roguelike Vagante landed on Steam Early Access in December 2014, and at first blush it looks more than a little like Spelunky. It's a 2D platformer, but clearly more actiony than Mossmouth's gold standard roguelike. Vagante launched in alpha, but Nuke Nine plans regular updates and, at some point, online multiplayer.

Deputy Dangle

Deputy Dangle

Developer: Trinary Studios
Publisher: Trinary Studios
Release date: Q4 2015
Link: Official Site
A physics based police-em-up, Deputy Dangle is a game about stopping an evil granny in a comic book style, 3D world. Each limb is controlled with a different button, and it’s your job to wobble and fling Deputy Dangle through the world to do his job. It is currently on Kickstarter and aims to be completed by the end of 2015

PUZZLE

Our brains are keen to take on the twisted brain-teasers of The Witness and Quadrilateral Cowboy this year, and the addictive Mini Metro is sure to swallow up more hours than we'd readily admit. 

Quadrilateral Cowboy

Quadrilateral Cowboy

Developer: Blendo Games
Publisher: Blendo Games
Release date: TBA 2015
Link: Official site
Brendon Chung is the best. He made the brilliant short adventures Gravity Bone and Thirty Flights of Loving, but Quadrilateral Cowboy is a bit different. It’s a puzzle heist game that has you hacking building systems to pull off seamless crimes. Line up programming commands with your portable deck to disable lasers, open windows, trigger switches with just enough precision to glide through a building’s defences.

The Witness

The Witness

Developer: Thekla, Inc
Publisher: Thekla, Inc
Release date: TBA 2015
Link: Official site
The newest puzzle game from designer Jonathan Blow, creator of Braid, The Witness almost looks like a spiritual successor to the original Myst. You explore a downright gorgeous looking island, solving puzzles in the form of maze-like panels. The Witness was first announced in 2009, even featuring a playable demo at PAX in 2010, and the team is finally putting on the finishing touches for a 2015 release.

Classroom Aquatic

Classroom Aquatic

Developer: Sunken Places
Publisher: Sunken Places
Release date: May 2015
Link: Official site
There is no reason for Classroom Aquatic to be underwater, but I’m so glad it is. A trivia stealth game, you play the only human in an underwater classroom and have to find ways to cheat off of your dolphin classmates. What’s more, it’s being designed specifically with the Oculus Rift in mind, so you’ll be able to lean over and sneak a peek at your neighbors test like it’s grade school all over again.

Obduction

Obduction

Developer: Cyan Inc.
Publisher: Cyan Inc.
Release date: TBA 2015
Link: Official site
A spiritual successor to Myst and Riven, Cyan Inc. is going back to its roots with another point and click puzzle game. Raising $1.3 million on Kickstarter, Cyan proved there was a desire for a game like Obduction and it’s certainly already proven it can make adventure games well. Not many details about Obduction have been revealed, but it will be interesting to see how much it stays true to the Myst formula, and how much it diverges.

Frog Fractions 2

Frog Fractions 2

Developer: Twinbeard
Publisher: Twinbeard
Release date: September 2015
Link: Kickstarter page
We've put Frog Fractions 2 in the puzzle section, despite not knowing what it is. In a very real sense, that's the puzzle. The game will be released not as Frog Fractions 2, but as... something else. Examples given on the Kickstarter page include "'Lost Kingdom: Reckoning,' by Fork Bomb LLC or 'Turbo Finance 2015' by Vespenta Holdings." Anything has the potential to be Frog Fractions 2, and its true identity won't be revealed until "the jig is up," and players discover the ruse. Why such an elaborate reveal? Play the original, free Frog Fractions for an insight into the series' surreal sensibilities.

Mini Metro

Mini Metro

Developer: Dinosaur Polo Club
Publisher: Dinosaur Polo Club
Release date: Early 2015
Link: Official site
A smart little puzzle game based on London tube maps. Build your own routes to get passengers between stations most as efficiently as you can. Quickly redraw routes as new stations open but be careful about overspending on your limited budget. Don’t worry if that sounds too stressful, there’s a sandbox mode if you want to ferry passengers around in peace.

Crypt of the Necrodancer

Crypt Of The Necrodancer

Developer: Brace Yourself Games
Publisher: Brace Yourself Games
Release date: TBA 2015
Link: Official site
Move with the beat in this clever musical roguelike that gets harder as the music speeds up. You can import your own tracks for personalised dungeons and even play with a dance mat if you’re lucky enough to have one. A smart twist on the classic roguelike formula.

Boss Constructor

Boss Constructgor

Developer: Mirko Seithe
Publisher: Mirko Seithe
Release date: TBA
Link: Official site
Build a spaceship and fly it through the most dangerous parts of the universe. The detailed customisation tools add depth and complexity to exploration. You have to balance your ship’s mass against power expenditure, and spend efficiently to produce the deadliest build you can.

Volume

Volume

Developer: Mike Bithell Games
Publisher: Mike Bithell Games
Release date: TBA 2015
Link: Official site
Winner of the award for least Googleable game name, it's Volume. It's a stealth puzzler from the maker of Thomas Was Alone. Much like the VR levels of early Metal Gear Solids, you're navigating your way through cuboid spaces—only here your primary weapon is distraction, not chokeholds. The story is a futuristic retelling of the legend of Robin Hood, and it stars some guy from YouTube.

Crawl

Crawl

Developer: Powerhoof
Publisher: Powerhoof
Release date: TBA 2015
Link: Official site
The four-player competitive multiplayer game in which your friends are the enemies. If you're the intrepid dungeon crawler, they're the ghosts—possessing monsters and activating traps. Their goal is to take you down, at which point the player who strikes the killing blow becomes human, and takes their turn to attempt to escape. Crawl is in Early Access right now, but there's still plenty left to be added as the full game takes shape.

Samorost 3

Samorost 3

Developer: Amanita Design
Publisher: Amanita Design
Release date: TBA 2015
Link: Developer Forums
Not much has been revealed about the next game in the enjoyable Samorost series, but we do know it will sport HD graphics and be a full-length game rather than a short, browser-based experience. The developer behind Machinarium plans to release this point-and-click adventure sometime in 2015.

The Devil's Men

The Devil's Men

Developer: Daedalic Entertainment
Publisher: Daedalic Entertainment
Release date: TBA 2015
Link: Official Site
Solve a series of gruesome murders in England, circa 1871, in this point-and-click adventure. You'll switch back and forth between two playable characters as you follow clues and solve puzzles, but beware: one character's choices will result in consequences for the other.

I Am Bread

I am bread

Developer: Bossa Studios
Publisher: Bossa Studios
Release date: TBA 2015
Link: Official site
It turns out every slice of bread you’ve ever eaten was on a secret quest to become toasted, at least according to floppy bread sim I Am Bread. There's a fiendish puzzle at the heart of I Am Bread; how do you climb with no limbs? You wiggle around the environments by manipulating the corners of a wriggling slice to vault over rolling pins, microwaves, forks and other kitchen things. Hopefully it doesn’t fall into the Goat Simulator camp of games that are funny for five minutes on Twitter, but boring to actually play.

Donut County

Donut County

Developer: Ben Esposito
Publisher: Ben Esposito
Release date: TBA
Link: donutcounty.com
Katamari, but with holes. Developer Ben Esposito (The Unfinished Swan) calls it a “whimsical physics toy,” so it’s unclear how structured it’ll be, but the look and sound of the game is already quite charming—we hope the trailer’s mellow electronica makes its way into the full game.

SPORT

There will be plenty this year for footie fans. There's still no sign of Madden on PC, but Frozen Cortex should offer American Football fans their Gridiron fix.

Fifa 16

Fifa 15

Developer: EA Sports
Publisher: EA
Release date: TBA 2015
Link: Not yet

It hasn’t been announced yet, that’s a picture of Fifa 15, but come on, there’s going to be a Fifa. There’s always a Fifa. But what can EA do to encourage fans to pick up yet another annual iteration? The gaps from game to game seem to be getting slimmer with each release. The game is tweaked, a few new features are added and the sequel is shuffled out again to its massive audience. Imagine if they added something amazing, like a Cantona flying kick button?

Football Manager 2016

Football Manager 2016

Developer: Sports Interactive
Publisher: Sega
Release date: TBA 2015
Link: Football Manager 2015 site
Football Manager is a game series about managing a football team. The most recent entry, Football Manager 2015, was a sequel to Football Manager 2014, which itself was a sequel to Football Manager 2013, which itself… well, you get the idea. We're pretty confident there'll be a Football Manager 2016 before the year is out—likely inspiring the same unhinged fanaticism the series is known for.

Beyond The Sideline Football

Beyond The Sideline Football

Developer: Out of the Park Developments
Publisher: Out of the Park Developments
Release date: Late 2015
Link: Announcement post
From the makers of the acclaimed Out of the Park Baseball comes a new American Football management sim. Beyond The Sideline Football hopes to do for the NFL what OotP did for MLB—provide fans with a deep and realistic set of options with which to live out their managerial aspirations. BTSF promises real teams, players and all the sport's current rules and regulations, making for a realistic depiction of the decisions and tactics behind the Gridiron.

Frozen Cortex

Frozen Cortex

Developer: Mode7
Publisher: Mode7
Release date: TBA
Link: Official site
Frozen Synapse was a simultaneous turn-based strategy about reacting to what you thought your opponent was going to do. Frozen Cortex takes a similarly prediction-based tactical approach, but applies it to robots playing a futuristic version of American Football. Currently in Early Access, the full version will feature a single player campaign story in addition to the competitive multiplayer.

SIM

Simulation games make the PC special. you'll never find anything as absorbing and clever as Kerbal Space program on a console. Prison Architect is progressing nicely in early access and Euro Truck sim fans can look forward to an epic US outing.

Kerbal Space Program

Kerbal Space Program

Developer: Squad
Publisher: Squad
Release date: TBA
Link: Official site
Don’t be fooled by Kerbal’s cutesy visuals, this is a very serious and involved sim about building spaceships and sending them into space. In the beginning it feels like silly space lego, as you try to construct a ship that can successfully leave Kerbal’s atmosphere, but soon you’ll find yourself slingshotting complex unfolding vessels around moons and planets, sending your little Kerbals on dangerous spacewalks and managing full-scale space programs. It’s already well worth the money, and gets better with every update.

American Truck Simulator

American Truck Simulator

Developer: SCS Software
Publisher: SCS Software
Release date: TBA
Link: SCS blog
After the surprising success of Euro Truck Simulator 2, a US-based follow up seemed inevitable. Confirmed back in 2013, SCS have been working on the new environments, roads and vehicles of their trans-atlantic trip. Expect straighter roads, bigger cargo and a diverse array of settings, all built on the same detailed handling and management systems that made ETS2 a cult hit.

Big Pharma

Big Pharma

Developer: Twice Circled
Publisher: Positech Games
Release date: TBA
Link: Official Site
Haven’t you ever wanted to exploit the health of the world for personal profit? I know I have, and Big Pharma will let you do just that. It puts you in the shoes of the next big pharmaceutical company and tells you to pop out pills for high profits. It’s all about machine placement, researching new drugs, and staying one step ahead of the competition...oh, and saving lives, probably. If there’s money in it, at least.

Space Engineers

Space Engineers

Developer: Keen Software House
Publisher: Keen Software House
Release date: TBA 2015
Link: Official site
You play a regular builder in this sandbox engineering sim about constructing spaceships. You float around in zero-G welding beautiful vessels into being. Once you’ve created your masterpiece you can fly your ship into the black, do some mining and then use those advanced materials to build an even better ship. If things go wrong and you crash, you can at least enjoy watching the physics system figure out precisely how your precious structure should shatter.

Prison Architect

Prison Architect

Developer: Introversion Software
Publisher: Introversion Software
Release date: TBA 2015
Link: Official site
The Theme Park/Hospital games deserve a spiritual successor, and Prison Architect is as close as you’re going to get right now. You must manage a high security prison, building cells, break rooms, kitchens, guard outposts and more to create the most efficient penitentiary you can. Fail, and you’ll have a riot on your hands.

Clockwork Empires

Clockwork Empires

Developer: Gaslamp Games
Publisher: Gaslamp Games
Release date: TBA 2015
Link: Offiicial site
A steampunk colony management sim that challenges you to fuel a new industrial revolution by managing a your colonists carefully and developing new tech to improve their output. Look out for “cultists, marauding fish-people, axe murderers” as you expand however. Gaslamp promise “free-form goals” handed down from your imperial overlords and “round-robin” multiplayer.

Tech Executive Tycoon

Tech Executive Tycoon

Developer: WEB Gaming Entertainment
Publisher: WEB Gaming Entertainment
Release date: June 2015
Link: Official Site
We all, deep down in our hearts, hope to become the ruthless manager of a technology company one day. Tech Exec will allow you to make anything from GPUs to gaming consoles to tablets and games with your company. It looks a bit dry and technical, but it seems like it’ll have some depth to compensate: you can build new offices, outsource customer service, and manage employee stress levels.

Castle Story

Castle Story

Developer: Sauropod Studio
Publisher: Sauropod Studio
Release date: TBA 2015
Link: Official site
Can you keep your voxel castle from falling to the hostile creatures of Castle Story? You can deploy warriors of your own—the bricktons—but survival will come down to the design of your sprawling fortress. Castle Story has been hanging around on early access for ages. Will it ever be complete?

World of Diving

World of Diving

Developer: Vertigo Games
Publisher: Vertigo Games
Release date: TBA 2015
Link: Indie DB page
This diving sim (with crucial Oculus Rift support) launched on Steam Early Access in 2014. We were only slightly disappointed to discover it wasn't a canonical sequel to Ecco the Dolphin. Instead, it aims to be an immersive underwater exploration game, with missions of discovery taking you to shipwrecks and spooky caves in single- or multi-player.

Take On Mars

Take On Mars

Developer: Bohemia Interactive
Publisher: Bohemia Interactive
Release date: Q1 2015
Link: mars.takeonthegame.com
Take On Mars makes interesting use of Bohemia’s tech, taking the vehicle dynamics and big terrain of Arma 3 and DayZ and shooting them to the red planet. In 2014 expanded Take On Mars to include a manned mission mode with multiplayer, and the studio looks to complete these features, as well as the robotic portion of the game, early in 2015 as it takes Take On out of Early Access.

Cities: Skylines

Cities Skylines

Developer: Colossal Order
Publisher: Paradox Interactive
Release date: 2015
Link: Official Site
Those irked by SimCity's size limitations and online issues will be pleased to hear Colossal Order's Cities: Skylines will feature massive maps and a single-player experience. The city-building sandbox promises urban planning, mass transit, and massive structures, plus mod support through Steam Workshop.

Cosmonautica

Cosmonautica

Developer: Chasing Carrots
Publisher: Chasing Carrots
Release date: Early 2015
Link: Official site
Pilot a rickety space boat around the universe, picking up jobs and managing your crew to keep fuel in the tanks. It’s the Firefly fantasy, but with a splash of quirky humour and snazzy visuals that could easily have come from Double Fine’s art department.

Factorio

Factorio

Developer: Wube Software
Publisher: Wube Software
Release date: Summer 2015
Link: Official Site
Mine resources, build factories, research new technologies, and create intricate assembly lines on a hostile planet in this indie simulation. It's a game about automation: building machines to do things for you, and that includes building machines that build machines that build even more machines. The automation in Factorio is seriously addicting: once you've got a taste of machines doing your work, you'll want them to do all your work.

Baking Simulator

Baking simulator

Developer: Samoates Games
Publisher: Samoates Games
Release date: TBA
Link: Indie DB site
The twee competitive baking show The Great British Bake Off has inspired literally dozens to try and raise a loaf of their own, but that involves using your fleshy real-world hands to squish and shape things. Why not control every finger and thumb on a virtual pair of mitts to mix and prove virtual dough then, as the dev description suggests, “simply combine the ingredients in the bowl, then place the bowl in the oven.” It’s currently looking for upvotes on Steam Greenlight.

Catlateral Damage

Catlateral Damage

Developer: Chris Chung
Publisher: Chris Chung
Release date: 31 March 2015
Link: Official site
Catlateral Damage is a cat simulator; specifically, a cooped-up cat simulator. Left in a house with nothing to do, you revert to your natural state: knocking stuff off shelves for points. It's a race against the clock, but with your excellent agility you can easily traverse the shelves and tables. You can play the free 7DFPS version of Catlateral Damage right now. This year's expanded version promises more levels, along with collectibles, power-ups and unlockable cats.

Autocraft

Autocraft

Developer: Alientrap
Publisher: Alientrap
Release date: TBA 2015
Link: Official site
Autocraft is a sandbox game about building vehicles—cars, rockets, planes, boats, whatever you can make with the parts you’ve scavenged. Once you’ve assembled your vessel from the Meccano-style building blocks you can drive or pilot your creation through Autocraft’s pleasant pastel universe. It’s currently in early access on Steam and more parts are added regularly.

Viscera Cleanup Detail

Viscera Cleanup Detail

Developer: Runestorm
Publisher: Runestorm
Release date: TBA
Link: Official site
Viscera Cleanup Detail is a fantastic concept for a game. An alien invasion has been quashed by a sole hero, and humanity has been saved. You are not that hero. You are the janitor, and must follow in his wake, cleaning up the alien guts and goop left behind. Currently in Early Access, the full janitorial sim will feature multiplayer and mod support.

European Ship Simulator

European Ship Simulator

Developer: Excalibur
Publisher: In-house
Release date: TBA
Link: Steam
Excalibur, the masters of the niche simulator game, are turning their periscopes to ships next. Yeah, I know, periscopes are submarines, but whatever. With realistic waves and all manner of ships to control, from cruise liners to speedboats, this is promising to be a treasure chest (y’know, pirates, ships) of simulation-style fun.

Maia

Maia

Developer: Machine Studios
Publisher: Machine Studios
Release date: TBA 2015
Link: Official site
A hard sci-fi sim about building and running a small colony on a hostile world. Maia's draw is the detail of its world. Inspired by '70s sci-fi films like Silent Running, its world follows futuristic interpretations of existing scientific systems. That includes a fully modelled alien ecosystem, realistic fluid simulation and genetically engineered super chickens.

From the Depths

From The Depths

Developer: Brilliant Skies Ltd.
Publisher: Brilliant Skies Ltd.
Release date: 2015
Link: Official Site
Design and build a fleet of fearsome flying and floating machines, and then pilot them in first or third-person mode in this block-based sandbox sim. With realistic physics, multiplayer mode, and a planned story campaign, you can try it now out in early access.

RimWorld

Rimworld

D eveloper: Tynan Sylvester
Publisher: Tynan Sylvester
Release date: 2015
Link: Official Site
Kickstarted and planning a release on Steam, RimWorld is a sci-fi colony sim inspired by Dwarf Fortress. Protect your colonists from pirates, build shelters to help them survive storms, and create a custom story for your colony with a choice of A.I. directors.

Rollercoaster Tycoon World

Rollercoaster Tycoon World

Developer: Area 52 Games
Publisher: Atari, Inc.
Release date: Early 2015
Link: Official Site
The theme park construction and management series is headed back to PC after over a decade, and for the first time will feature multiplayer, allowing you to collaborate with up to four friends to design coasters and other rides, and oversee your shared park.

Star Trek Excalibur

Star Trek Excalibur

Developer: Excalibur Team
Publisher: Excalibur Team
Release date: TBA
Link: stexcalibur.com
A promising bridge simulator created by a worldwide team of passionate Trek fans and ex-Bridge Commander modders. Excalibur wants to be the mothership of the genre, packing a reactive story, Newtonian physics, moddability, choice-driven missions, and hundreds of ships and environments into a procedurally-generated universe.

Tabletop Simulator

Tabletop Simulator

Developer: Berserk Games
Publisher: Berserk Games
Release date: TBA 2015
Link: Official Site
Chess, Chinese Checkers, Dominoes, and other tabletop games are able to be played with friends, but that's just the start. Feel free to invent your own games or download any one of hundreds of mods already available in this early-access board game simulator. You can even knock the pieces off the table if you get mad.

RACING

Project Cars plans to take on big boys like Forza this year, and could give us a credible rival to the massive console series on PC. For a more abstract arcade hit, we're looking forward to Distance.

Project Cars

Project Cars

Developer: Slightly Mad Studios
Publisher: Slightly Mad Studios
Release date: March 17
Link: Official site
The screenshots coming out of the Project Cars community are extraordinary. Project Cars has to be one of the best looking games in development on this entire list, but there’s plenty of depth behind those shiny bonnets. The advanced driving model allows for precise and detailed car customisation that you’ll feel on the road. Slightly Mad promise a Forza/Gran Turismo level of fidelity with “advanced features usually reserved for PC-only simulators like iRacing and rFactor.”

Road Redemption

Road Redemption

Developer: Darkseas Games
Publisher: Darkseas Games
Release date: Q1 2015
Link: roadredemption.com
Online multiplayer is one of the big features still to come to this Road Rash spiritual successor, which will wheelie out of its Early Access garage in the first part of 2015. Road Redemption goes a bit further with over-the-top absurdity, having, for example, brought in Shovel Knight as a playable character in late December.

Distance

Distance

Developer: Refract
Publisher: Refract
Release date: TBA 2015
Link: Official site
Oh, you can get a car to go around a track? Good for you. Can you get one around a track when it's covered in lasers, circular saws, vertical walls and weird temporal anomalies? If you don't know, you should keep an eye on Distance—the much improved and expanded spiritual successor to the free Nitronic Rush. It's an endlessly inventive game about a spinning, twisting, high-gliding car driving through a digital nightmare.

Calibre 10 Racing

Calibre 1-

Developer: Bongfish GmbH
Publisher: Bongfish GmbH
Release date: TBA 2015
Link: Official site
For every driver in this racing game, there’s a fellow gunner positioned somewhere on the track trying to take competitors out with missiles, gatling guns and sniper shots. the “high concept super cars” can deploy counter-measures like chaff to keep enemy ordnance at bay as they barge into one another. It’s an unusual framework for a competitive racer, and there’s lots of scope for community customisation. It’s currently in alpha state on early access.

Next Car Game: Wreckfest

Wreckfest

Developer: Bugbear
Publisher: In-house
Release date: TBA
Link: Official site

The terribly-named Next Car Game now has a new terrible name: Wreckfest! But get past the title and you’ll find a fun racer with some seriously impressive physics. As races go on, the track (and the cars on it) get increasingly more battered, smashed, broken, and mud-splattered. Remember FlatOut? This is by the same people.

Audiosurf 2

Audiosurf 2

Developer: Dylan Fitterer
Publisher: Dylan Fitterer
Release date: TBA
Link: Official site
The music surfing puzzle-racer returns with upgraded graphics and Steam Workshop support. Once again, you're able to pick any song in your music collection and "ride" the track—working through a level that twists and undulates in time to the music. The sequel also brings new modes, a point-scoring trick system and DirectX 11 support. It's in Early Access right now, so expect more features to be implemented in time for the full release.

Thumper

Thumper

Developer: Drool
Publisher: Drool
Release date: 2015
Link: drool.ws
This “rhythm violence game” is the work of two Harmonix refugees, a mesmerizing fusion of Wipeout, Tron, and acid-fueled dreams. It feels like Audiosurf if it’d been designed by id Software. Thumper’s overwhelming speed is built on original technology, and you’ll be pushed forward by an original soundtrack.

Carmageddon: Reincarnation

Carmageddon Reincarnation

Developer: Stainless Games
Publisher: Stainless Games
Release date: TBA 2015
Link: Official site
It's a new Carmageddon. You should know what to expect from the 17-year-old series by now: frenzied driving, violence and murder. Once again, you and your fellow sociopathic racers are battling to mow down pedestrians—collecting a plethora of absurd power-ups to help maximise the carnage. Currently in Early Access, this particular reincarnation is on course for a full 2015 release.

Around the web

by CPMStar (Sponsored) Free to play

Comments

highlights