Five Games You Won’t See in My Game of the Year Lists

Originally published on Trevor Trove on December 13, 2015

As 2015 winds down, it’s that time of year when everyone is beginning deliberations on their Game of the Year awards and lists. So far, I’ve got a list of over 30 games that I played enough to be in contention for my own personal lists. But before I start whittling that list down to some semblance of a Top Ten, plus Honorable Mentions, here are five notable games from 2015 that aren’t even on that list of 30 and the reasons why not.

Dying Light – A lot of people picked up Dying Light when it launched in late-January during the early-2015 drought and were pleasantly surprised by the game’s engaging 1st-person parkour, combat, and leveling systems. 

Why I didn’t play it: Zombies. By and large, I’m not a zombie fan. Going a step beyond that, I’m not a horror fan. The only zombie games I can strongly recall liking are The Last of Us (which gets by on its story and combat mechanics over the stress caused by fighting off the clickers) and Zombies Ate My Neighbors (a tongue-firmly-in-cheek send up of zombie movies from the Super Nintendo era.

Evolve – One of the first multiplayer-focused games of 2015, Evolve’s asymmetric 4-v-1 dynamic was critically praised for balancing the gameplay between the monster and the hunters (even if most players only really wanted to be the monsters). A potential victim of a long preview window, micro-transaction nickel-and-diming, and lack of substantial single-player content, most accounts suggested the player-base quickly moved on from the game.

Why I didn’t play it: Multiplayer-focused. Rare exceptions aside (I’m looking at you Mass Effect 3) I don’t play online multiplayer games. I did try the open beta of Evolve that was used for server-testing the game and played a couple matches against the game’s AI but nothing hooked me. I uninstalled it and went back to my 2014 Game of the Year, Dragon Age Inquisition for a spell.

Final Fantasy Type-0 HD – Originally launched for the PSP in Japan in 2011, this action-RPG finally made it’s way stateside in an HD port on the current generation of consoles. The relaunched version of the game included the playable demo Final Fantasy XV: Episode Duscae for the long-awaited next game in the main series.

Why I didn’t play it: Final Fantasy XV: Episode Duscae. Like many, I foolishly bought a $60 game moreso for the free demo it came with. A lifelong Final Fantasy fan, I long for an entry in the core series that I actually enjoy, rather than simply play out of some sense of completionism. So I sat down with the demo and never really got around to playing the game I actually bought.

Bloodborne – Many people’s Game of the Year if you’re into the Demon/Dark Souls games. Bloodborne takes the formula that has put FromSoftware on the map, speeds up the combat a bit, and throws a new set of beautifully horrific monster designs at you who will kill you over and over again.

Why I didn’t play it: Stress. I play video games to unwind and relax. The FromSoftware modus operandi of creating bosses that will kill you time and time again until you get strong enough or master the attack patterns is not my idea of a good time. I have the utmost respect for the people who love these games. But as I grow older and continue to expand my own responsibilities, my gaming time has dropped and I’d much rather spend that limited time on games that bring me personal enjoyment.

Halo 5: Guardians – The latest installment of Microsoft’s flagship series, the co-op-focused campaign of the game was very polarizing, but the multiplayer was widely considered among the best of the series.

Why I didn’t play it: I never had Halo: Combat Evolved on my original Xbox and I missed the Xbox 360 and all of the games therein so I don’t have the affinity for Master Chief that many do. In the lead-up to the new game’s launch I attempted to work my way through the Halo Master Chief Collection but only made it through the first two games. As I wrote of those gamesHalo is not the kind of first-person shooter I’m interested in playing: it feels sluggish and too repetitive.

So those are five of the games you won’t be seeing in my Game of the Year discussions because they just aren’t games for me. If any or all made your list for 2015’s best games, that’s great. It was a great year for games all around and had a lot to offer all kinds of players.

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