Originally published on Trevor Trove on December 20, 2015
As I continue perusing my Memo Pad of games I didn’t get to in 2015, I noticed that it was a pretty solid year if shooters are your thing. I’ve already covered a couple of the standouts from this year in this series in Halo 5: Guardians and Splatoon, and here I have five more of the year’s biggest First- and Third-Person Shooters that I did not touch.
Star Wars Battlefront – Cashing in on the excitement over Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens, EA and Dice put together on of the prettiest shooters to date, recreating the iconic look and feel of Star Wars on the new generation of consoles.
Why I didn’t play it: Multiplayer-focus. As I’ve touched on before, I’m not typically playing competitive online multiplayer so for me to even try to connect with shooters these days, I’m looking for some semblance of a campaign. Tragically, Star Wars Battlefront is horrible lacking in that department, most likely because EA absolutely had to get the game out in time for the movie release to capitalize on the hype and so they prioritized a casual, online experience over deep multiplayer or a single-player (or even co-op) campaign. From my brief time with it at PlayStation Experience, it is indeed a beautiful game and probably the best graphical representation of the Star Wars universe ever in gaming, but there’s not enough to get me to invest for the core game, let alone the extra season pass.
Call of Duty: Black Ops III – Activision’s crème de la crème franchise when it comes to the FPS genre. Call of Duty returns to the Black Ops sub-franchise in what was, by most accounts another stellar installment for the series.
Why I didn’t play it: Story? Combining my commentary on Battlefront above with the fact that I’ve actually never played a Call of Duty game, the fact that I never once saw anything about this game’s campaign in the marketing told me that this might not be the best entry for me to jump into. If I were to try any Call of Duty, I imagine last year’s Kevin Spacey-starring Advanced Warfare would be more up my alley.
Destiny: The Taken King – The new kid on Activision’s block Destiny got it’s major overhaul expansion this year in the form of Destiny: The Taken King. By giving players a much more understandable leveling structure and some solid story content and performances (RIP Dinklebot), Bungie was finally able to address many of the issues people had with the original game.
Why I didn’t play it: Raids. As someone who put significant time into “vanilla” Destiny (4 days, 4 hours, 30 minutes on my main Warlock according to bungie.net), I was certainly one of the critics of the game’s lack of story. And as I never could get a team together for any of the game’s raids, I was personally annoyed that I was locked out of what seems to universally be the best parts of the game. So I wound up uninstalling the game and it’s two smaller expansions off my PlayStation rather than double down on The Taken King.
Gears of War: Ultimate Edition – In anticipation for next year’s Gears of War 4, Microsoft remastered their stellar Third-Person Shooter for the Xbox One with a beautiful graphical overhaul.
Why I didn’t play it: I did, actually. Just not enough to feel comfortable putting it in consideration. Gears of War: Ultimate Edition might be the game I actually spent the most time with in this series of games not making my “best of” list. Having skipped the Xbox 360, I’m completely new to the Gears franchise so the fact that Microsoft remastered this game and gave anyone who pre-ordered in the other games in the series through the Xbox One’s new backwards compatibility feature seemed like the perfect opportunity to dive in and see what people loved about it. After a couple hours with it, I can definitely appreciate what people see in the game but it didn’t get it’s hooks fully in me yet and there was just too much else to play this year. But this one is definitely near the top of my backlog. I’ll probably try to burn through the series in the lead up to Gears of War 4 next year.
Battlefield Hardline – Rounding out this entry, we have the spin-off from the Battlefield franchise, the police-focused Battlefield Hardline. The Battlefield brand lost a lot of good will when Battlefield 4 launched with significant server issues so a lot of eyes were on this entry. And from what I saw of the game, this one didn’t hurt the brand, but it didn’t really help it either. It was just kind of there.
Why I didn’t play it: Borderlands. I don’t think I’ve played a Battlefield game since the original Battlefield 1942 on my PC, and nothing about this title really sparked my interest. So when this game came out right around the same time as Borderlands: The Handsome Collections, I decided I’d rather dive back into Pandora and Elpis again for some humorous first-person looting, than give this one a go.