My least favorite time of the year is back. Gamers are firmly entrenched in the post-Christmas lull in the gaming market in which days and weeks fly off the calendar before a title worthy of our dexterous thumbs comes along.
Take heart, and start budgeting your money and free time accordingly. A stellar haul of pixelated gold is on the way — especially for you action/adventure fans.
I started pondering this year’s crop when I realized that 2015 will undoubtedly be the best year of all time for action films. We are getting “Star Wars,” “Terminator” and “Mission Impossible” sequels. There will be a new bond movie, a “Mad Max” reboot and a reimagined “Jurassic Park.” It’s insane.
I had planned to write about how the high octane video games of 2015 can’t possible live up to their big screen cousins, but that just isn’t true. After doing my homework, I think the thrilling and often violent action games of 2015 could win the day.
This year’s action films and games are extremely comparable because, well, many of them are identical.
I watched a five-minute gameplay video on Thursday for “Mad Max,” the video game adaptation of the cult classic movie series.
I’m super pumped for this game, which has been painfully delayed during its three-year development period. The first glimpse was a rush of excitement followed by a slow trickle of disappointment.
I believe “Mad Max” could be a great game, but I noticed that every time Max physically interacted with a person or thing in the gameplay video, it looked awful. The framerate seemed to stutter a bit, making the punches and kicks so essential to the Mad Max character look rigid and fake.
If developer Avalanche Studios can smooth this out, “ Mad Max” will be a hit. We are all chomping at the bit for a new apocalyptic action title given the long, painful hiatus the Fallout franchise is taking.
We’re also getting a Lego version of “Jurassic World.” These kid-friendly adaptations are usually pretty solid and have a very broad appeal because they are one of the few action games without a mature rating.
I am really looking forward to “ Batman: Arkham Knight” and a new “ Star Wars: Battlefront” game. Obviously, the entire world is stoked for these franchises’ cinema cousins, but don’t discount the games.
The Battlefront games have been solid compliments to the “Star Wars” universe for over a decade, and the “Batman: Arkham” series takes enough chances with well-known characters to rival the great film series.
Someone is also releasing a “Godzilla” game. Which, you know, will probably be an abomination like every other “Godzilla” game. But God bless them for trying.
Film step-children aside, 2015 will see a wealth of sequels to great action gaming franchises.
“ Halo 5” is obviously the lynchpin of the Xbox One console. The PlayStation 4 has been beating the living snot out of Microsoft’s gaming box since day one, but a great showing from Master Chief could change that. In the great console wars, “Halo 5” will either bring balance to the force or leave it in darkness.
“ The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt” is so close we can taste it. All indications are that the Polish gaming powerhouse, which has distinguished itself as one of the premier fantasy franchises, will offer up a fantastic new title next month.
Plus, never forget that the leader of the free world is an honorary Witcher. President Barack Obama earned the title after traveling to Poland to commend its thriving gaming economy. That’s true. Google it if you don’t believe me.
Oh, and “ Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain” is coming out. I’ve said many times that I don’t get the hype for this franchise, and I still don’t. But it’s coming.
Finally, there are a handful of buzzworthy action games currently in development that could sneak into 2015.
If you were too young, old, or busy to check out the Kingdom Hearts franchise before, do so now. It combines everything we love about the Disney universe and role-playing games into a beautiful package fit for anyone between the ages of 5 and 95.
All told, there are easily a dozen action/adventure games coming out in the next nine months that could totally melt our brains. That isn’t a bad haul.