Five games to look for in 2015

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First Posted: 1/19/2015

For gamers, 2014 was a quiet year. A few good games were released, but nothing that really sparked a craze.

There’s a good chance that will change in 2015.

A slew of games are coming out, but I’ve boiled it down to my top five, most anticipated games.

1. Batman: Arkham Knight

Developer: Rocksteady Studios

Release Date: June 2 (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC)

This is, hands down, my most anticipated game of the year.

“Arkham Knight” is said to be the final of the “Arkham” series. Set one year after “Batman: Arkham City”, Batman is struggling with the events of the previous game. Penguin, Two-Face and Harley Quinn have united with one goal — t0 kill the Caped Crusader

On Halloween night, Scarecrow returns and threatens the city with a new strain of his fear toxic. A new villain, only known as the Arkham Knight, will attempt to destroy Batman’s vigil over Gotham.

The trailers for “Arkham Knight” showed the game is sticking to what made the first two in the series so good — fluid combat mechanics, a strong voice cast and enough nods and hints to other aspects of the Batman universe to make the most die-hard fans go back and look for them.

If this is really the end for the Batman series, I imagine Rocksteady is going to pull out all the stops and give “The Dark Knight” a proper sendoff.

My early prediction: “Arkham Knight” will be game of the year.

2. Mortal Kombat X

Developer: NetherRealm Studios

Release Date: April 14 (PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PC)

“Mortal Kombat” is one of the first series that really got me into video games. The series is (infamously?) known for its brutal combat, unique characters and the fatalities.

“Mortal Kombat X” looks to live up to that reputation.

The game’s story picks up at the end of “Mortal Kombat 9”, and is supposed to show a new, non-linear storyline leading up to the present. Kotal Kahn, described by creator Ed Boon as an Aztec-inspired “blood god”, is the new emperor of Outworld, but the main antagonist has yet to be revealed.

Boon said the unnamed antagonist will be “a surprising return character.”

Series favorites like Scorpion and Sub-Zero will make their return, along with new characters who will usher in a new era of franchise fighters.

The combat seems to be more in-depth, with each character having three different combat styles. I love that the series is going in a more tactical direction as opposed to a button-mashing.

The brutality is still there, and some of the fatalities really push the limits.

The sooner I get to hear the announcer demand “Finish Him!”, the better.

3. Bloodborne

Developer: From Software

Release Date: March 24 (PlayStation 4)

Fans of the “Dark Souls” series will have a new game to sink their teeth into, but things will be different.

The game takes place in a massive city called Yharnam. Travelers make pilgrimages to the city. When the player reach the city, the inhabitants are plagued by some bizarre illness that has turned them into mindless monsters.

Trailers show the game will adhere to the series’ core concepts — a gritty atmosphere, some beastly creatures and death at every turn.

“Bloodborne” introduces a firearm in place of shields, which can be wielded with a sinister-looking cleaver weapon. The game has been described as more fast-paced than previous games, and that’s not a bad thing.

If “Bloodborne” is anything like its predecessors, it’s going to be one of the hardest games released this year and will reward skill and punish mistakes.

4. Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin

Developer: From Software

Release Date: April 7 (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC)

I think From Software is trying to set a record for how many souls players will lose this year.

“Dark Souls II” is being re-released on current-gen consoles and it’s getting a makeover. The new version includes all three downloadable content episodes released last gen, new content, more enemies, different enemy placement and more players in multiplayer.

Since the game is coming to current-gen consoles, graphics will be enhanced.

I loved “Dark Souls II” on PlayStation 3. The game was brutally challenging, but looked amazing. The atmosphere was dark and beautiful.

5. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

Developer: CD Projekt

Release Date: May 19 (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC)

A lot of my friends are clamoring over this series. I finally sat down to watch a few trailers, and I’m pumped too.

Set after “The Witcher 2: Assassination of Kings,” it follows Geralt of Rivia, who embarks on a personal mission during dark times. An army only known as the Wild Hunt begins thrashing the land, and he’s the answer to stopping them.

It was revealed that Ciri, a mysterious female swordfighter, will be a playable character, but to a lesser extent.

What I love about “The Witcher 3” is its scope. I watch trailers, and some parts scream “The Lord of the Rings,” while other scream “The Elder Scrolls” or “Dark Souls.” The world looks massive, with mythical creatures to slay and town and cities to explore.

One of my biggest needs as a gamer is to explore. The last game to truly satisfy was “The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim” back in 2011 — it looks like “The Witcher 3” could be in that same league of greatness.