We are approaching that time gamers where your wallets need bracing, relationships will be broken and sleep will be a thing of the past.

#GamingIsComing!

It’s already been fantastic year of gaming so far with some real quality launched over the past few month, so I’m going to take a bit of time looking back at the games that have stood out so far, followed by looking ahead to what could make one of the best years of gaming to date.

Feel free to get involved too and let us know what you are excited about via Twitter.

With Metal Gear Solid V hitting exceptional reviews on the major websites, Until Dawn also scoring favourably and Mad Max looking good, there is a lot to look forward to in the coming month, especially with annual games like the PES 16 VS FIFA 16 battle looming and of course, Destiny: The Taken King.

And this is just September! Like I said gamers, brace those wallets, take a part time job, hell, you can even sell your car since you won’t be going anywhere but to the toilet and back.

October is filled with Assassin’s Creed Syndicate, Uncharted: Nathan Drake Collection and of course, Halo 5: Guardians that Xbox Gamers have been looking forward to since the console launched. Plus the return of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater and the cool looking Transformers Devastation for us G1 fans born in the 80s.

But then be ready for November as it all goes mad.

Call of Duty Black Ops 3 comes in shooting your bank account to pieces, plus Need for Speed is relaunching to drive off with whatever cash you have left. And you may need to start thinking about whether you really need that second kidney or lung for the releases of Star Wars Battlefront, the epic Fallout 4 and Xbox gamers are once again having the extra cost with Rise of The Tomb Raider finally arriving too.

Hey, don’t worry you can take it easy in December right? Well actually, no… they are only releasing a new Hitman, Just Cause 3 and Rainbow Six Siege.

Phew!

It’s going to be crazy and it’s not just the quantity of games that looks so daunting, it’s the quality on show as well. Considering we have already seen some magnificent games so far this year, I really am hopeful this is going to be one of the best years of gaming and certainly getting closer to the peak time for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

Now, first I will reflect on the year so far, if you are only interesting in looking forward and believe what is in the past is now in the past, no problem. Use the Contents Button Left to Skip Further Down looking at the upcoming titles of 2015.

A Great Start

2015 has been a fantastic year of gaming to date, we’ve seen some fantastic games come out already and perhaps a trend that will go through into 2016 and beyond.

While most gamers expect the latter third of the year to be the time where the big games are released, this is now starting to become more spread out through the year due to the sheer volume of titles coming up. The start of 2016 is already looking rather busy with Street Fighter 5, fan favourite Mirror’s Edge is back with Catalyst along with Xbox One Exclusive Quantum Break and long awaited The Division to name a few.

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This year has been very high quality so far with the tone being set as early as January with one of my favourite games, Dying Light. I was a bit unsure how the game would be accepted generally and was expecting it to be good but maybe not hit the heights it managed. But Techland did a fabulous job of the title and even has a Chat To Us About Its Development On The MGLMix Podcast.

Free running in a zombie filled sandbox with fabulous melee weapons felt fantastic as you smashed in a zombie brain with an electrified axe, while at the same time felt intense and scary as you ran for your life at night from the Nights Hunter’s.

It really did get the year going quicker than expected and, from our conversations with the developers, I think even they were a bit surprised with the overwhelmingly positive press about the game. But this was only to be the beginning.

February hit a bit of highs and lows however, Evolve Divided Gamer’s Opinion in its quality as some people really were enjoying the game and others somewhat were left a little flat. Personally, I think it is a good game but I’m not sure it had enough to hold your attention long term.

Then we have The Order 1886, a game I personally have strong feelings about. Having played a demo at EGX 2014 I was very excited for this game, the cool guns and action were great to play for the small segment I was shown and not only that, there was the promise of Werewolves and the supernatural in the game to come. At this point though, I fully appreciate why more of the story was kept a secret to not spoil anything down the line.

But what we received in the end was a slow, tedious affair in the first few hours and by the time it started to really get entertaining it was over. I don’t mind slower paced games and I’m happy to play them, but I do mind being sold a game as an exciting, action based shooter that lacks in both excitement and the action. It’s not a bad game but it was a blip on the radar this year and it didn’t need to be had the developers, Ready at Dawn, focused more on the game rather than making very realistic pots and pans.

Ain't nuthin' ta see here boys. Move along n'aw.

But in March things picked up again for all of us and for Sony with the incredible Bloodborne, one hell of a tough and challenging title from the Dark Souls developers, From Software.  The game is brutal but beautiful and really surpassed a lot of gamer’s expectations, including mine… although I’m pretty awful at it!

The stunning Ori and the Blind Forest came out too which was a masterpiece of a 2D game and one that all Xbox One owners should give a chance to. Pillars of Eternity was another Kickstarter release that proved just how good a crowdfunded project can be, bringing back old school RPG mechanics and classic storytelling.

Overall the first quarter of 2015 was a good one, with a lot of quality. My Personal favourite game of the time frame was Dying Light, while it wasn’t the best in scores perhaps it was certainly the most fun and the most me. But overall I was stunned by the quality of the year so far and then what was to come only took things further.

April was one for the sick and twisted people who love to rip people’s hearts out of their chests as we went back to 2D fighting action in Mortal Kombat X. As a long standing fan of the series I loved to play this year’s edition of the game and still dip back in and out every now and again for a some action.

It was also a great month for indie game with the cool Guns, Gore and Cannoli releasing along with other indie titles Shovel Knight on PlayStation formats, Stealth Inc 2: A Game of Clones and another 2D adventure I really liked in Assassin’s Creed Chronicles: China.

But all things here were teasing us for the massive game heading to console and PC in May.

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The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt arrived and was something of a revelation for the new consoles and the series itself. While there were a few bugs and a slight dip on graphical performance the game itself was still a beautiful action RPG. It follows series tradition but tightened up on all the things that plagued the original games.

CD Projekt RED have made a game I think will certainly be in everyone’s thinking for game of the year, despite the quality looming in the coming months.

Before this arrived though we finally got to play Project CARS which certainly took it’s time arriving but when it did, racing gamers out there were pleased for the most part. I threw my hands onto the wheel but, my lack of skill with racing prevailed here and I spent more time crashing than racing. However, for skilled racers it’s a solid title.

Onto June and another game that took it’s time arriving, to consoles at least. The Elder Scrolls Online arrived on Xbox One and PlayStation 4 and as a long standing fan of the series, I really was looking forward to the Tamriel Unlimited version. While the game is big and has a lot to do, it still lacks the same excitement and fun of playing Skyrim with no dragons flying around but it is one hell of an adventure gamers are still battling with.

But the game I was waiting for came in and, if we make no mention of the PC version, it was excellent. Batman Arkham Knight really captured the full Batman experience by finally allowing us to use the Batmobile… they maybe made us use it too much and annoyed some gamers. That being said, it’s still a fabulous game with brilliant voice acting, wonderful gameplay and a certain game of the year contender.

That’s 2 in two months.

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Over the past few months we’ve had a bit of time to reflect on all these games, catch up on some other reviews and really look forward to what’s coming following high quality E3 and Gamescom events. We still got some great games in the return of Kings Quest, Kratos coming to PS4 in the God of War 3 Remaster and the stunning indie game Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture which I really enjoyed playing.

There were so many games I could not mention them all here but what was clearly on show for this first half of the year was quality. There are usually a couple of standout games from the start of the year but this time we have a number of game of the year contenders out already and there are more to come.

Having looked at it all now I genuinely think 2015 could be one of the best gaming years of all time, not just for the selection of titles but for how many that will really bring in those big scores around us reviewers.

[section label=”Looking Ahead”]

Brace yourselves gamers

If you are following on from the look back at the year so far you’ll know that there are already a number of games that could be considered for game of the year already. But now we are with the gamers looking forward and we only have to look where we are now to see that Until Dawn is out and surpassed my expectations.

I thought it was a bit poor on Sony’s part, being the market leader, to miss out on giving a Presentation at Gamescom and felt they should have given a few games not part of the E3 setup much a bit more exposure. Given Until Dawn was missed at E3, I thought Gamescom was the perfect time to push it, but when nothing happened I personally feared the worst for it.

Thankfully the game is good and scoring well generally, the MGL review is coming up this next week and so far the scares and gameplay are very solid. I’m certainly looking forward to playing more.

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One game I personally can’t wait to get my hands on next week as we hit September and the madness starts is the new Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. I think I have finished most of the other titles at least 4 or 5 times each so to say I love a bit of Metal Gear is an understatement. It’s going to be strange hearing a different voice and apparently, a much reduced quantity of cut-scenes along with the open world setting.

But I simply cannot wait now.

Considering gamers are going to be looking at spending a big chunk of money on MGS V this coming week, I do find it a little strange Warner Bros have stuck to the same release date with Mad Max. Gamers only have so much gaming cash and, while it looks very good and WB games have been solid for some time now, it’s not going to come close to MGS. Not to mention how similar they are in their setting and open world gameplay.

We also have the big football (soccer for you USA based gamers) match that sees the high gloss presentation of FIFA 16 taking on the smooth gameplay of PES2016 which will make for an interesting one. The PES demo showed the game has promise but FIFA’s superior licensing and new female footballers could be telling.

This is a big match, and like football itself the best one might not be the winner.

Anyone a bit low on funds yet? Well going from a month with a game hitting 10s out of 10 everywhere and some other solid games too, we are moving into October where the quantity dips but the quality is through the roof.

Uncharted was my very first PlayStation 3 game having left it a while when the machine came out a bit too expensive for me at the time. But I immediately fell for the game and Nathan Drake’s personality that would only gain more admiration in the sequels. So the upcoming Nathan Drake Collection has me very excited to play and much like the Master Chief Collection on Xbox One, it’s the perfect opportunity for people who missed the series to catch up ahead of Uncharted 4.

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Speaking of Master Chief, he’s back in October and Xbox One gamers will be looking to get their hard earned cash out once again and find out if Spartan Locke is right about the ‘Chief after all as you Hunt the Truth in Halo 5 Guardians. Now I’m not particularly into Halo as a game, I missed the first one, then my fussiness of not playing a sequel without playing the original came in and I simply missed out.

The master chief collection however is giving me an appreciation of the game and how it defined some of the more common elements in first person shooters we see today. So with that being said, is Halo 5 going to be another genre defining game or just another good shooter?

I hope it takes standards forwards, at the time standards for AI as improved massively along with the overall immersive experience. Let’s hope 343 deliver a classic.

Another annual game is sneaking in here in what looks the most promising Assassin’s Creed for a while in Syndicate. Not only can you play a female lead in this one, you also have completely different playstyles with each character. Add to that new gameplay mechanics and a classic London with a distinct steampunk presentation, you have a game I really want to play.

For all the bugs I thought Unity was a good edition to the Assassin’s Creed series but the dirtier, more bare-knuckle fighting presentation of this game makes it extra appealing somehow and I for one will be excited to play this one.

There’s all that and still more good looking titles in Tales of Zestitia coming to PS4 and the newest WWE2k16 that looks to make better on last year’s mediocre showing.  My personal pick of the rest in October is actually the awesome looking Transformers Devastation; it looks so good to see the classic versions of the Transformers I grew up within a game. And with Platinum Games developing, it’s certainly going to be fun.

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So with combined lack of funds from all that and sleep deprivation from all the hours gaming we are supposed then to move into November and somehow get the gaming power (usually some form or energy drink and fast food combo!) to get to the next monster head-to-head of massive releases within a week.

The first has racing fans going back to Need for Speed in a reboot that has gamers following their chosen path to impress street racing icons in order to become one yourself. You gain reputation and impress certain racing legends, filmed in live action scenes mixed with gameplay graphics which is an interesting concept, and earn your way to be the icon you want to be.

It all sounds very interesting and something racing and Need for Speed Fans will enjoy.

But in just 3 days you will be swapping your steering wheel for a machine gun as Call of Duty Black Ops3 arrives. The Beta Has Shown Some Promise and caused a little controversy with the specialisations, especially rejack, but regardless this will be a big seller for series fans and with addition of playable female characters it’s a genuine positive step for the series.

If this wasn’t enough to end your relationship or any hopes of seeing the outside world again, November 10th sees the release of two highly anticipated titles. Rise of the Tomb Raider arrives on Xbox One and it’s looking very nice indeed. The original reboot was a favourite of mine and to see the new game looking so good on next gen has me excited to play it.

My only question with such a big game is, why they are doing a Mad Max and releasing on the same day as a monster in Fallout 4?

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When Bethesda came up with a fantastic press conference at E3 and showcased some fantastic games, including Fallout 4, I was very happy to wait for them to announce the game in 2016. But when it was coming THIS year I was utterly stunned and very excited to lose myself once again in the wasteland.

It’s going to be a massive game both to play and for fans who have been waiting for some time to get hold of it plus people new to the series wanting to see what all the fuss is about. Oh and then there is the real life Pip Boy that is so awesome I might actually walk around with it on constantly throughout November… and December.

But while they are different genres of course, people still only have so much money and it might be tough to release Rise of the Tomb Raider on the same day as Fallout. Might we see some movement here? Time will tell but either way it’s one hell of a month, and we’re not done yet!

Queue up some John Williams music in your heads gamers, it’s time to talk Star Wars Battlefront! With the movie looming, the fantastic gameplay footage shown off from this game so far and fan following, Battlefront is going to be a huge release at the back end of November.

With ground battles that look and sound awesome, some like a scene directly from the movies, X-Wing battles in the sky along with controlling big AT-AT’s and taking over control of Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader or even Han Solo in the air, the game is oozing Star Wars fan love. We are very excited for this one but where is the cash to buy it after the rest of the month!

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Traditionally December is a bit light on gaming, but like I said it’s not a normal year and we are seeing 3 big titles coming out here too.

Just Cause 3 is coming for some more open world action but brining that Rico Rodriguez explosive personality to the mix too. Following that the recently delayed Rainbow 6 Siege will be here and has fans excited to see more although it appears some fan feedback is the reason for the delay so are there some question marks over the title?

If so let’s hope they fix them because Rainbow Six is a classic games series I want to play again.

My pick here is the surprise release though in Hitman, the last game in Absolution was a great game to play and it looks like they are taking the fun elements of this game, the contracts set in sandboxes and making a game of those. I am personally looking forward to this but after the stack of games above, it might be on my note to Santa.

That has been a long one gamers but let’s just reflect a moment here. Each month has one or two games potentially hitting average review scores of 9 out of 10 plus. There is hardly a moment to take rest and we are constantly going to be making choices which game or the other… that or go bankrupt and have no sleep what-so-ever for 4 months.

It’s certainly shaping up to be one of the best years in gaming ever, and we are getting ready for it all here on My Games Lounge. What are you excited about playing this year? Let us know, Join the MGL Gamers and leave us a comment or send us a Tweet or comment on Facebook.

Game On

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