Eric Pope is a former producer and community boy at Harmonix Music Systems. He's recently made the decision to move to the wilds of French Canada to join up with Ubisoft. This probably takes him out of the running for future Boston's Best Twitter Feed contests, but feel free to follow him anyway.
Last year when Alex asked me to do a Top Ten list, it was with a heavy heart that I had to turn him down. I didn’t play enough games in 2014 to do a worthwhile list. I’m a new dad and that has a way of taking up all my time. But in 2015 I made a resolution that I would play way more games, and I started off strong. Some good GOTY contenders came early on: Bloodborne, #IDARB, Ori and the Blind Forest, probably another Octodad platform port in there somewhere.
Then The Witcher 3 came out. And friends, let me tell you, that’s a lot of video game. And it’s fine. Gwent’s probably a better actual game but The Witcher 3 is not bad. But it is really long. And with only a couple to a few hours per week to spend playing, finishing that game came at the cost of missing out on roughly half of the year’s other big game releases.
So, when Alex asked me this year if I had a list I lied and said “yes!” and then scrambled for a way to deliver something. Luckily, we have this swirling vortex of unsolicited opinions called internet comments to inform me of what the good shit is. Sampling from that frothy septic tank, I was able to come up with a top ten list of games I didn’t even touch. I think you’ll find it’s very on point.
Doom Guy on YouTube really sold me on Splatoon with his scientific approach. You can’t argue with that rundown, even though the game is not COD. +/- for lack of voice chat keeps it from gaining a higher position.
I was impressed with this GameSpot community member taking reviewer Kevin VanOrd to task for his 7/10 review of this game. His impassioned counterpoint to Kevin’s review sold me on this being a VERY good game.
The episodic adventure game from Dontnod was so masterfully done it won over this youtube commenter despite his goofball hangups on such challenging themes as “indie games” and “girls”! Well I’m sold too, Marty!
Judging by all my friends talking endlessly about Undertale, it had to make the list. But the more I dug around Metacritic user reviews, the more interested I got! Anyone who knows me knows my friends are slime (see: Dirty Dan Ryckert) and I love dogs and donuts.
6. I Am Bread
The name alone told me I had to pay attention to this game. This twitter user’s brilliant review hit me right in my emotional core and I knew this was making the list.
5. Mad Max
This twitter review made its way to me through my daily routine of scraping the World Wide Web for news and reviews relevant to my interests. Those who know me are well familiar with my long standing commitment to living the life of a trash pile, a hoggy boy, a garbage human. Mad Max sounds like a game for me!
I was worried at first this game was about some chill San Francisco neighborhood but this review put those concerns to rest and also piqued my interest with piss promises.
Given everything I’ve already said about my gaming life as a new parent this is basically the highest praise you can give a game IMO.
2. Just Cause 3
I’m a dumb person who likes dumb things so let me at this dumb game.
I’ve never played a Metal Gear game. It’s yet another incriminating strike against me as a member of the greater gaming community. Look we’ve established I’m a living trash fire, so take it easy. But from the outside looking in, they always seemed a touch too silly (I don’t get the cardboard box thing) while also carrying this baggage of diehard evangelist fans professing the genius of Kojima at every chance. So I never felt a pull to see what the fuss was about until this year when Kojima devotees and Relatively Reasonable People alike (such as Bradley Shoemaker) began buzzing about how good it is. So the time was right for me to have a change of heart. I just needed the perfect argument, the most convincing game review of 2015, to drive it home. And it wasn’t Brad’s review here on this very site. No, it was Steam user CrySunsetX, with 387.8 hours (!!!!) of gameplay on record:
OK, all joshing aside, as far as the games I did play this year I do have a top 5 I feel strongly about.
5. #IDARB - There is nothing at all like it and I've never laughed harder playing a game.
4. Assassin's Creed Syndicate - HOOKSHOT.
3. Ori and the Blind Forest - The game that made Brad say "wait really, I never would expect you'd play a hardcore game like that" to me. It's given me a complex all year trying to unravel his meaning and that's been a journey almost as challenging and surprising as Ori itself.
2. Until Dawn - Biggest surprise of the year, massively enjoyable, and CONSEQUENCES! Love it, want more of these.
1. Bloodborne - I got on board the Souls Train late with DS2, so this game took my appreciation to new heights. No game this year has been so satisfying to make progress in.