For the next ten days, Dan will be posting picks for the Games of the Year in no particular order. These are favorites from 2015 that he actually played and were released during the calendar year. Enjoy!
Dying Light is probably my pick that is most surprising to me. I made a big list of games that I remembered playing in 2015 by consulting my Steam library and some notes I made throughout the year. After crossing out the majority of contenders on my list, I was shocked that Techland's follow-up to Dead Island was spared round after round.
After some introspection, Dying Light is the one of the best cooperative multiplayer games that you will play this year. Building on the handful of great things from Dead Island, the game adds more stability, more items, more graphical fidelity, and parkour. Parkour is the most significant addition to the Dead Island model and it changes everything. The movement is now fast and intense instead of the slow plodding, almost tactical pace of earlier iterations. Jumping blindly from rooftop to rooftop is a fun, visceral experience that rewards spontaneity and quick thinking. Parkour isn't just for show either, the early game can be extremely challenging, and running from danger is a must. Later on, you can acquire a grappling hook that makes some of the parkour superfluous to such an extent that I've actually stopped using it.
Multiplayer is really where Dying Light shines. In fact, I haven't played any part of the main campaign by myself. Running with three other friends jumping off buildings is oddly satisfying even through syncing and animation issues. A few more refinements and an unending survival mechanic could push a future installment of the franchise into the stratosphere. Narrow escapes, quick thinking, and last minute saves, makes Dying Light one of the best multiplayer games in 2015.
Come back tomorrow and catch uranium fever for another game of the year pick.