Game of the Month: May 2015

Oh, what a month. What a lovely month!  May seemed to have the perfect blend of games. While there were a number of tentpole releases, there was also a heavy amount of indie titles giving the major titles a run for their money. Devolver came out with heir unique Portal-esque game, Magentic: Cage Closed, Klei debuted the admirable Invisible, Inc. and Sekai Project published the undeniably bizarre cyclops dating visual novel, Love at First Sight. While there was seemingly a non-stop cavalcade of indie titles, May also saw one of the biggest releases of the generation in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt and one of the best looking racing games to ever hit the market.

Technobabylon

GotM-2015-05-Techno
Technobabylon is an easy recommendation for fans of point and click adventures, and anyone looking to get into the genre for the first time. While there are many great choices available on Steam and otherwise, Technobabylon is still among the cream of the crop. Its dystopian futuristic setting is easy to immerse into, and its cast easy to care for. Above all, it does a great job of portraying moral dilemmas in the most mature and grey manner. The Steam release benefits from impressive production values evident in the stellar voice acting, while the writing and delivery never disappoints, all coming together to keep the immersion consistent and compelling.

Not a Hero

GotM-2015-05-NotaHero
Not A Hero is what you get when you filter pure pixelated insanity through 2D run & gun combo-based carnage.  Bunnylord wants to be elected mayor and to do this he’s going to wipe out crime by having his minions murder their way through the city’s underworld.  Cover is a tool but it’s hardly the most prominent one, and Not A Hero shines brightest once you’ve practiced a level a few times and can dance your way through the bullets, sliding under enemy fire to trip them up and performing executions with a shot to a downed enemy’s face before moving on to the next.  And what’s the reward for successfully combo-slaughtering your way to success?  Bunnylord takes his minion out for a celebratory milkshake.  If you’re going to run, slide, execute, explode, and dodge your way through carefully constructed levels of pixely violence, then it’s only fair to have an ice cream-based reward at the end.

Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2 Record Breaker

GotM-2015-05-ShinMegami
While Nintendo often struggles to populate the 3DS with exciting new releases, third parties like Atlus reliably and emphatically pick up the slack. And much like the developer’s remastering of the first Devil Survivor entry, Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2: Record Breaker makes a great game even better with a slew of new content and enhancements. Full voice acting heightens the emotional impact of its compelling plot, and a brand new epilogue segment nearly doubles the length of the game. Atlus’ demon-battling strategy game packs a hefty challenge, and the quality and quantity of its content is sure to keep you playing for tens of hours. It’s a powerful addition to the 3DS’s ever-diversifying library, and a game that hopefully sees a proper sequel in the future.

Project CARS

GotM-2015-05-ProjectCars
Much like the American government, the simulation racing genre has been dominated by two major parties for quite some time, those being Forza and Gran Turismo. These two titans have duked it out over the years, and it was starting to become difficult to see a newcomer entering the fray. Slightly Mad Studios had the brilliant idea to allow the community to assist the development of the best simulation racer since Forza 5, Project CARS, and the result is an incredibly deep game that has the potential to claim hours and hours of your time. Every aspect of every car can be tweaked to make the driving experience unique to you, which makes the Practice-Qualifying-Race format feel continuously fresh. A completely open campaign allows players to gear their career entirely to their liking, which compared to disappointments like 2014’s Driveclub, feels novel and exciting. Make no mistake about it, Project CARS has set the bar for simulation racing this generation, which should put pressure on Polyphony Digital and Turn 10 to deliver amazing experiences, if nothing else.


Winner: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

GotM-2015-05-TheWitcher3
Every now and again, a game comes along that basically ruins its genre for every other title released afterwards. From ESPN NFL 2K5 to the DotA 2/League of Legends power couple, these genre-defining titles set the stage for every entry the gaming world sees afterwards. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is the latest open-world RPG to set the stage for the future, as its insane amount of meaningful content should show developers far and wide what it means to develop a sandbox game. Every side mission feels consequential and well-written, and every aspect of the world feels carefully designed to boost immersion. This is a title that you’ll lose days of your life to, though CD Projekt RED has created a world that occasionally feels even better than real life. 2015’s best game to date isn’t just for longtime The Witcher fans, it’s accessible enough to rope in players that have never experienced a minute in the Northern Realms. May’s Game of the Month isn’t just a must play for gamers far and wide, it sets a bar so high that it’s tough to see another game matching it over the next seven months.

 

As an added bonus, select editors named their personal favorites:

  • Steve: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
  • Beck: Dragon Blaze
  • Matt: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
  • Jeremy: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
  • Marcus: Higurashi When They Cry Hou – Ch. 1
  • Jake: Splatoon
  • James: Not a Hero
  • Jahanzeb: Splatoon
  • Dermot: Splatoon
  • Kevin: Project CARS
  • Brandon: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
  • Bradly: Splatoon