The Edge Awards

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The best games, vi­su­als, stu­dios, pub­lish­ers and more from 12 months in videogames

We may not quite re­mem­ber it as the year the cur­rent con­sole gen­er­a­tion’s gloves came off – there were, once again, too many de­lays and trou­bled launches for that. But 2015 was cer­tainly a year of bar­ri­ers com­ing down. In­die stu­dios were be­com­ing ever more am­bi­tious, spend­ing the year tak­ing on the big boys in terms of vi­su­als and scope – and, in­evitably, in­cur­ring a few de­lays of their own. 2014’s green shoots of re­cov­ery in Ja­pan blos­somed in 2015, with its stu­dios be­hind some of the year’s very best work, and an an­nounce­ment slate that sug­gests the na­tion’s shift to mo­bile and hand­helds was not as per­ma­nent as many be­lieved. Mori­bund gen­res sparked back into life, with space sims, rhythm ac­tion and even the hum­ble FMV game rak­ing in both plau­dits and sales rev­enues. And the decades-old reliance on the busy hol­i­day sea­son ap­pears to be com­ing to an end: not one of our top five games of the year hit shelves in its fi­nal three months.

And yet 2015 was not ex­actly a clas­sic. Af­ter some un­com­fort­ably pub­lic teething trou­bles in 2014 as stu­dios got to grips with the ins and outs of new con­sole hard­ware, 2015’s goal seemed to be to ship on time and in rea­son­ably stable shape, aim­ing not for per­fect scores but sim­ply to avoid a kick­ing. Job done – for the most part, any­way. In the fol­low­ing pages we cel­e­brate those that dared to aim a lit­tle higher across what was, by and large, a year in which too much of the videogame in­dus­try chose to play it safe.

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