Simon J McDonnell

Creating cool stuff

The Games of 2015

I played a few games this year. Though I probably bought more than I played, that sentence is true most years. I wanted to talk briefly about some that I quite enjoyed.

Dark Souls: Prepare To Die Edition

Anor Londo is very pretty

I bounced off of this in 2014. I went down to the graveyard and kept dying to some poxy skeletons, which just put me off the game. Well I picked it back up at the start of the game and jesus I am so glad I did. One of my top games of all time now, Dark Souls is a masterpiece.

I did almost the entire game with one weapon – The Zweihander, which is an ultra greatsword. This matches my desired playstyle in games like this and Monster Hunter, which is to pick the perfect moment to strike and deal huge damage in that moment, and then usually dodge away to search for another perfect moment.

I had absolutely tons of fun playing Dark Souls, and the moment I beat Ornstein and Smough (Ornstein dying last) after beating my head against them for two or three weeks was one of my all time best gaming moments. The rest of the game was much easier after that.

Wolfenstein: The New Order

BJ Blascowisz has the saddest eyes I have ever seen in a video game, ever. I was surprised by this. I was expecting a fun over the top FPS that was all gameplay and not much else. I still got the first part, but it was combined with a very effective man who could be best characterised with the term ‘weary.’ All BJ wants is a quiet Sunday with the people he loves. He instead gets relentless war, sees sickening sights, and has everything he cares for held out of reach by conflict.

I also liked the part where you shoot the robots.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

I did not like The Witcher 1. I loved The Witcher 2. I love The Witcher 3.

I’ve never seen a game combine action, character, world, and beauty in such a stunning collaboration. It was an intensely good game, and an inspiration to all game developers with big ambitions. It’s world is so filled with things to do that I eventually had to stop doing anything that wasn’t either the main quest or a quest with a named character (Zoltan, Djikstra, etc). Even with this limitation it took me about a million years to finish. Lengthy open world games are tougher to find time for when you’re an adult with a job and a commute.

Amazing game, simply amazing.

Game Dev Tycoon

I’ve wanted this for a while, just not enough to actually pull the trigger. I finally did in the steam winter sale a few days ago. It’s been great fun. You play as the manager of a game development studio and basically just pick combinations of platforms, topics, audiences, etc and try to make a successful game with that configuration. It’s really good to just throw on and play for a little bit without much commitment. I haven’t found it to be that hard, I’ve never really come close to bankruptcy, but it’s fun to try to maximise your scores for the various combos you can throw together.

I very much enjoy when games give you the ability to name things, as you can see in the screenshot above. If it didn’t then my hit game “Stabby Deer” would have had a much more boring name.

Rocket League

Me and Laurel have been playing this one for a while. It’s a fucking amazing game. The controls are spot on, the skill curve is great, playing it with other people is the best fun, and nothing matches the feeling when you score the perfect goal.

I’ve seldom played a game so perfect at what it does, A plus plus plus.

The Stanley Parable

Wonderful game. It’s essentially a turbo version of the original mod, which was an interactive fiction game in which you could disobey the things the games narrator said you would do. The first example of this is when you come to a set of two doors and narrator says “Stanley went through the door on his left.” You can choose to do that and continue on your way, or you can choose the door on the right, and let the unravelling begin immediately. It degenerates and changes so much during the course of your exploration that it’d be a shame to spoil it further.

You should play this game, it’s not hugely long but it’s super interesting and great fun.


I didn’t think I had played that many games this year, but I guess I was wrong! This year had some extremely good ones, and luckily next year is looking similarly promising. I’ll likely write another post detailing the games I’m most looking forward to next year. Stay tuned (or don’t).

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