Every year the Push Square Team gets together to vote for the site's PlayStation Game of the Year. While we usually keep these polls secret, we're putting the spotlight on some of our authors this holiday so that they can highlight some of their personal favourites from 2015. Today it's the turn of Sammy Barker, as new intellectual properties prevail.
Fifth Choice: Everybody's Gone to the Rapture
The Chinese Room helped define the walking simulator with Dear Esther, so I was under no illusion about what I'd be getting from Everybody's Gone to the Rapture. Sure, the Sony Santa Monica supported stroll through Shropshire may have been lacking in the "traditional" gameplay department, but I really enjoyed piecing together the plot and discussing theories with my peers. It's a game that's understandably not for everyone, but the haunting audio and familiar yet frightening backdrop really appealed to me.
Fourth Choice: Until Dawn
Despite feeling like I was the only person on the planet championing Until Dawn prior to release, Supermassive Games' schlock horror still managed to take me by surprise. I was anticipating a "so bad that it's good" type experience, but the British studio actually served up something much better than that. Yes, the dialogue is dumb and the characters are abhorrent, but the title keeps its tongue firmly in its cheek throughout, and the twists are actually impressively well executed.
Third Choice: Rocket League
I hate to say I told you so, but… Well, I told you so. Dip into the Push Square archives and you'll find Sammy Barker stamped articles from early 2014 in which I proclaim Rocket League to be the best thing since bread and butter pudding. Psyonix's soccer-on-wheels smash is incredibly similar to its verbose PS3 predecessor Supersonic Acrobatic Rocket-Powered Battle-Cars, but the studio perfected the formula. Indeed, the game controls like a dream, matches are moreish enough to tickle that all-important "one more go" neurone, and the post-release support has been nothing short of spectacular.
Second Choice: Life Is Strange
There's someone out there who wants to make a game for Sammy Barker, and he or she works for Life Is Strange developer DONTNOD. There's a moment early on in this time editing episodic adventure where protagonist Max is walking down the Blackwell Academy corridor listening to soft rock on her iPod, and I knew from that point that it was going to be everything that I wanted it to be. I felt that the series peaked at the midway stage and got a little messy towards the end, but I still adored this game enough for it to almost top my personal Game of the Year list.
First Choice: Bloodborne
About five years ago I bought Demon's Souls and really enjoyed the first few hours, but never found the time to get back to it. Bandai Namco subsequently marketed Dark Souls as impenetrable and I got put off the entire series. I decided to give Bloodborne a go because of its importance to the PS4's catalogue and I fell in love with the gothic architecture and cunning level design. I also learned that these games aren't as impossible as publishers like to pretend – they just demand patience. A flawless combat system and some of the most grotesque enemy designs that I've ever seen make From Software's finest my Game of the Year.
Do you agree with Sammy's picks, or do you think that he's been smoking the strong stuff? Try not to get too personal in the comments section below.