2015 was a great year to be a Geek! Our cinematic experiences and adventures kept us on the edges of our seats. Games are at a new pinnacle as well across all platforms. Our comics saw new entries and rehashing of old favorites. Sadly, we said goodbye to some of our heroes of the big and small screens as well as talented artists that lifted the comics right off the pages with such ease. Surely, being a Geek in 2015 had its share of ups and downs.
Cinematic adventures were not even close to being in short supply in 2015. Our first big blockbuster of the year was Avengers: Age of Ultron. While met with mostly positive reviews, it still fared well at the box office just below its predecessor, The Avengers. Shortly after Age of Ultron, George Miller’s long-awaited continuation of the Mad Max series was continued with the release of Mad Max: Fury Road. Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron combined to deliver what I feel will be the Best Picture at the Oscars this coming year. With an amazing world built around a practical effect tour-de-force, George Miller proved that he still knows how to navigate the wasteland perfectly. We’ll continue this list after a short word from animation!
Our children, for those of us that have them, were not forgotten this year either. Disney’s Inside-Out was released in June and was loved by children of all ages(this adult included). Even the short, Lava, which showed directly before Inside-Out, touched our hearts in much the same way the main feature would. Universal’s Minions also had a strong showing in theaters in July, so strong that it became the first non-Disney and the third animation film to gross $1 Billion at box office. Finally, the last animated film that surprised critics and captured the hearts of yet another generation of new fans was The Peanuts Movie. Charlie Brown and the gang managed to work their way back into the hearts of American audiences with a great, fun-loving tale of young love. The animated front was well represented in the year 2015 and I have high hopes for the animation yet to come this new year.
Jurassic World threw us a curveball to start the second half of 2015’s cinematic releases. We knew it would be big but no one could have predicted the that it would generate $1.6 Billion in box office take. A welcome return with a new cast of characters for a new generation that saw Chris Pratt take the lead, Jurassic World hit a grand slam around the globe. In October, we left Matt Damon on Mars and had to send out an impossible rescue mission in The Martian. According to Quora.com user Kynan Eng, we have spent over $900 Billion(Fictional) on rescue efforts in order to save Matt Damon from all sorts of precarious situations from war-torn France to the surface of Mars. Finally, last but surely not least, we saw the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The seventh episode in the epic Star Wars saga is quickly closing ground on Jurassic World’s record breaking box office total coming in just under $1.3 Billion in just two weeks of being in theaters worldwide(except China: Jan. 9) and fastest to reach $1 Billion in just 12 days at box office. With these blockbusters, we have had an amazing year of cinematic releases to prove that 2015 may just be the best year of the Geek yet!
2015 heralded some of the greatest interactive adventures we could ever ask for from a video game. Early in the year, Dying Light was released as the latest entry in the world of zombie games. Dead Island was bemoaned for its shortcomings and hollow gameplay and that’s when a group of developers internal to Techland set off to correct their mistakes. This brought us what is arguably one of the best zombie genre games with the right mix of parkour and RPG elements. Independent development house, Psyonix, put forth a huge second effort in releasing Rocket League after Supersonic Acrobatic Rocket-Powered Battle-Cars failed to drive sales home in 2008. Rocket League combines the high-octane action of a destruction derby and a soccer match so seamlessly that it has garnered $50 Million in sales in 2015 to become the highest earning independent title. 2015 also brought us the return of the popular point and click adventure title King’s Quest in episodic format not unlike many of the Telltale titles. And these are just the start as a blockbuster announcement awaited us at E3 2015.
When the Electronic Entertainment Expo rolled around in June, no one was expecting Bethesda to be the one and only highlight that most gamers would be talking about following the expo. Bethesda held their presentation on June 15th as the first developer to unveil their products at this year’s conference. While they announced a new entry to the Doom and Dishonored Series’, the only announcement any gamer was following was the announcement that Fallout four would be released in just five short(read: long, agonizing) months. In addition to this tantalizing announcement, to bide our time until release, the Fallout Shelter app game would be available immediately following the conference. Fallout Shelter took the app store by storm with record downloads and players recounted their tales of how their shelters were surviving the post-nuclear apocalypse. Since its release in November, Fallout 4 has gamers engrossed in one of the greatest Fallout adventures yet and continues to captivate gamers even into 2016.
Rounding out the game releases of the year, Rocksteady released their final game in the Arkham series, Batman: Arkham Knight. A game that would see the end of Batman as we knew him gathered more attention than the developers and Warner Bros. would have liked due to a poorly ported version for the PC. This fiasco eventually saw Rocksteady/Warner Bros. offering a full refund to any PC players that wanted one because the company discovered that there would be bugs they would not be able to fix. Crystal Dynamics released Rise of the Tomb Raider on the same day as Blizzard would release Starcraft 2: Legacy of the Void and Bethesda would release Fallout 4. Arguably, Blizzard’s foray into that battle would fare better as they were well aware of their purchasing audience. Finally, a game that will surely give anyone’s pick for game of the year a run for its money, CD Projekt Red released The Witcher 3. This particular title would see an average play time of 40 to 60 hours for the average gamer with a world jam packed with content to include free downloadable content(DLC) releases in the following months after initial release. These titles are only a sampling of what was available in yet another top notch year of gaming!
Finally, to round out 2015 in the world of Geek, comics have seen a resurgence among many age groups across all genres. At the beginning of 2015, Marvel recovered the reins of Star Wars Comics from Dark Horse Comics. This turn of events occurred immediately after Disney acquired all Lucasfilm properties for $4 Billion in 2014. Upon return to Marvel, all Star Wars comic releases re-entered the world of canon starting with a brand new Star Wars #1. ONI Press also released a brand new series with Rick and Morty #1. After its critically acclaimed success the previous year, Zac Gorman wrote Rick and Morty into the pages of its own comic book series and they hold true to the contents of the show as an extension to that universe through the use of a Rick and Morty of an alternate dimension. This move enabled the writers to have more of a free reign from the TV universe as they coincide parallel with each other.
Marvel also made bold moves this year in releasing the Secret Wars series. This series pits all dimensions of the Marvel universe against each other in a battle royale or Battleworld as they have called it. On this world all of their alternate universes exist and have limited interaction with each other at the cost of punishment. At the end of the series which will conclude in January, Marvel comics will combine the 616 Universe and the Ultimate Universe into the All New, All Different Universe. With this ambitious plan, Marvel will drastically change and combine their universes going forward.
Finally, the world of Geek is not immune to the passage of time. Sadly in 2015, we had to say goodbye our heroes of the silver screen including Wes Craven, Gunnar Hansen, Dick Van Patten, Robert Loggia, Leonard Nimoy, and Sir Christopher Lee. Comic artists and writers Tom Arden, Luis Bermejo Rojo, Tom Moore, Norman Lee, and Zyx passed away in 2015 as well. We also lost legendary musicians BB King and Lemmy Kilmister this year as well. Finally, we lost a the Spirit of Nintendo as we now know it all too soon in the death of Satoru Iwata. We are saddened by these losses in 2015 but have high hopes for the future of each of their industries in the creation of future brightly burning stars.
The world of Geek has suffered its losses and shared the fortune of the successes of the gifts of those that have striven greatly to provide entertainment to adult and child alike. Cinematic highlights include the return three cinematic legends including Mad Max, Star Wars, and the Jurassic Park series’. Our interactive virtual lives have been enhanced with the release of hit video game releases such as Fallout 4, Dying Light, and the Witcher 3. And our comic books have been changed with the likes of Marvel’s Secret Wars, Star Wars, and the addition of Rick and Morty to name a few. The year 2015 has arguably put itself into contention for the best year yet in all things Geek and I welcome 2016 as a worthy challenger.
2015 Movies Wikipedia:
Quora.com Matt Damon:
2015 Games Wikipedia: