Video Game Personality Brittney 'Blonde Nerd' Brombacher Shares Her Top Games Of 2015
On the lead up to Game Informer's Game of the Year awards of 2015, we've invited a number of the video game industry's influential figures to share their favorite games of the year.
Brittney Brombacher has spent the last five years establishing herself in the industry. A gamer since her grandma bought her an SNES at the tender age of five, Brombacher has taken her passion to blogging and podcasting on her website BlondeNerd.com. She also has her own YouTube channel, where she often invites her dad to play games with her. Brombacher has earned a reputation for her hilarious and unbridled enthusiasm for games. Let's just say she's not afraid to hide how she really feels.
Without further ado, here are her favorite games of 2015:
1: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
Never before has a game taken me on such an emotional roller coaster. If I wasn't laughing at the shenanigans Geralt and his friends were getting into, I was tearing up at a fateful, bitter reunion. If I wasn't fuming over a traitorous friend, I was pulling my hair out over my romance options.
I've been with Geralt since the beginning, and I cannot think of a better sendoff than The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. It's by far one of my favorite games I've ever played and, honestly, the only thing that's getting me by right now is knowing that there's upcoming DLC.
2: Life is Strange
This sounds strange (ha, get it?) but Life is Strange was therapeutic for me.
I see so much of myself in the protagonist, Max, that I, a 27-year-old "adult," felt like I was reliving high school all over again, but armed with the wisdom I've gained since. I became so invested in this freakin' game that it made me feel as if I were doing this girl a great service by "guiding" her in the decisions she made. It made me feel really good. Like, "Hello young one, allow me, an old and wise adult who has already gone through high school, to bestow knowledge and make your high school experience as painless as possible!"
I should note that Life is Strange's story evolves and ultimately takes players far, far beyond that of typical high school drama, but spoilers suck so I'll stop here.
3: Rise of the Tomb Raider
I knew Rise of the Tomb Raider would be good, but I didn't expect it to be "Holy hell I can't put down my controller" good. In short, Rise of the Tomb Raider exceeded any and all of my expectations and I LOVED assuming the role of Miss Croft once again. She's simply enchanting, from the way she moves, speaks, carries herself, scales walls, all of it. Top that off with tight controls and a fun combat/upgrade system and UMMFFF I can't get enough.
But perhaps the biggest compliment I can pay Rise of the Tomb Raider is that it turned someone (me) who despises in-game collecting with a fiery hatred into a rabid collector of all of the things. I scoured every nook and cranny of every map to find relics, documents, and anything else I could get my grubby hands on.
4: Divinity: Original Sin Enhanced Edition
I played Divinity: Original Sin on PC in 2014 and loved every minute of it – so much so that I simply had to play it again when it released on consoles in late 2015 as Divinity: Original Sin Enhanced Edition. I was slightly worried about the transition from PC to console, but as soon as I picked up a controller and started wandering about the town of Cyseal I knew those worries were for naught. (Sorry I ever doubted you, Larian Studios!)
Divinity: Original Sin Enhanced Edition has all that you'd want from a top-down dungeon crawler and more. Interested in playing with a friend? Divinity: Original Sin features some of the best co-op I've ever experienced.
5: Dying Light
Hey, people with friends who love video games: have you played Dying Light together? If not, do yourself a favor and make it the next game you play with friends. Seriously. There's a HUGE map to explore, tons of quests to complete, a buttload of weapons to craft – but most importantly, there are thousands of zombies to slaughter. T-h-o-u-s-a-n-d-s. And, overall, it's just an incredibly fun, polished game to play with a buddy. (There is a single-player option, but it's infinitely more fun with someone else.)
6. Emily is Away
Remember when instant messaging was a common, popular thing? Even more, do you remember the anxiety, the angst, the hope, the fear that came along with instant messaging *gasp* your crush? Like, when they would sign-in and you'd get butterflies? Or when you'd send a message and nervously await their reply? OR WHEN YOU KNEW THEY WERE TYPING AND YOU COULDN'T TAKE IT ANY LONGER OH GOD THE ANTICIPATION IT HURTS
Emily is Away allows you to relive ALL OF THAT.
It's a short game (40-60 minutes, depending on how much time you spend stalking profiles/debating your decisions) and I highly recommend you (yes, you) give it a shot. Trust me, you'll be invested before long. And you'll have emotions. Many emotions.
7. Layers of Fear
Sooo. Here's the thing. I don't do scary. I mean, I do, as in I enjoy the thrill and all that, but I'm a wuss. I literally have to drink copious amounts of whiskey before I can handle anything scary. (My theory: alcohol delays reaction time so I have, like, a millisecond longer than I usually would to process what happened before I let out a scream and piddle my pants. It kind of works.)
Layers of Fear is like Gone Home in the sense that it's a first-person, story-exploration type game without combat. But Layers of Fear is terrifying. Absolutely terrifying. In fact, it has caused me to cry on a few occasions. However, I can't stop playing it. It's a very unhealthy relationship.
If you like feeling stressed, anxious, and enjoy immersing yourself in f****d-up situations, Layers of Fear is for you. Enjoy.