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Game of the Month January 2015

Snuffed out.

If you're a pessimist, you might look at months like January as bone dry when it comes to video game releases. An optimist, however, sees such a month as a chance to pay close attention to games that might have otherwise flown under the radar. And as it happens, January of 2015 had a great many smaller gems worthy of your time and your love. One of them, the beautiful and imaginative Lost Constellation, even allows you to pay what you want, so there's no reason not to engage in its delights. The words "beautiful" and "imaginative" also describe Gravity Ghost, a short puzzle game with an aesthetic sensibility so unique that it's hard to escape its pull once you set eyes on it. Now is the time to catch up on what you're missing, for it's at the fringes that you find games that are truly special.

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January also brought us excellent strategy games in the forms of Grey Goo and Blackguards 2. Grey Goo in particular is a return to form for the prototypical RTS formula, harking back to a time when base-building and combat stood on equal footing. With StarCraft II dominating that landscape, and with beloved franchises like Command & Conquer apparently left to slowly die, Grey Goo's traditional gameplay feels remarkably fresh in 2015. Then there is Blackguards 2, rising from the Might & Magic tradition, and making it fun to be a bad guy in a world full of nasty possibilities. If the PC is your gaming home, then January made it perfectly comfortable to remain there.

It was a multiplatform game that most inspired the GameSpot staff, however: Dying Light. Given its flaws, you wouldn't expect it to gain such favored status, but it's hard to ignore the power of good parkour. This is a game in which you're generally best off avoiding the crowds of zombies that fill the streets, and gives you the tools to take to the rooftops and leap above the undead. Dying Light's fun factor is off the charts, coming to a head when day turns to night, and the threat keeps you racing through the streets as well as above them. This is when tensions rise, your heart thumps loudly, and you alternately hide and sprint, knowing that peril is always only a few steps away. We therefore name Dying Light as GameSpot's Game of the Month for January, 2015, due to its uncanny ability to make running for your life so enjoyable.


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