A Look Ahead at Our Geeky 2015

Galactic Civilizations III is going to eat an unreal amount of my 2015.
Galactic Civilizations III is going to eat an unreal amount of my 2015.

Last week, I devoted my column to looking back at the excellent year of geek fun we've just finished. So this week, it's time to look ahead (that's just science, after all). Last year, I made a bunch of geek resolutions, but it would be silly to do that again -- essentially, my single geek resolution is to continue plugging away at the same resolutions I made last year, because in the tradition of every resolution ever, my results were somewhere between half-assed and total failure. This year, then, let's set that aside, and instead look ahead to all the cool shit we have in our geeky future.

See also: 2014: My Year in Geek, From Jodorowsky's Dune to Bill the Galactic Hero

2015 in Games I still haven't picked up the newest generation of console hardware, and while 2015 might be the year that changes, I haven't really had the urge. That doesn't mean I'm not looking forward to any upcoming games, though. In fact, I could not be more excited about the upcoming release of Galactic Civilizations III. The newest installment in what is arguably the greatest space empire strategy game ever is currently in beta, meaning there's every reason to believe it will meet the targeted release date in April. Looking back at the hundreds of hours I spent colonizing and conquering galaxies in the previous game, I'm expecting to give up all human contact for several months once this one comes out. I will be far too busy designing elaborate spaceships and then using them to crush my alien foes on my way to total galactic dominion to bother with socializing.

The other big gaming event of the year for me is back in the analog domain, as Magic: The Gathering will release the final Core set ever this summer. Core sets -- the game's base set, featuring its most universally accessible cards and themes -- have been a part of the game since the beginning, twenty-plus years ago, so this is something of a milestone. And as a milestone of that stature, I expect Magic to go out with a bang, stuffing the final Core set with exciting reprints for old-timers like me and some crazy new cards to make sure the final iteration of this longtime standby is a memorable one.

2015 in Movies Year in and year out, my favorite geek movies are typically weird little indie things I didn't expect at all. This year it was Jodorowsky's Dune, last year it was the excellent zombie drama The Battery. I don't doubt that 2015 will be the same, but it's hard to anticipate something you haven't heard of yet, so the films that have me the most hyped for the coming year are the big ones. Namely, I expect Avengers: Age of Ultron to be freaking great. Back when I read comics, Ultron was one of my all-time favorite bad guys. An indestructible, super-intelligent robot with a hatred of all organic life? What's not to love? And now he's coming to the film version, helmed by Joss Whedon. I fully expect to enjoy this one even more than the excellent first Avengers film.

Then, of course, there's Star Wars: The Force Awakens. I really, really want to be skeptical of this one, having been so crushingly disappointed in the prequel trilogy, but my cynicism is no match for my inner Star Wars nerd. My experiences with J.J. Abrams have been a mixed bag, but I've loved enough of it to hope for the best and feel like there's a reasonable chance I'm not just drinking the Kool-Aid. And if I am? Well, fuck it, I already said I expect my favorite movie to be some obscure, random thing I haven't heard of yet, so what's the harm in getting hyped over some next-generation Jedi until that thing comes along?

2015 in Television I think it's going to be a good year for geek TV, and it's going to start soon with a new season of Archer. Last season's odd, '80s style reboot that cast the gang as the world's most inept drug kingpins was a fun diversion, but I'm glad they're getting back to the familiar anachronistic spy shenanigans that I fell in love with in the beginning. Any year that offers a weekly fix of animated super spy ineptitude and debauchery promises to be a good one, and starting January 8 that's exactly what I'll be getting.

At some future point, we'll also get a new season of Hannibal, my pick for the best geek show of 2014. No debut date has been announced yet, but reveals like Gillian Anderson being added as a full-time cast member have me chomping at the bit. And that's not even considering last season's cliffhanger finale, which saw (SPOILER ALERT!) a good chunk of the main cast bleeding out on the exquisitely decorated floor of Hannibal's mansion as he walked off into the rain to start a new life elsewhere. Hannibal on the run, with whichever of his nemeses survived his carnage hot on his trail, promises to make for a gripping third season. I can't wait.

Find me on Twitter, where I tweet about geeky stuff and waste an inordinate amount of time: @casciato.



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