GAMING: Great Titles of 2018
Making lists of this sort are monumentally hard. Since funds are often short (as is time), many big name games are missed. Sometimes even personal preference dismisses certain titles. As a result, one can only go off of the titles experienced when going this route. To the surprise of many, games like Spider-Man, Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, Red Dead Redemption 2, Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey, and A Way Out are not on this list. Some of these I’ve played and they just didn’t grab me. Some of them, I just didn’t get a chance to play. Nonetheless, here goes my retelling of a great 2018 of gaming!
As an uber fan of the first game in the franchise, State of Decay 2 is essentially the closest game I have seen to a Walking Dead simulator. Its unique blend of using all of your community’s survivors to forage for supplies as well as plan out building base facilities is unlike any other zombie game on the market. Some love it, and some see it as a bit too repetitive.
While my heart didn’t necessarily skip a beat at the added features (multiple maps, new plague zombies, online multiplayer coop), it did supply enough to be pleased with the effort. My first 3 playthroughs feature dozens of hours of exploring each of the 3 initial map offerings (each the size of the first game) and plenty of memorable survivor deaths to agonize over! Interestingly enough, the developer is constantly working on the game adding free content and fixes as well as future plans for DLC that will add new modes as well as other content. The result is a game that starts at a $30 price tag and is well worth every penny!
Console kings don’t get to experience a ton of great PC games that are both indie and of genres that typically don’t seem to make their way to console release. In the strategy game world, Battletech is the turn based successor to an amazing real time strategy game called MechCommander. Battletech features RPG elements, mech customization, and a wealth of mission choices to make replayability pretty high. Fans of the tabletop RPG will adore this game as it does an excellent job of balancing difficulty and tactics in the same fashion that XCOM did. The interesting thing will be seeing what amazing additions the planned DLC will add (Flashpoint is the first).
For some, this choice may be puzzling considering the host of problems and missing content that the game was riddled with at release. While it is true that there are frustrations with things like exiting a server, no Battle Royale until Q1 2019, and a host of balancing issues on Grand Operations, the gameplay is still an improvement over the relatively well-received BF1. Adding fortification building and other squad centric bonuses and actions really stress players to work as a team and squad more than ever. As someone that doesn’t like Call of Duty as much anymore, Battlefield has become my goto franchise and BFV will eventually go down as one of the best of the series… once it’s finished.
God Of War
God of War is another one of Sony’s exclusive titles developed by Santa Montica Studios and is rightfully so nominated for a host of awards in various circles. The decision to rely less on mythology and more on story is one that not only pushes the action along better than previous GoW games, but also managed to capture the interest new and old fans quicker. Showing Kratos as a father and making his son Atreus a passively controlled side kick changed up the ‘feels’ of the story and the feeling of the gameplay. The result is a fresh and never boring ride that feels new and familiar at the same time.
Monster Hunter World
Monster Hunter has always been a franchise that many thought would remain a cult favorite. Typically a complex action-RPG that had tons of customization, resource gathering and management, as well as varied controls and tactics to learn and master, Monster Hunter was typically intimidating for casual fans. Somehow, Capcom managed to simplify it all without losing too much of what hardcore fans loved about the series. The battles with the various sized monsters are and can be epic. The various types of weapons you can learn to use and build are extrodinary. The tracking, hunting, and researching of each monster is simple, fun, and actually useful at the same time. The gorgeous environments really make you feel like you’re in an ecosystem that makes sense. Even multiplayer vs single player is an option rather than a requirement. Without a doubt, Monster Hunter World is a great game with high replayability.
For the heads of the spaceship, here’s a hot take on 2018 greats:
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate