Are we actually at the end of 2018? This has felt like an extremely long year, although I probably don’t have to say that. You’ve lived it, you know. So, here’s my list, because in this year long cycle of outrage and resistance, these are the games that made me happy, each in their own way.
Favorite Game Released Before 2018, Played in 2018: Total War: Warhammer 2
I keep saying that I have spent way too much time going back to this in 2018, but the loop of building cities and throwing armies of different factions around is just so entertaining. I came back when the Tomb King DLC was released, and have ended the year finishing a Dark Elf campaign I never thought would come together. Maybe, just maybe, I’ll finish a Mortal Elf campaign with the Dwarves. Maybe.
2018 Honorable Mentions (or games I would have played had I had the budget)
God of War, Red Dead Redemption 2, Octopath Traveler, Just Cause 4
Top 5 Games of 2018
5. Far Cry 5 - Lost on Mars DLC
Sometimes, you find yourself aboard a spaceship with very little context and you just have to roll with it.
4. Monster Hunter: World
I did not expect to be taken in by a Monster Hunter game. Mon Hun, as the kids in the know call it, is a game about deliberate, meaningful strikes. It’s a game about planning and knowing your prey, about never giving up, and when the time finally comes, spamming as many flipping arrows as you can into their body until either you can electrocute them to sleep or render them lifeless. And then you harvest their parts, craft some gear, and do it again.
3. Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth – Hacker's Memory
This was the first game I reviewed this year, and every time I think about it, I smile. It managed to hit all the buttons of similar monster collection games, while turning the focus from the actual collection aspect to the leveling/evolution side of things. Stat manipulation, evolving and devolving, as living digital constructs, the tool box was yours to manipulate and the monsters in your party yours to choose.
2. Batman: The Enemy Within
There’s something about Telltale Games making you pull the trigger, forcing you to confront that it’s your choices that are the architects of your own eventual demise. I thought I could save John Doe. Even when I knew it wasn’t possible, when I knew that eventually the madness would win and John would lose, the parent in me still wanted to think that I could help. But I couldn’t. Even in the end. Also, Vigilante Joker is probably one of the best things to happen to the character since Heath Ledger.
1. Marvel’s Spider-Man
There’s no other choice for this. I love swinging around as Spidey. I love stopping every random crime he comes across, even if sometimes it’s just to keep J. Jonah Jameson from being able to complain about me not doing something. I love the story. Peter does the best he can as a superhero and succeeds, and does the best he can as an adult and fails miserably. I love that ending has made me cry the three times I’ve seen it. I love that the DLC has kept up the quality and was not just a quick cash hit. Most of all, I love that it’s here to love, that Insomniac delivered on the promise of a Spider-Man game by giving us the BEST Spider-Man game.
Reviewer and Editor for Darkstation by day, probably not the best superhero by night. I mean, look at that costume. EEK!