End of Year 2018: Favorite Game


#23

While my favorite game is almost certainly going to end up Spider-Man, I do want to throw out a nomination for Vampyr. I picked it up after being infected by Patrick’s enthusiasm about how interesting, even if flawed, it is and I have to say it’s ended up being one of the most enjoyable experiences I’ve had all year — especially playing in the dark. The investigation interactions (needing info before opening new lines of dialogue, etc.) were fun and unlike most things I’ve played, and I loved the atmosphere and most of the writing and voice acting. And I also thought it was surprisingly more political (and interestingly so) than I’d anticipated coming into it. I even found the combat to be not as bad as I’d expected from Patrick’s complaints (not that it’s a reason to suggest the game, but it didn’t drag down my opinion of the game as much for me as I think it did for him).

Probably going to nom Forza Horizon 4 as well just because of the pure joy (plus, it was my first Horizon game).


#26

I have yet to play Red Dead or Assassin’s Creed, but I can’t envision either game unseating Hitman 2

In a gaming era defined by open worlds and procedural generation, the last two Hitman games stand out in my mind for offering some really fantastic levels, in the old-school sense. These are spaces that, the more you explore, the you realize how well-crafted they are towards the singular purpose of giving you options and ways to take out targets. A room behind a locked door might contain the perfect vantage point over a target’s route; an elevator shaft might let you climb to the top floor without being spotted; a balcony might be perfectly placed so that you can push one target onto the other, killing them both.

There are signs that the split from Square Enix took a lot out of IO: the cutscenes aren’t animated, and two of the six levels are significantly smaller. But nevertheless they have improved upon the previous game’s formula and created what might go down as my favorite game this gen.


#27

Mine is absolutely, no doubt, Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey.

This is the huge, seemingly endless single-player action RPG of my year. It’s my Witcher 3 except with a player character I actually like being. A giant world full of stories and characters and a protagonist I connect with and love to spend time around.

Even more than AC:Origins, which I really liked but didn’t quite love, Odyssey grabbed me like no other big-budget AAA game this year did. I burned out on RDR2 pretty quickly, but I keep coming back to Odyssey, exploring the islands and finding new stories I didn’t even know about, even though I’ve completed all of the, like, four main storylines and my save file is almost 100 hours so far. The game just feels really good to me. There are still like four islands on the eastern edge of the map I haven’t even been to yet, and Ubisoft keeps adding new adventures to find. The game embraced its pulpy historical fantasy nature in great ways - I’ve debated with Sokrates and fought mythical creatures and flirted with pirate queens from one side of the Greek isles to the other.

The turn into basically just being an RPG at this point really hit all my buttons. Odyssey has thrilled me, made me cry, and genuinely made me laugh multiple times over the course of my time with it. And at the center of it all is Kassandra, who’s legit become one of my all-time favorite video game protagonists. Melissanthi Mahut gives such a warm, genuine performance as Kassandra that I can’t imagine playing any other way. She’s awesome and I still wish she’d have gotten the voice acting award at the Game Awards, as much as I don’t care about the Game Awards. I really hope Ubisoft keeps going down the RPG route and keeps giving us the choice to play as a woman in future AC entries.

And the music’s great.

So yeah, I really freakin’ dig AC: Odyssey.


#28

For me it’s Mooncrash, A smart evolution of Prey a game that was pretty damn smart to begin with. Into The Breach, a game I loved for a good few weeks and still really admire and no longer think much about. And Stellaris: Apocalypse, not because that DLC was all that great but because I played a lot of Stellaris this year and that is the DLC from this year that I own so that is how I am choosing to nominate the game


#29
  1. Heaven Will Be Mine
  2. Subnautica
  3. Return of the Obra Dinn
  4. Into The Breach
  5. Iconoclasts
  6. They Are Billions

I would also love to have Slay the Spire and Hollow Knight on my list, but they both technically came out in 2017.


#30

Return of the Obra Dinn - A great detective game that lets you rely on your own observations and powers of deduction to solve mysteries.
Vampyr - Surprised this game didn’t get talked about more, outside of Patrick. The environments and writing were all very enjoyable, and I loved that the choices in the game weren’t always completely obvious. Sometimes you thought you were doing the right thing but it caused everything to go to hell, or cut paths and people off to you. And that’s okay. I appreciate when a game doesn’t feel the need to let the player do every single thing and get everything right. I even thought the combat was decent.
Unavowed - Wadjet Eye makes fantastic, classic-style point and click adventures and I think this is their best one yet. The addition of companions to get to know and a bit of branching paths really added to things. The voice acting and music is all top notch and I liked the supernatural story.


#31

With Spider-man and AC Odyssey already well covered, I figured I’d toss out my dark horse third pick to see if I can drum up some more nominations:

Ni No Kuni 2 - Revenant Kingdom
Ni No Kuni 2 is just nice. Y’know? It’s just nice.

It just wants to tell a nice little story, about Prince Evan of Ding Dong Dell, a nice little cat boy who has his nice dad the king and the nice governess who’s raised him since he was a baby assassinated in front of his eyes and then goes into exile with Roland, the nice President of the United States who somehow got warped into this kingdom when his car took a nearly direct hit from a nice atomic bomb and for some reason was carrying a nice 9mm pistol with him which he continues to use in this land of swords, shields and magic, and start a nice kingdom on some unclaimed land where everyone can be nice to each other even though it turns out his old kingdom actually systematically oppressed the nice rat people who are the ones who rose up to nicely assassinate his father.

Ok, Ni No Kuni 2 is weird. It has a lot of systems, but none of them are too stressful or punishing if you can’t get too much of a handle on them. It’s got low-stakes real-time combat, low-stakes RTS, low-stakes party management, low-stakes city building. A fake social media app where everybody’s just like “Hey, I saw Prince Evan in the bakery today! I thought he was dead! I’m glad he’s not dead! This croissant is great!”

It’s just a very sincere, pleasant game. And in 2018, having something like that is… nice.


#32

The 3 Best Games I played from this year:

-Celeste
-The Missing: J.J. Macfield and the Island of Memories
-Into the Breach

6 Other very great games I played from this year:

-Heaven Will Be mine
-DBFZ
-Spider Man
-Minit
-Frostpunk
-Slay the Spire

And 9 Games I really wanna put some/more time into before I die:

Tetris Effect, Hitman 2, Obra Dinn, Dead Cells, BattleTech, Dragon Quest XI, Monster Hunter World, Shadow Of the Colossus Remake, Gris


#33

2018 was a year of me playing a lot of games but not finishing a lot of games so here are the top games I played but didn’t finish but really should:

  • Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire

  • Divinity Original Sin II Definitive Edition

  • Ashen

  • Monster Hunter World

  • Frozen Synapse 2

  • Heaven Will Be Mine

And here’s a short list of games I actually did get all the way through and really liked

  • Paratopic

  • Forza Horizon 4

  • Katamari Damacy: Reroll
    (Okay I didnt actually play Reroll but I finished all of Katamari Damacy on my PS2 this year and that game still rips so Reroll is on my list)

  • Florence

But after all that my true GOTY. The game that really defined my year didn’t come out in 2018. It came out in 2003, on the PS2, and it’s Initial D Special Stage, the home console version of Initial D Arcade Stage 2 with a tonne of extra tracks, a story mode that follows the manga up to the beginning of the Project D arc, and some rebalancing to make the Honda Integra not a fucking powerhouse.

I played so much of Special Stage this summer. An inordinate amount. But it was like Into The Breach is to Danielle. It was a thing to do when I was at a really low point at the end of a truly traumatic pair of semesters that just left me in a bad way and I needed something, and Initial D was it. The game is just a straight ahead arcade racer but it does a really great job at simplifying drivetrains so there’s a real difference between RWD, 4WD, FWD, and Mid-Engined cars at the base level, and then even within each of those classes every car is so unique that you really have to learn what you’re driving in a way that makes it feel a little like a fighting game.

I’ll never get bored of doing a perfect run down Akina while listening to some eurobeat nonsense. It’s a satisfying experience.


#34

After listening to Danielle talk about Mooncrash I’d also add that it totally embraces the “you can break his game with creative solutions” that Prey has.

For example, the time limit, which at first gnaws at you and makes the game more and more difficult, can be subverted by making time “hacks”, which get easier and easier to make and stockpile

Worrying about taking items other characters won’t be able to use in the same run? you can use the floating robot as a universal stockpile that carries between runs

I also liked the introduction of “unique” weapons into the prey universe, like a run where you find a pistol that shoots fire bullets, or a shotgun that never breaks.


#35

It’s The Missing : J.J. Macfield and the Island of Memories. There’s no doubt in my mind.

I… honestly can not think of a last time I was so deeply affected by any narrative. In anything.

I wish I could express the sheer emotional impact this game had on me but I lack words nor do I know how to put them together to make a cohesive sentence.

I honestly think it’s one of the most important games released this game if not THE most important. It would be any year but especially the one where transphobia has oftentimes been used as a political tool.

I know that some of the scenes will stay with me forever (the opening scene is amazing and the endgame scenes…!!!)

Before I leave with links to few articles that express way better what this game means to me and to so many others (BE WARNED THEY ARE ALL SPOILER HEAVY SO DON’T CLICK IF YOU DON’T WANT SPOILERS) I want to leave you with a line that was easily the most powerful line I have heard this year:

F.K.: this is
F.K.: a story about regeneration


#36

My personal favorites from this year were definitely Vampyr, Heaven Will Be Mine, Speed Dating for Ghosts, and You Are Jeff Bezos. Since all but the last one were already nominated, I’d like to nominate it! It’s such a funny, sharp criticism of our world in the “I’m laughing becuase otherwise I’d be crying” sort of way. It’s cutting, smart, and absolutely worth a play.


#37

Hey folks!

With the deadline for phase 1 fast approaching we wanted to remind everyone to get their nominations in if they haven’t already. The google forms will stop taking submissions by 10pm GMT (2pm PST / 5pm EST) on Saturday.

That said, these threads will remain open so that people can continue to share their thoughts on specific categories/games for the remainder of the event. We hope you’ve enjoyed the event thus far and we’re excited to unveil the the voting phase over the weekend!


#38

My top 3 games I played from this year were Return of the Obra Dinn, Star Traders: Frontiers, and Extreme Meatpunks Forever.

Definitely a couple I didn’t get to that I’m looking forward to checking out and/or finishing like Vampyr, Heaven Will Be Mine, The Banner Saga 3, Ni no Kuni II, and Wandersong.

This year in games was fun :smiley:


#39

My top game inlast year was the best game I’ve ever played the pubg mobile.

I was losing all my time in this great and awsome game, about 7 Hours per day for about 130 days in 2018… it made me creazy