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Legolas_Katarn

Top 10 Games of 2018

4 posts in this topic

With the nominations and voting being over and the best of articles up, here's what I had written down for my top 10 games of 2018, in no particular order.

 

Hitman 2 

Hitman 2 takes my GOTY of 2016 and makes it even better with improved AI, graphics, and mechanics. It also takes that 2016 game and puts it all into this one, along with the sequel's improvements to the old areas. Both games include some of the best designed levels I've seen; with a lot of ways to kill your targets, to learn about the area and characters, and even amusing secrets and activities that can bring you closer to your targets. Continues with strong dark humor and a gameplay approach that acts more as a puzzle and social system than a traditional action or stealth game, all taking place in a huge playground. Made all the more impressive with what happened to the developer and them still putting out an improved sequel with as many features and upcoming content as this has. The first of the timed contracts with Sean Bean was even the best one that they have done compared to the prior season.

 

Marvel's Spider-Man 

Makes you feel like Spider-Man, and I don't mean that just because you can swing around a city and can move a bit like him; his daily life, characterization, friends, enemies, how Spider-Man is viewed, how he views the importance of his Spider-Man persona, and his emotional state are all very well captured throughout the entire game with attention to small details and through major plot and gameplay elements. The game tells a significantly better Spider-Man story than any of the movies or what most writers do with him, with an often more heartfelt feeling story than almost any other AAA game I've played by making Peter feel like a real character due to his relationships and use of characters like Octavius and MJ. This is on top of often nailing the humor of the character and the fun of swinging around a beautiful and well designed city. The story really only falters in the incredibly tone deaf use of Rikers inmates as an enemy faction and Peter's weird thoughts on criminals based on his character and upbringing with him sounding more like a Frank Millar esque Batman at times, and mechanically the odd choice of a melee system where your blows only effect the first enemy hit by a strike in a game where you have super strength and that can easily have you attacking the wrong targets. This is the best Spider-Man game we have gotten and with its gameplay, storyline, and addition of some interesting moments apart from the character of Spider-Man or from the use of his gadget it also serves as a strong foundation for sequels.

 

Battletech

An excellent use of the Battletech license with some of the best thought out gameplay I've seen in a turn based strategy game. Battle mechanics will have you making use of a variety of strategies while really having to plan out your movement, turn order, manage your mechs heat and stability, and knowing who to aim at, where to aim, and what weapons to use. Campaign has a good story supported by a good diverse cast of characters, fitting (and at times amusing events) and mission descriptions, backed up by a strong score, though the campaign can make it too easy to abuse certain mechanics later on. Updates have continued to make improvements to the game and balance things. Not only a great game for single or multiplayer but a strong foundation for future content and sequels and easy to recommend for Battletech fans or for people that want a turn based game with strong gameplay that fits well with an established franchise.

 

Pillars of Eternity 2 Deadfire

Shows off a large new area of the setting's world, important people, and factions with a story focused around working with or against the native people of the Deadfire, foreign merchants and imperialist powers, pirates, and another foreign power looking to exploit and conquer their native homeland, all while tracking down a revived renegade God for other members of the pantheon. The ability to dual class and each class having sub options give you a lot of character options and chances to make interesting character types. A variety of difficulty and level scaling options let you play how you want. Post release updates to the game have been adding free content and making improvements, making some nice UI changes that weren't their at release. An easy game to recommend for CRPG fans that want to have a variety of combat options, a well written cast of main characters, and a setting full of interesting people and lore, though it's not that interesting as a ship captain/pirate game as some early previews focused on.

 

Celeste

Mechanically, Celeste is one of the best platformers I've played. It controls well, perfectly introduces each new gameplay concept, the stages are varied with their own gameplay elements with each one being enjoyable to play, and there are alternate more difficult versions of levels for those that want a greater challenge. Narratively Celeste has a well done portrayal of someone suffering from anxiety and the themes, plot, mechanics, and score all blend together perfectly. It does offers a variety of accessibility options that can be used to alter how the game plays if you want to play the game in a different way or a way that is more in line with how you want to engage with it.

 

The Council

An adventure game dealing with conversation based confrontations with choices being based on your developed skills and your findings from exploring or talking with people. Puzzles solutions and story elements can be found out through exploration and with the help of your abilities. Entertaining story dealing with supernatural forces and your character joining an event hosted for world leaders and important figures while searching for his missing mother. Different events and endings in each episode that end up leading to some very different situations. The finale chapter felt rushed and while it can end in an interesting way or with at least some conversation events, mine didn't really require me to do anything, and no matter what it is followed by some narrated character epilogues that make it sound like they weren't sure what to do if certain choices were made.

 

The MISSING: J.J. Macfield and the Island of Memories

Supported Swery65 due to my love of Deadly Premonition, not knowing what to expect from this. Found a beautiful and bloody puzzle game with a plot supported by its mechanics that tell a story of a gay transgender woman's efforts to navigate the early stages of a relationship, her identity, and her relationships with family and friends. With its short length it explores more themes through narrative, metaphors, and mechanics focused around societal violence deterring you from becoming who you are in a more frank way than usual, telling a violent story on queer existence without the expected exploitative content and conclusion often found in similar media.

 

Return of the Obra Dinn

Well constructed mystery game making use of a beautiful early PC art style. Requires you to pay attention and to make more reasonable deductions while cross referencing known and logically assumed data, all while allowing for different ways of getting to the answers without the forced hand holding of most mystery games, making it one of the best uses of the genre since Her Story.

 

Valkyria Chronicles 4

Improves on the first while taking some of the better features added to the PSP sequels. New gameplay elements help to make levels feel more interesting and many of the levels allow for and are designed in a way to encourage different tactics and surprises. Tells a decent and mostly more serious war story and the side stories that star supporting characters have some very strong or entertaining moments. Art style still looks beautiful with more effects on the battlefield than past games. Doesn't completely fix some of the trial and error or easily exploitable tactics of the previous games, early actions and strangely placed reminders of his personality keep killing the likability of one of the main characters, and the in game Valkyria and bosses are still used poorly for the most part, but it is the best the series has been since the original and continues to offer a very unique and enjoyable strategy game.

 

Yakuza 6

Acts as a good send off for the character Kiryu and his story and features the perfect mix of humorous, heartfelt, and badass moments the series is known for. Probably the only game in the recent trend of "Dad games" to show a father/father figure engaging in activities that can mirror reality as well as showing the caring side of Kiryu that he is known for in a series that has always been focused on the people you consider family, as opposed to just being about another angry bearded guy with some kid following him around that they eventually grow to like or learn to show emotion towards. Like everything else, it could have used more Majima.

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The MISSING is one of the games that I definitely am interested in. Such a shame that Swery will never make a season 2 to D4, but this is the next best thing. One question before I get this game eventually: is it a hard game?

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One question before I get this game eventually: is it a hard game?

Not really. It's more puzzle based so I don't know how you personally handle different kinds of puzzles.

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24 minutes ago, Legolas_Katarn said:

Not really. It's more puzzle based so I don't know how you personally handle different kinds of puzzles.

Phew, that's good then. I saw the trailers has a lot of deaths, so I want to make sure if the game has instant death traps left and right like this:

Thank the Lord it's not like that. :D 

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