The Best Games of 2018 (So Far)
We’re officially over halfway through 2018! And if that statement brought to light the fleeting amount of time we all have left on this planet then, same. But hey! Loads of great games came out this year! Let’s check out some of my personal favourites, shall we?
Okay so, I love me a good indie game. With the way the Steam store is currently going its getting more and more difficult to find that diamond in the rough because there is SO much rough. Celeste is that shining diamond in the rough.
This game is a gorgeously crafted and devilishly difficult platformer with the same addictive ‘one more try’ feeling as Super Meat Boy and the basic story of a girl called Madeline, essentially looking at a mountain and thinking “I’m gonna climb that”. However, where a basic story for most games would be detrimental, it pays dividends for this game as it allows for the focus of the game to shift towards its amazing gameplay.
The gameplay is split into sections of the mountains, which also acts as a kind of chapter system throughout the game with each section bringing a new and interesting gameplay mechanic. One chapter you’ll be messing around with blocks that move depending on when you use your second air dash and another chapter will have you fighting against the elements in order to try and survive the already difficult platforming segments.
Don’t get me wrong, this game can be very difficult, especially if you go for 100% and you have to do the hidden challenge areas and levels. A death never feels cheap though, the gameplay is so solid it always feels like you’re the one that’s bad at the game and not the game failing at its purpose. The amount of times I blamed the game for a death only to realise I’m a fool and didn’t use the level properly or a plethora of other faults on my part made me realise that maybe I’m not as good at the game as I think I am.
But that’s okay, because it is just so much fun to play.
Detroit: Become Human
Set in 2038 Detroit, Androids have become a household staple around America however, there are new and extraordinary cases of Androids essentially going rogue. The game puts you in the shoes of three different characters that most importantly, are all Androids. This is one of the only games that if you can’t play it I’d wholeheartedly recommend you watch your favourite streamer or youtuber play through as the experience is not sullied in anyway whatsoever. From the wild mind behind Heavy Rain, Beyond Two Souls and, Fahrenheit comes David Cage’s newest and in my opinion best game yet.
The game gives the player an in depth exploration of the human psychology and what exactly it means to be a human in this age of artificial intelligence. One of my favourite things about the game is there is no such thing as a game over screen, it’s narrative is crafted so well that any character can be killed off at nearly any time through player mess ups or dialogue choices and the story will continue and even build around the death that’s occurred.
The immersion that occurs within this beautiful looking game is second to none and I truly felt like Connor, Markus and, Kara in their plight. They even felt more relatable than a lot of the actual ‘humans’ in the game which again put into question of what a human even is and then I’d overthink it and end up sifting through conspiracy theories at 3am thinking about if androids are going to take over the planet.
I for one welcome our soon to be android overlords with open arms.
A Way Out
I’ve actually only played this game recently with one of my closest friends and it was easily one of my favourite experiences in gaming. Having this entire story built around you and a friend you begin to rely on them and truly feel like the characters you’ve picked. It was a natural role to play for my friend and I, both of us constantly making fun and being as unhelpful as possible in order for each of us to have a more tense experience was something I’ll cherish for many years to come.
There was a true bond that was formed between the characters me (Leo) and my friend (Vincent) played, through initially breaking out of the prison, to escaping the police multiple times and my friend being so inept at catching a fish I had to hunt his for him as well. All of these things built up to a crescendo when our joint hatred for the antagonist Harvey comes to a head and we’re both screaming every Scarface quote we could think of as we fight him together.
It makes the last moments of the game all the more heart breaking, this bond we built up, of trust and friendship is split.
Let me tell you, I’ve never felt a greater sense of betrayal from a friend in that moment than I have in my entire life. I’m going to be vague on purpose right now as I really urge you to try this game out with a friend, it truly is one of my greatest gaming experiences. But the final escape and battle of this game had my friend apologising in a very sombre tone as he knows what was about to happen, and so did I. My head was going a million miles an hour, I couldn’t believe it, I didn’t want to believe what had just happened to Leo, to me. However, as the curtains closed on this fantastic game, I had realised that this was exactly how I wanted this to go, not necessarily with a happy ending but with a conclusion that felt like I’d just played one of the best films to memory.
Again, if you couldn’t figure it out already, I really liked this game and I think you should all try it out, tell me who you played and how your game concluded I’d love to know.
God of War
I’ve always been a huge fan of the God of War games, the sheer brutality of Kratos’ actions as well as just being a man that exudes badass-ness allowed me to forget that I’m actually a skinny white guy with the same muscle mass as one of Kratos’ forearms and believe I’m a powerhouse whose destruction knows no bounds.
So, you can imagine my surprise when at the end of this newest instalment to the series I cried actual tears of sadness after completing my journey, that’s when I realised that this was something special.
From the get go setting the game in Norse mythology made my inner child scream with joy as I’ve always had a fixation on Norse gods and their stories so being able to play through all of it kept me interested and intrigued throughout.
Making Kratos a father and having his son travel by his side was what I thought was going to be its biggest downfall upon playing however, they instead crafted one of my favourite stories in gaming. Voice acting in games I feel is an often-underappreciated part of making a character feel relatable and real (yes, I did just say that about the God of War) so having such an amazing casting choice for Kratos and Atreus really helped heighten the tension of their struggles and make you appreciate the true moments of peace that the game allows you.
The story itself is quite simple, Kratos wants to scatter his wife’s ashes on top of the tallest mountain (why do two of my favourite games involve climbing a mountain?) however, its what happens in between Kratos and Atreus’ journey to the mountain that makes this story exemplary. Now I’m not going to spoil this story or any of the satisfyingly visceral combat situations instead you should just go out and play it.
Trust me on this dear reader, you won’t regret it.
So those were some of my favourite games of 2018 and because everything I say is fact and completely correct in every way it also means that they are the best games of 2018 (not really). What were some of your favourite games of the year? Any you’re looking forward to being released? Let me know in the comments!