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Thread: The Best Games of 2018

  1. #26
    Still Subjective
    Registered: Dec 1999
    Location: Idiocy will never die
    I like seeing these threads but I've played no new games this year.

    I'm playing Wolfenstein: The New Order and after XMas will be playing God of War, maybe Spiderman.

    Started Bastion and Transistor this year too.

  2. #27
    Registered: Aug 2004
    Well, now I feel less bad about how sparse my playlist has been.

    I really liked Into the Breach.

    I enjoyed Prey and Dishonored 2, but both end up feeling like chores after a bit.

    Subsurface Circular wasn't great, IMO. It had a few good story bits, but the basic gameplay was stale and derivative, most of the story was dull, and the opening conceit of allowing you to not take the mission but then just sit there was outright bad. Like, seriously what's the point of distilling gameplay down to a single core mechanic and then flubbing it with boring derivative crap?

    I played Pan-Pan this year, it's cute, my daughter loves it.

    Played the heck out of Headliner, that was good.

  3. #28
    verbose douchebag
    Registered: Apr 2002
    Location: Lyon, France

  4. #29
    Thing What Kicks
    Registered: Apr 2004
    Location: London
    Erg, trying to think...

    I've played a LOT of Destiny 2 this year, and loved every minute of it... until I quit cold turkey. Whatever, simply as a shooter, it's excellent. I just have to stay away from it. It's that digital crack people keep going on about. Damn MMOs >:E

    One that I keep meaning to go back to, but I don't because starting a new game can feel a little repetitive is Cultist Simulator. Still deserves a place on my list though, because it is so damned good at what it does. The gradual rise to power and inevitable fall from grace is effortlessly portrayed in a gaming medium I didn't think was capable of such nuance.

    Dead Cells? Definitely, although it took me getting it on Switch and playing it during my daily commute to really get my teeth in to it. Still not "completed" it yet; need to remedy that.

    Forza Horizon 4 has gradually become my favourite way to play when I want something fun and brainless this year. The open world driving is really fun, and I love the way it gradually challenges you to try higher difficulties as you get better. And the live events are fantastic fun, hooning around the countryside with a bunch of other maniacs.

    I dearly love the silliness and bombast of Monster Hunter World. I had been looking forward to it all year, and it didn't disappoint when it finally arrived. Really looking forward to the Geralt crossover! Especially because (whisper it), the actual act of hunting mosters is actually a lot more fun in MHW than it is in Witcher 3. Plus, Palicos.

    Spider-Man on the PS4 nails the Spidey feel, and I can quite happily just swing through the city. It's mostly complete joy, which unfortunately is tied to an overall game design that feels like its finally on its way out: the open-world iconathon. Could do with some more iconic bad guys too. But the swinging, fighting and music are all spectacular.

    But now we get on to the big 3.

    We start with a late-comer to my list in Kenshi. When RPS compared it favourably to Dwarf Fortress, I had to give it a look. And while I've only been playing it this weekend, I can already tell I'm going to be putting a LOT of hours in to it. It's harsh, it's very, VERY brown, and it has a nasty-ass UI as well as some interesting physics. But man, is it deep. It's like the mutant offspring of an unholy union between at least 3 parents; Fallout, an RTS and a survival game. Very cool.

    I am still plugging away at The Cowboy Game.
    I suspect I shall be plugging away at it for some time (partly because I suspect it might be killing my PS4; I've had two unexpected shutdowns whilst playing).
    While the missions may be linear, the world is the best, most convincing open world I've yet to experience in games, and simply existing in it is enough. That it is also populated by probably the best performances I've seen in gaming is the icing on the cake, and the story shows remarkable maturity when you consider it's from the same pen that brought us GTA V.

    And top dog?
    Hitman 2.
    I've said this to Sulphur, but as long as they stick to this formula and keep the quality as high, any year this series gets a release it'll be my favourite game of that year.
    I've not completed it yet (one more level to go!), but everything that kept me coming back to 2016's Hitman is in here (literally!) and more. The levels are so crammed full of things to do and clever ways to take out your targets. The unlock system gives you a reason to go back and play in a different way, exploring as many avenues as possible. And even after you've exhausted all of the scoring achievements, you can still come up with reason to revisit levels and try something different!
    Then there's the extra modes like Contracts, Escalations and the divisive yet brilliant Elusive Targets, all of which are delicious icing topping off a scrumptious murdercake.
    I think my favourite level so far has been Mumbai. But they all are brilliant in their own way.

    I'm sure if I had more time to play it amongst all these other games, Battletech would be riding high in my estimations too. I can't quite say it's a favourite, as I haven't given it enough time to confidently say that, but I suspect it will be. Same goes for Tower of Time.
    Two Point Hospital has taken a back-seat while, like a magpie, I've been distracted by shinier things. But it does exactly what they intended for it to do. It's a true sequel to Theme Hospital.
    Tempest 4000 has settled down after a rough start. But something still doesn't feel right when compared to its superior Vita sibling TxK.
    Chuchel is delightful, but again has fallen victim to there being other, shinier things around.
    Star Trader: Frontiers has also catured my attention briefly this year, and I shall be returning to it.
    Subnautica deserves more of my time too, and indeed almost scraped in to the list above, but it's just a little too survival-ish for my tastes.

    Oops, forgot Dad of Boy. Excellent stuff. utterly gorgeous, but maybe let down by none of the fights feeling as big as in previous games in the series. Enemy variety is lacking too, and at least one of the levels feels like filler content. Absolutely fantastic feel to the combat though, especially with the way Kratos' boomerang-axe thunks nicely back on return with a reciprocal judder of the pad.

    It's been a grand year for games, that much is certain
    Last edited by Malf; 17th Dec 2018 at 16:20.

  5. #30
    Subsurface Circular wasn't great, IMO. It had a few good story bits, but the basic gameplay was stale and derivative, most of the story was dull, and the opening conceit of allowing you to not take the mission but then just sit there was outright bad. Like, seriously what's the point of distilling gameplay down to a single core mechanic and then flubbing it with boring derivative crap?
    IMO that's the problem with all Mike Bithell games. I bought them all for the concept, fell asleep on execution. Thomas Was Alone: cool, a narrative platformer about shapes with personalities. Several levels later: zzz... Volume: cool, MGS VR missions gameplay mixed with Thief. Several dozen levels later: zzz... Subsurface: cool, an Orient Express Murder with robots. Several metro stops later: zzz...

  6. #31
    Registered: Jan 2003
    Location: NeoTokyo
    I feel like I played fewer games this year (not counting regulars like GTAV, Darkmod, Skyrim, Arma3, Crusader Kings 2, Victoria, IL-2, etc).

    I'm looking down my list... They're kind of smaller indie types with a few bigger games mixed in.

    Ori & the Blind Forest, Dishonored 2, Subnautica, Avorion, Empyrion, Return of the Obra Dinn, Tokyo 42, Far Sail, Cup Head, Red String Club, Kingdom Classic/New Lands, What Remains of Edith Finch, Hyperlight Drifter, Opus Magnum (a Zachtronics game). My system wouldn't run Prey to my great sadness, as I think that would have been my favorite this year.

    It seems it was a year for aimless sim building types as I spent a lot of time with Subnautica & Avorion base-building & ship-building respectively, and optimizing the Opus Magnum puzzles. So I may as well make those my top three in that order, just based on that. Ori & Hyperlight Drifter were also top tier level, and the easiest to recommend, but they were from last year.

  7. #32
    Level 10,000 achieved
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Finland
    Quote Originally Posted by WingedKagouti View Post
    You at least acknowledge that you lack it on your list. Then again, it would not surprise me to find out that it isn't your style of game.
    I thought Dead Cells might be my kinda thing. I like slick platformers and games that use procedurally generated levels. But it turns out that, just like with Spelunky, put those 2 things together and it results in a combination that just ain't for me. Every time I start the game up I end up getting so bored I can't even be bothered trying to play well, then dying and saying "oh good, I died, now I can go play something else."

    Quote Originally Posted by Brethren View Post
    Dark Souls Remastered - Does this count? My first time through this classic, which was of course awesome. Originally played on PS4, replaying it now on the Switch.
    Yeah I'd say remastered versions/re-releases count. How is it possible that you're only now getting around to Dark Souls tho? You did hear us all going apeshit about it in 2011-2012, right?

  8. #33
    Registered: Jul 2004
    The games I played that were released this year were: QUBE2, which was a decent puzzler, but easy, or maybe I'm just too experienced in the genre. The Fall 2, which wasn't as good as the first one, but I still really enjoyed it, and a bit surprised at its negative reception here. And the last one is Hitman 2, which is, well, everything that Malf wrote. I actually played the first season this year too, since I dismissed the game back in 2016 because of the episodic format. Much better having all locations at the start. I put about 40 hours into H2, but I feel I'm just scratching the surface. There's so much in there. Oh, and also, there was Dark souls Remastered, which is... well, Dark Souls. I did a playthrough and some co-op, but I already have 600+ hours in the base game, didn't feel the urge to play this one much.

    As for other games, there was Prey, which I don't have to explain, it was awesome. Also Spintires Mudrunner. I'm really not into car games, but this one is special. Never thought I'd enjoy hauling logs and crawling through mud for hours, but there it goes.

    But most importantly, there was Nioh. I played the main game through January to March, then went back to do the DLC in October, and spent the last few weeks finishing NG+2. This game is amazing. The tight combat, the rpg system that allows for so many variations in builds, the way it does historical fantasy... I just love it. Hell, it got me interested in Japanese history which I spent a good half of this year reading about. I guess you could say playing this game was life changing. It wasn't released this year, but it's my GOTY for sure. I wish more people were playing it.

  9. #34
    As usual I had to go through my list of played games and check each one, because I can't ever seem to remember their release dates. Also, I have by no means played everything that was released this year, so I am in no real position to compare them, but here's a list of the games from this year that I have played and enjoyed more than others:
    AENTITY: most challenging art game (
    Beckett: some nice writing in a style I seldom see outside of more traditional literature (
    Fugue in Void: great exploration in Brutalistic environments (
    The Room Three: lots of great contraptions.

    Honourable mentions:
    Dark Grim Mariupolis: a game I got stuck on and never finished, but which had a great soundtrack and a consistently unique art style.
    Lake Ridden: amazing visuals (the best I've seen in an indie game this year) and okay puzzles, although the story was of little consequence (
    ReThink | Evolved 2: offered little variation, but did offer adequate visuals and quite alright puzzles, so over all a good distraction.
    CONCLUSE: I don't play a lot of horror games, but this one had great atmosphere and style, most closely reminding me of works by Kitty Horror Show and Christoph Frey. The gameplay was okay, but also got a bit stale with mostly keyhunts. There is a part 2 in the works and I am interested in finding out what happens next.

    The games that didn't make it:
    Shape of the World: nice, calm exploration, but a little too visually busy for my tastes (
    0N 0W: interesting in parts, but felt empty after a while beneath its busy surface (
    Underworld Ascendant: I did enjoy the parts I could play, but I need to upgrade my set-up before I can play it in its entirety -- and by then hopefully the devs have finished polishing the game and fixing the bugs (got released too early in my opinion). I am quite willing to give it a second chance.

  10. #35
    Registered: Feb 2007
    Location: Sevastapol Station
    My favorite release of 2018 had to be Prey: Mooncrash.

    A DLC expansion, but so very different from the base game. Arkane knocked it out of the park with that one. It's ironic that we haven't really spoken of it at all on this forum.

    Taking a fairly derivative experience in Prey, despite being done spectacularly. Mooncrash was a new experience blending the Immersive Sim / Survival Horror with a Roguelike and a great twist the Resident Evil 2 "Zapping" system (seriously what a stupid name, but there it is).

    If you haven't played Mooncrash you deserve to.

    Looking forward next year to:

    Black Mesa: Xen
    Routine (HAHA Yeah right)
    Alien: Blackout (if it releases next year. probably 2020, but who knows?)
    Last of Us Part 2 - will finally buy a PS4 for this.

  11. #36
    Level 10,000 achieved
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Finland
    qolelis with a bunch of art games no one's heard of as usual, I love it.

    Ok I've heard of 3 of those.

    Might have to pick up Aentity, it looks kind of amazing.

  12. #37
    New Member
    Registered: Aug 2015
    Location: Rouen, France
    For me it's Dusk by New Blood Interactive. It's a retro-shooter inspired by Quake mostly, but it does so much than that. The level design is excellent, as the atmosphere and general feeling of the game. Lots ( and I mean *lots* ) of reference to Thief also. Delightful

  13. #38
    Quote Originally Posted by henke View Post
    qolelis with a bunch of art games no one's heard of as usual, I love it.
    It's like they say: "If you're into it, I'm out of it."

    I do play other types of games too, but it just so happens that none of them were released this year -- or even this decade -- so they didn't make the list.

    Might have to pick up Aentity, it looks kind of amazing.
    It is kind of amazing -- quite intimidating too. I did hesitate a while before getting it, but somewhere deep down I knew I had to play it, so eventually I did and didn't regret it one bit. I still have things to discover, think I found like two thirds of the different worlds in there, so I need to take the time to get into it again. I briefly spoke to the dev over Twitter and he's working on an online interactive museum where players can upload their AENTITY paintings. I have checked it out, but it's not quite done yet.

  14. #39
    Chakat sex pillow
    Registered: Sep 2006
    Location: not here
    Aentity looks interesting to me from a conceptual standpoint, but to apply a reductionist brush to it: I don't think I'd enjoy an active entropy generator without a goal. It's the same problem I have with anything that leaves you to work out a ruleset without any concrete goal in mind. Minecraft was good to pootle around in, but it didn't hook me in terms of, well, anything. It was fun to work out its systems for a time, but the ennui of existing in its blocky worlds quickly came crashing down upon me. I had no interest in creating things with it because I'd rather just whip out a level editor instead of dealing with the game's distractions.

  15. #40
    Quote Originally Posted by SilenHorn View Post
    For me it's Dusk by New Blood Interactive. It's a retro-shooter inspired by Quake mostly, but it does so much than that. The level design is excellent, as the atmosphere and general feeling of the game. Lots ( and I mean *lots* ) of reference to Thief also. Delightful
    The launch trailer makes me think of Chasm: The Rift more than anything else.

  16. #41
    Registered: Jan 2003
    Location: NeoTokyo
    Quote Originally Posted by qolelis View Post
    It is kind of amazing -- quite intimidating too.
    I got this just on the discussion going on here. I have to say for the first probably 20 minutes I thought it was just a not-very-responsive procedural blob sim, and at the start not even particularly good looking blobs at that. And under normal circumstances (if I had stumbled into some flash game like this) I would have ended it right there. But because I figured there had to be more or why was it even being talked about, I persisted and slowly, but happily, figured out I was actually in 3D space, and then with other entities, and when I figured out the sounds were leading me places, suddenly I'm making "progress" to different aesthetic worlds. Definitely makes the imagination wander and was more than I was expecting. I like that you have to take it at its own slow pace. You have to be in the mood for it, but when you are it's quite the antidote from the everyday.

  17. #42
    Registered: Jul 2002
    Location: Edmonton
    I think the only new game from 2018 that I played was Smash Bros on Switch, and despite never having liked the series in the past, I'm loving it now. Otherwise I've mainly just been slowly working through my backlog from two Christmas sales ago.

  18. #43
    Registered: Sep 2000
    Location: Hong Kong
    I think that I will probably revisit this thread at a later stage once I've finished off a few more games released in 2019. That said, while I have played less games this year than I have in many years the ones that I have spent the most time with are from the past 1-2 years such as Doom, Darkest Dungeon, the Echo and Outlast 2.

    Technically speaking the only games released in 2018 that I have completed are The Long Dark and Subnautica as they came out of early access this year. Both games would easily make it to the top of my list. I already put Subnautica there last year based on early access; the final version wasn't different enough to make me want to play through it again. The story mode of The Long Dark turned out to be excellent although it took me some time before I spent any time with it; am keen to try the redux version at some stage.

    As for the rest, I haven't completed them yet so won't claim these as being part of the best of 2018 so here's my current impressions based on my current playtime:
    • Destiny 2 - 3-4 hours - Seems fun so far and the combat has improved a lot from the first one which I never finished. I'm currently at the 5th or 6th world but am not sure if I'll spend too much more time with this.
    • Guacamelee 2 - 30 mins - More of the same but with updated graphics and some new gameplay challenges.
    • Immortal Darkness: Curse of The Pale King - 1 hour - Unlikely to make it to my best of 2018 list but still a very fun Indie game that harkens back to another era and would sit quite comfortably on a Sega Megadrive.
    • Far Cry 5 - 8 hours - I'm finding it much better than FC4, which I found slightly disappointing after FC3. Loving everything about it so far however I wish they kept the crafting in.
    • Hitman 2 - 0 hours - I've only played the H1 missions so far so can't comment on the new content.
    • Underworld Ascendant - 1.5 hours - I'm treating this as an early release. If they somehow manage to fix it through the various planned updates I will hopefully be adding this to a best of 2019 list.

  19. #44
    Registered: Feb 2001
    Location: Somewhere
    I would say Yakuza 0 on pc for me. Never having played a yakuza game before, it took me by suprise how much I enjoyed it.

    and for gaming highlights of 2018, I would say finally finishing Ultima Underworld1 and System Shock1 for the first time. I gotta say, the finale for UU1 was of ball-trippin levels.
    Last edited by PigLick; 24th Dec 2018 at 06:02.

  20. #45
    Level 10,000 achieved
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Finland
    Actually I think TLD came out of EA in 2017. I'd been hoping Ep. 3 would show up in time for Christmas as I'd love to play some more of it this time of year, but it seems it's coming out first next year, tho new and improved version of Ep1 and 2 are apprently out.

    btw I liked Polygon's picks:

    mainly for how much nerdrage was stoked by putting Florence over RDR2.

    tho they dropped the ball on the VR front. No Beat Saber but they DID include that generic tripe Moss?

  21. #46
    Chakat sex pillow
    Registered: Sep 2006
    Location: not here
    I liked their picks (forget the numbering), and the one-line descriptions in that video are hilariously on point. I gotta say, if any part of Prey: Mooncrash is like Tremors on the moon, I shoulda gotten it already.

    Also, Florence wasn't life-changing or anything, but if anything had heart this year, it'd be this game, and Wandersong.

  22. #47
    Registered: Oct 2000
    Location: Athens of the North
    As usual I don't think I've played many games that were actually released this year - every time I am tempted to pick something up I look at my backlog and realise how many good games from previous years I have already still to play.

    However, I did ma an exception for Return of the Obra Dinn and very glad I did. It was perfect in length, atmosphere and struck a good balance between challenge and progression.

    The other 2018 game that springs to mind is 7 Billion Humans by Tomorrow Corporation who made Human Resource Machine and Little Inferno. I haven't seen much discussion of it here (the only other member on my Steam list that has played it is Neb - but he stalks me on all these games ) but it's essentially a parallel processing version of HRM. The appeal of this type of game for me is trying to optimise your solution to get the most efficient set of instructions that meets the criteria and the quirky sense of humour that their games has also adds to the fun.

  23. #48
    Registered: May 2004
    Return of the Obra Dinn is Rock Paper Shotgun's Best Game of 2018:

  24. #49
    Quote Originally Posted by Al_B View Post
    The other 2018 game that springs to mind is 7 Billion Humans by Tomorrow Corporation who made Human Resource Machine and Little Inferno. I haven't seen much discussion of it here
    I bought it together with HRM, and I happily OCD'd my way through the earlier game as far as the final set of puzzles, at which point something made me set it aside and I've yet to get back to it. A lovely puzzle game*, so I imagine 7BH is more of the same goodness.

    (*) Although some of the OCD challenges would be a nightmare without being able to copy/paste back and forth from a real editor, as the mobile-focused UI is very restrictive; but the essential puzzles are good, and the presentation is delightful (as one has come to expect from this developer).

  25. #50
    Chakat sex pillow
    Registered: Sep 2006
    Location: not here
    2018 was a shite year for me to play games made in 2018. There were so many games released in 2018, and despite snarfing up an entire gobful of them, I haven't completed a one. So I don't have a top ten or five, but there's been notables to note: there have been some that I feel were drowned out despite the sheer talent they possessed in an avenue or two. So here's a few of those that are also competent in the general gamey bits at a minimum.

    Graphical Gumption:

    Planet Alpha: probably would have been the best-looking 2D platformer this year if it weren't for another game. Created by artists with apparently little programming experience, it turned out fairly all right as a game - inspired by Another World, with much less abstruse design, and a low-poly aesthetic with top shelf art design.

    Gris: is that other game. Its stark ligne claire and watercolours work is beautiful in still pictures, but the animation gives it a tactility that elevates it to an even further level in motion. This standard of art design isn't something I've seen very often in a game.

    Aural Awesomeness:

    Below: I already mentioned it had a fantastic soundtrack in the game tracks thread, but it deserves to be reposted here.

    Wandersong: Below's polar opposite, and the game feels, at the outset, a bit too Night in the Woods but lesser, less Paper Mario and more Cardboard Luigi with too much magenta - ah, but then the music hits, cementing the game's relentless optimism, and the warmth floods in. The moment it clicked was when I made my silly bard hold a note on his pitchwheel, and the entire level and its backgrounds started to bump in time to the music. RPS already said this, but it really does feel like a game where the developers are giving you a hug.

    Bonus: this game made me fall in love with the accordion as a lead instrument. By no means is the audio the only accomplishment of the game, but listen to this and tell me it doesn't make you feel happy.

    The Friends of Ringo Ishikawa: these are licensed/royalty free tracks soundtracking a very interesting 2D Yakuza-ish beat 'em up featuring cigarettes and truancy, but that isn't to say the track selection isn't brilliant. Crisp and chill and slightly melancholy. Perfect for winter.

    If I'd completed some of these games, they'd probably have earned a spot:

    Hitman 2 - as Malf mentioned, it's pretty bloody great. Like Hitman 2016, they've taken Blood Money and made it bigger, better, and smarter. It's a joy to just discover the insanely varied options at your disposal in any given level.

    Monster Hunter: World - Lost Planet 2's co-op's spiritual successor, with lots of interesting mechanics and gorgeous environment designs and beautifully (I mean beautifully) animated monsters that just. won't. fuckin. die. already. I batted myself around in the air with a stick that fires bugs at monsters that can either harass them or help build up my attack meter by strategically targeting separate parts of each gigantonormous dinodragon we went around angering. There's a piggie in a cardigan, sidekick cats in pontoons, and a stupidly buff cat that cooks important stat-boosting meals for you. It's ridiculous and entertaining and weird, and I couldn't stay hooked because I'm a wee bit broken when it comes to appreciating mechanics that aren't instantaneously grok-able; on a purely mechanical level, MH:W lacks the razor-sharp clarity of, say, Nioh, but discovering how stuff works is actually part of the game - it just feels a little like work. Given the right mood, it's well good for all of the above reasons, though!

    Having said all of that, my game of this year is... a game from last year: Detention

    It was a short 4.5 hours, and not a minute of it was filler. I've said it before, but the audio design is the closest I've heard anything approach Silent Hill's moodiness (aside from Lost in Vivo, which I have yet to try), and settles in with the visuals in a way that just belongs. The art style could have gone wrong, but the handcrafted nature of its collaged 2D elements with a studied attention to background detail makes it all settle together with the sort of dark, disturbing malaise that suffuses the entire time period it's evoking.

    It's also not just an exercise in style, because the story surprised me in terms of how it chooses to not explain everything and trusts you to figure out the deeper subtext of what's happening. It's a deeply human story that surprised me with the sensitivity with which it approached its central theme of regret.

    In many regards, despite the obvious differences in style and aesthetic, Silent Hill 2 is the closest touchstone to it. I'm always going to find it interesting that it's usually horror games that manage some of the more thoughtful explorations of the human condition. Fancy that.

    Anyway, that's 2018 for me. I'm no doubt going to spend a fair bit of 2019 wrapping up the stuff I got started this year. Also I should probably get to Obra Dinn and FAR: Lone Sails, huh?

    Oh, and

    Last edited by Sulphur; 25th Dec 2018 at 10:40.

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