It’s time for our annual recap of the year in gaming, and we’re going to do it the only way we know how – with a bunch of awards!
Today’s list includes the categories of Best Looking, Most Disappointing, and Best “Old” Game, so without any more meandering, let’s get on with it!
BEST LOOKING GAME
A couple of contenders for this crown, with Gari saying about God of War: God of War is not only the best looking game of 2018 but one of the best looking games we’ve ever seen in gaming. The art that has been created for the world you dive into with Kratos and Atreus is simply stunning in every way. Everything in the game has been crafted with such love that it shines through in the game. Detailed environments, incredible animations and an overall crafted world that we’ve never seen in a video game before. Breathtaking. However, there was really only one winner to come from this, with an unbelievable open world being created with the type of intricate detail normally reserved for small, linear games, and that game is…
WINNER: RED DEAD REDEMPTION 2
Jonny: Almost unnecessarily detailed, and a world as real as there’s ever been in video games., and it’s hard to disagree. A world that has been polished to within an inch of its life, it’s a game that demands that you pay attention to it, while also allowing you to soak in the atmosphere and take it steady.
Kieran: Red Dead Redemption 2 offers an open-world that’s seldom seen in games these days. The attention to detail in this game is next to none and it all equates to a world that genuinely feels alive. From its sprawling vistas to its lived-in towns, RDR2 showcases one of the most realistic open-worlds that I’ve ever seen in a game. It truly is stunning.
Deb: Playing Red Dead Redemption 2 is without a doubt one of the best cinematic experiences from this years game releases. From the very start, the world is one of the most realistic I have seen so far, from the snowy opening to the vast landscapes that stretch as far as the eye can see, it is a stunning and beautiful visual masterpiece. The attention to detail that is found in every nook and cranny is amazing, and all I have found myself doing is pitching up in perfect spots and staring out at the landscapes before me in awe, taking in that moment of tranquility, the story itself can always wait a bit more!
This one was a runaway category really, it breached both “Worst Game” and “Biggest Disappointment” all in one. But let’s take a look at the other nominations:
Andy: The constant push for games as a service and the additional post launch monetisation.
I get it, game development is expensive and I’m getting old with less expendable time but, good lord – there is literally no time in a calendar year to dedicate oneself to games like Destiny 2, RDR Online, Fortnite and others and get maximum enjoyment, and the constant push to monetise these games post launch makes players feel like they’re missing out. Hell, even Splatoon 2 had post launch content added FOR FREE and I STILL feel like playing that properly is a second job! Games should be fun, but the constant nickel and diming and “games as a service” threatens to turn players into workers rather than thrill seekers…
For a title that was meant to revive the dying toys-to-life genre, Starlink has been an abject failure. The most disappointing aspect of the title though, seems to be that it isn’t an awful game – it has just been saddled with an awful set of toys. Most people I know who have played it think the game is decent, but don’t want the high price tag and don’t want to collect another series of toys, just to play the title. If released as a low-pricepoint, standalone game, this could have been ok.
But the winner… By a country mile…
“WINNER”: FALLOUT 76
A game that should’ve been intriguing at worst, fantastic at best, Fallout 76 managed to launch in such a state that Bethesda had to preface the release with an open letter to fans that said “Hey, this thing might be broken”. Not to mention the controversies surrounding the canvas bag left out of the £200 special edition, or the data leak, or… Well, pretty much anything related to this game. It shipped broken and didn’t really go up from there.
Gari: It’s Fallout 76. Google it and you’ll realise why I don’t really need to talk about what’s bad about it. The end.
Jonny: What a fucking state. Soulless and broken, it’s a mystery as to how this came to be.
Kieran: I’ll admit, I’ve not played it, and that’s why it’s my most disappointing game of 2018. I love me some post-apocalyptic entertainment, least not set in the world of Fallout, so when it was announced that the game was a complete shit show you can understand my disappointment. It’s not often that I’ll base my decision on purchasing a game on a couple of bad reviews but when the majority of reviewers highlight how atrocious a game is, it’s best to heed their warning. The way in which Bethesda has handled the whole thing has also left an incredibly sour taste in my mouth. From joking about the terrible state of the game to downright conning buyers of the £180 special edition. Fallout 76 has been the cluster fuck of cluster fucks and has left a bad mark on Bethesda. Let’s hope they learn from this because at the moment there’s fuck all left to be salvaged from it.
Which leads us on to our final category for the day:
BEST “OLD” GAME
Best “old” game is a category designed to give games that we maybe missed before another shout, or maybe a game that’s had an exceptional level of support over the past 12 months. This year our winner was in the latter category, and it’s a damn worthy winner as well. It split the team almost entirely, with the winner being the only one to receive multiple votes.
Ben: Burnout Paradise Remastered is my pick – it’s one of my favourite games of all time, and as such deserves to be played on the latest and greatest consoles. A wonderful open world smash-em-up, with a killer soundtrack and fun dished out by the bucketload. A brilliant, brilliant remaster of the greatest Burnout game ever.
Deb: Okami HD – Okami had long been on my shameful pile of games that I really wanted to play but had never found the time for. That’s why I was so excited for this HD release this year! It oozes so much Japanese culture that I adore, I hang my head in shame that it had taken me this long to get to this hidden gem. The story of Okami is as much about restoring the people’s faith and the vitality of the land as it is defeating the demons that threaten them, it is quite a beautiful and inspiring tale! Tradition can be found everywhere in this game, represented in a sumi-e style with beautiful character illustrations and vibrant landscapes. The Celestial Brush techniques made for a fun and unique gameplay experience and the characters were full of life with comedic moments that had me chuckling. I am so glad I have ticked this off my list, but not as glad as I am to have the collectors vinyl soundtrack now in my collection. It’s just as stunning as the game!
Kieran: It’s a cop-out, sure, but No Man’s Sky is again my best old game. Last year they followed-up a not-so-great, launch with some incredible post-release content. This year, they stepped it up a notch by releasing NEXT. No Man’s Sky NEXT set out to right the wrongs of its initial release by finally adding multiplayer to the game. This was the most sought-after feature that players felt missing from the game but it wasn’t introduced alone. NEXT also ramped up the visual quality, expanded the crafting system and finally showed us our characters with a new third-person view. No Man’s Sky had every right to die off last year but I’m so glad it didn’t.
Jonny: Titanfall 2: £3.99 in a PSN sale, would have happily payed £40 if id have known what excitement lay in store.
Gari: Spyro Reignited Trilogy – I loved the Spyro trilogy as a kid and although I had a feeling that it would get remastered at some point, I did not expect developer Toys for Bob to do such a stellar job. built from the ground up, the work and craftsmanship put into the game are evident from the moment you start playing. Tighter controls, beautiful animations and to top it off, it’s a stunner to look at. With 3 games included, there’s enough content to keep you happy. With a game that both adults and kids will love, you can’t go wrong with the Spyro Reignited Trilogy if you’re after that retro style 3D platformer with a modern lick of paint.
But the winner is…
WINNER – DESTINY 2
Nick: Destiny 2 is in a constant flipping state of turmoil and bliss – a game that doesn’t really know who its audience is yet is constantly trying to please anyone who rolls up. Forsaken, the latest major DLC, rectified some of the identity crisis, giving its thirsty player base plenty to do and solving many of the games flaws.