The personal highlights of 2018 for the Game Hype collective.
In an age where it is hard to please pretty much anyone, 2018 has been a pretty damn good year for gaming, with rays of light shining beautifully from across the gaming spectrum. The revival of the God of War franchise, the Spider-Man game we’ve always wanted, the long awaited return to New Austin in Red Dead Redemption II, the amalgamation of every single smasher in Super Smash Bros Ultimate and….another Call of Duty game. Numerous titles have put this 2018 in the record books as a year of masterpieces, leaving 2019 with tremendous boots to fill. But what titles does this motley crew of journalistic poindexters put on their own personal pedestals for 2018…….LETS FIND OUT SHALL WE!?!
Adam O’Connell (@mynameisfrog_GH)
Game: Detroit: Become Human
Oh, how the phrase ‘Welcome to Canada’ can be such a tearjerker. Many games have had an emotional impact on me over the years, but none quite like Quantic Dream’s Detroit: Become Human. An inspiring tale of equality, loyalty and maternal love complete with breathtakingly cinematic visuals, an incredibly dynamic soundtrack created by three different composers for each playable character, and some of the best motion capture and voice acting I’ve ever seen in a video game to date. Each choice you make during Detroit feels crucial and ultimately leads to some deliriously happy endings and some heart-breaking ones which all goes to help the replay value, tenfold in this case.
Kyle Doherty (@Antigenetic92)
Game: Kingdom Come: Deliverance
2018 has been a solid year for gaming, for both AAA and Indie; with the critically acclaimed masterpiece Red Dead Redemption II telling the tale of the tragic downfall of the Van Der Linde Gang, to the disease-ridden, gothic cobblestone streets of 1918 London in Dontnod Entertainment’s stellar Vampyr. However, there’s a personal favorite that I’ve gone back to numerous times since it’s release in February of this year; I speak of none other than Warhorse Studio’s hyper-realistic Medieval RPG: Kingdom Come: Deliverance. While the game was exceedingly buggy at launch, it still managed to mix up the genre while having a charm all of it’s own (not too dissimilar from The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion). Achieving a solid balance of historical accuracy while still being ridiculously fun too boot, this one is definitely not one to miss, especially so if you’re a fan of the time period. You can check out my full review for the title here.
Aaron Moger (@aaronvaanmoger)
Game: Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age
2018 has certainly been a huge year again for games; the hype has certainly lived up for most titles, with the likes of God of War and Red Dead Redemption 2 gaining solid worldwide success. My top pick of the year, however, would have to be Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age. It is the perfect and most definite J-RPG I have seen in some time; in an age where games are trying out new ways and means to play, Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age is a love letter to anyone that likes it old-school. With a campaign spanning 100+ hours easily, it delivers on a fantastic story with characters that are alive thanks to the addition of voice acting for it’s western audiences, that made me want to continue playing and had a love for each and every one of the characters in the game. That for me shows that people still care for the series, as well as gamers looking for the next turn-based JRPG for new consoles.
Ryan Perrow (@NBFlying)
Honourable Mention: MechaNika for Nintendo Switch
This was the obvious choice for me, nothing else defied expectation for me quite like Spider-man from Insomniac Games. Being the comic book geek that I am, I’ve suffered through many a cash grab licensed game but Excelsior was this incredible, almost every aspect of this game was perfect. This title made such an impact that the game’s version of Spider-man has been officially added to Marvel’s comic multi-verse in their recent Spider-geddon event. I’ll be returning to Earth -1048 for all the upcoming DLC in 2019. Check out my full review of the game here!
Damien O’Neill (@IrishPuddle)
Game: Red Dead Redemption 2
Just like Randy Orton, right outta nowhere, Rockstar’s reveal of Red Dead Redemption 2 took me by surprise and little did I know that surprise would turn into my selection for game of the year 2018. Stepping into the emotion-filled shoes of Arthur Morgan was one thing, but watching his life change by my hand over a period of 50/60 hours of gameplay certainly was another. Red Dead Redemption 2 taught me that my moral compass was a little too far off-kilter and what life as a rooting, tooting, shooting cowboy in the Wild West of 1899 could have been like. Thank you, Arthur Morgan.
Caleb Moran: (@Drake_sic)
Game: God of War
Ever since God of War got announced back at E3 2016, no game has had me more excited. I put it as my most anticipated game last year as every trailer they released showed another side to what was to be this glorious new tale of Kratos and his son, Atreus. But even then I wasn’t prepared for the absolute masterpiece that was to come. The combat had been updated to a more precise and methodical way of fighting, while still retaining the satisfaction of carving your way through countless enemies, while listening to a soundtrack of orchestral scores (which sets the tone for epic battles) or more solemn moments with graphically stunning visuals and amazing voice-work that intertwine into a deep personal story that I would never have expected from the Ghost of Sparta himself. God of War is not only my game of the year, but one of my favorite games of all time. Check out my full review here.