Games 2018

Didn’t play a lot of current games last year. Only completed two, Far Cry 5 and God of War. Really enjoyed Dead Cells, and a bunch of other stuff, but not to completion. First half of the year I got tied up with completing the From Software games (DS3, Bloodbourne, DS2, DS1, in that reverse order, multiple times), and the second half of the year saw me wasting away on MMOs again (mostly WoW and LOTRO).

The Completed

God of War was remarkable. Just play it. Combat has spikes, but the trick is mostly to learn priority targets.

Far Cry 5, I can do 1 or 2 open world icon collect’em ups a year, and this was the only one I did last year. Looked pretty, mechanics mostly solid (some annoyingly random bugs and the enforced story moments aside). There was generally a lot of complaints about the story, but I didn’t have a problem on the whole (it’s a game, sometimes…) and I did really enjoy the zone with the female cult leader. I was mostly upset that I couldn’t join her cult, it seemed lovely :).

The should’ve completed

Whilst I’ve yet to complete Ashen, that is a damn nice game. Not problem free, similar enough to a Souls-like game to benefit from familiarity, but different enough to still be it’s own thing. Love the art style too, reminds me a bit of Absolver, a game I’d always wished had a single player focussed counterpart. Lots of good moments on PSVR. Moss and Wipeout stood out (as would Astrobot if I’d actually played it before the new year).

Dead Cells has some of the best tuned controls I’ve ever come across in a game. The Switch seems to make everything better. Dead Cells and the Switch is just an awesome combination.

Detroit: Become Human I was mostly enjoying this. I’ve completed Heavy Rain, and Beyond: Two Souls, so it’s a genre I can get into. For some reason, this time I didn’t. Maybe this year.

Yakuza Zero Now this is more like me. My typical game pattern is to buy a game, play it heavily the first weekend, and then give up on it until a year or two later when I finally finish it. The new engine removed my main gripes with previous Yakuza games, feeling a lot more dynamic moving around the environment. Think I put close to 30hours in the first weekend, and in a year or two, I will go back and finish it :).

The notables

Diablo 3 on Switch. Diablo 3 with patches and the expansion became the crack cocaine of gaming it was always meant to be. Stick on Switch and it’s 100% portable loot porn.

Okami I finally spent more than an hour on this game with it’s arrival on Switch (it came too late on PS3, I’d already move on to other consoles). Somewhere along the line I must have forgotten about it, because it’s damn good, and I didn’t play it at Christmas. Ok, next Christmas will be an Okami Christmas.

Gris so far has been really nice. Has some Journey-esque vibes but more of a platformer than that. I always liked Ico and Zelda Wind Waker as they felt exceptionally intuitive in how you defeated bosses and solved puzzles. Gris has that same feeling (although I have currently got stuck on a bit :)).

The MM oh noes!

I bought myself a new Mac this year. A 5K iMac. I installed WoW, because it’s a proper Mac app. And then LOTRO because I liked the sound of the Legendary servers. And then FFXIV, because I was amazed it had a Mac port (albeit just a Wine/Cider-esque wrapper like GW2 which is disappointing, but reminds me I did also install GW2). And finally ESO because again, it had a Mac port that I didn’t realise. Unfortunately ESO on Mac is going through a bit of a transitional period, so has been a bit ropey, but it’s almost a proper Mac app.

I should probably go deep on the MMOs and what I specifically like/hate about each. For now, I think it’s enough to say that I enjoy single player RPG mechanics on the whole, and the addition of real people in a an MMO environment just adds a certain je ne sais quoi. LOTRO is special though, and if only it didn’t feel like a 10 year old game (being kind here :)).

The disappointments?

I’d completed Assassin’s Creed: Origins a year late, so Odyssey was probably a year too soon for me. I imagine I’ll play that this year, now I’ve had a decent break from AC. Slightly annoyed they didn’t go further with the ‘adventure mode’, still too many icons, let me discover stuff.

I still don’t get Red Dead Redemption 2. Loved the first one, but just can’t get into the sequel. Unbelievably clunky controls are always massively off putting. I’ve done 5 or 6 hours so far, so will give it another (and another…) go, but not feeling massively inspired.

Tomb Raider felt like a nice balance shift away from combat initially, but again, possibly the same issue as AC, I’d completed the previous not long enough ago, and just didn’t feel inspired to do more of the same (albeit prettier and without the framerate issues - on PS4 Pro).

Kingdom Come: Deliverance is probably the game I’ve played the most that was so crashy, buggy and laggy. It’s so close to being my perfect single player RPG, but the long loading times, the random crashes, the single digit frame rates (at times), odd collision (including stuck in buildings), and… On PS4 Pro. Still put 30-40hours into it, and still want to go back to it, but…

Monster Hunter World probably deserves a different section. I didn’t know what to expect and the disappointment was probably mostly down to that. The core of the game is the combat, and it just felt too vague and inprecise to me.

Fortnite and other Battle Royales. “Isn’t that just last man standing?”. I’m not a PvP kind of person.