Mason’s Top 12 Games of 2018

Hey Readers! I’m back and here to deliver my top 12 games of 2018. 2018 was an amazing year for gaming and 2019 is shaping up to be another great one. So without further ado, here are the Top 12 Games of 2018!

12. Death’s Gambit

Death comes for us all, this much is a fact. But what if, instead of an afterlife you face resurrection, again and again. This is the dilemma that the Immortals of Death’s Gambit face. Cut off from Death, who in this universe is an actual being, these Immortals have lost all hope. Some have been driven mad while others seek to enact their enigmatic plan on the world. A lone knight, Sorun, is contracted by Death to destroy the Source of power that sustains the Immortals. Taking heavy inspiration from Dark Souls with beautiful pixel art Death’s Gambit provides a satisfying challenge with enough new concepts to help the game feel fresh.

11. Warhammer 40k Inquisition: Martyr

The Martyr. A massive vessel that disappeared during the Age of Heresy. A vessel that suddenly appeared from warp. A vessel that houses the darkest secret of the Imperium. Inquisition: Martyr is a great Diablo styled ARPG, mixing the oppressive atmosphere of Warhammer with the loot and shoot fun of Diablo. With plenty of room to experiment and build the game has a ton of mechanical freedom rarely seen in ARPG’s. This game is a great time sink and I recommend it to fans of Warhammer and Diablo.

10. Beat Saber 

Next, we have an addictive rhythm game that channels the best of DDR and Star Wars. This, of course, is Beat Saber. In Beat Saber, you have two sabers, red and blue. The player uses the sabers to slice blocks in rhythm to a song. Things get more complicated as the player must slice the blocks in a certain direction and dodge obstacles. The game is amazing fun and a great workout. This is honestly a must play, so if you have a VR system I urge you to play it.

9. Firewall Zero Hour

The number 9 spot belongs to a VR experience that keeps your blood pumping, Firewall Zero Hour. Playing like a mix of Counter-Strike and Rainbow Six Siege the game is a team focused first-person shooter that is in VR. The maps are small and some of the operator abilities need to be tweaked but the game scratches an itch I never knew I had.

8. Far Cry 5

While the game released to a small controversy Far Cry 5 was a great way to start the year. With much-needed changes to the formula, an interesting story, and great gunplay Far Cry 5 delivers. The game also received several DLC updates throughout the year that provided new and interesting experiences.

7. The MISSING: J.J. Macfield and the Island of Memories

Swery’s newest title holds his signature charm but takes on a new life with a deep, emotional story. The MISSING tells the story of J.J. a young woman searching for her lover Emily. After a tragic accident, J.J. gains the ability to destroy or remove parts of her body to solve puzzles. A genuine sense of mystery comes from trying to figure out what is going on. Is any of this real? Or is J.J. in some sort of coma state? Who is this strange voice? Who is this moose-headed doctor? The story is beautiful and painful, I can’t help but recommend it.

6. Assassin’s Creed Oddessy

Assassin’s Creed has gone through an identity crisis in the last few years. With the modern storyline becoming convoluted, the old gameplay becoming stale, and time period selection dwindling down, it was obvious that things needed to change. Last year saw the release of Origins which had several tweaks to the game, embracing more RPG elements but still holding on to some of the old mechanics. While not a bad game, it had flaws. Enter Oddessy, a full-fledged RPG with a choice system, wars the player can take part in, and a personal story. Playing as either Kassandra or Alexios the player must unravel a conspiracy that tangles their family in the horrors of war. The game changes based on choices, everything you do has payoff and consequence. Oddessy is a meaty game and a great time.

5. Vampyr

DontnoD is famous for their narrative choice and consequence. Vampyr is their crowning achievement blending narrative and gameplay choice in one of the deepest systems I’ve ever seen. Playing as Doctor Jonathan Ried, a freshly turned vampire, you must find a way to stop the plague the City of London is facing while deciding if you will feed on humans. The systems in this game interlock perfectly making the world feel alive. This game has so much replay potential to see all your options and how you can affect the world. Vampyr is great and definitely deserves a place on this list.

4. God of War

So here’s an admission, I hated the original God of War trilogy. I couldn’t really get into the game because I couldn’t stand Kratos. I hated that he was just a yelling plank of wood soaked in blood. But when God of War (2018) was revealed at E3 I was immediately interested. It looked like we were going to see a new level of depth for the series with an emotional core. What we got was a perfect payoff, with an amazing change in the action game formula along with a story of fatherhood and legacy. God of War captivated me and had my heart breaking in several sections. You want Kratos to be a good father, you want him to give Atreus praise, you want to see him break down the wall that separates his emotions from others. It is a beautiful journey of family and I love it.

3. Lost in Vivo

I miss Silent Hill. The series was dark, scary, and tackled mature themes. While we probably won’t see another Silent Hill for years to come KIRA has given us something that can meet that level of quality. Lost in Vivo is a great horror game that has scared more than any title in the past 8 years. The visuals emulated the early PSX days with low poly, texture pop in, and some slight fuzziness. The sound design is spectacular, every small noise makes me jump. The claustrophobic atmosphere is almost choking, corners are tight and halls are pitch dark. This leads to great immersion while you wait for the next horror around the corner. Lost in Vivo is a great experience and I can’t wait to see what KIRA puts out next.

2. Call of Cthulhu

Call of Cthulhu is a love letter to the works of Lovecraft and is a damn fine game. While there is some jank the game is a well-written mystery that sucks the player into a bleak world. Darkwater is a dismal place that feels like it houses many secrets in its darkened corners. Though the game is mostly a walking simulator there are stealth sections and a ‘shooting’ section that help shake up the gameplay. While these sections are rough they are plenty of fun. With lite RPG elements, multiple endings, and plenty of choices the game has a great amount of replay value. So I highly recommend the game if you love the Cthulhu Mythos or the works of Lovecraft.

Before I announce my game of the year there a few games I would love to shout out to a few games

Honorable Mention: Red Dead Redemption 2

While this game is no doubt the top of many gamers lists Red Dead 2 didn’t quite make the cut for me. While the story was effective and well told, it did somewhat drag on.  The island chapter and some of the more realism focused mechanics are tedious and distract from the otherwise amazing story. The world is beautiful, full of life, and hiding many secrets, but the dated gameplay does hurt these aspects. Ultimately Red Dead 2 is a great story burdened by mechanical issues.

Most Anticipated Games of 2019

1. The Outer Worlds

Obsidian Games is an amazing developer whose games have deep choice and amazing quests. Fallout New Vegas is a great game that is still highly replayable today. Now they are releasing a brand new RPG experience The Outer Worlds, along with the writers of the original Fallout series. The footage looks colorful with a dark sense of humor that mocks corporate culture. While the game will be smaller than New Vegas no doubt the game will be an absolute blast.

2. DOOM Eternal

DOOM 2016 was a breath of fresh air in the FPS space. With fast, brutal, satisfying gameplay the game was an instant hit. The game was a violent ballet that required no reloading, no cover, no whack-a-mole shooting galleries. Now id is back with a new experience, DOOM Eternal. Building upon the groundwork that DOOM built, Eternal adds new layers of depth and carnage that are sure to please fans. While no solid release date has been given the tentative release date is 2019, so stay hyped.

And now the moment you’ve all been waiting for…..

1. Spider-Man

My game of the year should come as no surprise with the Spectacular Spider-Man taking the top spot. The game is a beautiful, near 1:1 replica of Manhattan. The web-swinging is also the best of any Spider-Man game to date. The combat, while reminiscent of the Arkham series, has unique quirks that make it feel distinctly Spider-Man. The story is an emotional rollercoaster that is a full experience as both Peter and the wall-crawler. This duality is so important to the story, as Peter’s life slowly crumbles he pushes himself to the limit to be the hero New York needs. The ending is a heartbreak as Peter must face loss after, one of the final moments had me crying for solid minutes. The acting is so amazing, Yuri Lowenthal is my Peter Parker and his delivery is perfect, he makes me smile, laugh, and cry. Any fan Spider-Man should be playing this, along with all the DLC’s.

And that’s the list! Not your picks? What were your favorite games this year? Let me know in the comments below! Have a great holiday and Happy New Year! Thank you all for reading, I can’t wait to see you next year for another year of gaming!

Mason Caughron

Mason has been playing games all his life, the moment he picked up a Playstation 2 controller something just clicked. Gaming has always been special to him and he hopes to show that in his work. An amateur novelist, a college graduate, and an intellectual Mason loves to learn more about the world around him.

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