2018, the year the real world descended into chaos, and the world of gaming went back to the familiar with a good old fashioned reboot of the classics. Quite a few ‘new-old’ games popped on our radar. Crash Bandicoot made a popular come-back, the PS1 (PlayStation classic) returned, and a brace of ‘oldies-but-goodies’ got various levels of reboot. Two Monkey Island iterations were released, there was the excellent Fate of Atlantis, and Disney put a HD spin on Star Wars Episode 1 Racer. Along with all our old favorites coming back on the market, here are some of the other top games getting our attention and why:
1. Red Dead Redemption 2
Red Dead Redemption 2 – Incredible open-world gameplay with attention to detail in every facet of the game. I loved the first and didn’t think it would hold up to it, but the story alone had me hooked from the get-go.”- Geoff
2. God of War
God of War, primarily, is not a game about fighting. Certainly, it is a core gameplay mechanic that remains fun throughout, steadily improving as you develop, but it serves merely as a diverting window dressing that it is wrapped about a tightly wound narrative between Father and Son. It’s an emotional and engaging story. This is what drives the game. All of this is subsumed in astounding artistic merit, the scale and breadth of the world are sold at every turn – enough for you to forget that the environment you traverse is quite limited compared to Spider-Man.”- Fionn
Spider-Man, on the opposite hand lives and dies on its gameplay. While GoW was no slouch in this department, it never is quite as thrilling as when Spider-Man cavorts through New York hanging on a web. The movement and animations are so fluid and easy to enact that you get lost in the mechanics. It perfectly sells the exhilarating experience of slinging and the joy of that cannot be overstated. I think the largest testament to this fact is even after you unlock the capability of fast travel I didn’t use it once, instead opting to journey my way to destinations manually.”- Fionn
4. Breath of the Wild
“Breath of the Wild, well, I was already a fan of the Zelda franchise (although, who isn’t?). Breath of the Wild really stood out from the other installments though because they took this ancient formula (Zelda has always followed a very specific gameplay/storyline formula that was feeling dated) and perfectly updated it using modern game concepts such as non-linear stories and open worlds (they actually took a lot of gameplay elements from Skyrim). I’d say the majority of the mechanics were no longer a Zelda game, but it still felt like a Zelda game at its core somehow. Anyway, besides being an incredibly detailed, polished and beautiful game with very few flaws. I’d say my personal favorite aspect of it relative to older Zelda games was the non-linear design. By that, what I mean is the old Zeldas forced you to play the game in a certain order: (1) Explore this area of the world map for an entrance to the main dungeon, (2) Sequentially solve puzzles in the dungeon to get to the boss, (3) Fight the boss to unlock access to the next area to explore and then repeat steps 1-3 until you reach the final boss.
The old Zeldas were good too, but if you got stuck on a puzzle or a boss, or just weren’t feeling like solving a puzzle and wanted action instead, you couldn’t do anything else in the game until you got through that hurdle. Breath of the Wild let you: (1) Explore, (2) Solve puzzles, (3) Fight enemies on your own terms whenever you wanted to. So I never really got bored with BotW, if I got sick of exploring, I could capture a dungeon, if I felt like battling a boss for better items, I could do that too whenever I wanted. It’s really a game that tailors its gameplay to whatever you feel like doing while also feeling productive, like whatever you feel like doing is also helping you complete the game.” – Eric
Okay, we know we said three, and we know we said 2018, but we just couldn’t help ourselves since we spent so much of 2018 playing Breath of The Wild. It’s also not surprising that God of War managed an impressive 3.1 million in revenue within 3-days, only to have that record beaten later in the year with Spider-Man managing 3.3 million in the same time. People seem to be just as impressed as we are! We look forward to another year of excitement with some considerable releases lined up for Activision among other big names. And for old games making a reappearance; it’s been exhilarating seeing all of the fantastic graphics remastered for modern times, and seeing photogrammetry the workflow of choice to create the 3D scenes in well-known games. Although, it’s a little crazy how long it’s taken for all of this to happen. If only there were AI software to speed up this process….