GAMES OF THE YEAR

From yet an­other ex­cel­lent Call of Duty in­stal­ment to a poignant take on an­droid life to the best that video gam­ing has to of­fer, we look at 2018’s top ten games

Enniscorthy Guardian - - NEW YEAR EXTRA -

10. CALL OF DUTY: BLACK OPS 4

Any other year, a Call of Duty ti­tle mak­ing even the bot­tom of a Top 10 Games of the Year list would have been a damn­ing as­sess­ment of the qual­ity of games re­leased in the past twelve months. Rather sur­pris­ingly, 2018 presents it­self as an anom­aly. Where count­less other de­vel­op­ers have de­liv­ered ex­cel­lent video games, so too has Tre­yarch with the lat­est en­try to the Call of Duty se­ries. The in­evitable Black­out mode cash­ing in on the Bat­tle Royale genre’s dizzy­ing rise to fame has found its per­fect pair­ing with Call of Duty’s tight and twitchy con­trols.

9. MAR­VEL’S SPI­DER-MAN

For what­ever rea­son, Spi­der-Man has never trans­lated all that well into the in­ter­ac­tive world. Any out­ing made by the web-sling­ing hero onto con­sole or PC has al­ways felt rather unin­spired, never quite cap­tur­ing the child­like glee you would imag­ine to be de­rived from swing­ing around metropoli­tan rooftops on webs shot from your hands. Mar­vel’s Spi­der-Man is by farand-away the best at­tempt yet by a de­vel­oper to bring the su­per­hero into a video game. While never par­tic­u­larly chal­leng­ing, Mar­vel’s Spi­der-Man will make you feel like a pow­er­ful hero.

8. SEA OF THIEVES

Largely dis­missed as far too con­tent-light to war­rant its high price tag, in­cre­men­tal and reg­u­lar up­dates by the de­vel­op­ers have kept a steadily grow­ing user­base for this now-fan­tas­tic sea­far­ing open-world game. It goes with­out say­ing that the most fun you will have in this game is with friends. Sea of Thieves caters to both the most ca­sual and se­ri­ous buc­ca­neers and is truly one of the more in­cred­i­bly fun mul­ti­player games around.

7. FORZA HORI­ZON 4

Even with the new heavy em­pha­sis on on­line play, Forza Hori­zon 4 still de­liv­ers the finest driv­ing ex­pe­ri­ence around, be it with friends or sim­ply en­joy­ing the beau­ti­ful open world in off­line modes. Forza Hori­zon 4 de­liv­ers ev­ery­thing you would ex­pect from the now-revered Play­ground Games. The cars look and feel in­cred­i­ble, de­liv­er­ing jaw-drop­ping mo­ments that would bring a tear to the eye of the most stoic petrol­head. Truly, the crown jewel of Forza Hori­zon 4 is the open world that fea­tures a beau­ti­fully ex­e­cuted ver­sion of the United King­dom. Ren­dered in all four sea­sons and fea­tur­ing dy­namic weather and light­ing, Hori­zon 4 is an un­miss­able feat of graph­i­cal en­gi­neer­ing.

6. MON­STER HUNTER: WORLD

Cap­com’s ex­ceed­ingly dif­fi­cult Mon­ster Hunter se­ries has never quite en­joyed the same pop­u­lar­ity in the west as it does in Asian mar­kets but with the re­lease of World, that has all changed - ex­cpept the dif­fi­culty, of course. It isn’t easy to pin­point ex­actly what makes this game so ad­dic­tive but it cer­tainly is easy to lose hours of your time in­side this game in what will feel like a blink of an eye.

5. DETROIT: BE­COME HU­MAN

Quan­tic Dream are a stu­dio known more for ‘in­ter­ac­tive nar­ra­tives’ than tra­di­tional gam­ing ex­pe­ri­ences. Headed by the bril­liant David Cage, who’s cre­ative in­put be­comes the bulk of the stu­dio’s cre­ative out­put, Quan­tic are re­spon­si­ble for 2010’s ground­break­ing Havy Rain and 2013’s ex­cel­lent Be­yond: Two Souls. De­spite the ac­com­plish­ments of the afore­men­tioned ti­tles, they sim­ply do not hold a can­dle to Detroit: Be­come Hu­man. The game’s philo­soph­i­cal take on the well­trod­den dis­cus­sion of the value of an­droid life is not only novel, but also well-con­sid­ered and poignant.

4. HITMAN 2

Hitman’s so­phis­ti­cated brand of con­tract killing is some­thing that has never quite been em­u­lated by an­other de­vel­oper. Hitman 2 is very much a con­tin­u­a­tion of what we saw in the pre­vi­ous out­ing but that is by no means a com­plaint when it comes to the ven­er­a­ble se­ries.

3. SHADOW OF THE COLOSSUS

It is im­pos­si­ble not to wax lyri­cal about Blue­point Games in­cred­i­ble re­make of Shadow of the Colossus. 2006’s Shadow of the Colossus had achieved cult sta­tus by the time this year’s reimag­in­ing dropped – and for very good rea­son. The sense of to­tal iso­la­tion save for the lum­ber­ing colossi and the unimag­in­able sense of scale im­parted by the game was not some­thing ever truly ex­pe­ri­enced in gam­ing. The re­make takes a deft and mas­ter­ful touch to Team Ico’s orig­i­nal ef­fort, en­hanc­ing and im­prov­ing it in ev­ery con­ceiv­able man­ner.

2. GOD OF WAR

Of all the se­ries any­body would have ex­pected to reimag­ine it­self as a charm­ing and so­phis­ti­cated com­men­tary on the tribu­la­tions of a fa­ther and son re­la­tion­ship, God of War cer­tainly was not one of them. 2018’s God of War is a true labour of love, sur­pris­ing in un­ex­pected and pleas­ant ways and with thrilling game­play to boot.

1. RED DEAD RE­DEMP­TION 2

Brood­ing and sub­dued, os­ten­ta­tious and loud, Red Dead Re­demp­tion 2 con­tains the spec­trum of ad­jec­tives the world of video gam­ing has to of­fer. It has it faults but the best ti­tles are al­ways greater than the sum of their parts. Play­ing this game in a me­thod­i­cal fash­ion re­wards the player and it is one of the rarer ti­tles that only get bet­ter on fur­ther in­spec­tion, where the op­po­site is true for many oth­ers. The dis­tance be­tween this game and any other men­tioned in this list is vast – a true mas­ter­piece in the art of cre­at­ing video games.

RED DEAD RE­DEMP­TION 2

MON­STER HUNTER: WORLD

DETROIT: BE­COME HU­MAN

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