2018 was actually quite a thin year when it came to big game titles. This was definitely the year of remastering the old classics, reviving them back to life for the new generation rising through the ranks to enjoy.
This year was also about the little man having their shot at success. Little indie games such as ‘Celeste’ rose above like the cream at the top of a steaming coffee.
In saying that lets jump in and see what reviewers Stacy, Brett Mat, Jim, Dale and Content Creators Nate & Nate had to say about what games and media were hit or misses for them in 2018.
Stacy: NOT A HERO
So, I tried to pick something I didn’t expect myself to like. This little indie game by Roll7 and Devolver Digital on the Nintendo Switch, took me by surprise with it’s amazing art, foul humour and twisted plot. Everything this deranged heart desires in a game all wrapped up into one, awesome little platformer.
Jim: STRANGE BRIGADE
Mine would have to be Strange Brigade. It had what I thought was very little advertising and didn’t expect it to be much good from your typical small developer. Then BAM ridiculously fun, it threw me off.
I played for a bit after release and got bored quickly, but the seasons have kept so many people invested and just as excited as they were to begin with.
Nate & Nate: SHADOW OF THE TOMB RAIDER
We are massive fans of the early games so glad it was a huge success again.
Brett: MARVEL’S SPIDER-MAN
This was going to be another game, but I thought long and hard and I really thought this game was likely gonna be over hyped and would kill the Spider-Man franchise, but holy shit it really won me! It’s certainly a reason to purchase a PS4, Insomniac Games did a brilliant job!
Dale: SEA OF THIEVES
For me this game has come along way since its initial release with its regular “free DLC” updates that continues to surprise me.
As much as I cringe saying this, you can’t deny its popularity and they kept the content fresh as hell, with each season improving. It was content value for the price of the season pass and never have I seen a community rally behind the unique stories and events Fortnite built. Where else did you see millions of people log on at the same time to watch a meteor crash in a game?
Jim: TOM CLANCY’S RAINBOW SIX SIEGE
All the content/updates to Rainbow Six Siege this year. I don’t play as much of it as I could have but when I do it always feel close to a new game with new characters and maps.
Mat: DESTINY 2: FORSAKEN
The pre-release videos done for this alone was enough to make me want to buy the game, let alone the new weapons, powers and games modes.
Nate & Nate: PLAYER UNKNOWNS: BATTLE GROUNDS
A much needed DLC drop/update, finally with different maps for this game on XBOX, but unfortunately was short lived.
Brett: DESTINY 2: FORSAKEN
Though Destiny 2 launched in 2017, Bungie is still pumping out content and Forsaken brought a great extension to Destiny 2.
Dale: DESTINY 2: FORSAKEN
The forsaken DLC was a massive drop, not just some small addition. This had a massive crushing story set around the death of cayde-6.
Stacy: FAR CRY 5
I’m going to go a little right wing and remind people that Far Cry 5 was a pretty fine shooter dropped at the beginning of this year AND it was wrapped up in a crazy, redneck fantasy of a story. Yes, it could be tacking at time, but it wasn’t all run and gun like COD and plus it had a cute as hell, Blue Heeler dog, Boomer.
Jim: CALL OF DUTY: BLACK OPS 4
Would have to be Black Ops 4 for Blackout alone. Multiplayer is great but Blackout is what I think a Battle Royale should be.
Mat: CALL OF DUTY: BLACK OPS 4
This year was a bit slower for good FPS games, but COD:BO4 had it all! Fast action multiplayer, Battle Royale and Zombies!
Nate & Nate: CALL OF DUTY: BLACK OPS 4
We picked it out for the Blackout, it literally took the Battle Royale to a whole new level.
Brett: FAR CRY 5
Yes, I didn’t say BFV or COD: Black Ops 4, for good reasons too. Far Cry as a franchise has had several games, but this one is the best to date I played on Xbox One X and it runs native 4K sure only at 30fps, but it looks fantastic! Its story is fairly good too, Ubisoft brought me back to Far Cry with this year’s game.
Dale: CALL OF DUTY: BLACK OPS 4
Without a campaign, which makes these games what they are, they really made up for it with the multiplayer and introduction of Blackout.
Stacy: DETROIT: BECOME HUMAN
I was so excited for this game and it totally lived up to my expectation. There were so many choices that you could take this futuristic story about the conflict between Humans and Robots. Each decision had such a weight on which way this adventure would turn, so much so I found myself replaying sections repeatedly to try and get the best possible scenario.
Jim: RED DEAD REDEMPTION 2
No contest. So much effort has been put into it. Small details such as eating, bathing, having the right clothes for certain situations, all add to the experience. The detailed NPC’s with their own dialogue for each character are also undeniably well done.
Mat: DIVINITY: ORIGINAL SIN II
This game was incredibly beautiful, had an amazing sound track and a huge amount of character customisation. Everything a good RPG needs.
Nate & Nate: MONSTER HUNTER WORLD
We were quite sceptical at first about this game, but it totally lived up to the hype.
Brett: ASSASSIN’S CREED ODYSSEY
Assassins Creed as a franchise has sucked for some of the most recent years, though I enjoyed AC: Origins, AC: Odyssey was even better and I put a ridiculous amount of hours into the game, the visuals are great and the story was amazing.
Dale: POKEMON LET’S GO
This one I got a brief hands on with at a friends place but damn it sure did bring back nostalgia of that old school/new school formula.
Stacy: FORZA HORIZON 4
Oh, tough decision between a sport or a racing but I’d have to say most sports feel like just a refresher each year. Forza Horizon wasn’t a refresher of the last it was a complete revamp of a genre that is hard to change. It was awesome for 1.; because it was set in my own home country and 2.; finely tuned like a well-oiled car. Pun intended.
Jim: FORZA HORIZON 4
Horizon 4 is a beautiful, detailed open world game full of things to do. Who wouldn’t love competing against friends on and offline with the wide variety of toys to choose!
Mat: FORZA HORIZON 4
Beautiful landscapes, an abundance of cars and a whole lot of fun challenges to complete.
Nate & Nate: FORZA HORIZON 4
It has stunning graphics and great gameplay plus the huge showcase of different cars.
Brett: FORZA HORIZON 4 & BIG BASH BOOM
2018 was another year where a lot of racing games launched, some were good but my standout title for the genre was Forza Horizon 4 for the awesome location in Great Britain. The changing season also brought a freshness to the franchise. As for sports game of 2018 I really loved Big Bash Boom, I’m an avid cricket fan and I really love watching BBL so how could this not make my list for 2018.
Dale: FORZA HORIZON 4
What made this racer great was the environment and changing seasons which really gave it a great atmosphere.
Stacy: UNRAVEL TWO
I’m not picking a triple A title, because honestly, I’m sick of the generic crap that gets spewed out each year. Unravel was a beautiful game, that told its own unspoken story and in 2018 you could go along for the ride solving your puzzles with that famous red string with a friend.
Jim: RED DEAD REDEMPTION 2
Would have to say Red Dead Redemption again. Sure, the online is still in BETA and there is not much to do, but it is certainly worth the adventures I’ve had with my horse ‘Jon Bon Pony’.
Mat: CALL OF DUTY: BLACK OPS 4
Again, one of the fastest and most exhilarating multiplayer games I have played in a long time!
Nate & Nate: CALL OF DUTY: BLACK OPS 4
Smooth gameplay with some old, favourite weapons and maps and some new ones to demolish with.
Brett: A WAY OUT
Multiplayer doesn’t always mean COD or Fortnite, my choice for the best MP was A Way Out, it’s couch/online coop only, a story of two guys, it showed a relationship build and crumble the team work needed to play this was perfection at its best and is a must play game.
Not much of a surprise here, I love my fortnite it’s the only multiplayer I ever play and with all the skins it offers, Damn.
Stacy: BETHESDA 2018
I love Bethesda. Everyone here knows this at MKAU, but seriously what were they thinking with rushing Fallout 76. It was buggy. It didn’t have the right merch bags with preorders and they accidently leaked people’s personal details online. It was a PR nightmare. In their defence… Quake Champions was pretty decent.
Jim: TELLTALE GAMES
TellTale Games closing down after releasing two episodes of the final season of ‘The Walking Dead’ thankfully the game has been saved to finish the story.
Mat: FALLOUT 76
A poorly executed Beta lead to a game being released with too many bugs and a lot of broken promises.
Nate & Nate: NINTENDO LABO
On reflection we weren’t a huge fan of this and think it killed our idea of the perfect portable gaming device.
Brett: DIABLO MOBILE GAME
Once this hit Twitter, I grabbed the popcorn and sat back and had a good laugh at all the butt hurt gamers having a cry why this was being a mobile game instead of a console/PC release instead. The ultimate comeback from Blizzard “You all own smartphones right?” Had me in stitches. It shows that developers can think they’re making what their fans want, but this can sometimes backfire, who remembers the reversal of the DRM for Xbox One?
Dale: BETHESDA – FALLOUT 76
Everything about this was poorly executed from the BETA to the release to the updates, they gave us everything we didn’t want.
Stacy: BATTLEFIELD V
I am going to probably get backlash for this but bring it on. Battlefield for me almost felt like an almost easier reskin of battlefield 1 … *winces for the blows*. By being less bullet spongy it seemed more CODish, the maps looked bland and there wasn’t enough content with the staggered release to make me want to buy it. Maybe next year EA.
AGONY…. was an agony to play looked and played like a MASSIVE disappointment, enough said.
Mat: FALLOUT 76
A huge amount of hype lead up to the release of this game, but it felt rushed and unfinished. Just over a month since release, servers I have joined are nearly empty.
Nate & Nate: FAR CRY 5
I just personally feel like this instalment killed the franchise because the missions felt pretty repetitive and bland.
Brett: DARKSIDERS III & FALLOUT 76
I couldn’t just have this as one thing, I had to have two those being Fallout 76 and Darksiders 3. The online aspect for Fallout was a big deterrent for me, and Darksiders was just all over the place with its story and gameplay both sucked in my opinion.
Dale: 8BIT ARMIES
This game really gave me induced rage with how it was built to how it played. worst RTS I’ve ever touched.
Stacy: CONNOR FROM DETROIT: BEOME HUMAN
Connor is such an amazingly fleshed out character. Despite being a robot, he was deep, complicated and just wanted to fit in so much… relatable right. The best thing about this character is that you have a role in developing him as well as the story, making decisions for him to seal his fate.
Jim: CLEMENTIME FROM TELLTALE GAMES
Clem/Clementime from TellTale’s ‘The Walking Dead’ having played from season 1 watching her grow from a scared child to an adoptive parent stone cold zombie/human killing machine.
Mat: KRATOS FROM GOD OF WAR 4
A whole different side of Kratos was introduced which really helped draw players into the storyline instead of treating the game as any other hack and slash.
Nate & Nate: EDWARD PIERCE FROM CALL OF CTHULHU
We didn’t play a lot of games with “lead/main characters” this year so our vote goes to him. He had a great development throughout the game about over coming issues and helping others.
Brett: CAYDE 6 FROM DESTINY 2
We play a lot of games every year and non-gamers think we are crazy when we say we really love some characters. Cayde 6 was a fairly popular character in Destiny 2 and his time in the Forsaken DLC caused some emotions with players.
Dale: ARTHUR MORGAN FROM RED DEAD REDEMPTION 2
I had a real connection to this character through the storytelling of his life, the portrayal was solid in the world.
Stacy: DUKE_OF_FLUKES (Mixer)
Mixer is my streaming platform, we all know this at MKAU. Discovering DUKE at PAX 2018, opened my eyes up to what a real influential Aussie streamer can be. He has earnt my respect from his hard-working attitude but also caring and chilled out streams that I have spent a lot of time watching. He has a mass following on Mixer and has become to me, the face of Australians on Mixer. Might I add he was also the Mixer Content Creator of the Year at the Australian Gaming Awards… no small feat.
Jim: SUBZERO2K, STACEFACEMAYHEM, SWEETMUFFIN (Mixer)
Now, I can’t pin point one but Stacefacemayhem, SuBZeRo2k from MKAU and SweetMuffin; an independent American streamer, are my picks for 2018. They are the majority that I watch and always without fail, I have a good time! Not only are they funny, they are interacting with their viewers, they share their gifted skills out of stream and are always willing to help fellow streamers by giving advice in a chilled welcoming chat, repaying the sarcasm they often cop.
Mat: SPLITSIE (YouTube)
A local Aussie Youtuber who focuses heavily on survival games and provides viewers with easy to follow tutorials on almost every aspect of the games.
Nate & Nate: SHROUD (Twitch / YouTube)
As much as I love our crew at MKAU, Shroud is just a god at any game he touches.
Brett: GIZMOSLIP (YouTube)
It’s 2018 and I’m still not one that watches hardly anyone that streams video games, it’s just not for me, however I’m a fan of YouTube, it’s my go to for all things gaming as well tech related stuff, channels I started following in 2018 were RGT 85, Kevin Kenson and my personal favourite channel for 2018 is GizmoSlip.
Dale: GAME GRUMPS (YouTube)
Honestly might not have expected this from me but these guys get me into some fresh games every year.
Stacy: SHADOWS OF THE COLOSSUS
This game was beautiful already before it was remastered, however after it was revamped, it was simply gorgeous. In a year with so many other great remasters such as Nier: Automata and Okami this one shone like a jewel, especially with its upgrades from the original Playstation, 13 years ago to the Playstation 4 in 2018!
Jim: SPYRO REIGNITED TRILOGY
Spyro Reignited Trilogy, 3 games from my childhood revamped with updated graphics from what we had from the yester years. It was released lookin’ smick and with everything we loved unchanged, taking me back to a simpler time.
Mat: SPYRO REIGNITED TRILOGY
Because who doesn’t like dragons right? Especially one from 1998. It’s about time this classic got its remaster.
Nate & Nate: POKEMON LET’S GO: EEVEE/PIKACHU
We’ve been huge Pokémon fans since the beginning so being able to revisit Kanto on a bigger, coloured screen was a dream come true.
Brett: SPYRO REIGNITED TRILOGY
There were just a few remasters out in 2018, and I can’t help but think that the Spyro Trilogy was the best in my opinion. Games from the PS1 era really deserve a remaster.
Dale: SPYRO REIGNITED TRILOGY
Even though they stuffed around with 2 and 3 as downloadable content they pulled off this remaster better then I expected compared with crash.
Stacy: MARVEL’S SPIDER-MAN
For me it was a pretty average year for Sony, however the one game I think they knocked out of the park was Marvel’s Spider-man. It was a thing of comic, cinematic beauty, the web slinging mechanics were so right and the stories engrossing. Insomniac knew that the gaming community wanted out of a superhero game. Kudos to them, and they have my top accolade of the year!
Jim: RED DEAD REDEMPTION 2
The graphics, gameplay and story mechanics from Rockstar are amazing, I’ll be playing this for a while especially online I’m quite fond of Jon Bon Pony.
Mat: CALL OF DUTY: BLACK OPS 4
What can I say, this game has everything I want! Customisation, fast action game play and team work!
Nate & Nate: SUPER SMASH BROS. ULTIMATE
We don’t feel like we need to say a lot about this… except for YEEESSSSSS!!! It was well worth the wait.
Brett: DETROIT: BECOME HUMAN
This is game is something that may very well happen to some extent, this was a title filled with real life issues, a story of humans’ vs androids and one of my favourites for the entire year.
Dale: RED DEAD REDEMPTION 2
Honestly this game has everything, it was amazing learning the history of the old west and experiencing each characters journey through Arthur’s perspective. Even though it’s fictional, it was very emotional and captivating.