Shaun Munro on the top 15 video games of 2018…
Time sure flies, doesn’t it? It seemed like yesterday that Red Dead Redemption 2 was still forever away and people thought that Bethesda wasn’t capable of releasing one of the year’s worst video games.
2018 has come and gone, then, and following the incredible momentum of 2017, it’s been yet another marquee year for the medium, capitalising on developer confidence in ageing console tech as the current generation begins its long wind-down.
It’s a testament to the year’s embarrassment of riches that I sampled close to 90 games released this past year – whether investing 40 hours or ditching them after 40 minutes. Sadly I couldn’t quite find time for everything – sorry, Return of the Obra Dinn – and further on that note, here’s a few shout-outs to great games I played but not enough to feel comfortable including them on this list; Celeste, Octopath Traveler, Dead Cells, Minit, and Forgotton Anne.
The following 15 games represented gaming at its most artistically accomplished, envelope-pushing and flat-out entertaining over the last year. They may not be universally-beloved sales juggernauts – though some of them certainly are – yet each contributed to making 2018 one of the most diverse gaming years on record.
And now, on with the list…
15. A Way Out
Josef Fares’ long-awaited follow-up to his beloved Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons similarly toyed with conventional modes of play, with gameplay limited to local co-op in order to force a more intimate, shared experience between players.
And you know what? It worked. Mostly.
A Way Out may not have been particularly unique in the narrative or character stakes, but as a cinematic, fast-moving co-op prison break adventure, it delivered a memorable monument to teamwork-driven gaming.
Yes, some of the gameplay is a little too centred on ennui-inducing tasks and both the driving and gunplay are unmistakably stiff, but if you can find an enthusiastic pal to hop along for the ride, this has all the fun of bingeing a trashy thriller box-set. And like Brothers, that final sequence saw Fares deliver another expectation-defying coda that undeniably heightened player engagement.
Not a classic by any means, but an interesting experiment elevated by its social merits.
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