As the year is coming to a close I'd like to do a look back on how I saw this year in relation to gaming. Yes, that includes choosing a game of the year, and the prestigious title of worst game of the year will be awarded as well.

First off, I'd like to say that I don't follow the gaming world as closely as I've used to, so if I don't mention something that you think is important, that's because it didn't fell on my radar. This is in no way meant to be a comprehensive year review, just a review centred around my experiences.  

The year began slowly for me, with playing what was considered yesteryear's GOTY by many: Horizon Zero Dawn Which would've had a run for it's money as my choice of GOTY 2017 as well, had I played it in 2017 that is.

The first big title of the year that got my attention was Far Cry 5. Which turned out to be kind of a let-down. But not the most disappointing thing in 2018 by far.

Then I finally finished Rise of the Tomb Raider, yes from 2015. Took me a while, and not because the game was bad, in retrospective it is the best part of the series. /Only temporarily I hope/ Unfortunately Shadow of the Tomb Raider couldn't dethrone Rise as the best part, in fact it only comes in third from the reboot series. Which still wasn't the worst disappointment I had this year.

The most significant gaming experience I had this year personally, was that I finally got around to playing Alpha Protocol. Which had very mixed reviews when it was released, and wasn't a success critically or financially. Which is a shame, as the game is brilliant in some sense. Anyone who liked the original Deus Ex and Splinter Cell games, just has to try this game.

And now without further ado, I'd like to introduce the worst of the worst this year had to offer: The Crew 2. There are just no words that could describe how terrible this game is. And how lazy the developers. It is off the charts bad. What is a great testament to the quality of the game (more precisely lack thereof) is that if you play the game at any other resolution than 1920x1080, then all the FMV items, and UI elements will be resized using nearest neighbour re-sampling. Seriously, how lazy can you get as a developer? And how little QA you must have to let this slip into a final product? Other appalling facts about the game include the idea that you're racing not for wins, but for social media followers. And a complete lack of physics. I don't mean it has arcade physics, it has none whatsoever. Which is most apparent on planes. Had I done a full review on the game, it'd have gotten the elusive 1/10 score. Last year's worst game only managed a modest 3/10.

As we set the negative tone, I just have to give a shoutout to Bethesda as the worst gaming company of the year. Enjoy it guys, you earned it. It took some doing, and it seemed quite impossible after Blizzcon, but you got it anyway.  I don't think even EA could manage so many blunders in a single year.

  1. Doubling down on gamebryo in an interview
  2. Fallout 76 will last forever
  3. Fallout 76's release state
  4. We know we screwed you, but we don't intend to do anything about it
  5. The global canvas shortage
  6. Here, have a fiver
  7. OK, fine we'll do what we promised...just sign up
  8. LOL, you signed up, now your information is out there!
  9. You want Ultrawide? We do worse in 2 months than modders did in 2 days
  10. We quietly slip in an increase to grind level 9000
  11. The $20 santa suit
  12. The rocket shaped bottle, that is not really made of glass, and isn't a bottle
  13. What is it this time a global sand shortage? Or was real glass just too expensive?

And continuing the negativity, my personal biggest disappointment of the year was Battlefield 1, yes I know I'm very late to the party, but that's just how I roll sometimes. If I'm unsure of a game I'll wait until it's cheap enough so I don't feel that bad about wasting the money. And boy was this a waste of money. I heard positive things about BF1's campaign. But it's all lies. This is absolute garbage. Linear, simplistic levels, bad level design, mediocre graphics, no overarching story, just stand alone short stories, bad game design, no player freedom at all. I thought BF was at least trying to keep up with COD on the single player front as well, apparently not. Well, then again Activision did the ultimate blunder for me, scrapping single player from Black Ops 4 entirely.  But BF1 was 2016, when Infinite Warfare had one of the best if not the best single player campaigns I ever played.

And as we're nearing the end of the year, it is time to reveal my GOTY choice. But first, a honourable mention: Detroit Become Human. It was everything I expected, but not everything I hoped. I feared I'd not be able to relate to androids, but in the end I got more invested in the story than in any of Quantic's previos games. It wasn't everything I hoped for because they still refuse to implement real gameplay and sticking to QTEs and boxing the player in. This quality of storytelling coupled with real gameplay, would easily take the gaming world by storm, but they remain in their niche market.  Of what? Hardcore casuals?

So game of the year, it is to me without question and doubt: Assassin's Creed Odyssey. I was never a fan of the series, only played the first game and didn't like it much either. But this game introduced RPG elements, and a great story, and even better quests to make it game of the year.  There were accusations of the game being tailored to microtransactions, and being grindy. And yes there is some truth in that, but not much. The game is perfectly playable without engaging in any microtransactions, most of which are cosmetic anyway. The only big con to the game in my opinion is the levelling system, as in there is a huge gap in stats between levels. Enemies just a few levels above you will one hit kill you, and you can't hurt them almost at all. Which means you can't freely explore the game, before achieving the necessary level for each area.  And granted the paid xp booster can help you get there faster. But I don't condemn the game that badly for this because the fighting and many of the sidequests are so good, that the grind to level up, didn't feel like grind at all.  The fighting is so fluid and rewarding as it was in Mad Max.

With that I'm over and out, see you in 2019. Hope you've had a great 2018, and will have an even better 2019.