I love video games. Ever since I was a child and I played Duck Hunt for the first time, I was hooked to an insane degree. While I may have conflicting emotions about the state of the video game industry right now, I love being able to visit another world , often an impossible one, for a short time. While 2018 (arguably) may not have been the biggest year for gaming, I’m not sure, that’s not to say that it was a limp and quiet year. 2018 saw the return of the narrative, linear experience video game. Games like God of War and Red Dead Redemption 2 proved that gaming is at its best when it’s providing a singular experience that is solely experienced by you. So today, as 2018 draws to a close, I wanted to share with you the biggest video game moments that I experienced over the last year.
God of War grows up
Man did I think that the God of War games were a waste of time until this year. With all due respect to the hardworking developers, artists, actors and everyone that brought the original God of War series to life, it’s obvious now that those games were assign of their times. But the days of Fear Factor and bullet time are behind us and now God of War isn’t afraid to show that it is more than ridiculous rage fantasy.
I really identified with Kratos in this game, which is a sentence I never thought I would write. While this game is more than “Dad of War”, I really identified with Kratos’ struggle with trying to be a good example for his son while not being the best equipped person for the job. I get that. I’m a dad and being a good example is hard. Who knew I would find that in a video game?
Friday the 13th…end of content
I can’t express enough how much I enjoy playing Friday the 13th. This asymmetrical online game blew me away with its simplicity and over the top gore. This game, whether playing alone or with friends is a great time despite a pretty toxic fan base that is almost as bad as Dead by Daylight’s fans. Back in May of this year, we had just seen the release of dedicated servers, single layer story missions and an engine update that…well, it just made the game darker, but it’s nice that it happened.
So imagine my surprise and dismay to find out that in June of this year, all development of future content was put on an indefinite hold thanks to a long-gestating lawsuit between the franchise creators. This news really too the wind out of my sails and made a huge impact on the level of fun I had been having with this game. While I knew that one day development of this game would reach the end of its development; the way it ended was so jarring that it almost seemed unreal. While developer Black Tower is hard at work on keeping this game going, knowing that we’ll no longer see new content is just a bit of a bummer.
TMNT makes Injustice 2 just a bit better
When NetherRealm Studios started the Injustice series, plenty of people had their doubts. But the fighting game that lets you take the reins of your favorite DC superheroes and villains has found its niche within the fighting game community and shows no signs of going anywhere. While I like the Injustice series, I found myself playing through the story mode and very little else. I am not good enough at fighting games to venture online with them and I don’t find much enjoyment with the daily challenges and the like. But then NetherRealm Studios made a hail-Mary pass and threw the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles into the mix…and suddenly this good game became great.
While I’m still no pro when it comes to fighting games, seeing the Turtles, the all-time best characters in comics, join the fight between Batman and Superman (which is kind of silly)breathed a lot of life into this game for me, to the point that I really only play as the Turtles when playing this game. I love the design, voices and their differing yet similar fighting styles is fun while also providing a bit of a challenge to master. Here’s to hoping that after Mortal Kombat 11 comes out and dominates the fighting game scene for the next two years, that NetherRealm Studios reboots the TMNT Tournament Fighters series.
Resident Evil 2 Remake announced
Back in August of 2015, Capcom announced the unthinkable…the Resident Evil 2 remake was happening. While a remake of RE2 wasn’t something I thought I wanted, I was happy to hear that Capcom was going back to one of the best entries in their flagship survival horror franchises. And then the waiting started and it got really embarrassing to see adults stomp their feet and demand info on a product from a company. While I understand excitement, while I was and am certainly excited, I understand that games take time to make and we’ll get a look at them when it’s ready. And at E3 2018, we got our first look at the RE2 remake…and Capcom nailed it.
This dark and downright scary atmosphere found in the trailer to the RE2 remake take me back to the first time I played Dead Space. The creepy setting seems almost overwhelming and did it’s ob by filling me with a sense of dread that I honestly hadn’t felt from this series in a long while. And the best part is, Capcom didn’t release a trailer two years in advance. At the time of its announcement we only had a seven month wait to play this game, which is nothing in gamer time. I certainly hope that more developers learn from this. You can’t keep your level of excitement at eleven forever because you’ll burn out and your enjoyment of the game may suffer because of it. But with RE2, here’s t hoping it lives to its hype.
Spider-Man is dope
This has been a banner year for everyone’s favorite wall-crawler. Avengers: Infinity War came out and had the balls to dust Spidey (spoilers), Venom came out and proved that he can work without Spider-Man, and Into the Spider-Verse was released into theaters two weeks ago and proved that you didn’t even need Peter Parker to sell a movie (from what I’ve been told). But When Spider-Man came out on PS4 I kind of figured that developer Insomniac Games would play it safe and basically remake the Raimi movies that fans “love”. But imagine my surprise when I started playing this game and saw that Insomniac made Spider-Man their own and really took the character and setting in their own unique direction.
I won’t go into spoilers here because I think you all need to play this game and experience it for yourself. While this game is rather gimmicky, it is overshadowed by great storytelling and thrilling gameplay. Yes, this game does rely a bit too much on classic Spider-Man villains that we’ve seen too much of over the last decade, but it does those characters so much justice that I cannot complain about their inclusion and the “new” characters that do make an appearance in this game feel great and fit right in with the overall Marvel Universe. I can talk on and on about this game, but trust me when I say that Spider-Man goes places you won’t expect and nails the experience of being a good Spider-Man game, while being a great game on its own.