There is no way I would ever call this a Game of the Year list, because I only played like 12 games this year, but it’s not like I played nothin, so here’s the best games I was able to play in 2018.
Red Dead Redemption
Follow the story of my beautiful boy Arthur Morgan - who is seriously the best protagonist I’ve ever played as in a video game - as he explores a beautiful open world representative of America circa 1899, with his charming gang on the run from the law trying to collect some coin to go….somewhere (“Just have *faith*, Arthur.”). The world is big, beautiful and alive, the people are interesting and unique, and the gameplay is…well let’s just say we can’t have everything, but the game is crafted with Intent that absolutely shines through - even if it’s not to everyone’s taste. That commitment to it’s vision is what makes people *feel* some kind of way about the game - for better or for worse.
It’s an addicting loop between the 5-15 minutes you spend in a dungeon looting monster parts that turns into 5-15 minutes of selling said loot and upgrading gear to then go back into the dungeon to loot again and get a little further than you did the last time for even better loot. It’s visuals harkens back to Zelda: Link to the Past - pixely, bright and colorful, with an overhead view, and even the dungeons are rectangular rooms that pan to the next through doorways - so it comes across as part retail sim, part Monster Hunter, part zelda.
Into The Breach
Mechs, alien bugs, and time travel wrapped up as a strategy game, all from the team who brought us FTL. I sunk HOURS into this game across both the PC and Switch - I regret nothing. The trick is realizing the game is more puzzle than combat, manipulating the mechs capabilities against the pieces on the board to achieve your objectives - the game absolutely sings when your get it just right.
2018’s best action game. The controls are tight, the visuals are great (beyond aesthetics, the game does a really good job of conveying what’s going on at speed, making everything easily distinguishable), and there’s a manageable level of difficulty that doesn’t feel cheap when you die.
It sounds simple - because it is - but getting the simple things just right is one of the hardest things to do.