God Of War
My history with the series pretty much beings and ends with God of War 3. I had heard the series around the time when Dante’s Inferno released, purely because the gameplay seemed inspired very much by God of War, but back then I was a Xbox 360 owner, so hadn’t tried any of the God of War games (nor did I on the PS1 or PS2 as I was too young to really understand/care). This being completely irrelevant as this game was both a reboot and a completely new direction in terms of gameplay. God of War roped me in from the opening big fight with its amazing graphics, gripping music, a perfectly voice cast duo in Kratos and Atreus and the overall setting. Adding the smooth and fun gameplay experience, it created the perfect all around game for me and was rightly crowned game of the year (which I honestly thought Red Dead would get).
I can imagine what you’re thinking…”how can you go from God of War to BO4?!”. The answer is simple really, Black Ops 4 is just fun. I had a lot of love for Call of Duty from Modern Warfare up until around Black Ops 1, then I fell out of love with them. It was like a tragic break up where I’d been treated so unfairly, and despite me wanting to love again – I just kept being disappointed. Having skipped World War 2 and never looking back, I thought I’d never love again until I tried the Blackout beta for BO4. It clicked, it felt good, I started feeling that I could love again. Guess what? I do. Black Ops 4 multiplayer is once again simple, Blackout is the most refined battle royale experience I’ve had (it’s also quicker than most and much easier to just pick up and play) and the zombies mode is fun (with a return to what I feel like is its roots, despite being flawed by the overly complicated easter eggs).
Listen, I’m a big Marvel fanboy. I was always going to love this game because it’s Spider-Man and we don’t get enough established superhero games. The last one I can remember playing is Batman: Arkham Knight and before that it was Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2. I didn’t expect this game to really give me anything that I’d never really had before in a Spidey game. We were going back to a brand new story (not based on TASM series), we were going back to free roam (unlike Shattered Dimensions etc.) and we were going back to a game I just expected to be fun. I think that’s what I predominantly liked about this game, it nailed my expectations and my excitement wasn’t wasted. As a game, it wasn’t really revolutionary and it didn’t do anything that most games of that ilk haven’t done before, but I genuinely feel people knew what they were going to get with this game and they weren’t let down. Insomniac delivered exactly what most fans have been wanting for years!
Tokyo Ghoul Re:Birth
It feels really odd including a mobile game in this and I’m doing this cautiously because I don’t know what to expect with Namco Bandai. I picked up Naruto x Boruto Ninja Voltage this year and at first I had fun, but the pay to win model has become a lot worse in that game. Tokyo Ghoul however, seems to not have that kind of model (at least yet), it does have the kind of ‘pay and you’ll level up/be better faster’, but is very optional. The gameplay is fun and requires a little bit of thought, the missions feel rewarding, the graphics are great and I hope this game just gets better from here, then again I’ve been burned before…
Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey
I’ve never been a huge fan of this series, my girlfriend has filled me in on bits of the story that she knows, but the whole Creed storyline still intrigues me. Considering my limited knowledge of the past, the fact the story still pleases me and makes me want to know more says a lot about the game. I’ve had a brief spell with AC1, which I did not like at all. A brief spell with AC 2, which felt a little dated. AC: Black Flag, which I enjoyed but didn’t play much of it. I’ve watched my girlfriend play AC: Origins, which I think is where my interest in Odyssey began. The gameplay has improved massively, I really love the setting and I’ve genuinely had a very positive experience with AC: Odyssey (despite the voice acting being a bit hokey in places).
A final thought…
This year has had more good games, either that I haven’t played or haven’t wanted to play. Red Dead looks great and had I had any interest in that type of game, it would have made this list. I think 2019 might be the final full year of the Xbox One and Playstation 4, so I hope they go out with a bang. I am looking forward to quite a few games that will hit next year, I will link back to that post when I write it.