Monday, December 31

2018 Game of the Year Awards!

Game of the Year; Marvel's Spider-man

Insomniac did what most Spidey fans didn't think was possible and that's dethroning Spider-man 2 as the best Spider-man game ever made. Fantastic web swinging and combat based on the Arkham games but re-tailored to suit Spidey's improvisational fighting style. Then we have the story which may possibly be the best modern Spider-man story ever written. This isn't even mentioning the fantastic boss fights, stunning graphics and wonderful voice actors all giving some of their best performances. Characters new to more casual Spidey fans such as Miles Morales, Negative Man and Yuri Watanabe are all beautifully brought to life. The world itself feels rich with history and lore with the Avengers Tower, Dr Stange's Sanctum Sanctorum and more all hinting at a larger universe. I could talk about why I love this game for hours but know I've only scratched the surface of what makes it as good as it is.

The DLC has let it down a little since launch and the web-swinging although amazing lacks a lot of depth. During Spider-man 2 and Web of Shadows, I felt like I had lots to learn and master with their swinging systems even at the end of their respective stories. Marvel's Spider-man, on the other hand, offers a more simplistic system that although outstanding stops offering players skills to master into the late and post-story game. What this means is unlike earlier more complex systems it starts to feel less engaging during the DLC and New Game +.

Never the less this game proves that Spider-man is once again, Amazing.

Best Non-2018 game I played this year; Breath of the Wild

I want to start this award because I'm unable to play every game out in a year but I often get around to them in the following year. This was the case with both the Switch and PSVR for me in 2018. I was going to give this award to Borderlands 2 VR. After I got a Switch and Breath of the Wild for Christmas I had to change things up though. I have yet to finish the game but I am nearing the halfway mark and already this game is amazing. It's not perfect with the motion control puzzles and weapons breaking all the time being my biggest problems with it.

Still, the exploration is beyond any other Zelda game I have played and that's saying a lot for a series with both Skyward Sword and Windwaker. The visuals are breathtaking. When I first left the rejuvenation chamber to see this new Hyrule I was blown away. It's probably the most beautiful game I have ever played. Every time you can see a landscape it feels like you're in a watercolour painting. Then you have the great Zelda combat but with added depth, as you collect equipment, weapons and food that can be cooked for added effects. It just feels deeper than any Zelda before it and I love it for this.

While not my favourite Zelda game yet, if it continues to be as great as it has so far all the way to the end, then it may well end up being my favourite.

Worst game of the year; Metal Gear Survive

Konami had one of the most powerful game engines ever made to work with here. Using the Fox engine previously seen in Metal Gear Solid V they could and should have made something great. Instead, we got an awful survival game based around zombies set in another dimension that jumps the shark so hard it could end up in orbit.

Despite this bonkers premise, all the game amounts to is a lazy recycle of MGSV's assets. The zombies have new models but their AI and animations are taken from the skull zombies found in a few side missions. Then you have almost all of the buildings and world assets that are taken wholesale from the previous game. The wormholes for the extractions and other things are all taken from late game items that you can unlock. Honestly, this game feels like an in-house asset flip.

This could have been a chance for the Metal Gear series to reboot itself as something new and fresh without Kojima. I would have liked to have seen something similar to Breaking Bad in tone but closer to X-files in terms of plot. Imagine having only a pistol as defence and having to break into top-secret government bases in order to investigate an ever-deepening conspiracy theory. It would have stuck to the complex narrative of the series while also using the stealth that fans love. All of this updated with a new theme and style. You could even slowly uncover top-secret tech that you could use in interesting ways similar to MGSV's gadgets. But instead what we got was simply awful.

Konami used to be one of the giants in gaming, delivering us the Metal Gear Solid series, Silent Hill and even Castlevania among others. Now they're just a joke slowly dying outside of Japan's pachinko machines. Metal Gear Survive is just this dying giant coughing up bile and blood. Honestly, it's painful to watch but what's even worse is playing this game.

Metal Gear Survive is not just a bad game it's an insult to the Metal Gear series as a whole.

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