With 10 years worth of Games of the Year sitting there it only makes sense to finish off the catch-up with a Game of the Decade to choose the best of the best from the past 10 years. So the 5 Games of the Year up for the award are.
I jumped around a bit with this one until I finally made a choice. My original thought was The Witcher 3, then from that I went to God of War and then from that to Skyrim. Once I had Skyrim in mind the other contenders couldn’t shake it from the top spot. Slyrim stood firm in it’s spot no matter how many contenders I threw at it. The game is one that I have returned to many times since it’s release and now that I’ve named it my Game of the Decade I might go back to it again. It is an experience that I can go back to time and time again even 9 years on since it’s original release. At the time of writing this Skyrim is yet to feel old, It is a modern classic like the last few Elder Scrolls games before it. Number 6 has very big shoes to fill but if anyone can pull another Game of the Year/Decade, my money would be on Bethesda.
Now 2018 was a year of good games. 3 of the nominees made really good contenders for the top spot and I put more hours into the other 2 than I choose to account for. I would forgive anyone guessing the outcome of this one for getting this one wrong, but lets see if you can get it right.
God of War
Monster Hunter: World
Red Dead Redemption 2
Two Point Hospital
I did state in my review of God of War that I would have given it my Game of the Year award and here it officially is, anyone who spotted that and guessed correctly, well done. With the original E3 reveal of the game I was intrigued to see how a more mature God of War would pan out and I was more than pleasantly surprised with the outcome. The game is just fantastic, if you want the details click the link above but in short the story is emotional and full of depth, the gameplay is brilliant and the characters are solid and well rounded. A brilliant piece of work which leaves me excited about what the future of the franchise has in store.
With things being a bit slow at the moment it’s given me the opportunity to make up for lost time and get something down for the most recent games I have played. With Spider-Man being the game I’m currently still playing, I’ll make my way down the list of past games. For my next trick we are in Midgard following the adventures of our favourite blood thirsty Spartan and his sprog. Here is God of War.
Our story starts with Kratos and his very manly beard cutting down trees for his deceased wife’s funeral pyre with his son Atreus, afterwards the pair set off on an adventure to fulfil her final request and scatter her ashes from the tallest peak in all the realms and in true God of War style if any deities happen to die on the way, so be it.
I was quite late to the God of War party, I didn’t play the first 2 until the HD editions were released on PS3 then played no. 3 as soon as I completed both of them which would have been a year or 2 later. However, you don’t need to have played the previous games in order to enjoy this one, you may miss a few easter eggs but nothing critical. The game has done rather a lot of growing up since the previous instalments, much like Kratos himself (and not just his luscious face bristles). The game play feels a lot more coordinated rather than the mash square and dodge now and again tactics of the past.
As you can tell from the art cover, Kratos has ditched his Chaos Blades of the past in favour for his cool looking Leviathan Axe, which has the power to be thrown and return to the wielder as well as the power over ice. These abilities make for interesting puzzles to solve in order to progress through the game, usually to do with hitting far away switches and freezing cogs. You also have Atreus helping you both in and out of combat, in combat he will use his bow hitting enemies from afar as well as using different magics to conjure different spirit animals to help either offensively or defensively. Outside of battle he will usually be used to crawl into small spaces or be thrown onto higher ledges to either drop a ladder for flick a switch.
Kratos has changed a lot in the gap between games, you can tell he has grown. He’s become more responsible for his own actions and has stopped blaming others for his own wrong doings, almost becoming ashamed of the person he was previously. A lot of that seems to be due to his son Atreus, you can tell that Kratos only wants the best for him and pushes him to be the best he can be in full Spartan style, this can be seen as Kratos being a bit cold to Atreus or harsh on him but as the story progress you see their relationship grown and develop, as Atreus proves himself and Kratos opens up to the ghosts of his past.
The world itself feels more open and reactive than the earlier games. Where previously you had a single route you must travel and one direction you must go in, in this one there is still one main route to follow, but there are several offshoots to visit option areas and take part in optional quests as well as being able to back track to a lot of previous areas either because the story demands it, to gather the collectables or beat optional bosses.
Now my final thought, I thoroughly enjoyed playing this game and do recommend anyone play it, even if you weren’t a fan of the original series. The game has so much more depth, is more well rounded and is a lot better written than any of the others. The characters are relatable and more human (strange given as most of the characters aren’t humans) and graphically is visually beautiful, I played it in 4K and was stunned by some of the scenery. Not only is the best game of the series, I’d would have probably named it my 2018 Game of the Year had I still been posting last year. So what are you waiting for, go play it… NOW!!