Games I Started/Finished - 2018

2018 is like 2017, but one bigger.

As always, a 5-point scale and rating a game as if I had bought them on release date new.

List items

  • It's an OK game, but I didn't have as much fun as I wanted. I guess I prefer the over the top style of SSX. It looks nice though.

    3/5

  • [PS4]

    A pretty good virtual representation of cricket. It's actually the sequel to Don Bradman Cricket and not related to that abortion of a product that existed in 2013.

    4/5

  • I reviewed this game on the site. But in short: I didn't like it. The move to an open-world format is poorly executed.

    2/5

    https://www.giantbomb.com/dynasty-warriors-9/3030-57414/user-reviews/2200-30503/

  • It starts realllly slow but once it gets going it's pretty fun and quite unique. Buggy as hell, but at least that's from ambition rather than indifference.

    3/5

  • [PC]

    In it for the single-player. Which is...fine. It sticks resolutely to the formula that most previous WWII shooters have used for almost two decades, and outside of the terrific visuals there's surprisingly little to distinguish this from those predecessors.

    3/5 (SP)

  • It's more Orwell, basically. I enjoyed it enough, but I was hoping for the new features to be more fleshed out. Still well worth a purchase.

    4/5

  • [PS4 remastered]

    Really struggled to enjoy this one. I enjoyed the story quite a bit but the actual gameplay is pretty tiresome and feels like it sticks much too rigidly to the Naughty Dog standard.

    3/5

  • [PC]

    I did jump in sporadically during 2017, but I've played a lot more this year. I like it - it's fun to play, the building mechanic is neat and the 50v50 limited time mode is fun. I daresay that if PUBG hadn't have existed I'd have played more of this because my Battle Royale itch has been more than scratched at this point.

  • A bit bare-bones at the moment. Wait for updates.

  • [PC]

    First impressions are that it looks nice. I look forward to being disappointed with the story!

  • [PC]

    I'd love it if the story was actually good in any way, but there's no denying that the Far Cry formula is still a lot of fun. The removal of UbiTowers and the more organic discovery in general is really welcome, and the graphics are nothing short of incredible.

    4/5

  • [PC]

    One of my favourite games of all time. This game is far too good and the graphics in particular belie its 13(!) years. I hope with the Ghost Recon stuff that we see a new, proper Splinter Cell game.

    5/5

  • [PC]

    I hated Mafia II, so my expectations were low. To be fair, I do think this is a substantially better game. That said, standards have moved on and Mafia III feels clunky, buggy and frankly a bit outdated. A shame, since the story hits some interesting beats, the setting has so much potential and they did a pretty decent job of recreating a late-60s New Orleans.

    2/5

  • First episode impressions - it's very interesting. I like the atmosphere (despite the facial animations) and I just hope the story can hold up.

  • A short but sumptuous and rewarding puzzler. A bit expensive given the running length but you'll enjoy the hour and a bit you'll spend with it.

    3/5

  • A highly enjoyable, ruthless tactical game that harkens back to the great Commandos series on PC. It'll take a lot of saving and reloading, but succeeding in this game is highly rewarding.

    4/5

  • God of War is impressive in how it manages to give the game a narrative core and an intriguing open-world without compromising on the brutal action and incredible set-piece battles that are the soul of the series. I enjoyed the first trilogy but I never had the same drive to play that half hour more that I did with this, and that's largely thanks to the strong story and character relationships. The game also looks fantastic even on my base PS4.

    That said, I ultimately didn't get on well with the Axe combat and whilst the move to a more open world is largely well executed there are little annoyances that I'd like to see tidied up. Also, the amount of backtracking is a little comical.

    4/5

  • A chillingly atmospheric survival/city builder that doesn't shy away from giving you tough decisions. It's perhaps a little short of content, but the tension as you desperately scramble to collect enough resources just to survive another day is palpable.

    4/5

  • An impressive improvement over the first game, particularly in the far superior driving model. Still plenty of rough edges, but there's a lot of content and most of it is pretty good.

    4/5

  • [Mooncrash DLC]

    A genuinely enjoyable rogue-like spin on the game. I wasn't expecting to enjoy this one as much as I did.

    4/5

  • This game proves the series is still as enjoyable as ever with a wide selection of cars and decent if nowhere near class leading physics. The new career mode structure is definitely an improvement. I've moved more to the realistic side of things over the last few years, but I definitely appreciate what FM7 does for a large fanbase not necessarily looking for the total simulation that stuff like iRacing or Assetto Corsa does.

    4/5

  • It's a fun game, but pretty similar to the last entry I played (2013).

  • I enjoyed the free weekend of this fun title that reminds me a lot of the old Assassin's Creed competitive multiplayer. Unfortunately, there's not enough of a player base to really recommend this.

  • I enjoyed this game immensely, surprising given my struggles with the Naughty Dog formula in TLOU (see above). Sure, the game still feels familiar, but everything has been pushed to the next level: the graphics are breathtaking, the levels are more expansive, the animations are more fluid, the pacing is more satisfying and the narrative is a lot more engaging. I was especially impressed how they weaved such an important new character (Sam) in such a believable way.

    5/5

  • UC4 left me wanting more, so in the Summer Sale I got more. The story is a little more in tune with the more fantastical PS3 games than the more grounded UC4, but still retains interest thanks to some compelling characters and relationships. It's very much of a more of the same feel, but with the quality of UC4 that's hardly a bad thing.

    4/5

  • [Dead Kings DLC]

    Got bored, so finally got around to finishing the DLC everybody got for free. I liked Unity way more than most people, and I generally enjoyed what I saw here, but it's actually quite stark how much AC has improved since Unity. Arno frequently goes to the wrong place and the general level of polish is not up to the standards that Origins set.

    As for the content itself, it was fine. The story is rubbish and the puzzles were disappointing, but the rest was fine and I liked the whole "kill the leader and they run away" mechanic.

    3/5

  • TPH is a fun and faithful spiritual successor to Theme Hospital. But after a few hours, the fun really waned. The game is very easy and aside from one level that mixed things up a bit (not particularly well) you are generally doing the same stuff again and again.

    I enjoyed my time with it, but would I not have had as much fun just playing Theme Hospital again?

    3/5

  • Spider-Man is a licensed game at its best. Set in a beautiful recreation of New York, the game repays the faith shown in giving Insomniac free creative license by tell a compelling, emotional and impactful story. The swinging mechanics are superbly implemented, the combat is the right blend of fun and depth and the missions themselves are enjoyable, with the boss battles in particular being both interesting to play and spectacular to look at. Even my usual #1 complaint in open world games, the repetitive nature of some of the side quests, is satisfactorily assauged by the sheer joy of the mechanics. With their first licenced game, it's great to see Insomniac have treated the Spider-Man licence with the appropriate care, with collectables, side-characters and open-world touches all giving the game more life and character, and the re-imagining of J. Jonah Jameson as a shock jock independent broadcaster is a master-stroke.

    5/5

  • As much as I waxed lyrical about Forza Horizon 3, I never actually ended up playing much of it. Forza Horizon 4 on the other hand has managed to capture and retain my interest much more effectively. Perhaps it's because the game is partially set in the region where I live, but I actually think what's really grasped me more is the introduction of seasons and the switch to an online free-roam system. Now more than ever, FH4's UK feels like an actual environment. Combine that with an even better way of managing events and the same fanatical dedication to cars and customisation and you have the best entry yet.

    5/5

  • RDR2 is staggering. There are minor flaws but the overall achievement is just mindblowing. When it comes to world building Rockstar are simply on another level. The story is mostly great, Arthur is a fantastic character (much more interesting than John Marston was) and for however much criticism it gets I still find the Rockstar formula a lot of fun, with tons of high quality content. As someone who never really got on with RDR, I'm more than pleasantly surprised with how much I've enjoyed this game.

    5/5

  • The first Spyro was one of the 4 games I got with my very first console, the original PlayStation. So naturally this collection holds a great deal of nostalgic value and frankly I'd be playing this at any rate. Luckily, Toys for Bob have done a great job in updating the games, upgrading the technological aspects but keeping the spirit intact. I wish there were more games like this.

    5/5 (with nostalgic bias)

  • This game is just huge. Normally I don't write anything until I've finished or given up on a game, but this has to be an exception. A lot is filler, but that stuff is easily avoided.

    Odyssey mostly refines the new style of AC gameplay introduced in Origins. I was never quite as taken with Origins as most seem to be, and I do find that Odyssey can feel overly familiar at times. Still what's here is pretty good and the story is engaging enough for me to want to continue.

    Edit: Finished the game. I did enjoy the main story as well as the other main endings, except maybe the Cult ending which went out on a bit of a limp. Odyssey is a better game than Origins, but I still think it suffers from the same flaws and the gameplay loop is definitely getting repetitive.

    4/5

  • It's more like Hitman 1.5, but that's not such a bother when it's this good.

    4/5

  • A relaxing simulator with enough charm and an addicting enough gameplay loop to keep you engaged.

  • With a free weekend ahead I bought this on a whim after hearing it mentioned on the Beastcast, and I couldn't stop playing.

    Like all great mysteries the game has a compelling storyline, but the real masterstroke is the way the game uses the guidebook and timepiece to slowly unravel the mystery in a way that requires the player to logically reconstruct the events themselves. With every death moment reveal, the satisfaction of piecing together both individual death details and wider plot points is unparalleled. And when you've seen every death moment, it's still a joy to slowly work through the remaining mysteries and come up with the occasional eureka moments. If you like investigative games, you'll really love it.

    On the technical side, the soundtrack is really well done (with some familiarity to Papers, Please!) and as someone who doesn't usually like this retro style of graphics I can't help but be amazed how well they work here.

    Funny how my two favourite games of the year came out within a week of another!

    5/5

  • It's more FIFA!

    It's fine. The new kick-off options are nice if long overdue and the gameplay is still fun if very familiar.

  • Just Cause 4 reeks of a product made by a company who either just doesn't care, or doesn't have any idea why their products are popular. Everything about this title is a mess, from its buggy launch, weak graphics, and the pointless and convoluted mechanics that only get in the way of fun. There is still fun to be had, but given it's been 9 years since Just Cause 2 I'd have expected much more progress.

    2/5

  • It's a bare-bones remaster but the game is original enough that it doesn't really matter.

  • Parkitect is pretty good if you want an updated, more feature rich 2D-style simulator that won't murder your computer like Planet Coaster will.

    4/5