On day two of this year’s annual reviews, Philipp the youngest in the Gamers.at round takes the floor and introduces us to his three top games of 2018. As an avowed fan of indie and role-playing games, his list includes not only a few treats for friends of Classical Role Playing Games, but also a title that is not only regarded by him as the “Game of the Year”.
2018 was a year full of exciting sequels and promising new releases for me. New indie hits like Celeste, Dead Cells, The Messenger and last but not least Return of the Obra Dinn knocked me off my feet. Even the big studios could convince me. The new Spider-Man has become a total hit against my expectations, Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey has hit like a bomb and Detroit: Become Human has become a game which impressed me with its heart-rending storyline, despite the in my opinion rather lean gameplay.
But most of all I will remember 2018 because of the many Battle Royal offshoots it produced. After the boom of Fortnite, which nearly blew up the internet, several other developers are now trying to ride the Battle Royal “wave”. Where there were initially only small studios with their games, such as Battlerite, Realm Royal or Darwin Project, they were hoping for the next hit, but later the big players also went along. Call of Duty Blackout, Dying Light: Bad Blood and even the game developer Dice has built a Battle Royal mode into Battlefield V. Recently Counter Strike: Global Offense got its Royal Mode. In my opinion a negative development, but let’s see what the next year will bring.
Place 3: Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
Ach yes, Pillars of Eternity – the first offshoot of the series had already taken a liking to me back then. It simply overwhelmed me. To be honest, it was also one of the first CRPGs to play through. In general the development studio Obsidian has a good reputation with me. In addition to the Pillars of Eternity games there are Fallout: New Vegas, Tyranny, which is one of my absolute favorite games, the Kotor series and in the future also the newly announced The Outer Worlds. But enough of the hullabaloo and the actual theme. Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire is superior to its predecessor in every respect. You slip back into the role of the guardian and must now assert yourself against the gods. The game world as well as the characters feel alive and also the plot is well done. The multi-class system complements the already successful combat system of the first offshoot and gives the player the opportunity to be more flexible in the heat of battle. Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire adds an excellent game to the world of Eora and is a must for connoisseurs of the first part of the series. For those who didn’t play the first offshoot: Get to work, the second part is waiting.
Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire tested here
Place 2: Pathfinder: Kingmaker
My first game test for Gamers.at and something special in itself. Apart from that Pathfinder: Kingmaker is a roleplaying treat anyway. It has won a place in my heart despite the hard criticism in the beginning. For me it combines the classic Pen&Paper perfectly with the modern roleplaying game. But that’s not all the developers did right. In addition to a consistently good story, they also combine an outstanding ruler system with the game. How you govern is up to you. Whether a peaceful paladin who stands up for law and order, or an aggressive war monk who subjugates his people with an iron fist – everything is possible. But that’s not all, because even the decisions you make have a visible and tangible effect on your own and the surrounding empires. Absolutely top! As far as game content is concerned, the developer Owlcat Games has put all his energy into the game. A full 100 hours can easily pass until you have played through the story, apart from all the optional quests. Of course there are also flaws like complexity, which could deter one or the other newcomer to roleplaying, but I had no problems finding my way in the river kingdoms despite the high degree of difficulty. I even liked the challenging gameplay, even though the hard truth that dice luck isn’t always on my side was hard to swallow. In my opinion, Owlcat Games has made an absolute hit with Pathfinder: Kingmaker and I am curious to see what the developers are planning for the future.
Pathfinder: Kingmaker in our test
Place 1: God of War
Ach, what am I doing in forums before the release of God of War to suck in all kinds of leaks and hope for more gameplay clips at the same time. Not for nothing did this title get the Game of the Year Award. Developer Santa Monica Studio did everything right they could have done. God of War is for fans of the series, the successor they have longed for so long. Compared to the Playstation 2 and 3 offshoots, the fighting system has changed a lot – but that’s not negative, on the contrary. The new changes have brought a breath of fresh air into the dusty row. The combat system feels great and is perfectly complemented by Kratos’ youth. Also the setting is more exciting than ever, because after Kratos has slaughtered himself through Olympus, he now finds himself in Nordic mythology. In today’s world of online compulsion, DLCs, microtransactions, and the infamous Day One patch, it was nice to see Santa Monica Studio, themselves, and their players stayed true to themselves and brought a game to market that focused on the essentials. Great praise to the developers and also to God of War, therefore my place one!