Editor's Choice: Cameron's Favorite Games from 2018

With 2018 all wrapped up, we here at Rocket Punch wanted to take the time to look back at some of the games that we played throughout the prior year and pick which ones left a lasting impression on us. Join us as we go through our personal thoughts on which games were some of our favorites to play back in 2018! This list has been written by one of our cofounders, Cameron Kirnes. Enjoy!


Assassin’s Creed Odyssey

I was SO happy to see this game release, and to see this franchise come back to prominence. Assassin’s Creed has always been a favorite series of mine, but since Assassin’s Creed Unity came out back in 2014, I really hadn't gotten too involved with the games. Once Assassin’s Creed Origins related back in 2017 though, it got me excited again to jump back into the series and explore the vast landscapes that Ubisoft had created, all while taking down the Templar threat. But, for myself, Odyssey truly fells like the culmination for all the new ideas that Ubisoft implemented into Origins. Bringing the series to Ancient Greece has felt like a breath of fresh air for the series. From the expansive and gorgeous landscapes and set pieces (plus the ability to use a much wider color palette), to the numerous RPC-like elements added to the game, it has really gotten my enjoyment for the series reinvigorated. The extra year that the devs took to make the game better has paid off, and they can take as long as they need as long as it means we get quality Assassin’s Creed titles like this.


Celeste

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Honestly, where did this game come from for me? This critically-acclaimed platformer from Matt Makes Games flew completely under my radar until it released. Based on some feedback from the Rocket Punch crew, I went on a limb and gave this title a chance, and I am so glad that I did. As a big fan of the developer’s previous title, Towerfall: Ascension, I was already on board with the art style for the game, but I super surprised as to how the gameplay truly grabbed my attention. Moving through each section in the levels were challenging, yet so satisfying once you cleared them, and failing did not dish out a large or unnecessary penalty, which was a nice bonus for myself. Following the tale of Madeleine as she worked to conquer her inner demons by climbing the mountain was a great story to follow throughout, and the soundtrack (by composer Lena Raine) was some of the best game music I got to listen to this year. All in all, this game was one of the high points for me in 2018, and it will be one that I will fondly remember. Now to get back to work on those C-Side levels…


Destiny 2: Forsaken

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Man, this game has definitely been a roller coaster ride for myself and the developers at Bungie. But, in the end, I am glad that this game ended up on this list for me. I really hadn’t played much of Destiny most of the year, but we have definitely talked about some of the moves they have made throughout, with the changes to the game to improve quality of life for players, to the expansions releasing throughout the year, and more. Even when Forsaken released in September, I was a little weary os to whether I should jump back in, at least until I heard what the industry had to say about it. Hearing enough good things, I jumped back in with the Rocket Punch crew, and it has been a blast through the latter part of 2018. Running through the strikes and checking out all of the new and varied activities in the Dreaming City endgame really scratched that grind itch for me that always seemed to be hit-or-miss with the game. Plus, Gambit immediately got its hooks into me, and is probably my favorite game mode now. With the recent announcement of Bungie breaking off from Activision, it will be interesting (to say the least) how Destiny will change going forward, but if Bungie can continue to learn what the community wants, deliver on the promises of their season pass, and set themselves up well for whatever next expansion comes next, it should be a bright future for Destiny.


Detroit: Become Human

Being this was my first experience in a David Cage/Quantic Dream title, I didn’t really know what to expect going in. Sticking with my yearly mantra to try some new titles, I picked this up at launch, but not necessarily on whim. I had been following this game for a while since its announcement, and the premise really drew me in. A story about androids becoming self-aware and the struggles that brings in a human society that fears those possibilities? I was all-in. But every time I got to see the game in action, it looked like something up my alley. This has definitely been a game that many people have overlooked, but should definitely go back and give it a chance. Playing through the stories of Marcus, Kara, and Connor, and having to make the many choices that they go through within the game felt nerve-wracking at times, but definitely satisfying. Every time I went in, I found it hard to put the controller down and turning it off, just telling myself “one more hour” so that I could continue the story and see what happens to these protagonists (based on my choices). If you are a fan of the Telltale games and are looking for something similar (that feels more cohesive and polished than those titles IMO), then you definitely need to give this game. shot.


Dragon Ball FighterZ

The hype train on this game for the Rocket Punch crew was definitely over 9000! Since this game got shown, we had all been ready to get our hands on it, and once we got it, it did not disappoint. Dragon Ball has always been a personal favorite anime for me, and I have been playing various games within the universe for years, but this latest title by Arc System Works is by far the smoothest and most polished one in the series. Even though I am not a fighting game aficionado by any stretch of the imagination, I had nothing but a great time jumping in and playing as some of my favorite Dragon Ball Z characters. Learning the controls wasn’t too bad to get a grip on, and fighting against friends and online to see who is the last Z Fighter standing was action-packed every step of the way. FighterZ isn’t planning to leave my game library anytime soon (but now I just need some MORE DLC characters!)


God of War

Since this game was shown back at E3 2016, I have really been excited to play it. It had been SO long since I got to play as Kratos and mow down opponents in his path, but the gameplay that God of War pioneered back at the turn of the century was not a great fit for 2018. Seeing some of the changes that Sony Santa Monica made to this latest iteration, though, really got me hyped for how it would turn out, and I am glad that it did. The new setting in norse mythos, new camera angle, upgraded combat, and (FINALLY) a cohesive and nuanced story that made me actually care for Kratos as a character were so great to experience. Slinging the Leviathan Axe around felt like the ultimate Thor-gameplay fantasy, and I definitely credit the devs for everything they did with the game. This was one of the biggest games for PlayStation, and for a series that most people thought dead and gone, it was awesome to see it return to grand form for 2018 and the future in the industry.


Marvel’s Spider-Man

It should come to no surprise to people who listen to me on our podcast that I am a BIG Spider-Man fan. Since I was a kid, I have enjoyed the comics, stories, and games that the web slinger has come out with throughout the years. It should also come to no one’s surprise, then, that this latest title from Insomniac Games feels like the culmination of all of the things that make Spider-Man great for me, all rolled up into a nice gaming package. From the swinging through New York, to the Batman Arkham-style combat, to the fleshed out and intricate story, everything about this game made me feel proud to be a Spider-Man fan and see a developer get it right for him in gaming. The story drew me in throughout, showing the lives of Spidey and Peter that really hasn’t been shown in games, and I really couldn’t stop playing once I got my hands on it. Being as this is the first game that I have ever 100% completed on PlayStation, it should tell you something for how much I enjoyed the game. With some great setups for a potential sequel, I cannot wait to sink my teeth back into Spider-Man web.


Moonlighter

This game ended up being the epitome of a “hidden gem” for myself. I stumbled on the game on social media (specifically Twitter) with some promoted tweets sent by the developers, Digital Sun, and the art style immediately pulled me in. I did a little bit of research on what the game was and, although I was somewhat skeptical on the entertainment value on the “merchant” side of the game, I took a leap of faith and picked it up. Fast forward to now, and I own the game on two platforms (PS4 and Switch), and can’t put the thing down. The art style and look of the game is great (especially if you are fans of old school 16/32-bit graphics) and was a big draw for me, but the gameplay loop really got its hooks in me. The bouncing between slaying monsters and collecting items within each of the game’s dungeons, to taking those items to maximize as much of a profit as possible within your shop in town was something very intriguing and different from other games I have played before. I really wanted to use 2018 to play some games that were new and different to me, and this one one definitely hit the mark on that premise for me.


No Man’s Sky

Look, I know how a fair amount of people felt about this game from Hello Games going into 2018, but there should be no denying their accomplishments on what they have done to No Man’s Sky this year, and they should be applauded for it. Starting the year, this game felt dead on arrival, with all of the controversy around the title hovering around the game, and the devs seeming to go radio silent throughout the year. But once Sean Murray and his team started talking again about the updates they had for the game, everyone became curious but not hopeful in the least. In the end, this has got to be one of the greatest redemption stories in the gaming industry, maybe ever, and I was so happy to see it firsthand. I have never really hated No Man’s Sky, but I understood complaints others with give for how it played. But after the NEXT update, I don’t see how people could continue to give the game hate anymore. Hello Games really did something incredible by staying quiet and working meticulously on all the issues from the game, making it a much better and enjoyable experience than ever before. Exploring the galaxy felt even more enjoyable for me, and I always feel myself drawn back into that vast universe to explore its mysteries. Plus, Hello Games continues to add large, expansive updates to the game to continues its’ growth and make it even better. If you never gave No Man’s Sky a chance before now, this is 100% the time to give it a shot now. You have no excuse.


State of Decay 2

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I 100% thought I would not like this game at all. Watching all of the coverage for it, and also trying the original game for a few minutes, I just could not see how people enjoyed the game. But giving the game a chance really opened my eyes to what and how it plays, and made it one of my favorite games to play from 2018. Jumping into the zombie-infested world and doing everything I could to create a safe and reliable area for my followers was a nice change of pace from other zombie games. What I was expecting to be a by-the-numbers zombie shooter turned out to be a more layered management simulation game with zombies, and that really scratched an itch for me. This is probably the biggest game I was happy to have given a chance in 2018, and kudos definitely to Undead Labs on what they were able to accomplish. I still haven’t played the game in multiplayer yet, so I can’t wait to tackle that challenge too!



Enjoyed the list from one of our cofounders? Be sure to check out our full Game of the Year 2018 coverage and see what the official picks from the Rocket Punch team are!