2018 has been a big year for video games, we’ve had big blockbuster releases such as God of War, Spider-Man PS4, and Red Dead Redemption 2. As well as smaller but no less significant indie titles like Celeste and Into the Breach. Looking back at all the releases for this year makes me excited for what we are going to see in 2019 and beyond.
But first lets go over what happened this year when it comes to games. We’ve had a lot of new releases on the Nintendo Switch, like a brand new Mario Party and Super Smash Bros Ultimate. We’ve had Pokemon Lets go Pikachu! and Lets Go Eevee! We’ve even had Dark Souls and Diablo 3 ported to the Switch. The Nintendo Switch is turning out to be an amazing console now that more and more developers know it’s power and what can run on it. Hell, (quite literally) we’ve even had DOOM ported to the Switch, and we can all now shoot Nazi’s on the go as well since Wolfenstein 2 was also ported.
PlayStation absolutely killed it this year with exclusives, they released (the now game of the year) God of War, which absolutely blew everyone away with it’s fantastic and emotional narrative and it’s change up from being a top down hack-and-slash to a over the shoulder experience. We’ve had Spider-Man PS4, which not only hit us with nostalgia for the original Spider-Man 2, but also gave us an engaging story and awesome new abilities to swing and punch our way through New York City. We’ve also seen old familiar faces return, both Crash Bandicoot N-Sane Trilogy and Spyro Reignited have both been remastered, allowing us to return to our childhood selves as well as showing a new generation so they can experience these games for the first time.
Interestingly enough Xbox didn’t have many exclusive releases this year, the major one being Forza Horizon 4. The one thing that Xbox did do this year was acquire 5 independent studios, including Obsidian Entertainment (the guys behind the original Fallout and Fallout: New Vegas) who are now developing a brand new Sci-Fi RPG titled “The Outer Worlds” which was showcased at the Video Game Awards last week. Speaking of the VGA’s, it was absolutely incredible to watch and really shows how far video games have come as a medium, it’s fantastic to see an award show celebrate what makes video games great, as well as celebrate the developers who put in the hard work to create them.
We’ve also seen a huge shift in games concerning Loot Boxes and Micro transactions. The biggest stories being Belgium outright banning Loot Boxes and some other countries (including Australia) investigating them more thoroughly to decide whether they fall under gambling laws. Will this change the way developers add micro transactions to their games? Probably not, it’s the only way game studios can make money after the release of their games. But it’s not all doom and gloom, after Star Wars Battlefront 2’s controversy studios will be a lot more careful when it comes to integrating micro transactions and loot boxes into their games.
2018 also ended on a high note with Red Dead Redemption 2 being released in November alongside Assassins Creed Odyssey. Both those games have been extremely impressive when it comes to creating a living, breathing, open world. They have set the standard when it comes to AAA RPG’s, which makes me very excited for Cyberpunk 2077.
So you know what I say? Bring on 2019, if it’s going to be like this year then I can’t wait to see what’s in store for us next year. And on that note, Merry Christmas! And I hope everyone has a safe and happy holidays!