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Weekend Hot Topic, part 1: The best game of 2018 so far

Far Cry 5 – the best game of the year so far?

GameCentral readers give 2018 its half year report, as they debate whether God Of War is better than Monster Hunter: World.

Since were now halfway through the year, the subject for this weekends Hot Topic asked how you think things have been going so far for video games – particularly when compared to last years amazing line-up.

God Of War emerged as the easy favourite so far, with a lot of people also enjoying the likes of Far Cry 5 and Monster Hunter: World. Most thought it had been a good year so far, but not quite up to the standard of 2017, although the autumn line-up could change that…

Honest answer

Im going to assume that God Of War is going to win this one but if Im honest I enjoyed Far Cry 5 a lot more, and probably Monster Hunter: World too. Theres something very artificial about God Of War that I didnt really take to, not just the restrictive game world and the lack of people but the super-polished graphics actually seemed weirdly fake to me. Very clinical and lacking grit. I dunno, they were almost too good but not good enough if that makes sense?

Anyway, Far Cry 5 was just fun and silly, which God Of War definitely is not. It wasnt much of an upgrade on the last two, the story wasnt really what was promised, and the co-op was kind of borked but Id be lying if I didnt have tons of fun with it.

Theres something about getting yourself lost in an open world and just touring around finding things to do and people to blow up and Far Cry 5 got that just right. I think it was the quality of the side quests that really did it. They were almost all pretty amazing and often more fun than the story missions. Good job Ubisoft.

Monster surprise

Last year Nintendo set a very high bar with Zelda and Mario, but this year has held its own surprisingly well so far.

I accept that I am in the minority, but I preferred Monster Hunter: World to Zelda: Breath Of The Wild, although as I have only completed two divine beasts it might yet win me over. God Of War has also been another critically acclaimed game in the first half of the year (although I have not yet played it).

Looking to the end of the year Red Dead Redemption II could easily surpass Super Mario Odyssey in quality (although they are hugely different genres). Yet apart from Red Dead there is not that much left on the horizon that interests me. Smash Bros. and possibly Dragon Quest XI or Anthem might win me over but I will probably buy Octopath Traveller and God Of War instead.

GC: Anthem is next year.


Im primarily a PlayStation 4 player, although I do own an Xbox One S and PC I rarely play either (for different reasons, one of which should be easy to guess). Im not that impressed with the first six months. I know theres been some big hitters released, but theyve just not been for me.

Id had enough of the over-the-shoulder story action genre after Horizon Zero Dawn/The Last Of Us/Uncharted, so God Of War, despite being high quality, bored me. And Im loathe to play another David Cage game after giving Heavy Rain and Beyond: Two Souls an open-minded shot and despising them both. I did have high hopes for Monster Hunter: World but the demo got old after an hour and I feared the game would too, so I cancelled my order.

I massively enjoyed Yakuza 6 though, so it hasnt been a complete dud – and the next six months (including January) has three of my top five all-time favourite games coming out in some format: Resident Evil 2, Shenmue, and Spyro. So I couldnt really ask for more than that unless the other two (Final Fantasy VII and Skies of Arcadia) also came along as well. And one of them is coming at some point so only one left to go.
Lost Sock



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I cant pretend Ive bought a lot of games this year (I usually wait till the summer sales to get anything new) but I have absolutely loved Into The Breach. Wouldnt have known anything about it if it hadnt been for the GC review but since the game is virtually being given away I took a chance and never looked back.

Its basically Minesweeper but as an actual game and super addictive (in the good sense of the word). If youve got a boring job or a long commute or something then Into The Breach will just make the hours flyby.

I dont understand why its not on phones or consoles though, although if it was Id probably never get anything done.

Story of the year

I dont see any game being better than Celeste this year. It may be just a low-tech little indie game but I genuinely think it might have the best story of any video game Ive ever played. If youve ever suffered from anxiety or depression then you will empathise with this game immediately. Although at first you wont even realise that the game is about that sort of thing because its not preachy or anything. Its just the story of a girl climbing a mountain and… Im not going to spoil it.

I do think maybe it didnt have to be quite as hard as it is, given the story is such a big part of the appeal. But it is very satisfying in a Dark Souls kind of way. But if youve practised on the likes of Super Meat Boy youll love it.

Ive not seen any big budget game come anywhere close to feeling as a honest and human as this and I really recommend it to everyone. Its cheap to.

Another world

I guess probably the answer to this is God Of War but to avoid the obvious Ill say Moss. Im a great fan of VR and love my PlayStation VR headset and this is one of the best things for it. Ive seen a lot of people say that VR has been a bit of a flop or isnt doing what they thought but playing Moss you get to experience a whole new kind of game.

If you dont know its a third person platformer, sort of where although youre looking down at the world youre also controlling a little mouse character as well. Its super charming but a great game and by not being first person (well, it sort of is but youll see what I mean if you play it) you get the feeling that youve just stepped through into another world.

The whole things just amazing and everyone I let play it agrees. The only problem is its a bit short, so I hope the sequel is soon!

Starting now

I dont think I have a favourite game from 2018 as most if not everything I have is from last year and before. I am getting God Of War, so I might have to say that as default. I should be started when this this goes up.



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Gaming heaven

The last Hot Topic was a difficult one to think of regarding a series of games I would have loved to have played and in all honesty, I have played a bunch of my favourite series and they are now part of my memory bank. But this leads nicely onto a series of games I have been following since whenever the first game came out on the PlayStation 2.

The God Of War series has been a favourite of mine for a long time now. They had great set pieces with epic but not overly complicated puzzles, with an addictive gameplay fighting style which I think only Batman: Arkham Asylum and City has beaten in my opinion.

When the fourth in the main series was mentioned thought it was going to be the same but with more advanced platform/climbing/fighting. If I had to be honest, and especially after playing the The Witcher 3, I just did not expect what eventually came out.

This is when you really just want to shake the hand of the developers and just thank them for creating this masterpiece of a game, which is yet more proof that I can still be blown away after all these years of gaming. I mean graphically I thought Horizon Zero Dawn was the bench-setter for art and visuals, then along comes the new God of War game. I could just go on and on with the mountain regions and general wildernesses of the games with its lake ruins, caves, and climbing up humongous giants and just appreciating the realistic almost tangible hair and skin.

Character upgrades and items, weapons and clothing are just some of the many things to enhance and grow the protagonists statistics and general look. To me dream games seem to happen a lot nowadays and God Of War, with all the awesomeness of the Scandinavian myths and legends, are the cherry on top of a perfect cake of which yet I cant believe exists. Open world God Of War! I mean if you told me it was going to amalgamate all these styles of gameplay, I think I would have a hard time believing it, but simply put it has pulled a classic out of the bag and will remain a benchmark game for a very long time to come.

I swear if Red Dead Redemption II beats this in all areas, then I must be in gaming heaven, because reality was never meant to be this good. But boy it is and all thanks to the people who know their stuff and made 2018 just fantastic so far, and I still have a bunch of stuff yet to do before the next six months shows its magic.


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