Alex’s Top 5 List of Games this Year

Dec 31, 18  | posted by Alex Quayle (2128)

Last year, to celebrate the coming of 2018 I decided to share the games i’d been playing. It was a shoddy attempt at bringing awareness to games you might have missed from yesteryears. I like to think of this article as a remastered sequel to an article that shouldn’t have an annual occurrence but will anyways. There are two general rules I’m sticking to: one gamer per series and the game has to be one I’ve played on a regular basis throughout 2018. I apologize in advance if a) these games are ancient relics or b) they’re obscure, exotic titles unheard of outside their communities.

 

Windward

Platforms: PC, Android

Starting this list off strong is Windward, a game i’ve grown to fall in love with. On the surface, it’s just a bog standard trading simulator with an awkwardly carved world. Under the hood, it’s a content-rich multiplayer experience with gameplay you won’t find elsewhere (except Pirates!, which is compared to Windward often). Sure, the gameplay is extremely tedious and the grind to endgame is longer than it should be but as you progress, you learn how to (partially) eliminate the grind and take in the salty sea air. You also get to grips with how the economy works and how to best make profits when peddling goods from port to port, you learn how to combine skills to stack up devastating combos, crushing your enemies and capturing that one city encompassed by sentry towers and a pirate named Yusmas.

Did I mention dragons?

There’s a lot that could be said about Windward which is why I’m in the middle of writing a review. In short, it’s a really good game. Don’t have Steam? Buy it on Google Play. Sure, the graphics are scaled down and the game runs like ass but you can still get a kick out of dueling a brigand of pirates. It’s a shame they haven’t ported the game to consoles but never say never, eh?

 

Destiny 2

Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One

Destiny 2 might 1not be one of the most popular games this year, but Bungie have built an undeniably living, breathing world. The Franchises’s debut on PC motioned me to pick up the sci-fi RPG epic. Slick graphics, absorbing sounds and the occasional witty remark from Ghost. There’s plenty of things to shoot at (which is always good) and plenty of crucible ranks to climb. While I didn’t make as far as I hoped in the endgame, I enjoyed the countless late nights of raids with my fireteam. Unfortunately, those days were early in the year and I haven’t touched the game since the launch of the Forsaken DLC. Perhaps one day i’ll hop back into the game again but for now, my mage and warrior remain dormant.

 

Minion Masters

Platforms: PC

I received a code for Minion Masters in September of last year. The game was relatively unknown and had very little going for it. As 2018 came about however, the game began to receive some crucial updates that ultimately shaped it into the free to play MOBA phenomenon you see today. If you own a computer, you owe it to yourself to try Minion Masters.

Minion Masters is a blend of card collecting and tower defence; your goal is to assist your minions towards the enemy side by playing cards. These cards can spawn minions, spells and buildings – all of which are needed to attack the enemy podium. Of course your foe will also be trying to break the ground beneath you thus your minions will be locking horns in a bid to push each other back.

While the concept is simple, the game becomes increasingly complex as you climb through the ranks. A set of daily quests, single player campaigns and a battle pass will keep you coming back for more.

 

Murderous Pursuits

Platform: PC

I enjoyed The Ship. There’s nothing like tailing someone to a corner and clubbing them to death a pool stick. The 2004 party game has created many memorable moments thus when I heard about Murderous Pursuits, the spiritual successor to The Ship, I got a tinsy bit excited.

Under normal circumstances I would have made the let sleeping dogs lie rhetoric, but that went out the window in 2016 when Blazing Griffin announced The Ship Remastered. A polished remake of the original, adding in a set of new characters (including then-presidential frontrunners Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton). Unfortunately, the game didn’t attract enough players, failing to live up its predecessor.

Hopes were revitalized when Blazing Griffin announced Murderous Pursuits. While the game doesn’t follow the traditional murder em up gameplay style, you can still tell this game is a spiritual successor to The Ship. The sarcastic comments from Mr X is a friendly reminder of this fact. In terms of gameplay, complete polar opposites. Murderous Pursuits opts for a vignette-style system blended with the multiplayer segment of Assassin’s Creed with a touch of the murder mystery magic.

The game also has progression which gives it an edge over The Ship as you had no way of showing your friends how much time you have wasted in the game or if you really had killed XXX_LandLubber_XXX. Murderous Pursuits takes The Ship’s murder mystery style, blending it with a game of tactical cat and mouse, resulting in a bloody good title.

You can read my review here.

 

Diablo 3

Platforms: PC, PS4, PS3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Nintendo Switch

Diablo 3 came into my life at the end of 2018. I’ve never batted an eye at Blizzard’s 2013 hack and slash RPG until just a few days ago when the game was on sale for a mere £15. I was weary at first as I wasn’t looking for a game to devour my time and become an addiction but that’s exactly what happened.

In a matter of days I’d cruised through the campaign, racking up enough kills to reach the endgame where bounties awaited me in the world I’d spent very little time exploring due to people telling me to rush to level 70. I’m glad I listened as I hated the campaign; it felt like a stretched out tutorial to the game and was, even on hard mode, too easy. Still, completing the campaign has given me Adventure Mode, which sees you exploring the same world but completing a set of quests without the gimmicky comments from the game’s characters.

Diablo is often considered the king of hack n slash and rightfully so. This was evident as I cleared hordes of enemies who jumped onto the end of my sword. Weirdly, the endless slaughter didn’t wear on me as I enjoyed sending demons back to hell. The game feels like a love letter to RPG fans who are looking for a title to sink their lifetime into. Oh, and if you’re strapped for cash I recommend checking out Path of Exile, a free to play counterpart that gives you the same satisfaction.

 

As this year draws to a close, I’d just like to also say thank you to everyone who’s been reading my weird articles. This is my first year of having a serious crack of it and I’ve had a blast reporting on all the latest happenings and reviewing some amazing titles.

I wish each and every one of you a happy new year.

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