Patrick Dane’s Favorite Games of the Year of 2018

So, another year is past. 2018 was, in a lot of ways, a trash fire on the grand scale. From division, to politics, to flossing, there were a lot of things that dominated our attention probably for the worst. With 2019 on the horizon though, there is at least a sense of hope as to what could be and that perhaps the world will just become a little bit brighter.

However, despite that dour note, video games were there to pick up the slack of the world falling apart. It was a good year too. From big games to small, I personally found it to be a pretty experimental and interesting time in games. While I perhaps had a few less rounded experiences on the whole than I have in the previous two years, there were perhaps more interesting, exciting new ideas out there that are paving the way for the future. Personally, I saw a lot of good in some inherently flawed games that excited me. And of course, there were some pretty excellent blockbusters scattered along the way.

That’s why I thought I’d take a minute to look back on my favorite gaming experiences over the last 12 months to take stock of what really stood out. Before we get into it, it’s worth noting, because there is only so much time in the day, I didn’t get to everything. Games like Celeste, Florence, and Into the Breach I didn’t put enough time into and there were a few bigger experiences, like Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and Forza Horizon 4 that slipped by. Oh, and some game called Red Dead Redemption 2. Because of that, obviously they won’t be on here, but hopefully you get something from reading, be it reccomendations or purely a reason to yell at me. So here are my top 20 favorite gaming expeirences this year.

20. Fallout 76

Fallout 76
credit//Bethesda Softworks

Okay, look. Fallout 76 is a rough game. A really, really rough game. As an experience, It’s hard to sell it to anyone. Even for those who put considerable time into the game, there isn’t a lot of depth to how the gameplay evolves and how you craft your own existence in the multiplayer survival game. It is full of the Bethesda jank that has been ever-present in the games for a while which doesn’t help. It’s empty as well, and just… a bit mediocre.

However, I think there is genuine merit to be found in there if you give yourself over to the experience. Personally, I found the setting to be the most compelling of all of the modern Fallout games. Tasking players with being the first out into the apocalypse is an interesting take. West Virginia is full of colour and variety, and importantly, a whole lot of fresh radiation. This means your main worry is the bizarre but often beautifully mutated wildlife in the area. There are literal monsters to go out and run into in this world, which creates this enemy variety that I appreciated over other Fallout games. When it’s behaving, this world and the dangers it holds is best in the franchise to walk around in.

Also, on a conceptual level, and at times during playing, the real loss of the previous world comes across more so than other games. As you toil around the world and find out what became of those who survived the initial nuclear blast, there is a real morbid quietness to the experience. At times I got this bizarre feeling that I really didn’t expect to feel in a primarily multiplayer focused game: loneliness. I liked that experience.

That all being said, the act of actually playing the game and existing in this world is… well, it’s just bad. The combat is not good enough to sustain how often you do it, and other annoyances like overencumbrance and the structure of the story make it hard to enjoy on most palatable levels. That being said, there are a few nuggets of genuine goodness hidden in there.

19. Jurassic World Evolution

Jurassic World Evolution

Jurassic World Evolution in many ways isn’t the game it could be. Coming from Frontier who created the excellent Planet Coaster, a park builder game set in the Jurassic Park world sounds like a perfect match. It’s been tried a few times in the past to varying degrees of success, but we’ve been waiting a long time for a fresh take.

The problem with Evolution is that it has a very particular way it wants you to do things. The landscapes are restrictive, the objectives require very specific things from your park, and the variety and aesthetic you can employ is pretty limited in terms of what you can build. It creates a very regimented experience, which is fine, but players don’t get a lot of space to be creative and express themselves through their park.

However, there is a real zen to the game that goes a long way. This is a park builder all about creating a well-oiled machine, rather than something fun and whacky. Hitting objectives to get new dinosaurs and mutations, all while making sure your current prehistoric attractions don’t start breaking out of their paddocks to eat the guests is the name of the game. It’s a certain kind of experience that complements tidiness and logic, all underscored by John William’s most gentle and soothing portions of the iconic soundtracks. When it all comes together, it can be a satisfying and relaxing in equal measure. If you are looking to relax and look after some dinosaurs for a few hours, you could do much, much worse.

18. Far Cry 5

Far cry 5

The initial pitch for Far Cry 5 was always a compelling one. Taking the formula for the series and running with it in an American setting was an idea where a lot of potential lied. In our current political climate, a religious cult militia taking over a Montana region should be a pretty strong proposition in 2018.

Sadly, despite a few flashes, the game failed to actually say anything. It’s actually almost impressive how much the game doesn’t say. However, that doesn’t mean there wasn’t plenty to enjoy here. The Montana wilderness made a perfect bedfellow for the classic Far Cry gameplay. As a game, it is probably the most technically well put together game in the series. The landscape iss gorgeous, untamed and at times menacing. It was an excellent playground for explosive and silly Far Cry hijinks.

There were also some really great story moments in there too, such as one based around conditioning and repetition that I found particularly surprising. While Far Cry 5 can sometimes feel like a shadow of what could have been, what’s there is well put together playground of absurdity that is well worth diving into.

16. Assassin’s Creed Odyssey

assassin's creed odyssey

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey builds on the solid foundation that Assassin’s Creed Origins brought last year. That game was somewhat of a soft reboot for the franchise, bringing in more loot, reworked combat and an effective overall overhaul of the game’s systems. Odyssey takes all of that and spreads it far.

It would be an understatement to say that there are a lot of things to do in Odyssey. From following the main story, to fighting in an ongoing war, to hunting mythical beasts, to eliminating cultists, you are always going to find something to be doing in the game. Thankfully Kassandra, who you should absolutely play as over Alexios, is super charming. A real beefcake who is brazen and morally flexible that acts as a wonderful surrogate through all of the facets of this world you end up interacting with.

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey is also undeniably a gorgeous game. It’s pretty striking as soon as you start your journey, just how much work has gone into recreating ancient Greece. If you are looking to go on a little virtual holiday, there aren’t many better games than this one.

While it can suffer from a general muchness, if you want a long solo experience this year in games, it would be hard to find much better than Assassin’s Creed Odyssey. There is so much to do and see, that you will be sinking your teeth deeper and deeper into what it has to offer for months.

16. Warhammer Vermintide 2

There is nothing particularly complicated about Warhammer: Verinintide 2. If you’ve played Left 4 Dead, you will have a sense of how this game plays. You play as one of five characters, who must make their way through dark and dingy areas, fighting off scores of enemies in first person. In Vermintide 2’s case, that is the undead and, of course, a whole lot of rats.

The game really does invoke the Warhammer franchise, especially, the muddy, bloody side of things, with you and your team really feeling you are trudging through the game’s various scenarios. There are set characters in the game, each with their own class abilities, meaning you can really find a unique character just for your sensibilities. From tanks, to mages, to archers, to status effect characters to jump into, each with their own various subclasses, there is a lot to bite into in terms of your playstyle.

The levels are well constructed and have enough changes to keep things fresh, while throwing in things like Tomes, which players hold to make things more challenging. This is all propped up by a loot box system that actually works really well, as it does not ask any real-world currency. Instead, you are just getting powerful rolls based on how well you did, all in service or levelling up and altering your experience. While there is only so much content in the game, there is a lot of variables that keep it all ticking along and enjoyable. If you want to get deep into it, it has that depth for you, but also, if you just want to hop in and smash a couple hundred rats with an axe, the game will provide that in spades.

15. Dead Cells

credit//Motion Twin

Dead Cells comes from a long line of games like it. Rogue-likes have fallen back into the shadows in recent years, but there is still space for games to follow in the steps of the likes of Rogue Legacy. Dead Cells does just that, but may well be the new gold standard for the genre.

Putting you in the place of a bit of ooze that takes control of dead bodies, you make your way through a dark and grungy world, collecting items, levelling up your character and engaging in fast paced side-scrolling action… only for you to die and start fresh, bar having unlocked new weapons. It’s a great loop that gives you that magic feeling of having ‘learned’. Often you will find yourself up against a tough challenge you don’t think you will ever beat, to then be breezing past it a few lives later. The rush of the combat, but also your inevitable progression through learning, are where the quality of this title lie.

Add on top of that, the games has an undeniable style to it. While pixel-art has been done into the ground now, Dead Cells looks fresh and importantly, cool as hell. The environments convey threat, loss and a harrowing past while never sacrificing that for colour or vibrancy. This speaks to the game’s overall strength. A combat-based, side scrolling, pixel-art rogue-like shouldn’t be as exciting as Dead Cells is in 2018, but here we are.

14. State of Decay 2

State of Decay 2

Zombies in games feel done. They felt done all the way back when the first State of Decay came out in 2013. This is a roll on effect to the saturation of the subject in the early 10s that saw them everywhere. That’s why State of Decay 2 should have never worked.

State of Decay 2 is a strange beast. The game tasks players with surviving in a zombie apocalypse, much like in the first game, and even though it is a third-person action game in its moment to moment, it’s overall structure is more like a management sim. You are given a randomly rolled character and then, as you progress with the game’s story, you begin to make your own community of other randomly rolled characters. You then go about trying to stop a new breed of super zombies, while contending with your community’s needs and other survivors around you.

It’s a bizarre mix and match of genres that is admittedly rough, but comes together to make something rather compelling. It’s a game of spinning plates, with your attention pulled from on need and situation to the next, that punishes neglect. At some point, you are bound to mess up that balancing act and then the real tension comes. Also, the character permadeath adds a palpable tension to most chores. If you walk into just the wrong situation a little under-prepared, you can lose your best character. It’s a brutal but fascinating machine of systems, and if can get past the rougher edges, it’s something well worth your time.

13. Fortnite

credit//Epic Games

It would be hard to do a list of games in 2018 without mentioning Fortnite. The game took over the entire medium, taking last year’s hit idea, the battle royale, and crafting an ever-evolving game that went so big it changed the face of gaming. I mean, really, it’s allowed Epic to create what looks to be a promising Steam competitor in the Epic Games Store, and even somewhat forced Sony to open up Cross-Platform play which could have huge implications for all of gaming’s future.

While some roll their eyes at the game due to the incredible exposure, from sports celebrations and schoolyards equally infested with emotes in real life, what’s there is actually a really solid game. I put a decent amount of time into trying to become competitive and had a pretty good time with it. Add on top of that, the really interesting things Epic is doing with its map, having it change and evolve on the fly means that everytime you come back, there is always something new to see or use.

Hell, you only have to look at the Butterfly event that happened this year to see that Epic is going above what they probably need to craft something unique. While the developer could just continue to add guns to the base map, they seem to at least be trying some truly neat ideas out when it comes to how an ongoing game can craft its experience.

12. World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth

World of Warcraft
It’s hard to know where to place Battle for Azeroth on a list like this as it’s been a complicated proposition a few months after its release. The fanbase is currently in a pretty dissatisfied place with the game, it’s post-release content rubbing the impassioned and seasoned community the wrong way in a lot of circles.

That said though, it’s hard to say I didn’t have some of my best gaming experiences this year with World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth in the month after it came out. Even before the expansion came out, the storytelling Blizzard engaged with was really fun to be a part of. From the return of Jaina to Sylvanas’s, let’s say harsh actions, the story content was a blast. While it angered many in the community, it blew up the stagnant paradigm between the Horde and Alliance and as a prominently RP-Focused player, it opened up a lot of space to play in.

That carried over into the initial release too which saw a lengthy and impressive story campaign. There were two completely different experiences that were really great for both the factions. Kul Tiras was landscape and nautically driven, while the Zandalari portion for the Horde campaign felt varied and exotic. Also, it had loads of Dinosaurs and Bwonsamdi, who might be one of my favourite characters this year. It was great fun.

They were long experience too, creating engaging and narrative-driven content throughout that intial experience. For a game that is nearly 15, the fact I felt compelled to play through this new content is pretty impressive. I got out pretty soon after and didn’t experience much of the endgame content though, which is where a lot of the complaints come in. While the broader community is pretty upset at the state of the game, I have to say, what’s there as an initial experience is excellent. As a lapsed player, hopping in and seeing such story driven content that I found compelling was a real rush.

11. Subnautica

Subnautica
The survival bubble from a few years ago seems to have somewhat passed. What started with the likes of Minecraft and DayZ quickly burgeoned, especially in the PC space, creating several great games (and a mountain of terrible asset flips). When Subnautica launched in Early Access, it was right in the thick of the that.

That’s why it’s notable that when it came out officially earlier this year, it stood out. The games has you stranded on an alien ocean planet, forced to forge your own existence with the wildlife available in the sea. What makes the game stand out is the mysterious sense of exploration that an alien ocean provides, but also, a loose but well-put-together narrative throughline. There are setpiece moments crafted for you, which genuinely feels unique in this genre.

The game can float between tranquil to unsettling in the space of a few meters and the wildlife really creates this exciting aura that is fun to poke around. As a person who has consistently been fascinated with the ocean, it really scratched an itch that no other survival game does. It’s just well put together and well worth your time if you find time to check It out.

10. Battlefield V

Battlefield V

For my money, Battlefield V is the best game I’ve played in the series. While admittedly, I’ve not played a lot of the older titles in the franchise which get a lot of the praise from the hardcore base of the franchise, Battlefield V struck me unusually strongly this year. That comes down to smart changes in the multiplayer, but also a singular vision the game integrates into all of its play.

From a multiplayer standpoint, the game really was retuned and focused to make squadplay key in battles. The classes feel more defined, with squads really benefiting from diversity as well as a better sense of teamwork that really made the multiplayer click to me. Running across battlefields with my friends, healing them and contributing by supporting your best players was sometimes as rewarding as going on a massive kill streak. Add on top of this, the lengthy Grand Operations mode that crafts a loose narrative between three stages of multiplayer maps, and you really have something I loved sinking my teeth into every time I came to the game.

The title also has several short single-player experiences that tell of lesser known, diversity driven stories that really do create this artistic whole to the game. While that irked some players from the game’s reveal and isn’t likely to change their minds when they play through these, I found them to be worthwhile dives into little, lesser told pockets of WWII.

Add on top of that, the series usual technical impressiveness and scope and you have what I think is one of the best AAA-feeling shooters this year. Infuse that with a feeling of diversity that actually fleshes out our understanding of WWII that reaches all parts of the game, and you have something that really surprised me with how much it struck me.

9. Monster Hunter: World

Monster Hunter: World
credit//Capcom

There is nothing better I can say to Monster Hunter World’s credit than it got me to care about Monster Hunter. That, at the start of the year, seemed impossible. The series has been so specifically tailored for its core audience that for a new Western player, I had always found the franchise impenetrable.

Monster Hunter: World finally unlocked the franchise for me. The refocus to a powerful console game brought the series to new heights, creating a real blockbuster feeling. No longer were these epic fights gated behinds stacks and stacks of stats heavy menus, jarring area transition and a handheld screen. No, now these fights were intricately realised on a truly epic scale.

That’s not to say the series is dumbed down either. It is still daunting in its depth and the chase into the endgame is deep enough to keep people busy for a long time. The feel and mastery of weapons is a real draw, with players really being able to change and mix up their entire feel with merely a switch of a weapon.

Also, the sheer excitement that comes when facing off against a beautifully rendered and, at times, impressively subtle beast is always exciting. More than that, when you see two of the beasts meet in an area and square off against each other, a colossal whirlwind of teeth, claws, wings and fire, now that, that never stopped being truly awesome. In the literal sense of the word.

8. Frostpunk

There is something about 2018 that would feel wrong if I didn’t put a dispiriting and depressing game high on a list. Frostpunk is that game. 11-bit studios has made a bit of a name on that brand. The developer’s first game, This War of Mine was a take on the survival genre based on real-world stories of warzone survivors. While more fantastical, Frostpunk is absolutely trading on that grimness.

To get you going, you are tasked with taking charge of a steampunk city after an apocalyptic deep freeze. As you progress through the harsh world and keep everyone alive, you decide how to best survive in brutally cold and miserable conditions. There is a constant struggle between the needs of your people, your expansion and the environment meaning the game asks you to constantly make the best choice between two harrowing options. It’s a game that makes things like open graves, instead of a cemetery seem like a good idea. It’s an extremely powerful take on city builders while bringing in the hard and harsh decisions of This War of Mine. If you want to wallow in misery at all from this year, then this game is a must.

7. Marvel’s Spider-Man

credit//Marvel

There have been a lot of Spider-Man games. The character has been trying to crack video-games for as long as they’ve been around. While there have been a handful of successful flirts with greatness, Marvel’s Spider-Man finally seized that.

What Insomniac ended up delivering was a wonderful ode to the character of Peter Parker and his history, while forging a new worthwhile universe. The most striking aspect is what a blast New York is to swing around, and the way Insomniac feathered iconic Spider-Man villains is impressive. It’s a great take on the hero and his world that is only lifted up by the magic Insomniac weave around your experience of playing through the game. From the exploration to the movement, there is a great sense of care that is hard to miss as a player. The team wanted to get this right, and it is hard to argue that they didn’t.

Pair this with a genuinely great Spider-Man story that kickstarts a new universe for the game, and you have a real winner. Insomniac set out to make the best Spider-Man game and then some, and they succeeded in impressive fashion.

6. Life is Strange 2: Episode 1

credit//Square Enix

The change of focus in Life is Strange 2 is bound to be controversial. Max and Chloe really burrowed themselves into the hearts of many during the series’ first season and while endings varied, it’s hard to face a new season without them. Especially when that story was one about women finding themselves through both extraordinary and ordinary experiences, a refocus onto two brothers is a definite shift.

That said, Life is Strange 2: Episode 1 hit me like a ton of bricks. The game focuses on two brothers, through both supernatural and very real world problems, end up on the run from the police. The first episode follows their story on the road, the friends they make and people out to destroy them. It wears its political opinions on its sleeve without being overbearing, but tackles tough issues with a real swagger that is truly affecting. This perhaps is a strong personal reason for me, as the character aspect resonates incredibly strongly to my personal life, but when all was said and done, with just one episode, Dontnod crafted something I found genuinely affecting.

It’s a shame we’ve only seen one episode so far, and there is still a lot of time for things to go very right (or wrong), but what you get in this first episode stands on its own as something great to celebrate from this year.

5. Hitman 2

Hitman 2
credit//WBIE

I loved the reboot of Hitman back in 2016. That game finally realised what that franchise should be in the modern era of video games. A throwback to Blood Money, but with a new scope and openness modern platforms allow. However, the game went even further. It established Hitman as a darkly slapstick game. It’s not just a grim-dark espionage thriller, but one of the very funniest emergent games around.

Hitman 2 is more Hitman. That suits me right down to the ground. There is no reinvention of the wheel here, with the game set up in a very similar way to the first. You mull around in big, impressive open levels, finding your way through to try and kill targets by means of carefully curated story opportunities, or just picking up the closest katana in the museum and chucking it at a target’s head as an improvisation. The game rewards your own creativity of murder, giving you an abundance of tools to complete the same task.

That said, what Io Interactive brings to the table, is better this time around. There are better quality of life changes, bigger, more varied levels that are probably more consistent than the last game’s offering. While it feels like an expansion of content, it’s only building on a great foundation. A great, challenging and hilarious foundation.

4. Sea of Thieves

Sea of Thieves
credit//Rare

Sea of Thieves understandably had a rough go of it when it launched. The game was a barebones proposition for those coming in expecting a ‘traditional game experience’. It has no real progression whatsoever, and in terms of variety, it doesn’t offer a lot. You find treasure to get money and that money is used to spend on purely cosmetic items. That is it. As a traditional video game, it’s not… well, very good.

That being said though, I don’t think that is the game’s intention at all. Sea of Thieves is a stage meticulously created to be played upon. Rare have constructed a world and toolset for players to inhabit, a world where you and friends can construct a lovely pirate story. It’s a true player-driven environment that can create great watercooler stories. It’s a playroom that provides the opportunity to really create these experiences where you tried to steal the treasure off another player’s boat or became locked in a resources draining battle that ended in a verbal truce with another ship while you barter the terms for surrender. Or you were caught by a Kraken and tun sunk. Or you were sailing on your own, only to find yourself amidst a skeleton island instance to then steal the rewards from under the victor’s noses.

It’s a shame that for players on their own, or who don’t like to interact with the online portion of the game, the stage is barren and empty. However, if you can lean into and use a little imagination, there is an incredible opportunity to create meaningful and memorable experiences with friends. Some of my fondest memories this year online come from┬ámessing around with my crew and making our own adventure.

Also, that moment when the sun is coming up on the open sea, everything goes quiet and it’s just you on those beautiful waves, man, that is just pure bliss.

3. God of War


God of War is a series that has never meant much to me. Hack and Slash has never really been my bag, but the sheer unbridled absurdity of it certainly did hold some notion of glee…and then Sony went and made a (mostly) po-faced take on it, that took those previous games and treated them just as po-facedly. Yet, what came out the other side is a blisteringly fun action game, with a great narrative hook surrounding parenthood.

What strikes me about God of War is that its only resemblance to the older games is a fast combat system, mythical spectacle and the central character, yet it strikes a perfect balance between old and new. The new perspective and narrative focus do the series wonders, with a more considered and deliberate combat helping too. The franchise pivoting away from Ancient Greek to Norse Mythology is super refreshing and helps create a vast and compelling world. That said, despite all that, the game is still unmistakably God of War.

While Sony can rely on narrative-driven third person AAA powerhouses a bit too much, the fact that God of War doesn’t make that feel tired is a testament too it. It’s well-crafted, top to bottom, from the world to the story, and something very much worth experiencing.

2. Vampyr

Vampyr

Vampyr still sits with me all these months after I’ve completed it. Dontnod became a household name with Life is Strange, showcasing the studio’s prowess for narrative and characters, but before that, it put together Remember Me, a middling third-person action game with some neat ideas. Vampyr seems like a meeting of both of those previous games.

The game has limitations, with some rough edges around the gameplay and a world that doesn’t look particularly great for a modern era game. This is a B game, and it shows. However, where it comes up short, it makes up in exciting ideas. The game puts you in the shoes of surgeon Jonathan Reid, who at the start of the game has just been turned into a vampire. As you can tell, this sets up a dichotomy for his character. By trade, he helps people, yet, now has to… you know, feast on blood for survival.

This carries over to a central tension at the core of the gamplay too. The world is populated with tons of characters, all with rich backgrounds and situations. You will get to know them and help them through talking to them, not unlike when walking around your ship in Mass Effect. Except the real kicker is, you can eat them at any time for a pretty big boost in your experience points, thus giving you more moves and making the game easier. The game intentionally pits gameplay and narrative against each other, meaning if you want to play a paragon through the whole thing and not eat anyone, the game will be much, much harder. It’s a fascinating idea, that plays into the role of being a vampire. It asks which will break first, your commitment to these characters and your own morality, or your wish to progress and get cooler abilities.

Add on top of this, it all takes place in a fascinating world set in the early 1900s that is well worth exploring. It’s said the series is getting made into a TV show and that makes perfect sense. There are so many little nooks and crannies to dive into here, all interwoven by this supernatural element that it all pays off beautifully. It pulls in a lot, but it mostly works, creating a gothic and moody world that it can feel great to bathe in.

In terms of single-player experiences this year, I can’t think of any I’ve enjoyed more, despite the game’s shortcomings. From a conceptual level of what the game is asking the player, to the execution to that in game… something about that excites me a great deal. This is a real gem, and while not for everyone, you really should give it a try sometime.

1. Destiny 2: Forsaken

Destiny 2

I tried to not do this. I really, really tried. I was a big supporter of the game in its original state last year, and it ended up being my favourite of the year. When filling out a game of the year list, I love diversity. Highlighting new things that excite me each year. Destiny 2 was last year. I should be supporting new and innovative experiences but Destiny 2: Forsaken is special. Really special.

It’s hard to convey just what Forsaken has done for Destiny 2 to non-players. Perhaps the most illustrative thing I can say is that for the first time, I played Destiny from one major update (the release of Forsaken) to the next (Black Armory) for the first time in franchise history. It’s a testament to Bungie’s refocus of content and distribution of the progression that I’ve had a long-lasting compulsion to log in most days in the week. There was always something meaningful to work towards, something a little new to sink your teeth into, which is not easy over the course of all those weeks. Once I was on the treadmill, I haven’t once wanted to get off.

This is not to say anything of the actual content the game brings. The main story campaign is light and breezy, with some actual well realised and meaningful turns that truly affect the world of Destiny. There is also the Last Wish raid, which is one of the franchise’s best. The Dreaming City is a really neat new space and creates a platform for the Destiny story to continue to build over time. Exotic Quests, the loot, random roll reworks, and Gambit. Oh lord. Gambit. It’s not often that I fall in love with a competitive online mode, but my admiration for what Bungie constructed with Gambit still has me enraptured. I think it’s the most innovative competitive mode in a long, long time, blending PvE and PvP into a truly compelling cocktail.

I wasn’t going to put the game at the top of this list for a long time, but over the Christmas Break, on a whim, I thought I’d try to do the difficult three-man raid like dungeon, The Shattered Throne alone. What ensued was around 7 hours and 100 deaths of frustration, but also literally heart-pounding moments of triumph. In the end, all I got was a little emblem for my trouble, but I still found it a worthwhile challenge to do. The fact the game was raising my heart rate after what must be the 200 hours I’ve put it in since September is telling.

With Forsaken, Destiny became the game Destiny always should have been. It’s been said before, but never as truer than it is now: this is the best Destiny has ever been. What Destiny was, only with longevity. What Destiny was, with compelling reasons to play. What Destiny was, with new and exciting ideas peppered throughout. What Destiny was, but… well, compelling. Destiny 2: Forsaken is when Destiny, finally, *finally* realised its potential and became that game everyone was hoping it would be at the launch of Destiny 1.