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Our games of Q1 2018

As we look forward to this years E3 conference next month we have decided to take a look back at our favourite games already released in 2018. The task is relatively simple but has involved a great deal of thought and consideration. The list isn’t necessarily just going to contain the best rated or biggest selling games but is purely what has left the biggest impression on us.

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theflamey
Title: Sea of Thieves
Release: 20th March 2018
Format: Xbox & PC
Developer: Rare Ltd.
Genre: Shared world, Action-adventure

Sea of Thieves is easily my game of Q1, it’s a bold and brave statement by developer Rare. The game is amazingly fun to play and although in its current state the game is far from perfect that’s not uncommon with this type of open world online game. I’ve personally never been that interested in online gaming but the pirate theme that runs through Sea of Thieves instantly drew me in. It plays well and everything works as it should, it looks absolutely gorgeous and with the promise of regular updates, I’m happy to see where this voyage will take me.

Honourable mentions, Streets of Red: Devil’s Dare Deluxe on Nintendo Switch. It is a master class in retro gaming for the modern age and great fun from start to finish.

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theJohn
Title: Far Cry 5
Release: 27th March 2018
Format: PlayStation 4, Xbox & PC
Developer: Ubisoft
Genre: Action-adventure, FPS

It’s becoming a trend now for some companies to release big triple a titles within the first quarter of the year, Ubisoft and Capcom being two publishers who have embraced this for the past few years, Res Evil, Far Cry Primal and For Honor last year, Monster Hunter World and Far Cry 5 this year. And it’s the latter title for me which stands out as my pick of the year so far, with its excellent game mechanics, graphics and structure, it’s the first Far Cry in a long time that’s sucked me in and made me want to continue playing, with 3 large downloadable content packs due to release later in the year, and assuming I do not suffer from Far Cry fatigue, it can only get better.

Honourable mentions, Sea of Thieves, however, came a very, very close runner-up, which again with the promise of a plethora of new content due later in the year, it could well leapfrog Far Cry and end up being my game of the year. Red Dead 2, however, is only 6 months away.

sea-of-thieves-kraken-1

Lopez
Title: Sea of Thieves
Release: 20th March 2018
Format: Xbox & PC
Developer: Rare Ltd.
Genre: Shared world, Action-adventure

When the idea for an article for our games of the first quarter was pitched to me I laughed, to my mind there had on been the one game released in the first 3 months of the year. I was roundly called an idiot and after checking what was released it turns out this may be accurate as there does appear to have been a crapload of releases already this year. With that being said my game of the quarter is Sea of Thieves, it’s only competition for me would’ve been Detective Pikachu but I haven’t got round to that yet. I can’t say it was an especially tough choice give it’s the only game released in the quarter I’ve actually played, but that’s definitely not a bad thing.

I’ve written about Sea of Thieves at some length already so I’ll keep this brief, it’s a lot of fun and going pirating with my friends has been pretty sweet. It’s been interesting seeing how we’ve progressively improved and how seriously we all take it when it comes down to us having to take on other player controlled ships. Rare has also started announcing some of what’s to come with future content updates which has been nice to see, especially as so far all content looks like it’s free which is encouraging. All in all, it seems like a game that we will continue to play over the course of the rest of the year so it seems like a great choice for my game of the quarter.

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Pat Mandu
Title: Celeste
Release: 25th Jan 2018
Format: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox, Mac & PC
Developer: Matt Makes Games
Genre: Platform

“What’s Old is New”, and it’s better than ever. Quarter one was strong this year, and typically it is the lowest quarter of the gaming calendar. It being strong this year actually makes this decision very easy for me, since the standouts were incredibly good offerings. Quarter One (and the beginning of quarter two) have thus far been defined by the innovation and evolution of old games and styles.

Honourable mentions first off is Monster Hunter: World. I have been a dabbler in Monster Hunter over the years, but never a die-hard fan, never doing much more than putzing around a for a few hours on 3 and 4. I fell hard for Monster Hunter: World. The open terrains, the diversity of flora (not to mention the fauna, but that’s basically the point) kept my eyes ablaze and my attention constantly caught. It was just as much of a game about exploration and interaction with the environments this time around, as it was about menu management and hunting giant dinosaurs. It finally feels like Capcom has figured out how to put their incredible vision for this old series to the screen in a way that doesn’t have to give any of that core-vision up. I put over 90 hours into Monster Hunter: World and have plans to put many more in this summer. I can’t wait to get back to my Hammer.

Second is Ni no Kuni 2. As my regular readers will know, I basically live for J-RPG’s. Ni no Kuni 2, while having a few blemishes here and there and a promising story that falls a little flat, is the first true trailblazer for the future of J-RPG’s. It breaks the formulae drastically, adding western elements like action and crafting unlike Persona or Dragon Quest, but it also doesn’t gamble away the truly “Japanese” experience like Final Fantasy XV did. With an incredibly fun combat system, loads of mini-games, and a beautiful world Level-5 has outdone their first title and set the experimental side of J-RPG’s on a great path.

Finally my winner for Quarter One: Celeste. It is difficult to express the experience of Celeste in sentences as it’s more suited to descriptions and emotions. Wonder, curiosity, frustration, fear, self-confidence, self-doubt. I experienced all of these and more with my time climbing the mountain. Celeste has beautiful art, fun characters, and a touching story that it weaves incredibly into its very own level design. It took what Super Meatboy started with hyper-difficult platforming and marries it with Metroid’s robust level design and thoughtful approach. It is the best, most rewarding platformer I have played in years, and I’m nowhere near finished going back to find all the B-sides, C-sides, and whatever else that magical mountain has to offer.

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