GameCentral readers turn in a half year report for video games, praising everything from Devil May Cry 5 to Tetris 99.
Since we’re just over the halfway point of the year the subject for this weekend’s Inbox was what has been your favourite new game of 2019? How many new games have you bought this year and do you think any of them will go down as all-time classics?
If there was a consensus it was that most people weren’t really sure what to make of 2019 so far, with an underwhelming – but not disastrous – first half and a very promising second half. However, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice was by far the top choice as game of the year so far.
No purchase necessary
I’ve barely bought any new games this year, as I haven’t been very impressed/tempted by much of what I’ve seen. However, there is one new game I’ve really enjoyed: Apex Legends. It’s free-to-play, as I’m sure you know, and yet has been a lot more fun than anything I’ve paid normal money for in years. Of course I have spent money on it now, especially the excellent new season 2 pass, but I’m totally okay with that and to be honest would’ve felt a built guilty about it if I hadn’t at this point.
Obviously there are a lot of battle royale games around at the moment but Apex Legends is better because it’s basically Fortnite but with better gameplay and without the stupid building stuff, which personally I could never get on with. It’s not original but it does make good on the original idea by doing everything better than the ones that invented it.
I know numbers have been down since launch but I think that season 2 will see a rise in interest again as people realise that Respawn are in it for the long haul and that this really is one of the best games around right now.
Hordes of fans
I know it wasn’t to everyone’s liking but my favourite game this year has been Days Gone. I realise open world zombies isn’t really pushing the medium forward, or whatever, but I have to say I loved it. Good graphics, the horde concept worked really good for me, and there was plenty of variety.
I get the complaint that the hordes don’t come into it much until the end, which is a bit odd as they’re not really a threat either unless you go after them or bump into them accidentally, but for me that was the only real flaw.
The game did well so I assume a sequel is going to be coming next gen and I’m all for that. Nothing much else has grabbed me this year as I’m not into Dark Souls or Devil May Cry and it all seems to have been a bit quiet beyond that. I might pick up Rage 2 when it’s on cheap though, which I’m sure won’t be long.
I say Crackdown 3 has been the best game of the year! No, only joking. Of course. I wouldn’t say 2019 has been good or bad really yet. It barely seems to have started to be honest, despite being half over, and while there have been a few good games it certainly doesn’t show any signs of being a classic year or anything.
Personally, my favourite has been Outer Wilds, which I found to be a really clever adventure game that reminded me of old 16-bit classics like Damocles. For anyone that hasn’t played it, it’s all based around a time loop that’s kind of similar to Majora’s Mask where instead of changing things you’re just figuring out clues and eventually working out how to solve everything.
It’s part of the Xbox One Game Pass so if it sounds like something you wouldn’t normally give a go to it’s completely free that way. In fact, come to think of it, Game Pass is probably the best game-related thing there’s been this year. Even if it’s not an actual game.
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Maybe it’s just because they’ve been quite recent but the game’s I’ve enjoyed most are Cadence Of Hyrule and Bloodstained: Ritual Of The Night. Neither are exactly mainstream but they’re based on very mainstream franchises but doing in an unusual, indie way. I don’t know if that’s working out for them in terms of sales but I definitely enjoyed them.
Bloodstained is definitely the best Castlevania I’ve played since Symphony Of The Night and I love the amount of effort they’ve put into it with all the different moves and weapons. There’s lots and lots of nods to the real Castlevania games but it doesn’t go overboard and it’s not just a remake or clone.
Cadence Of Hyrule is completely different to regular Zelda games, despite looking similar from screenshots. The rhythm action style combat is not like anything I’ve played before and I love how the theme goes all the way through the game, with instrument-playing boss characters and everything. Really great games and, as a special bonus, less than normal price.
Totally a fan
As a primarily PC gamer nowadays I’ve been playing Total War: Kingdoms a lot the last few weeks and I’m really enjoying it. I have played previous Total War games but never been that sold on them, but this one has really grabbed me. Partly it’s because I know nothing about Chinese history but also the bigger focus on characters – who seem to wild to be made up but apparently aren’t – and more action like battles have really drawn me in.
I hear it’s been a much bigger hit than usual, presumably because China has caught onto it, and that makes me glad. I always love strategy games and it seems like they’ve had a bit of a rise in interest in recent years. Definitely interested in John Wick Hex and Phoenix Point after GC’s previews and maybe they’ll end up being my favourites instead!
Year of remakes
I don’t know whether to consider this a bad thing or not but the games I’ve enjoyed most this year have both been remakes: Resident Evil 2 and Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled. I’m not one to defend remasters much but if they’re of this quality I think I could play remakes of famous games like this all the time.
Classics like this deserve to be kept modernised and playable and if they hadn’t been updated then they would’ve been eventually forgotten and any younger player going back to them would’ve found it hard to understand why they were popular. I think it’s a great idea.
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I have bought two new games this year, from a pretty good year for releases so far. They are Metro Exodus and Resident Evil 2. The obvious reasons for me are the open world and just the sheer depth and interesting post-apocalyptic scenarios and locations of Metro Exodus. The Resi 2 game – well a successful remake that has been perfectly updated for the modern era! Sounds blooming good to me.
To be honest I feel spoiled by these amazing games. I can’t stress enough how much I enjoyed and am still enjoying these masterpieces. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice will simply have to wait for now as I am continuing to have an absolute blast with Exodus and Resi 2. Other games on hold for 2019 are Darkwood and Bloodstained: Ritual Of The Night. It’s a good year so far and I can’t say vintage until the year is out. But what I can definitely say is that GC’s list plus the stuff that’s not on there, has a quality game for everyone which is what us gamers want.
The only way I’d become a lapsed gamer or need to have a break from them, will be all on me and not the fault of all the awesome game titles, as you can’t fault the quality out there for all.
With a good amount of huge game releases next year too, from March 2020 onwards, I can see next year just continuing on from the standard set over the last few years. Metro Exodus and Resi 2 will, in my book, be all-time classics as well as (when I get round to it) Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. I need to come up for air at some point though, especially with Subnautica also being distractingly addictive. We live in a good times for games, just not scientific advances for a time and space machine to keep time in check and not running away from me.
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