Game of the Year 2018: God of War

Unlike 2017, my “Game of the Year” is in line with The Game Awards along with probably countless other people. God of War is the best game of this year, I think by a long shot. 2018 is probably one of my favorite years for gaming in a long time, but God of War stands out from the rest for a few different reasons.

I love the variety of games this year. I played Monster Hunter for the first time with Monster Hunter World. I played Marvel’s Spider-Man and Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, both the best games of their respective lineage, and I played many others. But, God of War truly was the best gaming experience of the year. Here’s why.

  1. The story compelled me to experience the world, the characters, and everything in between to the fullest. I wanted to learn all about this new world that Santa Monica Studio created and allowed players to live in. I enjoyed the relationship between Kratos and Atreus as they completed their quest. All of the side characters felt fleshed out and real. Every person mattered in this game and in this story. I loved the interesting twists and turns the narrative took and never felt bored. The story is a great example of how to use history, culture, and mythology to influence and adapt a gaming world. Excellent writing all around from the dev team.
  2. The combat felt satisfying. The skills and weapons enabled unique gameplay variety, allowing players to play differently depending on the preferences. Whether I was killing Draugrs or wolf, I enjoyed the Leviathan Axe and the shield smashing. Atreus created a curious combat dynamic with his bow and skills of his own. Playing the game felt as good as listening to a talking head jabber about the world.
  3. The sound made the world come alive. The voice acting, the world ambiance, and the sounds of combat came together to deliver a perfectly realized gamut. While, I don’t recall any amazing music, I’m not sure it would have been necessary to the overall experience.
  4. The game looks beautiful from start to finish. I was amazed by small details stood out and the world at large looked like a living photo-realistic painting. The game just has a certain style that seems like how I would imagine a Norse world filled with gods and magical creatures.
  5. The game has no weak points. The game runs well and functions incredibly smooth throughout the experience.  Each and every aspect works together well and stands on its own. I loved playing the game and I loved experiencing the story. This is an expertly created game that every PS4 player deserves to play.

Santa Monica Studio places themselves on the mantle of other great Sony developers right along Naughty Dog and Guerrilla Games. While Naughty Dog has a longer pedigree of fantastic games, I think both Santa Monica and Guerrilla Games will come out swinging with their next titles and firmly cement themselves in the pantheon of Sony talent.

I’ll round out my 2018 Top 5 list in the coming days before moving on to talking about 2019’s games.

What was your favorite game of 2018?

Thanks for reading. See you next time.

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