If you are anything like me, you spent a large part of 2018 catching up on games from years past. Sure, I love to keep up with all the latest releases, but I’m also always discovering older titles I missed out on initially. Perhaps a sale made me give a game a shot I wasn’t sold on buying at full price before. Maybe I just couldn’t manage to squeeze a release into my time or monetary budget when it first came out. Perhaps a friend recommended something to me that went under my radar in the past. So, my question for you, the reader, is this:
What was your favorite game not released in 2018
that you played for the first time this year?
For me, it was Dishonored 2. I played through the entire Dishonored series during the course of 2018 and I fell in love with it. Level design this intricate is rare these days. The wealth of options for getting from point A to point B seemed endless — hopping over rooftops, crawling through sewer pipes, using one of your powers to get somewhere you might not be able to normally and so on. This same level of freedom is afforded to you in how you approach any given scenario. Ghost, stealth assassin or full-frontal assault. Using distractions or sniping enemies from afar. Even taking out your main targets in a lethal or non-lethal fashion often necessitated different styles of play. And the Blink maneuver — along with its analogs — is such a perfect tool for a stealth game like this. Whether you were trying to slip past guards, put yourself in position for a kill or escape from enemies in chase, Blink was your best friend. I was also fascinated with the world they created in Dishonored. From the whale oil-driven industrial revolution to their version of the afterlife, I loved learning more about the universe developer Arkane Studios created for Dishonored.
While these compliments apply to all three of the games, the second entry was my favorite. For starters, it made the non-lethal approach a lot more viable compared to the original, giving you knockout versions of previously deadly takedowns and gadgets. The level design overall is the series’ best with the kind of levels I’d come to expect — including one of my personal favorites The Grand Palace — as well as changes of pace in the form of The Clockwork Mansion and A Crack in the Slab chapters. Exploring the new region and seeing how the world of Dishonored had changed during the time jump between the franchise’s two main installments meant the world-building was as good as ever. Dishonored 2 now ranks among my all-time favorite stealth games. Upon finishing up Death of the Outsider, I felt a pang of sadness knowing my time with the series was done – a sure sign of these games’ quality.
So what about you guys? Was there a game that you knocked off the backlog this year that particularly stuck with you? Let me hear about it in the comments, on Twitter or in a blog response of your own if you feel so inclined. And thanks for reading!