8 More Games I Put Time Into in 2018 But Couldn’t Really Justify Putting On The Big List


It feels a bit redundant to have put significant quantities of time into games and not to somehow acknowledge that fact by including on at least some list of activities from one’s gaming year, so this list represents Other Places I spent my gaming 2018 that didn’t deserve quite enough praise to warrant inclusion on the Big Top Ten List.

But this isn’t just a list of Also Rans and I’m not just throwing it up to justify the hours I put into these games either.

Opinions are important, however briefly made, 

Assassins Creed Origins

Platform: PS4
Price at Purchase: au$58
From: Mighty Ape
Publisher: Ubisoft
Released: 27 Oct 2017
Rated: MA 15+
Genre: Action Adventure
HowLongToBeat: 30-50h
MetaCritic: 81

Yes I’m putting a second Assassins Creed game into the 2018 lists – what of it? I only finished AC Origins in January 2018 and went back for the Curse Of the Pharaohs DLC mid-year once it was on sale.

How is there space for both games in a small year?

Bayek is a much more compelling central character, he has a proper story arc unlike Kassy or Alex and although the newer game has lush geographical diversity and at times jaw-dropping verticality, there was a grandeur to the deserts and pyramids that Odyssey’s Greece lacks.

Assassins Creed Origins – smaller in scale but bigger in dreamy haunting landscapes

Detroit: Become Human

Platform: PS4
Price at Purchase: au$78
From: Mighty Ape
Publisher: Sony
Released: 25 May 2018
Rated: MA 15+
Genre: Action Adventure
HowLongToBeat: 11-14h
MetaCritic: 78

Detroit: Become Human is a deeply flawed game – one of its most glaring flaws being that it’s just fundamentally daft – but there is still something to be admired in here – the character models and facial animations are quite stunning and there are scenes/sequences that will stay in the mind for some time, and the timeline or branching story visualisation is pretty innovative.

My fundamental issue with the David Cage milieu is the assumption that people are happy to sit attentively through 5 mins of cutscene then be chastised for missing a sudden QTE at the end of it that shows up with no warning.

Modern gamer attention spans don’t tend to work like that.

Detroit Become Human – It’s not especially sexy and it’s not even that good but it is very interesting

Into The Breach

Platform: Nintendo Switch
Price at Purchase: au$17.50
From: Nintendo eStore
Publisher: Subset
Released: 28 Aug 2018
Rated: E
Genre: Strategy
HowLongToBeat: 5-16+h
MetaCritic: 89

Into the Breach is a game my love for exceeded my time to actually play, but what I did experience I totally loved. Yes it’s my only Switch entry on either of these lists – maybe I need to be more of a public transport commuter to be getting more time on Nintendo’s wonderful little piece of gaming hardware.

A bit like a complexo-simplified techno-chess with robots, and there have been many wise and sage things written online about the science of predictable outcomes or Perfect Information and their role in Random Number Generation, but regardless of where you stand on this debate the fact that Into the Breach lends itself so readily to this level of discussion says much for the game’s complexity and deft design.

Into the Breach – A simple story with endless complexity

Far Cry 5

Platform: PS4
Price: au$99
From: Mighty Ape
Publisher: Ubisoft
Released: 27 March 2018
Rated: MA 15+
Genre: Action
HowLongToBeat: 18-30+h
MetaCritic: 81

Yes I played through Far Cry 5 and had a fun enough time as I did so but like an increasing amount of Ubisoft’s recent output, this game never felt like a cohesive experience – more like a game system with a “market tested edgy” narrative loosely tethered around it but not attached in any meaningful way.

Daft but fun enough.

The post-launch DLC and the idea of the player created levels from game assets had promise but neither delivered – the Mars and Vietnam DLC just lent strength to the feeling of Game Mechanic over plot or narrative. 

Even the not-DLC but kind of related post-release spin-off Far Cry New Dawn which is set on the same bit of fictional midwest lends weight to my suspicion that Ubisoft came up with a game engine and have been playing Scenario Roulette with the game ever since trying to find what might stick best with playing audiences.

Far Cry 5 – literally putting the Pump in Pumpkin

A Way Out

Platform: PS4
Price: au$39.95
From: PSN
Publisher: EA
Released: 23 March 2018
Rated: MA 15+
Genre: Action Adventure
HowLongToBeat: 6+h
MetaCritic: 78

A Way Out deserves a mention not for its highly derivative plot or its super cheesy in the wrong ways dialogue, but certainly to its innovative approach to cooperative game-play.

No the story really isn’t great and the graphics are little more than passable, but the act of playing this game with a friend – either online or sitting next to you on the couch – is still an experience unlike too many others available at the time of writing.

As I played through A Way Out with the knowledge that the flamboyant director and his brother had been heavily involved in the development to the level of character modeling and motion capture I couldn’t help to what extent those were budgetary decisions and to what extent the game was a vanity project?

One noteworthy highlight was the trophy for sitting together on a bench in the forest where you could hear the characters from Brothers A Tale of Two Sons calling to each other in the distance – as confusing as that game could be for one’s thumbs I totally loved it.

A Way Out – Some interesting ideas and some old hackneyed ones too

Jurassic World Evolution

Platform: PS4
Price: au$67.95
From: Amazon
Publisher: Fronte\ier
Released: 12 Jun 2018
Rated: M
Genre: Action Sim Strategy
HowLongToBeat: 24-38h
MetaCritic: 68

Jurassic World Evolution was the park building sim with some Jeff Goldblum voice work in it.

As a management sim it was fine and fun for a while but by no means outstanding.  I didn’t WIN at it but once I’d stopped I was happy to trade in for I think Spider-Man and didn’t feel like I’d wasted my time – hardly a ringing endorsement but I played more of this than I got to play of other games on this list and that has to count for something.

A common downfall of games of this type is the “busywork” of micro-management.

In Jurassic World Evolution the idea of earning enough credibility with factions and public to unearth fossils that will allow the player to ultimately grow your own T-Rex or whatever the exponentially more fearsome Made-Up-O-Saur is called – but in reality if your beasts surroundings aren’t totally perfect they will rather horrifically bash their head against even the toughest most electric barriers until they either die or escape and start eating people.

At its later stages Jurassic World Evolution just stopped being fun.

Jurassic World Evolution – some interesting ideas but ultimately more frustrating than fun

Fallout Shelter

Platform: PS4
Price: au$Free
From: PSN
Publisher: Bethesda
Released: 11 Jun 2018
Rated: PG
Genre: RPG Sim
HowLongToBeat: 12-37h
MetaCritic: TBC

Fallout Shelter is in here because we kind of got into this as a family for a bit – each on separate devices like the modern family we are.

Yes I even platinumed it – no I didn’t spend any money on its insidious microtransactions – would I ever pick it up again or recommend anyone else play it? No not really.

Fallout Shelter – all the fun of 2015

Monster Hunter: World

Platform: PS4
Price: au$58
From: EB Games
Publisher: CE
Released: 26 Jan 2018
Rated: M
Genre: Action
HowLongToBeat: 51-92h
MetaCritic: 90

I got caught up in Monster Hunter World’s crazy bewildering loop of track beast to hunt beast to kill beast to craft better gear from the beast to to hunt and kill bigger beast.

Monster Hunter: World is so very much it’s own game and I respect it for that. The story is nuts to the point of superfluous, but the worlds and the creatures in them are so lovingly created, and the weapon options and game balance are just perfect.

I felt bad for being a bow person but meh.

Monster Hunter: World – does a great job of actually looking like its box art


I don’t think I can honestly say I’ve ever regretted playing a game – but then of course I’m not in any kind of position to play anything I don’t want to – it’s not like I’m being paid for any of this.

It is a very useful mental exercise to try to be aware of what you might be feeling and why as you play any video game – to try to identify if you are having fun why are you having fun, if you are getting bored then why is that?

I don’t love every I played last year but that’s not to say those un-loved games were experiences without merit and this was my attempt to identify those points of interest.

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