Karl Jacobs’ Top Ten Games Of 2018
Hey guys! Blessing here. I want to introduce our friend Karl Jacobs. Karl is one of my favorite people in the world. I met Karl a while ago at PSX and since then he’s proven himself to not only be one of the most positive dudes out there, but one of the most hilarious people on the internet. He often streams Roblox over on his Twitch channel and has built a very strong community so please catch him there to keep up with the madness and without further ado, here is his list.
– Blessing Adeoye, Executive Editor
10. We Happy Few
I’ll be the first to admit that We Happy Few didn’t make as much of a splash in the gaming industry as many of us had hoped it would when it was originally announced back in 2015. That being said, with a whole lot of charm, and some great gameplay that is reminiscent of Bioshock, I was more than content with what it gave me. We Happy Few provides an intriguing story for it’s 20 hour playthrough, and I am glad that I gave this game a chance after the mixed reviews reported.
The first thing that springs out to me about We Happy Few is the gorgeous aesthetic that it brings you into. This game definitely has one of the most distinct vibes in any new IP of the year. With each step on our characters’ journeys, the player experiences a large array; from the damp dreary reality to the vibrant artificial utopia one might find themselves in. The gameplay never got too repetitive for me and the story arcs that transpire throughout the game make for some of the best storytelling in a video game this year. For all of this and more, I had to acknowledge We Happy Few as one of my top 10 favorite games of 2018.
9. Lethal League: Blaze
While visiting Colorado for a certain 26 hour Extra Life charity stream hosted by OK Beast, I found myself remarkably enjoying the first fighting game I’ve ever truly fallen in love with at first sight. Lethal League had blown me away with its fast paced, engaging gameplay while keeping me invested with its creative play style and game modes. I was flabbergasted and ashamed to find I was a full 4 years behind for the release of Lethal League. I excitedly got home from that weekend and purchased the sequel I had just found out was recently released immediately, and was happy to see that it not only fixes almost every gripe I have with the original, but also adds so much more content and gameplay to keep me coming back more and more, which is why I chose it for my number 9 spot.
Lethal League: Blaze is a sequel that gathers all of the good elements of its predecessor and expands upon them in a multitude of ways. With new characters, a new spin on the game with 3D animated characters and scenery, and all new character types and skills to master, this is easily the game I find to be my favorite of the year to boot up whenever friends are in town. The obsession that transpires whenever I jump back onto this game and the necessary for force to pull me away is why I put Lethal League: Blaze onto my top 10 games of the year.
8. Sea of Thieves
Sea of Thieves is an absolute breath of fresh air. In a world where Rare went from making some of the best of the best all the way down to making shovelware games for the Xbox One, I am so pleased to say they are back with a whole new IP and honestly a concept in which has never been made before. This pirate action adventure allows you, as well as up to 3 others to go on expedition after expedition adventuring all throughout the beautiful open world that makes up Sea of Thieves.
Where Sea of Thieves shines is when you grab 3 of your closest friends and really tap into your inner roleplay. When each discovery you make leads to yet another heroic adventure, you can’t help but maintain a level of enthrallment many other games seem to try and fail to replicate. When Sea of Thieves works, it really works, and because there is rarely any amount of hand-holding, it does a great job of allowing the player to do what they want when they want to do it.
Sea of Thieves is a beautiful game through and through, bringing a whole new flavor to the pirate theme, and I will never get tired of sailing the seas with a couple friends, aimless and happy. This is why Sea of Thieves makes my top 10 games of 2018.
7. Katamari Damacy REROLL
Katamari is and always has been a staple in my life in terms of gaming. It has vibrant colors, beautifully energetic atmospheres, and an abundance of laughs to be had within every single release. While all Katamari titles are generally a good time to me, there has never been one that has captured my attention as swiftly and as deeply as Katamari Damacy for the Playstation 2. Now with the release of REROLL, a updated and beautiful rerelease of such a fantastic title, the 14 years of age is replaced with updated graphics while maintaining the beautiful charm Keita Takahashi imagined for the original release.
Katamari Damacy REROLL after it’s release, a mere few days ago, is placed on my list for an abundance of reasons. The hilarious gameplay and interactions between our protagonist and the “King of all Cosmos” make for great breaks between each challenge and they have me nostalgically craving more and more. This is one of those guilty pleasures that I find myself obsessively playing and replaying whenever I find a nook or cranny of free time on my hands. The witty humor, fast gameplay, and ability to pick up and put down with ease allow for a free range of approaches for play ranging anywhere from while I sit on the bus on my way to class all the way to when I have hours to waste away at my computer. For the countless hours I have spent and still to come, Katamari Damacy: REROLL is easily one of my favorite games to come out in 2018.
6. Detroit: Become Human
Detroit: Become Human is an celebration of one of my favorite genres of video games and is a game worth playing in a year where it may have drowned between a plethora of other beautiful PlayStation exclusives released this year. Detroit is a narrative driven choose your own adventure game that feels like a perfect romantic merging of the gameplay of Telltale Games’ Wolf Among Us with L.A. Noire. These factors mixed in with the plus that subconsciously I remember it is a Playstation exclusive is alone, easily enough to make it in my top 10 games of 2018. That being said, there is so much more to it that makes it wonderful. This meteoric blast of a game has gotten me so thoroughly invested from start to finish, I felt the need to go back and play a hodgepodge of the other choices I could have made to distort the storyline to devastatingly different results.
The hypothetical idea that robots or androids are to the point where they have cognitive thought making them worthy of as intelligent (or more) than that of a human has always been fascinating and always leads to interesting moral issues, such as how we should treat or use them. Detroit: Become Human is a classic representation of this and more by putting the player into the role of an assortment of deep and important stories that really push the boundaries of what I have thought of in terms of my ethical conception of reality. Because of these deep thoughts, a riveting story and the fantastic gameplay, I put this as one of my favorite games of the entire year.
5. Undertale: Switch Edition
Undertale is a game that for years, people have been telling me its a game I would fall in love with and I honestly always wanted to jump in and for some reason, never did. Flash forward to 2018 and now, re-released on the Nintendo Switch, I finally found the time to give it a shot, and wow, am I happy I did. Undertale is a role-playing action adventure with turn based combat. However, to label Undertale so simply like that and move on is an absolute oversight that I won’t be making. Where this game shines is where the writing and characters come in. Immediately at the beginning of the game you get whiplash with how obviously smart and well written it really is. The more you traverse the game and it’s content, the more you find yourself becoming engulfed with the rich personality that is the entirety of this video game.
Interesting puzzles, witty writing, and intuitive combat each fused together to build an absolute classic and timeless game that is Undertale. This is a game that I played completely through in one sitting, and genuinely felt the desire to sit back down and play it again, and there aren’t too many games ever released that I would hold to that caliber in terms of captivating my attention. For all of these reasons and so many more emotions I genuinely can’t create the words to write, I can’t help but put the re-release of Undertale on the Nintendo Switch on my top 10 games of 2018.
4. God of War
I have never been a fan of God of War games in the past. Typically they felt mindless to me, and although I’m always down for some mindless fun, I felt like they took themselves far too seriously. God of War always felt goofy to me, and when they announced they were revamping the series as a whole with a brand new game and brand new storyline, I was hesitant but intrigued. Flash forward 2 years and a string of fantastic PlayStation Exclusive hits and I was absolutely shocked with the amount I enjoyed the newest entry into this PlayStation mascot’s series.
God of War taught me a surplus of genuinely important things that I had never seen focused on in the same ways as they were here in any video game in the past. In a world where the player often feels like an impenetrable force, Kratos feels defeatable, which is the largest way this game seems to deviate from its predecessors. Kratos has a genuine weight and depth to his character, and without going too deep into how this is displayed within the game, I appreciate how much more we get to learn about our protagonists in this game in relation to what we have gotten in the past.
God of War struck me with its beauty, being easily one of the prettiest games I have ever laid my eyes on while maintaining considerably sharp action gameplay. This is all entangled within an enticing narrative that hooks me with it’s fantastic writing and execution. God of War continues on a long string of beautiful PlayStation 4 games that are single handedly worth buying a console over, and for that reason, it is a clear cut game in my top 10 of 2018.
3. Astro Bot: Rescue Mission
Astro Bot: Rescue Mission is Japan Studio’s follow up to their teach demo of a game in Playroom VR titled “Robot Rescue”. Astro Bot: Rescue Mission follows Astro Bot, a silent protagonist with a simple mission, save as many of his bot friends as possible from evil doers whether they be small slime balls all the way up to full on boss sequences, all while earning as many coins as possible on the way. This 3D platformer gives fantastic control with Nintendo feeling spirited environments that bring the player back wanting to complete the admittedly slim playthrough that is Astro Bot.
Astro Bot has made its mark into claiming a spot in my top 10 games of 2018 because I personally have a yearning for the medium of virtually reality to be properly used for 3D platforming. Astro Bot not only reinvents a medium similar to the large strides of Super Mario 64 with the introduction to 3D platformers; but does a considerably great job at it. I put this not only as a gold standard for virtual reality gaming, but for this generation’s platforming games as a whole. As a perfect example of what Xbox’s “Super Lucky’s Tale” could have achieved, Astro Bot: Rescue Mission is platforming fun with vibrant colors and fantastic, tight gameplay, and for that reason, it is a clear entry to be a top 10 game for 2018.
2. Red Dead Redemption 2
What is there left to say about Red Dead Redemption 2 that hasn’t already been said? Without trying to sound too redundant with the rest of the well deserved raving reviews this game has gotten in the past few months, I’ll give my best shot to explain why this mammoth of a game deserves to be in my top 10 games of the year.
Red Dead Redemption 2 is pretty easily the game I now use as a benchmark as the most beautiful game I have ever played. It isn’t out of the norm to find yourself just moseying around throughout this beautiful world and forget what your intentions and motives of the mission happened to be at the time, and I’m more than okay with this. The rhythm in which I soared through each mission ecstatic to continue on to the next one didn’t falter or get hindered all throughout the story of Red Dead Redemption 2 and there was no clear notable time when I put down my controller for any reason other than to crack open a beautiful Red Bull or to pee one right back out. With genuinely engaging personalities found in characters, animals, and terrain alike, I cannot help but get sucked in time and time again.
While writing this, I haven’t even started playing Red Dead Online, and whether it ends up being a great success or it falls short, I believe the personality, beauty and sheer size of the base game make Red Dead Redemption 2 an absolute hallmark of gaming history. Not only do I believe this game will continue to remain relevant in games media for quite some time, but I also feel this is a game I will continue to enjoy even more the more I come back to it. Red Dead Redemption 2 is not only one of my favorite games of this year, but in objective truth, it is pretty easily one of the greatest video games created in this decade.
Spider-Man, Insomniac Games’ newest entry into console gaming aimed high to appease not only fans of their work, not only fans of PlayStation exclusives, but also people that have been riding the hype train of the Marvel Cinematic Universe since it kicked off in films 10 years ago. While this isn’t the same storyline as the MCU, the cinematic influence of the adventure told is thoroughly fleshed out and appreciated. Spider-Man blends its light hearted heroic spectacles with brutal tear jerking sequences that romances a player to continue on playing within the beautiful open world of Manhattan, New York.
Spider-Man has impacted me like no other game has this year. It was easily the most fun I had in a video game and with a refreshingly beautifully expansive open world, I couldn’t help but find myself spending countless hours diving right back into this masterpiece of a game. I personally find myself craving one off story entries for superhero stories with the ever expanding Marvel Cinematic Universe as well as the DC Extended Universe and this specific PlayStation exclusive hit just the right spot.
With beautiful city skylines and the fact that a game finally gets to allow Spider-Man 2 for the PlayStation 2 to put to rest the title of best superhero video game, Spider-Man for the PlayStation 4 is my favorite video game of 2018.