It’s 2019, and that means it’s a time to think back on 2018 and realise what it’s given us and what we are grateful for. Instead of simply reminiscing, I thought I would write an open letter to 2018 and formalise my thanks.
You beautiful, beautiful year, has anyone told you how gorgeous you are? With your fully filled months and perfectly formed hours. How thankful I am that you exist. At the beginning I wasn’t too sure on where I stood with you. You were playing coy with me, dangling carrots in front of my face with possible rumours and leaks. But in the end you paid out in dividends.
Let’s start with the obvious, the games. Throughout your time with us you have allowed us to experience a wealth of well-made and beautifully told stories through gameplay. We have been awestruck with beautiful scenery and state-of-the-art graphics thanks to games like God of War and Red Dead Redemption 2. We’ve been taken on a journey with breath-taking stories, like deciding what to do with Marcus in Detroit: Become Human, or whether to help or hinder Rachel in Life is Strange 2. Throughout 2018 we have been treated over and over again with great AAA games. And not only that, but thanks to the gaming industry constantly growing we are seeing more and more indie games gathering traction. Great games like We Happy Few and Donut County are able to gather a massive following like never before thanks to the support that this industry is giving to each other. As a player, and certainly as a reviewer, 2018 has thoroughly spoilt us.
As a developer, I can only assume that this is such an exciting time to be able to transfer your ideas and thoughts into a game. The ever growing choice of game engines at your fingertips is constantly growing with great names being added. Unreal, Unity, Godot and Cry to name a few! With more and more good hardware being affordable, your players are now able to play your games in full 4K format with immersive sound. More companies are willing to put money into start-ups and Kickstarter has successfully funded over 140,000 separate projects to date, indie gaming companies are now able to get the financial backing that so many of them rightly deserve.
Now onto the big boys, the alpha dogs, the big kahunas, the consoles. Throughout 2018 we saw nothing from Sony or Microsoft whispering a new console release, and who could blame them? With Microsoft releasing the Xbox One X late last year and Sony working hard to churn out the best Playstation 4 that their players could get their hands on, it was a given that 2018 would see their releases focus on the games. The place to do this was the one and only E3 event, where thousands of gamers fill arenas just to get a quick glimpse of what the future has to offer. With Microsoft hammering us with a plethora of new titles, Sony kept it simple, focussing on 4 key games within an intimate tent setting. But what about Nintendo? Well this year theywasthis 2017 it came out?theythey re-released the Nintendo classic mini. A remodified version of their original classic console with 30 built in games with a built in HDMI connection. Players who were unable to get their hands on the first release all breathed a sigh of relief when they knew they were able to relive their childhood in glorious HD.
So, I’ve generalised what 2018 has made me grateful for, great games, ever growing industry and the great developers that work tirelessly to fill our need for awesome titles. But 2018, what specifically and am I thankful for that you have brought me? When reflecting, I have to say I love the growing trend of battle royale games that you have brought us. This style of game has allowed so many gamers to reach out to people. Whether it be casual gamers that befriend others on Player Unknowns Battlegrounds or professional gamers such as the now infamous Ninja who are reaching new heights of stardom thanks to Fortnite.
2018, you have been exciting, and feels like it is just the beginning of a future of greatness for the gaming industry. It feels like this time next year I’ll be thankful for a whole host of new gaming tech and equipment that will springboard developers and players alike into a new era of gaming. What I really want to say is thank you, this year could have gone one of two ways at the start but it seemed like you weren’t going to let any negativity ruin your plans, and what plans they were.
Thank you 2018, thank you.