The annual Push Square Towers tradition is back, as we sit down our scribes and pester them once more for their five favourite PlayStation games of the year. With such a strong assortment of software in 2018, it’s always tough deciding upon the cream of the crop. We threatened John with a David Cage shower scene before he dropped his list.
Fifth Choice: Detroit: Become Human
I'm a sucker for narrative-focused, choice-based games, but I've never been completely bowled over by anything that Quantic Dream has made. It's all so po-faced. Heavy Rain was like a silly, sub-Saw B-Movie masquerading as high art and as entertaining as that was, I couldn't take it seriously. Detroit surprised me because it was the first Quantic Dream game that I thought was genuinely well written, there were a handful of affecting scenes, and I legitimately cared about what would happen by the end. I accidentally got everyone killed, but I still cared.
Fourth Choice: Ni No Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom
I absolutely loved the original Ni No Kuni but Ni No Kuni 2 is a completely different game, for better and worse. The story is throwaway, there's hardly any fully voiced scenes, and the new battle system is a button masher. I could probably have done without the RTS-lite skirmishes, too, if I'm honest. But I loved travelling the world, the graphics are beautiful, and the kingdom building aspect of the game really won me over. A hypothetical Ni No Kuni sequel that takes the best parts of both games would be the dream, but I enjoyed my time with Revenant Kingdom regardless.
Third Choice: Valkyria Chronicles 4
I have to say, I was a bit worried early on in Valkyria Chronicles 4 when I hadn't warmed to any of the characters, and the fan-servicey, anime hijinks during some of the cut-scenes were starting to get the needle on my cringe-o-meter twitching. Fortunately, as I put more time into the game I really started to love it, and it's now my favourite in the Valkyria Chronicles series. The combat is the best it's ever been in large part thanks to the new grenadier class, the story really builds over the long campaign, and I wound up loving the cast. Let's hope it does well enough to get us a Valkyria Chronicles 5.
Second Choice: God of War
I've always kind of enjoyed God of War games, but I've never loved them, and I've never liked Kratos as a character. The whole angry dude murdering people and being angry all the time thing really didn't work for me. It's a little too Papa Roach for my tastes. Probably the most incredible thing about God of War 2018 is that they legitimately made me care about what happened to Kratos. Throw in brutal combat, a great story, and a fist-pumping, glorious soundtrack, and we're on to a winner. Also a big fan of how Kratos says "Boy!" a lot.
First Choice: Red Dead Redemption 2
Honestly, I loved God of War so much I genuinely didn't believe anything would top it, but the latest Red Dead is something special. I couldn't play another game for days after beating it. I don't know what sorcery was involved in crafting that open world but wow. It's the best open world ever made. Spending time in it was a joy. The characters are wonderful. The story is engaging. The controls are garbage town, sure, but I was over that after a few hours of rootin' and tootin'. It could be game of the generation for me.
A good mix of cult Japanese hits and Western blockbusters make up John's list, but do you agree with this picks? You can refer to him as 'BOY' in the comments section below.