The EZA Community Top 25 Best of 2018!

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  • Heading into the year, I thought GOTY was going to be a two game race: Red Dead Redemption 2 and Spider-man. Being such a huge fan of Insomniac and almost everything they've ever done, I passed on this because I just have never really gotten into anything Spider-man.

    To be absolutely clear:

    • I think this is one of the best looking games out there
    • The combat seems intuitive and smooth
    • I really like how it's a unique story
    • Manhattan seems vast and there's plenty to do

    But honestly, I can't get into it. I AM impressed at the number of runner-up votes it got. EIGHT! I'm very happy for Insomniac that it is such a massive success, and selfishly, I see that as a double-down on a sequel as opposed to Ratchet & Clank, which is a personal bummer. Still, a deserved honor and a shame they got Horizon'd at the Game Awards.

  • I'm not huge on most open world games but if you give me the option to fly it instantly goes from something I'd easily skip to something I will invest a million hours into. Web-slinging is more than close enough in that regard. Adding in the ability to stop random crimes around the city just made it even better. Really felt like I was playing a Spider-Man game and not just some game where I controlled Spider-Man. Getting to mess with all the gadgets, costumes and their abilities (even though the nanosecond I unlocked the quipping one I never looked back) was just icing on the cake.

    Oh and it had a good story mode I guess.

  • I'm really upset

  • Though I enjoyed Spider-Man, I kinda came out of it a bit disappointed. Perhaps it's because I went in with unrealistic expectations, but to me there is a lot of unrealized potential in this game. The combat and traversal are great, but that's really all the game has going for it.

    The story, while decent, struggles a lot with pacing. Some of the chosen plot points feel very rushed, while others seem to drag on for quite a long time. It's like the game wanted to cover so many different things that it ended up just shoving them in.

    Manhattan as an open-world environment is phenomenal, but the actual activities inside of it are lackluster. Side-quests range from decent to bad, with far too much of it being "go here and do a thing for the umpteenth time. Rinse and repeat." I did really appreciate how the world changed as the game progressed, though. As for the MJ and Miles Morales segments, while I wasn't a fan of them, I understand why they are there and respect them to a certain extent.

    All that said, the game is a blast to play. The stealth could be a bit better, but other than that the gameplay is great. I think this is a fantastic Spider-Man game, but just a decent game overall.

  • Combat is good but it threw so much at the beginning that it took time to used to which I would say is a point against it since you don't want to be overwhelmed right out of the gate.
    Half of the missions were bad or just really annoying (all Screwball ones) or just didn't care for.
    I did enjoy the game overall and travelling from place to place was really fun along with good voice acting which is why it made into my HM.

  • So the battle for GotY comes down to this:

  • If I'm judging my picks based on purely personal feelings, then this would be my GOTY, by a long shot. I still can't believe that we got a Spider-Man game this good.

    I loved the story overall, they nailed the sense of humor and emotional weight that a good Spider-Man story would have, and the ending took me by surprise in terms of how hard it hit me. The characters are good for the most part, with some of them far better than others. This is one of the best versions of Peter Parker/Spider-Man for me, and then you have Mary Jane, Aunt May and Miles Morales that are also great characters.

    The combat is simply amazing. From the moment the game starts until the end, it never lets the tension down, always maintaining it's frenetic pace and keeps you in check with the surprisingly dangerous enemies. The enemy AI isn't anything special, but the damage they inflict can quite fatal, especially if you got hit more than once in a row. The varied combat situations adds to the excitement and pushes me just enough to experiment with the gadgets and combos. The focus meter mechanic is also brilliant, making me want to do better in combat to get that final edge, the special suit powers.

    Also, the swinging, the zippin'. It's perfect, nuff said. Makes exploring the world so much fun, I'll pay 60$ for a game with just this swinging mechanic. New York is beautiful, and it felt quite alive and populated which is good. The side activities is still pretty generic overall, but the swinging mechanics and combat makes doing them way more fun than they would be without them. I do love the tech puzzles (you know, the ones Peter does in the Lab). I wish that there's more side quests instead of the cookie cutter side activities.

    This is the absolute best of superhero games for me, no doubt. I still have the DLCs untouched so I'll be returning soon.

  • @brannox I was exactly in the same boat as you, everything about the game seemed great to me but I'm just not a big Spider-Man fan (always been more of a Batman guy). So I was not hyped at all for the game, it was always this thing in the background that EZA was gushing over and I figured I'd maybe get to one day.

    And I did get to it, and now I'm a Spider-Man fan, so hopefully I can convince you to give it a shot ;)

    It really does an amazing job at selling its world and characters, making it both accessible for newcomers and (I'm sure) full of nods and references for fans. Just like Arkham Asylum did back in the day. It makes you want to learn more about everyone, want to read all the codec entries and backgrounds, want to research names and events.

    And the gameplay is an absolute blast, I could never get tired of it. The combat is smooth and fun and allows for extensive creativity, the way some of the gadgets can be combined is surprisingly deep and I ended up still discovering new combos by the end of the DLC. You can more or less use the same basic attacks the entire game and get away with it, but if you put in the effort you'll be way more efficient and spectacular.

    I also felt like story was spinning its wheels for quite a while, but it does end up being very satisfying. The writing and acting is great, pretty much all the characters are a delight to interact with, the humour hits the mark more often than not.

    After Assassin's Creed Odyssey, I really appreciated the limited size and scope of the world, I much prefer a small world I can get to know intimately by the end of the game. Even though a lot of care is put in the creation of AC locales, as a player I always end up rushing through every one of them because I know I won't stay long enough to care.

    Here I felt like I got to know my way around New York and its different neighborhoods, just like I know Kamurocho in Yakuza, it's way more satisfying (and less intimidating).

    And it helps a lot that traversal is so fun and immediate. Zipping is indeed one of the most fun things I did last year, Huber is right!

    Sure, some of the side activities get repetitive (and I agree the Screwball ones pissed me off on a couple occasions), but because the core gameplay is so polished, it never felt like a grind. I jumped into the DLC immediately after finishing the main game, and it felt like a mini-sequel to the game (with a pretty cool story too!). And if they'd pump out another 3 of those, I'd happily play them too! I was satisfied, but left wanting more, which is the best feeling to have when finishing a game. Unlike AC, where I was just relieved it was finally over.

    Overall, this was by far the most unadulterated fun I had with a videogame last year. Amazing job, Insomniac, you've made a fan out of me. I'll be there day one for the sequel this time.

  • Also, that points range though. From 38 to 66! It just shows how great the top 3 is when MHW trails that far.

  • @bam541 said in The EZA Community Top 25 Best of 2018!:

    Also, that points range though. From 38 to 66! It just shows how great the top 3 is when MHW trails that far.

    Oh you ain't seen nothin' yet!

  • @axel So we can expect GoW go over 400 points? Maybe even 500?

  • Am I a hipster for voting Spider-Man as my GOTY

  • @axel First off, I have to say WOW what a response! And like you I lean more towards Batman, but that comes with some caveats:

    1. I'm only really into Rocksteady's trilogy and the Nolan trilogy
    2. One inspired the other for me. Meaning: I tried the Arkham Asylum demo on 360 and liked it enough to give the whole game a shot, which lead me to getting into said trilogy and after hearing so much love regarding the Dark Knight movies, I watched and liked them as well (Dark Knight is actually one of my top five movies overall).
    3. I have no desire to read comics and while I respect the Animated series, it's only something I'll sit and watch if I happen across, not something I seek out.

    All of that is to say, Batman is personally a special case, and a limited one at that. If Insomniac or Sony decided to pull a RE 2 Remake and put a 30 minute trial to do whatever I wanted, or perhaps if they went the Anthem route and gave me like a three mission demo to try, it might put me over the edge to test it out. I will admit that the E3 demo did a good job trying to sell me on it better than anything prior, but it's still the property, and I just don't care for Spider-man.

    I'm not a superhero person. Never really have been. Don't think I ever will be. Hell, I'm probably one of the few people on Earth who cares little to nothing in regards to Marvel. The only Marvel movies I've seen are the first two Iron Mans and the first Captain America. That genre just does not appeal.

    And I also share in the need for having a limited size to a world. I don't like it when there's so much to the point of paralysis by analysis on what to do and where to go.

    Outside of minor critiques, I've seen constant praise, it showed well at conferences, and with that Insomniac stamped on the box, I know it's high quality. Maybe some day when there's a lull in game releases where I don't have interest (I have quite a bit I'm looking forward to this year if release windows for many hold).

    And for your comment about seeing nothing yet.... Tomorrow is going to be interesting, one way or another.

  • @iboshow It's not about who wins GOTY, it's about the hipster friends we made along the way!

  • @brannox Sounds like we're really in the same boat then, because I'm also not into comics themselves, I just always liked Batman since childhood but my interest was limited to the animated series and movies. And Arkham Asylum had the same effect on me as it had on you, it made me so much more invested in the character and world.

    And this Spider-Man game, despite having way less initial interest in the character than I had with Batman, had the same effect Arkham had on me. Combined with the double whammy of the Into the Spider-verse movie (probably the best animated movie I've ever seen), this was a good year for Spider-Man!

    So it might seduce you yet! If you see it on sale one of these days, I really think you can't go wrong with it ;)

  • Marvel’s Spider-Man is my #8 because it has great traversal, fun combat and it looks good. However its story is clearly designed for hardcore fans. I watched 3 Spider-Man movies in early 2000s, but beside Octavius, Mary Jane and Spider-Man himself I knew no one from the cast. And of course they properly introduced only these 3 characters, the rest were just thrown in. So when Spider-man fights other super villains in prison, they were just tough nameless thugs for me. And when Peter has dramatic scene with someone, I was trying to guess who this is instead of filling any emotions. It was like trying to watch season 7 of Game of Thrones without the first 6. Yet this is the first Spider-Man game in the series and it was widely marketed, so it should be more welcoming for newcomers.

    Also there were several things that felt like a plot holes. For example, (slight spoilers) unconscious Spider-Man was treated in the hospital, but his identity remained unknown and his costume stayed on him. Show me a hospital where patients are treated in their cloth and mask.

    And this game has distractingly bad interior mapping. I understand hardware limitations, but if you can render only one type of interior for a building, it’s better to just show blank windows instead of a huge building filled with exactly the same room from top to bottom.

    But as I said already, this game has great traversal and fun combat. It not as good as Sunset Overdrive, but it’s still fun, so it’s my #8.

  • I'm so happy with what Insomniac did to Spidey, my favourite hero for almost 25 years now. The game's just such a joy to play. And the story itself was a great surprise, way more interesting, thrilling and diverse than I had dared to hope for. So many cool moments, missions, scenarios and character interactions. And Yuri Lowenthal really was the perfect choise for Peter, the man delivered his lines in such a fantastic fashion throughout the game. He literally made me laugh out loud so many times with Spidey's quips but also shed a few tears, even.

    What a foundation for a game series already with the first one being this good. I can't wait to see how they'll continue. And on PS5!

  • @brannox

    But honestly, I can't get into it. I AM impressed at the number of runner-up votes it got. EIGHT! I'm very happy for Insomniac that it is such a massive success, and selfishly, I see that as a double-down on a sequel as opposed to Ratchet & Clank, which is a personal bummer. Still, a deserved honor and a shame they got Horizon'd at the Game Awards.

    I love Insomniac for their R&C games and Im sure Spiderman is fun to play, but I have absolutely no interest in playing it, not really sure why

  • Banned

    To echo someone else's sentiments, the combat in Spidey initially seems kind of sloppy, but only because you have no idea what the fuck you are doing. A few hours in and I can see that the combat is character action levels of awesome and intuitive. One of the few games where I can look at a combat situation, plan out exactly what I want to do, and execute it flawlessly because everything is so fluid and intuitive.

    Everything about the game blew me away. They had a very clear love for everything Spidey and it shows. Eagerly anticipating DLC/sequel/anything they do.