The Best Reviewed Games on TrueAchievements in 2018 - Part One

By Dave Horobin, 1 month ago
Yesterday, we opened up the voting for this year's TrueAchievements Game of the Year, and we thought we'd try and help with your decisions by looking back at some of the highest scoring games from this year's official site reviews.

So far this year, we've reviewed 153 games and 11 DLC packs, 25 of which have received a score of 4.5 or 5 out of 5. Here are the first 13, in order of date published.

Wulverblade — Published February 6th — 4.5/5

wulv

Wulverblade is a beautiful evolution of a classic genre. In nearly every way it takes the side-scrolling beat 'em ups of yesteryear and reimagines them for the high definition, story-driven gaming landscape in which we now reside. The captivating artwork never loses its lustre, and it's aided by a strong audio experience, engrossing combat that demands you play smartly, and a fascinating mix of true history and folklore. With very few caveats, Wulverblade is an exceptional game that no genre fan should miss.

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Celeste — Published February 7th — 5/5

Celeste

Celeste is a wonderful little platforming challenge that finds beauty in balance. Its sometimes brutal difficulty is softened by its innovative and inclusive approach to accessibility, thanks to a customisable Assist Mode that allows you to set the parameters. Its serious themes of mental health and coming to terms with oneself are leavened by its joyous audiovisual design and a small cast of well-realised characters. The frustration of dying for the thousandth time finds its counterweight in the gorgeously fluid ballet of a perfect run. With a wonderfully evocative soundtrack and a whole host of creative ideas and plenty of additional challenges beyond the main campaign, Celeste manages to cram in a whole lot of goodness without ever missing a step. Fans of tricky platformers will find much to love in the game's design, but it's also a perfect starting point for anyone new to the genre — perhaps even those actively averse to it. In short, it's a bit of a masterpiece.

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Mulaka — Published March 22nd — 4.5/5

Mulaka

This is a game worth celebrating. Although its gameplay suite offers only tried and true mechanics, it's engaging enough to keep you around for the real highlight: the culture with which the project is imbued. In some hugely important ways, like music, visuals, and its ability to not just engage players as gamers but teach them as students, Mulaka is worth playing for most everyone, rather ironically. It's not a game designed with mass appeal, and yet because it's ultimately so authentic, so intimate, and so beautifully personal, it's easy to appreciate. For most players, Mulaka will be a familiar gameplay experience structured around something wholly new and enriching in every other way.

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Q.U.B.E. 2 — Published April 2nd — 4.5/5

Q.U.B.E. 2

Where Q.U.B.E. was enjoyable but a bit simplistic, Q.U.B.E. 2 really excels. The story is engaging and the puzzles themselves have been improved dramatically from the first game, with new elements being introduced on top of the already great puzzle mechanics. Nothing ever feels too hard or out of reach and you'll find yourself in the mindset of completing just one more puzzle before you call it a day. Q.U.B.E. 2is a must-play for any fan of the first game or puzzlers in general.

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Far Cry 5 — Published April 6th — 4.5/5

Far Cry 5 key art

The formula for Far Cry 5 is very familiar by now, but that doesn't stop the game from being a fun experience. After a brilliant introduction, the beautiful world of Hope County can be explored at your own discretion, with progress firmly led by the player rather than what the game wishes you to do. The encounters with the Seed family are memorable, although the motives of the remaining cult members are questionable. Not only are there plenty of ways to take down the cult, there are also a variety of side activities that add the usual streak of Far Cry humour to the game and will keep players occupied for hours. Far Cry 5 is the best addition to the franchise for quite a while and it is well worth spending many hours visiting Montana.

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Masters of Anima — Published April 10th — 4.5/5

Images

Masters of Anima is an excellent game that serves as conclusive proof that Pikmin’s legacy is alive and relevant today as much as it ever was. The game’s foundation is its characters who are humorous and lovable throughout the adventure, with exceptional dialogue and voice acting to back them up. The world itself is lacking a bit in visual variety but it makes up for it in level design, which features linearity combined with a reward for off the beaten path exploration. The gameplay’s dual challenges in the form of puzzles and combat are both well-designed to take advantage of all six units’ different abilities so that you’re always confronted with scenarios that are interesting, fun and just the right amount of difficult. Ultimately, this is a game that came out of nowhere to take players on a surprise journey they never imagined they’d want to be on.

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Darkest Dungeon — Published April 11th — 4.5/5

Darkest Dungeon

To say Darkest Dungeon is a challenging and satisfying RPG doesn't seem like nearly enough praise. The sheer amount of customization — 15+ different classes, seven abilities per character to choose from, equippable trinkets, and much more besides — makes for a highly involved, appetizingly deep adventure that can be approached with many different play styles. The psychological and stress aspects add something unique that is not seen every day. All the while, the roar of the excellent narrator commentates the success and failures of the player as they progress through intricately hand-drawn environments and battles with sound design tailored to perfection.

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A Way Out — Published April 16th — 4.5/5

A Way Out

A Way Out provides a unique cinematic experience that redefines the way narrative-driven games can be played, thanks to its engaging story and varied gameplay that will keep both players interested throughout. Side by side or over the internet, if you're looking for a game to play with a friend, A Way Out is an unforgettable co-op experience.

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Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice — Published April 17th — 5/5

Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice

Some games do a few memorable things in an otherwise disappointing package, and some games are greater than the sum of their parts. Then some games are like Hellblade, where everything is done so well that it stands up to nearly all criticism. The puzzling and combat are both well designed even if neither is genre-redefining, and the audiovisual experience is a consistent spectacle. The ways it never cuts to loading screens and hides its UI makes it feel unique too, like we are right there with Senua every step of the way, but it's because of the story that Hellblade is forever cemented as something special. Senua is fierce and imperfect in a way that will have you rooting for her like few characters ever garner. Her journey is pretty much unceasingly filthy, violent, tragic and horrific, yet it's not a story of suffering, but rather one of perseverance. Senua is a remarkable character who instills all of her energies into the player in such a way that will never be forgotten.

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State of Decay 2 — Published May 17th — 4.5/5

08/05/2018 - Carousel

If you walked away from the original game feeling flustered from the constant micromanagement of everything, State of Decay 2 isn't going to change your mind. All of those aspects return and in many cases are made deeper. For a game to do so much at once you'd reasonably expect more bumps in the road than how few are found here. Story, voice work, and animations are all still goofy, but throw in co-op multiplayer, better endgame content, and more reasons to replay it, and State of Decay 2 is the type of game with which certain players will fall in love. There's always something to do and in a classically sim style, it's hard to know when to stop. It's the most realistic zombie apocalypse simulation in the world and that's a beautiful thing.

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Gorogoa — Published June 6th — 4.5/5

Title

Gorogoa definitely falls into the category of games that we wish were longer, but it is difficult to find many genuine faults with the game. What it lacks in length, it makes up for in originality. Explaining the ingenuity found in the puzzles is no simple task, as they must really be experienced first-hand to be completely understood. There are many other similar examples that could be given, but they are best left to be discovered for one's self. From the charming illustrations to the unique puzzle design, Gorogoa is truly a top-notch representation of quality over quantity.

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NieR: Automata BECOME AS GODS Edition — Published July 1st — 5/5

Review

NieR: Automata is without a doubt one of the best games of the generation. The gameplay is sensibly designed to ensure you're always having fun and the world itself is full of enough content to keep you going without forcing you to go on a Ubisoftian collect-a-thon. More importantly, though, the story has impact on both a base level and philosophically, and will no doubt leave you with questions to consider for days after you finish if you enjoy that kind of thing. We wish we could have more games like NieR: Automata, but we'll probably be waiting a while — it's only so often a game this excellent comes around.

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Jurassic World Evolution — Published July 2nd — 4.5/5

12/06/2018 - Carousel

For fans of the series and simulation games, Jurassic World Evolution is a must-buy. Being able to create and tweak the DNA of a big collection of dinosaurs across all Las Cinco Muertas islands, with each one offering unique challenges, makes for an exciting gaming experience. The detail in the dinosaurs is impressive and the fact you can take control of pretty much everything on your islands means your parks can truly be your vision. Minor problems and bugs stop the game from being absolutely spotless, but aside from that, the game is everything you could want in a simulation game. At some point, you've probably wished Jurassic Park really existed. For now, this is the closest you can get.

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Do any of the games above make it into your Game of the Year shortlist? Let us know in the comments below.

We'll be posting part two of our Games of the Year roundup shortly, so keep checking back to see what else made it into our top 25. In the meantime, you can cast your votes for your Game of the Year here.

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Dave Horobin
Written by Dave Horobin
Dave is the TrueAchievements Social Manager and has been a Newshound since 2010. When he's not chasing developers and publishers for early review copies, he can usually be found on the TrueAchievements social pages discussing all things TA related.