December 2018

The Eurogamer team's favourite games of 2018

The editor writes: We'll be publishing Eurogamer's official top 30 games of 2018 tomorrow. In a break with Eurogamer tradition, we didn't put that list together by voting among ourselves this year. But I still asked for everyone on the staff (plus the Digital Foundry team and a couple of our most regular freelance contributors) to submit their favourite games of the year because I thought it would be interesting to build up a picture of what the Eurogamer team really plays and cares about, rather than some homogenised arithmetic byproduct of that.

Each staffer submitted five games, listed in no particular order. Remasters and reissues on new platforms were allowed, as were games which weren't first released in 2018 but which made a major impact or underwent significant changes this year (such as Fortnite). I wanted these lists to reflect about what we were actually playing rather than the release schedule. This is our gaming life, warts and all. Don't judge us too harshly.

Video Team

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Moments of 2018: When Fortnite stopped everything for a butterfly

I've won two games of Fortnite, and both of them were by accident. Thank you to whoever I was up against for dying in the storm (I think this happened both times?) even though you clearly knew how to build properly and shoot under pressure without sending half your bullets into the sky. I'm sorry I was just crouching in a bush (again, I'm pretty sure both times). I was simply happy to have gotten that far.

Battle royale games are about being the last one standing, but on this Fortnite stands apart. Its success lies in its focus on being fun for everyone else - the 99 players who don't win and are simply there for the ride. So there are weekly challenges and mini-games, limited-time modes, a near-constant cycling in and out of weapons, items and entire mechanics. And then there are the map changes, which make Fortnite's world feel different nearly every time you log on. Sometimes these are minor - a few trucks shifted a little further along a road somewhere. Sometimes these are huge - a whole region changing at the start of a new season. But just once - a few weeks ago - a map-changing event happened live in-game, as the whole world watched either within Fortnite itself, or as one of millions viewing streams on Twitch and YouTube. It was the conclusion to more than six months of Fortnite's meandering ongoing storyline, and a unique moment unlike anything seen before.

Up until then, each new map alteration had required server downtime and a big patch to download. If something did happen live in-game, it was simply fireworks: stuff going on in the sky with no immediate changes elsewhere. So this is what everyone was expecting once more, when it became clear Fortnite's enormous purple cube - nicknamed Kevin by fans - was reaching the end of his life. Kevin had been rumbling around the map since late August, creating the first PvE enemies, turning a whole area into jelly, lifting another chunk of the island into mid-air. But Kevin was also just the product of whole other, longer chain of events - a rift in the sky caused by a bootstrapped rocket, launched by a character who arrived from the future, via a comet first spotted in the sky all the way back in March.

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Moments of 2018: Bowsette, or when Nintendo proved no-one can subvert it like itself

When I first scrolled through my Twitter feed and spied the Bowsette hashtag, I had no idea of what was to follow. What I believed to be a niche deviantart trend quickly evolved into something of a monster - kind of like Peach, really. But perhaps the most amazing thing about the phenomenon was that despite the internet's belief it was undermining Nintendo's family image, it turns out Nintendo had beaten Twitter to it all along.

Here's a quick refresh. In September, Nintendo introduced a new power-up item into New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe called the Super Crown. The (quite innocent) object is used to transform Toadette into a Princess Peach version called Peachette - but naturally, this sparked a debate amongst Nintendo fans as to how the crown actually worked. Under the assumption it could morph any character into its Peach form, cartoonist ayyk92 applied the concept to Mario lore - namely, as a way to solve Peach's continued rejection of Bowser. And just like that, Bowsette was born.

Over the course of the next few days, thousands of artists started producing their own versions of Bowsette, and various debates emerged over how she should look. Blonde or red-headed? Pale or tanned? Bowser-esque or humanoid? One of the near-unifying factors, however, was that the artwork was most definitely NSFW, which meant I got plenty of strange looks when researching it in the office.

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