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Brutal Gamer Awards 2018: The Genre Bests

A little late, but fashionably so, are 2018’s Brutal Gamer Awards. Today, we’re talking our picks for the year’s Genre Bests.

It seems like every year that we say this, but 2018 was a very big year for gaming. Monster launches seemed to happen almost every month, and landmark games saw release

New titles relaunched franchises like God of War, Red Dead Redemption, and Marvel Comics with Spider-Man. Every console saw marquee stuff, from the PS4 to the Switch. It was, to put it mildly, a good year to be a gamer no matter where you were playing.

In this first round of awards here at BG, we take a look at the genre bests in categories like “action”, “FPS”, and more.

Best Action Game

Maybe the biggest releases of 2018 took place in the “action” genre. That’s notable since FPS’ had been dominant for so long with the likes of Call of Duty and Battlefield. Last year, that wasn’t the case, with both of those tentpole series’ missing the mark with fans.

Not that it might have mattered even if they were solid launches. That’s just how good the action games of 2018 were.

Our nominees for best action game are…

  • God of War
  • Marvel’s Spider-Man
  • Red Dead Redemption 2
  • Just Cause 4
  • Shadow of the Tomb Raider

And the winner is…

BG’s action game of 2018: God of War

God of War takes home the award for Brutal Gamer’s Action Game of the Year for 2018. The soft reboot picks up long after Kratos has retired from the Greek pantheon, wanting little to do with his godly status.

It’s a fresh start for the series, which sought to create a better and more rounded Kratos, not to mention one with a heart. Combined with that new direction are flat-out stunning graphics, animation, and voice acting.

God of War is most definitely back, and in fine form. Maybe… it’s best ever?

Best First-Person Shooter

Taking a back seat in 2018 was the FPS genre. Huge new installments for Battlefield and Call of Duty flagged, especially the former, and there just wasn’t the varied assortment of titles that there has tended to be.

Still, There were a few gems, and those round out our nominees for the year’s best.

Our nominees for best FPS are…

  • Wolfenstein II (Nintendo Switch)
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops 4
  • We Happy Few
  • Battlefield V
  • Far Cry V

And the winner is…

BG’s First-Person Shooter of the year is Far Cry V

Far Cry V is a visceral, brutal trip through a small American town that’s been beset by a religious cult. This isn’t your typical bunch of zealots though, as these people mean business.

The game offered a gorgeous open-world loaded with things to do. And that’s in addition to the inspired shooting action that fans of the FC series have come to expect. Yeah, the driving might not be so good, but almost everything else is.

Far Cry V was so good that it’s spawned a sequel, delivered in short order. New Dawn arrived this year, offering a direct continuance of the story from the base title. Just a word of warning, if you don’t want the ending to FCV spoiled, don’t look at anything New Dawn until you’ve finished our FPS of 2018.

Best Role-Playing Game

Are there more fervent fans of any genre than those of the RPG? Maybe not, as the top role-playing games of all kinds seem to be more celebrated than almost any other kind of title.

This past year saw some series’ evolve in surprising new ways, and others reborn in… maybe even more surprising new ways.

Our nominees for best RPG or Strategy game are…

  • Octopath Traveller
  • Warhammer 40k: Inquisitor – Martyr
  • Assassin’s Creed Odyssey
  • Monster Hunter World
  • Vampyr

And the winner is…

BG’s RPG Game of the Year is Assassin’s Creed Odyssey

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey did more than deliver one of the best Assassin’s Creed adventures in years. Ubisoft’s latest also shook up the formula, with dialog options and giving gamers actual choices to make that would affect the story.

Of course, on top of all that, Odyssey also produced a stunning Ancient Greek world to play in, one filled with action, sailing, large scale battles, and a story that took the mythos into new territory.

Odyssey is so massive that Ubi won’t be releasing an AC title here in 2019. Instead the take of the Spartan Order will be expanded with multiple packs, including one centered on Atlantis.

If you haven’t played it yet for fear it’s more of the same, then you might be pleasantly surprised by what was one of the very best games of 2018.

Best Strategy Game

There weren’t a lot of strategy games that made our short list for the “best” of the year. Nonetheless there were a few. And by that, I mean exactly two. But they’re two good ones.

Our nominees for best Strategy Game are…

  • Civilization VI (Nintendo Switch)
  • Jurassic Park Evolution

And the winner is…

BG’s Strategy Game of the Year is Civilization VI

A classic already, Civ VI debuted on the Nintendo Switch in 2018 to quite a bit of fanfare. There’s good reason for that of course as the latest version of the all time great series is deeper and more complex than ever.

If you’re looking to start your own ancient empire, and see it flourish throughout the ages, then Civ VI is a good bet. If you want to do all of that and actually take it with you too, then it’s fairly sure to hit the target.

Best Indie Game

Independent games are here to stay, that’s a certainty at this point. Small developers have been cranking out games, sans big studios, for years now. And it seems like we’re now at a point where they offer something for every taste, and some that defy classification.

Many look and play just as well as big studio titles too. In fact, there were a few last year that were right there with some of the best examples of their respective genres

Our nominees for best Indie Game are…

  • Overcooked 2
  • Dead Cells
  • Celeste
  • The Messenger
  • Owlboy

And the winner is… A TIE!

Dead Cells
The Messenger

Two incredible games that sport a retro feel, The Messenger and Dead Cells both captured enough votes from our staff to take the top prize as our Indie Game of the Year.

Dead Cells casts gamers as a disembodied soul, possessing corpses each time it’s “killed”. Every death brings more weapons, more of the landscape to explore, and more dangerous enemies. All of this is wrapped up in a beautiful shell that looks to be somewhat PSOne-ish. It’s a winner in every way. A rogue-like for people who don’t like rogue-likes.

The Messenger on the other hand is a little more straightforward. The game plays out in the same style as some of the greatest action/platformers of all time, most notably Ninja Gaiden.

The hook however, is that the game throws players from the 8bit era to the 16bit and back again. The difference keeps things fresh and also offers some of the most fun visuals of the year.

Best Family Friendly Game

No, video games aren’t just for kids. It’s arguable that they ever were, and now more than at any point games are for older audiences. Well, most games anyway. There are still a few that go after that younger demographic.

Perhaps no company does that as well as Nintendo, not that they’re alone. We had a couple of A+ kid and family friendly games last year, including maybe the most accessible Mega Man game, ever and the return of a Nintendo classic.

Our nominees for best Family Friendly Game are…

  • Super Mario Party
  • Mario Tennis
  • Overcooked 2
  • Mega Man 11
  • Starlink

And the winner is…

BG’s Family Friendly Game of the Year is Super Mario Party

Super Mario Party might be an acquired taste that won’t appeal to everyone, but if it does then it’s just about the most fun you can have. The Switch-exclusive collection of mini-games is stocked with plenty to keep you busy, and yes, it feature motion controls.

If you have kids, then there’s a very good chance that they might be into this one. And being Nintendo and Super Mario, it’s just fine for them, all around.

Best Fighting Game

The fighting genre has been ripping things up over the last couple of years, and seems as hot now as it’s ever been. New installments of classics like Street Fighter, Tekken, Dead or Alive, and Mortal Kombat have either come out recently or will be on store shelves soon.

Better still, most of them have been downright great, offering plenty of nostalgia while keeping things fresh and modern. Is this a second golden age for the one-on-one battler? Could be.

Our nominees for Best Fighting Game are…

  • Street Fighter V Arcade Edition
  • Soul Caliber VI
  • Street Fighter Collection
  • Super Smash Bros Ultimate
  • Dragon Ball FighterZ

And the winner is…

BG’s Fighting Game of the Year is Super Smash Bros Ultimate

Super Smash Bros Ultimate was not only one of the most hotly anticipated Smash titles of all time, it was one of the most wanted Switch games, period. Delivering more charters, levels, and extras than ever, Smash Ultimate brought a marquee fighting game experience to Nintendo’s console, one that can’t be had anywhere else.

Those are our Genre Bests!

Part one of our Game of the Year presentation is in the books with our Genre Bests above. Did you agree with us? Did something else take home your own personal top award of 2018? Let us know in the comments.

As for us, this is just the first installment for BG’s 2018 GotY’s. We’ll be back with part 2 on Wednesday, before rounding things out on Friday with our overall Platform Bests.

In between, make sure to check back to see individual editors top picks and plenty more like our usual assortment of news and reviews.

About Jason

Jason's been knee deep in videogames since he was but a lad. Cutting his teeth on the pixely glory that was the Atari 2600, he's been hack'n'slashing and shoot'em'uping ever since. Mainly an FPS and action guy, Jason enjoys the occasional well crafted title from every genre.

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