These are a few of my favourite things (2018)

It’s a new year, so what else to do but write a post about my favourite film, TV show and game of the last year. These aren’t necessarily what I think is the best in terms of technical skills involved or even story, but they’re the pieces of entertainment that I enjoyed the most personally.  I have 4 picks, one for each of the 3 formats, I mentioned above, and then the one thing that I really enjoyed the most.

Favourite TV Show of 2018 – Killing Eve

I had no idea what this show was, right up until the minute I started watching it. A quick read of the synopsis told me it was about a female assassin, but beyond that I was blind going in. The shows brilliant leads Jodie Comer and Sandra Oh are equally fantastic in the show, and the dynamic that is developed between the them and the rest of the cast really make this show tick.

It has a little bit of everything I like in a show, and crucially for me, it doesn’t take itself too seriously which is what didn’t work for me in another good show from last year The Bodyguard. The only contender to Killing Eve’s crown was Netflix’s Daredevil season 3, but honestly even that didn’t come close. If you haven’t got round to Killing Eve yet, it’s on BBC iPlayer and im sure its streaming worldwide somewhere, it really is too good to miss out on.

Favourite Game of 2018 – Assassins Creed Odyssey

I have shocked myself with this choice and I am kind of cheating, but I know what my favourite piece of entertainment of the year is and I don’t want to give something 2 spots on this list, so Assassins creed has found its way here. I loved Spiderman, I appreciate the masterful work in Red Dead Redemption 2, I have played more of Fifa and Destiny 2 this year, and Fortnite is a endlessly enjoyable experience, but no game captured my imagination quite like AC: Odyssey did. I chose to play as Kassandra, and within the first hour of the game i was absolutely in on her story and what she was trying to do.

From the first moments on the island of Cephalonia, to the last minutes of the game I was hooked and this game does that by giving you a lot of fun tools, a massive, busy open world with lots of quests, and letting you play your way in it. I had largely given up on Assassins Creed after not enjoying the new style of play in the previous entry AC Origins, but this has brought me back and I still play this occasionally now, after completing the 3 huge main Quests. This was a very tight choice between AC and Spiderman on PS4, but today, I’m picking AC when tomorrow I might pick Spiderman, they’re both that great.

Favourite Film of 2018 – Avengers Infinity War (SHOCKING) 

This is a very tough category for me, with so many great films in 2018 i had a real hard time decidi…. LOL JK it just had to be Infinity War. Yes Spiderverse was amazing, and there are a lot of brilliant drama’s around, but nothing compares to the event that was Infinity War for me. It may require 22 films of homework before you watch it, but the payoff is sublime. A movie of this scale and encompassing so many characters is an achievement never attempted before in cinema history and somehow the Russo Brothers, Marvel and everyone who worked on this film managed to pull it off.

There are moments in this film that make me smile, laugh, well up, and gasp in disbelief. I remember the thought in my head in the final act of “Are they actually going to do it, end it at that iconic point from the comics”. I thought that, and then they went ahead and did exactly that. No spoilers here, but by now everyone has seen it, that moment is one of my favourite movie scenes of 2018.

Favourite Piece of Entertainment in 2018 – GOD OF WAR (PS4)

Sony Santa Monica’s God of War is the single greatest piece of entertainment I have ever consumed. Not just 2018, but in my 25 years on earth. Nothing in video games compares to the feeling of calling the Leviathan Axe back to your hand after throwing it through an enemy. No game I have played looks better than this game, and No game, film or TV show has ever produced a 10-15 hour experience all capture in one, long, uninterrupted camera take.

God of War can be compared to a stage show with its small cast of engaging characters and easy to understand plot, at the same time as being compared to the biggest blockbuster games and movies of all time with its spectacular set pieces and bombastic action. I know a lot of people, older generations in particular, will never see anything part of God of War, and I wish I could change that. God of War for me goes beyond just being a game, it is entertainment and storytelling at its very best.

Thanks for reading my rubbish! Please share if you think anyone else you know might want to waste some of their time reading my thoughts.

ChAzJS

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God Of War (2018) Spoiler free Review

It’s rare I do a game review, but when a game came along and went so far above my already lofty expectations I had to write about it. God Of War is a franchise I’ve never been big on, the hack and slash nature never appealed to me but the buzz around this year’s sequel was too high to ignore.

It follows the series’ protagonist Kratos, who previously has just been an angry fighter and not much more beyond that, and his journey with his son Atreus to scatter the ashes of his late wife. That is the core of the story. No saving the world or taking down the gods or contrived plot device so many games use to push stories along. Even games as excellent as the Uncharted series tend to have that treasure you’re looking for to push you along.

God of War features 10 characters, including peripheral ones, in a 20-30 hour story. There are hints at other players in the background but we never see them, and that gives the game’s story some real power as by the mid to late game you’re very invested in every character that pops up. I’ve heard it compared to a grand theatre show, or an indie movie with big action set pieces, and they’re both very apt comparisons. The whole game, if played without turning off the console, is all on one long camera shot. There are no cuts, there are no loading screens, it’s one long story told as if there is a camera man behind Kratos on his journey.

The relationship between Kratos and his son is so well done. Kratos, the flawed character he is, is not very good at being a dad and has left a lot of Atreus’ upbringing to his mother. Experiencing the characters struggle to adapt and be a good father is compelling and it’s often the moments between cut scenes and action sequences that the best moments in the game can be found. The two of them talking and learning about each other feels so natural and intriguing I often found myself waiting in the boat or outside an objective just to make sure I got to the end of the conversation they were having. I honestly can’t say any game has made me do that before.

In with all of the excellent and compelling story telling is some of the most satisfying and rewarding combat I’ve played in any game. The leviathan axe is yours to use immediately, and the intuitive controls make combat so much fun. The variation in styles you can adopt means you’re never bored, and the ability to call your axe back to you exactly like Thor in the MCU calling back his hammer never fails to feel awesome. So satisfying I would often launch my axe past enemies just to call it back through the enemies before going for the kill.

I know there are lots of lapsed gamers, not having the time to sink hours into games in between their busy lives. If you are one of those, and only have time for one game played out over a year, this should be it. God of War is possibly the best game since “The Last of Us” and it may even be better than that masterpiece.

Good: Everything. Seriously it’s incredible.

Bad: It’s PS4 exclusive,but that is just another reason to grab Sony’s machine.

10/10 – wow.