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Best Action-Adventure Games of 2018

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Best Action-Adventure Games of 2018

Best Action-Adventure Games of 2018

It’s award season here at Twinfinite! We’re taking a look at the best action-adventure game of 2018, honoring the titles that have shone brightest and crowning one the year’s best. Voted on by our editors, the following games stand tall as exemplary titles that pushed the genre forward in meaningful ways.

Honorable Mention: Shadow of the Tomb Raider

Features Editor Alex Gibson: The rebooted Tomb Raider series has revitalized the franchise and taken the iconic character of Lara Croft in an interesting new direction. This year’s Shadow of the Tomb Raider marks the end of her trilogy story, and it continues the awesome blend of semi-open-world exploration, puzzle solving, and combat that defined the first two games.

Tomb Raider’s return to a lush jungle setting is certainly welcome, and it’s utterly stunning to behold. The textures and lighting combine with all sorts of Jurassic-sounding chirps and whistles that make you really feel as though you’re outside in the thick of the Amazonian vegetation. I couldn’t get enough of exploring spectacular waterfalls, mountaintops, and mysterious native temples and ruins throughout my playthrough.

More than just its aesthetic, though, Shadow of the Tomb Raider is a joy to play. Traversal is once again top-notch and super gratifying, challenging you to swing from point to point with the grappling axe, dangling inverted from rocky cliff-faces, and saving Lara from countless crumbling ledges.

But if all of this is sounding familiar, that’s because it is. For the most part, Shadow of the Tomb Raider is a polished, streamlined version of everything fans of the recent games have already played. I would have liked to have seen some more points of differentiation beyond just the darker story to push the series forward. Instead, Shadow of the Tomb Raider plays it safe, and that’s what stops it climbing any further up our award list in 2018.

Best Action-Adventure Games of 2018

Second Runner-up: God of War

Contributor Danny Ryba: With God of War, developer Sony Santa Monica pushed its God of War franchise in an exciting new direction.

The series has always been known for frenetic and relentless combat that feels great to play, but this time they added new layers of depth to the experience with a compelling narrative, a new setting, and vibrant cast of characters. It marks the reinvention of a longstanding series that ultimately paid off in a big way.

Indeed, beyond just the entertaining combat and all-new focus on RPG mechanics that makes it such a joy to play, there’s a genuinely great story that’s tied to the lore in a way veteran players will love but is accessible to newcomers, too.

Elsewhere, the incredible graphics and fantastic voicework are just the cherries on top that makes God of War the quintessential action title of 2018. In fact, it is perhaps the new benchmark that action-adventure games moving forward will now be measured again.

Best Action-Adventure Games of 2018

First Runner-up: Assassin’s Creed Odyssey

Contributor Wesley LeBlanc: The best action-adventure games deliver combat that never grows old, puzzles that never feel stale and a world just begging to be explored. Tonally, they seek to combine the ambiance of movie franchises like Indiana Jones with an interactive experience that’s equally exciting to play.

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey certainly does that, successfully capturing the essence of action-adventure while also delivering a substantial open world packed full of content. 

In iterations past, Assassin’s Creed gave players a city to call their playground. Much like 2017’s Assassin’s Creed Origins, Odyssey throws away the idea that the playground must stay within a city’s limits. This time, all of Ancient Greece — its cities, its lore, its people, its land and its sea — is yours to explore.

In Odyssey, when you’re not soaring off the highs of a set piece set on the open Mediterranean Sea, you’re following a trail of clues to determine who the next cultist target ripe for assassination is. If you’re not uncovering the mystery of who, either Alexios or Kassandra, truly are, you’re taking down enemy camps and forts using one of this generation’s most wide-open RPG combat systems.

It’s quick, expansive and extremely moldable, just like the rest of the game, allowing you to take on enemies in any combative fashion you wish. If you prefer stealth, that’s there. If you prefer a bow and arrow, have at it. If you prefer to act like the Spartan you think you are, you’re absolutely free to do so. Much like the world of Odyssey, the combat is at the behest of you.

With Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, Ubisoft has gifted the player the power to craft the action, the adventure, and everything else in between. How that happens, though, is up to you. Whether you’re a veteran of the series or someone who’s never touched it, there’s a story for you somewhere in Ancient Greece. Don’t miss out on it.

Best Action-Adventure Games of 2018

Winner: Marvel’s Spider-Man

spider-man ps4, switch gadgets, unlock map, tallest building, car chase, safely

Contributor Darby Hallman: Just a few years ago, licensed games such as Spider-Man largely represented nothing more than cash-grabs outside of a few notable exceptions. 

Thanks to Rocksteady and now Insomniac Games as well, games like Marvel’s Spider-Man has bucked this trend and delivered a sensational gaming experience that stands shoulder-to-shoulder with the best action-adventure games of this generation.

The developer’s passion for the Spider-Man franchise certainly shines brightly in this game. Everything from the main story to the most mundane side quest is dripping with the unique brand of heroism and quirkiness that has made Spider-Man one of the most beloved characters in fiction.

Aided by actor Yuri Lowenthal’s stellar voice work, the game never stops feeling like an incredible interactive Spider-Man comic, and a great one at that.

The combat is fast and arcadey, the traversal is unmatched and the story is one of the most compelling of the year.

From the small details like the orchestral swell that occurs when you jump off a building to the major narrative twists and character relationships, Marvel’s Spider-Man feels like the definitive Spider-Man game.

While there is room for improvement in future sequels, Spider-Man’s unique upgrade trees, satisfying beat ’em up combat, beautifully designed New York City and surprisingly rich story easily make it this year’s best action-adventure game.

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