The Best Games of 2019 (So Far) – Vidjagame Apocalypse 322

The year’s half-over, and that means that – with help from USGamer Editor in Chief Kat Bailey – it’s time to look back at the past six months and lift up five games as our must-play picks for the first half of the year. Then we tackle Judgment, The Sinking City, Elden Ring news, and the E3 games that got you most excited.

Question of the Week: What’s your personal Game of the Year so far?

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7 thoughts on “The Best Games of 2019 (So Far) – Vidjagame Apocalypse 322

  1. QOTW: 2019’s been going by so quickly, that I almost forgot Resident Evil 2 and Devil May Cry 5 came out within weeks of one another. If it weren’t for the game I’m about to mention, either one of those would’ve been an easy GOTY pick for me.

    That said, I’ve really got to give my personal GOTY (so far) to Hades, from Supergiant Games. This is a game that launched in early access on Epic Games Store in December of last year, so it went under the radar of a lot of folks. Since then, it’s received tons of updates that have made it one of my favorite roguelikes of all time. Combining Supergiant’s trademark isometric dungeon crawling with ultra-hard combat, gradual permanent upgrades awarded at a satisfying pace (much like in Crypt of the Necrodancer), an arsenal of unique and awesome weapons to unlock and augment with the godly powers of the Olympians, and a sweet soundtrack, and you’ve got one hell of an amazing indie game.

    Plus, Dusa is just friggin’ adorable. Hades’ maid is a floating Gorgon head with a crush on Zagreus, the main character. I never thought I’d say I found a spherical head covered in snakes to be the cutest damn thing ever, but then I played Hades.

  2. A great list. I only played RE2, and loved it.
    For me goty so far is City of Heroes. I never got the chance to finish the game in the last decade, so I have roped in a bunch of my friends and we are introducing it to our now teenage children.
    Thanks for a great show.

  3. Not sure if I’m suffering from recency bias, since I just beat one of these this week. But right now I’m torn between two games for my favorite so far this year: A Plague Tale, and Observation.

  4. Good Moleman to you,

    I’m not sure why there’s the Johnny Depp bashing in this? Wasnt it shown that he was the one getting abused by Amber Heard? I haven’t been following it, so I could be wrong.

    1. You’d be correct. He submitted a ton of evidence to the courts that makes it appear Heard was the actual abuser. I won’t say for sure until everything’s out there but I don’t agree with how Depp was demonized right away.

  5. My game of the year so far is 100% Days Gone. I was completely surprised by how much I am loving this Sons of The Walking Dead game. It’s not often that I say critics are flat out wrong, after all opinions are subjective. However, after having read several reviews and seeing similar complaints (that I either don’t see or agree with) amongst most them, I have come to realize what is the common denominator here, everyone else being wrong.
    The gameplay and controls feel right, the shooting and combat mechanics and responsiveness take Red Dead’s and Uncharted and say “What if we make these good?”. The dealing with the zombies alone and in hordes and human ambushes lead to tense moments that still manage to be fun and rewarding. The crafting, while being ever present, never becomes overbearing or gameplay limiting, and upgrading your bike into some kind of Mad Maxian, post-apocalyptic, anti-zombie cross between a dirt bike and a hog is never not awesome. Leveling up and acquiring new skills, as well as earning trust and purchasing upgraded weaponry makes immediate and gradual impact on gameplay, to the point where hordes that were once all but impossible to take on become increasingly manageable to the point of being almost easy, yet still incredibly fun. The open world is beautifully realized, and although it is full with side activities and places to explore, this was the first time I didn’t feel absolutely compelled to get to those things first and check them off the list, but instead, get to them when I felt like it or if they were not too far out of my route when I was going to the next story objective.
    I’ve read articles that give the story shit, but I think it’s one of the best in years of gaming. It’s not quite as good as Horizon: Zero Dawn’s, but better than God of War’s (A story that honestly was only considered as good as it was because it was so far from what was expected). It runs several stories concurrently, which has been complained about, but honestly, that makes more sense. Really, in that situation you would only have one thing happening to you at a time to think about? The pacing of each story is decided by the player and what missions you choose most of the time, and whether or not you decide to screw around in between them. The (SPOILER) end of game fake out and partially predictable twist are still so well done that it compelled me to want to finish the game even more, whereas when several other games have done that, it was enough to make me say, “Yeah, that’s good enough, I’m done here.”
    The characters, at least the important ones, are well realized and wonderfully acted; and despite not having explicit back stories are done well enough that you get a feeling for what those backstories are. Deacon St. John may be a neurotic with a stupid (constantly mocked in-game) name, but he’s never not entertaining, and his outer monologue gives an insight into his character that balances and plays off his interactions with other characters well. His relationships and conversations with Boozer and (Redacted) especially are always emotionally invested in the story, rewarding, and some of the most fun missions in the game. The dialogue between Deacon and some of the more tertiary, one and done characters in the game can seem a little off, but if a character appears at least 2 times on screen with him, the dialogue will at least be good/on par with most programs on TV right now.
    Days Gone is long but immensely enjoyable, and high quality. You have to invest a couple hours to really get into the meat of it, but you’ll be glad you did.

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