Galactic Civilizations 2, which I’ve written about before, is up for strategy game of the year over at Gamespot. (Based on member votes.) Man, it would be really great if GC2 won. The game is tremendous, fun, stable, cheap, free of DRM and copy-protection annoyances, and now has a couple of free bonus downloads available that add even more to the game. But, the game is turn-based, which makes it sort of niche. The kids want to play the latest Warcraft “Battle for three resources clickfest” remix, not granddad’s turn-based strategy game.
Gamespot makes no sense. They have console games and PC games lumped together. These are very different audiences, of very different sizes, and putting them together is odd. They have real-time strategy and turn-based strategy lumped together as well, which is also kind of odd.
What you end up with is a situation where what game wins depends far more on the demographics of the members than on the merits of the game itself.
But all of this is just preemptive sour grapes. I haven’t even played any of the other games in the running. I played enough RTS to last me a lifetime back when Starcraft ruled the Earth, and the newer games don’t give me a compelling reason to revisit the genre. GC2 has a disappointing 11% of the vote. There are five games in the running, which suggests that GC2 is kind of… not winning.
The Best of 2018
I called 2018 "The Year of Good News". Here is a list of the games I thought were interesting or worth talking about that year.
The Middle Ages
Would you have survived in the middle ages?
Batman v. Superman Wasn't All Bad
It's not a good movie, but it was made with good intentions and if you look closely you can find a few interesting ideas.
Another PC Golden Age?
Is it real? Is PC gaming returning to its former glory? Sort of. It's complicated.
The Brilliance of Mass Effect
What is "Domino Worldbuilding" and how did it help to make Mass Effect one of the most interesting settings in modern RPGs?