They just don’t make games like they used to — for better and, sure, for worse. But a lot of games benefit from the new way things get done around here! While some games take a “ship it now, patch it later” approach, others start great and only become better as they add more content, fix unforeseen issues, and reshape themselves in new ways.
These so-called “live” or “ongoing” games are increasingly the norm. And we here at Fanbyte want to recognize the ones that do it best! That’s why we’ve included a Best Ongoing Game category this year. We’re here to celebrate the cream of the crop when it comes to updating content, week-to-week and month-to-month. Let’s take a look at the winners!
Putting aside Fortnite’s continued slew of new weapons, modes, cosmetics, and just about any other basic part of a video game, 2018 was a great year for Epic’s free-to-play juggernaut. We could talk about all these features and break down how they’ve helped the game reach such a huge audience. But none of those are why Fortnite came so close to winning this award. Rather, it was the in-game events, unlike anything else in the video game industry, that really stood out.
The island was first hit by a meteor shower before the largest of them all took out Dusty Depot, leaving a smoking crater. Then an excavation of “hop rocks” took place over the next few months. The Visitor was unearthed and he launched a rocket that shattered the skies above the island. Portals appeared and a desert biome dropped from the sky.
Then there was the saga of Kevin the Cube as it trekked across the map before dissolving in Loot Lake. The cube tore apart the island in the lake’s center, before detonating and sending players to another dimension. Finally, winter brought a collision with an iceberg that has once again radically changed the island’s landscape.
Fortnite‘s events sure are something, huh?
-Dillon Skiffington, Content Editor
Best Ongoing Game 2018: Warframe
If you’re not a Warframe player, it’s really easy to think the game had a relatively calm year. Digital Extremes spent the first few months of 2018 releasing new skins, rounds of Tennogen (the name for user created in-game content), and other cosmetics. The Sacrifice expansion, released this spring, sported the latest chapter in the game’s ongoing story quest, a new Warframe, and a few weapons. It wasn’t huge, but it was at a time when the game was starting to explode in popularity.
But Plains of Eidolon — the game’s last expansion of 2017 — introduced the game’s first ever open-world area. It was a resounding success (after DE ironed out some bugs) and started the momentum that carried Warframe through all of 2018 as one of the best continually supported games.
Following The Sacrifice — plus the boom that came with popular streamers atop the Twitch charts, Twitch Prime deals, and much more — the studio spent time feeding the community exactly what it wanted. Clan dojos, where players hang out in highly customized fortresses, got a rework. Later, the developers released an obstacle course builder. It let communities build their own time trial circuits.
The studio even released an in-game Warframe fighting game called Frame Fighter.
While there was a bit of a drought in the fall, Digital Extremes more than made up for it with the release of Fortuna. That update included another open-world area: complete with new vendors, ranks, quests, and bounties. Fun mechanics like mining and fishing got an update as nonviolent conservationist hunts joined the fray. Customizable robot companions let players build their own two-legged friends. K-Drives (i.e. hoverboards) brought an all-new transportation method complete with tricks, grinding, and all of your favorite space skateboarding needs.
At a basic level, there were three new Warframes, 10 new weapons, and two class reworks. Which is to say there was a ton of support for a game that’s coming up on its sixth birthday. Now if you’ll excuse us, we’ve got some reputation to grind.
-Dillon Skiffington, Content Editor