With the year coming to a close, we thought we'd share out thoughts about some of our favourite games from this year! I'll edit this further when we have more of our team's thoughts to add, but for the meantime, here's what James and I thought of some of the games in 2022.
Here's what I said:
Before I dive in, here's a list of all the games released in 2022 I played/reviewed;
As Dusk Falls
Broken Pieces (finished - review in progress)
Card Shark (reviewed)
Chinatown Detective Agency
F1 Manager 22 (reviewed)
Horizon Forbidden West
Justice Sucks: Tactical Vacuum Action (reviewed)
Pac Man Musuem
Paper Ghost Stories: 7pm (finished - review in progress)
The Quarry (reviewed)
Saints Row (reviewed)
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder's Revenge
The Devil In Me
Trek to Yomi (reviewed)
Two Point Campus (reviewed)
Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection (reviewed)
Unusual Findings (reviewed)
There's still a few games I still haven't had a sec to play, including God of War Rangarok, Plague Tale Requiem, Modern Warfare II etc etc, but I'll get there.. eventually! Overall, 2022 was a pretty good year for video games imo - even if some games didn't quite hit the mark (Ahem, Solid 7/10 Gotham Knights) Of course aside from the releases in 2022, I was also still catching up on my ~large~ backlog including Twin Mirror, Life is Strange: True Colours, Guardians of the Galaxy and Lake - just to name a few. Multiplayer wise I jumped back into Halo MCC, Infinite and a bit more Fall Guys.
With that out of the way, I think the game to highlight from 2022 for me is As Dusk Falls. As it's an excellent interactive storytelling drama, there's quite a few pivotal narrative decisions that requires more than one playthrough to see all the outcomes. The story and art style is unique and unlike anything I have seen or played before. Sure, I've played a tonne of interactive games by now, but none that hit quite like this. The narrative is a gripping multi-generational story about two families who collide in a motel in the Arizona desert in 1998. The game throughout delivers strong emotional beats with intense decisions that ultimatley lead to high stake consequences. Inner and external conflict, complex characters, and a captivating tale that'll have you hooked for the next 6 hours or so - yes please. It's on Xbox Game Pass, and I highly recommend you play it if you're looking for something enthralling to dive into either on your own, or with someone else.
Oh, and shout out to the soundtrack composed by Matthew Barnes and licensed songs featuring Emily Jane White's Hole In The Middle. Perfect sounds that fit in the game's atmosphere.
Everybody's got a little hole in the midddleee, everybody does a little dance with the devvilll
Here's what James said:
GoTY: Evil West. There's no sugar coating the fact that 2022 was another strange year for gaming. Not quite the barren wasteland of 2020-21 but close. We had a few surprises including Stray and Oddworld Stranger's Wrath HD (and I'm yet to play Horizon Forbidden West or Elex II, the latter of which could be a strong contender if the first game was any indication) but for the most part this year was pretty ordinary.
Until very recently my pick would have been Elden Ring (Check out the review for Elden Ring here), more out of respect than love. A group member made some good points in a recent comment; "Elden Ring deserves it. It was a game that didn't compromise and still managed to garner millions of sales and has maintained a consistently large playerbase over 6 months after release." Indeed, I have a friend who has clocked about 250 hours on it since launch and he could probably write a PhD thesis on why it's such a masterpiece by this point. I believe him, and all the other diehards but it just wasn't what I needed in my life at the time.
However, then Evil West (Check out the review for Evil West here) came along. Incomparable to Elden Ring really, but it was such a great, solid, honest and kinda old school action-adventure which played to its strengths and never outstays its welcome. The story, missions and level design will appeal to late 2000s/early 2010s gamers but in saying that everything else has been deftly streamlined for the modern player. That's just what the doctor ordered, and so it gets the glory for me.