Best of 2022: Video games
“Elden Ring” puts the player on a magical adventure with the goal of becoming Elden Lord. This will face the player off against a variety of enemies, ranging from cursed omen kings to battle-hardened generals. This is the first of FromSoftware’s games to be open world and it certainly benefits from this aspect. In one of their previous games, “Dark Souls,” there is little that the player can do if they are stuck in an area or boss. However, “Elden Ring” changes this formula for the better. If the player is stuck, they can simply go somewhere else. This change opens the door to much more experimentation in one’s playstyle. The wide variety of ways that one can accomplish the objectives of “Elden Ring” are what make it one of the best games of the year.
God of War: Ragnarok
“God of War” (2018) reimagined the “God of War” series, but “God of War: Ragnarok” took this reimagining and expanded it to the next level. The combat, story and exploration is all completely elevated in order to accomplish this. The side quests are much more interesting and rewarding in the reimagination of this game, with an abundance of enemies and bosses. The combat encourages the player to get experimental in their style with a wider variety of moves. The story is masterfully done and makes the player eager to discover what happens next. All this considered, “God of War: Ragnarok” is easily one of the best games of 2022.
“Stray” may not seem quite as impressive as the previous two games, however, it delivers spades through its atmosphere and visual storytelling. The player traverses a dystopian cyberpunk city, populated only by robots. However, the main appeal of this game is that the protagonist isn’t just a regular human, but a cat. The player can explore this world from a completely new perspective and interact with all sorts of objects that wouldn’t be nearly as fun otherwise. Starting from the bottom slums of this city and climbing all the way to the top is a unique experience that few other games can bring.
Kirby and the Forgotten Land
Kirby has stayed in the two-dimensional space since its creation in 1992. While there have been some 3D elements to certain installments, none made the full jump until “Kirby and the Forgotten Land.” Another major thing this game does differently than its predecessors is its setting: a post-apocalyptic world, vaguely resembling Earth. Compared to the bubbly happy “Dream Land” that most Kirby games take place in, this is a welcome change. While this is still a pretty easy game, it doesn’t feel like it’s just spoon-feeding the player a victory, and with some great level design, Kirby’s first foray into 3D turns out to be one of the best installments in his series.
A Plague Tale: Requiem
A direct sequel to “A Plague Tale: Innocence”, the story continues on with sibling duo Amicia and Hugo de Rune, as they travel across Provence in search of a cure for Hugo’s grave affliction. This third-person action game takes place within an alternate history of 14th century France during the Hundred Years’ War. “Requiem” amplifies its emotional journey from its predecessor. Players will run through dystopian lands, away from tsunamis of plague rats, fight among armies of soldiers, all while being subjected to the constant heartbreak that derives from emotional ties. Although the game’s mechanics are not foreign to other stealth-action games, it is more improved than in “Innocence.” Equipped with a sling, crossbow and alchemy bag, players will need to think of divergent ways to either choose between fight or flight in mobs ahead. “Requiem’s” visuals and sounds stunningly captivate the siblings’ journey, persuading players to explore the dystopian grounds and interact with charismatic allies. Available on most platforms, “Requiem” masterfully finds hope amongst heartwarming bonds while set world shrouded without any.
An indie supernatural horror game, this anticipated game brandishes a fresh, creative concept in indie horror. Playing as a trapped mortician known as Rebecca, the player must focus on performing their duties while also searching for the identity and location of a demon threatening Rebecca. Being very interactive, the player is tasked with learning about the embalming process through step by step procedures. If the embalming wasn’t eerie enough, strange distortions and sounds creep around the player while they work. Searching for the demon is approached in a more puzzle-solving manner. As the player performs embalmings, they will notice abnormalities in cadavers that hint about the demon. Throughout the shift, Rebecca must search for sigils that are used to identify the name of the demon, which is done so by lighting a Lettering Strip and exploring the mortuary. The game bodes well with providing a false sense of security through its strange repetitive manner, yet amping up stakes through tense atmospheres and managed jumpscares. In case the stakes didn’t appear imminent, if the player doesn’t recognize which body is harboring the demon in time, then the demon possesses Rebecca completely — game over. Available on PC, this unique indie horror provides a worthwhile pastime.