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Gaming

It’s only April and it’s already been an incredible year for games

We're eating real good right now

Elden Ring combat

I know a few people who are really picky with games.

I played around 50 games that were released last year, many of which were really good. Conversely, I have one “hipster” friend who said he barely played anything because nothing really grabbed his attention. To each his own, I guess, but I find that mentality mind-boggling.

Across consoles, PC, mobile and the multitude of distribution methods therein, we’re getting so many new games on a weekly basis. While their respective quality can be argued, the amount of choice we have is indisputable.

The reason I bring this up is that I was reflecting on games of 2022 so far, and man, has it been a particularly good one already. We’re only just a little over a quarter of the way into 2022, and it’s staggering just how many great — and, even better, varied — titles have been released.

Horizon Forbidden West Abandon Ruins

While a lot of attention has understandably been given to Elden Ring, Horizon Forbidden West was another outstanding February release. (Image credit: PlayStation)

In January, we got Nobody Saves the World!, a charming action-RPG from Toronto’s own Drinkbox, and Pokémon Legends Arceus, Game Freak’s long-awaited open-world-esque spin on Pokémon.

The following month, we had such heavy hitters as:

  • Dying Light 2 (Techland) — a zombie-infested open-world, action-RPG featuring rad parkour
    Sifu (Sloclap) — an action beat ’em up with thrilling martial arts combat
  • OlliOlli World (Roll7) — a 2D-platforming skateboarder
  • Horizon Forbidden West (Guerrilla Games) — an action-RPG featuring a breathtaking open-world and engaging post-apocalyptic story
  • Destiny 2: The Witch Queen (Bungie) — more content for Destiny 2 players (I’ll be honest — I don’t play this game, but I’ve heard good things!)
  • Elden Ring (FromSoftware) — an open-world take on Dark Souls that is one of the most well-reviewed games of all time

Horizon and Elden Ring, in particular, are already being thrown around in early Game of the Year discussions, and they came out just a week apart!

And March was somehow even more nuts:

  • Gran Turismo 7 (Polyphony Digital) — the long-awaited (albeit controversial) return of PlayStation’s storied racing series
  • Triangle Strategy (Artdink) — a spiritual successor to the strategy game Final Fantasy Tactics, with a gorgeous HD-2D aesthetic
  • Tunic (Halifax’s Andrew Shouldice) — an adorable-yet-challenging homage to the Legend of Zelda games of old
  • Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands (Gearbox) — a mix of Borderlands’ signature gunplay with a flavour of D&D
  • Kirby and the Forgotten Land (HAL Laboratory) — a more exploration-focused take on the platformer, plus Kirby can eat a car
  • Weird West (WolfEye Studios) — Dishonored co-creator Raphaël Colantonio’s western spin on the immersive sim genre

Elden Ring

February’s Elden Ring is one of the highest-rated games of all time. (Image credit: Bandai Namco)

Obviously, that doesn’t cover every 2022 release, but it accounts for many of the more well-received titles, and a healthy mix of genres, at that.  That doesn’t take into account ports or remasters, like January’s God of War PC release, February’s Final Fantasy VI Pixel Remaster or, most recently, this week’s Chrono Cross: The Radical Dreamers Edition

And on the subject of this week, we’ve also gotten Traveler’s Tales’ latest (and perhaps greatest) Lego game, Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga, and Sony San Diego Studio’s MLB The Show 22 (which was released on PlayStation, Xbox and, in a series’ first, Nintendo Switch). Even better: MLB The Show 22, as well as the above Nobody Saves the World!Tunic and Weird West, all hit Xbox Game Pass on day one. (And outside of specific games, 2022 has already given us a surprisingly good piece of new Valve hardware, the Steam Deck, and another far-better-than-it-has-any-right-to-be Sonic the Hedgehog movie, among other game-related releases.)

Karby

In Kirby and the Forgotten Land, our pink hero can eat *an entire car.* Incredible. (Image credit: Nintendo)

Of course, your mileage will vary on some of the titles I’ve mentioned. I, for example, am not at all a sports or racing game guy, so MLB and Gran Turismo don’t appeal to me. On the flip side, some games that weren’t necessarily great, like Team Ninja’s Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin or Tango Gameworks’ Ghostwire: Tokyo, I still found myself enjoying quite a bit. There’s something here for everyone.

Best of all? This is only the first three months of 2022. Even if you’re somehow like my annoyingly picky friend and only gravitate to specific games (literally just Elden Ring this year), there’s a lot more to look forward to.

Below is a list of just some of the games that are confirmed (barring any delays) to be coming later in 2022:

Once again, that’s only some of what 2022’s got in store. Pick out three random games from above and they’ll likely be from completely different genres. Or, at the very least, they’ll approach the same genre in varying ways, like Horizon Forbidden West‘s more guided open-world to Elden Ring‘s largely direction-free one.

And what’s especially impressive about these lineups is that significant portions of many — if not all — of these games were made during the COVID-19 pandemic. At a time when most industries had to completely shut down for prolonged periods of time, game makers commendably shifted to remote work to continue development.

Anyway, my backlog is so big as is that I’m going to need to finally return to Elden Ring soon. The next couple of months, thankfully, seem to be comparatively slower, which will no doubt help with that.

On that note, which of these games have you been enjoying? Which are you most excited about? Let us know in the comments!

Image credit: Bandai Namco

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