Reviews - Updated on May 14, 2022

Recently, more and more often you think that the past game year was so-so, but the next one will be much cooler. There were many hopes for 2022 – after all, companies have already been able to adapt to the pandemic, and there is nowhere else to transfer the expected games. However, everything points to the fact that the best game of the year has already been released and there will be no one to compete with it.

Alone in the field

When I talk about “Game of the Year” I mean first of all the award at The Game Awards. I’m one of those people who watch this show for the sake of awarding the winners – the announcements there are rarely interesting, but it’s exciting to predict the jury’s choice. But lately, the game of the year is either obvious, as it was with The Last of Us Part II, or chosen among good, but not the most outstanding releases.

Looking at the flaunting number 96 next to the cover of Elden Ring on Metacritic, you understand that the game will definitely fall into the main category. And almost all projects that could compete with it were postponed to the next year.

It would be fun to see another confrontation between Horizon and The Legend of Zelda. In 2017, Zero Dawn had no chance against Breath of the Wild – Nintendo released its game a couple of days after Sony and redirected all attention to Zelda. In 2022, history repeated itself, but this time Forbidden West was not lucky enough to release at about the same time as Elden Ring. Judging by which of these games still remains in the information field, the Guerrilla Games team will again leave empty-handed. Well, the sequel to Breath of the Wild was generally postponed to the next year – it still doesn’t even have a name.

Forbidden West is a great game, but Guerrilla Games is out of luck again.

Forbidden West is a great game, but Guerrilla Games is out of luck again.

There were high hopes for Starfield, Bethesda Game Studios’ first new franchise in years. The release date was announced a long time ago, during all this time they did not show a single second of the gameplay – studio fans had to bit by bit collect information from leaks. But we won’t see Starfield this fall either – it was also postponed. According to insiders, there were reasons for this – the game is not in a state to present it to the public.

Could compete and Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League. We haven’t received a major release from Rocksteady since 2015, and its Batman: Arkham trilogy has had a big impact on the industry and is adored by millions. Does this mean that the “Suicide Squad” is sure to win universal love? Not necessarily, but there are chances. However, it will not compete with Elden Ring this year – it has been postponed until next spring.

Don't let me down, Rocksteady!

Don’t let me down, Rocksteady!

Tumbleweed

And what remains? Yes, by and large, nothing. The autumn release calendar looks empty and it is unlikely that following the results of the June presentations it will be filled with a large number of games. Of the major releases, only Forspoken and Gotham Knights have release dates, but neither of them looks like candidates for the title of the best game of the year, although both will surely be good action games. Back on December 8, they promised STALKER 2: Heart of Chornobyl, but no one would be surprised if the date changes again. And if it does not change, there will still be no game at this The Game Awards.

In the fourth quarter of this year, they plan to release Marvel’s Midnight Suns and Hogwarts Legacy – both have already been postponed once, so they may leave for 2023. And only one of them has a chance to compete with Elden Ring. The most interesting thing is how Sony will do with God of War: Ragnarök – the publisher has not even announced approximately what period of this year it plans to release the game – perhaps this will be another postponement. At the same time, the animation director of the action claims that the release will take place before the end of the year.

Will God of War be rewarded again if the game does get released this year?

Will God of War be rewarded again if the game does get released this year?

Nintendo has had a very fruitful year. Excellent Pokémon Legends have already been released: Arceus and Kirby and the Forgotten Land, and Splatoon 3, Xenoblade Chronicles 3, Bayonetta 3 are ahead … The press filled up the previous parts of the series with high marks, but paid little attention to them in the final votes – the situation is unlikely to change with triquels .

Well, there is nothing like Hades among indies yet. As amazing as Rogue Legacy 2 and Tunic were, they failed to become the same cultural phenomena. These are wonderful games “for their own”, they do not try to attract to the genre those who were not interested in such entertainment before. And if we talk about The Game Awards, then indies are not very favored there, leaving them in separate categories. By some miracle, Celeste competed with God of War and Red Dead Redemption 2 in 2018, and Disco Elysium did not even claim the main award in 2019, although it ended up winning the most wins on that show.

Maybe, at least for the visual style, Tunic will get something.

Maybe, at least for the visual style, Tunic will get something.

But what could this gaming year have turned out to be! When I talked about the main events of 2021 in December, I began with a series of postponements – much of what we expected then was either already out or coming in a few months. And now it turns out that from 2023 we will expect the same thing that we expected from the past two years, and we will certainly be disappointed again.

Of course, the title of “Game of the Year”, especially at The Game Awards, is a trifle: the main thing is that you yourself enjoy the games, and the choice of strangers does not affect anything. But I want to finally see a powerful confrontation, such a list of releases, thanks to which the gaming year will go down in history. Elden Ring, of course, deserved the victory, but it will not be won in a fair fight. And everything could be much more interesting and unpredictable.

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