The most interesting and least interesting games in 2022
And so we reach the end of 2022, or as it will be known by future generations,the year what Elden Ring come out in.
You know when they reboot a franchise and use the same name, they always end up having to stick the year it came out on the end, as with Sonic the Hedgehog open brackets 2006 and Doom open brackets 2016?
This is gonna be the opposite of that.
The year 2022 will forever be known as 2022 open
brackets when Elden Ring come out.
Not that I want to spoil too much of what you
should expect from this,
the Zero Punctuation top 5, bottom 5 and blandest
5 games of the preceding year.
Although I’ll spoil one more thing: neither God
of War Ragnarok
nor Sonic Frontiers appear in any of the
Hopefully this time the Youtube video won’t have
to sit atop its comments like a squirrel being
dangled over a sack of understimulated pitbulls.
Not for Broadcast
I’m sorry, Sam Barlow, I’m all about new
approaches to interactive storytelling,
but I just can’t get on with this Her Story
“watch all the videos and draw your own
I need knobs to twiddle and a voice telling me
how well I’m twiddling them.
That’s why Not For Broadcast is my FMV game of
A bit hit and miss, but god bless it it tries so
hard it won me over in the end,
and you won’t find a more authentic knob
As always, the Game Awards showers its indie
prizes on whatever passing trend gains sufficient
buzz to be deemed worthy of hanging with the cool
kids even if its just a linear hike whose core
gameplay lacks any noteworthy feature besides a
butthole concealing algorithm.
It’s Stray, a game that you can recreate at home
if you happen to own a cat and a laser pointer
shaped like a contextual button prompt.
Hell Pie is a game that actually plays pretty
With nuanced platforming mechanics and
interesting, varied environments.
Unfortunately it’s also, in a very literal sense,
gross as shit.
And thus all that effort was tragically wasted.
I mean, 2001 A Space Odyssey is considered one of
history’s greatest films but that would not be
the case if every time you turned it on Stanley
Kubrick ran out and jizzed in your eye.
There’s a game coming out next year inspired by
Jet Set Radio called Bomb Rush Cyberfunk and I’ve
already declared that to be the most abuseable
name of any video game in history.
My mind reels at the possibilities.
I can get three swears in there easy.
But until it comes out, Fartface Shitcaker will
retain the title.
You remember, that meditative game about
I liked it.
Dying Light 2
Being one of the first big triple-A releases of
the year, Dying Light 2 had some shoes to fill.
And proceeded to fill them with porridge and
It’s such a bland, obvious open world with such a
bland, obvious setting, and its zombies probably
get bullied by the zombies from Left 4 Dead.
Even parkour and a hang glider couldn’t help it
Felt like trying to liven up a dull work
presentation by flicking the lights on and off.
Stranger of Paradise: FFO
I feel iffy about condemning things I don’t
Maybe there are other people with different
cultural backgrounds for whom this game’s story
is a searing emotional roller coaster rather than
a roomful of deranged circus seals banging
But I guess I can only ever speak for my own
experience, which reliably informs me that
Stranger of Paradise: Anal Man-tasy Squidgybums
is a load of old piss on a freshly laundered pillow.
It’s a little bit Zelda, it’s a little bit
Soulsy, it’s a little bit country,
it’s a little bit rock n’ roll.
Rock and dodge roll, that is, arf arf.
Tunic is wonderfully deliberate in its nostalgic
theming and solid core gameplay integrated with a
sense of unfolding mystery, and as well as 3rd
best it’s also the new holder of the Best Game
Set Entirely In A Soft Play Area award.
Get over it, Fall Guys.
Trek to Yomi
You know, I’m starting to relish Third Blandest
as the sort of One True Blandest award, a game so
bland it couldn’t even stand out in the field of
And this year it’s Trek to Yomi, a game about
waving a sword and moving right that limps its
way through a stop-and-start plot before
meandering to a close and disappearing from my
memory until this very instant.
It’s happened more than once that the very last
game from the year ends up in my worst list.
Maybe since it’s after The Game Awards mid to
late December has become
“Well, we’ve officially given up on THIS winning
any prizes,” season.
So yeah, the Callisto Protocol’s bad.
Maybe I’d have gone easier on it if it weren’t so
fresh in my memory, but much like ripping off the
top of a dude’s head so you can see his tongue
wiggling about in the stump like a curious worm
in a strawberry trifle, some wounds don’t heal
Hear me out.
Elden Ring is a fantastically realised world and
a great natural progression of the Dark Souls
legacy that, rarity of rarities, I kept playing
in my spare time, all seven weekly minutes of it,
but I can’t in good conscience call it my game of
the year because I stopped about three or four
bosses before the end and never felt the desire
to go back.
Like many men my age, I struggle with soulslike
But if you give generously perhaps hope can be
found for those who suffer from this debilitating
I *hope* the next From Software game has a decent
fucking ending for once.
The stock expectation of the superhero game is
that it should make you feel like the superhero in question.
But after riding a slightly underpowered
motorbike through mostly empty streets for ten
minutes before chipping away at several overly
spongey health bars in yet another samey punch-
up, I don’t feel much like the superheroes
depicted in Gotham Knights.
I feel like an overworked pork butcher with an
unusually long commute.
Nothing like a turd so sphincter-stretchingly big
its own publisher shuts it down after six months.
Babylon’s Fall is an ugly, boring, confusing
tripe lollipop that already failed so hard
there’s little point in berating it further.
It’s so bad it made me retroactively hate Babylon
Five just by association.
It’s just fuckin’ Deep Space Nine but set on a
giant bicycle pump.
In the end there was only one game that always
came to mind first when I thought of my
favourites of the year.
Yes, I was a little down on the whole wannime
beach episode accidental panty shot ooh notice me
senpai no not like that you perv vibe of the plot
but Neon White’s core gameplay loop is very
strong and has a wonderfully breezy innovative
spirit that you just don’t get from games that
have to drag their oversized development budgets
around with them like two fat horse carcasses.
In a bag.
Blandness is relative, really.
If you took Saints Row open brackets 2022 by
itself it’d probably seem far from bland compared
to most of its peers, but unfortunately it has to
be weighed against the previous Saints Row games
and the moment they get dropped on the scale
Saints Row open brackets 2022 gets catapulted into a ditch.
And then its dreary attempt to get back into its
decades-old bed with only the tokenest attempt to
refresh the linen is what pushes the dirt over it
to finally bring an end to this severely mixed metaphor.
FNaF: Security Breach
Considering I gave Carkplace Titshaker a prize,
it shouldn’t surprise you to hear that I feel a
bit out of touch with the kids.
I cannot comprehend how anyone can look at
Security Breach and see anything but a
horrendously badly thought out six-lane pile-up
of a game, riddled with terrible design decisions
and misplaced effort, held together about as
efficiently as a swarm of angry wasps in a fishing net.
But the popularity of Five Nights At Freddy’s
mystifies me generally, so maybe I’m the wrong demographic.
Maybe this is like complaining that there’s no
driving philosophical theme
at the heart of Peppa Pig’s Pumpkin Party.