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The Rllmuk Game of the Year Awards 2022 - Voting thread - voting closed


Benny
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then it's small fry, chucklefuck, niche bullshit and can't be game of the year. obviously

 

 

Game of the Year

 

1. Elden Ring

2.

3.

4.

5.

 

Biggest disappointment:

 

1. Gamers being Nazis

2. Gamers being women hating incel losers.

3. Sonic Frontiers

 

Best visuals

 

1. Elden Ring

2.

3.

 

Best audio

 

1.

2.

3.

 

Best writing

 

1. 

2.

3.

 

Best not 2022 game:

 

1.

2.

3.

 

Best developer:

 

From Software

 

Best format/console/controller/brain interface:

 

PS5

 

Quote

I'm sure there are games that technically have better graffix that Elden Ring but nothing I've seen this year made me stop and go holy fucking shit like some of the vistas in the Lands Between. Particularly the blue fire spitting dragon under the sky of raya lucaria. From's mastery of colour is astonishing in this game.

 

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There are loads of games that don't have their own Wikipedia page. The Hex, the game Daniel Mullins made between Pony Island and Incryption doesn't have one and that's been out years and is hardly obscure. 

 

Of course you can just be insecure weirdos about answering a simple question if you want.

 

 

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Game of the Year

 

1. Elden Ring

2.

3.

4.

5.

 

Biggest disappointment:

 

1. Everyone involved in the Hellena Taylor thing

2. Babylon's Fall

3. Elden Ring being called a Souls game when that's doing it a disservice damnit

 

Best visuals

 

1. Elden Ring

2.

3.

 

Best audio

 

1. Elden Ring

2.

3.

 

Best writing

 

1. Elden Ring

2.

3.

 

Best not 2022 game:

 

1. Hades (video game)

2. Final Fantasy V

3.

 

Best developer:

 

From Software

 

Best format/console/controller/brain interface:

 

PC

 

 

Commentary:

Spoiler

Game of the Year

 

1. Elden Ring

I'll admit that after I tried the beta I was a little nervous. Not necessarily about the quality of the game – I was confident that it would be decent – but I wasn't sure if the open world would be as liberating as I had hoped. As the last day drew to a close and I was nowhere close to defeating any of the bosses, I wondered if the full game would be an open world full of insane encounters that would completely ruin me, no matter which one I chose to take on. However, Elden Ring has a lot more going on than a large expanse where bosses hang out. With the invisible walls of the beta taken down, a player can set off in pretty much any direction and enjoy one of the most carefully crafted videogame environments out there. Going into Elden Ring after so many other open-world games makes you look at those other games and realise that they could be doing a lot more with their space. Creating an impressive amount of square miles and littering it with the same objectives we've seen before isn't nearly as captivating after you've spent some time exploring the various regions in this game. Sites of Grace serve as checkpoints and allow you to push further out into the world, certain landmarks unlock further details on your map and offer teasers of more intriguing destinations to explore, and various catacombs invite you to explore and loot them – if you can survive the encounters within.

 

Coming from a developer so adept at creating oppressive, focused sequences in their games, it's refreshingly unrestrained. You can begin a play session with one particular goal in mind and come away with three or four more things you discovered on the way and intend to investigate next time – new checkpoints, new bosses, a new NPC questline to follow or perhaps a new piece of equipment to upgrade. And Elden Ring isn't afraid to lead you into areas your character isn't ready for - the game is kind enough to let you walk away from a particularly difficult encounter, but it rarely stops you from stumbling into that encounter in the first place. With this in mind, your discoveries are what help you push forward – locating a secret cave with upgrade materials, or finding a more manageable zone with enemies that drop plenty of runes. Just as you map out the hostile areas where you're barely able to survive, you also start to identify areas that benefit your character the most – and this continues to shift as your character's stats improve. By the end of the game you're teleporting around the map with confidence (with the exception of the final encounter and a few nightmarish optional battles) – and next to the other From games, it's a sensation that feels unique to Elden Ring.

 

In a world where everyone is so desperate to compare everything to Souls, I think I could easily recommend this to someone who didn't enjoy From's earlier Dark Fantasy Action RPGs. A few gameplay staples are shared between the games, but the generosity of the open world sets Elden Ring apart from the rest of them. I haven't even mentioned the offputting From tropes that this game happily throws out – there's nothing that's really like hollowing or humanity or insight, no chance of human invaders ruining your solo fun with their gimmick build, those once-tedious runs to collect your dropped currency are trivialised by pointing Torrent in the direction of your runes, weapon durability isn't a problem… and of course, it's much less linear. From Software have created something uniquely wonderful, and throwing it into the increasingly vague "Souls" generalisation is doing it a disservice – Elden Ring is so much more.

2.

3.

4.

5.

 

Biggest disappointment:

 

1. Everyone involved in the Hellena Taylor thing

I mean, I at least get to say that, right? I dropped off Bayonetta after it became a Nintendo exclusive, and I don't own a Switch yet, so I have no reason to take sides anywhere – I'm just watching the smoke rise from the dumpster fire whilst keeping a safe distance from it all. Everyone seemed ready to jump into the newest Platinum character action vehicle when Hellena Taylor published a video in which she claimed that she got a bad offer for voice work. The original claim stated that she stood to make $4000 if she came back as Bayonetta… but other sources later claimed that the total offer was closer to around $15000, with the $4000 being a payment for one session of recording. Even before the $15000 claim, gamers were embarrassing themselves – happy to boycott things that they never would have picked up in the first place but performing mental gymnastics trying to make an exception here, but with this counter-claim came relief that they could play with a clear conscience. Again, I'm not taking anyone's side: it was just pretty daft all around. Meanwhile Hideki Kamiya shat the bed over nothing and just ended up looking like an attention-seeking manchild – to the point where his account got suspended due to unusual activity. Or: "trying to turn a social media platform into a personal echo chamber." (In his defence, I think that a bunch of people follow him so much that they immediately turn their attention to him whenever there's some kind of interesting news related to a Platinum thing – as if he's some kind of PR agent on the side instead of a regular game producer.) And I've just remembered that it wasn't even the first major disappointment of 2022 that Platinum Games was (at least partially) responsible for, because…

2. Babylon's Fall

Okay, yes, I made the original thread for this on the forum. And at the time I was scraping the internet for any kind of new information during the months of radio silence about this game. However, you can't get hyped for something that you have no information about, and so I was just curious about what this might be. More than three years passed between that thread's creation and my initial experience with the beta, and in that time the thread barely reached two or three pages. The news that it would be a live service game only killed off any remaining enthusiasm from people expecting a scripted character action vessel, but whatever – I play Destiny 2; I'm a sucker for a mindless loop of combat and looting and upgrading. However, towards the end of 2021 I managed to take a look at the closed beta and it was enough to make me lose interest in the whole thing, due to repetitive waves of damage sponge enemies who didn't respond to being hit. And even then, we couldn't just move on from that disappointment, because the full game was still due to be released in March of 2022. Within a few short days, the red Metascore was available to view; after about a month the concurrent player count for the Steam version of the game was in single figures, and in September we received word that the online service would be shut down in February 2023 – less than a year after the release date. The whole messy saga gave me the impression that someone higher up must have believed in live service games being the hot new shit despite Platinum's developers having zero passion for such a project. And it's just another question mark in the studio's random business decisions lately.

3. Elden Ring being called a Souls game when that's doing it a disservice damnit

Look, I'm not even the biggest fan of From Software. I love Elden Ring and Bloodborne, and I kind of got on with Dark Souls 2 and 3, but I'm not the kind of person who watches hours of lore videos and details of code exploits that reveal secret information. I'm not cool enough to be down with the memes, and honestly you can only find "but hole" funny for so many minutes. However, as I said in my Game of the Year comment, From can't seem to make a new dark fantasy action RPG without the same hardcore fans desperately trying to call it another Dark Souls. For a group of fans who celebrate a developer that innovates in an industry full of remakes and cash-ins, they sure like to pretend that Elden Ring is the same game as all of their other ones just because it has a stamina bar and you can drop your experience on the ground if you die. How different does a From Software action game need to be in order for it to be commended on its own? Trying to put every one of their games into a neat box labelled "Souls" is exactly the same way we get the tired "X is the Dark Souls of Y" lines in reviews of pretty much any game with a hint of challenge. Those soundbites quickly fell out of favour after reaching meme status, but you still see them throughout discourse regarding From Software's own back catalogue. The fact is that if anyone had more than five seconds to stop and think about it, they would probably be able to find unique reasons to recommend each one of these games (Souls, Bloodborne, Sekiro, Elden Ring) over the others, depending on what someone is looking for in a new experience. And surely that diversity is something we should celebrate and encourage?

 

Best visuals

 

1. Elden Ring

In terms of pure technical wizardry and polygon-shifting, I don't know if Elden Ring is pushing that many boundaries. When I think about my time spent with the game I can't really point at anything that seemed like a deliberate flex or an opportunity to wow the player with its pretties. And even though I haven't played Horizon Forbidden West (at the time of writing) I wouldn't bet against Guerrilla Games' adventure granting players more opportunities to take fancy high-definition screenshots and save them as wallpapers or share them online. Elden Ring is many things, but I'm not sure if it was the most dazzling open-world game out there. That said, this category is about visual design rather than technical wizardry, and Elden Ring at least succeeds in being able to create some memorable environments and remarkable inhabitants within. You didn't really get a feel for the sheer range of visual quality during the beta period, but it's quickly apparent after you've spent enough time with the full game. Initially I feared that too much of the game's world would be like Limgrave – grey skies, grasslands, trees and rocks. However, Nokstella and Nokron offer up a moody starlit city; Caelid is a wasteland of dead trees and red skies; Leyndell at first feels like a daunting mass of streets and rooftops, and so on. The boss and enemy design might not always match the horrors of Bloodborne, but Elden Ring at least avoids filling its world with glorified knights and soldiers – instead mixing the mundane with the bizarre. I confess that I might not have played the best version of the game; I went for the PS5 disc and so I probably missed out on some frame rate and performance perks. However, the designs of the worlds and the creatures were still appreciable from beginning to end.

2.

3.

 

Best audio

 

1. Elden Ring

Do you like listening to stringed instruments being played slowly? Luckily, I've got just the soundtrack for you. Okay, I can concede that a lot of the ambience used when exploring the world's regions kind of merges into one thing in your subconscious, and that some of the overblown orchestral themes that play during boss battles might not be that special, and I don't really know if I'll be putting anything from the Elden Ring soundtrack into my iTunes library. Oh, and after hearing certain themes enough times I can imagine some players getting sick of them when they just want to get past a particularly tricky encounter. However, Elden Ring's soundtrack serves its purpose well enough – it's not there to scream in your face and take attention away from the rest of the experience. Instead, the soundtrack is mostly a selection of incidental ambience that sets a certain mood for the latest area or encounter. It's there to offer more than silence – to add a little bit of flavour without overshadowing anything else, and in that respect it's… fine. Perhaps my cheap sound solution isn't the best and I was missing out on something by not having expensive headphones or whatever, but it's the best kind of soundtrack you could want from something like this. In terms of standout tracks, I don't know if there was anything quite as iconic as Bloodborne's theme for the Cleric Beast and Vicar Amelia, but I did enjoy the music used when battling the Godskin Apostles, and the music in the final boss battle was both beautiful and haunting. Meanwhile, there are enough distinct crunches and thuds to give the combat a satisfying sense of weight, and the audio for enemy attacks is as clever as you'd expect from From – allowing you to hear particular startup effects even in the busier sequences.

2.

3.

 

Best writing

 

1. Elden Ring

I can't pretend to be an arbiter of knowledge when it comes to the lore in From Software's action RPGs, but Elden Ring proves once again that the developer is happy to offer as much lore as you are interested in taking in – via item descriptions, optional NPC questlines, incidental dialogue – and still offer you one of several baffling endings that may leave you with more questions or have you coming up with your own speculation. Then again, there is a lot of writing that's kind of blunt and in your face if you're more interested in that kind of storytelling. Something like the framing of the Radahn Festival makes the subsequent encounter feel much more special than it would be if you just wandered into a random fog door, and were dropped into battle, and then whisked away to the next location afterwards. On a smaller scale, you get frequent character development from the characters you find yourself bumping into on multiple occasions, which is perhaps one of the strengths of the Roundtable Hold – a hub that you regularly visit for gameplay benefits. And in an environment where so many things are out to kill you, any opportunity to mingle with new NPCs is welcome. Beyond the characters, there are morsels of interesting details you can discover about the gear and key items that you find, and if you don't care about any of the minutiae then the game still establishes a broader goal for the player. Find a Finger Maiden, become the Elden Lord, grab the Great Runes, and make the world a better place(?) And at the very least, the Great Runes serve as a very overt marker of progress – a punctuation mark that separates so much death and exploration. Okay, so I'm clueless about a lot of it, but I don't think any of the other games I played put in so much effort.

2.

3.

 

Best not 2022 game:

 

1. Hades (video game)

It's kind of funny talking about Hades now when so much hype is surrounding the sequel that has just been announced, but I was pretty late to the party when it came to this. Hades was a game that I wanted to get around to for months, but I had missed out on all of the times when it was getting deals on the Epic Game Store, and the discounts in Steam sales hadn't yet persuaded me. However, during the Steam summer sale of this year it was being offered for something like £11 or £12 and that seemed to be enough to convince me. (Not to mention the fact that nothing much was coming out over summer and I was looking for cheap discration to keep me occupied before October and P5 Royal or whatever.) I never really bothered with (googles to make sure he doesn't type Supermassive by accident) Supergiant's earlier games, even after Transistor was given away in the PlayStation Plus Instant Game Collection several years ago, but from all of the previews and previews and videos I had seen of Hades, I quickly convinced myself that it would be worth checking out. On the surface, it just looks like a fun arena-based action roguelike, but it doesn't take long to appreciate the care and attention that has gone into so many aspects of the game. The voice acting and characterisation is superb, the animations and effects are satisfying, the way the soundtrack escalates in more hecting encounters is ace... and there's always enough to keep you coming back. At first I thought that Hades would be too intimidating for me and would drown me in systems and mechanics, but it introduces concepts quite gently and you could probably get by ignoring some of those concepts at first. If I had played it sooner I'm sure it would have been in my Game of the Year nominations of the time; nevertheless, it deserves some recognition in this category.

2. Final Fantasy V

Technically this nomination is for Final Fantasy V Advance, as that's the version I ended up playing, but the most prominent wiki listing is for "Final Fantasy V", so that's what I'm going with for now. For the past few years I've tried to do at least one "blind" playthrough of some retro thing that will eat up a lot of hours. I did this with Persona 1 and 2, FFVI, and Chrono Trigger, and I was wondering what to do this year. I decided that I would take a look at Final Fantasy V Advance because I had heard interesting comments and praise around the game's approach to the job system, and I ultimately ended up playing through to the ending and the credits. And even though I don't think that the story is the most spectacular thing, or that all of the battle encounters are all that enjoyable, I did find some things in the gameplay mechanics that were enjoyable. Like the first game and Final Fantasy III, this game uses a "job" system where party members can take on designated roles that determine the type of gear that they can carry and the type of skills they can use in battles and (sometimes) whilst exploring dungeons. As a character completes battles whilst in a particular job, they unlock abilities associated with that job. These can then be equipped in an ability slot and kept as they change to a new job. So my endgame party had a blue mage that fought like a monk, and a thief that could use summons, and a white mage that could act like a knight and protect allies who were at critical health... and so on. It's one of the more liberating job systems I've seen, and even though VI is still my favourite in the series, I still admire the kind of freedom offered in V.

3.

 

Best developer:

 

From Software

If there's one thing that Elden Ring reminds us – again – it's that the team at From Software are able to invent completely disparate experiences that are able to be enjoyed on their own merits. They already tried to remind us with Bloodborne and Sekiro before everyone tried their usual pigeonholing, but when I attempted to go into the beta of Elden Ring as if it were an extension of their earlier games, something felt slightly "off". I was fixated on treating the bosses I'd stumble into as mandatory encounters that had to be dealt with now, rather than challenges to be revisited at another time. I was trying to engage with patrols on foot rather than using Torrent to my advantage and circling my foes whilst getting hits in. I was still thinking of death as a massive setback rather than the gentler inconvenience it becomes now that the corpse run is smoother (again, thanks to Torrent, and also plenty of generous Grace placements.) Their other games weren't afraid of placing walls of difficulty in front of the player, but Elden Ring is more like being surrounded (appropriately) by mountains and valleys of difficulty – some challenges will still be insurmountable right now, but there are plenty of other ways in which a player could spend their time. I often find that one argument against the notion of easy modes in From games is that they would require too much effort and skill to balance – but this comes from people who openly admit that From are masters at creating balanced gameplay experiences. Elden Ring already hints that they would be more than capable – its open world offers a wide range of challenges that have varying "difficulty" – and I'm quite keen to see how the design of their latest classic influences any future projects.

 

Best format/console/controller/brain interface:

 

PC

 

 

 

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12 minutes ago, Quest said:

There are loads of games that don't have their own Wikipedia page. The Hex, the game Daniel Mullins made between Pony Island and Incryption doesn't have one and that's been out years and is hardly obscure.

 

The Wikipedia page rule is basically just to make sure my votes collator picks up and correctly scores everything. So it's just a simple way to make sure the voters follow the same naming conventions. So I've clarified in the rules, if it doesn't have a Wiki page, just use the full name of the released game whoever votes for whatever it is.

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Game of the Year

 

1. Elden Ring

2. Pentiment (video game)

3. Roadwarden

4. Slice & Dice

5. Vampire Survivors

 

Biggest disappointment:

 

1. Total War Warhammer 3

2. Diablo Immortal

3.

 

Best visuals

 

1. Pentiment

2. Elden Ring

3. Total War Warhammer 3

 

Best audio

 

1. 

2.

3.

 

Best writing

 

1. Pentiment (video game)

2. Roadwarden

3. Citizen Sleeper

 

Best not 2022 game:

 

1. Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous

2. Solasta: Crown of the Magister

3. New World

 

Best developer: 

 

 

 

Best format/console/controller/brain interface:

 

 

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Game of the Year

 

1. Chained Echoes

2. Xenoblade Chronicles 3

3. Elden Ring

4. Vampire Survivors

5. Sifu

 

Biggest disappointment:

 

1. Horizon Forbidden West 

2. Splatoon 3

3. 

 

Best visuals

 

1. Elden Ring

2. Chained Echoes

3. Xenoblade Chronicles 3

 

Best audio

 

1. Xenoblade Chronicles 3

2. Chained Echoes

3. Sonic Frontiers

 

Best writing

 

1. Xenoblade Chronicles 3

2. Chained Echoes

3. 

 

Best not 2022 game:

 

1. Sea of Thieves

2. Yakuza: Like a Dragon

3. 

 

Best developer:

 

Rare

 

Best format:

 

Xbox Series X/S

 

 

A quick writeup:

Spoiler

2022 was a bit of a dull year for me in terms of exciting releases, however Sea of Thieves lit my gaming world on fire. My friend and I sunk far too many hours into this, probably neglecting our sleep far too much, but the sheer entertainment we have had has blown any experiences I have had with gaming in the last 5-10 years out of the water. A truly fantastic game with endless things to participate in, all whilst sporadically ending up with legendary memories. Sinking other people, or even being sunk is just the fucking nuts. 

 

Elden Ring... I mean it is sensational, nothing much else to say other than an evolved take on the Souls combat, with plenty refinements and a jump that blows up not only combat, but level design too. 

 

Xenoblade Chronicles 3 was another that really took me by surprise. Having not really enjoyed previous titles in the franchise it was a shock to get sucked in by it so much. The world felt very much alive and interesting, and the characters and overall narrative fantastic. Combat was also something I thoroughly enjoyed, and the technology used for their cutscenes is unbelievable (mixed with sensational cinematography). A true 10/10 for me. 

 

I am only three hours into Chained Echoes so far, but it has been a magical time so far, and as a huge fan of 1990s RPGs, and pixel art too, this game is straight lightning. Fantastic soundtrack and writing so far too, so very much excited to see this through over the next week or so. 

 

Will update this more later!

 

 

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Game of the Year

 

1. Splatoon 3

2. Kirby and the Forgotten Land

3. Return to Monkey Island

4. Bayonetta 3

5. Neon White

 

Biggest disappointment:

 

1. Elden Ring's awful open world setting, trashing everything that made Dark Souls so good, yet doing nothing to advance the genre

2. Death of Google Stadia

3. Steam Deck being more of a PC than a console

 

Best visuals

 

1. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II (2022 video game)

2. Kirby and the Forgotten Land

3. Xenoblade Chronicles 3

 

Best audio

 

1. Splatoon 3

2. The Quarry (video game)

3. Bayonetta 3

 

Best writing

 

1. The Quarry (video game)

2. Xenoblade Chronicles 3

3. Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga

 

Best not 2022 game:

 

1. Mario Kart 8

2. Walkabout Mini Golf VR

3. F-Zero X

 

Best developer:

 

Nintendo

 

Best format/console/controller/brain interface:

 

Nintendo Switch

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Game of the Year

 

1. Like Dreamer
2. Gunvein

3. Z-Warp
4. Dead End City
5. Tukiyono


Biggest disappointment:

 

1. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder's Revenge
2. NeverAwake
3.
 

Best visuals

 

1. Tukiyono
2. Nekotosakana
3. NeverAwake
 

Best audio

 

1. Like Dreamer
2. Gunvein
3.

 

Best writing

 

1.
2.
3.

 

Best not 2022 game:

 
1. Mushihimesama Futari Black Label
2. Deathsmiles IIX
3. Valhellio

 

Best developer:


あうとさいど (outside)

 

Best format/console/controller/brain interface:

 

pc

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Game of the Year

 

1. Elden Ring

2. Bayonetta 3

3. Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope

4. God of War Ragnarok

5. Xenoblade Chronicles 3

 

Biggest disappointment:

 

1. No new Xbox first party games

2. The Hellena Taylor Bayonetta debacle 

3. Sonic Frontiers

 

Best visuals

 

1. The Callisto Protocol

2. Horizon Forbidden West

3. The Last of Us Part 1

 

Best audio

 

1. The Callisto Protocol

2. Bayonetta 3

3. Gran Turismo 7

 

Best writing

 

1. God of War Ragnarok

2. Elden Ring

3. Bayonetta 3

 

Best not 2022 game:

 

1. Overwatch 2

2. Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle

3. Fortnite

 

Best developer:

 

Nintendo

 

Best format/console/controller/brain interface:

 

PS5

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Game of the Year

 

1. Vampire Survivors

2. Tinykin

3. Powerwash Simulator 

4. Pentiment (video game)

5. Arcade Paradise 

 

 

 

Biggest disappointment:

 

1. Xbox game delays

2. Immortality (video game)

3. Everyone on Resetera

 

 

Best not 2022 game:

 

1. Cyberpunk 2077

2. Yakuza: Like a Dragon

3. Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy

 

Best format/console/controller/brain interface:

 

Game Pass

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Game of the Year

 

1. Sonic Frontiers

2. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder's Revenge

3. Ghostwire: Tokyo

4. Sifu (video game)

5. Horizon Forbidden West

 

Biggest disappointment:

 

1. No RGG Studios Game for the first time in years

2. Callisto Protocol's middling reception

3. Elden Ring - I vastly prefer the linear design of Bloodborne/Souls 

 

Best visuals

 

1. Ghostwire: Tokyo

2. Horizon Forbidden West

3. Elden Ring

 

Best audio

 

1. Sonic Frontiers

2. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder's Revenge

3. Ghostwire: Tokyo

 

Best writing

 

1. Sonic Frontiers

2. Ghostwire: Tokyo

3. Horizon Forbidden West

 

Best not 2022 game:

 

1. Cyberpunk 2077

2. Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown

3. Sega Rally Championship

 

Best developer:

 

Sega

 

Best format/console/controller/brain interface:

 

Chinese Emulation Handhelds stepping their game up

 

Spoiler

Mortal, you have served your purpose. Now face your End. I am the all-consuming void. What can one mote of golden light illuminate within the abyss? Countless stars. Countless worlds. Countless lives. All fell to me, all brought to nothing. All the teeming chaos of creation? Brought to order. To neutrality. To nothing. I saw your mind as you ran through my prison. You have fought machines and gods. They were mighty. They were finite. I am Infinite. I am nothing. You struggle as so many have done before. You will be consumed like all those before you. I saw your mind. Your courage never wavered. Why? Arrogance? Ignorance? Stupidity? I was contained once. Once. Is that why? My captors bent time and space. My captors built a whole reality to contain me. My captors burnt their souls away to fuel their engines. And you? You glitter; you fly above me like a gnat. I am inevitable, I cannot be denied. You strike this incarnation with all your might. It changes nothing. You are not brave. you are not victorious. No matter what form I take... The End comes for you all!

 

- The dialogue from the final boss of a Sonic game.

 

What is your end goal?

Eh, it varies. Sometimes it's a spinning sign, sometimes it's a big ol' ring !

 

Getting Ian Flynn on board was the best decision Sonic Team have made in a long time. 

Sonic Frontiers blew away my expectations. It's a bit rough around the edges but it plays fantastic, sounds incredible and is the most fun i've had with a game for years. 

 

TMNT Shredders Revenge is a fabulous beat em up. Shallow on the surface level but when you start playing it on the hard difficulty and unlocking challenges and trophies hoooo boy it really shines. Wonderful spritework and an outstanding soundtrack by Tee Lopes. This guy just has a complete and total understanding of the source material he's working with and delivers over and over again. 

 

Ghostwire: Tokyo - this years most overlooked game? Tango created an incredibly atmospheric Tokyo to get lost in and applied all the audio and visual tricks from the Evil Within 2 to create a fantastic hybrid of action , adventure and horror punctuated by these amazing trippy and surreal dream sequences. The combat doesn't really come across well in videos but when you're prying soul cores out of the damned with a ghost whip while the dual sense buzzes like crazy and the particle effects and enemy screams go into overdrive, the feedback loop is incredibly fun.

 

Sifu - would've been higher on the list if it wasn't so brief. What's here is excellent with an outstanding learning curve, fine tuned to near perfection by the devs. So much potential for a follow up.

 

Horizon Forbidden West - graphically incredible, a real treat. Falls in to too many open world traps to achieve classic status (bloat) but sticking on the story path kept me engaged until the end.

 

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Game of the Year

 

1. Xenoblade Chronicles 3

2. God of War Ragnarök

3. Kirby and the Forgotten Land

4. Nintendo Switch Sports

5. Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope

 

Biggest disappointment:

 

1. Xbox Game Studios

2. Advance Wars 1+2: Re-Boot Camp

3. Mario Strikers: Battle League

 

Best visuals

 

1. Xenoblade Chronicles 3

2. Kirby and the Forgotten Land

3. Triangle Strategy

 

Best audio

 

1. A Plague Tale: Requiem

2. Xenoblade Chronicles 3

3. God of War Ragnarök

 

Best writing

 

1. God of War Ragnarök

2. Xenoblade Chronicles 3

3. Immortality (video game)

 

Best not 2022 game:

 

1. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

2. Tactics Ogre: Reborn

3. The Last of Us Part I

 

Best developer:

 

Monolith Soft

 

Best format/console/controller/brain interface:

 

Nintendo Switch

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Game of the Year

 

1. Elden Ring

2. Pentiment (video game)

3. Triangle Strategy

4. I Was a Teenage Exocolonist

5. Return to Monkey Island

 

Biggest disappointment:

 

1.

2.

3.

 

Best visuals

 

1. Elden Ring

2. Pentiment (video game)

3. Ghostwire: Tokyo

 

Best audio

 

1. Elden Ring

2. Return to Monkey Island

3. Pentiment (video game)

 

Best writing

 

1. Pentiment (video game)

2. Immortality (video game)

3. Return to Monkey Island

 

Best not 2022 game:

 

1. Persona 3 FES

2. Warhammer: Dark Omen

3. Soulcalibur (video game)

 

Best developer:

 

Obsidian Entertainment

 

Best format/console/controller/brain interface:

 

Steam Deck

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Game of the Year

 

1. FIFA22

2. F1 22

3. FALLGUYS

4. Stray (video game)

5.

 

Biggest disappointment:

 

1. Gran Turismo 7

2. Google Stadia

3. Xbox Series S

 

Best visuals

 

1. Stray (video game)

2. 

3.

 

Best audio

 

1.

2.

3.

 

Best writing

 

1.

2.

3.

 

Best not 2022 game:

 

1.

2.

3.

 

Best developer:

 

here

 

Best format/console/controller/brain interface:

 

here

 

 

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Game of the Year

 

1. Splatoon 3

2. Neon White

3. Drainus

4.

5.

 

Biggest disappointment:

 

1.

2.

3.

 

Best visuals

 

1.

2.

3.

 

Best audio

 

1.

2.

3.

 

Best writing

 

1.

2.

3.

 

Best not 2022 game:

 

1. Outer Wilds

2. Crimzon Clover: World Explosion

3.

 

Best developer:

 

Team Ladybug

 

Best format/console/controller/brain interface:

 

PC

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Game of the Year

 

1. Elden Ring

2.

3.

4.

5.

 

Biggest disappointment:

 

1. Making an irreversible decision to kill someone I shouldn’t have in Elden Ring

2.

3.

 

Best visuals

 

1. Elden Ring

2.

3.

 

Best audio


1. Elden Ring

2.

3.

 

Best writing

 

1. Elden Ring

2.

3.

 

Best not 2022 game:

 

1. Valkyria Chronicles

2. Lumines Remastered

3. Castlevania: The Dracula X Chronicles

 

Best developer:

 

From Software

 

Best format/console/controller/brain interface:

 

PlayStation

 

Commentary on Elden Ring (everything else I played was pre-2022):

Spoiler

When I was a kid I read the Lord of the Rings for the first time. I remember one particular afternoon I was reading the second book in a corner of the kitchen, and as I was reading I fell asleep. I had a very vivid dream and woke up with a very strong feeling that I had experienced being in the world myself, and had been torn out of it by waking up. Since that moment I started trying to recapture the feeling of living in the worlds of imagination - I would read the biggest books I could find, and pace them out so they would last as long as possible. The same for the games I played - I would ration the time spent on them and try to totally immerse myself for as long as I could make them last. Back then it was not an easy thing to do as games tended to be short - in fact it wasn’t until FFVII that I found a game that really provided enough substance to keep me satisfied, and still I didn’t want it to end.

 

So obviously Elden Ring is the game I’ve been waiting for all my life. I probably said the same thing the first time I discovered Demon’s Souls, but I got the most out of that by replaying it over and over. With Elden Ring I don’t even have to try and milk it. I’ve been playing since the launch, and as we approach the end of the year I’m at the final boss, 500 hours in. I think I can honestly say it has provided me with enough that I can actually be satisfied. But I haven’t pushed on to the conclusion yet because I still don’t want it to end.

 

The thing is my experience with it has been changing and evolving all the time, and I have had epic encounters I was dying to talk about at the time that are now just water under the bridge. In the early days before I had figured out how the world was built I remember going into a tomb and thinking… hmmm this looks just like the last one. I bet people are complaining about that online (I promised myself not to read anything on the game until I was done with it). After three or four tombs that had all provided different puzzles and challenges I had another call back to my youth - playing Advanced HeroQuest with my mates, with the same corridor pieces and enemies rearranged each time to make a unique experience. After doing one catacomb run with an online friend I actually had a moment where I was like “this is it, they’ve nailed it - finally a perfect HeroQuest game!”. However that turned out to be just one tiny aspect of what is presented here, as I was only a few weeks into the journey.

 

I remember when the map only showed Limgrave. I genuinely felt that was going to be the size of the whole game, with Stormveil castle being the end. The moment I entered a warp gate and it expanded up to include the capital, I was quite stunned. I thought that was going to be the whole game, with Leyndell being the end. Until the map expanded further… and further.

 

There’s a lot more going on here than just a big map though. It feels Iike an era defining experience to be honest, the Star Wars of gaming if you will. As I write this I’ve just watched Animal from the muppets talking about the Malenia boss fight, and I’ve had conversations with real life friends about various moments in the game that make me feel like I’ve been part of a shared journey, even though for me it’s been quite intensely personal and, due to my decision to avoid forum threads and spoilers, private.

 

If I had a complaint it’s that some of the quests are too oblique and hard to progress/easy to screw up, which in a game the size of Demon’s Souls is not much of an issue - but Elden Ring has been such an investment of time that to realize you have made a fatal error somewhere is actually quite soul crushing. I’m actually not sure that I can properly finish the game due to an ill-informed decision I made a few months ago… but the only way to avoid it would have been to look it up online and there is no way I was spoiling the first experience of a game like this for myself.

 

It does mean that I will be going into NG+ looking to fix those mistakes by myself, and still not able to join in any forum discussion for a good long time because there’s still a lot here that I want to experience first hand. So that’s 2023 booked up already.

 

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Game of the Year

 

1. Neon White

2. Patrick’s Parabox

3. Tunic (video game)

4. Kirby and the Forgotten Land

5.

 

Biggest disappointment:

 

1. The Outbound Ghost

2. Live A Live

3.

 

Best visuals

 

1. 

2.

3.

 

Best audio

 

1.

2.

3.

 

Best writing

 

1.

2.

3.

 

Best not 2022 game:

 

1.

2.

3.

 

Best developer:

 

here

 

Best format/console/controller/brain interface:

 

Steam Deck

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Game of the Year

 

1. God of War Ragnarök

2. Horizon Forbidden West

3. Xenoblade Chronicles 3

4. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder's Revenge

5. Marvel's Midnight Suns

 

Biggest disappointment:

 

1. Bayonetta 3

2. The Quarry (video game)

3. The death of Giant Bomb

 

Best visuals

 

1. Live A Live

2. God of War Ragnarök

3. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder's Revenge

 

Best audio

 

1. God of War Ragnarök

2. Live A Live

3. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder's Revenge

 

Best writing

 

1. God of War Ragnarök

2.

3.

 

Best not 2022 game:

 

1. The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds

2. Spec Ops: The Line

3. Deus Ex: Human Revolution

 

Best developer:

 

dotemu

 

Best format/console/controller/brain interface:

 

Playstation 5

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  • Benny changed the title to The Rllmuk Game of the Year Awards 2022 - Voting thread - voting closed
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