Our individual Game of the Year articles allow our lovely team of writers to share their own personal PS5 and PS4 picks for 2022. Today, it’s the turn of reviewer Christian Kobza.
Often written off as just another open-world checklist, Ghostwire Tokyo still delighted me with its unique setting, striking art direction, and satisfyingly tactile combat that’s one of the few effective implementations of the DualSense’s haptic feedback. What would otherwise be simplistic first-person shooter combat is elevated by a delightfully well-paced gameplay loop where encounters begin with the peppering of projectiles and end with a visceral execution that sends a dopamine-inducing jolt through your hands that kept me coming back for more, well after reaching the game’s 100% completion mark.
Even 18 years later, the list of games able to recapture the magic of Half-Life 2’s world building is surprisingly short, but Stray belongs on that exclusive list. Enemies that are clearly headcrab ripoffs aside, Stray is a seamless journey through a depressingly dystopian cityscape that exudes hopeful desperation from each of its dimly-lit and garbage-cluttered streets. Come for the cute cat protagonist, stay for the oppressive yet eerily serene surroundings.
Coming off the heels of the milquetoast Call of Duty: Vanguard, Modern Warfare 2 accomplishes more by attempting less. The half-baked and obnoxious operator system has been cast aside to instead focus on the fundamentals – the star of which is the infinitely gratifying gunplay. Throw in a campaign propped up by a delightful cast of characters and a long-overdue tweak to the gun camo progression system, and we’re left with a surprisingly great addition to an enduring and seemingly immortal franchise that’s earned its stay of execution until Fall 2023.
Taking the Dark Souls formula and exploding it to open world proportions is an impractical task. Elden Ring’s frequently repeated mini bosses, modularly-designed optional dungeons, and irritating technical issues are all symptoms of that absurd ambition. But, on the other hand, so are its extraordinarily diverse locales, ridiculously versatile combat, and endlessly enticing exploration. As a result, Elden Ring attains a splendour that few games reach, even with its evident shortcomings.
Neon White is an ingenious first-person platformer operating under the guise of a card-based shooter/visual novel hybrid. Don’t let its often cringe-inducing dialogue and prototypical character interactions dissuade you from streaking through its meticulously crafted levels at breakneck speeds. Whether you’re pursuing a better level time to one-up a friend, crawl up the leaderboards, or just for the pure, euphoric enjoyment of it all – Neon White’s sprawling stages are begging to be broken in dazzling displays of platforming prowess. It’s a shot in the arm adrenaline rush I wasn’t explicitly looking for this year, but it’s one I’m endlessly thankful that I got.
What do you think of Christian’s personal Game of the Year picks? Feel free to agree wholeheartedly, or berate relentlessly in the comments section below.