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 Scott McCrae.
Truth be told, I’m not the biggest fan of some marquee PlayStation exclusives. I think they’re usually very well crafted games, but alas, they don’t always grab me. And yet, despite sharing the issues I take with most of them, something about God of War feels special. Thanks to its fantastic performances, great side content, and satisfying combat. Ragnarok has had its hooks in me since that incredible first boss fight. If I actually had the chance to finish it before writing this, I can only imagine it would be higher on this list.
I had the honour of reviewing Sonic Frontiers here on Push Square last month, and a month removed, I still feel as strongly about it as I did then. Frontiers is an arguably flawed game, one I’m not entirely surprised to see the all-over-the-place critical reception of. And yet, I couldn’t put it down; it completely enamoured me. Even if it wasn’t the most graceful attempt, I’m glad Sonic Team took a leap into something new, and for the first time in years I can genuinely say I’m looking forward to seeing what it does next.
Plus, the music absolutely slaps.
I love John Wick, I love The Raid, I love Oldboy. Of course I love Sifu. The brutality and thrill of those movies were perfectly adapted into SloClap’s revenge tale. The aging mechanic and all of the systems that follow on from it are such a smart touches, making a game that would already be great feel that much better. Sifu kicked my ass — a lot. And yet I never raged, I never felt disheartened. I got straight back up to face the next ass-kicking that awaited me.
What can I say here that hasn’t been said 1000 times over about Elden Ring. It’s a triumph. I do have some misgivings about how vast it is and how that makes bosses and other elements of the game feel less special than they would in Dark Souls. But wow, no game has understood how to make an open world this good since Breath of the Wild. Giving the player the freedom to explore and discover on their own terms instead of blasting them with endless map markers goes a long way. It’s a game I spent over 100 hours in from February to September, and probably one I could easily spend 100 more in.
Neon White rocks. Another game I had the privilege of reviewing on our sister site Nintendo Life back when it first launched. When I was playing it, I was so desperate to talk about it, it felt like I had discovered some huge secret. Neon White is just a video game-ass video game. The flow of the gameplay is unmatched; replaying every level to get that ace rating felt so satisfying. This game probably would have topped my list on that alone, but luckily it had a story that was as full of heart as it was hilarious. Not to mention the single best soundtrack of the year — perhaps even the decade so far. The game has only just launched on PlayStation, so if you’ve not yet had the chance to check this one out, I couldn’t recommend it more.
What do you think of Scott’s personal Game of the Year picks? Feel free to agree wholeheartedly, or berate relentlessly in the comments section below.