I’m not really doing all the hype. I know decent games came out last year, but overall I don’t think it’s a very good game for gaming. I’ve written about this idea before – a good year has to be above average, so by definition not all years can be good. 2021 was not. 2022 could be the best year we’ve seen in a long time.
The reasons for the comparative fates of these two years are the same. The pandemic meant the slate of 2021 was a bit light, and assuming everything continues on its current course, that means 2022 will be absolutely stacked.
Let’s look at the Game Awards. In 2020, the GOTY nominees were The Last of Us Part 2, Ghost of Tsushima, Final Fantasy 7 Remake, Hades, Animal Crossing: New Horizons and Doom Eternal. Genshin Impact, Yakuza: Like a Dragon, Persona 5 Royal, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2 and Half-Life: Alyx weren’t even selected. This year It Takes Two won against Deathloop, Resident Evil Village, Metroid Dread, Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart, and Psychonauts 2. Personal preferences always fit into something subjective like this, but it’s pretty clear that 2020 had a more substantial catalog.
Then there is the most anticipated category. In 2020, four of the nominees (God of War, Horizon, Elden Ring, and BOTW 2) returned in 2021. Another, Halo Infinite, missed the cut for the 2021 ceremony due to its December release date. . This means the games we all decided at the end of 2020 would make the biggest impression at The Game Awards next year, only Resident Evil Village was even featured. He won only one award.
In 2022 we may still not have Zelda, but God of War, Horizon, and Elden Ring will be arriving. They will also be joined by Pokemon Legends, Gotham Knights, Suicide Squad, Hogwarts Legacy, Ghostwire: Tokyo, Silksong, Sonic Frontiers, Saints Row, Sifu, Avatar and several other fantastic games that we haven’t even heard of yet. Sure, some of them will be delayed, but with many of them already pushed back from 2021 and with (don’t say it, don’t say, don’t say) the pandemic, hopefully, is affecting at its end (damn), we should be looking at a normal number of delays instead of the recent wave of delays we experienced in late 2020 and throughout 2021.
The first few months of the year are usually fairly quiet for games. In 2022, even though people like Saints Row have skipped it, we get Horizon Forbidden West, Destiny 2: The Witch Queen, Gran Turismo 7, Sifu, Pokemon Legends: Arceus, Dying Light 2, and a wee bit obscure game called Elden Ring.
Indie games have helped achieve 2021 with Chicory, Sable, The Artful Escape, Solar Ash, and TheGamer’s Game of the Year, The Forgotten City, but that is unlikely to change in 2022. Sony is releasing God of War and Horizon a few months apart. It won’t impact the tons of interesting indie titles in development and ready to join the party that is the 2022 video game roster.
The loss of 2021 will be the gain of 2022. I hope that at the end of this year I will write a much more positive editorial about how the year has gone. I’ll probably always disagree with GOTY, but at least the field will be stacked this year.
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