The dark years of video game delays and quarantine lockdowns are behind us! 2022 has ushered in an exceptional release of video games, that have already become instant classics. From Elden Ring to God of War: Ragnarok and even breakout indie hits such as Neon White, Stray and Cult of the Lamb.
We’ve been spoiled for choice this year and with so much going on there might have been a couple of games that have slipped under your radar. So here’s everything for you to check out before the year is over!
Team Hindsight, Annapurna Interactive
Hindsight is a narrative exploration game that takes you through the entirety of one woman’s life. From birth until the present day, we follow her emotional journey, as she tries to make sense of everything that has happened to her. Revisit her childhood home, sort through personal belongings, and step through windows to memories frozen in time.
Hindsight begins with Mary, an accomplished chef, who’s about to open her first restaurant when she gets a call that her mother has died. Mary returns to sort out her childhood home, and she recounts her life from birth to the present day. Hindsight will take you through this touching tale of coming to terms with the passing of a parent and learning to let go of resentment.
Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PC – Steam, Mac, iOS
The Outsiders, Funcom
If you think about metal music, demonic battles and FPS gaming was a match made in Doom-hell and that’s exactly the perfect product that Metal: Hellsinger is. This rhythm FPS has you blasting through the firey pits of hell to the beat of pounding metal tunes. It’s big fun and dare I say it has a better Doom vibe than Doom.
In Metal: Hellsinger you’re a hybrid spawn of vengeance that’s battling their way through hell. You’ll have an arsenal of demonic weapons where you’ll need to shoot and kill demons to specific beats. Each round is fast-paced, full of action and intensely replayable. It’s definitely not one to miss if this sounds at all intriguing.
Bonus points, the legendary Troy Baker narrates the entire storyline. I mean c’mon.
Platforms: PlayStation 4|5, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PC – Steam
Not For Broadcast
Not For Broadcast is a dark comedy that gets darker the more you think about it. So don’t. The time period is an alternate 1980s where Britain has been taken over by an authoritarian far-left party. There are new waves of populist policies, social unrest and basically everything you’re seeing in the news today.
As the studio director, you’re given infinite power of the media. You get to pick what you want to see on TV, no matter what anybody else wants. Egotistical celebrities, dishonest politicians, and strange sponsors are all applicable on your airwaves. All you care about are the rating am I right? Cut between multiple camera feeds, tweak the headlines, and bleep the foul language. Whether you toe the party line or stir up a scandal is your choice, so long as you can hold the audience’s fickle attention.
Platform: PC – Steam
Soul Hackers 2
If you’re a fan of Shin Megami Tensai and the Persona games, then you’re not going to want to miss Soul Hackers 2.
Existing in the secret sea of humanity’s data, a digital hivemind has evolved into sentience: Aion. Observing humankind from afar, Aion calculates that a world-ending disaster is imminent and creates two agents to combat it: Ringo and Figue. Investigate the end of the world, save humanity and of course strengthen the bonds with your teammates in this digital demon-bashing JRPG.
Soul Hackers 2 had a few pacing issues when it first launched, but those have been fixed with updates in the intervening months. So don’t be put off by its previous ratings.
Platforms: PlayStation 4|5, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PC – Steam
Nobody Saves the World
Are you ready for an un-traditional take on some RPG classics? Well in Nobody Saves The World your hero is not so much a hero as a nothing. In fact, you are just a plain white cardboard cut-out of a human with amnesia— an actual blank canvas with no ability to call their own.
Your only ability is the power to shape-shift into various forms and learn associated skills, and only because you “stole” a wand. As you progress through the game’s procedurally generated dungeons, you’ll unlock new forms, each with its own abilities. You can be a rat, a slug and even a mighty dragon! Mixing and matching forms to the devastation of your hapless enemies. If you like games about watching numbers go up while meters fill in the background, Nobody Saves the World is about as satisfying as it gets.
Platforms: PlayStation 4|5, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC – Steam
Geography of Robots, Raw Fury
I love me a point-and-click game and every year there’s always one that I miss. This year it’s NORCO.
NORCO takes place in an alternate version of the titular Louisiana town. And just like most point-and-click games, it’s heavy on narration. Your journey begins with your search for your missing brother but it quickly spirals into a mystery that spans generations. Akin to games like Kentucky Route Zero and Beneath a Steel Sky, Norco’s stand-out pixel art and powerful themes of capitalism, climate change, and the impact of our choices in the future make this one of the best story games. Don’t miss this one.
Platforms: PlayStation 4|5, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC – Steam, Mac
Jump Over The Age, Fellow Traveller
If you’re a fan of heavy narrative games like me then Citizen Sleeper belongs on your list of games to play. It’s not a long game but the world-building narrative and thematic juxtapositions are engaging and memorable.
Set sometime in an alternate future, where society lives on space stations in a sort of lawless commune run by capitalism. Citizen Sleeper has you playing as a sleeper, a digitised human consciousness in an artificial body, owned by a corporation that wants you back. You’ll need to build friendships, earn your keep, and navigate the factions of this strange metropolis if you hope to survive to see the next cycle.
It’s a captivating story which changes depending on your actions. But really the less I say about Citizen Sleeper the better. Just go check it out for yourself.
Platforms: Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PC – Steam, Mac
ThinkingStars, Lightning Games
Did you want the advertised world of Cyberpunk 2077 but were disappointed by the delivery? Well Anno: Mutationem won’t be doing that. It’s everything Cyberpunk 2077 wanted to be but more and it has cat cars and cyber corgis.
In the cyberpunk world of Anno: Mutationem, you play as Ann, a “lone wolf” on a mission to find her missing brother. In this neon-soaked 2D and 3D anime-fueled dystopian megacity, Ann will need your help to get through all its weird and wild denizens.
Freedom and openness are the lifeblood of Anno: Mutationem. The game gives players an end goal, but how they go about reaching it is up to them. Do they eavesdrop on bar patrons or beat the answers out of criminals? The world of Anno: Mutationem feels alive and is full of side activities and alleyways begging to be explored. The main content and side missions weave together into a living world that draws players in and encourages them to learn more about the dystopian city and how it came to be.
Platforms: PlayStation 4|5, Nintendo Switch, PC – Steam
If the two words – Survival horror gets your blood pumping then you should check out Saturnalia. Set in the fictional village of Gravoi, the game is heavily influenced by the folklore of Sardinia, Italy.
Bizarre customs and secret rituals come to light as the player explores the town to learn more about what is truly happening during the Winter Solstice celebration. As players poke around Gravoi, they’ll come to find out more about the grievances, vendettas and other secrets that the residents of the village harbour. It becomes evident that the festival is used as a backdrop for conspiracy and murder.
Platforms: PlayStation 4|5, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC – Epic Games
I Was a Teenage Exocolonist
Northway Games, Finji
I Was a Teenage Exocolonist is a narrative coming-of-age journey in outer space. And unlike most games, it’s a literal coming-of-age game, as you’ll be playing from the ages of 10 to 20. Each playthrough is a unique experience and each life you lead can end differently. Your choices will directly affect the lives of your friends and the fate of the colony. What kind of world will you help make? Will you survive to enjoy it? Why do you remember doing this before?
I was a Teenage Exocolonist is a cosy, heartfelt narrative journey set in the backdrop of outer space. There are deep and branching paths, skills to develop that will affect your entire life and decisions you have to make that could damage the whole colony. I was a Teenage Exocolonist is a game full of depth and content, there are 29 unique endings, plenty of different career paths to follow and so many characters to meet and fall in love with.
Platforms: PlayStation 4|5, Nintendo Switch, PC, Mac