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 Graham Banas.
I’ve always loved the look and feel of the Outrun games, but they’ve been out of the public eye for so long it’s easy to forget sometimes just how fun they were. Enter Slipstream, a game unashamedly wearing that Outrun influence on its sleeve. While it didn’t hold my attention for a lengthy time like some of the other games on this list, it did linger with me long after I had stopped playing, and I’ll definitely dive back into that delicious racing well again at some point. Moreover, it made me wish there were new Outrun games on the horizon.
What in the world is this doing on here?! Call of Duty is a series that’s been around basically as long as I’ve been playing games, and I’ve played most of them, if not all. And among that deluge of titles, I can count on one hand the number of entries I loved. Black Ops 4 was particularly good, and my personal high point in the series, but this latest Modern Warfare? It’s surprisingly great. The gunplay feels fantastic, the sound design is genuinely solid for the first time maybe ever, and the sheer amount of content on offer is impressive. With the exception of the half-baked co-op mode, basically everything has something great to offer. The campaign is interesting, DMZ is a nice idea if a little undercooked, Warzone 2 is solid, and the regular multiplayer is my favourite in quite some time. Call of Duty offered quite the package this year.
The first Moss is far and away one of my favourite PSVR titles. So I was extremely excited to rejoin Quill and venture once more into Polyarc’s charming fantasy world. And boy did it not disappoint. Beautiful art direction, a stellar soundtrack, really fun hack-and-slash gameplay, and a VR-essential diorama-style level design; Moss: Book II is incredible and even better than its predecessor. Once both of these titles drop on PSVR 2, you better believe I’ll be playing through both of them once again. And I can’t wait!
What. A. Game. Norco is very much the type of experience that I can look at and feel like it was tailor-made just for me. A dystopian, intriguing point-and-click puzzler, Norco knocked it out of the park. A bleak, yet colourful mining town, Norco, Louisiana wound up being a brilliant backdrop for a bizarre cyberpunk experience, with great music, and even greater writing. Seriously, the prose in Norco is some of the absolute best I have ever seen in a video game. Every passage was overflowing with floral, poetic language that I fell in love with almost instantly. This is one I’ll be thinking about for years to come.
While it might be an odd game to have as a number one choice for the year, I adore Unpacking. A surprisingly relaxing title, Unpacking turned a chore as normally tedious as emptying boxes into a delightful distraction from the rigors of the regular world. With some genuinely excellent context-based storytelling, the act of placing a variety of items exactly where I wanted them in my home became the highlight of the year. The music is great, the colourful pixelated graphics are vibrant and cheery, and the gameplay is immensely satisfying. While it might not be an experience for everyone, it was decidedly one for me.
What do you think of Graham's personal Game of the Year picks? Feel free to agree wholeheartedly, or berate relentlessly in the comments section below.