Plus HORIZON FORBIDDEN WEST, GOD OF WAR: RAGNARÖK, FROG DETECTIVE 3 and CALL OF DUTY: WARZONE 2.0
Listen to MAINSTREAM SIFTER's review podcast on your favourite podcast player.
How do you pick just one Game of the Year? Every year there are so many fantastic experiences to play not to mention the hundreds of locally made Australian games as well!
We've gathered the whole team for a bumper episode of Mainstream, SIFTER's review podcast where we share our most impactful games from 2022.
What are you favourites? Let us know on Discord, you can sign up here SIFTER on Discord
Fiona - FROG DETECTIVE 3
by Grace Bruxner, Thomas Bowker, Olivia Haines, Dan Golding
It’s a fairly short but fun game where you play as the Frog Detective, helping Lobster Cop unravel the mystery of the stolen cowboy hats.
The art style is simple, but the bright colours and cute characters stand out as you scooter around town to country music composed by Dan Golding.
Lots of twists and turns in the plot of this one which kept us on the edge of our seat, and did I mention the humour?
The very realistic and dry comments from the character are spot on to how you would react in his position and is definitely why this game is worth a play.
Mitch - HORIZON FORBIDDEN WEST by Guerrilla Games
An exciting return to a world that left us wanting more the first time, Aloy is back with more abilities weapons, higher stakes and a brand new map to explore.
While the beginning of the game might feel familiar, it's a good on ramp to reacquaint you with Aloy's new abilities and with many familiar faces from the last adventure.
Players that can't resist a side quest will find themselves here from some time, however if you want to get on with the meat and potatoes you should be able to get through this in and hour or so.
It's not long until the whole world opens up and that world is massive.
The story expands on the narrative of Zero Dawn, answering many questions and raising new ones.
The best part for me was how our girl seems to be connecting to her friends on a deeper level, even helping with a romantic courtship (I'm a sucker for romance).
This game gave me everything I was looking for in a sequel to a game that was a stand out experiences of the last generation. Looking forward seeing where the arrow will fly next
HONORABLE MENTIONS: Overwatch 2, Apex Legends: Eclipse, Split Gate
Gianni - CULT OF THE LAMB by Massive Monster
Cult of the Lamb is the sort of game that’s very easy to lose track of time playing each component of the dungeon crawling and town building simulator meshes beautifully together you’ll always have something to do.
There are plenty of opportunities to play your own way and the game isn’t punishing if you make mistakes.
Play it on portable for 20-30 minutes and it’ll feel like you’ve made some meaningful progress.
The soundtrack is killer, the design is top notch and most of all I couldn’t stop thinking about it when I wasn’t playing.
Kyle - CALL OF DUTY: WARZONE 2.0 by Activision
Despite looking like much of the same on the surface, Warzone 2 is leagues ahead of its predecessor.
Simple changes like removing the slide cancel glitch, and making loadouts significantly harder to come by, make Warzone 2 a much slower, more methodical battle royale.
The new map is packed with interesting terrain and hidden paths.
The combat and movement are restrained but feel more streamlined than ever and the new game modes like unhinged are great additions.
Warzone 2 may not be the most original, artsy, or visually impressive experience I got from gaming this year, but it provided me with the most memorable moments of action and fun while playing video games with my friends and isn’t that what this is all about?
Daniel - GOD OF WAR: RAGNARÖK by Sony Santa Monica Studio
God of War: Ragnarök is everything that the sequel needed to be and more. It improved on the combat, the characters, the pacing, and more important, the relationship between Kratos and Atreus.
Everything just feels like such a natural extension from what we were introduced in God of War 2018, and not many games have felt like such a direct sequel as this one.
It adds so much that playing both games back to back feels so rewarding because of all the connective tissue.
I also particularly enjoyed seeing the rest of the 9 realms in this game and the huge amount of side content added - specifically an area that opens up about halfway through the game.
The pacing was markedly improved from combat arenas to navigation, and it's always a joy hearing interesting tidbits and lore from the different characters in the game that set up a larger world to come.
HONOURABLE MENTIONS: Elden Ring
Adam - ELDEN RING by From Software
It has to be Elden Ring.
Japanese developer From Software’s enormous open-world fantasy is a triumph.
You play the role of a lowly ‘Tarnished’, a warrior once banished from The Lands Between who has been sent back to piece together a powerful artefact (the Elden Ring itself) and restore balance and order to the world.
From Software have established themselves as the masters of creating video game’s most haunted and decaying fantasy lands and Elden Ring is no exception.
You’ll explore putrid swamps, mysterious underground kingdoms, an ancient city gilded with gold and rust and lonely fields of grass – dotted with chunks of ancient ruins and tempting caves to spelunk.
From Software teamed up with fantasy author George RR Martin (Game of Thrones) when building the Elden Ring and the result is a story of Gods, Queens and and their children battling over the divine power to rule their crumbling kingdom.
Tying it all together is some of the most thrilling and challenging action-combat in a videogame to date.
HONOURABLE MENTIONS: Immortality, Vampire Survivors, Xenoblade Chronicles 3, Triangle Strategy
So what was your pick for this year? Do you agree with us or was there a sleeper hit that you can't stop thinking about? Join us on Discord and let us know your favourite games in 2022
SIFTER is produced by Kyle Pauletto, Fiona Bartholomaeus, Daniel Ang & Adam Christou. Mitch Loh is Senior Producer and Gianni Di Giovanni is our Executive Producer. Thanks to Omny Studio for their support of SIFTER.