Games I Played In 2022
Shovel Knight, The Last of Us, FIFA, and more!
I originally wasn’t going to write this article because, well, I didn’t actually play many games this year. Despite playing 466 hours on PS4 in 2022, I only beat 3 games (you’ll see why soon enough). Two of those were Naughty Dog titles interestingly enough.
But alas I decided, “fuck it!” Why let my disappointing game commitment issues stop me from joining in on the fun of these year-end lists. So here we are. I present to you the games I played in 2022. Prepare to be thoroughly disappointed.
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Shovel Knight: Shovel of Hope
Shovel Knight was the first game I gave a crack at in 2022, and for a while I was really enjoying it. In fact I was so invested in the game, I had taken down 500 words worth of notes in preparation for a review. When I ended up dropping the game, I had defeated only 4 of the Order of No Quarter, with Mole Knight up next.
Looking over my notes, there is one thing that stands out: my love of the normal stage sections and my frustration with the boss fights at the end of them. I was enchanted by the beautiful environments the game presented, and found plenty of enjoyment in making my way through them. I liked how each level introduced new challenges and mechanics, such as the music book platforming in King Knight’s level or the flashing lights in the Specter Knight level.
Yet the boss fights just didn’t click. I cheesed the King Knight and Treasure Knight fights, put down the game for weeks because the Specter Knight fight felt like punching a wall, and somehow random button pressed my way through the Plague Knight fight. I think this is due to how Shovel Knight’s combat is designed. It’s so simple and basic, and therefore doesn’t work quite as well against elaborately choreographed boss battles as compared to individual enemies in the normal stage areas.
I don’t remember exactly why I put down down Shovel Knight when I did, but I look forward to returning sometime this year to see it through to the end.
Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception
Oh Uncharted 3, how I have missed you and your franchise. I love Uncharted, and Drake’s Deception - the third game in the series - is no exception. I didn’t actually start the game in 2022, instead returning to it after a prolonged break caused by the fact I had just beaten Uncharted 1 and 2, and was burnt out on the formula.
Towards the end of January, I picked the game back up and steamrolled my way to the finish. And what a ride it was. Uncharted 3 feels like a culmination of everything NaughtyDog learnt from the prior games. It never feels as ambitious as parts of the second game, but at the same times it never hits any serious low points.
Uncharted 3 is a constant roar from start to finish, and manages to maintain that a certain level of quality throughout. Characters build on the backstory laid out after the first two games, combat is more refined and satisfying, and the lost city of Ubar - this game’s equivalent of Shambhala from Uncharted 2 - is a sight to behold.
Having played all four mainline Uncharted entries, I struggle to pick out the best game, the worse, or even my personal favourite. And I think this is the biggest testament to the heights Naughty Dog have reached with Nathan Drake’s adventures.
The Last of Us Remastered
The Last of Us is by far the best game I played last year. And I know that’s not a big achievement considering my limited exposure but listen: this game is everything that everyone has ever said about it. This game is firmly planted at the summit of the mountain of video game development.
Joel and Ellie’s story is one for the history books, and the way the game makes you feel each and every emotion along the way is something to be marvelled at. Loss, sorrow, grief, anger, frustration, and hope. They are all in there, candidly woven into the code and eventually into your heart.
But The Last of Us doesn’t just rest on its narrative laurels. It backs this up with a solid and satisfying gameplay loop of combat and stealth through beautiful, mesmerising environments. All of this is strung along by perhaps the best video game soundtrack I have had the pleasure of hearing.
If you haven’t played it yet, perhaps there is no time better than the present. Because The Last of Us is a special game.
I played a whole lot of FIFA this year. To be precise, I played 224 hours of FIFA 20 and 159 hours of FIFA 22. That’s a grand total of 383 hours of FIFA. You’re welcome EA.
There is something about FIFA that makes me keep on coming back, regardless of how much I have played it before. It may just be my love for football but I think FIFA’s manager career mode is one of the greatest things to ever exist. It is deceptively simple: just a whole lot of making transfers, customising your squad, and playing football.
I got through 10 seasons with Napoli on FIFA 20 and another 10 with Bayern Munich on FIFA 22. It has gotten to a point where I refuse to sign certain players because I have previously used them so much. Yet I still return, whether it’s for new career modes or just quick match with random teams.
FIFA is my home base game. My comfort game. Something I will always play. And something I don’t think I will ever get tired off. Who says you have to spend money to enjoy FIFA? Career mode all the way!
Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales
2018’s Spider-Man is my favourite first-party game on PS4 (albeit with stiff competition from the afore-talked about The Last of Us). So it’s safe to say I was overjoyed when Miles Morales was announced. I had to wait a year and a half but this summer I finally played the game. And as expected I loved it.
Insomniac brings just enough new stuff to the table to cement this game’s own unique identity while still keeping everything that made the original so good. The combat has been innovated upon, incorporating Miles’ powers of electricity into the player's move-set. New animations also bring more flair into Miles’ movements, setting his version of Spider-Man apart from Peter’s.
I have some gripes with the game, like writing that at times fails to match the tone and mood of the situation, as well as the still present open-world fodder and lack of challenge even on the highest difficulty setting (although this may be more a product of all the time I spent with Spider-Man 2018 from the main story, to getting the platinum, and playing the DLC packs, than a fault of this game itself).
I personally like the original Spider-Man game from 2018 more, but Miles Morales is still an excellent spin-off title and one that I enjoyed every step of the way.
Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time
Just like Shovel Knight, Crash 4 is another game I started and then stopped playing in 2022. I put somewhere between 4 to 5 hours into this game before getting frustrated by its camera and difficulty spikes, and annoyed by the lack of any meaningful progression.
What I did like about the game though were the environments. Each one was so beautifully realised. Colour was widely abundant amongst the interesting geometry that made each level such a joy to move through. I also liked how the game doesn’t force its story on the player. There is a narrative but the game makes it clear that platforming is the primary focus.
Hey, look at that. I finally wrote something again!
2022 was an interesting year for PlatyView. I only wrote 7 articles that were either reviews or features. The other 24 were weekly news round-up articles. Last Week In PlayStation was an interesting experiment. I started the column as a way to write something each week, but what ended up happening was burn out setting in, inhibiting me putting out more creative pieces like the 7 I mentioned above.
This year I am going to focus on the high quality pieces. The features and reviews that I want this blog to be about. I am going to make a conscious effort to play and beat more games this year so I have more material to write about. Switching to Substack is another way of refreshing PlatyView up to go for bigger and better things in 2023.
But despite all that, we managed to get 15.3k views on the site in 2022 and for that number I thank you all. And I can’t wait to get cracking with more articles and more video games this year.
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