What is the 2022 video game ‘theme’?

Now that we’re at the end of 2022, I’m going to take the time to look back at the year and figure out what the theme is — and how we’ll remember this year in games when it’s long gone.

If you look at the GOTY list of many websites, you will see that they are all dominated by Elen’s ring and god of war Ragnarok, but here on Nintendo Life we ​​had a very different year. Two new 3D, Pokémon games Kirby, Splatoon 3, bayonet 3and Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope keep the exclusive and first-party flames burning on ol’ Switch, and while we don’t have a full Mario or Zelda release this year, we do have lots of news about Kingdom Tears and Movie Super Mario Bros. to overtake us.

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Image: Nintendo

Personally, I’m a more indie girl when it comes to it, and this year hasn’t let me down, even if many of the best indie games on Switch are adaptations from years past. I like to think that 2022 will be remembered as a year of games with a strange but beautiful narrative perspective that defies genre, like White neon, Sheep Cult, sleeping citizenand shark cardand even if we don’t get other games in the same genre — immortal, penitentand Case of Golden Idol remember – I still think the Switch has had a pretty great year for indie games.

However, if I had to guess what 2022 will be remembered for, I think I’ve answered the question: two Pokémon games, effectively ending the year, with Legend: Arceus at the beginning and Scarlet and Violet final. Both have varying degrees of fun, but both elevate the series to the next level at the same time, and in a year without Mario and Zelda, meaning one of the other big dogs will get a treat. idea.

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Image: The Pokémon Company

For me, these two games are at least a real moment of coming home — the first time in a long time that I really want to finish a Pokémon game. For a long time, this series has the same content with different flavors; Arceus and ScarVi finally dared to take big steps into the great unknown, and despite a lot of technical flaws, the series is better for that.

And on the subject of both these giant Pokémon games, I suppose I could argue that in 2022, five years from Breath of the Wildis all about free. Free to roam in ScarVi and Elden Ring, free to explore in Xenoblade Chronicles 3and even the nonlinearity of sound border — I think we’re continuing to see ripples in game design that came from the massive success Breath of the Wild made in 2017, and I don’t mind at all. A lot of games, especially AAA, have benefited this year from the open world, and if the studios can keep getting it right, games will get better for that.

But there may be a larger, greater theme that I do not see, and so I turn to you, dear readers. What do you think the “theme” of 2022 will be? Is it different on Switch than on other platforms? And what do you think next year will be, other than Zelda? Tell me in the comments!

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