We are coming up on the end of 2022, arguably one of the biggest years in gaming and yet all I can see are twitter egg and proto game journalists basking in their own social media filth shitting on every other title that releases. Guess what morons, Not Every Videogame Can Be Elden Ring, or even needs to be a 10. Major releases have poured into our Steam libraries and home consoles throughout this year with some absolutely demolishing expectations while others left a little to be desired. Believe it or not, not every single game can be a God of War or Elden Ring. We had the pleasure of getting those 2 incredible games this year on top of all the smaller releases like The Stanley Parable Ultra Deluxe, Rogue Legacy 2, Neon White, Tunic, and TMNT. Hell, I’m still pretty sure Vampire Survivors is my most played single player game from this year.
Will all that being said, we have had some releases with a ton of hype built around them. Not Elden Ring levels of hype, but their own smaller more niche in the genre hype. Evil West was one of my most anticipated games this second half of 2022 and I was absolutely ready to get my fill of what looked to me like a solid mix of Gears of War, Remnant From the Ashes (god I can’t wait for the sequel), and God of War. As per tradition I did my best to avoid any spoiler reviews, stayed away from the human deprivation sink hole that is Twitter and only watched a few reviews from sources I trusted. GmanLives got his video out and I consider him a reliable source for a borderline boomer like myself, only to find out he thought the game was too boring and outdated. Combat was cool but came with the same hand holding you get from games like God of War where you go to location, fight enemies in arena, find yellow paint on walls somewhere and crawl across a ledge to progress forward. I didn’t think too much of it because I absolutely love the new take on God of War, not for the combat, because I still prefer the original trilogy to have superior combat, but for the story telling, world and character building, and personality that oozes from every inch of that game. So I told myself, fuck it I’ll wait till it goes on sale or hopefully come to GamePass and then get my fill there even though I still may buy it if I clear my backlog a bit more.
The exact same goes for Callisto Protocol. The supposed spiritual successor to the incredible Dead Space franchise (excluding 3), Callisto Protocol was hyped to be the return to true space horror. We got small tastes with Alien Isolation and recently Signalis, though two very different types of space horror, but Callisto Protocol was supposed to be the prodigal son. We were finally going to get the Dead Space 3 we deserved…only for it to launch unplayable day 1 on PC due to a coding error and receive middling reviews of the same ilk as GmanLives’ Evil West review. A serviceable (when playable) linear survival horror game in space with a solid story, a good cast, and some of the best visuals and environmental graphics I have seen. Once again Twitter was on fire with people rightfully shitting on the PC performance which to my knowledge has been fixed and spiting the combat as being clunky and repetitive. Callisto Protocol has a more direct focus on melee combat compared to Dead Space’s ranged combat. Some would think this is a good change of pace, take the third person perspective of both games and really engage the player into a brawl with these monsters right? Well it turns out there really is only one combo in the game that you use over and over again through the entirety of the runtime. Clips were pouring out showing the same thing being done over and over again…but then there were clips of people who understood the full potential of the combat where the telekinesis ability came into play and it looked like something out of a Street Fighter game. As with Evil West, I am still on the fence for now for when I will play it. Not if, because I will, but my current mindset is wait for a sale or GamePass and go from there.
My biggest issue with all of this is both of these games received right around a 70 average on Metacritic. Since when is a 70 a considered a bad, absolutely avoid at all costs game like half the people on Twitter have been moaning about since its release? In the days before a hundred different games released every month and indie devs were pumping out hit after hit on any platform you could hope for, there were only so many games you could get your hands on. Maybe I really am just an old fucking boomer now but man, a 7 back on the Xbox 360 may as well have been a fucking 9 in todays metrics. Has gaming review inflation come this far? To me a 7/10 is still a good game worth playing. Maybe not a buy day one or put other better games on the back burner for it, but still worth the experience. I will die on this hill because I know that you and I both have played games in the past that were not of the same caliber as Elden Ring and still put hours in and enjoyed those games. I bet some of those games people consider to be their favorite game they’ve ever played. Moral of the story is stop bitching about games not being good just for the sake of piling on or trying to be edgy on Twitter. I’m gunna go take my Omeprazole and soak my feet because they ache.