Ashley Bardhan’s Top 5 Games of 2022

Hugo sits on Amicia's shoulder in A Plague Tale: Requiem.

Picture: Asobo Studio / Kotaku

I just consider myself a literal “gamer”—I play video games every year, but only a handful of the games are familiar to me, such as my darling blood transfusion or Super Smash Bros. I started working at Kotaku However, this year and by demand, 2022 has turned out to be my most “gamer” year ever, with lots of new games lighting up my boyfriend’s gaming computer despite his grumbling. about “CPU memory”.

He’ll be fine. But we’re different—actually, I’m only interested in video games because I’m interested in art. I’ve listened to more albums, watched more movies, read more poems than played new games this year, and I’ve probably spent hours looking at Vivienne Westwood cardigans on eBay. Those things might make me less of a stereotypical “gamer,” which I was a bit insecure about as a girl (if you haven’t heard, the video game industry is not a thing). I don’t really like girls), but they make my life and perspective feel fuller, and the satisfaction I get from playing the game blooms one after another.

I want to give you an honest year-end list. I picked five games that stood out to me this year and combined them with other art that I loved from the time I played (I tried to avoid this year’s biggest titles, but knew I loved it). prefer Elen’s ring and Callisto . protocol). Call me gamer Julie Andrews—here are some of the things I love.

A wave of rats flooded a field.

Picture: Studio Asobo

The Story of the Plague: Requiem

When I play prayAnxious sequel to the medieval survival thriller of 2018 The Story of the Plague: Innocence, I was most moved by the rats, they writhe in dense clumps across your screen like something alive stuck in a terrible sink. Those rats hide from the light as you solve puzzles with siblings Hugo and Amicia, stealthily find your way around bloodthirsty French soldiers, or destroy them with alchemy and crossbows.

Perhaps because I’m a mean and rat-feared New Yorker, their images have stuck with me more than Hugo and Amicia’s complicated and tragic relationship, more than the game’s dramatic landscapes. , and more than its nauseous, stinging score, though those things are still there. , and I acknowledge them. But I like this game for the rats. It’s interesting to see your enemy that it can’t touch you.

Best combined with: Films by Werner Herzog Vampire Nosferatu (1979), which I first watched this Halloween. It’s a perfect movie for me — palatial, unrepentant, with a disturbing sense of humor — and squealing white rats running around it. nausea.

Brenda Song shines a flashlight in The Quarry.

Screenshots: Super Big Game / Kotaku


Like its siblings Until dawninteractive werewolf drama Quarry gives you a chance to keep a bunch of hot boys alive. I failed, but I’m fine with it. I like the scary atmosphere of the summer camp and watching the attractive actors—like Detective Pikachu (lol) lead Justice Smith and Screaming former student David Arquette—the door was broken by a bald werewolf.

Best combined with: TV On The Radio’s 2006 album Back to Cookie Mountain. Only the song “wolf like me,” which I mean a young, sexy werewolf. “I realized / You are an inner loathing / If there is a kind of luck, it is / You, you, you, you,” sings Tunde Adebimpe. I doubt I would enjoy horror as much if it weren’t for a recursive evil inside every beauty, like Quarrystatement of the point of going. One Diary of a vampire the episode I watched this year, there was a teenage werewolf played basketball for “Wolf Like Me,” support me on that.

Enemies surround a character in Vampire Survivors.

Screenshots: cloak

Vampire Survivor

Speaking of vampires, I’m a big fan of roguelite Vampire Survivorlooks like goth Minecraft. I’m not very good at that—it helps you defend yourself against a vampire onslaught with just a few automatic weapons and magic, and my timing is often skewed. But once you start playing, it’s easy to get carried away or swept away by the game’s crowd of flapping black bats.

Best combined with: Lana Del Rey’s 2012 album Born to die. I played Vampire Survivor mostly when listening to that album, it’s drowsy and like cough syrup. It helps me stay calm and move forward (I can get valuables when messing around in roguelites), and let me romanticize killing my characters endlessly.

A character shoots another person's heart in Dead Pets Unleashed.

Screenshots: Triple

Pet is dead

Technically, this neon-pink narrative adventure isn’t out yet, but its demo went free this year and I’m excited. The film is about a female demon in her 30s hoping to make her punk band famous, which she struggles to achieve between waitress gigs and perfunctory swipes through. Dating apps. The gameplay is crudely enjoyable (there’s a mini-game where you wash Gordy’s scum-covered dildo), it’s hilarious, and the music is nice and loud as well.

Best combined with: nanathe romantic and fashion anime that ran from 2006 to 2007, which I started watching this year and can’t stop thinking about it. nana is a slice of life about two best friends, one of them trying to join a punk band. Prefer Pet is deadit was a simple goal that needed a complex combination of love, tears, and discomfort to come to fruition, and I am forever grateful for stories that value women and their sacred inner lives.

Tamagotchi flew across the glittering screen.

Sorry, Tomasz.
picture: Kotaku

My 1st generation Tamagotchi, Tomasz

This year, I learned about ornate Tamagotchi digital pet, but they’re all so expensive secondhand and I’m not even sure if they work. So I will buy myself a Sandy Liang necklace to replace.

However, my boyfriend decided to give me a Tamagotchi Gen 1, first released in 1996, and now I carry the bright red egg around during the day. Even though the first Tamagotchi alien I hatched died after a week, I named it (Tomasz) and checked to make sure it snored every night before I turned off the lights for actual bed. It made me feel like a mother to an internet kid, but still mortal, so I wanted to honor his memory. RIP Tomasz.

Sticking with Tomasz also represents what I love about the game. It’s an art form that forces you to act, and once you’ve acted, it’s hard not to care.

Best combined with: All the love in your heart.


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