It’s Thursday, which means it’s time to pull back the curtain on the best features of the week here at TheGamer. You’ll notice a theme – we’re wrapping up the year, looking back over 2022, and looking forward to the future of games in 2023 and beyond. With that, let’s get stuck into the last of this year’s best features column.
Mobile Games Popped Off In 2022
There’s long been a stigma that mobile games aren’t ‘real’ games (whatever that means), and that mobile gamers aren’t real gamers. Putting aside whether you want to be lumped in with the gamer crowd, it’s always been a silly take, but now so more than ever, and, as Features Editor Eric Switzer argues, this year is proof enough.
Marvel Snap – a mobile card game – was a reinvention of the CCG and the ways in which mobile games monetise. It’s not pay-to-win, predatory, or riddled with pop-ups and obnoxious ads. If anything, it’s closer to something like Fortnite. Then you have Netflix Games, bringing exceptional indie titles to mobile, Pokemon Go, which has been kicking since 2016, Apex Legends Mobile, Pokemon Unite, and so many more showing time and time again that mobile gaming is as valid as any other platform.
I Played Roblox For An Entire Year: Here’s What I Learned
Senior Specialist Writer Harry Alston is braver than me – stomaching Roblox for an entire year is bold. I’ve only ever managed less than an hour at a time, spread out across several years. During his time in the world’s biggest game (or rather, platform), he discovered that it’s akin to a giant theme park full of free rides, developed by the visitors.
In a sense, it’s a successful metaverse, but not the kind that we’re seeing peddled by NFT and blockchain enthusiasts (read: Mark Zuckerberg). Instead, it’s a creative sandbox, where you can find pretty much anything. Maybe there is something out there for me to try, though that doesn’t excuse a lot of Roblox’s problems, like exploitation of kids, security issues, and more. While it has a lot of progress to make, Harry came to a startling conclusion – Roblox is the future of the internet, online economies, and global communities, and we’d better get ready for it.
Gaming Needs To Rethink How It Does Female Characters
It’s only recently that games have started to include more women protagonists. As Editor-in-Chief Stacey Henley writes, when she was a kid, there were only two to pick from, and one was heavily sexualised. We’ve gotten more since Samus and Lara Croft, but there’s a distinct lack of range in how women leads are depicted. They’re either badass warriors, or look over quaint towns. Most of the variety tends to be found in side characters or in less story-heavy titles like hero shooters, rather than leading stars.
The Best Gaming Experience Of 2022 Was Alternating Between God Of War Ragnarok And Pentiment
Pentiment and God of War Ragnarok came out very close to one another, and I know I was rushing through to the end of the world so I could live out my fantasies as a murder mystery solving freelance painter in a rural medieval town. But Features Editor Andrew King decided to juggle the two rather than barrelling through one to make space for the other, and found that they perfectly complement each other. God of War is an action-heavy spectacle, whereas Pentiment pushes you to think hard all the time. They fill different niches, require different kinds of focus, and ultimately highlight that there’s room for all sorts of different games.
2022's Biggest Gaming Bummers
To end the year, Eric looked back at the biggest duds of 2022, given that we’ve just spent a few weeks highlighting the highlights. Halo Infinite has faltered at every turn, even abandoning the highly anticipated couch co-op, Pokemon Scarlet & Violet struggled to run on its home (and only) console, Google Stadia shut down, a huge blow to cloud streaming, Diablo Immortal and Overwatch 2 made Blizzard as ugly on the outside as it is on the inside, and games are continuing to see delay after delay as a knock on effect of the ongoing pandemic. Things haven’t been perfect, but as Eric says, maybe 2023 will be the year that the industry gets its act together, stops releasing unfinished messes, and treats its employees right.
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