This story is part of Gamepur’s Best of 2022 round-up.
Action-adventure games can go one of two ways, having a meaty, heavy combat-focused narrative where you’re spending more time firing bullets than listening to dialogue or a slow, drawn-out story as you explore an ever-expanding world. Multiple action-adventure games graced us throughout 2022 across various platforms. For fans who enjoy difficult combat and compelling stories, there was no shortage of choices for admirers of the action-adventure genre.
- Released on March 16, 2022
- Developed by TUNIC Team
- Published by Finji
Tunic was an adorable adventure, heavily influenced by the earlier versions of The Legend of Zelda series and the more recent FromSoftware Souls games. There’s a whole language to decipher and challenging encounters throughout the experience, offering a good amount of replayability and difficulty layering as players progress further in the game.
Tunic does not take dozens of hours to complete or require several playthroughs. Instead, it was a confined adventure that many would likely be able to complete in a weekend or a few days. As a project solely developed by Andrew Shouldice, who was also the game’s designer, programmer, writer, and artist, it’s a fantastic video game that should be experienced by anyone looking for an engaging adventure.
4. Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga
- Released on April 5, 2022
- Developed by TT Games
- Published by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
For fans of the Star Wars series, Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga encompasses all nine movies and features a handful of cameos from various television and animation shows. It’s a fun way to play through the series in Lego from the iconic silly dialogue and laid-back gameplay that comes from the Lego products.
One of the more exciting things about The Skywalker Saga is how much there is to do outside of the standard campaign or movies. There’s an entire galaxy of locations to explore, side missions to complete, and smaller stories to enjoy outside of the shortened Star Wars movies. There’s a galaxy-sized amount of things to do, which can feel a bit overwhelming, but it becomes a joyful experience to check out every tiny detail of the game, and it encourages players to unlock nearly every character, ship, and hidden secret.
3. Horizon Forbidden West
- Released on February 18, 2022
- Developed by Guerrilla Games
- Published by Sony Interactive Entertainment
Horizon Forbidden West is one of the two significant 2022 sequels from Sony Interactive Entertainment, both of which are featured on this list. Forbidden West takes place shortly after the events of Horizon Zero Dawn and dives much deeper into the lore and history of the world and how it’s become overrun with mechanized dinosaurs as Aloy finds herself in the western region of what used to be California.
Forbidden West does an excellent job building on the framework of the first game, doubling down on the difficult robot encounters, and opening up a wide range of tools and weapons players can use in combat. The expansive world is enjoyable to explore, where completing a side quest feels as rewarding as working through the main story. Everything is layered together, enriching the several hours someone can pour into this game.
2. Elden Ring
- Released on February 25, 2022
- Developed by FromSoftware
- Published by Bandai Namco
Elden Ring is one of the two most highly-anticipated games to release in 2022. It’s a new IP created by FromSoftware that weaves elements from each of their previous Souls-like games, creating a massive world with a secret or precious item hidden behind within every location. It’s an enormous world that can take hours to explore, and the battles are equally tricky from the other boss and enemy encounters FromSoftware has become notorious for creating frustratingly enjoyable challenges and movesets.
There are so many choices in the game, waiting for players to pick the exact direction they should go or what to do next, that there is a partial barrier to entry. But this is also one of the game’s best qualities, turning the experience into a double-edged sword. The lack of a quest journal or waypoint is a trademark in the FromSoftware games, and that’s how they’ve become so iconic and engaging to players who seek to face down the unknown. There’s no wrong way to build a character, so long as someone finds what works for them and advances the game forward. Elden Ring remains an immersive experience, and it’s why it became several players’ game of the year.
1. God of War Ragnarok
- Released on November 9, 2022
- Developed by Santa Monica Studio
- Published by Sony Interactive Entertainment
God of War Ragnarok once again stars Atreus and Kratos, and their time together is vastly different from their first outing, with Atreus being much older and Kratos having accepted and embraced his role as a father. The two continue to argue and clash, but it comes in a much more emotional way, and it feels like Atreus whining as a child and more of him struggling to figure out who he is and the direction he needs to go. Unlike 2018’s God of War, Ragnarok does not have as many groundbreaking gameplay or mechanic changes, feeling like a proper sequel to this game as any other God of War game before it.
The fact that Ragnarok can feel similar to 2018’s game while still having several tricks and surprises makes it an outstanding follow-up in the series. Not only that, but the narrative direction and emotional weight felt behind every character that appears on screen make it an excellent example of how you write a compelling sequel, with other primary characters, such as Freya, receiving rewarding endings. It’s a fulfilling ending for this chapter in the God of War franchise and a significant title released in 2022.