End of Year 2022: Favorite Multiplayer/Ongoing Game

In 2022, we continue to see games we are never finished with. There’s always another weekly challenge, another season of content, another set of outfits to release, another 8 GB to download. Games are being announced alongside their post-release content schedules, given new life with game-changing updates. You can launch a game from last year and be completely overwhelmed by just how much has changed.

The one unifying factor to so many of these ongoing games is they let you play with others. Games are as good a foundation for socializing with friends as a charcuterie board. Whether it’s getting into hi-jinks with our friends or competing against others, we like playing games together. Turns out, customers - do in fact - want online games.

Use this thread to shout out the new updates to your favorite multiplayer game or single-player games that have gotten substantial updates! Multiplayer games that are just getting started are free game as well!

[Hub Thread]

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Oh look, it’s the Hunt: Showdown category! I still can’t get enough of the PvPvE combat with slow-firing turn of the century weaponry. I’ve also been reasonably impressed by how they’ve chosen to close out the year with another big event that actually feels different. The Hunt community has been increasingly critical of the way these events have become rote - systems earn points to unlock cosmetic rewards but the method of earning points is the same each time, whether it’s Halloween (smash pumpkins to earn points!), Christmas (smash presents!), or something more esoteric (smash snake nests!). This time there’s a whole system of very powerful temporary perks and a firestorm that engulfs the Louisiana bayou the game is set in, transforming the maps.

I’ll also give a quick shout out to The Long Dark, which got its first survival mode DLC. As I’ve mentioned elsewhere, wintry weather is a favourite of mine and The Long Dark has been a go-to game for years. So long, in fact, that I was one of those affected by some launch day hiccups (my game key was a kickstarter backer key from 2014 and the Steam store didn’t play nice with old keys and the new content). I’m looking forward to the coming year of tweaks to the now very familiar gameplay. Between the new areas being added and updates to old areas I’ve barely touched for a few years, a lot of it feels like it has the same sense of exploration and totally being lost that it originally had again.

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I think my favourite multiplayer has been Elden Ring this year. It’s the first time I’ve had a friend also playing through the game, as their first Souls game. I got a bit ahead of him and was kind of acting sherpa for him. To play the game for the first time is one thing, but to see it through another’s eyes is also really cool. However, the joy of elden ring was that the world was so expansive, we were going into uncharted places as well.

Over recent weeks, multiplayer has been taken over by Darktide. It’s a little buggy in places but I’m sure they’ll iron it out with time. It’s vermintide in the 40k universe and I’m sure it’ll grow to be as good as Vermintide 2 in the future.

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It’s tough to advocate for the biggest game in the world, but I just don’t see any other multiplayer I’ve had as much fun with as Fortnite this year. Of course, it has been great for over five years now, and it’s almost boring in its consistency in delivering major cultural events, fantastic shooter gameplay, and a never-ending sense of discovery. But that’s not what makes it the best ongoing game of 2022. What tipped it was the release of the long awaited Zero Build Mode. Now, I am certainly not slagging the standard build mode, which is a genuine technical marvel and an impressive test of skill, but Zero Build made it so that anyone can jump in and have a good time doing the Macarena as Doomguy. The effects of this change was made immediately apparent, with the internet gaming sphere rediscovering that old kids game. Even Waypoint, who did their “Fortnight of Fortnite” way back in 2018 and found the game lacking, have come back around to the game as it became more accessible. In 2022, Fortnite finally became the hangout spot for Call of Duty heads, Final Fantasy XIV devotees, and Destiny addicts alike.

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There was an Evil Dead game that came out, and wasn’t horrible? Is that possible?

There is no world where Evil Dead is one of the best in comparison to highly polished games, I’d argue that it’s not even anything beyond pretty good. It’s got balance problems, traversal problems, all sorts of problems but it manages to be good fan service and a good game all at once. It deserves some sort of shout out for that alone.

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Yeah, I jumped back into Fortnite specifically because of the Zero Build mode and I am having an absolute blast. Every match is unique and I love that the game doesn’t take itself seriously. I don’t have too much time for games these days so being able to just jump on for 15 or 20 minutes for a match is ideal. Having some old friends play too has been an added bonus of being able to reconnect with them.

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Is Marvel Snap multiplayer? I guess it kinda is, but I don’t really go to it for the social aspect.

I just had to look up Splatoon 3’s release date and forgot what year it was :rofl:, that’s definitely been my “oh people are online? Let’s go!” Game this year. All of the events have brought me back and been pretty satisfying. I’m excited to see what they bring to the next ones.

I’m also really excited for Warhammer 40k Darktide to get it together (it’s still really good now and I plan on playing it more), but that’s also a really fun on that’s easy to hop in and out of.

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I don’t really play many multiplayer games, and the ones I’ve tried this year aren’t getting any nods from me (looking at you, Marvel Snap)… so I’m going to vote for a game I’ve never played but I’m picking it for a reason that doesn’t require I have: Guilty Gear Strive.

Testament and Bridget are both characters I knew of, not for their movesets, but for their place in fighting game fandom as… well, appealing to a particular transphobic fanbase. So I think it’s kind of delightful that both characters were canonized and touched up to be cute, more sincere attempts a trans representation. And making a bunch of transphobes mad is also what I’d call great community support.

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Gotta be Marvel Snap for me. Absurdly fun mobile card game, surprisingly decent monetisation strategy without any pay 2 win shit. So easy to just play “one more game” of and end up losing hours.

But also special shout outs to: Guilty Gear Strive which I’ve fallen off a little bit the last couple of months but still played an absurd amount this year and come back for every update. And also, of course Destiny 2. This year’s expansion was one of the best the game has had imo and the seasons have mostly been fun too. Very excited for Lightfall next year too.

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I agree that it’s hard to give the nod to something other than Fortnite. I never really got real into online multiplayer games besides TF2 and LoL very briefly in college and there are two real reasons I struggled with keeping up with them: lack of consistent group to play with and no understanding of the ongoing metas.

As anybody who has played online multiplayer games knows, there almost emerges a dominant playstyle as people attempt to figure out the “optimal” way to play. And if you don’t play a game often enough, as a new player or a relatively inexperienced player, it is very difficult to overcome those strategies.

Fortnite has managed to somehow solve both those problems, at least for me. It is easy enough to learn/get into that my friends, many of whom moved cities early into the pandemic rapidly picked it up. Not only is the base concept simple enough but the fact the game is on basically every platform meant that we didn’t have to leave out people who were only on Switch. And that has been a godsend in the past three years or so. At the same time, the seasons have somehow felt radically different due to the various gameplay changes, not even including Zero Build, that it’s almost like a new game every reboot. And yet the additions/changes are easy enough to pick up that you don’t feel lost after a few rounds.

Sliding/sprinting, removal of building, addition of new traversal methods (grappling, splatoon-like blob form), faux-RPG elements with the new Augment system, etc.

Of course playing a lot and internalizing these mechanics is what allows you to change and adapt to the addition of new ones and figure out what works the best. That can happen with any game, but this is the first one that I felt comfortable figuring most of that stuff out myself through play, rather than relying on online guides from people who are better than me to lay out the changes and strategies.

Not to mention with the new UE5 changes, the game looks pretty gorgeous while still feeling stylized.
The lighting stuff is impressive and the new geometry/destruction system makes the just added Deku smash ability look incredible on systems that can handle it.

Also, you can make Robocop do the cybergoth dance, and it deserves a bajillion awards for that alone.

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My only knock on Fortnite is this is the year my son got into it and boy, it sure is a terrifying money machine. The chokehold this thing has on his age group is frightening, the amount of interest he’ll build up for shit he knows nothing about and desperately want to get v bucks to buy is astounding. He now knows and cares about Naruto, DBZ, and a bunch of random YouTubers all because they have skins. Now he’s asking me about My Hero Academia. It is impressive in the most sinister possible way that they have created both the best and worst free to play game in which it holds back literally nothing in terms of gameplay and you will never ever hit any sort of progress gate at all, yet it creates a weird peer pressure vortex of wanting to flex.

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Yeah, literally minutes after i posted that the FTC announced Epic has to pay half a billion for privacy violations and “dark patterns” in causing unintentional purchases. It is a horrendous thing and not one that can be overlooked by the free to play to market as a whole relying on the same shady practices for the most part.

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This year was a really fun year for me in ongoing “service” games.

It started out with Destiny 2. The Witch Queen was just a phenomenal expansion that really captured some of the highs I had from playing through the original Halo campaigns back in the day. There were breathtaking set pieces, riveting combat encounters, and it just made for an incredibly rewarding time. Beating that campaign on Legendary difficulty in the first week and earning the right to buy some incredibly overpriced, but nonetheless cool as hell boots was one of the defining game experiences I’ve had over the last few years. I fell off it as the year went on, and I got quite a bit tired of some of the seasonal grind, but The Witch Queen proved to me that Bungie can still make one hell of a shooter campaign.

But I also discovered that Fortnite is truly the ultimate “chill out with friends and shoot the shit” game. Ever since No-Build mode got added, it’s just been an incredibly fun, relaxed, and just straight up silly time. Is it tacky? Yes. But do I cackle like a little child when I make Master Chief do Gangnam Style or play a saxophone. Yes, indeed I do, all while gladly queuing for another match with friends, in search of that dub.

If Destiny brought me some truly high gameplay moments and sense of achievement, and Fortnite game me the ultimate social hangout, Sea of Thieves gave me my place of zen. With the game adding the ability to name and further customize your ship in Season 7, I dove back in, eager to find new challenges to overcome, sea shanties to play, and just chill out on the open seas.

Sea of Thieves still has an issue with PvP being such a focal point that I only occasionally care to engage in, as I usually play solo. But if you can get past that, there’s simply not a world that is as beautiful and serene to hang out in and lose yourself for a few hours. If nothing else, I get to play dress-up with my pirate, deck out my ship in some fun new colors and designs, and then go on a treasure hunt while looking at the best looking water in video games. Play Sea of Thieves, folks, it really is a great time.

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feeling the laser dots align into a single point of my foreheadModern Warfare 2

I intend to write something more thoughtful up about this, but MW2 is a distillation of today’s online gun culture, filtered through the lens of a development conglomerate who are now not only free to experiment with a formula, but have learned from past mistakes in a way that the series has always resisted.

The result is a game influenced mostly by operator culture and guntube, which Bad in a The World sense but actually very positive from a multiplayer perspective. MW2 makes you think about ballistics, about engagement ranges, and your role on the map as determined by your equipment. Despite their legally distinct names, the unlock path demands players engage with different weapon classes in order to get and see everything. You can’t unlock the MP5 equivalent without spending time with the G3 equivalent.

The modes and maps are also a riot. Now that these games have Warzone to pay the bills, the multiplayer team is free to experiment. Both Invasion and Ground War are the idiot siblings of Battlefield, yet somehow manage to capture the chaos of those games better than the last few BF games. Invasion really is delightful in how it just sends two armies of players and bots crashing into each other until someone reaches a set score.

None of this is hugely interesting to people who don’t play these games, and to be clear, I only show up for the Good Ones by popular consensus. MW2 is genuinely the best multiplayer the series has had since Advanced Warfare, or Black Ops 2 if you’re boring and don’t like fun. Compare this to a contemporary like Halo Infinite from last year, and it’s embarrassing how much the former is getting styled on. It’s got the juice and they don’t need to make another one for a while.

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With the caveat that the networking infrastructure is abysmal, my answer for this category has to be Splatoon 3. Splatoon 2 was my favourite game of all time, basically, so Splatoon 3 has basically just shuffled into that slot. They have made it much easier to play together with friends, and Salmon Run has been expanded and made available 24/7 instead of taking half-day breaks every other day. It’s still got the same great vibes and the lobby is as always, filled with great shitposts and memes, and makes me yearn for the return of Miiverse every damn day. The community is so great and for a multiplayer game, that counts for a lot.

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I know it is an older game now, but Hell Let Loose is still a great time if you can get a good group together who is both respectful and willing to work together as a team. It can be frustrating when playing by yourself, though when you find a good squad to play with it is like a breath of fresh air. I would still recommend this game in the new year - even with the framerate issues after they added flamethrowers lol

On Marvel Snap, sure it is - you play against other humans, right, which is what this is getting at.

(Although, I’m tempted to push the boundaries here and argue that the recent explosion of Wordle-likes are also multiplayer games in some sense, since they wouldn’t be as interesting without the meta-layer of seeing how everyone else you know did on a particular day’s puzzle. So, on that basis, I’m going to argue for GuessTheGame, the “guess the video game from a series of screenshots from it and some additional clues” version of this genre, just because it feels appropriate.)

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Warframe! Warframe! Warframe! I’ve been playing this game for going 8 years and they’ve been supporting it for even longer and continue to do so. And just last month they added crossplay, so now Tenno across various platforms can play together!!

My other pick has to go to Apex Legends, another game I’ve been playing since launch and never get tired of. The seasonal new legends, occasional new map, and periodic limited-time experimental modes keep things fresh, but the satisfying gameplay is the main thing that keeps me coming back for more.

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Swtor is probably my mmo in the way that wow is for other people. Marvel snap as well