What is your favorite game of 2021? What was it at the time, and what is it now?
I spent the majority of my year playing remakes and remasters other than the start of the year when I came off a Kingdom Hearts binge (shoutout Lore Reasons) straight into Hitman 3. A great game which I hoped would springboard into the immersive sim genre but alas not to be.
I did get massively into Nier Replicant. We’re talking full reading ResetEra threads, listening to the calm YouTube mixes and scanning Critical Distance for new articles. Great game. I’m surprised a couple of Waypoint Radio eps aside it wasn’t really discussed here.
I also finally clicked with Disco Elysium with the Final Cut on PS5. That game is a triumph of Fisherian melancholic leftism. Not often you can Leo Di Caprio point at the screen because an “Ultraliberal is sort of approvingly quoting Capitalist Realism” and that’s before you get into the real triumphs and vindications that come in the final moments of that game that feel, more than any other game, intensely personal to the choices and decisions I’ve made in that game.
It’s a shame given how it’s appeared to have panned out because I’ve never felt more like people like me have succeeded in their vision in as intensely a capitalistic environment as the ZA/UM team and I was eager to see what came next but at least we always have Disco Elysium and Revachol which more and more feels like the city I live in.
Did you grow to appreciate any games of that year? Alternatively, did you sour on any games?
Halo Infinite. I grew to appreciate it as the game which fundamentally changed my gaming pattern. I was always a late gamer playing well into the night. However, one morning early in December, something funny happened.
My flatmate had Covid, I had recently returned back from home and was not well either albeit free of the dreaded double lines on a test. I remember reading a post on here where someone said their favourite time to play a game was with a coffee early in the morning and the first time I did that was December 2021 where a persistent cough woke me up at 5am. I ended up accepting defeat, getting up and brewing some coffee and sitting down to continue my legendary campaign run. I watched the sun come up, cleared a major chunk of the game and then shut my console down and started a shift from home circa 8am.
and I got it. To this day I comment on how fun it was. I’m a notorious late sleeper frequently waking up 15 minutes before I’m due to leave. Now I regularly wake up early on the weekends, brew a coffee and get a few hours in before everyone wakes up.
So when I think about what I appreciated in 2021 I think of Halo Infinite which hit me at the right time and ended up changing my entire schedule of game time.
I genuinely haven’t played a second of it in 2022.
If you could summarize 2021’s year of games, how would you?
The year of rereleases. Whether it was Disco Elysium Final Cut, Nier Replicant, Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade, or Death Stranding Director’s Cut it felt like the majority of my hours were put in to experiencing the “definitive” editions of things that didn’t feel that old. I loved them all though and in lieu of anyone being able to release anything new I definitely enjoyed all the remakes and remasters that fell into my lap.
How does 2022 look in comparison to 2021?
It’s been dominated by Elden Ring. I made a pledge to conquer a Soulsborne in 2021 and I managed it 6 months earlier than I anticipated in 2022 when I was convinced to buy Elden Ring. It’s going to be interesting given the dearth of real quality AAA games this year compared to the obscene achievement (valid criticisms aside) that Elden Ring was.
I hope Immortality wins something though for being the second game since Disco Elysium to feel like an achievement in writing.