We're now in January which means that a Game of the Year award, the first for Just the Tidbit, needs to be awarded. 2022 as a whole was a good year for gaming, with plenty of quality AAA and indie titles released, spread across numerous genres. You of course still had the usual folks saying there was no variety and it was a lackluster year, but those folks need to look into a mirror, this year was quite good despite continued delays. 

Due to it being an overall good year, that means the Game of the Year award was quite contested. Just off the top of my head, you had God of War Ragnarok, Stray, Cult of the Lamb, Elden Ring, Horizon: Forbidden West, Plague Tale Requiem, Lost Ark, Xenoblade Chronicles 3, and many more quality titles. On top of that, the Steam Deck was released and ended up being a fantastic portable gaming device which personally has increased the number of hours I game. 

That said, there can only be one Game of the Year award winner and before I get to it, I'm going to give a shout out to two games that I enjoyed quite a bit. The first of which is Stray, an indie title published by Annapurna Interactive and developed by BlueTwelve Studio. Right now on Steam, the game sports an Overwhelmingly Positive rating with 97% positive reviews. While it's no surprise that the internet loves cats, this title did a fantastic job making you feel like one and having a compelling cyberpunk world to explore. I personally loved Stray and gave it a 9.3/10 when I was still doing my reviews on Twitter, you can read Stray's by clicking here. However, while I loved it, this year was too competitive for the cute orange cat to sneak into 1st place. 

The second honorable mention goes to Plague Tale: Requiem, a game that ripped by soul into pieces with its gripping and emotional narrative. You can read my review by clicking here, but I gave the game a 9.5/10 due to it's incredibly immersive world, well written narrative, and great voice acting. The only thing I disliked about the game was some of the forced stealth sequences and stealth level design that was too similar to the first game. It was extremely difficult for me to avoid my own bias and not give this my Game of the Year, so think of this honorable mention as a near tie for the award, it was that close. So, if not Stray or Plague Tale Requiem, what won?

In a photo finish, the winner of the first ever Just the Tidbit Game of the Year award is...

Yes, Elden Ring just barely won and did so by being a gripping souls-like experience made by the pioneers of the genre From Software, that embraced the idea of exploration and ran with it. When I entered the game for the first time, I was at awe by how expansive it's world felt, but what I didn't realize is how large and full of interesting content it actually was. Every single inch of the game is filled with intrigue and every roadblock you face could be overcome through taking a different path. It's boss fights were intense, it's world was brutal, it's soundtrack was epic, every part of the game was just excellent. The main con I had with the game is it's narrative, which requires too much exploration and could have been spoon fed through the main story a bit more. If you do explore and hunt for the story though, it is quite interesting. 

The enormous package full of intrigue Elden Ring delivers is why it received a rating of 9.6/10 and won Just the Tidbit's first ever Game of the Year award. It was just... that... good. Congratulations, From Software! If you want to learn more about Elden Ring, check out the review by clicking here. Here's hoping 2023 turns out to be as great as it appears it will be!



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