We’ve somehow managed to make it to the end of 2022! We have seen some seriously high quality releases when it comes to both video games and music. It was a very crowded year with many big releases coming out on the same day or week. It was hard to hit every single game that came out. So I decided to pool together a few games we haven’t covered that should absolutely be on your radar. Whether you like shooting things, leading a cult, or love some good ol’ fashioned g-o-l-f, there should be something here for you or a loved one!
PGA Tour 2K23 is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a new golf game! I have been a big fan of golf games in the past. When I was a kid, I used to play Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2003 on my dad’s PlayStation 2. I never had a clue what I was doing and never played what someone would call a “successful” game of golf, but I had such a fun time playing it. PGA Tour 2K23 is a completely different beast. It is shockingly realistic. Probably the most realistic golf simulator out on the market. The only thing separating it from realism is the fact that you aren’t swinging a real club.
The graphics are stunning and the courses look photo realistic at times. The clubs and custom player that you create have a ton of very interesting, almost RPG-like elements. Clubs have tuning and boosts that you get through levelling up. It almost feels like you’re upgrading a weapon at an upgrade bench in any adventure game. It’s an interesting gamey/arcadey thing to implement that keeps the game engaging for people who might not be super into hype realistic golf. Personally, I’m not really into many sports video games and I usually like a much more arcade inspired take on them. But the realism in PGA Tour 2K23 is genuinely impressive and any self proclaiming golf fan will find a ton to love here.
You can order PGA Tour 2K23 here.
Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands is a Dungeons & Dragons inspired Borderlands spinoff! An idea that seems insane yet perfectly sensible. The protagonist you control is a player in a fantasy tabletop game DM’d by none other than the titular Tiny Tina herself. The map is a top down bird’s eye POV where you see a tiny little figurine of the character you made walking around the table. Huge cheeto pieces blocking off certain paths, crumbs and stains all over the map really drive home that you’re just playing out a fantasy game in someone’s basement. It’s quite funny, and I don’t think it would really work as well as it does without the tongue and cheek approach the game takes.
If you are into Borderlands than Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands is a no brainer. It’s just more Borderlands, but in a new sprawling fantastical environment. There are huge vistas that sometimes look like something straight out of a Tolkien book. Not only does Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands look great and hugely inspired, but it plays great and really, that’s what matters. The gunplay is as satisfying as ever. You can now use tons of different types of magic to kill your enemies. I decided to play as a cryomancer. I could swing my giant battle axe and create a mini swirling blizzard to freeze enemies to death and then smash them into pieces with said battle axe. It’s a total blast. There are also some really strange/funny celebrity appearances in this. Andy Samberg, Wanda Sykes and Will Arnett all make appearances and they all fit in perfectly. None of them feel like they are shoehorned into it for celebrity power. They are all having a great time with their parts, and it’s a ton of fun to experience that. Tiny Tina’s Wonderland is a complete joy for anyone who is into looter shooters. If you like a ton of fun, I highly recommend looking out for this game.
You can order Tiny Tina’s Wonderland here.
Sony recently added a new rewards system to the PS Store called “PlayStation Stars.” You get some currency every time you purchase something on the store. The first time I checked it out I saw that one of the games you could redeem if you had enough coins was Cult of the Lamb. I decided that I wouldn’t purchase the game because I knew I’d eventually be able to redeem it with my currency. That day finally arrived and I am now in love with Cult of The Lamb.
While it seems like a simple top down action roguelite where you run into a randomized dungeon and kill a bunch of things, Cult of the Lamb quickly becomes something much more complex than that. Before you know it you’re leading a cult of woodland critters who are performing rituals where you sacrifice other cultists, you’re cleaning up animal poop and then using it as fertilizer for plants, you’re building loyalty by giving necklaces made of bones to your favourite cultists. There’s what feels like a never ending string of unlocks and game systems that continue to pull you into the experience.
This has all been without mentioning how stunning this game is. Cult of the Lamb has such a terrific pop up art style. The critters you indoctrinate into your cult are all so adorable. I just wanna squish their cheeks and kiss their foreheads. With a game this cute it’s always shocking when I learn how to do a new blood ritual or when I learn how to feed a cultist a bowl of their own poop. That’s the fun and genius of Cult of The Lamb. It just oozes personality. It was very clearly a passion project and everyone involved poured all the love they could into it. The thing that excites me the most about Cult of The Lamb is that there is a “roadmap” option on the main menu that states “free updates will be coming to Cult of The Lamb soon.” I am dying for more cutesy culty shenanigans. I strongly recommend this game and think it would be a terrific gift to get for a loved one this holiday season. Just as long as that person isn’t too religious or squeemish or susceptible to joining cults.
You can buy Cult of the Lamb here.