2022 is nearly over, and that is always a good time to look back. And what a year it’s been… again. Let’s have a look.
Major stuff of 2022
So, at the start of 2020, everything seemed pretty normal. Then there was the pandemic, and we’re still not done with that this year. Then 2021 rolled around, and the US President whipped up a mob to storm the Capitol and start an insurrection. I thought we’d more or less reached rock bottom, but of course, more shit hit the fan this year.
Russia invaded Ukraine, and we’re now almost a year in on a devastating war. The United States killed its anti-abortion protection, and the United Kingdom took another step down its post-brexit death spiral. And lest we forget, Pakistan flooded this year, and the US is currently experiencing devastating cold.
On a smaller scale, Facebook — sorry, Meta — flushed record-shattering amounts of money down the drain for their VR-monopoly pipe dream. And Elon Musk bought Twitter and is doing his best to prove that anarchy and removing moderation will make it a better platform — so far, it doesn’t appear to work.
Did anything good happen…? Well, let’s not forget that Brandon Sanderson ran the most successful Kickstarter ever for four ‘secret’ books. So, novels are not dead yet. And we’re finally trying to conserve energy, which should help the environment in the long run.
Beyond that, I’m doing pretty well personally. My family and I are healthy, I’m having fun with some of my writing projects, and I’ve managed to find a new car — I needed one.
So, what cool stuff did I read, watch and play this year?
There were a lot of cool novels in my reading pile this year.
On the scifi front, I loved Skyward, by Brandon Sanderson. I also had a lot of fun reading Lock-in, by John Scalzi. Both did not come out in 2022, of course, but I don’t think novels age very fast, so I don’t care.
I did read one fantasy novel that came out this year: Fevered Star, the sequel to Black Sun, by Rebecca Roanhorse. I love the weird meso-american style-fantasy world of those books. Then another pre-2022 work, the Draconis Memoria series by Anthony Ryan; I had a lot of fun with that Victorian-age fantasy with dragons.
Finally, I haven’t reviewed this yet, but I’m currently racing through the urban fantasy October Daye series by Seanan McGuire. I’m loving that so far, and there are a number of them still to go.
I saw a number of movies from a few years ago, and a few from 2022. And, I don’t plan this, but like last year, and the year before that, I only visited the theater once.
This year, I went to Dr. Strange 2, which was a pretty good Marvel Movie. It doesn’t hold up to Dune, which I went to last year and which is really awesome. Still, Dr. Strange was a good movie to watch on a big screen.
I also had fun watching Prey with friends. Prey is not pretentious, but just a good Predator movie with an interesting setting. And that’s fine. Uncharted also came out this year. I haven’t ever seen any great video game movie adaptions, but Uncharted is an ‘okay’ adaption.
And although Spider-man: No Way Home came out in 2021, not 2022, I think it was the best movie I watched this year. Granted, Spider-man is nostalgia for me — I have a shelf full of the comics — but this movie genuinely surprised me. With the huge cast, I’d expected little depth, but it was actually pretty well done, with all the different arcs intertwining to form a whole.
A lot of shows came out this year. Too many to see, really.
I saw Moon Knight and Obi Wan Kenobi. Both of which I liked, but don’t love. Hawkeye came out last year, but I think I loved that most of the shows I watched this year. So, if you’re still in the Christmas spirit, I recommend watching it.
My wife and I gave Rings of Power a try, and Andor,. Neither is bad, but neither could really grab our attention. We’re demanding, and it probably doesn’t help that we only watch one episode per week. Perhaps these shows do better when binging them.
The new Willow TV series, though, we love that so far. I haven’t had a chance to write down my thoughts yet, but the show isn’t finished, so that can wait. The show manages to mix corny fantasy with interesting characters in a very fun way. And they reunited a lot of the old cast.
So, what did 2022 bring us in video games? Well, the Uncharted Movie is video game-adjacent, but that doesn’t really count.
2022 is the year of God of War: Ragnarök and Elden Ring, I guess. God of War came out last month, and immediately racked up a number of Game Awards. Personally, I wonder how much of this is genuine awesomeness (it is awesome) and how much is timing — voting was during the hype period just after release. I do love the game, though, and it is very pretty on a Playstation 5.
I also loved Stray a lot. It’s a very different game, so I’m not going to try and compare it to God of War. But you get to play a cat! It also won a Game Award.
Finally, I played Horizon: Forbidden West. Because of its release timing it had to square off against Elden Ring, which is a shame, because Horizon is a great game series, but now it had to compete with a game that goes beyond that. Elden Ring has a rabid cult fan base. To me, the comparison is silly, like saying sausages are better than a steak. It really depends on your taste and mood.
And yeah, I’m not saying much about Elden Ring itself. That’s because I haven’t played it, and I don’t know if it is a game for me. I hear a lot of good things, but I don’t deal well with games punishing me for every mistake. I’m over forty, meaning my reflexes are failing, and I have a job and child, so I don’t have the endless hours to ‘git gud’ either.
2022 is almost over, and what a year it has been. It would be nice if 2023 was a bit boring, for once. No new disasters. An end to the war in Ukraine would be nice — well, one where Russia isn’t allowed to keep the spoil of its raping, pillaging, and deliberate mass murdering of civilians.