Best of 2022: Vampire Survivors – Tom’s one true and only choice for GOTY
I tend to be weary of the hot new game. The game that’s come out of nowhere and is being talked about as the second (Third? Fourth?) coming of Molyneux. Everyone on social is all, “You MUST!! play this game. It is legit AMAZING!1!” My bullshit sensors fire up into overdrive and I’m essentially forced as far away as possible from said game. I wish I hadn’t done this with Vampire Survivors.
Although released in Early Access on December 17, 2021, Vampire Survivors only really made an impact in 2022. At the start of the year the rumblings began. I ignored them. The noise grew louder. I put on my ear defenders. The game was announced for Xbox and Game Pass. I turned up my nose. Just what could this archaic-looking game be doing that had enthralled so many people? I, I decided, wasn’t going to fall into the hype trap… or so I thought.
Long story short, I played the Xbox version on Game Pass and was hooked. I installed the game on the Steam Deck shortly after and the rest is history. It’s easily my most played game of the year, despite the fact that it’s a game in which you really don’t do that much.
Trying to explain what’s so great about Vampire Survivors really requires words from a better writer than me, but I’ll do my best. This simplistic looking action game sees you navigate 2D open world levels, with your character automatically attacking using a number of weapons that you gain as you play. The more you play, the more upgrades you can make, with successful runs ending in your character being able to fuck everything up by merely existing in the space. A proper badass. And it feels bloody brilliant.
I think I’ve got a fair bit of Vampire Survivors still to see, not even considering the bargain-priced DLC. I’m still being treated to “WTF just happened” moments that leave me on the edge of Googling answers to things I really don’t want explaining. I must stay strong.
If you’re reading this and are yet to experience Vampire Survivors, it comes with the biggest recommendation any video game can get: my praise. This is a wonderful game, and a game that can be played on a bunch of platforms for a very small fee. Don’t be like me. Embrace the hype. Revel in it, and have a great time.
I was going to reel off a bunch of other games that I like this year (such as The Last of Us: Part 1, Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope, Kirby and the Forgotten Land, for example), but I don’t want to. I’m a tired, aging man who doesn’t have nearly enough time to play everything I want to play. The fact that I’m only really playing Vampire Survivors says it all. It’s Game of the Year and it’s not even close.