Going back to games you’ve enjoyed is always a pleasant time, and this year, we’ve had the opportunity to do that on several occasions, with a number of games seeing the release of major expansions and DLCs, some of which have been high on people’s wishlists for quite some time. Here, we’re going to go over some of our favourite expansions of 2022, before highlighting one of them as our pick for the best of the best.
NOTE: The nominees and winner were decided by an internal vote held among the entire GamingBolt staff.
BUGSNAX: THE ISLE OF BIGSNAX
Bugsnax has garnered a solid, sizeable fanbase since its launch in 2020, but though interest in the game had obviously waned since then, its new expansion, The Isle of BIGsnax, ensured that we were still talkin’ ’bout Bugsnax in 2022. The Isle of BIGsnax adds a new biome to explore, new Bugsnax to find and catch, and new missions to undertake, while smart and welcome refinements also help improve the core design. At roughly three hours long, it’s a decently meaty expansion, with plenty of content that you’re almost guaranteed to enjoy if you liked the base game.
OLLIOLLI WORLD: VOID RIDERS
Roll7’s OlliOlli World is easily one of the most enjoyable games of 2022, so of course we’re not going to sniff at a sizeable expansion that adds more content to the game. And the content that VOID Riders adds is, in a word, amazing. From its excellent new levels to the incredible tractor beam mechanic, from an endearing cast of characters to more of that silky smooth skateboarding gameplay that the base game delivers in spades, VOID Riders puts together a package that can pretty much stand toe-to-toe with the game that it builds off of.
ASSASSIN’S CREED VALHALLA: DAWN OF RAGNAROK
If there’s one thing Assassin’s Creed Valhalla was in desperate need of, it was more content, right? This massive 100-hour open world RPG had already received two sizeable expansions last year, so to see it get an even larger new expansion in 2022 was somewhat of a surprise. Either way, it’s safe to say that Dawn of Ragnarok is a worthy addition to the base experience. By now, you’re probably well aware of whether or not you like Valhalla’s formula, and if you do, you’re going to like Dawn of Ragnarok, because above all else, it’s more of the same. It’s got a great setting and a solid story that build on the mythological parts of Valhalla’s story, while fun new abilities also make combat more enjoyable. For those who’ve had quite enough of Assassin’s Creed Valhalla by now (which no one will really blame you for), Dawn of Ragnarok is easy to skip, but for fans of the game, there’s plenty to like here.
DEAD CELLS: THE QUEEN AND THE SEA
Motion Twin’s phenomenal roguelike title Dead Cells is well over four years old at this point, but the post-launch support for the game hasn’t really let up. It has kept on adding new content on a consistent basis, and kicked off 2022 with probably one of its best updates with The Queen and the Sea. With a new biome, several new weapons, a brand-new boss fight, and even a new ending to the game, The Queen and the Sea is a stellar addition to the game, delivering more of its dangerously addictive and mechanically dense gameplay and design genius. If this is indeed Dead Cells’ final major DLC, which Motion Twin says it is, at least it’s a suitably excellent way to close the book on an incredible game.
DESTINY 2: THE WITCH QUEEN
Bungie’s master plan for Destiny 2 saw the launch of another new expansion this year in The Witch Queen, and while no Destiny expansion launch has ever gone completely smoothly, it’s fair to say that this one ranks as one of the looter shooter series’ best post-launch efforts to date. It’s got a meaty new campaign that tells a fascinating tale, one that’s full of payoffs and new mysteries for longtime fans, while its endgame additions also deserve a great deal of praise. While the Destiny fanbase is unlikely to ever be a hundred percent happy with the state of things, in the wake of The Witch Queen, it certainly feels like Destiny 2 is at its highest ever point.
Outriders didn’t exactly set the world on fire when it launched, but it was, nonetheless, a solid, enjoyable, meaty looter shooter with addictive combat and fun loot mechanics. Funnily enough, you can apply pretty much that exact same description to Outriders Worldslayer. It’s a pretty sizeable campaign that has a pretty forgettable story, but also has fun, thrilling combat encounters in spades, while tinkering with your build never gets old either. If you enjoyed People Can Fly’s RPG shooter when it launched last year, Worldslayer is certainly worth your time.
FORZA HORIZON 5: HOT WHEELS
Forza Horizon gave us a Hot Wheels DLC with its third instalment and a LEGO expansion with its fourth. It was kind of a given that Forza Horizon 5 would do something similar as well, and boy are we glad that it went back to Hot Wheels. A collection of islands floating in the sky above the base game’s map serve as this expansion’s setting, but unlike Mexico, this open world map is full of bright and colourful plastic tracks, a smattering of loops, boosts, jumps, and a healthy dose of natural beauty, from frozen mountains to dense jungles to waterfalls and more. Add to that a bunch of new Hot Wheels-themed cars and a host of new excellently-designed events and activities, and you get yet another unmissable piece of Forza Horizon content.
MONSTER HUNTER RISE: SUNBREAK
Following in the footsteps of Monster Hunter World, Monster Hunter Rise added a massive chunk of new content with the Sunbreak expansion earlier this year, and much like Iceborne did with World, Sunbreak makes Rise even more of an irresistible game. Unsurprisingly, it doesn’t try to reinvent the wheel, instead delivering more of the same, but there’s an awful lot of new content to dive in here nonetheless. The new monsters are excellent additions and, as ever, a joy to take on in combat, while crafting new gear and grinding out loot remains as addictive as ever. There are also new environments, skills, plenty of quality of live improvements, and much more, so if you’re looking for more Monster Hunter, Sunbreak is pretty much unmissable.
RESIDENT EVIL VILLAGE: WINTERS’ EXPANSION
If you’re looking for pure value for money, you’re unlikely to be disappointed with Resident Evil Village: Winters’ Expansion. The three-pronged expansion adds a new story chapter, new Mercenaries content, and a new third person mode for the base game’s campaign, which is a surprising amount of content for a Resident Evil expansion. It helps, of course, that most of it is a lot of fun, even if it’s not perfect. Shadows of Rose has some interesting new locations and gameplay ideas (and a particularly horrifying sequence that lives long in the memory), while the new third person mode is an excellent way to revisit the base campaign. Maybe it’s not unmissable, but Winters’ Expansion is a solid excuse to go back to Capcom’s excellent survival horror title.
CUPHEAD: THE DELICIOUS LAST COURSE
Cuphead is one of the best games of its generation, so yes, there was plenty of excitement surrounding The Delicious Last Course’s launch. After a prolonged development cycle and some delays, it had a lot to live up to, and unsurprisingly, it didn’t buckle under the pressure. Everything you could possibly want in new Cuphead content is here. Gorgeous hand-drawn visuals and animations, spectacularly designed and gruelingly challenging multi-staged boss fights, and even a new playable character with her own set of abilities. Cuphead: The Delicious Last Course was a long time coming, but there’s no doubt whatsoever that it was well worth the wait.
FORZA HORIZON 5: HOT WHEELS
We’re massive fans of Forza Horizon 5 here – it was our 2021 Game of the Year, after all – so it’s no surprise that we can’t quite get enough of this game, no matter how much we play it. Forza Horizon 5: Hot Wheels gives us more – a whole bunch more, in fact – and it’s all suitably amazing. The tracks are excellently designed, the sense of speed and the pure adrenaline it generates is electric, the unique biomes look spectacular, and driving around in Hot Wheels cars is exactly as fun as you’d hope. There’s 10-12 hours of new content here, and it’s all absolutely delightful.
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