Somehow, we’ve managed to make it to the end of 2022, so with that in mind, we’re celebrating some of the best games to have launched in the past 12 months. This time, we’re talking about a game that might have been somewhat overlooked compared to other 2022 releases: Midnight Fight Express.

Being a one person wrecking crew against an entire city of goons probably isn’t the most unique premise in the world. In fact, a few 2022 games perfectly match that vague description. Perhaps it’s those similarities which have caused Midnight Fight Express to feel somewhat forgotten about now that we’ve reached the end of the year, and that’s a shame, because it’s a genuinely brilliant beat ‘em up.

As a seemingly mute, amnesiac loner by the name of Babyface, your quiet existence is disrupted when the city explodes into violence. Around the same time, a mysterious drone beckons you to come help take the city back from the criminals, and you’re going to do it the only way you know how: battering everyone you see.

In a similar way to Sifu, Midnight Fight Express also feels like a cinematic beat ‘em up experience, but while Sifu pulls from different elements of martial arts cinema, Midnight Fight Express feels like the closest we’d ever come to a Hardcore Henry game. The action is so intense and high octane throughout every single one of Midnight Fight Express’ 40 levels, and while violence and brutality are the common factor, the context surrounding each level can be vastly different.

Throughout the game, you’ll go through so many different scenarios, whether that’s battering sewer mutants, street gangs, killer robots, zombies or just getting involved in a pillow fight at a game developer’s office. The level of variety on offer from level to level is so bonkers that you’ll never know what to expect on a first time playthrough, and the amount of references and easter eggs packed in will be guaranteed to elicit at least a smile of some kind.

Of course, all of that would mean nothing if the core gameplay of Midnight Fight Express wasn’t rock solid, and it absolutely delivers in that regard too. The attacks feel weighty, there’s so many offensive and defensive options available to you and the amount of upgrades you can get makes you feel so powerful by the end of the game. It also helps that each level is short, and crammed with challenges and collectibles, so there’s a huge amount of replayability in there too.

Midnight Fight Express

All of the action and carnage is amplified even further thanks to the excellent soundtrack from Noisecream, who provides the perfect synth-laden accompaniment to crushing skulls with lead pipes. Hearing those pulse-pounding beats blaring through some quality headphones genuinely makes you feel like you could suplex a skyscraper, which just serves to amp you up for the massive waves of destruction you’ll leave in your wake.

Midnight Fight Express isn’t the most complicated game that’s launched in 2022, nor will it serve to redefine what it means to be a video game in this day and age. It is, however, a superb action game that deserves so much more love and respect than it received these past 12 months.

It’s on Game Pass, for crying out loud. Give it a shot.

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