The story begins with certain people suddenly becoming markedly more prosperous and successful from the year of 1995 onwards, in a way that defied conventional explanations and attracted the envy of their peers, as they saw what was apparently true happiness. By February of 2000, there were enough of these people to openly declare that it was their new faith that brought such success upon them, and that others would only need to convert to it in order to become equally successful and long-lived. The temptation did not just reach the normal folk; the majority of the world's most powerful people ended up converting over the next two years.
In 2002, the order had enough power to declare war upon the remaining unbelievers. Most countries have agreed to convert to their faith rather than to challenge its collective might, and the holdouts were eventually crushed as well., with the world getting divided into 22 zones to enable easier governance. Zone 22 included modern-day Turkey, and it was there, in the Kadikoy district in Istanbul, that a soldier named Demir, his girlfriend Erbu, and the mysterious Inzar have began a rebellion that may save the rest of humanity from the Order's followers, who began rapidly mutating into the monstrous Maduns...
Kabus 22 contains examples of:
- Airborne Mook: Giant Bat Maduns are one of the enemies you face. They are straight-up untargetable up until they land.
- A.K.A.-47: Played straight. For instance, one of your main weapons is an assault rifle that is very clearly M-16, yet is always referred to as MF-5.
- Apocalyptic Log: Present, and they can be quite philosophical. The first is written on a sheet of simple graph paper, and recalls how the author was asked by the order's members about his deepest desire, as they promised they would be able to give him anything he wishes for. As he contemplates their offer, he realizes none of that matters in the face of eternity, and he would rather resist and die than to embrace "living for the sake of living", as the "fools" of the Order had done.
- Bond One-Liner: "Your faith ends here!" This is delivered by Demir after he had shot the unknown member of the Order in the opening, who had just finished regaling its backstory and boasted that it is now unstoppable.
- Camera Screw: This game was one of the last survival horrors to use the classic fixed camera angles before they went out of style (eventually making a limited comeback in late-2010s, but only in the explicitly Retraux titles.) While it often looks cool, it can still interfere with the gameplay at times.
- Combos: Inzar can score combos by chaining his sword slashes.
- Do Not Run with a Gun: No character is able to fire their weapons while on the move.
- Double Weapon: One enemy type wields a staff with a blade at each end.
- Dual Wielding: Inzar fights with two swords, and he is very good at that as well.
- Everything Fades: Justified with the Maduns; they have clearly supernatural origins, and so their dead bodies burn up without a trace.
- Eyeless Face: The Maduns only have a mouth full of sharp teeth.
- Eyes Do Not Belong There: Invoked on the main menu screen, which places thorny vines in the foreground and floods the rest with blood-red light. Most disconcertingly, the two vines right below the game's title both have eyeballs at their ends, seemingly staring right back at the player, and they'll periodically blink as well.
- Guns Are Useless: The dual swords of Inzar end up being much more effective against Maduns than even the shotguns or automatic firearms of Demir, let alone the revolver Erbu uses.
- Hearts Are Health: The game represents a protagonist's HP with a biologically accurate portrayal of a beating heart in the top left corner.
- Hope Spot: After the opening narration ends, the next cutscene begins with Demir receiving a phone call from Erbu, who excitedly tells him that they are winning the fight, and Maduns are being forced to rapidly retreat from the occupied suburbs. Once Demir gets on the scene, however, he discovers that this assessment was widely premature.
- Join or Die: This was the Order's ultimatum towards every single country in 2002, and many have indeed given up without a fight, though the holdouts were crushed anyway. Considering that those who succumbed to its teachings eventually transform followers into Maduns, however, joining did not really save anyone.
- Med Kit: Demir and Erbu restore health with med kits of various sizes. Inzar can just meditate in order to restore HP.
- The Noseless: The Maduns lack noses.
- Obvious Beta: At release, the game was prone to freezing up or crashing whenever a player character died, or when a cutscene was played.
- Pistol Whip: If the Maduns get too close, Erbu can whip them back with her revolver.
- Repeated For Emphasis: The opening narration is entirely historical and impersonal throughout. It is only at the very end that the unseen narrator directly addresses his listeners with "You can't win!", and immediately repeats, panicked, "YOU CAN'T WIN!". Cue a gunshot and a Bond One-Liner from the main characters.
- Revolvers Are Just Better: Averted. Erbu's revolver has the lowest stopping power out of all three protagonists' weapons, so her levels are far more focused on fleeing from danger than of the other characters.
- Respawning Enemies: Maduns will respawn even on the already cleared levels, and can just appear out of thin air with no real transition animation.
- Roundhouse Kick: The default melee attack of Demir consists of just such a kick. However, its only purpose is to knock back the Maduns who got too close; even the most basic variety cannot actually be killed with these kicks, and you must pump them with multiple bullets in order to do the job.
- Shotguns Are Just Better: A shotgun is one of the available weapons, and its set of animations shows it getting pumped unnecessarily just in order to look cool.
- Suicidal Overconfidence: The game would have been a lot easier if Demir did not knock back the offer of an armed escort as he headed out to the scene from his HQ, naively believing that they have already won there and that Maduns had really fled, instead of executing a tactical retreat followed by a savage counter-attack.
- Teleport Spam: Even the basic Maduns are able to teleport, though a very short distance. In particular, they do it whenever you have attacked them with multiple melee attacks in a row, to ensure that you cannot just stunlock them in this manner.