We’re almost at the end of 2021, which means the start of a new year – a new year of exciting video games. There are so many new game releases due in 2022, across all platforms, it keeps us awake in the early hours; from cinematic blockbusters to slow-burn RPGs. A thrilling 12 months lie ahead, and we can’t wait.
But, given how many new games are landing on consoles and PC next year, it can be hard to know which you absolutely need to pay attention to. So we’ve put together a list of five of the biggest games arriving in 2022, including what they’re all about and why they’re likely going to be worth your hard-earned time and money.
So, if you want to know what games to look out for in the new year, regardless of platform, then you’ve come to the right place.
Horizon Forbidden West
Releasing on: PS5 and PS4
Release date: February 18
“There’s no depth I won’t explore, no secret I won’t unlock,” says Aloy, in the breath-taking announcement trailer for the sequel to Horizon Zero Dawn. The first game was one of the highlights of the PS4, boasting a luscious world where the future and the past collide in a spectacularly unique way, and introducing a protagonist (aka Aloy) that we hope sticks around for decades to come.
In Horizon Forbidden West, we take control of Aloy once again – this time, exploring a post-apocalyptic western United States. Horizon Forbidden West looks to build on the formula of its predecessor, while adding new machines to take down (including giant robot snakes), gorgeous new environments, and new characters to encounter (hopefully most of those are friendly). We can’t wait to explore depths in Horizon Forbidden West and unlock secrets with the fiery Aloy, in what looks to be one of the games of the year.
Releasing on: PC, PS5, PS4, Xbox SeriesX/S and Xbox One
Release date: February 25
Developer FromSoftware appears to be continuing its run of notoriously difficult action RPGs – or Souls-likes, as ubiquitous as the term is now – with Elden Ring. Set in the fantasy realm of the Lands Between, players will hack, slash, dodge, and perfectly time their way through the realm with the hopes of becoming the Elden Lord.
If that sounded like dull and standard fantasy fare, fear not. George R.R. Martin, the modern-day bard himself, has co-written the story. After looking at his world-building prowess in A Song of Ice and Fire, we know we’re in safe hands. There’s a chance, too, that his name will encourage plenty of non-gamers to jump into Elden Ring.
While we love to see everyone and anyone playing games, a word of warning for those who are perhaps less seasoned gamers: Elden Ring isn’t going to be easy. FromSoftware’s titles are notoriously challenging and, for some, that simply isn’t to their tastes – and that’s ok. But, what we would say is, if FromSoftware’s previous title Sekiro is anything to go by, that challenge means that every enemy you do take down, and every inch that you progress, is exceptionally rewarding (perhaps more so than in any other game)
Releasing on: PC and Xbox Series X/S
Release date: November 11
It might be hard to believe that Bethesda is releasing a new RPG outside of The Elder Scrolls and Fallout, but here we are. Described by director Todd Howard as “Skyrim in space”, Starfield looks to carry on Bethesda’s tradition of expansive action RPGs, this time building a brand new world among the stars (rather than the Khajiits)
Initially, we were just relieved it wasn’t another Skyrim rerelease. Starfield’s trailer, however – released at E3 2021 – shows that this really is something to be excited about. Exploration has always been a big theme in The Elder Scrolls and Fallout games, and Starfield looks to be taking that to another dimension. Quite literally. The trailer reveals an astronaut boarding his rocket, about to venture into the final frontier.
We don’t know a lot about the gameplay yet, but we’re praying for space battles. Either way, if it’s anything like Bethesda’s previous IPs, we’re in for ground-breaking stuff.
Dying Light 2: Stay Human
Releasing on: PC, Nintendo Switch, PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X/S and Xbox One
Release date: February 4
It wouldn’t be a true year of gaming without at least one zombie-slayer, and the sequel to 2015’s Dying Light looks to be our savior.
Set 20 years after the first game, Dying Light 2 sees you playing as Aiden Caldwell, an infected survivor, as he tries to unearth the secrets of his past and locate his sister amidst a ruthless, decaying world. Aiden’s search leads him to The City (the last remaining human settlement), where it’s then up to the player whether our protagonist focuses on his own goal or decides to help remaining survivors by rebuilding the settlement. Dying Light 2 has a focus on choice and consequence, with your decisions affecting the environment around you – as well as the story itself.
The original Dying Light took the parkour of Mirror’s Edge, blended it with a zombie shoot-‘em-up, and added a day-and-night variation system to boot. From what we’ve seen (and played) of Dying Light 2, the sequel has turned this up to 11 with a larger emphasis on stealth, parkour, and tweaked equipment to traverse the environment (like gliders, pulleys, and new swinging hooks). With a map four times as big as the first, littered with NPCs, side quests and challenges, Dying Light 2 is is definitely a game to keep an eye on.
Breath of the Wild 2
Releasing on: Nintendo Switch
Release date: 2022 (TBC)
We couldn’t leave out the game that won “Most Anticipated Nintendo Game” at E3 2021: the (currently untitled) sequel to 2017’s Breath of the Wild. The first installment was itself a huge event in gaming history, so it’s easy to see why everyone’s so impatient to get their hands on the follow-up. Only two trailers have been released since 2019, which is a tease for those of us desperate to return for a new adventure in Hyrule.
Breath of the Wild 2 (as we’re calling it) was announced in 2019, yet there’s still so little we know about it outside of the snippets we’ve gleaned from the trailers so far. We know that it’s a direct sequel, so it’s the same Link and Zelda from Breath of the Wild, and the same story is continuing. The two trailers have also revealed somewhat darker themes, enigmatically showing Link consumed by Malice, and (hopefully) Zelda as a playable character.
We also know that, according to the series director, Eiji Aonuma, the development team has been strongly influenced by Rockstar’s Red Dead Redemption 2 – we’ll leave you to speculate on that one (although we doubt there will be a lot of gunplay). However it turns out, though, we’re pretty sure that the sequel to one of the greatest Zelda games – and indeed, games – of all time, is something to look out for in 2022.