As the new year approaches, it’s time to look ahead to 2022 and squeal with delight at the prospect of an exciting gaming year ahead. Due to the pandemic, many games that were supposed to be released in 2021 were pushed back to 2022, making 2021 a bit of a weak year for games.
The silver lining to that cloud is that 2022 will be a bumper year for releases, regardless of platform or genre. It was difficult to condense that release schedule into a manageable number, but here are our recommendations for the coming year.
5. Gran Turismo 7
At one point, it appeared as if Sony’s flagship racing franchise would skip the PlayStation 4 generation entirely. Gran Turismo Sport was enjoyable, but it lacked the authenticity of a true Gran Turismo game.
It was more of a snack to keep fans’ stomachs from grumbling while they waited patiently for Gran Turismo 7, which promises to be an automotive banquet.
Gran Turismo 7 promises to be the definitive Gran Turismo experience, with over 420 cars ranging from the humble Daihatsu Copen Active Top ’02 to the mighty Bugatti Veyron 16.4 ’13.
Expect little in the way of new features, modes, or gimmicks, but expect an experience unlike any other that takes advantage of the PlayStation 5’s power.
4. Elden Ring
Anyone for a Dark Souls-meets-Game of Thrones crossover? FromSoftware has enlisted George R. R. Martin to handle the worldbuilding of its latest action RPG, in what could be the most significant collaboration in the history of fantasy entertainment.
Elden Ring director Hidetaka Miyazaki describes the game as a natural evolution of the Souls series, implying that it won’t go softcore just because it’s backed by a major mainstream name.
The main distinction between Elden Ring and the Souls games is that Elden Ring appears to be more open. We’re not talking completely open-world in the Bethesda sense, but obviously less claustrophobic than Dark Souls or Bloodborne.
Elden Ring will also provide a richer character customization experience than its predecessors, in keeping with the theme of player freedom. But we’re betting it’ll be as tough as nails.
3. Saints Row
The Saints Row reboot was one of the most unexpected revelations of 2021. It’s not so surprising that a reboot is in the works; it’s more surprising that the series’ tone and flavor have been completely changed.
A show that was once known for its ludicrous bad taste humor and an unholier-than-thou cast of unrepentant career criminals has — sort of — cleaned up its act.
While tens of thousands of former fans booed in unison as each new detail, image, or video was revealed, Volition has stuck to its guns when it comes to the reboot’s relatively sensible new direction.
Those guns aren’t made of glass, and they’re not loaded with tequila. All of this controversy has done nothing to lower the game’s profile. At the very least, the prospect of a Saints Row game that isn’t openly and wilfully ridiculous is intriguing.
2. Pokémon Legends: Arceus
This new twist on the age-old Pokémon formula follows on the heels of Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl. Pokémon Legends: Arceus is an open-world action RPG that takes a page from The Legend Of Zelda.
It’s still all about exploring an environment, finding Pokémon, and catching them all, but there’s a greater emphasis on encountering Pokémon in the wild rather than competing with other trainers.
Pokémon Legends: Arceus’ story is pure fan service. After 25 years of games, the Pokémon franchise is finally getting its own playable origin story.
The game tells the story of the creation of the first Pokédex, and the legendary Pokémon Arceus, as you might have guessed from the title, will play a key role.
1. God of War Ragnarök
The year 2022 will be a watershed moment for Sony. The PS5’s first year has been successful, but the second year will be even more crucial, as Sony will no doubt want to wean gamers away from the PS4 and into the next generation.
The best way to accomplish this is with must-have exclusive titles, of which Sony will have two in 2022.
Yes, like Gran Turismo 7, God of War Ragnarök will be available for both PS4 and PS5, but this will only serve to highlight the difference in class between the two machines.
Developers are only now beginning to grasp the PS5’s capabilities, as the PS4 has pretty much reached its limits. PS5 titles will be leaving their PS4 counterparts in the dust by the time God of War Ragnarök explodes onto the scene in a fit of rage.