12 games to play in 2022

·7 min read
2022 games.
2022 games. Illustrated | iStock

After a wave of 2021 game delay announcements, 2022 is finally the year we can expect to get a steady stream of heavy hitter releases. Your choice of apocalypses await, and both Sony and Microsoft have some impressive exclusives on the way. Just expect to have both a PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X on your wishlist before the end of the year.

Let's take a look at what's on the way. (All TBD releases have been confirmed as having a 2022 release window but given the current climate, some of these might fall in 2023.)

1. Dying Light 2 (Feb. 4)

Platforms: PS4/5, Xbox, PC

Why not start the year on a high with an apocalypse that arrives after the invention of anti-monster infection vaccines? Techland's Dying Light 2 promises an even more sprawling end of the world than the first installment. Just like in the original, though, free-running across rooftops will keep you just far enough out of reach from hungry jaws — but there's a bonus twist for the sequel. Your narrative choices this time around will have world-changing implications, and the addition of co-op means that the only way you can actually see how things might have played out is by visiting your friend's games. Yep, zombie FOMO is a selling point here.

2. Horizon Forbidden West (Feb. 18)

Platforms: PS4/5

Horizon Zero Dawn's Aloy continues her post-post-apocalypse journey in this sequel from Sony studio Guerrilla Games. The titular Forbidden West is, unsurprisingly, packed with more deadly robotic dinosaurs and fresh threats, but Aloy has a variety of new tricks up her gauntlets. A Breath of the Wild-style glider means falling with style through this lush world, and Aloy can climb and clamber across all terrains. Thankfully, given the continued scarcity of the new generation of consoles, you can also play on PS4, but PS5 owners will get the added bonus of intricate haptic feedback, giving every draw of Aloy's bow an extra level of immersion.

3. Elden Ring (Feb. 25)

Platforms: PS4/5, Xbox, PC

FromSoftware's action RPGs are known for their decadently layered dark universes and challenging yet oh-so-satisfying combat and Elden Ring looks like it has no intention of breaking the atmospheric mold. The mythos of the intimidating setting known as the Lands Between even had input from Game of Thrones author George R. R. Martin. The studio's exceptional melee combat system returns for Elden Ring but there are also fresh ranged attacks and stealth tactics to choose from. And those looking for a challenging experience should have nothing to worry about: Game director Hidetaka Miyazaki has confirmed that the game will be as difficult as Dark Souls 3. Phew?

4. Gran Turismo 7 (March 4)

Platforms: PS4/5

Happy 25th birthday, Gran Turismo. To celebrate its quarter-century and the nine years since the last full entry in the series, the long-running PlayStation racer finally arrives for the latest generation of Sony hardware. Polyphony Digital is bringing back a slew of fan-favorite modes. On top of a world-touring campaign, there's an Arcade Mode for less serious racers as well as GT Simulation Mode for those who want every granular oily detail. There's no shortage of cars on offer here too; prepare to fill your digital garage with more than 420 authentic vehicles.

5. Tiny Tina's Wonderlands (March 25)

Platforms: PS4/5, Xbox, PC

First-person shooters can be, well, serious, packed with brooding soldiers and gritty grey environments of manly sadness. The Borderlands series is the antithesis of this and Tiny Tina's Wonderlands is a perfect colorful example of the ludicrousness at work. Imagine a D&D session combining traditional magical fantasy with absurd weaponry, all controlled by an omnipresent hyperactive Dungeon Master and you'll be on the right lines. There's even a welcome split-screen mode, as well as an online co-op. With a love of tabletop gaming and a passion for chaos, this quirky shooter looks like tongue-in-cheek carnage.

6. Kirby and the Forgotten Land (March 25)

Platforms: Nintendo Switch

Can it be true? Is Kirby predicting the end of humanity with the titular Forgotten Land? Surely there are only so many apocalypses we can take… Regardless, the return of the ever-hungry giant pink blob on Switch is another cozy Nintendo hug. Exploring an abandoned (suspiciously human) world in colorful 3D looks like brilliant platforming fun and Kirby's inventive powers always mean surprising combat scenarios. Eating a knight before making the most of his sword is a particularly nice touch in the trailer above.

7. Redfall (Summer)

Platforms: Xbox, PC

Redfall was a surprise reveal during E3 2021 from Arkane Studios, the developers best known for the Dishonored series. A co-op open-world vampire shooter might sound like an off the wall choice for the team's next project but this looks like far more than just Left 4 Dead with bloodsuckers. Our four main characters do have guns but also special powers like telekinesis and bonus robot companions. Making these work together in deadly harmony sounds like something Arkane will want us to aim for. A trip to the town of Redfall can't come soon enough.

8. Saints Row (Aug. 23)

Platforms: PS4/5, Xbox, PC

Given that we're in a year of film "requels" like Scream, reboots of classic series are now all but inevitable. The Saints Row franchise is known for its absurd weaponry and over-the-top criminal characters and this definitely-not-confusingly-titled addition is a full reset of the series. This means developer Volition is keeping the humor but dialing back somewhat on the alien invasions and absurd powers for a more grounded criminal affair. We'll be able to explore the sprawling city of Santo Ileso alone or with friends as we compete for territory with warring factions.

9. Starfield (Nov. 11)

Platforms: Xbox, PC

Even with a confirmed release date, Starfield feels like a magical distant dream. This is the first new IP from developer Bethesda in 25 years, so to say that expectations are high for this space-set RPG is a gross understatement. It's also going to be the first Bethesda game to be released exclusively on Xbox platforms after Microsoft's acquisition of the company. Plot points have been vague but apparently we'll be on a quest to "answer humanity's greatest mystery." So just something small then...

10. Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League (TBD)

Platforms: PS4/5, Xbox, PC

It's been seven years since Rocksteady Studios released the conclusion to its brooding superhero trilogy, Batman: Arkham Knight. Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League is the much-anticipated follow-up, set in the same universe but with a huge shift in tone from the grizzled World's Greatest Detective. Instead, we're joining Harley, King Shark, and co. on a smart-talking mission to annihilate a brain-washed Justice League in Metropolis. Footage has been sparing so far but it looks like we're in for a self-referential treat.

11. God of War: Ragnarok (TBD)

Platforms: PS4/5

A jewel in Sony's crown this year will be the PlayStation exclusive sequel to Kratos' 2018 return. In God of War: Ragnarok, we'll once again join the angry bearded one and his son, Atreus, in a now-frozen Midgard. Together they must journey through each of the Nine Realms before the grand prophesied battle of Ragnarok destroys their world. It's never just a walk down to the shops with an axe, is it? Expect plenty more gloriously smooth combat and a heartfelt emotional connection between father and son.

12. Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora (TBD)

Platforms: PS4/5, Xbox, PC

Yes, 2022 is now so far in the future that we're getting both a new Avatar movie and a game in the same year. (Well, at least as far as current rough release schedules are concerned.) Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora is from Ubisoft's Massive Entertainment, the team behind both Division games, and will be a first-person action-adventure game. This is a standalone story independent of the Na'vi hijinks from the movies. Probably for the best, given that by this point we'll probably need to be cryogenically frozen to experience all of James Cameron's series.

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