It’s been a spotty couple of years for PC gaming. Don’t get me wrong, we’ve had plenty of great games to play and talk about, but there’s no ignoring the big holes the Covid-19 pandemic has punched into the usual routine. Any optimism or curiosity during reveal streams this year was dogged by the worry that no matter what games were announced or how great they looked, they’d be years away, million-dollar logos ripped straight from the pitch doc.
But while this year of delays has been a bummer, it has also primed 2022 to be one of the best years in PC gaming ever.
We’re getting new games in 2022 from beloved studios, sequels to all-time PC classics, and the indie scene is growing more incalculably large and surprising than ever. Every aliran that’s been declared dead at some point is gonna be alive and well in 2022, a big slate of live service games will still be kicking ass, the PC will have multiple Crysis-tier graphics pushers, and games will be more affordable and accessible than ever. And now Valve’s putting out a damn portable computer at a low price.
2021 might be lacking, but 2022 is picking up the slack. Big games of 2022The most exciting new PC games next year
Some of 2022’s biggest releases are from studios making a long-awaited return. If all you play are The Big Games, 2022 is still looking stacked.
2019’s Sekiro was an excellent action game, but it’s been five years since FromSoftware’s last proper RPG. Elden Ring is finally coming, delivering with a mythos built by George R.R. Martin, FromSoftware’s biggest world yet, and some major added depth to character progression. This isn’t just the culmination of FromSoftware’s signature RPG and dungeon design, but the natural progression of a heritage of dungeon-crawling on PC, from Rogue to Ultima Underworld and now, hopefully, Elden Ring.
Stalker 2 is real. Call of Pripyat released in 2009, so it’s been 11 years since we saw GSC Studios’ unforgiving nuclear sandbox. While those older games poked at strong ideas, the technology and design never quite lived up to them. Stalker dua is a proper sequel with new tech and seemingly bigger ambitions. While the debut trailer was tightly scripted, it definitely has us excited for another adventure with supernatural terrors propped up by modern tech in an open world that doesn’t care about us. And campfire singalongs. Let’s just hope it doesn’t lose character under all that shine.
It’s been six years since Fallout 4 and Starfield has a lot to prove, but it already gets points for being Bethesda’s first new setting since picking up the Fallout mantle back in 2008. We’re tempering our expectations, but Starfield’s been in the cooker for a while, and, love ’em or hate ’em, Bethesda RPGs have an incredible shelf life. Thanks to PC modders we’re still living in Skyrim’s world. Maybe the torch will be passed properly next November.
Redfall is a double-whammy for PC players. It’s a cooperative multiplayer game from Arkane, a studio that put out some of our favorite games ever in the Dishonored series. This is a team that knows how to smash systems together to interesting results, whether it’s freezing time to make a guard kick their bud in the face or feeding an entire regiment to rats. Redfall is also leading a second wave of Left 4 Dead-likes, but with vampires. We’d still take a L4D3, but I’m glad its absence led to this timeline.
Kerbal Space Program 2 has a tough act to follow. How do you do better than one of the best and most pure PC games ever made? Tough to say. So far, the answer is better learning tools and more stuff to build, but in multiplayer—we’re making entire colonies now. If Private Division can make the additions match the quality and depth of everything in the original, KSP2’s gonna be incredible. We hope.
Company of Heroes 3 (Image credit: Sega)
Company of Heroes tiga is the return of one of the best RTS series ever. Fraser’s in-depth preview and chat with the developers at Relic lebih jelasnya a campaign mode in the shape of Total War, with a bigger turn-based tactical map that transitions into more traditional RTS skirmishes. One of the most interesting additions is tactical pause, letting you issue commands with the action at a standstill. God bless the RTS.
Baldur’s Gate tiga is already a big hit in Steam Early Access, with Act 1 playable in its entirety, but Larian’s holding onto the rest until it’s all ready for 1.0. The early word is that Larian’s quick to respond to feedback, with new classes, combat changes, and fixes rolling in pretty regularly. If the writing, potential for clever solutions (and chaos), and combat hold up, we’re thinking Baldur’s Gate 3 will be worth the wait. Wildcard 2022 gamesWildcard 2022 PC game releases
Nevermind all the games that we’re eyeballing closely that could swing one way or the other. We’ll be mad if the Avatar game is good, we’ve already established that, but everything here could blow our socks off. Is it likely?
Nah, but if there’s even just one great game among them, it’ll be on top of a year that’s already stacked. We hope they’re all good, of course. Tiny Tina’s WonderlandsGotham KnightsSuicide Squad: Kill the Justice LeagueAvatar: Frontiers of PandoraStranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy OriginThe Callisto ProtocolChrono OdysseyForspokenThe Lord of the Rings: GollumHogwarts LegacyArk 2 (mostly for Vin Diesel’s performance)Delayed into 2022PC games delayed into 2022
The effect of the Covid-19 pandemic on game development at large is most evident in the steady cadence of delays of games into 2022. A year just isn’t long enough to smoothly transition into a remote development model and with some studios now transitioning back into hybrid remote and office models, the slowdown of development is ongoing. Game development is a tricky, unpredictable thing even when things are going smoothly, so expect plenty more delays before the end of 2021. Here’s what’s going back under until 2022 so far: Dying Light 2Ghostwire: TokyoRainbow Six ExtractionWarhammer 40K: DarktidePrince of Persia: The Sands of Time RemakeSifuLate 2021 gamesLate 2021 releases we’re hopefully still playing well into 2022
Since time is a construct, we have to acknowledge that when 2022 begins, the games that came out in the tail end of 2021 do not simply disappear forever. These games will hopefully be part of the conversation for most of 2022, vying for as many free nights as anything coming out next year. Age of Empires 4Back 4 BloodDiablo 2 ResurrectedShreddersRiders RepublicLost Ark2022 indiesGorgeous games from small teams landing in 2022
I’m not ignoring the endless stream of new games announced over the E3 weekend. Almost everything I saw looked like the kinda thing that we would’ve treasured as an indie gem 15 years ago. But here’s a few that managed to stand out anyway.
Somerville comes from a studio headed up by a former Playdead cofounder, makers of Limbo and Inside, if it wasn’t already clear from the look. This dua.5D family drama moves through gorgeous panoramas depicting an alien apocalypse—and yeah, we’re guessing the dog dies.
Replaced melds old forms with the new, featuring pixelated sprites lit and overlaid with a dreamy, psychedelic array of terbaru lighting and post-processing effects. Suitable for a game about an AI downloaded into a person.
More 2022 indies we’re excited about:Two Point CampusBomb Rush CyberfunkWizard with a GunThe InvincibleSiltSlime Rancher 2Dodgeball Academia Death Trash2022 hopefulsExciting games without a date, but a potential 2022 release
Darkest Dungeon 2 is entering early access in 2021, so 2022 for version 1.0 doesn’t feel impossible. Throw a follow-up to one of our favorite tactical roguelikes ever into the mix for 2022, sure.
I could be wrong, but Hollow Knight: Silksong feels like a sure thing for 2022. I played it two years ago at E3, so we must be nearing the finish line, right?
Gloomwood is a systems-driven stealth action game that looks like it’ll easily withstand a couple dozen playthroughs, just to see if our mad ideas work out. It’s not confirmed for 2022, but we wouldn’t be surprised if it came out in 2021 either.
Diablo 4 in 2022 is optimistic, but possible. Blizzard time doesn’t make sense.
Worst case (or best case), Path of Exile 2 might beat Blizzard at its own game. The ARPG sequel looks gorgeous and looks on track for a 2022 release.
OK so Atomic Heart exists. We saw another trailer at this year’s Xbox Showcase. It can’t stay in purgatory for much longer. Let’s settle on 2022. I’ll shoulder the disappointment if we’re wrong.