If you've been a part of 'gaming Twitter' for any amount of time, you'll know that nostalgia is king. Often, people will dote over how great the years of gaming past were, especially in the mid-2000s. Some of the greatest game releases happened during this time period, not to mention all the underappreciated games that are looked upon with a fresh perspective today.
When looking at 2022, a year that will potentially be picking up the losses and delays that '20/'21 endured, I see the groundwork for one of the greatest years in gaming ever. That may be a bold claim to make given that it likely won't be truly appreciated until 2032.
The 2022 Game Release Calendar
Not many titles have confirmed release dates for 2022 but a plethora of studios have used the year as a release window. Some of the confirmed game releases for 2022 currently include;
- Elden Ring - 21/01/21
- Pokémon Legends: Arceus - 28/01/21
- Horizon Forbidden West - 18/02/21
- Saints Row - 25/02/21
- Marvel's Midnight Suns - March 2022
- S.T.A.L.K.E.R 2: Heart of Chernobyl - 28/04/21
- Starfield - 11/11/21
Even in the few dated releases we have, there is something for everyone. Except for Starfield, everything in the above list is also in Q1 of 2022. Now it's time to look at what is likely to join this list throughout the year.
- Gotham Knights
- Lord of the Rings: Gollum
- Dead Space
- God of War: Ragnarok
- Hogwarts Legacy
- Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope
- Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League
- Tiny Tina's Wonderlands
- WWE 2K22
- EA Sports PGA Tour
- GhostWire: Tokyo
Once again this is a polarizing list of genres with something to look forward to for everyone. This doesn't even account for unconfirmed but likely releases like Diablo 4 and Forza Motorsport 8.
It also doesn't account for the yearly sports titles which will start to better use next-gen hardware to push the limits of what is possible. WWE is mentioned above due to the lay-off it's had, the same for EA returning with their first golf title in over 6 years.
Finally, the indie scene is the best it's ever been. It's also one that has been hit hard over the last 18 months. The potential experiences that could be bubbling away without us even knowing of their existence is thrilling.
When looking at the kinds of years that 2022 is competing with for game releases, we look to the seventh generation of game consoles. That's right, the PS3, Xbox 360 and Nintendo Wii. 2007 is often a year pushed as the greatest due to the established franchise releases and new dynasties that appeared.
This year brought us the start of Assassin's Creed, Uncharted, Bioshock and The Witcher. It also saw the best instalments of Halo and Call of Duty franchises released. For Nintendo fans, there was Super Mario Galaxy and TLOZ: Phantom Hourglass.
Rock Band arrived to put pressure on Guitar Hero back when we loved gaming peripherals more than anything else. Portal and Crysis had console owners envying PC players. This only scratches the surface of 2007 but I stand by my original point nonetheless.
2022 has everything it needs to put 2007 to shame, in theory. It all comes down to one huge factor... Covid-19. The global pandemic has ravaged the games industry in a few different ways but mainly it's caused the delays that have stacked 2022.
With so many unknowns moving forward, there's no guarantee that the games currently eyeing up 2022 as possible, will do so in the coming months. I wrote about how game delays are normal now and need to be addressed better than in the past. Hopefully, the recent attitude change continues.
There's still every chance that 2022 sees its game releases affected negatively leaving titles scrambling to delay further. Fortunately, after the issues with Cyberpunk 2077, no studios should be looking to release their games despite not being finished.
I'm looking forward to what 2022 bring us and know that it will deliver on the gaming front. With a little luck, we'll be able to appreciate it at the time rather than over a decade later.