Happy New Year, everyone! 2021 was a pretty strong year and saw the release of a wide variety of games across genres that all stood out. 2021 also saw the first full year of the newest generation of consoles, the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S, being on the market (if you can find one). Now, it’s a brand new day that is shaping up to be one of the strongest years in video games in a while. There are a plethora of amazing games slated for this year from almost all the biggest publishers. With 2022 poised to be a fantastic year for fans across the board, let’s look ahead at what are set to be the five biggest games slated to come this year.
1. Horizon: Forbidden West
Starting us off is the first major video game release of the year from Sony in Horizon: Forbidden West. Originally it was scheduled to release last year before being delayed to this year. Developer Guerilla Games switched from developing first-person shooters with Killzone to an open-world RPG with Horizon: Zero Dawn. They knocked the switch in genres out of the park when Horizon: Zero Dawn was released in 2017. Now, five years later, the studio is set to show how much they’ve improved and evolved with Horizon: Forbidden West.
Horizon: Forbidden West sees the return of Aloy as she ventures west following the events of the original. There are new crazy machines that she will encounter, such as the Rollerback, Slitherfang, and Sunwing, and multiple new abilities and tools that Aloy has access to. The game looks absolutely stunning in the graphics and animation department from what we’ve seen so far. Eager fans only have a short wait until the release of the game. Horizon will release on PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 on February 18, 2022.
2. Elden Ring
Coming just a few short days after Horizon: Forbidden West is our next game in FromSoftware’s Elden Ring. FromSoftware is finally creating an open-world game that follows its grueling gameplay formula. FromSoftware was already masters at gameplay design and lore building, and this honestly feels like everything the studio has been building towards since the release of Demon’s Souls back in 2009. The history and mythos of the world were also created by Game of Thrones author George R.R. Martin, so this game is set up to have one of the most interesting stories that is sure to be as crazy and deep as previous FromSoftware games.
What more really needs to be said about Elden Ring? The game has won the Most Anticipated Game award at The Game Awards for two years running. People adored the closed network test that happened a few months ago. Now, the rest of the world is just a few short months away from getting to experience the game in whole. Elden Ring is set to release on both PlayStation and Xbox consoles on February 25, 2022.
3. God of War Ragnarök
Next up is probably Sony’s biggest release set for this year with God of War Ragnarök. When Sony Santa Monica decided to give the franchise a soft reboot in 2018, they created what most would consider one of the best games of the last five years. Now, we’re getting the follow-up to that beloved game. God of War Ragnarök sees Kratos and Atreus conclude their fight against the Norse gods.
From the one trailer that has been shown, the story picks up near the end of Fimbulwinter, which signals the beginning of Ragnarök. Atreus wants to confront the gods of Asgard to get answers regarding questions left open at the end of the first game. Combat still looks as good as the first game’s, the world is beautiful, and the encounters with gods such as Freya and Thor look intense. The game also has plenty of new enemies for Kratos and Atreus to tear apart, as well as a cool new grappling ability Kratos can use for combat and traversal. A possible release date for the game was recently found. However, as of now, God of War Ragnarök is set to release at some point later this year on PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5.
This year, Microsoft’s biggest game, and probably the biggest new exclusive since the Xbox 360 days, is Starfield. It is the first new RPG IP from Bethesda Game Studios since the inception of The Elder Scrolls back in the 90s, thus easily making it one of the most anticipated games aimed for release this year. Though Starfield has shown no gameplay, everyone assumes it will be like Skyrim or Fallout in space. That small little idea has many fans excited about it.
From the one trailer that Microsoft and Bethesda have shown, the premise of the game seems to set up that the game's story revolves around mankind’s final journey. This gives off some darker tones amid the wonder that is exploring space. Though not much else is known at the moment, a big blowout of the game will probably come later this year, possibly at E3, as the game is slated to launch this Fall. Starfield will release on Xbox Series X|S and PC on November 11, 2022.
5. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild sequel
Finally, we reach what is set to possibly be the biggest game of the year with the sequel to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. The original took the world by storm when released alongside the Nintendo Switch back in 2017. Thanks to how well the game was designed, it brought the franchise to the next level and became an instant classic. Though no confirmed name yet, the sequel is sure to take it all up a notch while what looks like bringing the story more to the forefront this time around.
From the little we’ve seen of the game so far, the game looks to pick up almost immediately following the first game's events as the first trailer shows Link and Zelda exploring beneath Hyrule Castle, where they uncover Ganon’s original body. Now, the world of Hyrule has changed with floating islands cluttering the sky, allowing more of a vertical expansion to exploration. Link has what appears to be a new arm with new unique abilities. Plus, there’s probably a lot more Nintendo hasn’t revealed yet, but we’re sure to find out soon enough. The sequel to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is slated to come to Nintendo Switch at some point this year.
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