Hello! Welcome to the first Geeky Brummie Gaming Roundup of 2022!
And it’s only appropriate that today we take a look at the games you should be getting excited for in the coming months!
Here’s the thing though. You’ll be seeing a lot of these lists around at the moment, and most of them will include a huge number of games with vague or even non-existent release dates. Which means the chances of a big chunk of them actually releasing in 2022 is slim.
So for this roundup, I restricted myself to 20 games with definitive release dates, and even with that limitation, there’s still plenty to look forward to. Here are 20 games to pay attention to, in order of upcoming release.
Stray Bombay | PC, Xbox | 13th January
Just a few months ago, we got Back 4 Blood, a spiritual successor to the Left 4 Dead franchise, developed by some of the same staff. Well, surprise, here’s another one, and it’s out next week!
Except there’s a bit of a twist to this one. Instead of hordes of the undead, or mutants that are basically copyright-dodging zombies, The Anacrusis is set on a space station, and the hordes are ravenous alien monsters breaking through the airlocks.
It’s an Early Access title but it is also coming to Game Pass, so if you’re looking for some retro future vibes in a shooter, here you go.
Dotemu | PC, Switch | 20th January
Dotemu have built up a solid reputation as the experts of retro revival. Not content with bringing back Wonder Boy, Streets of Rage and Zombies Ate My Neighbours (as well as the upcoming Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles revival), in two weeks they’ll be bringing back Neo Geo sports title Windjammers.
If you’ve never heard of Windjammers, it’s basically air hockey with cooler vibes than the old table in the back of your local pub. The aim is to throw a frisbee into your opponent’s goal. It’s really that simple. Simple, but effective enough that it would go on to become the nineteenth most popular arcade game of all time.
And now it’s back, with a slick 2D art style and online functionality. Expect wacky characters, gorgeous visuals and addictive gameplay for you and some friends.
Pokémon Legends: Arceus
Nintendo, Game Freak | Switch | 28th January
Pokémon can’t go three months without a new game, and after last year’s avalanche of New Pokémon Snap, a MOBA and a remake of Diamond and Pearl swiftly comes a new game.
Pokémon Legends: Arceus is a game setting out to alter the formula a little. No longer set in a contemporary world of technology and vehicles that may or may hide a Mew, Legends plants itself in feudal-era Japan. In addition, the game will be much more open world, with Breath of the Wild vibes exuding from every pore. But instead of weapon degradation and a cataclysmic evil force, here you’ll find a bunch of cuddly creatures you have to cram into your balls.
It’s interesting to see how much this will shake up the formula.
Dying Light 2: Stay Human
Techland | PC, PlayStation, Xbox | 4th February
Finally releasing after a tortured development cycle, Dying Light 2 is the sequel to 2015’s zombie parkour game, which promises more zombies and even more parkour.
Beyond that, new traversal options such as a paraglider have been added, and now the game is much more of an RPG than what came before. Set years after the first game, Dying Light 2 features a bunch of factions with their own desires and goals, and you can decide who you want to align yourself with along the way. There’s also an element of city building in there too, as structures can be brought back to life with your help.
It’s been a long time coming, but this should be perfect for those looking for a new zombie experience.
Private Division, Roll7 | PC, PlayStation, Switch, Xbox | 8th February
The OlliOlli series has carved out a niche for itself as a rad little 2D skating game with a lot of addictive gameplay. OlliOlli World looks set to advance the formula by adding new trick opportunities on quarter pipes and a branching path system to make the game less linear than before.
Ideal for anyone looking for a skate-themed platformer with a bold art style.
Sloclap | PC, PlayStation | 8th February
Sifu has caught attention by its trailers drawing positive connections with the iconic hallway fight from Oldboy. It’s a deep martial arts game, designed to present a journey to mastery, and I’m already sold, quite frankly.
Like most beat-em-ups, the gameplay allows you to chain combos together to defeat floods of enemies, but the moves are all derived directly from Pak Mei kung fu, giving an action movie sheen to the whole thing. In addition, deaths aren’t the end, they age your character instead, powering up their attacks (because with age comes the wisdom to perfect their moves) but reducing their health in the process.
Sifu looks stunning and should be a fun time for all your Jackie Chan recreation needs.
The King of Fighters XV
SNK Corp | PC, PlayStation, Xbox Series X/S | 17th February
The latest in SNK’s long-running fighting franchise, The King of Fighters XV promises exactly what you’d expect from the series at this point, as various SNK characters battle it out in a series of team tournaments.
From all impressions, KOF 15 looks like a solid iteration on what came before. And as someone who only really learned anything about the franchise when Terry Bogard got announced for Smash Bros, I’m probably not in the best position to explain what the main differences are.
But if you’re looking for another big 2D fighter in your life, you’ll be in luck next month.
Horizon: Forbidden West
PlayStation Studios, Guerrilla Games | PlayStation | 18th February
The sequel to 2017’s Zero Dawn, Horizon: Forbidden West promises even more of what made the first game so great – plenty of hunting gameplay, a vast post-apocalyptic open world and a whole bunch of robot dinosaurs ready to chainsaw you in an instant.
One of my personal highlights of the upcoming year, simply because of how much I loved the first game. If the second can deliver more solid robot hunting experiences and expand on its shocking sci-fi storyline, then this promises to be something special.
I’d say more, but I’ve been intentionally avoiding all news on this game to limit spoilers for myself. I know there are mammoth robots now though, so that’s cool.
Bandai Namco, FromSoftware | PC, PlayStation, Xbox | 25th February
The big boy. The grand daddy. The flesh-craving beast set to devour all. And that’s just the first boss of the game, as well as a description for the hype this game has generated for itself.
It’s a FromSoftware game, of course, and that means you already have an idea of what to expect. It’s Dark Souls but now with a big open world to get lost in and end up dying to repeatedly. And now the lore that FromSoft love burying in item descriptions is being provided by George R.R. Martin, of Game of Thrones fame. Because he will do literally anything but write the last few Song of Ice and Fire books, apparently.
Chances are, if you’re already deep into the world of Soulslikes, you’re already salivating desperately for this one, which is already showing promise after a successful server test late last year. If this doesn’t show up high on our Most Notable list at the end of the year, I’m going to be very shocked.
Square Enix, Platinum Games | 3rd March
While a little less exciting than when Square Enix first announced they were working with Bayonetta developers Platinum Games, Babylon’s Fall still has the potential to be a fun time.
A fluid combat action title (from Platinum? Surely not) all about warriors taking on a mysterious tower, the game promises co-op battles and an increasing level of difficulty as you progress through the floors of the tower.
While still disappointing that it’s a live service game instead of Platinum’s standard linear action, there’s still a chance for this to surprise us all.
Gran Turismo 7
PlayStation Studios, Polyphony Digital | PlayStation | 4th March
The jury is still out on whether Gran Turismo 7 will actually release in March due to the series’ tendency to throw in a year’s delay every time Toyota release a new concept car, but for now, that is what Sony are telling us.
The first mainline Gran Turismo game since GT6’s release in the final days of the PS3, it’s unsurprising that PlayStation players of sim racers are VERY excited for this one. Expect more of what the series is good at – highly realistic car handling, lovingly-recreated real-world circuits and a mode where you literally just take sexy photos of your cars in a park at sunset. Plus a vast career mode, I guess.
Again, if it comes out on time, of course.
Square Enix, Artdink | Switch | 4th March
Just like Bravely Default and Octopath Traveler have attempted to revive the classic style of Final Fantasy games while the main series gets ultra flashy and full of Nomura plot contrivances, Triangle Strategy seems set on bringing back Final Fantasy Tactics.
Featuring the same art style that wowed many in Octopath, Triangle Strategy uses the traditional grid-based combat system of most tactical RPGs, with the twist of being able to manipulate the environment to your advantage, such as electrocuting water or burning down parts of scenery to create barricades. Despite the name though, the “triangle strategy” refers to three attributes that affect choices in the game’s story, rather than a rock-paper-scissors setup in battle. Which is interesting.
Square Enix | Switch | 10th March
Last year a lot of old games got sequels after years and years of waiting. And now, here’s Chocobo GP to continue that trend. It’s a sequel to Chocobo Racing, released for the PS1 way back in 1999. When this was announced I was convinced there must have been other games in the series, but no, this is definitely the second game.
It’s Final Fantasy Kart, basically. If you’ve played a Mario Kart (or even the original Chocobo Racing) then you’ll have an idea of what to expect here. Arcade handling, speed boosts, weapons and broken friendships await. As you may guess from the title, most of the playable characters are mascot characters from the Final Fantasy series, such as chocobos, moogles, white and black mages and sword-slinging summon Gilgamesh.
It looks adorable, and the Switch is the perfect platform for it, in case you need to shake up your Mario Kart sessions with something a little different.
Finji, Andrew Shouldice | PC, Xbox | 16th March
A contender for one of the more adorable games in 2022, Tunic stars a cute fox in a tiny world.
I’ve had my eye on this for years, and it’s finally launching in March. First announced in 2017, the game has been a passion project by a solo developer, which explains the amount of time it’s taken to make.
It’s a Zelda-like, with the lil fox boy taking the place of Link, but otherwise it’s what you’d expect. You explore a world, fight enemies, solve puzzles and uncover secrets. But the game’s art design and unique in-game language look like reasons this will turn out to be something special. We’ll know for sure in March.
Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin
Square Enix, Koei Tecmo, Team Ninja | PC, PlayStation, Xbox | 18th March
This one is going to be FASCINATING.
Stranger of Paradise is a strange one, as it’s an alternate universe retelling of the original Final Fantasy developed by the team who brought us Ninja Gaiden and Nioh. Which is weird enough as it is, but the initial trailer and demo we’ve seen have pointed to a game so steeped in early 2000s edge it’s looping round to being hilarious. We’ve had the main character, a generic man with a buzzcut and black t-shirt, endlessly telling us about his disdain for Chaos while angrily storming out of a room listening to angsty rock music on his phone, and this is a serious release apparently.
Aside from that, we have an action RPG clearly drawing from Team Ninja’s past titles in a way that may save the game from being memed into the stratosphere. Maybe. Worth keeping an eye on for that alone.
Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands
2K Games, Gearbox Software | PC, PlayStation, Xbox | 25th March
Back in 2013, Borderlands 2 gained a DLC called Tiny Tina’s Assault on Dragon Keep, which took the looter shooter elements of the franchise and blended it with Dungeons & Dragons. It was hugely popular, eventually getting a standalone release and inspiring the creators to take it even further.
Cue Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands, a game entirely set within a tabletop RPG world with the titular character as the dungeon master, providing the most exciting combination of Ashly Burch and TTRPGs since Keg was aroused.
It’s easy to see how the gameplay of the franchise could be converted to a loot-gathering, spell-chucking fantasy world, and with a cast of Lonely Island’s Andy Samberg, Will “Lego Batman” Arnett and stand-up comedian Wanda Sykes, it’s pretty clear this is going all-in on comedy.
Devolver Digital, WolfEye Studios | PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One | 31st March
Last year saw a big new release from Arkane in the form of Deathloop, but we’re not quite done with the developers of Dishonored just yet. Dishonored’s co-creator Raphael Colantonio has formed his own studio, where he and his team have been working on Weird West.
A mixture of classic Fallout, twin stick shooters and the kind of immersive sim gameplay Colantonio has become known for, Weird West places the players into a moody Western setting with supernatural elements.
This one looks like a fun one, where all your actions have consequences and respawning won’t help you.
S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2: Heart of Chernobyl
GSC Game World | PC, Xbox Series X/S | 28th April
The sequel to 2009’s Call of Pripyat has been a long time coming, and fans of that game’s moody setting and mutant shooting have been excited for more ever since the game’s full reveal at E3 last year.
It all looks very moody and spooky, with plenty of sad Russians bemoaning the apocalypse and irradiated beasts stalking the landscape to contend with. And despite a brief backlash when the developers started toying with NFTs, there is a lot of excitement for this one.
Saints Row Reboot
Deep Silver, Volition | PC, PlayStation, Xbox | 23rd August
Saints Row is a series with a fascinating history. Starting out as little more than a GTA clone, it soon took on an identity of its own the more it delved into audacity. The problem is, Saints Row 4 left the series in an awkward position – your gang boss was now president in a simulation designed by aliens and also there was a time where your crew went to Hell and fought Satan. Once you’ve ramped the stakes up that high, it can be hard to know where to go next.
And this year, Saints Row is set to reboot and reel itself back a little bit. No longer a sci-fi comedy about alien invasion and The Matrix, it’s back to gangland politics and the chaos that causes on its own merits. It’s more Saints Row: The Third than the fourth instalment, now with improved vehicle mechanics and a lot of influence from action movies such as John Wick or The Fast and the Furious.
Despite some initial concerns from long-term fans, later trailers have suggested this will be a return to the form for the series and looks set to be a welcome return.
Xbox Game Studios, Bethesda Softworks | PC, Xbox | 11th November
And finally, the first major exclusive release (that we know of) coming from Xbox’s acquisition of Bethesda. The latest from Bethesda’s internal development team, best known for Elder Scrolls and Fallout, Starfield promises to be those games but now in space.
Aside from that we don’t know much else so far. All we’ve really seen is a vague CGI trailer featuring a gritty sci-fi aesthetic more in line with the likes of Alien or Total Recall rather than a sleek Star Trek vibe. Truckers in space, maybe? Only Todd Howard knows.
And those are 20 games with confirmed release dates coming this year! Let us know which you’re most excited for, and we’ll be bringing you more gaming news next week.
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