Before it started, everyone was banking 2022 Being the greatest of all time. Many of the most anticipated games from a year ago were pushed back to 2022, and when you consider the games already targeted this year – we’re in for arguably the toughest game showdown of the year.

Who wins Breath of the Wild 2 vs Alden Ring fight? After years of dormancy, is Rocksteady’s new game really that good? Will LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga come out this year? What’s the deal with Ragnarok’s god of war? Will Firaxis do the right thing and take the cards out of the midnight sun? Will the Stalker sequel live up to the classic games? Will DICE rotate Battlefield 2042?

That and many other questions were on our collective minds around January. The point is: There was no way 2022 was going to be short of big, tentpole games to play and talk about. After a few weeks, however, reality began to catch up and, one by one, our most anticipated games were pushed back to 2023 and beyond.

Suddenly, the tide recedes to reveal some of the games we’ve overlooked in our frenzied fixation on heavy-hitters. In a different version of 2022, many may not even register on our radar. Tunic, Olioli World, Weird West, and Trek to Yomi are all prime examples.

But in our present day of 2022, the sky is clear – too clear and our radar screens are practically begging for a blip. All of this silence has led to a rethinking of games that we didn’t have before. Those are the games we want to talk about today.

Of course, we do not intend this list to be comprehensive or objective. It’s quite possible that some of you are already looking forward to many such games, without needing any extra encouragement. But, with big publishers bringing precious little to their slates at the end of the year, it’s worth looking elsewhere.

The new Saint line will continue to empower your silent character creator ideas.

Saint Row

As we write this in July, the next big game on the horizon is Saints Row. Let me start by saying that I have nothing against reimagining the story with a younger cast and a new location. I definitely don’t miss the non-white ratio in the cast as much as some do.

But sainthood, for me, has a time and a place. A penthouse mission that begins with you jumping out of a helicopter, skydiving towards the roof before landing in a pool to reclaim your gang’s spot – all as Kanye West’s Power blares in the background – is one of those iconic moments. I will never forget. The rest of the game was great, really great, but I’ll always bring up moments like this.

Saints Row 4 picked up the mantle of spoofs, and I loved the new movement ability it introduced and how its entire design was basically a Mass Effect parody. Jokes were made, I laughed at them, and had a great time, but I don’t plan on going back to those games, and I doubt the humor would hold up today.

The new Saints line-up seems relatively quiet. And maybe the story is hiding the gold. After all, it’s not easy to show off your writing and comedy chops in a trailer without taking it out of context. But I don’t know what to look for in the new saints line. I like that insurance fraud is back, and what’s been shown so far looks solid – mechanically – but nothing I’ve seen blows my mind.

I doubt any other big game will occupy my time while Saints Row is out, which would make me more likely to check it out, so I probably will.

Well, I wouldn’t call it Midnight Suns.

Marvel’s Midnight Sun

I’ve been playing games for a long time and my opinions and tastes have changed and evolved. However, there is one thing, one mechanic/feature that sends me out the door Second It refers to: Cards/Deck-Building. I don’t need to go into why I’m not a fan here, but I’ll just say that I play video games to do cool things that I already can’t do in the real world.

As a huge fan of the new XCOM (only the first one, though), I’m interested in Midnight Sun by default. XCOM with Marvel heroes and an RPG composition where you befriend Iron Man and Blade and Dr. Walking around your hideout while chatting on Strange is a great pitch. So why, oh why, did you have to tease it by adding cards?

Firaxis has had a bit of a tough time marketing Midnight Sun, and I think the initial reaction to the game’s reveal is part of that. The developer is very careful about what it shows, choosing to highlight high-level gameplay and downtime at your homebase rather than digging into cards and deck-building.

But even this relative silence doesn’t do the developer any favors. The game has never looked polished or graphically stunning enough to make it easy for us to look at all the business of cards and say 2K’s time is up, or give the skeptics a reason to get over it. card hump.

That part of October has been quiet, so Midnight Sun might have some of us looking for Modern Warfare 2’s next big thing.

Aegis is fighting against a clockwork machine enemy in Steelrising

I’m not asking for much here, Steelrising.

Steelrising

I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with Spiders, the French studio behind Steelrising. He always seems to be trying to bite off more than he can chew; Cramming its games with RPG systems, animation-led combat, expansive worlds, and modern visuals. But it never works perfectly. At best it’s budget BioWare, and at worst… let’s not get into that.

Everything I’ve seen from Steelrising tells me that Spiders hasn’t reigned in its ambitions, and that worries me. James recently spent a few hours playing it, and although he enjoyed it throughout, his preview doesn’t convince me that all of the game’s soulborn aspirations are necessary or even properly utilized.

I love FromSoftware’s work, of course, and calling your game Souls-like is an easy way to pique my interest. Steelrising’s gameplay so far features Bloodborne, traditional Souls, and even some Nioh. If nothing else, maybe it’s mechanically forced?

In any other year, this would probably be a game I’d find on sale in December that was okay or mediocre as expected. Our 2022 version, however, has a lot more room for a sleeper hit, and I’m rooting for it.

Where did you go so wrong?

Skull and bones

As a number one non-fan of Ubisoft’s trademark formula, I shouldn’t expect Skull and Bones. And really, after seeing recent gameplay re-releases, I honestly can’t point to a single thing out there that excited me.

Part of why I was initially hopeful for Skull & Bones was that the gameplay we all saw in 2017 looked significantly more impressive. All these years later, I don’t understand how the game looks any worse than that demo (let alone one for the new console!) Even then, we were still riding the Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag hype, and the idea of ​​a game expanding on one of Black Flag’s best episodes seemed perfect. .

Things have changed a lot in those five years, however, and Skull and Bones now looks like an outdated game; One that Ubisoft just wants to close the book on, so it’s throwing out any version that exists today and calling it a day.

On top of all this, it will be released a day before God of War Ragnarok. And yet, I’m still curious to see what kind of game it was. Sea of ​​Thieves’ directionless gameplay, lack of meaningful mechanics, and overpowering British humor all made it impossible for me to enjoy it.

But I’d still like to pilot a 1700 ship, circling around and firing at other ships and occasionally claiming their cargo. Although I’m trying hard to get myself excited about it.

Tear me down like your brick buildings.

Company of Heroes 3

I’ve come to terms with the fact that I’ll never be smart enough to manage the complexity of Company of Heroes. I’m a classic Westwood RTS fan. A sequence that selects all units and attacks the enemy base.

My meager organizational skills couldn’t handle unit production, attack/defense strategies and setting up ambushes – all while simultaneously worrying about fuel lines and maintaining the frontline. But damn if I don’t like seeing their buildings crumble so I drive WW2 machinery through them.

I’ve played two mainline Company of Heroes games and enjoyed them to varying degrees. Multiplayer is off limits for me and so is the skirmish in general. But I like messing around with their missions, even if I never see them through to their conclusion.

I’m looking forward to Company of Heroes 3 for a few reasons, not the least of which is that 2022 is devoid of games that easily grab my attention at that time of year. It’s also a game in a post-total war blast, meaning it’s not just a standard RTS, but a tactical strategy where you make high-level decisions on a world map, before you get your hands dirty and actually fight. Fight when you must.

I’ve enjoyed this part of the recent Total War games, so I imagine I’ll feel a lot better about that structure with more modern weaponry. Company of Heroes 3 comes out a week after Ragnarok, but it’s a game you could easily pick up at the end of the month after finishing God of War.

I used our excellent, very useful 2022 game release date list while writing this, and I think you should bookmark it to stay up to date on our erratic release schedule.