New year, new games. And maybe some old ones, too. If you look at Twitch viewing figures, or Steam revenue charts, you'd probably conclude that mainstream success is now the domain of games which have been out for years, and still attract players with updates, streaming and sheer replayability. Predicting the biggest games of any given year is now less about which big new title is coming out, and more about which old title is going to be supported the best over the next 12 months.
That said, but there's always room for exciting new releases. New games help shake things up, introduce unique new concepts, and in the case of sequels, build on franchises that we already love. We polled the staff here at Etch Play to find out what they were looking forward to. And the results are in...
The rest of Halo Infinite
Look, Halo Infinite is pretty good. But there's sadly no denying that a fraught development process has left it looking a bit... Barebones. The combination of game modes and maps available in multiplayer is limited, and what modes there are still seem plagued by defects at time of writing. The famous Forge mode, that allows rich customisable games, was cut for time. The campaign, while fun to play, is limited to one biome. And perhaps worst of all, you can't play the storyline or explore the open world co-operatively yet either.
Given how fun the moment-to-moment gameplay is, it has left the game feeling like an unfulfilled promise, with lots of potential and not enough payoff. When the major updates come for this (and they will come), this already good game is going to become something incredible.
Horizon Forbidden West
The first Horizon game was a breath of fresh air. As Aloy, we roamed the wilderness and fought beautiful, stylish creatures. Plus there was that gripping storyline, about how on earth we ended up living as tribes surrounded by robot dinosaurs in the first place.
Now, Aloy is back for part 2, and the game promises to be a real showcase for the PlayStation 5. It's one of the most anticipated sequels of the year.
Planet of Lana
Cinematic puzzle adventure. Stop, you had me at cinematic. The truly gorgeous Planet of Lana is the posterchild for 2022's considerable roster of artsy indie games, with a hand-painted look that has to be seen to be believed.
Just watch the trailer. My words can't do it justice. They should've sent a poet.
Suicide Squad: Kill The Justice League
It's been a few years now since Rocksteady redefined our expectations of third person brawler combat with their Batman: Arkham series of games. And now, they're taking on the Suicide Squad.
It's a move which allows them to play in a slightly zanier, more madcap tone, as well as a chance to translate that kinetic combat into a frantic multiplayer game. You can play as King Shark and you have to fight (kill) members of the Justice League. It's one hell of a pitch.
What is Starfield? It has been described as Indiana Jones meets NASA, but I can hardly imagine Neil Armstrong whipping people as he runs across the moon. Actually, now I can, and I want it.
Notable for being an original IP in a landscape that's otherwise dominated by sequels, Starfield is a new project from Bethesda and will be the first major Bethesda console exclusive on Xbox, following their high profile acquisition by Microsoft. Starfield will come to Game Pass on day one. No pressure then.
If the last few years have taught us anything, it's that the best games aren't about shooting marines, or driving cars, or collecting coins. The best games are about doing chores in picturesque villages.
Enter: Coral Island, the latest and possibly greatest attempt at capturing the spirit of uprooting your life, buying a farm, and spending all day picking up weeds so that the cute boy who lives next door will notice you.
God of War Ragnarök
Remember God of War (2018)? Remember how good it was?
Well, they're making another one.
Only time will tell if the new Kratos adventure reaches the heady heights of his last encounter, but Ragnarök promises more of the family drama, more devastating combat, and more jaw-dropping visuals. Boy! Fetch my PlayStation controller!
No list of the most anticipated games of the year would be complete without Elden Ring. It's coming out, you guys. It's genuinely, actually coming out this year. Unless I've just jinxed it somehow.
Early reports are that this is perhaps FromSoftware's magnum opus, and a real treat for fans of fantasy settings and tight, pitch perfect gameplay. It won't be long until everyone can decide for themselves.
2022 is shaping up to be quite the year for games. And this is just a handful of the ones currently on our radar. To stay up to date with all the latest games industry news, make sure you follow us on Twitter.
Here at Etch Play we specialise in marketing for games. With so much competition in the marketplace, your marketing efforts have never been more important. If that sounds like something you'd like to talk to us about, get in touch.