2021 wasn’t a vintage year for gaming: despite highlights such as the masterful Deathloop, many of the year’s intended big-hitters didn’t make it out before Christmas. But every cloud has a silver lining, and in this case it means that 2022 is going to be brilliant.
2022 is looking particularly exciting for RPG fans, with titles such as Expeditions: Rome, Gotham Knights, Forsaken and Vampire: The Masquerade – Swansong en route. We’re particularly excited about these three long-awaited titles: no prizes for guessing what we’ll be losing entire weeks to in 2022 on Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S and PS5.
Elden Ring (25th February, 2022)
If this game had any more pedigree it’d go woof and win at Crufts. It’s already the most wish-listed game on Steam, was written in collaboration with Game of Thrones creator George R. R. Martin and comes from the same stable as the legendary Dark Souls titles – but unlike the Souls games, it won’t be so difficult that you’ll rage-quit in disgust if you aren’t an elite player.
Elden Ring is an open world PRG with robust character development, online multiplayer and, for gamers like me, a more generous respawn system in the really hard bits. It isn’t a sequel to Dark Souls or any of From Software’s other famous titles, but it does have some obvious similarities and plays much like Dark Souls did.
Horizon: Forbidden West (18th February, 2022)
If you don’t see my byline on anything until April, this is why. I loved the first Horizon game: the world is beautifully realised, Aloy is a fantastic character and the story was genuinely moving. The sequel takes all of that and turns it up to eleven, and I’m particularly excited to see its world on my PS5 because the PS4 trailers I’ve seen so far look absolutely stunning: if it’s that good on PS4, what’s it going to be like on the more powerful console where it’ll use 3D audio and DualSense too? There will be new locations to explore, new factions to become allies with or enemies of, and of course new robot creatures to battle or tame.
According to game developers Guerrilla, Horizon: Forbidden West will take roughly as long to complete as its predecessor – so that’s 20-25 hours before you take on any side quests or go out of your way to fully upgrade your skills tree. For a relatively unskilled gamer like me, that probably means somewhere near 100 hours of gameplay in a world I can’t wait to get back to.
Starfield (11th November, 2022)
Two can play at the console-exclusive game: while Microsoft platforms won’t get Horizon, the PS4 and PS5 won’t get Starfield. That’s not just a case of “not getting it for a while”: Bethesda is owned by Microsoft now and has made it clear that Starfield won’t be a timed exclusive: if you want to play it, you’ll need to play it on a PC or Xbox.
Starfield is a brand new action RPG set in a war-torn, space-themed world, and it’s the first new IP from Bethesda in 25 years so it’s very exciting. You’ll play a member of Constellation, a group of space explorers, and the game was described by Bethesda’s Todd Howard as “Skyrim in space… NASA meets Indiana Jones meets the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.” We can’t wait to play it.
Bonus RPG: Hogwarts Legacy
Hogwarts Legacy is, almost certainly, going to be the best Harry Potter world game that there has ever been, letting gamers play the role of a student at Hogwarts during the 1800s.
According to what we know about the game, which is heavily rumored to be releasing on both PS5 and Xbox Series X in 2022, the game will let gamers "embark on a dangerous journey to uncover a hidden truth of the wizarding world. They will grow their magical abilities by mastering spells, brewing potions and taming fantastic beasts."
The idea of creating your own Hogwarts student and then selecting their attributes and learning spells and potions and broomstick flying sounds awesome. Throw in the ability to visit famous places like Diagon Ally and choose your own wand and owl and you've got Harry Potter fans catnip.
If the game can be a great RPG without the Harry Potter hook, though, then we could be looking at something really rather special indeed, especially with the power of the PS5 and Xbox Series X on tap.