2021 is over and 2022 is finally here. With all the games that faced delays, the new year is looking incredibly stacked, and though it may seem to be off to a slow start in January, there are still plenty of big releases to look forward to. Let’s take a look at 10 of them here.
Weird West is WolfEye Studios’ first title but its creators – Raphaël Colantonio and Julien Roby of Dishonored fame – are no stranger to the immersive sim genre. Set in the American Frontier where the Wild West meets the supernatural, it tells the stories of five different characters, each with their own goals, from bounty hunter Jane Bell who seeks her husband to Nell Bitterleaf, a future-seer who wants to change “what’s coming.” Along with having the freedom to play how one chooses – either honorably or killing everyone they see – the choices made will ripple through future playthroughs since each character is played one after the other. Another twist is that death is permanent – you may encounter a zombified version of a character while playing as another. Weird West is out on January 11th for Xbox One, PS4 and PC, and is shaping up rather well.
Monster Hunter Rise (PC)
Monster Hunter Rise is finally releasing for Steam after almost a year on the Nintendo Switch. Despite the new setting of Kamura Village, new NPCs and new mechanics like the Wirebug, it features many of the same essentials that fans have come to love. The 14 weapon trees are here, this time with new Wirebug moves and skills. Along with various returning monsters like Anjanath, Rathian, and Tobi-Kadachi, it features lots of cool newcomers like Magnamalo, Goss Harag, Somnacanth and many more.
On PC, Monster Hunter Rise supports resolutions up to 4K, an unlocked frame rate and HDR along with ultrawide monitor support. All of the post-launch updates, from new monsters like Crimson Glow Valstrax to collaborations with Sonic the Hedgehog and Street Fighter, will also be available on day one. The jury’s still out on multiplayer but if you enjoyed Monster Hunter World and want something new, then Monster Hunter Rise should be perfect when it launches on January 12th for PC.
God of War (PC)
It’s taken a lot longer than Monster Hunter Rise but God of War is coming to PC on January 14th. Initially launched for PS4 in 2018, it sees Kratos undertaking a journey with his son Atreus, starting from Midgard. Along the way, they’ll battle numerous mythical foes, square up against the Valkyries, converse with the World Serpent, and run into figures like Baldur and Freya. Along with utilizing a more grounded combat system with new weapons like the Leviathan Axe, God of War also features larger environments teeming with secrets to discover. The PC version includes 4K resolution support, unlocked framerates, improved screen space reflections and higher resolution shadows, GTAO and SSDO, Nvidia DLSS and Reflex support and ultrawide monitor support. It also supports DualShock 4 and DualSense with fully customizable key bindings.
Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Extraction
Following multiple delays over the years, Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Extraction releases on January 20th for Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PS4, PS5, PC and Google Stadia. As a member of REACT, players can choose from 18 different Operators – with pretty much everyone similar to their Rainbow Six Siege versions – and battle the Archaeans in four different regions across 12 maps. Each mission consists of three maps with each having a random objective (out of a pool of 13), whether it’s saving a hostage or defending against Archaeans. Upon completing the objective, the team can either extract or venture into the next map which will be more difficult. Along with the Archaeans, there’s also the deadly Sprawl which spreads indiscriminately and can spawn new foes if not destroyed. Beat the mission and reap the rewards, like upgrading your Operator’s various abilities and tools, and then take on even tougher challenges.
Pokémon Legends: Arceus
Game Freak’s next big Pokemon title is making a number of big changes to the standard formula. Set in the Hisui region, which is akin to 19th century Japan, it’s composed of large 3D environments that can be freely explored (though not open world, its various zones are interconnected). You can now capture Pokemon by throwing PokeBalls at them while exploring, or seamlessly unleash your own Pokemon to do battle, which is still turn-based but allows for multiple actions in one turn. Pokemon can also utilize Agile and Strong Styles to prioritize speed and strength accordingly in battles (which the trainer themselves can now take damage in). On top of the new Alpha Pokemon, Wardens, expanded exploration and more, Pokemon Legends: Arceus looks to be the biggest game in the series yet. It’s out on January 28th for the Nintendo Switch.
Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection
The Uncharted series finally comes to PS5 on January 28th (and later for PC) courtesy of Iron Galaxy Studios. Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection includes Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End and Uncharted: The Lost Legacy in one package for $49.99 with three different modes – Fidelity which provides native 4K and targets 30 FPS; Performance for a 60 FPS frame rate; and Performance+ which offers 120 FPS at 1080p resolution. Spatial 3D audio, haptic feedback and adaptive triggers are also supported along with fast load times. But best of all is that current owners of either game, whether physical or digital, can upgrade to the remastered collection for just $10.
If you can’t get enough of mech games, especially top-down isometric action titles, Blackwind may be worth a look. Releasing on January 20th for PS4, PS5, PC, Xbox Series X/S, Nintendo Switch and Xbox One, it stars James Hawkins who’s trapped inside of a prototype Battle Frame. Exploring the surface of Medusa-42, he battles the bug-like Raknos in search of his father. In terms of play-styles, one can engage in long-range shooting or hack and slash melee combat while utilizing finishers to slay the Raknos. Various skills and skins can be equipped to customize one’s frame and there’s even support for local co-op.
If Big Ant Studios could make a comeback with Cricket 22, then why not Eko Software’s Rugby? Announced this past July, Rugby 22 is slated to release in January for Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PS4, PS5 and PC. Very little is currently known aside from having “stacked club rosters” and national teams but the developer promises improvements to the AI along with a new difficulty mode. If nothing else, it should be better than Rugby 20 (hopefully).
There are a number of intriguing horror games that fly under the radar nowadays and Endflame’s Ikai is no exception. It’s a first person title based on Japanese folklore with various yokai out to make your life miserable. The story centers on Naoko, a priestess in the mountains who quickly comes face to face with all kinds of evil spirits. With no combat and relying on slow realistic movement, your choices are being stealthy or attempting to flee. Bits of puzzle solving and drawing seals arise but for the most part, you’re unraveling more about Naoko and the spirits while attempting to survive. Ikai releases in January for PS4, PS5, PC and Nintendo Switch.
Kingdom of the Dead
Another relatively unknown horror title, Kingdom of the Dead is developed by Dirigo Games which contributed to the excellent Dread X Collection. Its newest title is a first person shooter but with a monochromatic pen and ink style while the gameplay is akin to a retro shooter. As Agent Chamberlain, your mission is to defeat Death, venturing across eight different missions and slaying over 22 different types of enemies to do so. Bosses, difficulty settings for each level (which each add unique goals), cheat codes, Endless mode – it’s all included and coming to Steam on January 26th.
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