We know all about the upcoming PC games of 2021. They may not all have dates, but we know games like Halo Infinite and Resident Evil 8 are coming out this year. There are also a whole lot of games that are probably coming out in 2021, though we don't know for sure (will this finally be the year Biomutant and Dying Light 2 become real, playable videogames?). But y'know, 2021? That's basically old news already. Let's start this year off a little more ambitiously by ignoring 2021's games and looking at what 2022 has to offer.
With a new generation of consoles now established, we're starting to see developers announce their next big projects, even if they're still a couple years out. Here are the games that we expect to be playing next year.
Who's making it: Studio Wildcard
What we know about the release date: 2022.
Already nicknamed Ark 2: The Past & The Furious, this sequel to the dino survival game inexplicably stars Vin Diesel, who's also taken the title "President of Creative Convergence" at Studio Wildcard. I think that means he's trying to figure out how to get cars into Ark 2.
We don't know a whole lot about this sequel yet, but it sounds like it'll be much like the original Ark. Despite its story-driven cinematic trailer, the developers confirmed it's a "next gen online multiplayer sandbox." Maybe it'll have a wholly separate campaign following Diesel's character Santiago? We'll have to wait and see—and catch the animated series Diesel is also starring in alongside a stacked cast, coming in spring 2022.
Who's making it: Capcom
What we know about the release date: "Launching in 2022." Update: A PlayStation video released at CES in January listed Pragmata with a new 2023 release window.
Pragmata, or as I call it when I forget the name, "Capcom astronaut game," debuted with a cryptic trailer at Sony's June 2020 PlayStation event. It looked like a Kojima game at first, a surprise follow-up to Death Stranding, but it's something entirely new from Capcom. A character in a space suit and sci-fi helmet walks down an abandoned city street and uses some cool tech to see holograms of people who were there before. There's a little girl, some reality-shattering nonsense(?), a satellite crashing into the city(!), and then they're on the moon(!?).
I do not know what the heck is going on in Pragmata, but I hope it becomes a real game and actually comes out in 2022, unlike Deep Down, which was Capcom's stunner of a trailer back when the PS4 launched. Pragmata was announced for PS5, but given Capcom's success with games like Monster Hunter: World on PC, a PC release seems inevitable, though it may well be a 2023 game.
Destiny 2: Lightfall
Who's making it: Bungie
What we know about the release date: Fall 2022
Lightfall will round out a trilogy of expansions, following last year's Beyond Light and this year's The Witch Queen, covering the arrival of The Darkness in the solar system and ensuing battle with the guardians of humanity. Although the contents are unknown, the name Lightfall does not exactly scream 'successful end to the conflict'. So what do we guess? Well, given how game director Luke Smith has been talking, it's fair to think that by the time it drops—almost certainly in the fall—we'll have multiple Darkness subclasses to play with. It's even possible that Lightfall could see a major reworking of the current 'Light' subclasses (ie Solar, Void, Arc), or drop some altogether. That's already a controversial topic, though Smith has said nothing is in the works right now and a rethink could be years away, if it happens at all.
Given Lightfall's positioning as the end of the current narrative arc, we can also surmise it won't focus on The Hive, as they're set to be the focus of The Witch Queen, with Savathûn as the titular scheming star. Hopefully it will finally bring a new race that embodies the Darkness in a more shooty way than some parked triangular ships do. Whatever Lightfall entails, players will blow through it at sprint speed in a couple of weeks and then complain that there's nothing to do.
Kerbal Space Program 2
Who's making it: Intercept Games
What we know about the release date: Delayed to 2022.
Kerbal Space Program 2 is an exciting expansion of the original game, promising to keep the challenging science of space flight intact while adding better controls, a far better tutorial system, base building, co-op, and faster-than-light travel. Phew, that's quite a checklist! I guess that's one way to follow up one of the finest PC games of all time. No pressure, right?
The original release plan of 2020 was apparently unrealistic, because KSP2 has been delayed twice, now all the way to 2022. The longer timeline may have something to do with publisher Take-Two establishing a new development studio specifically for Kerbal, and hiring most of the team away from original independent developer Star Theory.
Who's making it: Rocksteady
What we know about the release date: 2022.
2021 is the year of the Bat Family, with Gotham Knights. 2022, apparently, belongs to Suicide Squad, which is set in the same "Arkhamverse" as Rocksteady's Batman Arkham games. Confusing? Indeed. But this time we're off to Metropolis, with a version of the Suicide Squad including Harley Quinn, Deadshot, Captain Boomerang, and King Shark. And it seems like you're trying to kill Superman.
An exciting change from the Batman games is that Suicide Squad supports co-op in addition to singleplayer. Expect a mix of familiar Arkham melee combat with a lot more guns. Will it actually arrive in 2022? Let's hope so—Arkham Knight came out in 2015.
Who's making it: NPixel
What we know about the release date: 2022. "The project started developing in 2019 and is currently developing it to test it in 2021."
Wow, this one's a looker. Chrono Odyssey is Korean MMO that's supposedly hitting some playable state in 2021, then fully releasing in 2022. Developer NPixel calls it "an epic fantasy massively multiplayer online RPG about time and space" in which you are "waging a huge war against 12 gods." So: Attack and dethrone gods, the MMO. An appealing premise.
The trailer for Chrono Odyssey is mostly a mood piece, showing off a range of fantasy battlefields and monsters and handsome characters. I think it's safe to say the game we end up playing won't look so stunning as this cinematic trailer, but it should make for an interesting fantasy counterpoint to whatever FF14 has going on in two years time.
Who's making it: Rabbit & Bear Studios
What we know about the release date: Estimated delivery on Kickstarter is October 2022. The FAQ asks "Will this really be done in 2 ½ years?" and answers: "With the current external partners we are working with, such as Coyote Runner, we have a wide variety of development sources we can tap if necessary."
Eiyuden Chronicle is an indie JRPG made by veteran developers of the Suikoden series. It's a spiritual successor to that series, which hasn't had a new game in more than a decade. The Kickstarter images show a striking blend of 2D sprites on 3D backgrounds, and the campaign pulled in something like 4.5 million dollars—one of the biggest gaming crowdfunding campaigns in years.
Crowdfunded games are notoriously delayed, and this is an ambitious project, with more than 100 recruitable characters (would it really be a Suikoden successor, otherwise?). Despite Rabbit & Bear's confidence, it seems likely Eiyuden Chronicle slips to 2023. But it's also a veteran development team with what seems like a clear, focused vision. Maybe they can pull it off.
Sea of Stars
Who's making it: Sabotage Studio
What we know about the release date: Estimated March 2022.
Another Kickstarter, this one from the developer behind retro platformer The Messenger. What's exciting about Sea of Stars is how different it looks from Sabotage's previous game, which was a pretty direct Ninja Gaiden homage. This one is a really pretty turn-based RPG, which "aims to modernize the classic RPG in terms of turn-based combat, storytelling, exploration and interactions with the environment, while still offering a hearty slice of nostalgia and good old, simple fun."
It has some platformer DNA in its exploration, which lets you jump and swim around the world with a freedom you don't really see in JRPGs of old.
The Callisto Protocol
Who's making it: Striking Distance
What we know about the release date: 2022.
This first bit is going to make you laugh, but stick with me for a second. The Callisto Protocol is a sci-fi horror game set 300 years in the future… of the PUBG universe. The PUBG universe! That is, apparently a thing, and a thing that the publisher Krafton wants to make people care about. It's silly, but it probably doesn't matter, because the exciting bit is that this game is being made by a veteran team that worked on the Dead Space series, and The Callisto Protocol very much sounds like it's going to be a spiritual successor to Dead Space.
It's a "story-driven, singleplayer survival game" set in a prison on Jupiter's moon Callisto, and there are going to be some freaky aliens/mutants/horror creatures on the loose. Bring 'em on.
Who's making it: Blackbird Interactive
What we know about the release date: "We're aimed at Q4 2022. It's a little early days for a firm date, but we'll keep you posted."
With such a noncommittal release date on its crowdfunding campaign, Homeworld 3 seems like a likely candidate for a slip to 2023. But it gets a spot anyhow because Homeworld is a beloved PC series, and one we're excited to see get another go round the sun. The veteran team also worked on 2016's Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak, which was a fantastic strategy game.
As we wrote about the crowdfunding campaign in 2019: "It looks right and it sounds right: The music, voices, muffled ambient audio, and those distinctive engine trailers are straight out of the original Homeworld."
Who's making it: Bethesda
What we know about the release date: Before The Elder Scrolls 6.
Everything else on this list has a 2022 date stamped onto it, though it's a safe bet at least one of them will slip into the next year. Starfield is here as an optimistic wild card. In 2019, Bethesda's Todd Howard said that fans will need to be patient. Is waiting three years patient enough?
Late 2022 seems like a plausible release date for Bethesda's next big RPG, two years into a new console life cycle and four full years after Fallout 76. We know Starfield's been in development longer than that, so here's hoping 2021 is the year we finally get a look at it.