November is typically gaming's most important month, as major studios have made a tradition of shipping their biggest games right before Hanukkah, Christmas, and other holidays. But that didn't necessarily prove true in the past couple of years, with the pandemic scattering release dates to the wind like a tornado knocking over a calendar factory.
In 2022 we've got a proper November, with a clear-cut stretch of big stuff. And it's starting right now. Here's my chronological overview of what's ahead over the next few weeks, with added commentary from the PC Gamer editors who've played or been keeping an eye on these games.
A proper World of Warcraft expansion that, so far, seems good
When: A pre-launch patch deployed Tuesday night, before the expansion fully releases on Nov 28
Tyler Colp, Associate Editor: World of Warcraft expansions always make some sort of promise about going back to the way it all started, but Dragonflight is the first one that seems to actually deliver on that. WoW players have wanted to explore the Dragon Isles since they were discarded map geometry in the game’s files, and they’ve asked for years to be able to play as dragons too. Dragonflight’s pre-patch introduces the highly-customizable Dracthyr race and a taste of what’s to come later this month in the expansion that’s geared to send the MMO into a bright, adventurous future.
The return of Warzone
Morgan Park, Staff Writer: The launch of Warzone 2 marks the start of a new era for Call of Duty. Old Warzone is dead (at least temporarily), and in its place is a refreshed battle royale suite with a new map, AI combatants, and a decidedly un-battle royale side mode that might be the coolest part of the package: DMZ. The "sandbox extraction" inspired by Escape From Tarkov and Hunt: Showdown ditches the circle, allowing players to set their own goals, loot everything they can carry, and extract before time is up.
Wait, Crysis is back?
Evan Lahti, Global Editor-in-Chief: In case you missed them on the Epic Games Store last year, Crysis 2 Remastered and Crysis 3 Remastered are hitting Steam tomorrow. Crytek's sequels are great popcorn shooters with inspired enemy design, a great vision of an alien-invaded NYC, and moments of sandbox creativity. Worth a look if you missed them in 2011 or 2013.
A livestream just about 2023 in PC gaming
When: Thursday, November 17 at 10 AM Eastern
Evan Lahti, Global Editor-in-Chief: Forgive the act of self-promotion: we're doing a big show tomorrow! Next year is already looking like an avalanche of interesting games, and if you've got about 75 minutes tomorrow, join us at twitch.tv/pcgamer or youtube.com/pcgamer for the reveal of a few never-before-seen games and an overview of what's ahead, including our six most-wanted games of 2023.
The latest beloved PlayStation port
Evan Lahti, Global Editor-in-Chief: A couple of years after its release on PlayStation 5, Miles Morales is the latest PlayStation "exclusive" to crawl onto PC. Critics loved the spinoff, collectively awarding an 85 Metacritic rating. Our pals at GamesRadar did warn that it's a little smaller than they hoped, saying "It plays like great DLC" in their Miles Morales review.
The Steam Autumn Sale
When: Nov 22-29
Evan Lahti, Global Editor-in-Chief: As the temperatures lower in many parts of the world, so too do Steam's prices. Valve will run another weeklong sale over the Black Friday period, which reminds me…
Black Friday, aka "You can buy graphics cards now"
When: Nov 25-28 (but also right now, basically)
Evan Lahti, Global Editor-in-Chief: Our deals hounds on the PC Gamer hardware team have already been hard at work tracking down the best Black Friday PC gaming deals, which have looked OK in the pre-BF period. Mainly it's just nice to see some actual GPUs ($260 for a Radeon RX 6650 XT (opens in new tab); $450 for a GeForce RTX 3060 Ti (opens in new tab)) sitting on digital shelves as the memory of component shortages in '20 and '21 continues to fade.
Another game from a talented Polish FPS studio
When: Nov 22
Evan Lahti, Global Editor-in-Chief: Don't confuse it with Weird West, Hard West, or Hunt: Showdown—Evil West is the latest in the line of supernatural cowboy action games. It promises a "story-driven campaign to save America" for $50, and is notably made by Flying Wild Hog, the folks behind the stylish Shadow Warrior 3, Hard Reset, and Trek to Yomi.
The biggest Warhammer 40K game ever
When: Nov 28, but if you pre-ordered it: tomorrow
Wesley Fenlon, Features Editor: There are nearly 50 Warhammer 40K games, and according to resident series expert Jody Macgregor, most of them are not very good. The best tend to be strategy games, which is cool and all, but I know I'm not the only one who craves a big budget, ground-level view of the wild 40K universe. Darktide is that game.
I had a "give it to me now" reaction to Darktide when it was announced back in mid-2020, and when I finally got my hands on it this summer, it did not disappoint. Vermintide was a surprisingly good Left 4 Dead knock-off, but Vermintide 2 showed Fatshark knows how to go big with time and budget on its side. That game's sublimely weighty melee combat is still in Darktide, but it also has lasguns now. Say it with me now: Skulls for the skull throne.
A bona-fide action-horror blockbuster
When: Dec 2
Evan Lahti, Global Editor-in-Chief: Our very own Tyler Wilde played The Callisto Protocol three weeks ago and called it "a top-tier scary space prison simulator," noting that it moves slower than Dead Space (which is getting a remake itself in January) but is a worthy follow-up to its approach to sci-fi horror.
The biggest Marvel PC game ever?
When: Dec 2
Evan Lahti, Global Editor-in-Chief: From the folks who made XCOM, Marvel's Midnight Suns is probably the most expansive rendering of the Marvel universe on PC. I've been saying to our team that this game will be much more like Mass Effect than I think most are expecting—the grounds of the Midnight Suns pocket-dimension lair are laid out like the Normandy, a between-mission hub where you can improve your relationships with teammates (from Ghost Rider to Wolverine, Magik, and Spider-Man), customize your character's room, put research tasks into motion, and search for crafting resources that are spent at stations.
Our 2021 GOTY is teasing something new
Christopher Livingston, Features Producer: OK, we don't know when this is happening, but Valheim fans have been waiting a long time for the open world Viking survival game's mysterious new biome, the Mistlands. Developer Iron Gate Studio still hasn't set a date or shown us much beyond a few recent tantalizing teases on Twitter, but we're crossing all the fingers we've got that the Mistlands update will arrive before the end of the year. What's been teased so far—giant bugs, new fish to catch, stone ruins, creepy dungeons, new building materials, and a couple glimpses of the rocky, foggy biome itself—is looking pretty darn good.