The most exciting games of not-E3 actually coming out this year

Kasumi and Joker in Persona 5 Royal.
(Image credit: Atlus)

Not-E3 got off to a good start with Sony's State of Play announcing that Spider-Man: Remastered would be bringing both of your friendly neighborhood Spider-Mans, Peter Parker and Miles Morales (though sadly not your friendly neighborhood Spiders-Man), to PC on August 12. That's like two months away?

There were plenty of other games either revealed or expanded on during gameapalooza that have 2022 release dates as well. We may already have known about occult Marvel squad-em-up Midnight Suns, open-world crime sitcom Saints Row, speedrun FPS Neon White, retro horror anime Signalis, retro horror survival adventure The Callisto Protocol, and whatever the hell Cult of the Lamb is, but it was cool to see more of them and be reminded each one is due real soon now. And we had no idea about the existence of Goat Simulator 3, The Fridge is Red, Flashback 2, or plenty of other games, yet here they are suddenly on the verge of breaking through into our reality to wreak havoc on our wallets and social lives.

What follows are the best games that came out of the summer game explosion wearing 2022 release dates.

Persona 5 Royal

When's it out? October 21, 2022.
Why I'm excited about it: It's Persona on PC, baby!

Mollie Taylor, News Writer: Mere hours before this announcement, I declared to my friend: "I doubt Atlus would announce a Persona 5 port through an Xbox showcase." Despite my sheer amounts of copium all week, I had given up by the time Sunday rolled around. What a fool I was. Not only did Atlus announce a Persona 5 port through the Xbox and Bethesda Games showcase, it also announced Persona 3 Portable and Persona 4 Golden would be joining it on Game Pass. It's a goddamn good time to be a weeb on PC.

The Persona series houses some of the most solid, enjoyable experiences I've ever played. A blend between a top-class JRPG and chilled out social sim, each game is packed with great gameplay, story and characters (though it's worth noting the series has some glaring issues with transphobia and homophobia). All three games are equally strong in their own rights, each bringing something different to the table. Persona 4 Golden is already on Steam and there's no release date for Persona 3 Portable yet, but Persona 5 Royal will be landing on Game Pass for PC and Steam on October 21.

Serial Cleaners

When's it out? September 22, 2022.
Why I'm excited about it: Slick stealth action.

Lauren Morton, Associate Editor: Serial Cleaners turned up to the Future Games Show over the weekend and damn does it still look good. I'm excited by the four character stealth options but also it just looks good. I'm super into the low-ish poly with grunge paint aesthetic that I expect a lot of people to compare to Disco Elysium's characters. On the gameplay side, I just cannot put it more simply than saying I'm spellbound by stealth. I enjoy the puzzle-y quality, the quiet tension, and the speedrunning possibilities. The new trailer shows off some hacking, of both the cyber and chainsaw varieties, and I'm well into trying to pull off some mobster murder cleanup in both styles.


When's it out? Q4 2022.
Why I'm excited about it: Big Vermintide and Hunt: Showdown vibes.

Sean Martin, Guides Writer: I love Hunt: Showdown, but it really doesn’t love me. I'm the kind of person who crawls on their belly through a swamp for miles only to get headshotted by a sniper who’s been watching me for the last five minutes. But a PvE Hunt? I’m very much here for that. Though more of a medieval setting, Witchfire looks to have the same kind of tactile gunplay and visual realism. It also can't help but remind me of playing Saltzpyre in Vermintide and that iconic, pistol-toting Witch Hunter gameplay, as you dodge between foes delivering judgement with various shooty implements. Throw in the Witcher-esque magic abilities and chaotic string soundtrack, and I’m already sold. 


When's it out? November.
Why I'm excited about it: An adventure game with Obsidian's famous writing and reactivity.

Ted Litchfield, Associate Editor: I'm an RPG hound and an Obsidian fiend, and while I'm still recovering from the continued radio silence on Avowed, Pentiment launching this year brought me back from the brink. New Vegas project lead Josh Sawyer's been obliquely posting about this "narrative adventure" for awhile now, and its illuminated manuscript art style, historical authenticity, and commitment to the sort of branching dialogue and reactive worlds that Obsidian excels at leave Pentiment looking like a winner to me. 

Sunday Gold

When's it out? 2022, but no specific month yet.
Why I'm excited about it: "Dead bodies, cybernetic dogs, and psychotic billionaires" in 2070s London.

Evan Lahti, Global Editor-in-Chief: Revealed in the Future Games Show on Saturday, Sunday Gold is the kind of genre-straddling thing steeped in style that intrigues me from small teams. It's developed by a Quebec studio I've never heard of who has something called Zorro The Chronicles coming out in days and is also [checks website] creating a "blockchain FPS," oh dear, but stay with me. Sunday Gold's characters sort of look like they stumbled out of Disco Elysium fully armed, crooks who are apparently facing up against a billionaire CEO in a corrupt and dystopian 2070s London. I don't know if this studio will pull off its promised point-and-click adventure with escape-room-style puzzles and turn-based combat, but I'll certainly be rooting for them to make all that fit together.


When's it out? Q4 2022 (Early Access).
Why I'm excited about it: It's a survival game, but with top hats.

Chris Livingston, Features Producer: You're telling me there's a survival game where I start with nothing, have to craft an axe and chop trees and craft a pick to crack boulders… but at no point do I need to wear a gross loincloth and leather t-shirt? Set in the Victoria era, Nightingale's gaslamp fantasy survival game has a proper sense of style so while I may be eating berries and chopping logs, I'll still be looking dapper in a waistcoat and bowler hat. Plus, the more I see of it, the better it looks. Battle bizarre creatures, explore strange realms, build estates, and wear fancy clothes. That's the kind of survival I can get behind. 


When's it out? August 16 (Early Access).
Why I'm excited about it: Thief with guns.

Wes Fenlon, Senior Editor: Gee, Gloomwood just looks neat, huh? I think this is exactly the right way to make an immersive sim in 2022: throw back to the simple aesthetic of Thief, make it spooky, and release it in Early Access to fine tune the interplay between systems. Arkane has more or less been the only studio keeping these kinds of games alive, but it's struggled to find a smash hit with Dishonored, Prey or Deathloop, and those are not cheap games to make. Gloomwood is operating at a completely different scale with just a couple developers, but I think it has the potential to deliver the same satisfying feelings as a big budget immersive sim if the levels are open-ended and I have the freedom to solve problems in multiple ways.

Gloomwood already has a cane sword and a Resident Evil 4-style inventory, so by my math it's already halfway to being a great game.


When's it out? July 19.
Why I'm excited about it: Getting up to stealth mischief as a cat.

Jody Macgregor, Weekend/AU Editor: I live in a suburb full of cats, which I see every day and have named all of. Among the regulars are Sleepy Cat, Big Fluff, Postman Pat, and Fart Cat, who I once heard do an outrageously loud fart as I passed. When I saw the lost cat in the trailer for cyberpunk stealth adventure Stray deliberately knock over a row of bottles, I cackled almost as much as I did when Fart Cat earned the name that will stick with it forever.

When I was a kid I had a videogame called Alley Cat where you stole goldfish, ate out of bins, and evaded brooms. When I see the cat in Stray terrorizing robot citizens by simply existing, sneaking past drones and inspecting their shelves, I finally see an heir to that ancient classic, and I'm stoked.

Warhammer 40,000: Darktide

When's it out? September 13, 2022.
Why I'm excited about it: Vermintide evolved.

Wes Fenlon, Senior Editor: I'm going to keep this short and sweet: Darktide was the best game I played at not-E3 this year, and I wrote a longer preview of it that you can read for the full deets. We've had quite a few Left 4 Dead successors pop up over the last year, but I think Darktide is going to be the new champ.

Jody Macgregor
Weekend/AU Editor

Jody's first computer was a Commodore 64, so he remembers having to use a code wheel to play Pool of Radiance. A former music journalist who interviewed everyone from Giorgio Moroder to Trent Reznor, Jody also co-hosted Australia's first radio show about videogames, Zed Games. He's written for Rock Paper Shotgun, The Big Issue, GamesRadar, Zam, Glixel, Five Out of Ten Magazine, and, whose cheques with the bunny logo made for fun conversations at the bank. Jody's first article for PC Gamer was about the audio of Alien Isolation, published in 2015, and since then he's written about why Silent Hill belongs on PC, why Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale is the best fantasy shopkeeper tycoon game, and how weird Lost Ark can get. Jody edited PC Gamer Indie from 2017 to 2018, and he eventually lived up to his promise to play every Warhammer videogame.

With contributions from