Photo: Florian Olivo
The players want to know

2021 saw some saw of the biggest game developers releasing new installments for the most popular franchises and 2022’s release calendar is set to be just as exciting. Not all games have been met with the best reviews though – criticisms around micro-transactions, bugs and multiplayer mechanics have all seen big names facing backlash. Gaming has always been a controversial topic, with people keen to support their favourite brands but gaming developers keen to push the line and offer more than they did with the last version of the game. With changing technology games are starting to offer players more and more and the releases that we[‘re looking forward to in 2022 certain tick the boxes when it comes to new, exciting gameplay. That said, 2021 had its fair share of exciting game releases too. So, here’s a look back at some of the biggest releases of 2021 as well as what’s to come this year.

Battlefield 2042

Battlefield 2042 has always been an incredibly successful title for EA, releasing to huge waiting lists and glowing reviews. Sadly, 2021’s offering didn’t follow in the footsteps of previous installments. Before the game even launched critics were giving Battlefield 2042’s latest release such bad reviews that EA’s share price actually dipped!

Critics initially complained that the game felt rushed – not all of the mechanics made sense and it felt like the game had been thrown together. Sadly there wasn’t much of an improvement post-release. On launch, players were complaining of broken vehicles, poor performance, lack of accuracy and like it was trying to do too much at once. Steam was flooded with poor reviews from players and it never really recovered.

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Call of Duty Vanguard

2021 seemed to be the year of flawed releases – COD managed to escape a lot of the negative press that other games saw, but didn’t have a squeaky clean launch. Vanguard doesn’t feel new with the same gameplay, weapons and mechanics, but it passes with an “it’s alright” rather than “it’s great”. Having said that, players are currently up in arms demanding a fix to packet bursts that are making the game unplayable, so maybe hold off buying it for the moment!

Halo Infinite

Halo was the game that everyone loved to hate last year, thanks entirely to the excessive microtransactions that would cost players over $1000 for the first season alone. Players complained after getting excited about the free multiplayer mode, only to be met with a model that was effectively “pay to win”. Critics have compared the store to being as big of a cash grab as online casino sites, albeit without the same regulations that the casino industry must abide by. 

Microtransactions are certainly becoming more commonplace and as such, although Halo has received negative press for this it is something that game players are likely to need to get used it in the not so distant future. 343 Industries have promised that they’re working on it, but nothing has happened yet.

So, with so many poor releases in 2021, will this year fare any better? So far it’s shaping up to look like a year of blockbusters with Dying Light 2, Pokémon Legends and Gran Turismo 7 all set to release in the first quarter alone.

Elden Ring- Coming Feb 2022 – PlayStation, Xbox, PC

Elden Ring is probably one of the most anticipated launches of 2022. The product of collaboration between the team behind the Dark Souls franchise and the creator of Game of Thrones, it’s set to be incredible. Critics have said that the game very much reminds them of Dark Souls, but the additional storytelling from George R. R. Martin’s input makes for an experience worth getting excited about.

Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2 – TBA – Switch

In all honesty, no release date has been announced so this might not be a 2022 game, but it’s so exciting that it’s worth mentioning. The first Breath of the Wild game actually sold Switch consoles, garnered a cult following and was named one of the most influential games in Zelda history. The original was absolutely groundbreaking, so if the sequel does get released in 2022 you need to be ready to give up all of your free time to play it.

Horizon Forbidden West: Feb 2022 – PlayStation 4 & 5

Horizon Zero Dawn was possibly one of the most underwhelming games of recent years – the original game was simply average and the feedback showed this. However, Horizon’s popularity has continued to grow over the years to the point that people are actually excited to play Forbidden West. It’s a typical post-apocalyptic action game, but it’s gone from strength to strength and it’s now worth getting excited about.

The Future of Gaming

Although there are plenty of games that keen game players are already looking forward to in 2022, there are likely to be even more games released that have not yet been announced. Gaming is a popular pastime and its popularity doesn’t look set to dwindle anytime soon. Beyond 2022 we’re likely to see games become more advanced and intricate as technology continues to advance. 

Gaming is one of those industries that has tended to be at the forefront of changing technology, as they aim to bring gamers gameplay that is bigger and better than other games on the market. We know that brand names continue to do well within gaming, as games tend to be brand loyal to both the games that they like to play and the games console that they enjoy their games on. Let’s see what the future holds for gaming in general.

2022 has so many huge releases to look forward to across several platforms – even previously neglected consoles like Switch are seeing an onslaught of new games. So far the reviews look great, so now is a good time to see friends because come February you’ll be far too busy for a social life.