The longest year ever, 2021, is finally over. But for all the trials and tribulations it put us through, there’s no denying there were some great games that helped us get through it all. Like Microsoft and Nintendo, Sony had a solid year with strong exclusives like Deathloop, Kena: Bridge of Spirits, Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart, and Returnal. Honestly, the year ahead is looking great for PS4 and PS5, too. So let’s look at what Sony plans to serve us in 2022.
Despite the myriad hiccups this mysterious game experienced toward the end of 2021, Abandoned from developer Blue Box Game Studios caught everyone’s attention due to folks thinking it was secretly a Silent Hill game being made with the involvement of Hideo Kojima. Some sort of cinematic first-person horror survival shooter, all anyone’s seen so far is the enigmatic announcement trailer and a brief teaser shown via a PS5 app. The app is supposed to be a launchpad for Abandoned, housing a longer trailer and a hands-off demo to give people an idea of what gameplay looks like, but none of that has come to fruition yet. Folks were so pissed about this that Blue Box asked everyone to stop sending them death threats. As of now, we still know next to nothing about Abandoned, and yet people are still hyped about it.
Release Date: TBD 2022
Developed by action game masterminds Platinum Games, Babylon’s Fall is a hack-and-slash action-RPG with zippy combat and a host of weapons to choose from. It kinda has Nier: Automata vibes, which is cool since that was an excellent combat experience, so here’s hoping Babylon’s Fall can satiate us until Bayonetta 3 comes out (on Switch, that is).
Release date: March 3
Revealed in December 2020 as a PS5 console exclusive for “at least 24 months,” Square Enix’s Project Athia made a big splash when it was reintroduced with the new Forspoken name in March 2021 and a flashy gameplay trailer during Sony’s September 2021 PlayStation showcase. An action-RPG by Final Fantasy XV developer Luminous Productions, Forspoken looks pretty damn enticing with its fluid combat, emphasis on traversal, and high-fantasy setting. We weren’t totally sold on the Black protagonist, especially since it seems there were no Black consultants or developers on the project, but at least the game is shaping up to look slick.
Release date: May 24
Coming from The Evil Within developers Tango Gameworks, Ghostwire: Tokyo hasn’t made a peep since it was delayed to early 2022. Literally, we know almost nothing about it. It’s a first-person action game. There’s some story about the population suddenly disappearing and you, as the player character, must use psychic and paranormal abilities to reverse the catastrophe. That’s about it.. At least Ghostwire: Tokyo helped usher in a new internet sensation: creative director Ikumi Nakamura, who left Tango in 2019 to start her own indie outfit.
Release date: Early 2022
Perhaps one of Sony’s three biggest games launching this year, Santa Monica Studio’s God of War Ragnarok has everyone champing at the bit. A sequel to 2018’s critically acclaimed God of War reboot, Ragnarok sees our father-son duo, Kratos and Atreus, contending with new enemies as Atreus, older and curious about who he his, finds a potential love interest in Angrboda. It appears to feature much of the same brutal and crunchy combat from 2018, but with more abilities and weapons at Kratos’ disposal. Sadly, this reboot series won’t become a trilogy because those just take too long.
Release date: TBD 2022
We know what this is. It’s Polyphony Digital. It’s Gran Turismo. It’s simulation racing. What more is there to talk about? Except there is more to talk about because Gran Turismo 7 houses an extensive single-player campaign mode that unfortunately requires an internet connection, much like 2017's GT Sport. More than that, though, is the fact that the upcoming racer will take advantage of the DualSense’s haptic feedback to mimic a real car’s anti-lock braking system. Kinda like feeling the resistance when shooting in Deathloop, expect there to be a little friction when drifting on the speedway.
Release date: March 4
The second of what I’m dubbing Sony’s Big Three, Guerrilla Games’ hotly anticipated Horizon Forbidden West seems like a big-ass expansion on the first entry from 2017. Featuring an expanded arsenal of gear and moves for Aloy, an attitude adjustment for every NPC in the game, and suitably epic dinosaurs, Horizon Forbidden West embodies the sequel ethos of “more, more, more.” Maybe this is a bad thing for some, but those just dying for more Aloy can rest easy knowing Guerrilla Games is giving us exactly that.
Release date: February 18
Developer Sloclap’s Sifu rounds out Sony’s Big Three in a spectacular way. An action-adventure beat-em-up, Sifu builds on what Sloclap did with Absolver but turns the volume way the hell up to 11 with an interesting-sounding narrative, flashy combat, and punches so fast your head will spin. Every bit of promotional material for this game looks tight, and while I’ve yet to get my hands on it, it’s definitely the one I’m most stoked about playing.
Release date: February 22
Excuse me for getting a little sappy here, but the thought of playing as a stray cat makes me incredibly sad. But maybe that’s the point, as developer BlueTwelve Studio’s Stray is quite literally about a stray cat that ends up in a robot-populated world with one simple goal: to get back to its family. Cue the sad violin and the waterworks, folks, because I’m in tears. A third-person, open-world action-adventure game, Stray looks to be a meditative exploration on the notion of machines and how they impact (or infect, depending on how you look at it) the natural world. Should be an interesting, evocative, and tearjerk-y of a time, all things considered.
Release date: TBD 2022
I know, I know, another battle royale game. But Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodhunt, from developer Sharkmob, looks particularly interesting on account of its license and rather gory take on the oversaturated genre. This is a horror-based PvP experience sure to satiate Vampire: The Masquerade fans at least until the next mainline title, Bloodlines 2, launches…whenever that is. It’s been out since September via Early Access on Steam where it’s garnered nearly 9000 reviews with an overall rating of “mostly positive,” but Bloodhunt is slated to make its console debut on PlayStation 5 sometime this spring.
Release date: Spring 2022
Of course, above are just some of the biggest console exclusives Sony has in the pipeline. Whether you own a PlayStation 4 or PlayStation 5—or hell, even an Xbox—there’s plenty to look forward to. Here’s a look at some cross-platform stuff in case you forgot about them.
- Based on James Cameron’s film series of the same name, Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora is an open-world action-adventure game in which you control a Na’vi who travels to a never-before-seen Pandora region. It’s slated to launch sometime this year, though an exact release date is still unknown.
- The Callisto Protocol, a third-person sci-fi survival horror game from Striking Distance Studios (headed up by one of the creators of Dead Space), is set far in the future of the PUBG universe, of all things. It’s due to launch this year.
- Speaking of Dead Space, Motive Studios has taken up the task of remaking the 2008 original with updated textures and all that. It’ll drop later this year.
- Some seven years after the first title, Techland is finally back with Dying Light 2: Stay Human, a game that apparently will claim up to 500 hours of your life. It releases on February 4.
- Then, there’s FromSoftware’s next game that literally every Souls fan has been waiting for: Elden Ring. Thankfully, we’re so close to its February 25 launch.
- One of two Flying Wild Hog games here, Evil West looks like everything Eutechnyx’s Ride to Hell: Retribution wished it could’ve been, but with a ton more sci-fi and hellbound horrors. It’s expected to drop sometime this year.
- The next big Batman game from developer WB Games Montreal, Gotham Knights sees The Dark Knight’s various sidekicks come together after his death to protect the city. It’s slated to release at some point this year.
- Graven, from Ghostrunner co-developer Slipgate Ironworks, will make its cross-platform debut this year after spending a bit of time in Steam Early Access. A spiritual successor to Hexen II, Graven is an immersive sim with a captivating setting and some RPG elements thrown in.
- Neostream Interactive’s Little Devil Inside is reminiscent of Dark Souls, The Wind Waker, and a personal favorite of mine, Capybara Games’ Below. A release date hasn’t been nailed down yet, but it’s scheduled to launch this winter.
- Saints Row returns with a reboot in the form of…Saints Row. If you’ve played any entry in the franchise then you know exactly what to expect, though the bifurcated tone from Saints Row: The Third is supposed to make a comeback. Anyway, Volition’s Saints Row is primed to launch on August 23.
- Coming from the folks at Koei Tecmo Games and Team Ninja, Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin is an action-RPG meant to retell the story of the original Final Fantasy game from 1987. It was memed to death thanks to Jack Garland screaming “CHOAS!” till his vocal cords burst, but hey, any press is good press, right? Stranger of Paradise launches on March 18.
- Though it was pretty quiet for a while after getting re-announced in August 2020, we finally saw some gameplay of Rocksteady Studios’ Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League last December. An action-adventure game revolving around the titular team, Kill the Justice League comes out at some point this year.
- Trek to Yomi, the second Flying Wild Hog game here, is this evocative samurai action-adventure that puts you in control of a young swordsman who makes a promise to his dying master: to protect the town and the people in it. There’s no release date yet, but it’s expected to launch this year.
- Another Vampire: The Masquerade game, Swansong is a narrative-driven, single-player RPG that sees you swapping between three different vampires over the course of the game. It’s currently scheduled to release on May 19.
This is only a small fraction of what Sony has in the works, and it doesn’t even take into account everything that’s supposed to launch this year. Both the Nintendo Switch and Xbox consoles look like they’re poised to have a dope 2022, so the saying that there’s a little something for everyone really rings true.
There are some absences on the list, such as KO_OP’s Goodbye Volcano High and Ska Studios’ Salt and Sacrifice, but including everything would make this incredibly unwieldy. Just know that 2022 is likely to feature a game you’ll lose hella hours to and/or that will claw its way onto your own personal all-time top 10 list.
Of course, this all seems dependent on whether you can even find a PlayStation 5, as it appears that the company is preparing to pump out more PS4s to combat the next-gen console shortage. At least most of the games on this list, if not all of them, will be available on both PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5.