The future is dark and full of terrors, but maybe there will be some good video games in there as well. As every year, we turn our faces to the uncertain release schedules shrouded in the mists of time-yet-to-come and, quivering, whisper the Game Reviewer’s Prayer: “Please don’t suck. Please don’t suck. Please don’t suck.” Here are my top PC games I want in 2022.
Let’s get started.
Warhammer 40,000: Darktide
I could cheat and just copy the stuff I wrote for this entry last year, but yes, I’m still waiting for Warhammer 40,000: Darktide. Yes, it won’t be perfect, no co-op shooter that hews too closely to Vermintide’s gameplay will ever be. I’d like for enemies to be less trash and less mob, but my voice is drowned out by a million others.
However, I’m still looking forward to being a Guardsman and kicking heretical ass. And with Dan Abnett at the helm as the writer, the story might even turn out to be cool in the end. Granted, there’s not a lot of information to go on — Fat Shark has put out three total videos on the game. But I’ll be happy as a psy-clam if Darktide graces my Best Games of 2022 list.
Company of Heroes 3
Company of Heroes is the saddest game. I can’t call it a revolutionary RTS title, because only three or so games followed in its footsteps in 15+ years since its release. The last DLC and its sequel were huge messes, and I’m also one of the three people who weren’t blown away by Ardennes Assault (it was better than the main CoH2 campaign, but what isn’t?).
However, Company of Heroes 3 is shaping up nicely thus far. Yes, the micro is still there, but we will never be free from it while AAA studios draw breath. Nevertheless, we’ll have pauses for planning and setting up orders in the single player mode. Plus, the new campaign mode looks interesting. At the very least it’ll be a fun iteration of the boring RISK model. As a bonus, the Italian theater hasn’t been done to death in World War II games, unlike, say, Normandy. The only thing to wish for now is Company of Heroes 1-level mod support!
Flashpoint Campaigns: Southern Storm
I still remember how I used to start Wargame series reviews by stating that we don’t have that many Cold-War-Gone-Hot games. Well, we have enough of them now that I can sneer at Wargame (and the suspiciously similar Broken Arrow) as sub-par offerings. But there exists a tension in the genre: if the game is flashy, then it’s going to be just another micro-heavy RTS with a thin patina of Cold War visuals. If it does something interesting and harken to actual military realism, then it’s going to look 15 years out of date, at best.
Luckily for me, I have a refined palate. I can a let grog games slide on the art side if it’s otherwise a mesh of good gameplay and awareness that UX exists. Even then, I won’t even have to cut Flashpoint Campaigns: Southern Storm too much slack. It will maintain all the user-friendliness of Flashpoint Campaigns: Red Storm, but, going against the grog dev grain, the new entry in the series will feature improved visuals. Another very important aspect of a good Cold War war game is also promised: factions other than USSR and the US. E-Germany, France, Canada, Czechoslovakia, all the interesting boys will be there. Now, if only they moved the timeline back from 1989 and closer to the actual-historical-balance-of-forces year of 1985…
A roundup of smaller hopes
Regiments: It was on the wishlist last year, yeah. And yeah, I only just checked that it’s set in the ridiculous-for-a-Cold-War-game year of 1989. But my time with the demo still convinced me that this the way forward from the stale Wargame/Steel Division formula.
Homeworld 3: I have emotions about the series even if I only played Homeworld 2 once and only “completed” Homeworld 1 (and Cataclysm) in the sense that I watched a full LParchive let’s play.
Dune: Spice Wars: Atreides doing diplomacy and trading with the Harkonnen on Arrakis is a patently dumb idea, but I’ll see how they’ll pull it off. Emperor: Battle for Dune managed to alter the story in a way allowed a third weird House into the mix, so why not this?
Zephon: Despite its jank, Warhammer 40,000: Gladius – Relics of War is a fun game with good writing, so I want to see what the devs do with full creative freedom. Looking at the screenshots, I hope the road plan involves more vibrant colors.
Second Front: For the love of God, I don’t have the time or the brainpower to play Advanced Squad Leader. Just give us the game that’s definitely not the PC adaptation already.