Everyone has their own new year resolutions, every year. When it comes to gaming fans, we all have the same resolution, keep on gaming. And January sure doesn’t disappoint when it comes to new releases. Enough talk let’s get right into the selection of 5 major game releases coming in January 2022!
Played from a third-person perspective, the player is put in control of an astronaut that is tasked with colonizing planets, creating structures, and collecting resources. The planets visited by the player are all procedurally generated and can be completely modified, utilizing a “terrain tool” that allows the player to reshape the landscapes and gather the resources available on that planet.
Astroneer also features a crafting system, with craftable items that range from rovers, tractors, and spaceships to batteries, generators, and solar panels, just to name a few. The game also introduces an oxygen system, that demands the attention of the player. When low on oxygen, the astronaut can recharge its oxygen levels by staying near craftable tethers, that can be chained over long distances.
In my opinion, Astroneer deserves a spot in this selection of upcoming games due to its vivid and exciting survival experience, which really shines when the player takes full advantage of its crafting and exploration systems. It is also a big plus that the game can be played in co-op mode. Ever since Astroneer came out of early access, I’ve had my eyes on the game. As a Switch player, and when the developers announced a release date for the Switch, I was stoked. In my opinion, the Nintendo Switch doesn’t really have a game quite like Astroneer in its arsenal, a game where you can run around and create your own journeys, and for that, I chose to include it in this selection of major game releases scheduled for January 2022.
2. Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Extraction
A spin-off to 2015’s Rainbow Six Siege, Rainbow Six Extraction follows similar tactical shooter guidelines. The twist comes in the form of parasitical aliens called Archaeans, which the players must work together to defeat. Supporting up to three players, the goal of the game is to infiltrate alien-infested locations, in order to collect samples and gather intel on these aliens.
The location of the objectives, along with the placement of enemies is procedurally generated, with each player being assigned to one of twelve different objectives that appear in each map. Once the player is able to complete their objective, the game allows for extraction, which finishes the play session, or the option to explore new areas, with each being more difficult than the previous ones.
Players can choose their operator, with each one having their own unique weapons and gadgets, just like in Rainbow Six Siege. Operators like Pulse and Alibi also make a return in Rainbow Six Extraction.
Being a tremendous fan of cooperative experiences of any kind, I had to include Rainbow Six Extraction in this selection of major game releases in January 2022. In my opinion, Ubisoft doesn’t seem to miss the mark when it comes to Tom Clancy’s games, and that’s why the hype is so big when it comes to Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Extraction. And if the major success of Rainbow Six Siege is any indication, I believe we can expect big things coming from this new spin-off.
3. God of War
A reimagining of the franchise, God of War releases for PC on January 14th. Inspired by Norse mythology, unlike previous games that were based on Greek mythology, the game is set in the realm of Midgard. After the death of Krato’s second wife, he and his son Atreus embark on a journey to fulfill her request that her ashes be spread at the highest peak of the nine realms. During the adventure, Kratos tries to keep his troubled past and divine nature away from Atreus, while both fight monsters and gods of the Norse world, in order to complete their goal.
Played from a third-person perspective, God of War puts the player in control of Kratos and his new magical battle axe, called the Leviathan Axe, instead of his signature double-chained blades. Similar to Thor’s hammer, this axe can be thrown at enemies and then called back to Kratos, which can be utilized to perform certain combos. God of War also features puzzles scattered throughout Kratos and Atreus’ journey that need to be solved before progressing further into the game. The axe can be upgraded with runes that allow for magical runic attacks, ranging from light and heavy attacks.
This one was a long time coming for PC gaming fans, like me. God of War is 2018’s game of the year, and rightfully so. It is a masterpiece that combines amazing storytelling with an even greater combat system, fully deserving of the spot in this selection of January’s major game releases. God of War is an experience that every gaming enthusiast should play, and with the game now coming to a new platform, the hype surrounding it has never been greater. If you are a PC-only player, you were probably waiting for this one for a long, long time.
4. Pokémon Legends: Arceus
Releasing on January 28th for the Nintendo Switch, Pokémon Legends: Arceus is an action role-playing game part of the eighth generation of the Pokémon video game series. Set in the bygone era of the Sinnoh region, before the events of Pokémon Diamond and Pearl, the game’s objective is to create Hisui’s first Pokédex, with the mythical Pokémon Arceus having a central role in the story.
In this era, Poké Balls were made of wood, puffing steam when the Pokémon was caught. As for the starter Pokémons available for the player to choose from, the game gives three options, Rowlet, Cyndaquil, and Oshawott. This makes the first main series game to feature a starter Pokémon from three different generations of games.
As for completely new mechanics in the Pokémon video game series, Pokémon Legends: Arceus’ players can actually take damage directly from wild Pokémon and from falling from high locations. Every time the player takes too much damage, he will blackout, lose all the items in his bag and spawn back at the base camp.
One other interesting feature is that the player will be able to summon three special Pokémon, using a Celestica flute, that allows them to ride over land, sea, and sky.
Pokémon is that one series that everyone knows and loves, and with Pokémon Legends: Arceus, it can’t be any different. It is probably one of the best-known universes of all time, and for me, when a new Pokémon game releases, it has to be included in this list of major games scheduled for January 2022. Also, and besides being a Pokémon game, the hype surrounding Pokémon Legends: Arceus is mainly built on the scale of it, being the biggest of the whole series. Fans, like me, have been patiently waiting for a Pokémon game of this magnitude for a long time, and now it is almost here.
5. Monster Hunter Rise
Finishing off the list of 5 major game releases coming in January 2022, we have the sequel to 2018’s Monster Hunter World and the sixth mainline installment in the Monster Hunter series. Monster Hunter Rise is scheduled to release for PC on January 12th. Similar to previous Monster Hunter titles, Monster Hunter Rise has the player take the role of a Hunter, with the objectives of slaying and capturing a plethora of unique, large monsters. At their disposal, the player has a wide variety of weapons and tools, with the addition of environmental features that can be utilized to damage these monsters. Some of the monsters featured on previous Monster Hunter installments also return for Monster Hunter Rise.
This game adds a new dog-like companion, the Palamutes, which the player can ride to quickly traverse the map without losing stamina. They can also scale cliffs and perform certain attacks while fighting monsters.
As for game modes, Monster Hunter Rise features both the classic single-player and online multiplayer modes, with a co-op system of up to four players in the same group. The game also introduces a new game mode called Rampage, where the players must defend their base village from multiple monsters. During these sieges, the player can instruct the non-playable characters to help them in battle, by attacking the monsters.
Although not an absolute fan of the Monster Hunter series, I must admit, Monster Hunter Rise has absolutely outdone itself for me, being one of the best experiences when it comes to PvE combat. It has stunning and charming visuals, while at the same time creating a fun but complex experience for the player. For those that have already played Monster Hunter Rise in the Switch and thoroughly enjoyed it, you should get it on your PC as well, because despite being the same game, the experience is completely different. The PC version allows for greatly enhanced visuals and performance, and if the great Switch visuals are any indication, you will have a blast playing this game on a PC. And if you haven’t played it on the Nintendo Switch, you will be completely amazed by how beautiful this game can be.
If you are not that fond of the Christmas spirit, you always have this event to look forward to, January’s great game releases.
Are you hyped for the games featured here? Do you think January’s list outperforms December’s selection? Let me know in the comments down below!