To kick off the new year, we’re shining a spotlight on some of the biggest and most anticipated games of 2022 across all platforms and genres, starting with Elden Ring from FromSoftware. We’ll be looking at these games’ journey so far, why we’re so excited for them, and when we expect to see them next. We will also cover everything you need to know about these games, here discussing Elden Ring gameplay mechanics, the history of the game, and its release date.
Elden Ring is less than two months away, so at least one thing is going right in the world. The most anticipated game at The Game Awards for two years running, FromSoftware’s upcoming dark fantasy adventure wowed us from the very start. But if we’re being honest, pretty much all it takes is a FromSoftware logo to sell millions of us on literally anything. We’re simple like that.
The History of Elden Ring
After its reveal trailer back at E3 2019, FromSoftware and publisher Bandai Namco went radio silent for the better part of two years. In that time, we got a handful of leaks and reports that pointed to Elden Ring being FromSoftware’s first dip into a true open world. We knew that George R.R. Martin, the author of the A Song of Ice and Fire series, was helping out with the lore and world-building. And we knew that there’d be a large man with a hammer and that said hammer man would probably serve us several deaths.
It wasn’t until this past summer, 732 days after that first reveal, that Elden Ring came out of hibernation at Geoff Keighley’s Summer Game Fest, with a gameplay trailer that showed off what FromSoftware’s DNA could do when fused with a true open world. Vast fields with roaming caravans of enemies, a dense and enigmatic story that we’ll absolutely need lore divers like VaatiVidya to explain to us, and a mount that can help you climb any and every surface all felt familiar, but delivered in an exciting new way. And though the original Elden Ring release date of January 21, 2022 would eventually be pushed another month, it was clear that the long wait was more than worth it.
Evolved Open-World Gameplay from FromSoftware in 2022
Then came November 2021, where we got a chance to have ample hands-on time with the Elden Ring closed beta, which only enhanced its status as one of the biggest and most anticipated games of 2022. My biggest takeaway was that it felt like a greatest hits album for everything FromSoftware has done over the past decade, in the best possible way. Elden Ring is imbued with the deadly magic of Demon’s Souls, the power stancing of Dark Souls 2, the risk/reward approach to healing of Bloodborne, and the mobility and optional stealth of Sekiro, all wrapped in the gameplay and aesthetics that we’ve come to love from the games of Hidetaka Miyazaki and his crew.
But while 2021 was a year where many of us suffered from the monotony of open-world fatigue, Elden Ring seems to be the Estus Flask we need to cure what ails us. Instead of tossing us into an impossibly large map and giving us a chore list of a thousand things to do just for the sake of doing them, FromSoftware’s world seems to be focusing on density and discovery. No matter where we went in the beta, it felt like we were stumbling upon something new and interesting. Ancient caves filled with tantalizing rewards and deadly traps, invisible phantoms that roam the lonely coast, a group of cultists who are utterly wrecked when a dragon boss swoops down upon them — these were just a handful of the discoveries we found through natural exploration, and they all seemed to hold their own weight and importance.
In addition to being one of the biggest and most anticipated games of 2022, Elden Ring also reflects a trend we’ll see often this year: It’s a game that will be available on both current and previous-generation consoles. Though we’ve entered the third calendar year for the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X | S, unprecedented demand, compounded by pandemic-impacted production woes, means it’s still not easy to find new hardware on store shelves. This, among other factors, has led to developers and publishers straddling the generational divide for longer than we’re used to, including big 2022 games like Dying Light 2, Horizon Forbidden West, Hogwarts Legacy, and of course Elden Ring. Though some might be disappointed that FromSoftware hasn’t fully embraced the new hardware yet, after putting dozens of hours into the beta, I never once felt like the game’s cross-gen nature hampered any design decisions.
Elden Ring Is One of the Most Anticipated Games of 2022
FromSoftware’s modern formula started off as a relatively niche series of tough-as-nails action RPGs made for people chasing a high that was becoming hard to find in video games. But over a decade and three console generations later, their impact on the medium is undeniable. Dark Souls 3 remarkably sold over 10 million copies. “Soulslike” has entered the gaming vocabulary, whether you want to rename the genre or not. A day doesn’t go by where people aren’t baffled that we haven’t gotten a Bloodborne PC port, PS5 remaster, or straight-up sequel (although rumors point to folks at the newly first-party PlayStation studio Bluepoint possibly having a thing or two to say about that). But regardless of events in Yarnham, it’s clear that FromSoftware releases are now major gaming events.
Easily one of the biggest and most anticipated games of the year, Elden Ring is set to release on February 25, 2022 on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X | S, and PC.