Among all video game genres, sci-fi holds a special place. Sci-fi is a compelling genre in its own right because it allows us to explore ideas and concepts we couldn't work in other contexts. Bring sci-fi and video games together and you'll get a solid combination that will make you return to this genre of games again and again. The limitless possibilities of science fiction are at the heart of what makes games such an appealing medium for storytelling.
The year 2021 in gaming wasn’t particularly strong in the sci-fi genre, with only big titles being Halo Infinite and Metroid Dread and a few indie titles like Sable and Eastward. Fortunately, 2022 is here, and it seems that it will be one of the most significant years in recent gaming history, including the sci-fi genre.
There are plenty of games to look forward to, so in this article, we guide you through the ten most anticipated sci-fi games of 2022.
First announced in 2017, Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora was initially scheduled to release between March 2022 and April 2023. However, according to the latest information from Ubisoft, the Avatar game will come this year. The timing is probably not accidental, as the long-awaited Avatar 2 movie by James Cameron is set to release in theaters in December this year as well.
There are not many details about the game yet, but what is known is that Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora is a first-person action-adventure game that will feature a standalone story. The player will take the role of a Na’vi embarking on a journey across “a never-before-seen” part of Pandora, exploring the world and its inhabitants and fighting RDA (Resources Development Administration) forces that threaten it.
The game will release sometime in 2022 on Amazon Luna, Xbox Series X and Series S, PC, Google Stadia, and PlayStation 5.
Credit: Striking Distance Studio
According to Striking Distance Studios, the developer, The Callisto Protocol, is a story-driven, single-player survival horror game set on Jupiter’s moon Callisto in 2030. The player will have to escape the maximum-security Black Iron Prison and uncover its dark secrets that will send chills down your spine.
With The Callisto Protocol, Glen Schofield, the studio’s CEO, aims to set a new bar for horror in interactive entertainment, making it “one of the most terrifying games of all time.”
The Callisto Protocol will come to Xbox Series X and Series S, PC, and PlayStation 5 in 2022.
S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2: Heart of Chernobyl is by far one of the most anticipated sci-fi games of the previous decade. Initially scheduled for release in 2012(!), the game was canceled and resurfaced only in 2018 to the joy of the fans.
The S.T.A.L.K.E.R. game series is loosely based on a Soviet sci-fi book and the 1979 film with the same name depicting an anomaly zone filled with alien artifacts and paranormal activities. Like previous entries, S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 will take place in the post-apocalyptic Chernobyl Exclusion Zone and have a non-linear story unfolding in the Zone that always calls for stalkers (“STALKER” is an acronym for Scavengers, Trespassers, Adventurers, Loners, Killers, Explorers, and Robbers).
From the short descriptions on the developers’ website, it looks like S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 will be a first-person sci-fi shooter with survival elements. As a new stalker, the player will search for rare and valuable supplies, including food, meds, and alcohol, as well as battle dangerous mutants.
GSC Game World has pushed the release to December 2022 from April, explaining the need to bring the game in line with their vision and thoroughly test and polish it. If this plan doesn’t change, then S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2: Heart of Chernobyl will be released at the end of this year on PC and Xbox Series X and Series S.
The Elder Scrolls and Fallout developer Bethesda Game Studios introduces a new gaming universe set amongst the stars. According to Bethesda, Starfield will allow you to create any character you want, explore the star systems with unparalleled freedom, and experience adventures on a journey to answer life’s greatest mystery.
Starfield is “like Skyrim in space,” says game director Todd Howard. However, there are some indications that Starfield may go way beyond the depth Skyrim offers. In a Tokyo Game Show stream in September 2021, Todd Howard mentioned that Starfield would have over 150,000 lines, which is twice as much dialog as Skyrim.
Given the amount of dialog paired with heavy exploration promised by Bethesda, Starfield may well be one of the biggest sci-fi (and not only) RPG games of recent years. The game will be released on November 11, 2022, exclusively for PC and Xbox Series X and Series S.
Credit: Nightdive Studios
System Shock is a remake of the 1994 game of the same name. The remake is being developed by Nightdive Studios and published by Koch Media's publishing division Prime Matter and promises a faithful reboot of the classic sci-fi game.
The game takes place in 2072 aboard a space station. Assuming the role of a hacker, the players will have to explore the station and hinder the plans of a rogue AI that has taken control of the station.
The original System Shock was considered a significant breakthrough in the sci-fi genre and entered multiple hall-of-fame lists. The game will be released later this year with simultaneous release on Xbox, PC, Playstation, macOS, and Linux.
A real-time strategy game with 4X elements set in Dune’s universe will let you take complete control over your faction and battle for power and spice.
The unique Dune’s universe created by Frank Herbert is undoubtedly one of the most intricate and influential sci-fi universes in the genre’s history. Filled with political nuances and fierce battles, Dune: Spice Wars will allow you to play iconic book characters, such as Duke Leto Atreides, Baron Vladimir Harkonnen, and others. The players may choose between fraud, political influence, economic supremacy, or open warfare to take control of Arrakis.
Dune Spice Wars will release on Steam in 2022.
A third-person adventure game with open-world elements will tell a story of a cat who falls into a world populated by robots and tries to find its way back home.
Set in a neon-lit decaying cybercity, the game will focus on exploration, atmosphere, and art and combine elements of adventure, puzzle, and stealth games. In the game, the player is accompanied by a drone companion named B12, who can translate the language of the robots and store items found throughout the world.
Stray was developed by BlueTwelve Studio, a small team from the south of France, and will release on Steam and Playstation in early 2022.
Founded by former senior Battlefield developers, ARC Raiders is a free-to-play third-person sci-fi shooter game within a mechanized alien invasion. The game will focus on cooperation elements and allow players to improvise and use physics and surroundings to repel an alien invasion. ARC Raiders will come to Xbox Series X and Series S, Microsoft Windows, and PlayStation 5.
Developed by Intercept Games and published by Private Division, Kerbal Space Program 2 is a sequel to 2015's Kerbal Space Program, one of the most sophisticated space flight simulation games.
The sequel has gone through a significant redesign to meet the demands of next-generation space travel while staying true to the foundations of the first game beloved by many gamers. Kerbal Space Program 2 will allow players to build their space program, construct powerful spacecraft, build colonies in space, and discover far-away galaxies. In addition, the sequel heavily focuses on scientific aspects like the first part, making it a perfect example of hard science fiction in gaming.
Kerbal Space Program 2 will be released in 2022 for PC, Xbox Series X and Series S, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, and Xbox One.
A third installment in the franchise dating back to 1999, Homeworld 3 is a 3D real-time strategy in outer space. This sci-fi strategy game will let players assume control over a space fleet to face enemy attacks and control territories.
Homeworld 3 will feature a story folded into an extensive campaign mode. Its campaign takes place in a galaxy that has enjoyed an era of abundance thanks to the Hyperspace Gate Network, with peace and war cycles coming and going. But, unfortunately, the gates themselves are now failing catastrophically. Karan, who has fallen into myth and become a religious idol, is the key to unlocking the mystery that threatens the entire galaxy.
The players will engage in epic space battles both in solo and multiplayer modes. Homeworld 3 is set to release in Q4 2022 for PC.
We hope you enjoyed this article and found a sci-fi game to look for in 2022. Which game do you anticipate the most? Should we have included some other sci-fi games set to release in 2022? Let us know in the Hackernoon community!