2021 has been a good year to be a PC gamer. A host of new releases scattered through 2020 have given gamers a wealth of choice and a lot of genuinely quality experiences. Most notable amongst those titles have been the additions to several much-loved series. It’s always a game of chance with sequels and prequels, especially when their predecessors set incredibly high bars.
Assassin’s Creed, Doom, and Hitman all gained new additions to their series – and all hit home. Doom Eternal was able to outshine the 2016 reboot of the original with a heart-pounding immersion, Hitman 3 was a release that challenged its players to test the sandbox environment to its limits, and Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla was able to reinvent the franchise in a lot of ways. Several titles previous in each of those franchises have failed to inspire the same reverence (we won’t name names), but when they get it right – they really get it right. In that same vein, let’s take a look at some of the upcoming series on the horizon – and if they can capture their fans’ hearts and leave them wanting more.
Studio Wildcard’s Ark: Survival Evolved – an intense action-adventure survival game, featuring a host of dinosaurs and mythical beasts was a solid release, although didn’t necessarily set the world alight. The general consensus was that when the game was good, it was great fun. However, it was often bogged down in menial crafting tasks or unintelligent enemy AI’s held it back. Ark 2, scheduled for 2022 is a game designed with Vin Diesel as “President of Creative Convergence” at Studio Wildcard’s offices. It’s the same concept as before, but hopefully with fixes in all the right places. If they can channel all the fun aspects of Ark 1 into the sequel, there’s no doubt that gamers will flock to purchase the new release.
Getting a clear release date for a hotly-anticipated game can be like trying to predict the weather in a years’ time. Deadlines change or get pushed back all the time. Often, it’s a good thing, because rushing development can be highly damaging to the end result. The Diablo 4 release date is one of those elusive pieces of information. Based on the promotional material we do have, it’s likely to be a darker, more visceral, and sinister depiction of Diablo’s fictional world, Sanctuary. Certainly, Diablo’s dungeon crawler genre would be all the better for leaning into that darker tone, particularly in light of Diablo’s more breezy landscapes and lighter palettes that some fans of the series found somewhat less fitting. With the potential to be released in 2022, 2023, or even later, fans will be hungry for news on this much-loved series’ new installment.
Far Cry 6
The Far Cry series is an institution in itself, one of the first-person shooter series that really captured the hearts of video game fans, from its initial obscure first release, it’s become a series that Ubisoft can rely on to hit home with each installment. Far Cry 6 was initially planned for February 2021, however, has now been pushed to no later than March 2022. Set on a fictional Caribbean island, and starring Giancarlo Esposito, of Breaking Bad fame, the game’s plot revolves around a young revolutionary caught in a civil war on the island – fighting to restore the peace once lost there. Far Cry’s open-world has always been a lot of fun, and if Ubisoft can reinvent that freedom for PCs and next-gen consoles, they could have a real hit on their hands.
A great series can make or break a game studio and the three upcoming releases listed above are all installments to series that have built up extensive numbers of dedicated fans, reams of additional lore, and generated a lot of money over the years. While exact release dates are never easy to pin down, the teasers we’ve been able to see already would suggest the PC gaming world is in for quite a year of fun.