2021 is quickly coming to a close, and what a year it’s been! Even though the days of Smash Bros. character reveals are over, Nintendo still has a few aces up its sleeve with a handful of much-anticipated first party games coming next year.
While our list below only contains everything we know so far, chances are Nintendo will have a few more surprises to reveal for the new year before you know it. So, without further ado, here are the first party games coming to Nintendo Switch in 2022!
Pokémon Legends: Arceus
Release Date: January 28th, 2022
On the heels of Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl’s announcement, a brand-new Pokémon adventure was revealed. Though there’ll be familiar and modern elements for sure when it comes to gameplay, this game is doing something unique for the series’ world — it’s taking us to the past.
Pokémon Legends: Arceus will take place in the Sinnoh region, but back before it was fully settled. Based on the Hokkaido region of Japan, elements of the indigenous Ainu people are being worked into designs and aspects of the game.
Check out our extensive coverage of Pokémon Legends: Arceus right here.
Kirby and the Forgotten Land
Release Date: Spring 2022
After making an early appearance on Nintendo Japan’s site, we now have confirmation for the next Kirby game. Titled Kirby and the Forgotten Land, it’ll mark the pink puffball’s first foray into a full 3D adventure.
Familiar techniques and copy abilities were shown on what appears to be a desolate urban environment on an island. What mysteries will unfold for Kirby in the Forgotten Land? We’ll have to wait until Spring 2022 to find out!
Release Date: TBA 2022
Splatoon 3 made quite the splash during the most recent Nintendo Direct, showing off both its trademark multiplayer gameplay and its (if tradition holds, surprisingly robust) single-player story. That adventure, titled “Return of the Mammalians,” seems to be centered around fuzzy fiends that are encroaching on Splatsville, the game’s new hub location. Gaze upon a hairy Octarian and be afraid!
It isn’t all strangeness and split-ends though, as some familiar faces appeared, too! The Squid Sisters and Cap’n Cuttlefish are back and ready to lead the charge against this new threat, along with their newest recruit to take on the mantle of Agent 3. The Squidbeak Splatoon will likely have their work cut out for them, but a little help from a Smallfry might be just what they need.
Check out all of our Splatoon 3 coverage right here!
Release Date: TBA 2022
After a debut way back when in 2017, Bayonetta 3 was announced with naught but a purple-hued teaser. Now, as part of the most recent Nintendo Direct, it’s yet again time to dance. Bayonetta 3 closed out the broadcast and it delivered all you’d expect from the stylish action series and its scintillating lead.
Beyond the gameplay and spectacle, which are looking up to the series’ high standards, we also have our first look at Bayonetta’s new design and a cameo from Astral Chain’s lovable mascot, Lappy. Other familiar elements, like massive summoned demons and enemy executions, are back and looking more over-the-top than ever — par for the course from PlatinumGames.
It’ll finally be Witch Time when Bayonetta 3 comes to Switch sometime in 2022.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2
Release Date: TBA 2022
We rightly guessed Nintendo would close the recent Nintendo Direct with the highly anticipated next installment in The Legend of Zelda series, but it was no less joyous to finally see it again after all this time. The new teaser has a ton of details to unpack, including new areas, enemies, and abilities. The video opens with the eerie red tendrils that should be familiar to Breath of the Wild players, as the poisonous Malice substance appears to envelope Link’s right arm. There’s also a quick flash of the mummified creature from the original 2019 teaser trailer (thought by many fans to be a resurrected Ganondorf), before Princess Zelda is seen plummeting into a dark pit.
After its dark opening, the trailer brightens up with Link soaring through the clouds, Skyward Sword-style. The skies appear to be play a very thematic role in the new title, as Link’s trusty Paraglider also returns to help him navigate a series of floating islands. It could very well be the case that Skyward Sword’s 2021 release was very much intentional, as the new installment appears to be inspired by it, and may even have ties to it.
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