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Lots of Cold War Games Coming in 2022 and Beyond

WARNO

There aren’t many decades like the 1980s when it comes to pure nostalgia bait. Pop culture has long exploited ’80s nostalgia, and it’s easy to see why. Even people who didn’t grow up in the ’80s seem to be fascinated with the decade’s culture: Mix tapes, arcade cabinets, neon lights, bright clothes, absurd action movies, and the ever-looming threat of nuclear annihilation. It makes sense there’s war games set in the 80s, and thus there are a lot of Cold War games coming in 2022.

What I’m getting at is that I noticed an interesting trend while researching 2022’s upcoming game releases. There are A LOT of Cold War games coming in 2022 and beyond. More specifically, there are a lot of Cold War-themed video games set in the ’80s coming our way.

It’s time to pick a cool high school football team name to shout as a battle cry, because the Cold War is turning hot again in 2022.


I.G.I. Origins
Developer: Antimatter Games
Publisher: Toadman Interactive
Platform: Windows PC
Release Date: TBA 2022

I.G.I. Origins

The cult hit I.G.I. series is getting a reboot this year with I.G.I. Origins. Unsurprisingly, Origins is a prequel to the previous games, and will delve into the creation of the IGI organization in the 1980s. You play as Michael King, an ex-SAS operator that has been recruited by MI6 for covert operations across the globe. As Michael, you’ll be tasked with infiltrating all kinds of top-secret facilities and terrorist hideouts on a mission to prevent war between the superpowers.

’83
Developer: Antimatter Games
Publisher: Toadman Interactive
Platform: Windows PC
Release Date: TBA 2022

'83

Antimatter Games seems to have really latched on to the 1980s, because they have a new tactical multiplayer shooter called ’83 coming this year as well. ’83 is essentially the follow-up to 2017’s Rising Storm 2: Vietnam. Like the Rising Storm series, ’83 is a team-focused tactical shooter that places a large emphasis on realism. Fight throughout Europe in a theoretical war between NATO and the Soviet Union, using a wide range of authentic weapons and vehicles from the early 1980s.

Gunner, HEAT, PC!
Developer: Radian Simulations LLC
Platform: Windows PC
Release Date: Summer 2022

Gunner, HEAT, PC!

Gunner, HEAT, PC! is a love letter to the classic tank combat sims that were popular on PC back in the ’90s and early ’00s. The game hopes to blend hardcore sim mechanics like realistic ballistics and damage models with modern controls that are easy to learn and understand. You’ll be able to control a variety of authentic NATO and Soviet tanks, though the game isn’t strictly limited to the Cold War. Gunner, HEAT, PC! will feature a full single player campaign, skirmish maps, and co-op multiplayer.

Tiny Combat Arena
Developer: Why485
Publisher: MicroProse Software
Platform: Windows PC
Release Date: February 2022 (Early Access)

Tiny Combat Arena

Tiny Combat Arena is a sim-lite air combat game set during the Cold War. The game features a retro-inspired low resolution art style designed to emulate classic PC fight sims from the ’90s. Much like Gunner, HEAT, PC!, Tiny Combat Arena seeks to strike a balance between hardcore sim and accessible flight combat game. Fly a variety of authentic aircraft as you engage in high-speed dogfights, bombing runs, and fly air support for columns of allied armored vehicles.

Regiments
Developer: Bird’s Eye Games
Publisher: MicroProse Software
Platform: Windows PC
Release Date: TBA 2022

Regiments

Also published by MicroProse this year is Regiments, a real-time tactics wargame set in Europe in 1989. Lead platoons of infantry, armored vehicles, and helicopters across the central Europe as the United States, West Germany, Soviet Union, or East Germany. The game’s mechanics are built around a Task Force system, where you can call in additional platoons as reinforcements throughout a battle. Each of these task forces have their own specific selection of units and support options, such as artillery barrages and bombing runs.

Sea Power: Naval Combat in the Missile Age
Developer: Triassic Games AB
Publisher: MicroProse Software
Platform: Windows PC
Release Date: TBA 2022

Sea Power : Naval Combat in the Missile Age

Rounding out MicroProse’s offering of Cold War strategy games is Sea Power: Naval Combat in the Missile Age. This upcoming naval strategy games is created by the lead designer of 2017’s Cold Waters, which was itself a spiritual successor to MicroProse’s own Red Storm Rising from 1988. Command fleets of authentic NATO and Soviet warships in fictional Cold War conflicts inspired by real events from the ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s.

WARNO
Developer: Eugen Systems 
Platform: Windows PC
Release Date: January 20th (Early Access)

WARNO

WARNO – Warning Order – is the spiritual successor to Eugen Systems’ beloved Wargame series. Command over 600 authentic units and vehicles from the United States, West Germany, France, United Kingdom, Soviet Union, and East Germany. Much like the Wargame and Steel Division series, WARNO is focused primarily on large scale competitive multiplayer, with battles supporting up to 10v10 players. WARNO will also offer plenty of single player content as well, including multiple campaigns and challenge scenarios.

Xenonauts 2
Developer: Goldhawk Interactive 
Platform: Windows PC
Release Date: TBA (Early Access)

Xenonauts 2

Finally, we come to Xenonauts 2, a strategy game that takes a bit of a different approach to the Cold War than the other games on this list. The original Xenonauts was created as a spiritual successor to the original X-Com, and was in development long before the Firaxis game was announced. You’ll once again lead an international task force fighting off an alien invasion of Earth, but Xenonauts 2 will have a wide range of improvements and reworked mechanics based on feedback from the original game.


Which of these upcoming Cold War-themed games are you most excited about?

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Niche Gamer’s resident indie expert. Digs through the Steam new releases so you don’t have to. Massive fan of miniature and board games as well.