In regards to games, horror games specifically, 2017 was a great year. Aside from some amazing indie releases like BENDY AND THE INK MACHINE, HELLY NEIGHBOR and CUPHEAD (that game is more unsettling than people give it credit for), the year saw some big horror releases from the larger companies as well. We got RESIDENT EVIL VII: BIOHAZARD, OUTLAST II and THE EVIL WITHIN 2.
Well, it looks like 2018 is going to give last year a run for its money in both big name releases and indie games. Here’s a list of just some of the games we are looking forward to this year as well as some indie honorable mentions and what we hope to see at E3 this summer. So what are we waiting for? Grab the console of your choice (or PC, I didn’t forget you) and let’s get to listing.
DAYS GONE: When I watched the extended game-play trailer last year at E3, I thought that this game was insane. It’s being developed by SIE Bend Studio with Sony Interactive Entertainment (using the Unreal Engine 4), meaning an exclusive PS4 release. As a Sony user myself, I’m just giddy. It is a third-person action-adventure survival horror game (say that three times fast) and the game-play is pretty intense. You play as Deacon St. John, voiced and motion captured by Samuel Witwer. While the survival aspect and beauty of the environment remind me in a far off way of THE LAST OF US, the action sequences are overwhelming. The zombies or “Freakers” come at you in a tsunami of speed and numbers. This game looks to be one to beat this year.
OVERKILL’S THE WALKING DEAD: It’s all about zombies in 2018. While it seems like WALKING DEAD games are done and overdone, this one stands out from the crowd, if only for its graphics. Just look at the realism! A four-person co-op horror FPS, this game is brought to you by the creators of PAYDAY, and to many, its games mechanics may seem familiar. Much like with DEAD ISLAND, each playable character has special abilities, play styles and roles in the group. The story is based in D.C. and shares the same universe as the WALKING DEAD we all know and love. It is set to release this fall and will be available for PC, PS4 and Xbox One.
AGONY: This one is the little indie game that could. Developed by Madmind Studio and published by PlayWay, it utilizes the Unreal Engine 4 as well. A first-person survival horror slated for a March 30th release date, it is the game from Hell…literally. You play as a Martyr condemned to Hell with the special ability to control other Martyrs’ and lesser demons’ minds. Not knowing anything of your past, you try to move through Hell without being caught. The premise is simple and the environments are all-encompassing. With a Kickstarter that earned above and beyond its goal, the overall feeling on this game so far is positive but be aware, because it’s Hell, the images are pretty disturbing.
SCORN: This game is an odd one because not much information is given about it purposefully. Developed by Ebb Software on the Unreal Engine 4 and published by Humble Bundle, this two-part game is a first-person shooter with an H.R. Geiger-esque twist. Players will enter this world as a skinless humanoid creature where everything is seemingly alive, even the weapons you use in the game. With a slimy bio-mech style, the environment in this game can make you feel uncomfortable. Each environment is different than the one before it as you move through the game and you are able to explore them in the order of your choosing. The first part is set for a PC only release this October.
STATE OF DECAY 2….Sort of: The reason I have this game on the list is simply for its following. After seeing the trailer at E3 2017, I was intensely disappointed in its quality in comparison to the competition. With other games like DAYS GONE and AGONY being developed on the same engine, the in-game graphics and movement still seem clunky and unimpressive. Maybe I’m being overly judgmental, but the disappointment is strong with this one. Developed by Undead Labs and published by none other than Microsoft, this will have an exclusive PC and Xbox One release sometime this year.
There are a few games tucked into 2018 with no official release date but deserve to be recognized. Games like DUSK, MOONS OF MADNESS AD INFINITUM, MADISON,LAST HILLS and please, God, let ALLISON ROAD get completed sometime in the near future. As the spiritual successor to P.T. (and SILENT HILLS), this game looks terrifying and has been long awaited by fans.
Even though E3 is six months away, fans and gamers already know what we want to see at the expo. We have high hopes that Naughty Dog will give us SOMETHING on THE LAST OF US 2 now that they have finished with UNCHARTED and can dedicate the whole team to the game. There are also whispers floating around that Bethesda might have a possible release in relation to FALLOUT. The hope among fans is for a new FALLOUT game, but a re-mastering of FALLOUT 3 or NEW VEGAS seems more in reality and would still be welcome news.
This year looks to be a good year for the horror gaming community with what we know will be released, but here’s hoping for a few surprises along the way.