2017 for the most part has been filled with some fantastic games, and horror has really taken genre-related strides this year. Friday the 13th, Dead by Daylight, Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice, Resident Evil 7: Biohazard, Little Nightmares, PREY, and the recently released The Evil Within 2 are all contenders for the best horror games of the year. So it’s only natural that we start to look ahead to 2018, now that the twilight of the fall is resting upon us. Thankfully the next calendar year is already looking bright, with a multitude of remasters, reboots, and original works that are shaping up to be nothing short of great games.
5) Allison Road
When Konami canceled the project that would have become Silent Hills by Hideo Kojima, the community despaired. The loss of Silent Hill‘s P.T was a grave blow to anyone with a vested interest in unique horror experiences, because P.T was cryptic, atmospheric, and completely unnerving to play. Even though the vast majority of players never saw the “ending” that Kojima, and his team created, it stands as a monument to what could have been if Konami hadn’t canceled the game unexpectedly.
Allison Road, currently in development by Far From Home, is looking like the game that P.T could have been. You take control of a nameless protagonist awakening in a strange, empty house where the clock is always resetting to 3AM. Even though the game is still in pre-alpha, the initial screenshots, and gameplay footage are highly promising. While it might not be as masterful as P.T, because Hideo Kojima is a man whose style cannot be easily copied, it will likely fill the space in many fans hearts that Silent Hills could have.
Release Date: TBA
4) Call of Cthulhu
Created after the pen-and-paper RPG system of the same name by Chaosium, Call of Cthulhu is set to be the most intriguing horror-thriller of 2018. Since the inception of the Lovecraftian mythos many publishers, and developers have created titles based on the haunting short works of H.P Lovecraft. Many are text-based games, with players actively typing what happens next in their story, and some are shorter games – like ‘The Terrible Old Man’ – but none are quite like Call of Cthulhu in their size, or splendor.
The E3 trailer that dropped this year best details what the final product will look like, and indeed how it’ll play. From the descriptions alone, it sounds like a cross between Amnesia: The Dark Descent, and The Vanishing of Ethan Carter, with a heavy focus on blurring player perceptions of reality, and making you think about puzzles. Best of all however, is the sheer amount of effort that the developers, Cyanide Studios, seem to have invested in the world as the player investigates the mysterious death of Sarah Hawkins.
Release Date: Fall 2018
3) System Shock: Remastered
System Shock is the godfather of science-fiction FPS video games. From BioShock to PREY they must all bow their heads to the game that, when released in 1994, was pushing the boundaries of what technology could do. Not only was it a masterpiece in writing, it was enthralling to play, and keeps drawing back players even after twenty-three years. It should come as no surprise then, that someone would want to recreate the mastery that inspired so many other titles.
Nightdive Studios, the original developers of the first game, held a Kickstarter campaign in June of 2016 that became one of the most successful ever. Their official website currents boasts that they’ve raised $1.35 million towards the creation of the game, alongside an additional $77,000 from Backerkit. If the team is true to the mood of the original like they seem to in their trailers, while adding fresh modern twists we’ve come to see in the best titles recently, then this could be one of the best titles of 2018.
Release Date: Summer 2018
Blasphemous sent waves through Kickstarter when it erupted onto the pledge front page, not only because it promises brutally dark, hack n’ slash combat that demands perfection, but because the footage of the gameplay was gorgeous. Every single part of this game, made by the same team who created The Last Door, is handcrafted in pixel art. As a 2D side-scroller, Blasphemous is shaping up to be one of those ‘must-have’ titles that people sometimes talk about too much. But the reputation this game seems to command is well worth it, because every inch of the footage is soaked, not only in the gore of your enemies, but in a mire of love, and care.
Even though the Kickstarter trailer is the only trailer available at the moment, it neatly details everything you, as the player, need to know before jumping into this world. The Penitent One, the thorned warrior you take control of, is now devoted to cutting their way through the land of Orthodoxia, a land plagued by a twisted religion. Seemingly only your thorned sword, and skill can purge these lands. And the purging looks incredibly fun right about now.
Release Date: Winter 2018
If the legendary H.R Giger were still alive, he would have likely shuddered with excitement after seeing the release trailers for Scorn, by Ebb Software. The trailers depict an alien world, not just in the sense that it’s not earth, but in the sense that everything looks eerily alive in some strange way. Every asset in Scorn looks like it might rise up, and try to nibble your ankles for lunch. Inspired heavily by the works of the aforementioned H.R Giger, as well as Alien, and DOOM, this horror-based FPS title is set to make everyone feel just a touch more uncomfortable as they venture through a planet that feels alive – literally. Everything looks fleshy, and raw.
It creates this bizarre aesthetic that is as beautiful as it is disgusting. In the gameplay specifically, the demo shows off two weapons that both sound like they’re living, breathing creatures when fired. Putting aside the fact that body horror, or at the very least shock horror, is meant to unnerve you here, Scorn looks incredibly smooth for a game created by a team only twenty-five people strong. Definitely one to keep an eye on if you’re a fan of explorative shooters with horror themes; especially so if you love Giger’s works.
Release Date (episode one): Spring 2018