Gamers who love to be frightened, rejoice! This is an excellent time for horror games — after the disappointing transition of many our favorite classic horror-survival games to a more action-adventure feel (*cough*RE6*cough*), many indie developers are stepping up and showing us what it means again to be truly terrified. Here are ten horror games we’re looking forward to playing:
Amnesia- A Machine for Pigs (Frictional Games)- PC, Mac, Linux
The new survival horror game from the sociopaths who brought you Amnesia: The Dark Descent looks incredibly promising. Though the game is set in the same terrifying (and, as the screen shots have been proving, ridiculously dark) universe, it will feature several changes to the behavior of the AI, the environment, and a startling lack of inventory in order to keep fans of the game on their toes and their underwear continually soiled.
Slender: The Arrival (Blue Isle Studios)- PC, Mac
One of the few games on this list that’s actually out already, the folks at Blue Isle have expanded on the anxiety attack that was Slender: The Eight Pages and turned it into a full blown game with five chapters. That doesn’t mean you get anything more than the paltry flashlight and ability to jog, though, so if you like your survival horror with an emphasis on survival, this is going to be one to play through.
The Evil Within (Bethesda)- PC, PS3, PS4, XBOX 360
Bethesda’s newest monstrosity, created by Resident Evil mastermind Shinji Mikami, is one of the most anticipated horror games expected to be out in the next year. Mikami is seemingly returning to his roots on this one and really punching up the horror aspect, as the last few Resident Evil games left a lot to be desired in that department. The main character in The Evil Within is a detective thrown into a world of gruesome monsters, and instead of the standard guns/bazooka/melee that you’d expect in a game like this, you’ll be relying on using traps and your surroundings to defeat enemies.
Outlast (Red Barrels)- PC
New studio Red Barrels has cited Amnesia as part of its inspiration for the game Outlast, a primarily stealth-driven first-person which aims to put you in the shoes of one very doomed independent journalist armed only with his camera. Taking cues from Fatal Frame and Rec, Outlast stands by the sentiment that monsters always look creepiest behind the dim glow of a camera screen.
Daylight (Zombie Studios)- PC
From indie developers Zombie Studios comes Daylight, a game that’s meant to be played in 30 minutes or less but has endless replay value due to randomly generated settings and AI. You play as a female protagonist who wakes up in an abandoned institution riddled with phantoms and must use the messages that show up on her phone to decipher the criminal past of the hospital and attempt an escape.
Asylum (Senscape)- PC, Mac, Linux
Senscape’s Kickstarter-funded Asylum is a psychological point-and-click adventure thriller that takes place in (where else but) an insane asylum with a mysterious ghoul infestation. It’s the player’s job to navigate corridors and rooms filled with Lovecraftian creatures, and, judging by the teasers and screenshots that have been released, the graphics look pretty stellar. Unfortunately, there’s not a lot of content to be seen as of yet, but if you’re looking to get a fix, you can always head over to the website and check out the demo.
Dreadout (Digital Happiness)- PC, Mac, Linux
Another Fatal Frame-inspired survival horror, the teen lead in this third-person ghost story utilizes her modern tech gadgets to capture ghosts. What makes Dreadout unique is the Indonesian twist on the setting and mythical haunts, and if you can’t wait to see what the folks at Digital Happiness have in store for the full version, you can check out the demo on the web site.
Memory of a Broken Dimension (XRA)- PC, Mac
Easily the most avant garde game on the list, Memory of a Broken Dimension is an atmospheric assault on the senses brought to you by Ezra Hansen-White. Though it’s only in demo mode right now, you can play it for free and it comes highly recommended; the static and glitch world is so disorienting it feels like a whole different kind of horror game.
Until Dawn (Sony Computer Entertainment) PS3
Fans of the teen slasher genre will get a kick out of this raunchy horror adventure, which cleverly utilizes the PlayStation move as a flashlight. In the classic horror setting of adolescents in the woods just trying to get it on, PS3 gamers will be able to dodge fearsome killers in what’s sure to be a fun game to play with friends.
Routine (Lunar Software)- PC
Separate from monsters, ghosts, zombies and murderers, Routine sets out to capture a different kind of fear- the kind you experience while alone in space. Players explore an abandoned moon base in this first-person sci fi horror in order to discover the dismal fate of the rest of the ship’s crew. There’s a real emphasis on the environment in Routine, as traps and hazards are frequent and randomized — oh, and there’s a little thing called “perma death,” which means no health packs, no extra lives, and the story reboots if you happen to die. Talk about high tension.
Did we miss any horror games you’re looking forward to in the coming year? Let us know in the comments below!