It’s that time of year again – the holiday season is over, the festivities that come with it have concluded and inevitably we turn our attention to the new year and what we hope to see or accomplish before December is upon us again. And if you’re a gamer – which, naturally, I’ll assume you are – you’ve already started thinking about what video game releases you’re looking forward to (hopefully) being released this year.
Being the horror nut I am, I have a handful of games of the genre I’m eagerly anticipating in 2016 and while I could go on at lengths about multiple titles I’m excited for, I ultimately decided to keep it as snappy as I could in the form of a typical “top ten” list. Mind you, this doesn’t take into account all the other titles from other genres, because nobody has time to read an article that long, trust me. Without further ado, may I present…
10. Layers of Fear (Release Date: 16th February, 2016.)
I wrote an article a few months ago about the early access release of this little gem. It centres around an insane painter as the narrative reflects his twisted psyche in the form of a sinister house with ever changing rooms and hallways. It’s early access is on both Steam and Xbox One, with a full release for those platforms along with Playstation 4 slated for February 16.
9. The Peterson Case (Release Date: TBA)
An alien horror title inspired by the movie Signs and various other alien abduction stories, The Peterson Case is a PC and Xbox One game about a detective exploring an abandoned home in search of clues to try and discover what happened to the Peterson family. Oh, and it’s set in 1947 near the Roswell UFO incident so you can see where this is going. With VR capability, randomised home and evidence to make each playthrough unique, this title is definitely one to keep an eye on if you’re a fan of Sci-Fi horror, a la Alien: Isolation and SOMA.
8. Night Terrors (Release Date: June 2016 – Not set in stone)
A unique mobile horror experience, this augmented reality game developed by Novum Analytics makes the player’s location into the setting for the game. It will utilise the player’s mobile camera, screen and flashlight to deliver a creepy home movie experience, in your own home. It won’t use traditional 3D modelling for its spooks and ghouls, choosing to use physical effects to make the monsters – and scares – more believable. Not much is known about the story at this time, beyond the premise being to brave the ghosts and save a girl trapped in the realm of the supernatural.
7. DOOM (Release Date: Q1-2 2016)
DOOM is officially back in its brand spanking new fourth instalment! Freaky demons, big fucking guns and intense action is to be expected, according to Bethesda. Featuring both single player and multiplayer campaigns, with many classic weapons returning including the super shotgun and the BFG 9000. Chainsaws can also be used to cut enemies in half, and weapons can be freely shared among players in the multiplayer section. It’s going to be awesome.
6. Last Year (Release Date: November 2016)
Currently being made as a PC exclusive with no development plans for console as of yet, this game promises to be a classic horror set up, a la Cabin in the Woods and Until Dawn. The premise is simple – the game will pit a group of stereotypical teenagers with an allotted set of unique skills against a customisable homicidal maniac hellbent on murdering these kids. Each character’s skills and attributed will contribute to the party’s survival, such as healing skill or brute force. A unique feature in this multiplayer title is that a player can take control of the killer and use invisibility if they aren’t in sight of the other players and set epic jump scare ambushes. The game will feature multiple locations, including a summer camp, high school, suburbs and a shopping mall.
5. The Dark Inside Me (Release Date: TBA)
What the devs have shared of The Dark Inside Me’s development so far has looked to be reminiscent of old school Silent Hill with a blend of the cult hit The Cat Lady and its sequel Downfall. Promising disturbing gore, sex and intense violence, this 2D third person point and click horror drama looks like it’s going to be incredibly intense and engrossing. The description on the Steam page states that you begin the game awaking in a hospital bed, handcuffed and listening to two detectives discuss your current circumstances. They mention how they’re surprised you’re alive, and wonder if you would’ve been better off if you hadn’t survived what happened to you. The aim of the game is to reflect the player’s personality and morality through tough decisions, seeing how far they can push your limits. Every scene and action is ultimately up to the player and the decisions he or she will make.
4. Resident Evil 0 HD (Already Out!)
Joining the Gamecube remake of the original Resident Evil game in getting a remaster for PS4, Xbox One and PC. The original RE0 first came out in 2002, also on GameCube, and serves as a prequel to the first game. It’s a third person survival horror with fixed camera angles, classic clunky combat, a limited inventory system and complex puzzles. An obvious pick up if you’re a fan of the popular series, but also a decent starting point if you’re new to the series and looking to get into it. It does contain some obvious spoilers for the REmake and later titles, though.
3. Allison Road (Release Date: Q4 2016)
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: this first person P.T. inspired title will be the rebirth of survival horror. It will delve into what the cancelled Silent Hills game promised to be. Based in an English townhouse and taking place over the course of five nights, the player slips into the shoes of the protagonist whose objective is to discover the whereabouts of his family, unravel the mysteries of the house and face off against the ominous “Lily” apparition and other dark entities nestled in the house’s alabaster walls. I was among the countless other people who were terribly disappointed by the cancellation of Silent Hills and I admire the fan effort in attempting to bring a similar experience to life. Set for release on PC, PS4 and Xbox One.
2. Friday the 13th (Release Date: October 2016)
As the title of the game suggests, this promising title will be based on the Friday the 13th franchise, featuring both a single and multiplayer campaign. The multiplayer aspect will feature a similar set up to Last Year – a 1v6, predator-prey hunt between young adults and the silent and lumbering Jason Voorhees around Camp Crystal Lake. The single player campaign will involve the player controlling a camp counsellor trying to survive the night being pursued by Jason. Alternatively, you can opt to play as Jason, complete with customisation options from his various appearances in previous F13 titles, and make it your mission to murder everybody! I’m a huge fan of this movie franchise and I can’t wait to get my hands on this. Also set for release on PC, PS4 and Xbox One.
1. Outlast II (Release Date: Q4 2016)
To anyone who knows me, this is the opposite of a surprise. I talk about how excited I am for the Outlast sequel at every opportunity I can. I even wrote an article about what I want from the game and I stand by what I wrote, but I have the utmost faith that Red Barrels will deliver. It will maintain connection to the first game, but feature a new setting, story and characters. From the teaser trailer and stills that’ve been released so far, the game appears to take place on a farm in the deep south of America, with heavy religious emphasis and a potential female antagonist. Running through creepy cornfields and past burning crosses while avoiding a crazy hoe-wielding lady? Sign me up!
…Is the game out yet?