It’s a golden era for horror games. During Sony’s State of Play presentation in June, fans learned that two highly anticipated games would be released within a four-month window: Resident Evil 4 and The Callisto Protocol. In early May, Electronic Arts announced that a remake of Empty room would also be released in this window. All of these games draw from the rich history of the genre; two are remakes, and The Callisto Protocol is made by some of the original teams behind the first Empty room. All three of these games are big-budget experiences that look genuinely terrifying, and it’s a great sign for a genre that hasn’t always gotten the attention and love it deserves – even if incredible indie games do dominate the genre keep pushing forward.
From those upcoming AAA horror games The Callisto Protocol is due first, with a December 2022 release date. From the trailer alone, the game looks terrifying, with stark environments and interesting weapons, like a gravity cannon called the Grip. Prisoner Jacob Lee is trapped in the lunar prison, and he’s now imprisoned with a bunch of humanoid-looking monsters called biophages bringing Empty room
Empty room will be released shortly thereafter in January 2023, looking like an upscaled and more detailed version of the original horror classic. Isaac Clarke is a ship systems engineer who responds to a distress signal from the USG Ishimura. Unfortunately, the ship is now full of dead humans and murderous Necromorphs, so Isaac must repurpose his industrial weapons to sever their limbs and try to survive. The game is notorious for its horrors, complemented by masterful sound and UI design. You see Isaac’s health bar through a tube on his back; when injured, his ragged breath rattles in his helmet.
The last of the bunch, the Resident Evil 4 Remake is slated for release on March 24, 2023 on PC, PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X, and new VR content has also been announced. We haven’t seen too much of the game, but the original is considered a classic for a reason. No longer a freshman, Leon S. Kennedy finds himself on a mission to rescue the President’s daughter in a remote European village, but things quickly spiral out of control when he encounters the murderous locals — and the conspiracy that leads to one old enemy.
The return of these classics is particularly exciting given the way the Resident Evil and Dead Space franchises briefly spiraled out of control in the early 2010s, slowly ditching the horror elements that defined those games in favor of increasingly frenetic and over-the-top action Experiences. By 2015, the Dead Space franchise went into hibernation, and Resident Evil dialed things back with 2017 Resident Evil 7
There’s something for everyone right now, even outside of single player experiences. Multiplayer horror games like Terrible hunger or Dead by daylight are also incredibly popular, and while they don’t have the same gravitas and painstaking storyline as a single-player game, they’re a fun way to experience chills and thrills with friends. Also, if you prefer cheesy pulp that offers spectacle alongside scares, The Dark Pictures Anthology and The Quarry
And if you’re tired of remakes or big-budget titles, there’s a plethora of fantastic indie horror games out there. Developers create small, memorable and innovative games like mirror layerswhich takes place in an apartment with a PC connected to other players giving hints, tips and useful tools. mouthaun is a Swiss expedition that goes terribly wrong with memorable, hand-drawn images. night owls lets the player take on the role of a courier who goes through an apartment and distributes mysterious tapes to disturbed residents.
If you’re not sure where to find these smaller titles, the Horror Games Community account on Twitter constantly flags finds like this. The account aims to be a celebration of all things horror, from big flagship titles to mysterious little gems. The account will also post screenshots and concept art from older titles, encouraging fans to discuss their favorites. If you’re weary from big-budget remakes, there’s a smorgasbord of smaller gems out there, ranging from the expression manipulator game who is purple to silta game that looks Inside but a thalassophobe’s nightmare.
It’s nice to be scared sometimes; There’s something comforting about staring into the abyss in a controlled environment. Horror fans have a great year ahead of them, but there’s also tons of recent material worth checking out. If anything, the biggest problem horror fans have is not having enough time to play all these great games. Unless you’re a Silent Hill fan; In this case, please press F to show respect.