Horror games are a niche genre of video games not recommended for the weak-hearted. They can take the form of psychological horror, paranormal horror, or just vanilla horror.
Interestingly, horror games were the highlight of the main showcase event of this year's Summer Games Fest.
It seemed like fans couldn't go ten minutes without some horror game taking the stage for a world premiere trailer. With so much dark footage to go through, lots of these titles might seem like the same experience if not for a closer look.
When looking through the various trailers, the subtle, or sometimes not so subtle, differences become evident.
Many returning developers and publishers have shown off their new games at this event, including Krafton, Bloober Team, and Lunar Software.
Note: This article reflects the writer's opinions.
These horror games took center stage during Summer Games Fest 2022
1) The Callisto Protocol
From the creator who brought people the original Dead Space video game, Glen Schofield, comes a new horror IP in the form of The Callisto Protocol. While this upcoming title got a new trailer during the PlayStation State of Play event a week back, this time around, there was some actual gameplay shown off along with some details by Schofield himself.
While this game was set to initially feature in the PUBG universe, as developer Striking Distance is under publisher Krafton, Schofield said this was a new IP. It is set in 2320 on one of Jupiter's moons, Callisto.
Players will play as a prisoner, Jacob Lee, in a prison known as Black Iron.
As an alien invasion starts engulfing the institute, Jacob must find a way to survive, fighting through horribly mutated humans. Users seemingly have access to a weapon that can chop off enemies' limbs while also having a telekinetic skill, possibly using a gadget.
This game seems to be heavily inspired by Dead Space and is set for a December 2, 2022 release date.
2) Fort Solis
If anyone ever wanted to hear Arthur Morgan duke it out with Joel from The Last of Us, Fort Solis should be on their list when it releases. Featuring the voice talents of Troy Baker, Roger Clarke, and Julia Brown, this horror title is set on Mars, focusing on a group of Space Settlers.
The trailer highlighted some quick shots of the base's interior, color graded in red lighting and driving home an overall feeling of unease. The brief glimpse of one character seemingly searching for something and then suddenly being grabbed from behind by another might point to the fact that this might be a psychological horror game.
Troy Baker and Roger Clarke did appear on stage to talk more about the game, including the fact that it would be a fast-paced thriller type of experience. Fort Solis is being developed by a newly formed studio known as Fallen Leaf and has no set release date yet.
This horror game was first announced in 2012 by publisher Raw Fury but has since gone cold. It has seemingly been reworked from the ground up by developer Lunar Software to deliver the original vision. While there is no release date, the brief trailer showcase looks promising.
It shows a first-person perspective, with the gameplay reminiscent of Alien: Isolation. The character silently navigates down a set of stairs only to discover the way forward barred by a robot. Another suddenly appears from behind and proceeds to presumably choke them to death.
The official synopsis for the title states that it is set inside an abandoned lunar base, set during an 80's rendition of the futuristic space travel era. Exploration is said to be the primary objective here, although that will probably change as the game receives more updates.
4) Layers of Fears
Layers of Fears is returning to consoles and PCs in a revamped remake of the two games in the series. It is getting the same treatment as Sonic Origins by bundling the two older titles into one cohesive narrative.
Dubbed what developer Bloober Team calls a "psychological horror chronicle," this remake is set to arrive for PS5, Xbox Series X/S, and PC.
Compiling Layers of Fear, the Inheritance DLC, with Layers of Fear 2, the remake is what makes Layers of Fears. The new horror game experience is being entirely rebuilt in Unreal Engine 5.
Set to introduce specific new elements to wrap the two games into one story cohesively, the developers describe it as "spine-chilling madness that extends over generations."
Bloober Team excels at delivering great horror experiences, especially psychedelic horror, so it's good to see them working on a remake introducing new elements instead of slapping a fresh coat of paint on an old game. Layers of Fears currently has a release window of early 2023.
5) Aliens: Dark Descent
Marines never seem to have a good time in the Alien franchise. As seen in the cinematic trailer for the upcoming game Aliens: Dark Descent, a group of marines get owned by numerous Xenomorphs, taking them apart one by one.
This was the reveal for the horror game, although the actual gameplay only managed to be glimpsed in the last two seconds or so.
From the brief look at the trailer ending, it looks like a squad-based top-down shooter, with a group of marines fending off a wave of Xenomorphs. Details for the title's actual genre and gameplay haven't yet been released, although it looks like a co-op or tactical game.
Developed by Tindalos Interactive, this game will arrive on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, and PC. A release date is yet to be announced, although 2023 is the target window for this horror game.
Note: This article reflects the author's views.
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