Horror gaming has been on the up and up lately, as many upcoming games prove. We all love zombies, right? So surely we won’t be bored of zombie games by now, right? Right? Well, the key to keeping anything from becoming stale is to innovate as much as possible, something that the first Dead Island promised to do with its awesome cinematic trailer and a promise of new style, open world zombie action.
Too bad it ended up being a bug-ridden mess, and the two spinoffs, Escape Dead Island and Dead Island: Riptide, weren’t much better. For the sequel, publisher Deep Silver has wisely opted not to go with Techland, the developer of the first game, instead handing the keys to Yager Development, known for the acclaimed Spec Ops: The Line, so hopefully, fourth time lucky, we may actually have a Dead Island game worth playing.
Speaking of innovation, Sony’s Until Dawn is certainly trying to be new. Eight friends spending the night in a cabin and being stalked by a killer sounds more like the plot of a slasher movie. How it will translate to the video game medium remains to be seen, but this is certainly one to watch.
Another one to watch is Call of Cthulhu, from Frogwares, known for the point and click Sherlock Holmes games. Known for trying to place the player into an immersive detective environment rather than relying on action, this could re-create the creepiness that made Lovecraft’s story so powerful. Too bad he never profited from it and was unknown and impoverished at the time of bis death…
Several titles more focused on action are also on the horizon. Scalebound, featuring a reboot Dante look-alike as the protagonist, is coming from Platinum Games, who are quickly earning a reputation as one of the top developers of fast-paced, over-the0top action games in the world. The plot follows a young man and a dragon with which he forms an inseparable bond in a land filled with evil creatures that want to spread death and destruction. Think How to Train Your Dragon with more bloodshed. And how rare it is to see a Japanese developer making an Xbox exclusive, as Microsoft’s consoles never took off over there, sometimes selling only around 900 units a month.
Another title focused heavily on action is Rise of the Tomb Raider. Terry Pratchett’s daughter, Rihanna, returns to script the second outing of the rebooted series, which sees Lara Croft searching Siberia for the lost city of Kitezh whilst being hunted by Trinity, an organization obsessed with the supernatural. Still no word on what kind of creatures Croft will encounter, but if we have anything as awesome as the Stormguard from the previous game, then most horror fans will be hooked. Unless they own a PlayStation rather than an Xbox. Thank you for buying the publishing rights, Microsoft. Like there aren’t already enough Xbox exclusives.
But hey, PlayStation also has some cool exclusives of its own. Along with Until Dawn, Sony will also be publishing Horizon: Zero Dawn, set in a post-apocalyptic world where giant robots have taken over and the few remaining humans are forced to hide like rats underground. Hell, Guerrilla Games are probably just relieved to be working on something other than yet another Killzone sequel.
Speaking of post-apocalyptic games, the mother of them all, Fallout, is making a comeback. The long-awaited Fallout 4 will launch this year. Featuring a fully voiced protagonist, a first for a Bethesda RPG, and an unkillable (no heartbreaking moments here) canine companion, this could very well be the defining RPG of the generation.
Well, that is, if it isn’t bested by Dark Souls 3, announced at E3. Having just finished work on Bloodborne, Hidetaka Miyazaki returns to direct the third installment in his gruelingly difficult fantasy RPG series. Let’s just hope it ends up being rated M unlike the second installment. And even if it does end up being superior to Fallout 4, Bethesda also have Dishonored 2 and the Doom reboot to keep horror fans happy.
Another key publisher with some titles that will interest horror fans is Nintendo. While they have always allowed other publishers to release M-rated games on their consoles, they have famously been hesitant to publish M-rated games themselves in the past, only releasing a small handful. With the release of the Wii U, they finally relaxed that policy, having already published Bayonetta 2 and the port of the first game and Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge.
They will release Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water in the US later this year, something that many people doubted that they would do as the previous game, Mask of the Lunar Eclipse, was never released outside Japan despite being directed by the acclaimed Goichi Suda. The series features ghosts, suicide, and all-around creepiness, the complete opposite of Devil’s Third, which will also be published by Nintendo and directed by Dead or Alive and Ninja Gaiden veteran Tomonobu Itagaki, which depicts a global war erupting, with the player being thrown into brutal fast-paced combat. Please don’t stop publishing M-rated games, Nintendo.
With the release of Fury Road, who can forget Mad Max? After making the gigantic open world Just Cause 2, developer Avalanche Studios is finally giving everyone’s favorite wandering hero the game that he deserves. Have a look at the trailer below, and see for yourself if it captures that Fury Road badassery.
By the way since we’re speaking of badassery, have a look at the trailer for Total War Warhammer for an overload of awesomeness.
Lastly, to end on a light note, the new Godzilla game, released in Japan last year, will be coming to the US next month. Not long to wait before destroying the world’s major cities becomes a possibility.
So tell us, what are you looking forward to?