13 Horror Games That Need a Remake
Above any other genre, horror is most likely to be serialized. Movies like Friday the 13th and Nightmare on Elm Street display an undying nature similar to their protagonists, only finally being put to rest after 7 sequels and a godawful modern remake drag them into the murky depths, sure to arise again someday when a movie producer casts the magical resurrection ritual of “incarnato dinero.”
Horror games often suffer a similar fate, with Resident Evil now on its 21st installment (25th if you count all the remakes), Silent Hill on its 10th, and Dead Space producing 6 different games, 2 comics, 2 movies, and 3 books in one console generation alone. It seems like the only thing that can kill a mainstream horror franchise is a shitty multiplayer sequel paired with a Phil Collins song.
However, every once in a while a game falls through the cracks. Whether it be from changing consumer interests in a shifting marketplace, developer bankruptcy, or sheer manifestation of the eternal will of Satan to keep us unhappy, some of our favorite titles never see the second installment or reimagining that they deserve. Given the release of two new and good horror titles this month, Alien: Isolation and The Evil Within, we here at Dread Central have decided to salute these new and hopefully long-lived franchises by pouring some out for 13 of our homies that ain’t with us no more. These titles hold a special place in our hearts as gems of an earlier era but might one day be brought back for another shot in the spotlight. “Nostalgio, Exploito!”
As this is meant to be a list recalling games of days gone by that deserve modern remakes, I will not be including anything on the list that saw an installment in console generation 7. Games are still in that awkward phase where they are coming out with versions for both old and new platforms, and many people haven’t found reason to join the ranks of us glorious all-console-owning masters of the universe. Though I thoroughly wish that titles like Clive Barker’s Jericho, Condemned, and Cursed Mountain continue on into generation 8, the fact is that I have stuff in my pantry older than those games. Not really what I’d call a gem of an earlier era.
Also, as a condition of my perpetual employment, my boss has required me to give a shout out to Zombies Ate My Neighbors, which I refused to put on this list because it is not actually a horror game. Given that it was developed by LucasArts, the closest we are likely to get to a remake is someone’s nostalgia map in Disney Infinity. Sorry, buddy.
13: Clive Barker’s Undying
Showing up Bioshock 6 years before it was released, Clive Barker’s Undying was an imaginative psychological thriller shooter that allowed you to use both spells and guns at the same time. Featuring custom death animations, imaginative puzzles, and the kind of mind-bending horror creatures and settings that only Clive Barker can concoct, Undying is a title that truly deserves better than the eternal cenobite damnation of Steam’s “classics” section. Anyone that’s tried to play Quake in a time where it can be booted up on a mid range graphing calculator can tell you that old shooters do not age well, and Undying has fallen victim to the curse of blocky textures and barren environments. It can be argued that Jericho was the spiritual successor and next step in a Clive Barker franchise, but Jericho fails to live up to its predecessor. Don’t get me wrong; I like Jericho better than I like most people, but Undying is a game where you kill a boss by removing its head, take it with you, and then light it on fire and throw it off a cliff when it won’t shut up. Lets all hope for a return to the good old days.
12: Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem
Best known for fucking with you, Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem is a game that fakes deleting your save file. Spanning over a thousand years of storytelling, it spins a yarn of inter-dimensional demons, ancient lost cities, and overlapping realities that takes three playthroughs to fully tell. Choosing a specific god to face for each run-through, whom you choose changes what type of enemies you will fight, which in turn dictates damage type and weaknesses. A game where there’s an entire class of enemy just designed to harm your sanity, running through the game for the first time is a bit like scouting for hookers. You never know exactly what’s real, and there’s a good chance it will make parts of you fall off. Each period feels different, and the array of period-specific weapons change how you play from era to era. A spiritual successor, Shadow of the Eternals, failed to Kickstart twice, probably due to equal parts it being a Wii U exclusive and the founder of Precursor Games being arrested for distributing child porn. Oh, Wii U and child porn, is there anything you cannot ruin?
11: In Memoriam/Missing: Since January
In Memoriam, released Stateside as Missing: Since January is part of a rare breed of “alternate reality games.” Almost a lost art outside of promotional events and those odd “find the thing at these coordinates” events that crazy people with way too much travel money take part in, ARGs blend the game world and the real world into one. The player must use outside resources to solve the puzzles, taking advantage of both websites specifically created for the game and generic real world domains. Characters in the game would email you, and the game truly becomes terrifying when the antagonist learns where you live. Never stooping so low as to jump out with pop scares, the game builds a slow and terrifying tension with nothing but disturbing imagery and the growing sense that someone is stalking you. The sequel, titled Evidence: The Last Ritual in the US, actually came in a little sealed evidence bag, which struck me as so badass that at a time when my juvenile brain could handle no thoughts beyond headshots and females, I bought it and played it all the way through. This is also what compelled me to buy Ichi the Killer so I guess one can’t always make decisions based on creativeness of packaging.