The horror video game genre is sometimes as tricky to navigate as its filmic equivalent. Indie games — some brilliant, some downright boring — flood the market, and the big-name releases like the latter-day Resident Evil games often fail to inspire. And sometimes the bright spots get snuffed out, as a game like Silent Hills gets cancelled and we all weep silently into our copies of P.T. — which you'll pry from our cold, dead hands, Konami.
But 2016 is looking pretty interesting when it comes to horror games, and it's less a worry about whether or not we're going to get anything half decent and more a wonder regarding which upcoming release is going to take the crown as the finest horror game of 2016.
Friday the 13th: The Game
This isn't the first time the world of the long running Friday the 13th franchise has attempted to be realized in the form of a video game, but it's looking to be the most mature and ambitious to date as Gun Media's Friday the 13th: The Game draws heavily from elements of the original '80s movie in a fresh take on horror.
Funded largely via Kickstarter, Friday the 13th: The Game is a third-person, multi-player, horror survival game which blends the predator/prey dynamic by allowing you to play as either one of a group of six Camp Crystal Lake counselors or the big bad Jason Voorhees himself.
Friday the 13th: The Game is completely multiplayer focused, but in this game you're really going to have to work together instead of pissing around and making jokes about each other's moms (you know who you are). The only way to survive Jason's murderous advances is to work together as a team. Or, you could take your chances trying to hide alone, but we've seen enough horror movies to know how that works out.
Friday the 13th is expected to land for PC, Xbox One, and PS4 in October of 2016. Check out the official website here.
First known as Doom 4, id Software and Bethesda Softworks's DOOM reboot is finally almost here, nearly a full 12 years after the last major installment in the series, Doom 3, and holy crap are we excited about this one. Video game technology has come a hell of a long way in the past decade, and seeing the blood-splattered monsters of our '90s nightmares rendered in eye-poppingly gruesome high definition surely is a sight to behold.
DOOM will encompass both single-player and multiplayer modes, and bases its key features upon "badass demons, big effing guns, and moving really fast." The single player campaign is expected to last at least 13 hours, and the multiplayer will feature four player Deathmatch, Domination, Warpath, Freeze Tag, and Clan Arena.
It wouldn't be a Doom game without a bunch of over-the-top weaponry, with the super shotgun and BFG 9000 making a return for DOOM. But it's not just classic weaponry that we'll see returning, as DOOM will feature the Revenant, Mancubus, and Cyberdemon from the original games — all returning with gloriously gory next-gen graphics.
DOOM is set to release for PC, Xbox One and PS4 on May 13, 2016. Check out the official website here.
Red Barrels's terrifyingly claustrophobic Outlast was the surprise horror hit of 2013, and this year ushers in the successor to the crown in the form of Outlast 2 — a shiny new survival horror which takes place in the same universe but features different locations and new characters.
Outlast 2 sees you taking on the role of one of two journalists investigating a small American Southwest town upon which an unnatural darkness has descended. It continues the 'no weapons' theme of Outlast by gifting you only with a video camera by which to navigate your way through the darkness. And of course, the video camera batteries have this nasty habit of dying, leaving you scrambling for batteries before your screen goes black.
There's a definite theme of religion gone wrong running through Outlast 2 (as you can probably tell from the teaser trailer above) and it all feeds into the paranoia of being trapped in an unknown town in an unknown darkness being pursued through cellars, schoolhouses, and cornfields by manic, butcher knife-wielding murders. Better start stocking up on those batteries.
Outlast 2 is set to release for PC, Xbox One and PS4 in Fall 2016. Check out the official website here.