The horror genre is one of the most immersive forms of entertainment, in both movies and video gaming. That’s because when directors and developers get things right, both mediums are capable of creating an atmosphere of absolute fear, and within seconds they can make you jump out of your skin.
In film, the viewer is passive as they watch the events unfold on screen, while in gaming the player is thrust into the heart of the scary tale, being left with the responsibility for the fate of the in-game character. It’s the extra layer of control that led experts at Medium to say it elevates the experience to be more terrifying than anything seen on screen because the player is an active element in the story unfolding. Simply put, nothing happens without forwarding movement down that creepy, dimly lit hallway, so the player is lured in to discover what might be hiding ahead.
It’s an element which has seen tens of millions of gamers flock to now-familiar names such as the Resident Evil series, which is now spread over 25 games on various platforms. Outlast ramped up the scares further on consoles, with its first-person view adding another layer of terror amidst the gruesome, demonic scenes and theming. The horror theme also extends to other platforms, with a range of online slots from Coral featuring titles like The Walking Dead and Undead Rich, where players have to fight off hordes of Zombies. Mobile gamers can get a piece of the heart thumping genre, too, as Evil Nun: Horror in the School is petrifying. The seemingly innocent religious character turns from someone living a life of solace into one hell-bent on sending you to an early grave. All in all, horror is a genre which has so much life (or not in the case of the undead) breathing through it that there are always new games in the offing waiting to frighten players, and as 2022 promises to be one of the best years for the genre, we’ve compiled a list of games you need to look out for before the turn of the year below.
Evil Next Door
Evil Next Door takes place in the town of Ensk, where an epidemic has caused many of its inhabitants to turn into blood loving lunatics. The town has been cordoned off to the outside world, and a shoot on sight order put in place, leaving the remaining residents not bitten by the bug fending for themselves. In the game, you take control of a group of those people stuck in a shelter, and as each one of them has unique abilities, it means you have to jump between them to get past the various challenges that lie ahead to help them survive. In another twist, Evil Next Door is an online game, there are other players who are also trying to survive the going horror, which adds an unpredictable variant to the action. Will you choose to help or hinder them in their quest?
The Outlast Trials
This is a spinoff of the original scary title, and for those keeping tabs, it’s the third Outlast game that will have been released, although it’s the first foray into multiplayer action for the series made by Red Barrels. While it may seem advantageous to have allies to take on the terrors that unfold, it doesn’t mean it’s any less of a frightening prospect! The Outlast Trials takes gamers back to the origin story of the franchise, which centres around the test subjects who took part in a mysterious experiment, and those sorts of trials never end well, do they?
Although this is a remake of an already hit game, thanks to the latest console and gaming tech, it promises to be one of the year’s finest releases across all genres, never mind just one of the best horror titles. It retains the story from the original, as Isaac Clarke is sent to a mining vessel to try and find its crew who’ve gone missing, only to find they are there, but maybe not as expected. If that story sounds familiar, you’d be correct, it’s very similar to the plot for the Aliens movie, but let’s just say Dead Space has got a few more twists and turns under its sleeve than the James Cameron classic.
Sons of the Forest
This is a sequel to the popular game, The Forest, which was released back in 2014, where players had to fight off a horde of cannibals in the open forest. Following the success of the original, Endnight Games have decided to return to a similar setting in the wilderness but have added more survival elements to add extra depth to the story. So now as part of the quest, you’ll have to gather supplies, build shelters and find your meals to stay alive while trying not to be someone else’s dinner at the same time! Details on the storyline are scant at the moment, but as the trailer shows, it’s going to be chilling whatever happens!