Survival horror has been on the decline for some years, however, there have been a few games that have given gamers like me hope, Dead Island and Alan Wake for instance. But I am yet to relive the survival horror Renaissance that I was privy to when I was in college. I was there when survival horror was born on the PlayStation, and I’m remiss to say that it’s gone forever. These are five survival horror games that I’m patiently waiting for, and better scare the Cheez-It crumbs off my shirt.
5) Alien: Isolation – October 7, 2014
Fans of the Alien series were grossly disappointed with Gearbox’s take on the Alien franchise. Not only did they feel slighted by the higher end trailers, the game was just garbage. I’m haven’t finished it due to the fact I was so disappointed in its release. I fell in love with Borderlands, and couldn’t wait to see their take on this classic franchise. Developer The Creative Assembly has gone another route and set the tone much differently for this upcoming game. Instead of an all-out action-shoot-fest, players will be tasked with sneaky by the Aliens. In this game, the Aliens attack on sight, smell or sound, there is no predetermined AI that allows them to find you. That’s not to say there won’t be any killing, you’ll just be killing humans that are trying to harm you. So basically, The Creative Assembly dropped a Clock Tower game into the world of Aliens and is trying to see if you can scream loud enough to be heard in space.
4) Dying Light – 2015
Techland made waves in 2011 with its sleeper hit Dead Island. Now that they’ve broken away from Deep Silver and have joined up with Warner Brother Interactive, they have an even more interesting zombie slaying game in the pipeline. This time they focus heavily on parkour action like Mirror’s Edge, but instead of killing futuristic cops, you’re crafting weapons and beating in the heads of zombies. Sounds like more of the same until you delve a little deeper. This game has a day and night cycle, so during the day, the zombies are easy to bypass and kill while you scrounge for supplies. At night the zombies turn into Zack Synder’s Dawn of the Dead zombies that can run at you, climb like you and cause much more damage. So needless to say, the four player co-op will be very helpful. I personally can’t wait to pop this in and go on a zombie killing spree with three of my buddies.
3) Until Dawn – 2015
Supermassive Games has lain pretty low under the radar as of late, but with their exclusive PlayStation 4 release on the horizon, they may make it to the big leagues. The premise of this game is that eight teenagers have gathered at a remote cabin to fight for their lives. They, of course, didn’t know what was in store for them, but which ones will make it out of the cabin and which won’t? The game will have a “Butterfly Effect Interface” that makes every decision impact your story during the game. The biggest and smallest decisions will affect your ending and who survives until dawn. See what I did there? This game reminds me somewhat of Obscure, a title I truly enjoyed two generations ago, and I really can’t wait to see what awaits me at this cabin.
2) Dead Island 2 – Spring 2015
New developer Yager Development has stepped up to the plate with Deep Silver to give Dead Island a true numbered sequel. This time instead of being on a fictional island, the game will take place on the United States’ West Coast and feature real landmarks. The teaser trailer featured Santa Monica and the developer teased many of San Francisco’s landmarks, as well. That piques my curiosity even more seeing as I grew up in bay area, and I wouldn’t mind seeing it overrun with zombies from the comfort of my couch. I also enjoyed the game’s crafting and upgrade systems, which I’m sure will harbor more brutal weapons in the upcoming title. The ability to play with friends is always a bonus as well. How much cooler would Resident Evil Zero have been with two-player couch co-op?
1) The Evil Within – October 14 2014
This has to be the game I’m most excited for in 2014. I have been a huge fan of survival horror since my teenage days, and it makes me happy that this one may quell my survival horror thirst. First off, this game brings Shinji Mikami back into the survival horror fray—you know, the guy who created Resident Evil and Dino Crisis and helped give us Shadows of the Damned. In this game, you play as Detective Sebastian Castellanos, who is investigating a mass murder scene with other officers. Sebastian is knocked unconscious and awakens to find all his fellow officers dead and himself in a world he doesn’t recognize. This game will harken back to the roots of survival horror; you have to know when to fight or flee, when to use to use the environment to your advantage and when to turn off the game and hide under the covers. The master of survival horror is back and I can’t wait to relive my college years, jumping at every sound and praying there is a save point around every corner.
I know I didn’t mention the upcoming Silent Hills game from Hideo Kojima and Guillermo Del Toro, but there hasn’t been a release date attached to it yet or really too much info out other than PT. I am very excited for this game, but I don’t see it being released until after Metal Gear Solid V. That way, Kojima can put his Fox Engine to use in the Silent Hills world. Other than that glaring omission are there any survival horror games I may have missed that are piquing your interest?