Editorials Reviews Previews Essays Worth Playing


Opinions 12 May 2023, 20:42

author: Michael Pajda

Five Most Promising Horror Games Coming Soon

This time there's something scary for everyone, i.e. a compilation of the most interesting upcoming horror games from my wish list on Steam, which will be released soon.

A fan of heart-pounding, spine-chilling horror games? If so, the following games are certainly also on your shopping target list. If you're not into virtual horror games, on the other hand, this list might convince you to give them a try. Especially in times when many new titles can unwittingly raise the pressure – with poor optimization, for example. Sometimes it is worth stepping out of your comfort zone and exploring a slightly different range of games in order to experience something new and, in its own way, remarkable. The horrors from the list below make for some truly wicked game suggestions!

Outlast Trials

  1. Release date: May 18, 2023 (early access)
  2. Creators: Red Barrels

While in the case of the first installment of Outlast – and its solid add-on subtitled Whistleblower – I was scared shirtless, while in the sequel, the atmosphere seemed to have largely evaporated. And I'm not suggesting at all that the sequel was bad – quite the opposite, as evidenced by the ratings on Steam (almost 39 thousand positive opinions out of 42.7 thousand reviews). It's just that the concept of loitering in a psychiatric hospital full of dangerous (though not always) patients was more conductive to a feeling of being hounded.

However, the creators must have realized that being confined within the walls of a gloomy edifice with dangers lurking at every turn is a far more interesting idea than exploring a musty town. Something surprising happened in the process, as Trials is about to enter into a strange love affair with Saw, loved by some (including me), and criticized by others. Here, similar to the bloody series with Jigsaw as the main character, we also have to undergo titular trials and try to save our skin by participating in twisted experiments. Of course, we won't be the only lab rats, and this is where room for multiplayer comes in.

Won't they be problematic for the climate, which played crucial role in previous Outlasts? At the moment, I can't imagine playing this game online with others, but maybe this will change – and anyhow, if this idea doesn't work, the game can be completed solo as well. The title will appear in Early Access on May 18, and it's unclear when it will actually leave it. However, it is supposed to be possible to complete the game already at this point, although version 1.0 will bring more trials, opponents or perks.

Layers of Fear

  1. Release date: June 2023
  2. Developers: Bloober Team

I'm really surprised at just how much Bloober Team failed to realize the potential of Layers of Fear 2's atmosphere. The convention of horror, after all, creates an immense field for experiments in interactive horror. The sequel, however, has nothing on the phenomenal original, whose atmosphere was as thick as oil paint and did not give even a moment of respite. Meanwhile, LoF2 had a huge problem with consistently causing fear, in lieu of which horror fans could expect... permanent boredom.

As part of this year's omnibus edition, we'll get not only the original refreshed with Unreal Engine 5 (which I'm really looking forward to, because the modernized version looks insane on trailers) and the sequel (you can check it out if you don't happen to have anything more interesting to try out), and a brand new add-on, this time focusing on a certain female writer. The DLC is also supposed to tie up some of the threads – so maybe a completely different light will be cast on the known stories with a new storyline, and we will be able to get to know them from an even more interesting perspective.

While the visual facelift can sometimes be imperceptible to the naked eye in remasters, in a horror – whose main climate-building element was, among other things, lighting – the changes from the original should make a lasting impression. There will be dynamic lighting and shadows, ray tracing, new particle effects, and even bytes that affect not only the overall visuals, but also the performance of this production (DLSS). I've been eagerly awaiting for quite some time now, and the anticipation is driving me wild. While it's gratifying that Layers of Fear will become a completely new experience thanks to the modernization of graphics, it's a shame that we're not getting a full-fledged third part for now.

Amnesia: The Bunker

  1. Release date: May 23, 2023
  2. Developers: Frictional Games

To this day, I still remember how impressed gamers were with the first part of Amnesia, subtitled The Dark Descent. The darkness, driving the main character mad, combined with limited light sources and gut-twisting monsters, proved to be a recipe for a horrifying success. And although the influencers who tested the title overreacted somewhat to certain horror elements in 2010 (when the game debuted), Frictional Games' production undoubtedly had its strong and memorable moments, which went down in the history of horror game classics.

Successive installments of the series were rewarded with very positive reviews. Amnesia: The Bunker has the potential to continue this trend. Although the decision to finally give us a gun seems controversial. This time, we will play the role of a French soldier – Henri Clement – who will traverse the corridors of the title bunker. However, the mere possibility of owning a revolver, from a psychological point of view, can work negatively on the horror experience – after all, at least in theory, we have something to defend ourselves with (even if the weapon will not be effective in the long run).

However, I'm not worried about other elements of gameplay – the phenomenal physics of objects, for which the original was already famous, as well as the lighting (this time dark corridors will be illuminated by a noisy dynamo lamp), logical elements and menacing opponents haunting you in unexpected places. I hope I'll have time to enjoy 18×16 svgOutlast Trials by the time Amnesia: The Bunker is out, otherwise I'll have a disaster of abundance on Steam and a problem deciding which horror game to devote my free time to!

Silent Hill 2

  1. Release date: coming soon
  2. Developers: Bloober Team

Yet another proposition by Bloober Team in this list. Once again, the presence of this game studio should come as no surprise, as they proudly stand among the top-notch, smaller developers. The name makes me expect something qualitative, engaging and memorable. However, while the team's subsequent games are at least very good (and in my opinion, only Layers of Fear 2 turned out a stumble), I don't think anyone expected this team would be responsible for the remake of the cult Silent Hill 2.

But come to think of it, I'm really happy it turned out this way. This is handled by people who specialize in horror games. And while this argument, too, might not be enough for big-time fans, I'm convinced that Konami has done some decent research when looking for developers who can handle a project of such magnitude. Choosing Bloober Team could not have been a coincidence. The original creators of the series have high hopes and are delighted with how the Polish-developed Silent Hill 2 looks. They suggest that the game is faithful to the original – as controlled by Konami – but the developers also managed to rearrange it a bit, adding their own touch. I just can't wait.

The Texas Chain Saw Massacre

  1. Release date: August 18, 2023
  2. Developers: Sumo Digital

I like asymmetrical multiplayers, in which one player is clearly stronger, but weaker adversaries are able to outwit him if they cooperate. However, I could never convince myself to Dead by Daylight. In doing so, I am rooting for all its competitors, although DbD's dominance seems unshakable. Neither the atmospheric (at least on the hunter side) Predator: Hunting Grounds, nor the surprisingly solid Evil Dead: The Game, nor even Friday the 13th: The Game (despite a pretty good license for this type of gameplay) were able to threatened it.

However, Studio Gun (i.e., the creators of the last production mentioned above) doesn't seem to be giving up when it comes to online horror experiences, and is now creating The Texas Chain Saw Massacre. But what will make "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" stand out from other productions and how will it convince fans of team-based horrors? The side of the assailants is supposed to be interestingly diversified here, which will no longer consist of only one player, but several – they will play different characters, both those familiar from the original, and a few completely new murderers. Each of them will have unique abilities and limitations that have a direct bearing on gameplay. In The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, cooperation will therefore prove essential on both sides, which could be a refreshing innovation in the genre.

However, we still know very little about the game itself. So far we got a trailer with snippets of gameplay, which is quite gory, and a lot of screenshots showing that atmosphere in horror movies can be built not only with darkness. So we're waiting for more footage and the August release, and by then, our appetite will likely have whetted accordingly.

Michael Pajda | Gamepressure.com

See/Add Comments