An announcement arrives. Where did it come from? A swirling void of unknowable madness? Skittering figures just out of sight? The bloodied heart of a diseased, living city? No, it was just an email. Fortunately, the contents of the announcement are more unusual than its delivery method: Ice-Pick Lodge—creators of The Void and, most recently, Knock-Knock—have confirmed plans to remake their debut game, Pathologic. To fund the creepy RPG/adventure, the developers will launch a Kickstarter campaign this September. As a teaser, they've also released the above image.
Alien: Isolation is not going to be like Aliens: Colonial Marines, and not just in the case that it (hopefully) won't be terrible. You will not play as "state-of-the-badass-art," but as a young woman in a terrifying situation, trying to escape the clutches of an unstoppable and thoroughly murderous monster. You can't expect to kill your way through this game, in other words—but luckily you won't have to.
The Hum is a new indie horror project that actually went up on Steam Greenlight in mid-May and made the cut shortly thereafter, but this story trailer just hit the Tubes on the weekend and it's really quite impressive. Some of the dramatic pauses in the narration are held a little too long and it's not exactly loaded with insight into what we'll be doing in the game, but as "cool setups" go it definitely has my attention.
I've been looking forward to The Vanishing of Ethan Carter from the moment I first heard about it, and so after more than a year of waiting I was very excited to watch the debut teaser trailer that came out a little earlier today. And having watched it, I am even more excited than I was before – and also very disturbed.
Being a baby is weird. My mom keeps jamming her nose in my face to tell me things I can’t possibly understand, and the most I can do in response is bobble my head around and paw at the space in front of me. When I’m freed from her totalitarian affection, my bowed little legs toddle alongside the shadow of an oversized head, awkwardly navigating a world designed for people who are much bigger than I am. And then an ugly little teddy bear starts talking to me. Maybe this is why we don’t remember early childhood.
If a tension-building wait is one of the most effective tricks in horror, it makes sense that The Evil Within will take a bit longer to reach us. Originally planned for late-August, Bethesda have now announced that their Shinji Mikami-led survival horror will be released in October.
But when in October? That depends on where you live, because, even though we'll soon all exist as virtual reality spaceships, it's still too much to expect a computer game to be released on the same day worldwide. The Evil Within launches on 21st October in North America, 23rd October in Australia and New Zealand, before finally creeping up on Europe for the 24th October. This is all in direct contravention of the first rule of horror: don't split up.
Paris is burning. The sky behind the Eiffel Tower glows an ominous orange through a haze of billowing smoke. Sparks and ash and scraps of paper float through the dark streets of the city, where cars and offices stand eerily abandoned.
A manhole opens. For a moment, nothing happens. And then a zed, a naked genetic freak sheathed in slimy grey skin, pops out of the hole like a horrorshow jack-in-the-box. The zed has the mind of a child. It doesn't know much, but it knows it wants to kill.
You wake in an empty hospital. This is never good. You press forward, squinting into the unknown. Suddenly you hear voices, a giggle from the corner of the room. It’s close - a little too close for someone with only a smartphone, glow stick and flare to defend themselves. A stack of boxes tumbles to your left and you book it, sprinting in whatever direction you can because anywhere is better than here. As horror concepts go it’s solid, if a little safe.
As any fool with a spirit level would be able to tell you, multiplayer has never been all that symmetrical, but that hasn't stopped developers from attempting to unbalance it even further. Left 4 Dead's competitive multiplayer, for example, is as asymmetrical as a Shoreditch haircut, pitting a team of zombies against a team of normals and giving each an opposing goal to achieve. The comparatively minimalist The Flock takes things in a tenser, less action-packed direction, using elements of Capture the Flag and Doctor Who's 'Blink' episode to fuel a shadow-drenched horror game for four players. It looks faintly bloody terrifying, as you can see from the first gameplay trailer, below.
"There's something wrong with this place," states the voiceover in this new trailer for The Evil Within. That's the sort of thing I usually say after Chris and Andy finish another Christopher Walken impression-off, or when Ben says... well, anything, really. But in the midsts of a blood river gushing down a corridor? Something of an understatement. Clearly, then, the protagonist of Shinji Mikami's next survival horror is made of sterner stuff than I. A good job, too.
A new patch for classic action game Resident Evil 4 HD arrived late last week, bringing with it a handful of tweaks and bug fixes. It’s nothing groundbreaking, but what is encouraging is that this RE4's fifth update in as many weeks. Updates seem to be scheduled for every Friday for the foreseeable future, a schedule that shows Capcom is absolutely serious about supporting this PC port. As the grumpy survivors of too many terrible PC ports, this is a commitment we'd like to celebrate.
The lead-up to Daylight has really managed to make it seem like more than just another first-person horror game. It’ll be one of the first major releases to use Unreal Engine 4, has procedurally generated levels, interesting Twitch integration (by way of meowing cats) and other interesting ideas. It’s also going to cost just $15 (or $10 if you pre-order), so it would have been easy to pick up out of curiosity alone. However, Zombie Studios announced that it has pushed the game's release date back to April 29 to add one thing it was missing: more scares.
Technology doesn't mix well with water, as anyone who's dropped their phone into a sink can tell you.* That's okay, though, because in SOMA, technology doesn't mix well with anything. Frictional's sci-fi horror is the subject of another trailer, this time skimming the depths of claustrophobic, paranoid isolation. As with previous trailers, it's not particularly forthcoming with details, but rather sets the tone using in-game locations.
Caffeine, a first-person horror game powered by Unreal Engine 4, has launched a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo. If it hits its funding goal, Caffeine promises to deliver a chilling, beautiful experience inspired by Doom 3, Condemned, and FEAR 2.
It's April Fool's day, which means everything you read on the internet is potentially a lie. Before we become entangled in the meta-semantics of that first sentence, here's why this first trailer for Dreamfall Chapters creator Red Thread's other game isn't a joke. 1) It debuted over the weekend, at the EGX Rezzed event. 2) Its narration contains words like "inexorably", "maelstrom" and "undulating", which are scientifically the least funny words.
Big names from the studios that created Call of Duty, Spec Ops: The Line, and Tomb Raider stand behind Daedelus, a new indie horror title being developed by a small team called Tangentlemen. The full reveal of the game’s core mechanics and screens will come later, but for now, the devs are opening up about why they decided to “jump ship” and go into indie games.
Betrayer! It's not just a word people shout at me in the street - it's also the name of a hugely promising horror FPS from Blackpowder Games, a company comprised of several ex-Monolith team members. The 1604 New World-set game has been on Steam Early Access for a while now, during which time the strictly monochrome visual style has been relaxed ever-so-slightly (it's now optional). Well it's just been announced, via Steam, that work on Betrayer has now finished, and that the game will release properly on March 24th.
If there's any glare on your screen right now, you're going to have to trust that this latest SOMA trailer is more than just a radio play. It's a dark and moody teaser; one that shows locations from Frictional's sci-fi horror over a conversation about an experiment that, to put it mildly, isn't going to plan. That's the exciting thing about science, there's always a new challenge to face. New, horrible, and deadly challenges.
As good as the current crop of first-person horror games are, I sorely miss the days of tankwalking, fixed-perspective survival horror. Hydravision's Obscure was one of the better games not to feature the words 'resident' or 'hill' in its title, thanks to its near-copyright-infringing riffing on the fun teen horror film The Faculty, its well-meaning but not implemented particularly brilliantly same-screen co-op, oh and its giant evil plants. Giant evil plants! Both Obscure and its mechanically smoother sequel did see a PC release back in the day, but if you don't fancy paying over the odds for a disc copy you'll soon be able to pick the games up on Steam. No word on a price yet, but the re-releases will feature added widescreen and 360 controller support - which is nice. I've checked the trailer below and, phew, character Stanley's cheeky resemblance to The Faculty's Josh Hartnett remains intact.
Here's a new set of screenshots for the promising looking exploration horror game, The Forest. Yes, you may need to squint a bit, because they're pretty dark. That's a consequence of the eerie survival atmosphere that the game hopes to evoke. Luckily, as you can see from the previous trailer, that static darkness becomes a claustrophobic and eerie space when seen in motion.