2018: A Gamer’s Complete Guide to Horror

A Look at the Horror Games of 2018

As we leave behind 2017—a year marked by the return of Resident Evil, a sequel to Outlast, the polarizing Friday the 13th: The Game, and the eerie whispers of Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice—we look ahead to 2018 and the horrors it promises.

Though it may be difficult to top the terrors of 2017—and I do mean that in every way possible—2018’s horror game line-up will certainly try. Take a gander at the list below to find out what horrifying journeys await you throughout the year.

'Agony'

Release Date: March 30, 2018

Platform: PC, PS4, Xbox One

Chances are you remember this one from its incredibly trippy and unsettling trailers. Madmind Studio aims to take gamers on a trip through Hell that will bank a lot on creepy sound design and disturbing imagery. As a Martyr damned to the fiery depths, players will have to avoid deadly guardians while possessing people and lesser-demons to survive.

'Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night'

Release Date: March 2018

Platform: PC, OS X, PS4, PS Vita, Switch, Xbox One

It all started with Koji Igarashi, the lead producer of the Castlevania series since 1999. After leaving the series in 2010 with Castlevania: Harmony of Despair, Igarashi was mostly quiet. Then emerged a Kickstarter campaign for Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night. It was clear the former Castlevania visionary pulled inspiration from his prior projects to tell the story of a cursed orphan named Miriam.

As expected with an “Igavania”-style game, players will guide Miriam through gothic settings filled with hordes of demons. Over $5.5 million was raised for the project and the vocal talents of David Hayter and Alucard himself, Robbie Belgrade, were added to complete what is bound to be a suitable callback to Igarashi’s earlier work.

'Call of Cthulhu: The Official Video Game'

Release Date: TBA 2018

Platform: PC, PS4, Xbox One

Using the Lovecraftian lore behind the Great Old One, Cyanide will immerse gamers into a psychological horror title that’s sure to drive them mad. Private investigator Edward Pierce traveled to Darkwater Island to investigate the death of a family, unaware that his journey would lead him to a nefarious plot to revive Cthulhu.

Like Corners of the Earth, The Official Video Game will bring players to the brink of insanity through a slow-burn game of exploration and discovery. The game is an adaptation of the 1981 role-playing table-top game of the same name.

'Days Gone'

Release Date: TBA 2018

Platform: PS4

Are we not done with zombies, yet? SIE Bend Studio has been out of it for a while—since 2012’s Uncharted card game, Fight for Fortune—but apparently it has the formula needed to make killing zombies fun again.

Deacon St. John is your typical drifter/bounty hunter, living his life constantly on the brink of danger. Deacon’s world is unlike ours. It’s a post-apocalyptic horror-show filled with “Freakers,” Days Gone’s version of zombies. Set in an open world, Days Gone features vehicular travel, item crafting, and a game-changing dynamic weather system/day-night cycle that seems to be the game’s most interesting feature.

It may be another bout against an undead horde, but at least it’s from the studio behind the successful Syphon Filter series.

'DayZ'

Release Date: TBA 2018

Platform: PC, Xbox One

Sure, you may have been playing DayZ in its unfinished form since 2013, but Bohemia Interactive’s pet project will finally receive its full release sometime in 2018. The open world survival game survived a messy early access release, but it’s grown to earn accolades over the years.

When it leaves alpha this year, it will also be finding its way onto Xbox One’s “Game Preview” program—the console’s version of early access. While the console release is bound to be plagued by server issues, once things are smoothed out, DayZ will likely draw in a hefty console following.

'Dead Matter'

Release Date: February 2018

Platform: PC, OS X

If you’re looking for upcoming releases to get excited over, Kickstarter is the place to be. Dead Matter definitely faces the possibility of immediate failure, but being backed by more than 5,000 people (earning over $220,000) paints a rather hopeful picture.

Again, we’re focused on the zombie apocalypse in this open-world survival game, but Quantum Integrity Software, Inc. promises “a title that properly balances survival mechanics with fulfilling gameplay.” Find shelter and turn it into a viable place to live in what sounds to be a thoroughly dynamic experience. From an electricity system that requires players to find a means of powering their abodes to hunting, farming, and scavenging mechanics, Dead Matter could wind up revitalizing a saturated genre.

'Devil May Cry HD Collection'

Release Date: March 13, 2018

Platform: PC, PS4, Xbox One

What’s to say about the third release of the original Devil May Cry trilogy? Considering the original HD Collection that launched on the PS3 and Xbox 360 in 2012 was widely underwhelming, there’s not much to expect from this retread that really feels more like a hold-over until Capcom’s ready to dish out more on the rumored fifth entry. 

'Hunt: Showdown'

Release Date: TBA 2018

Platform: PC

From Far Cry to Crysis 3, Crytek has been consistently good in its gaming releases. Even if the end product wasn’t the best—à la Ryse: Son of Rome—elements of the game showed promise. That’s why anticipation for the free-to-play, first-person shoot, Hunt: Showdown, is not unfounded.

Step into the rugged shoes of a bounty hunter in a world where nabbing prey is a key to survival. The problem? This prey bites back—and bites hard. Evil monstrosities roam the dark lands of Hunt and it’s up to you to add them to your trophy room, but you’re not the only one targeting them in this gritty, ruthless world.  

'The Inpatient'

Release Date: January 23, 2018

Platform: PS4

Until Dawn was a far cry from Supermassive Games’ series of fun content for LittleBigPlanet, but the developer proved to have a firm grip on the survival horror world. The Inpatient is a prequel to the 2015 surprise hit, taking a hard-left turn from the original as a first-person shooter taking place within the strange walls of Blackwood Sanitorium.

Players take control of an amnesiac patient who’s trying to piece together their memories, but the story may not be what entices an audience. Utilizing the PlayStation VR headset, The Inpatient hopes to immerse gamers into the sanatorium’s seedy underbelly. Branching paths lead and characters that respond to voice recognition should provide a worthwhile VR experience.

'Metal Gear Survive'

Release Date: February 20, 2018

Platform: PC, PS4, Xbox One

Maybe this isn’t really a ”horror” title, but considering the zombie-like beasts you and your squad will be teaming up against intense defensive battles, it may provide the same heart-pounding thrills of a true horror game.

Metal Gear Survive takes place shortly after the events of Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes, after Big Boss and Kaz Miller evacuate the destroyed Mother Base. You play a soldier left behind who, somehow, gets sucked into an alternate reality filled with crystalline creatures hellbent on your demise. Survive is titled accurately as you’re forced to build up defenses, perfect stealth combat, and find a way back to the real world.

'Moons of Madness'

Release Date: TBA 2018

Platform: PS4

If you’re going to base your horror game off of any classical writer, Lovecraft is probably a good start. The psychologically damaging works of H.P. Lovecraft aren’t easy to mimic, but Rock Pocket Games seems to have a handle on it for Moons of Madness.

This narrative-driven title explores the horrors of mental illness through a first-person psychological horror game. Players control Shane Newehart, an astronaut aboard the Trailblazer Alpha research station on Mars. Newehart’s journey is one of internal exploration as the astronaut is forced to face his own demons along with a more overt supernatural danger.

'Overkill's The Walking Dead'

Release Date: Fall 2018

Platform: PC, PS4, Xbox One

After the disturbing reveal trailer in 2014, Overkill’s The Walking Dead project simply vanished. Then, in December of 2017, we were treated to another look that…wasn’t all-too-revealing. Eventually, we were given some solid details—and they weren’t what many people expected.

Overkill’s The Walking Dead is a co-op first-person shooter taking place in a desolate Washington, D.C., long after the zombie apocalypse outlined in The Walking Dead graphic novels. Four players team up to take on a swarm of enemies—living and dead—utilizing unique skills, special abilities, and teamwork to survive the tiresome battle against the rotting horde. 

'Scorn'

Release Date: October 2018

Platform: PC

Serbian developer, Ebb Software, is utilizing Unreal Engine 4 to deliver a horrifying first-person shooter that throws gamers into a strange world of deadly oddities and barren landscapes. As the strange humanoid, players will interact with incredibly bizarre environments that seem to mix the best of H.R. Geiger and a terrifying vision of hell.

The partially organic world is grotesque, which carries over into the weaponry. From shotguns to pistols, each attachment of the unsettling bony handle is just as nightmare-fueled as Scorn’s creepy crawlies. 

'The Shattering'

Release Date: TBA 2018

Platform: PC

In the hospital-white world of Deck13 and SuperSexySoftware’s The Shattering, it’s all about psychologically messing with the gamer. The short experience will have players exploring these pristine rooms of the protagonist’s dreams, diving deep into the hidden horrors behind the “illusion of normalcy.”

Don’t expect big boisterous monsters to hunt you down in this one. It’s all about exploring and diving into a fragile mind.

'State of Decay 2'

Release Date: TBA 2018

Platform: Xbox One

State of Decay was a game that would have benefited greatly from some form of a multiplayer mechanic. State of Decay 2 features such a mechanic, but also looks strikingly similar to the 2013 Xbox 360 release, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

While the original did grow tiresome, having someone (or several someones) to play with could have prolonged playability tenfold. The sequel expands upon the original map and keeps survival as the focus as players will scour abandoned environments for surprise vital to keeping communities thriving in a zombie-filled world.

'System Shock'

Release Date: TBA 2018

Platform: PC, OS X, PS4, Xbox One

With the success of BioShock, the spiritual successor of 1994’s System Shock, there was no doubt that, at some point, Looking Glass Technologies’ first-person shooter would get the reboot treatment at some point. Enter Nightdive Studios, who worked on the Enhanced Edition of the original in 2015.

The 2018 reboot, which was backer funded via Kickstarter and Backerkit, will remain “as true to the original as possible” while delivering an updated thrill ride complete with all new terrors and challenges.

'The Walking Dead: The Final Season'

Release Date: TBA 2018

Platform: PC, OS X, PS4, Xbox One

Not much is known about the return of Clementine, the tragic protagonist of Season 2 and the innocent lass that accompanied Lee in Season 1, but if there’s one thing we’ve learned throughout Telltale’s gloomy series, it’s that nobody is safe.

As with the rest of the series, elements of the game will change depending on choices made in saves from prior games. The Final Season will be the conclusion to Clementine’s story, but that doesn’t necessarily mean Telltale is leaving The Walking Dead behind entirely.

'Vampyr'

Release Date: TBA 2018

Platform: PC, PS4, Xbox One

Set in 20th-century London during the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic, Vampyr aims to deliver a thought-provoking experience hidden beneath a vampiric romp as the protagonist, Jonathan Reid, must choose between his biological needs and Hippocratic Oath.

The world of Vampyr is yours to do with as you please. Want to feast on the blood of the innocent? Prefer to protect the lives of those that can’t defend themselves? The choice is yours, but know that, depending on how you play this bloody third-person adventure, your skills will change.

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2018: A Gamer’s Complete Guide to Horror