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Our Most Anticipated Lovecraftian Horror Games

The Lovecraftian video game curse, if there ever was one, seems to have finally been broken. For a decade, game developers struggled to tell their own stories based on the works of H.P. Lovecraft, from Headfirst’s Call of Cthulhu trilogy, to Guillermo del Toro’s InSANE, and Senscape’s adaptation of The Case of Charles Dexter Ward, it gradually became clear to the few of us who were paying attention that the Old Ones didn’t want it to be so.

And sure, you could ignore the obviously sinister force that connects these unfortunate events by placing the blame on the poor sales of Dark Corners of the Earth, the closure of THQ — or GDT’s penchant for prematurely announcing his upcoming projects — or the general lack of interest in most of these games until after they were canned. Yeah, you could do that.

It doesn’t matter now, because at some point last year, the curse dissipated. Some say it dissolved naturally, but my theory is that From Software vanquished it by showing the Elder Gods what a great Lovecraftian horror game can look like with Bloodborne.

Let’s hope these games don’t disappoint, because Cthulhu might blanket our world in endless night if they do.

OUR MOST ANTICIPATED HORROR GAMES:
Crowdfunded | Science Fiction | Zombies | Virtual Reality

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The horror adventure game Asylum has been delayed enough times to qualify as vaporware, had Senscape not resurfaced in January to confirm it’s 100% guaranteed to arrive this year. I’m going to choose to believe them, because the other option is too depressing a fate to contemplate for a game as promising as this.

The connection Asylum has to the works of H.P. Lovecraft don’t seem to be quite as obvious as the games with Cthulhu or Madness in their titles. It’s more of a thematic tether that marinates the mood and atmosphere in the creeping dread that permeates so many of his works. It also features one of the largest virtual buildings ever created for a video game, with about 100 rooms to explore while you work your way through its ~15 hour story campaign.

Release Date: Summer 2016 (PC)

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Unlike the other games on this list, Giant Sparrow’s first-person adventure game What Remains of Edith Finch doesn’t have a singular story to tell — it has many. It’s a collection of short stories from The Unfinished Swan developer Giant Sparrow that revolve around a cursed family in Washington state, as each story focusing on the life and death of a specific member of the family.

With multiple perspectives and a timeline that spans an entire century — one story takes place in the 1900s, another in the present day — Edith Finch is a narratively ambitious game that explores the “vast and unknowable world around us.”

Release Date: Fall 2016 (PS4)

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Moons of Madness is a first-person psychological horror game that promises to take a hard science fiction approach to its outer space setting. It’s being developed by the casual mobile game developer Rock Pocket Games, which recently confirmed it’ll have little “in common with SOMA, even less with Alien and even less with Doom.” I wonder what games, if any, it does have something in common with?

Release Date: TBA 2016 (PC)

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After receiving considerable acclaim for their Amnesia mod Penumbra: Necrologue, CounterCurrent Games recently unveiled their plans to return to our favorite genre with the first-person survival horror game The Diary of Arthur Gilman. Unlike their previous work, this will be a standalone release with an intriguing mystery at its core and a branching narrative with multiple endings.

Release Date: TBA 2016 (PC, Linux)

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In terms of scale, The Sinking City from Sherlock Holmes developer Frogwares is one of the grandest. Set in 1920s New England, this open-world horror game follows a private investigator who’s been tasked with finding out why the city of Oakmont, Massachusetts is gradually succumbing to an almost supernatural flooding. Solving the mystery that’s consuming the city may be the only way to save it from descending into madness. That, or arm floaties.

Release Date: Fall 2016 (PC, PS4, XBO)

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The Call of Cthulhu name brings up a mixed bag of feels. It conjures memories of late-night playthroughs of Dark Corners of the Earth, as well as the wave of disappointment that came when its sequels were canned.

The studio that’s bringing Call of Cthulhu back for an official video game adaptation of Chaosium’s pen & paper RPG is Cyanide Studios (Blood Bowl, Styx) and their collaborative partner Focus Home Interactive. And this time, the Elder Gods tomfoolery will mix elements from RPGs, psychological horror, stealth, and investigation games. Unfortunately, we’ll have to wait until 2017 to partake in it.

Release Date: TBA 2017 (PC, PS4, XBO)

Which Lovecraftian horror game are you looking forward to the most?

OUR MOST ANTICIPATED HORROR GAMES:
Crowdfunded | Science Fiction | Zombies | Virtual Reality

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