Zombies. Everybody loved them until games developers started dropping their rotten asses onto all the video games in an attempt to cash in on their enormous popularity. As their numbers swelled, so did their haters. The slow, wobbly march of the undead hordes has slowed down somewhat since then, leaving us with an acceptable number of new games to look forward to over the next two years.
I’ve been working to break down the fairly intimidating slate of upcoming horror games that are the most deserving of your anticipation into themed listicles, so this is more of that. Alright, let’s go!
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Season 3 of Telltale’s acclaimed episode series based on The Walking Dead promises to be more of the same — but in a good way — when it arrives later this year. After the mostly solid appetizer course that was Michonne mini-series, we’re more than ready to reunite with Clem and Co. for another round of post-apocalyptic people watching.
Why We’re Excited: The first and second seasons were frighteningly consistent in their ability to make us laugh, cry, or quickly switch to something less emotionally draining, so we’re confident Telltale will deliver another dose of drama with the third season.
Release Date: Fall 2016 (PC, PS3, PS4, 360, XBO, Mobile)
E3 2016 was really good to fans of the zombie genre. Like, it revealed enough new titles starring walking corpses that I had to update my list to include games like Dead Rising 4 and a handful of others we’ll be going over below. And this time, we’re returning to where it all began — a Christmasy Willamette, Colorado — because Frank West demanded it. Yeah, he’s back, too.
Why We’re Excited: Because Dead Rising is one of a select few zombie-themed video game franchises that’s not afraid to get silly, for better or for worse.
Release Date: A December 6, 2016 release was leaked, but it’s unconfirmed. (PC, XBO)
The PlayStation 4-exclusive open-world horror game Days Gone is another gift from E3 2016, where it had an enormously impressive showing that included a live demonstration in which a lone biker takes on a swarm of infected like a badass, right up until the point where he gets overwhelmed by the seemingly endless horde.
Why We’re Excited: Because it’s a blockbuster action horror game that blends The Last of Us, “Sons of Anarchy”, and the World War Z movie
Release Date: Fall 2016 (PS4)
As far as sequels go, Killing Floor 2 is one of the few that goes above and beyond in its sequel duties in just about every area. It’s a stellar shooter that looks fantastic and takes its gore seriously. It also sports some satisfyingly visceral gunplay, a solid character customization system and access to an endless stream of user-created content, courtesy of Steam Workshop. This game is an easy one to recommend despite being unfinished, and that’s something I’m not quite ready to say about the other Early Access zombie games, including Moving Hazard, DayZ and H1Z1.
Why We’re Excited: I’ve actually played this one, so my excitement for it is based on 33+ hours of experience, rather than, say, the hundreds of hours I’ve spent dreamily wondering what a Resident Evil 2 remake might look like.
Release Date: It’s out now on Steam Early Access, but a console release is expected this year.
That’s right. Capcom finally announced Resident Evil 7 at E3 2016, and it’s heavily inspired by Kojima’s brilliant P.T. demo for his cancelled Silent Hills game, so it looks nothing like any other game in the series. You can learn more about it over here.
Why We’re Excited: It won’t have a single QTE — not even one. Hallelujah.
Release Date: January 24, 2017 (PC, PS4, XBO)
I think I’ve adequately covered Overkill’s The Walking Dead game, as well as my anticipation for it, in these lists. We have yet to actually see the game in action, and that’s not likely to change until we’re a little closer to its late 2017 release date. We know it’s a standalone story set in the Walking Dead universe, and that it’ll feature a cooperative multiplayer mode similar to Payday 2. We also shouldn’t confuse it for Overkill’s The Walking Dead VR, which is it’s own thing.
Why We’re Excited: Series creator Robert Kirkman seems super pumped about the game, which he once referred to as the “Walking Dead co-op action game fans have been waiting for.” Surely he wouldn’t lead us astray?
Release Date: Fall 2017 (PC, PS4, XBO)
Jeff Strain, co-founder of State of Decay 2 developer Undead Labs, says the highly anticipated sequel will be “a bigger, badder, bolder, smoother State of Decay that you could play with your friends.” The incredible success of the original game has made the series a high priority for its publisher Microsoft, so I imagine it’ll deliver on all fronts. Fingers crossed.
Why We’re Excited: Undead Labs hit it out of the park with the first State of Decay, and its sequel looks like a worthy follow-up.
Release Date: TBA 2017 (PC, XBO)
When I stare longingly into the Dead Island 2 screenshots I keep in a very special place on my MacBook — i.e. next to the por- actually, forget it, no one downloads porn in 2016 — I see a game that wants to bring us the best of California (the lovely weather, ocean views), sans the less-appealing bits, like kale chips or the state’s propensity for seemingly sentient wildfires. Now that I think about it, knowing the longer I stay within state lines increases my chances of getting caught inside a blazing inferno might actually benefit this game.
Why We’re Excited: This kind of depends on what’s been changed since Deep Silver replaced its original developer, Yager, with Crackdown 3 maker Sumo Digital — but you can bet it’ll have satisfying combat, addictive co-op and a shitload of zombies.
Release Date: TBA 2017 (PC, PS4, XBO)
Capcom delighted everyone when they announced their plans to remake the beloved survival horror classic that is Resident Evil 2, so we can all move on to the next items on our list, starting with more Dino Crisis, another Outbreak, and something, anything, that stars the Merchant from Resident Evil 4.
Why We’re Exci-For real? It’s a remake of Resident Evil 2. That’s Resident Evil, followed by a 2. Nothing more needs to be said.
Release Date: A long fucking time from now (PC, PS4, XBO)
Dying Light 2, and Left 4 Dead 3. We want ’em something fierce, but it’ll likely be a while before we get them. Neither has been officially announced, and that’s okay. They’re still worth mentioning in a list about our most anticipated zombie games. Hell, I’ll even throw the non-conforming zombie game Dead Space 4 in there too. I could probably come up with a few more if I wanted to make myself sad. I don’t though, so let’s wrap this up.
Why We’re Excited:
Release Date: Don’t bother. (That they’ll each make the current console generation is about the best we can hope for until their respective publishers throw us a bone.)
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