Maybe you’ve noticed already, but the last couple weeks have been busy. There have been some unexpected announcements, long awaited unveilings, bizarre yet slightly intriguing reveals, and other goods that you’ll have to scroll down to see.
But enough chat, why don’t we just dive right into this week’s Headlines in Horror, but beware: you might not be able to handle on the sheer amount of awesome that lies waiting in the shadows, ready to pounce at you as soon as you hit that little ‘Read More’ button.
This. Is. Awesome. Silent Hill: Homecoming, while far from being considered a great game, did manage to bring some very interesting things to the table. For better or worse, the combat was improved to make you feel less helpless, and they took some of the best things about the Silent Hill film (the redesigned Pyramid Head and the transformation between the real and Other world). Unfortunately, a little too much backtracking, stale level design, and one of the least appealing stories of the series thus far kept it from being the Silent Hill game we’ve all have been waiting for since Silent Hill 3.
The first bit of news is that there is a true next-gen game coming out for the Xbox 360 and PS3 that may or may not have anything to do with the last handful of games in the increasingly convoluted main series. My hopes (along with some shameless self promotion) is that they take something from my ‘What We Want in Silent Hill 6’ article from a few months back because, while I’m not usually one to toot my own horn (actually, yes I am), there were some truly shiny gems of knowledge in that article. My only worries about this game is that it will be dropped gently into the hands of yet another developer, this time a brand new studio called Vatra Games. It’s also been rumored that instead of this game being another stand alone title like the last handful of games, the next Silent Hill will be based around (maybe even a remake?) of Silent Hill 2, arguably the best installment in the series.
The next bit of info, and one that has yet to be confirmed (but certainly wouldn’t surprise anyone), is that there may or may not be a sequel to the recent Silent Hill: Shattered Memories in the works as well. This game could be a sequel to the surprisingly good Shattered Memories or it could end up being another ‘reimagining’ of a past Silent Hill title. I’m hoping for the latter because, come on, how awesome would it be to get two of the original Silent Hill games remade with today’s visuals? I don’t know about you, but I’m hoping for a remake of either Silent Hill 1 or 3, or possibly, a true remake of the second.
Ok, I’m sorry I called you smelly. It was uncalled for, but when I discovered you’ll be getting your smelly, err, beautifully manicured hands on Alan Wake a whole four days earlier than me, I’ll admit I got a little jealous. Instead of getting the game on May 20th, you’ll now be getting it exactly a week earlier, on May 14th. As for us obese, pizza-faced Americans, we still won’t have the game until the 18th.
But that’s not all on the Alan Wake front, oh no sir. Remedy’s Head of Franchise Development Oskari Häkkinen might have subtly dropped a few hints pointing at an Alan Wake sequel. Assuming this one does well, and I sincerely hope it does, a sequel is practically inevitable, but it’s always nice to hear such exciting news. While talking about Alan Wake during a recent Q&A session Häkkinen continually referred to the game as season one, and when asked about plans for DLC, he responded by saying there were plans to bring out DLC that would connect seasons one and two. Keep your fingers crossed that all this comes true!
F.3.A.R., the sequel to last year’s F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin was announced recently, and we’re now getting a taste of their marketing campaign, which reminds me of those fairly awful Resident Evil 5 live action adverts, just this time they’ve taken out the cheese and replaced it with half-decent special effects and roughly 2-3 frames worth of gameplay.
In case you didn’t notice, I wasn’t a big fan of the Resident Evil ads. They weren’t done very well, some of them really didn’t make much sense, and the actors looked little like the characters they attempting to portray. The new F.3.A.R. ad is, in my opinion, exponentially more entertaining to watch, it reveals some plot points, and is actually pretty cool. I really enjoyed the first FEAR, though the expansions were craptastic, and Project Origin managed to keep my attention for a good while despite it being quite a bit of the same.
However, not all is good in the dark and dreary world of F.3.A.R., as Monolith has jumped ship to work on another game, handing over the reigns to Day One Studios (the guys behind Fracture, Mech Assault, and Mech Assault 2). This means the mech action is sure to be good and even though Fracture was far from a great game, at least we know they understand shooters. This bit of news might have it’s own silver lining, as Monolith is also the developers of one of my favorite new action horror franchises, Condemned, so if there really is a God up there, he’ll make sure they use this time to make Condemned 3.
I’ll admit I didn’t see this one coming. The first Saw game, while not necessarily terrible, was far from a good game and didn’t manage much success either critically or commercially. That doesn’t seem to be stopping Konami from giving us even more torture porn in the form of Saw 2, and while my hopes are certainly low, I really hope they can improve on the many things that made the first game so dull.
That’s right. It seems as if Popcap (the masterminds behind Plants vs. Zombies) almost replaced those loveable, illiterate zombies with aliens. You see, the original premise was to pit plants vs. aliens, a game that probably would’ve been great considering Popcap’s pedigree, but admittedly a lot less enjoyable. Plants vs. Zombies was originally intended to be a sequel to one of their older games entitles Insaniquarium, where you have to protect your fish from an invading alien force. The reason behind this? First off, zombies rock. Second, and this time from Popcap CEO David Roberts, “”How could [the aliens] get to Earth and not have the technology to kill plants?” Well played, sir, well played.
Gears of War designer Cliffy B was supposed to unveil two of Epic Games’ upcoming titles on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, but was pushed back so they could have a few more days to polish whatever it is they’re showing. Then someone at Microsoft HQ, who seemed to have missed the memo, prematurely announced Gears of War 3 on the Xbox dashboard for an April 2011 release date.
We all knew the game was coming, especially since Microsoft had said in the past that their goal is the release a Halo game every other year and fill in the gaps with an installment in their other flagship series, Gears of War. So with Halo: Reach on the way this autumn, it’s only fair that Gears 3 gets the spotlight next year. Well, the trailer for third game was shown and now it’s time to discuss it. The teaser, fittingly titled ‘Ashes to Ashes’ contains, well, a lot of ash. In case you didn’t know this little known fact already, ash is grey, and one of the few major complaints people have had in the past with the Gears series is its brown and grey centric color palette. For better or worse, this issue doesn’t seem to have been resolved in the conclusion to Epic’s shooter trilogy.
It’s already been rumored by Edge Magazine that the next Gears installment will include mech suits and underwater action. That sounds fine and dandy but neither were confirmed in the teaser trailer. Instead we got a tentacle… thing, that waved its whip-like arms all scary-like, a double-barrel shotgun, and some serious beard action. We’ll be able to see that beautiful beard and tentacle action come April 5th.
But that’s not all Epic’s working on, oh no sir, and if you’re a Game Informer subscriber you’ll be getting ‘in the know’ very soon since another of their games, called Bulletstorm, is being featured on the cover of this month’s issue. What we already know about the game is that it’s set in the future and you control a gun-wielding drunken pirate. That premise spells an instant win to me; what about you?
What’s A Horror Game You’re Looking Forward to?
So you’ve made it this far, and for that I commend you. Now I’d like to take the time to get your thoughts. You see, I’m working on another ‘What We Want in…’ article, but I can’t seem to decide which game I want to cover next. I’ve discussed Resident Evil 6, Silent Hill 6, Batman 2, and BioShock 3, and now I’d like to see what game you want me to talk about next. With the possibility of the game being in the works, I’m considering Condemned 3, but F.3.A.R, Doom 4, and Dead Space 2 are all contenders. If one of those tickles your fancy, let me know and I’ll do it.