The video games industry is an unforgiving world where highly anticipated games can be canceled without warning, or even worse, they can be thrown into the dread video game limbo. The fate of those who find themselves in the latter category rarely survive, instead fans are strung along for years with the promise of a release until the game meets its inevitable fate.
Unfortunately, Development Hell strikes horror games just as often, if not more so, than other genres. The most likely cause of this is how shaky the genre is, where long in development titles like Alan Wake get great reviews and tons of hype before falling short in the sales department. Then there are titles like Resident Evil that breaks all expectations, and surprise hits like BioShock. So if there’s a game you’ve been looking forward to for some time, read on to see the fifteen horror titles we’re foaming at the mouth to get our hands on.
Yes, Fatal Frame IV has been out for some time, but for anyone outside of Japan to get a copy it involves a deadly foray into the unforgiving world of the Video Game Black Market. Okay, maybe not, but the game was never released outside of the Land of the Rising Sun leaving everyone else in the world with a What the fuck? look on our faces. Come on, give us the game Tecmo!
Fatal Frame IV was released in the summer of 2008 so there’s plenty of time left to reveal that its currently Wii-exclusive sequel will be available to everyone. Unfortunately, despite great reviews the last installment didn’t sell terribly well; maybe that can be blamed on its limited release? Just a thought. All I’m saying is either give people outside Japan Fatal Frame IV or widen the fifth game’s audience by making it available on more than one platform (and country). Please?
It’s no secret that I love me some Condemned. It’s one of the few series that still manages to scare the living hell out of me. What can I say? The homeless freak me out, and those skinny drug addicts in the hotel have managed to bring me close to peeing myself on numerous occasions. Luckily for fans of the series, it’s been successful enough to warrant a sequel, and that cliffhanger ending at the end of Bloodshot only fuels the need for one. Hopefully they’ll announce it soon because I need to get my fix.
The original Nightmare Creatures was one of the first games I ever played, and I remember it quite well. A third game in the series subtitled ‘Angel of Darkness’ was to be released in 2003 for the previous generation of consoles but since then the game has found itself in development limbo. Since then Ubisoft has retained the publishing rights to the game and in 2004 they said the game wasn’t canceled, so anything’s possible right? We’re still waiting for Beyond Good & Evil, which has been in development for almost as long so we’ll all just have to keep our fingers crossed and hope for the best.
This is another game that was announced a while back but there hasn’t been much word on it since then. The fact that the game’s website has been ‘under construction’ for a year now probably isn’t a great sign but the promise of sandbox style gameplay, a focus on ammo conservation, and a very cool multi-layer damage system will keep the hope alive for this title. Plus, this past May developer Techland said development is still on track and that the game is their most important project.
There’s a very good chance this game has been canceled because we haven’t heard anything new on the game for nearly five years and it’s website has been taken by an unrelated organization. However, it’s just so unique I had to throw it on this list. Possession puts you in the role of an ‘intelligent’ zombie, who must use his not-quite dead brain to gather an army of zombies and kill the humans. With an original take on the zombie genre including some real-time strategy elements and an online mode that pits a zombie player against several human players, should this game ever see a release it could potentially be pretty great.
I’m one of the few people that loved the Outbreak series despite its clunky controls, static camera, and terrible online play. The first game received average reviews and sold well but the second received less warm reviews and sold way less. All is not lost though, because there’s of a fairly successful petition to reanimate (I had to do it) the franchise. Hell, there’s even a campaign to bring the series back. Of course, for Capcom to greenlight another game in the series it’s going to require quite a bit more support then there is currently, but just take a second and imagine how great an Outbreak game could be today: it would be like Left 4 Dead only scary.
There’s no reason to seriously expect a third Suffering game (especially since Midway owns the rights) but I can dream, can’t I? The games never received terribly positive reviews and both games performed adequately sales wise but there isn’t another game like The Suffering currently on the market, and in my opinion the creature designs remain as some of the best I’ve ever seen.
Announced back in 2007 when developers had the false idea in their heads that horror games would do well on the Wii (see: Dead Space: Extraction, Cursed Mountain, Ju-On: The Grudge, House of the Dead: Overkill, etc.) Winter is an interesting idea for a console owned mostly by gamers who just aren’t interested in the genre. But there’s still hope for the game yet, the only issue is the failure to find a publisher for the game. Without a publisher’s warm embrace the game is destined to go the way of the also canceled Sadness and fade into oblivion, or wherever it is canceled games go when they die.
What’s better than zombies and can effortlessly kick a zombie Nazi’s undead ass? Zombie dinosaurs, that’s what. Sadly, Capcom lost its marbles and decided to mix things up and turn the third game into a bizarre mess that led to its failure. So should a fourth game ever see the light of day, please Capcom, reel in the crazy a bit, ok?
Haven’t heard of this game before? I can’t say I blame you. It was (or possibly is) being developed by Double Helix Games, who put it on hold because of another horror title: Silent Hill: Homecoming. There’s only been a trailer for the game and it definitely looked interesting, but it’s been so long since we last heard anything about the game that I’m wondering if it will ever bring us some kickass vampire hunting action. I mean, come on, if Vampire Reign can get released (twice) then Harker should be given the same chance.
Similar to the Outbreak series, this is another one of those games I seem to be alone in my undying love for it. It wasn’t a great game but it was a hell of a lot of fun and received good enough reviews justify a sequel. In case you missed it, Cold Fear was a zombie-esque game that took place on a Russian whaler where these creepy Las Plagas inspired worm things have taken control of the minds of the ship’s crew transforming them into wrench-loving monsters. It was heavily inspired by Resident Evil 4 that came out a year prior, especially its third person over the shoulder perspective and laser sight equipped arsenal of weapons, but it also had an interesting story and amazing level design (that boat was effin’ creepy).
I’m not talking about the upcoming handheld spin-off The Third Birthday, I’m talking about an actual sequel to this beloved series. It just so happens that there’s been some very recent news on this game confirming its release on home consoles. The only catch is for them to seriously consider bringing the series to home consoles The Third Birthday will have to do well. Way to get our hopes up before striking them down you merciless bastards. It boggles my mind that after the runaway successes that were the first and second games (which sold a combined total over 2 million units) and Square Enix still refuses to drop some cash on a real sequel. So if you want to see Parasite Eve 3, go out and buy The Third Birthday when it comes out for the PSP next year.
Geez, what’s up with all the 3’s in this feature? Maybe we’ve just stumbled upon a curse, the Curse of the 3, because it seems like a lot of series get shut down before they see a third installment. Unfortunately the chances of us seeing a Blood 3 are slim since there hasn’t been any talk of one since the second game released in late 1998. Most people don’t know that this series marked Monolith’s first foray into the horror genre, and they’ve since gone on to bestow upon us the Condemned and F.E.A.R. franchises. Needless to say, if this game does get developed it will be good.
Alright, yes I realize Clock Tower 3 sucked pretty bad; the story was ridiculous (but then again, can you name many horror games with realistic plots?), its animation was terrible, and the gameplay was just awful. It did have good music though, and the environments were beautifully realized, so for the fourth game should take the good things (namely the music and level design) and throw everything else back on the drawing board. Maybe if the (possibly) upcoming film adaptation does well, which it won’t, that might renew interest in this ailing franchise.
The original has become a cult classic and might very well be the game Clock Tower 3 aspired to be (just with a dog), but despite a fair level of interest in a sequel because of the first game’s sales Capcom isn’t in a hurry to get work started on a sequel. From Capcom itself, ” As far as what happened to [Haunting Ground 2], for whatever reason (likely sales) producers in Japan haven’t been inclined to keep the series going. So for now, the franchise rests. Sad news for sure but there isn’t a definite confirmation on the game’s cancellation so we’re well within our rights to keep bugging Capcom for one.
When a game like Batman: Arkham Asylum borrows a page from your book you know you’re doing something right. Eternal Darkness was adept at a lot of things but it excelled at making unsuspecting gamers think their console or TV was busted. When your Sanity Meter was depleted you were met with several crazy effects that were caused by your character’s loosening grip on sanity so when it was empty you were met with terrifying noises, bizarre camera angles, monstrous hallucinations, bleeding walls, and a myriad other video effects to mess with your head. Unfortunately, despite rumblings of a sequel the developer (who also brought us the disappointing Norse Action RPG Too Human) probably won’t be returning to the series anytime soon.
Some might say I’ve saved the best for last because I’m sure anyone who played the original System Shock games wouldn’t mind getting bullied by SHODAN again. I’ve played a good number of horror games in my time but I can honestly say SHODAN remains as the most memorable, and not to mention intimidating, enemies I’ve ever come across in a game.
Back in 2006 EA renewed its trademark on the System Shock brand and a year later we were given the fantastic BioShock, but other than that there hasn’t been any updates on a third installment in the series.
So, what did I miss? Did I skip a missing horror game (or two, or three) you feel should make this list? If I did miss something you if you simply want to thank me for compiling the sexiest list that’s ever graced your delicate eyeballs, let me know in the comments.
this week in horror
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