I wish every horror game I enjoyed got a sequel. Even games like BioShock, which don’t really need sequels. If I like it, I usually want more of it, even if it’s only to see where a developer can take their series. Unfortunately, while the slate of releases might suggest otherwise (Black Ops II, Halo 4, Assassin’s Creed III, Resident Evil 6, etc.) it’s difficult for a game to get a sequel, especially in the midst of a new generation of consoles. The problem is studios need to make money, and unless the game has a substantial following or is accessible to a wide audience, potential for a sequel isn’t great.
If you’re reading this, then you’re probably a fan of the horror genre, so you’re undoubtedly aware that when it comes to accessibility, the horror genre (in video games, at least) isn’t exactly known for being welcoming to newcomers. Here are ten games that I think could actually sell well, if they’re given the second chance they deserve.
All Zombies Must Die!
All Zombies Must Die! is a top-down zombie arcade shoot ’em up that isn’t actually related to All Orcs Must Die! It’s a fun little arcade game that succeeded where Konami’s Zombie Apocalypse series failed in that it’s actually fun to play. It even has four-player co-op — the only problem is that co-op is limited to local play only. In case you haven’t noticed, zombies are huge right now and as a cheap digital release with a fun, quirky style it’s immediately more welcoming to newcomers than similar (and gorier) games like Dead Nation. If this does get a sequel, it needs online co-op.
I’m a little bit surprised we haven’t heard anything about a Dead Nation 2. The first was well-received, and to my knowledge, performed well, or at least, well enough to warrant an expansion. Whereas games like All Zombies Must Die!, Burn Zombie Burn!, and Zombie Apocalypse have a more colorful take on the common zombie apocalypse formula, Dead Nation went full on gritty. It’s dark, gory, and (somewhat) realistic. There are even Resident Evil style monsters that bring with them special abilities like summoning swarms of infected to surround you. It’s a very fun game, and one the desperately deserves a follow-up.
If you have a PS3 and haven’t played Heavy Rain, I highly recommend it. It’s a gorgeous, interactive movie that plays like a spiritual successor to developer Quantic Dream’s previous project, Indigo Prophecy. It follows the lives of several people whose stories revolve around a mysterious murderer called the Origami Killer. It’s creepy, disturbing, and plays well, despite how unforgivably awkward the character movement is. They’re currently busy with Beyond: Two Souls, and they’ve said they aren’t interested in a sequel, but that won’t diminish my hope.
Okay, so this game isn’t really horror, but it does have zombies and gore, so it makes the list. For the most part, I’ve loved Suda 51’s previous work, but his latest game, the over-the-top Lollipop Chainsaw didn’t win me over when it released this past summer. It’s a fun and often funny game — my main complaints revolved around its controls and the numerous ways you could die instantly. It can be a damn frustrating game, but that doesn’t mean they can’t make a Lollipop Chainsaw 2 that fixes all that jazz.
This is another game that ended up being fairly underwhelming., and for many of the same reasons that kept me from warming up to Lollipop Chainsaw. It’s a gorgeous game, but it’s also intensely frustrating. That middle part that had you aimlessly wandering a sewer system, solving some crazy dude’s puzzles stood out as one of the most annoying parts of the game. So for the sequel, I suggest focusing on what that made the first third of the game so great: the thrill of exploring a zombie-infested city.
This was a moderately polarizing game, and for good reason. On one hand, the writing is clever and humorous, there’s a lot to do in its massive world, and there were actually a few good scares. It’s many comparisons to Twin Peaks have been rightly earned. Unfortunately, it’s also a moderately ugly, clunky game that can be more than a difficult to get into. With the sequel, unless the budget matches the scope, I say we scale things down a bit. I also suggest a total overhaul of the controls, because they were bad.
I am a huge supporter of Cold Fear. Sure, it was an obvious cash-in on Resident Evil 4’s popularity with one of the worst endings in recent memory, but it was still a visually impressive and often terrifying game. Not enough games take place on ghost ships, and fewer still on ghost ships lost in rough seas during particularly powerful storms. The way they used the rocking of the boat as a gameplay mechanic (where you could lose your balance, or worse, slide off the edge to an icy death). A sequel to this game could be a hit, especially if they take a page out of Dead Space’s book and set it on an even bigger sea-faring vessel (with an obligatory return to one of the ships from the original game, of course).
Clive Barker’s Jericho
After Clive Barker’s Undying, Jericho had a pretty high bar to live up to. Did it? Not really, no. I had fun when I first played it, back in 2007. I’m sure if I played the game today I wouldn’t be as fond of it’s unusual difficulty spikes and shoddy level design. Unsurprisingly, the one thing Jericho did really well was introduce to us a bunch of terrifyingly awesome monsters. Those Corpse Behemoths look as cool as their name sounds, spewing acidic blood from their gnarly, metal mouth cages. Or at least that’s how I remember them. There’s really no chance this game will ever see a sequel, but if it somehow does, I’d like it to be developed by Monolith, the team behind the F.E.A.R. and Condemned franchises.
Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem
Every year we go without an Eternal Darkness sequel is a year I desperately want to forget. Silicon Knights needs to get their shit in gear and bring us this game. There’s really nothing else that needs to be said.
Shadows of the Damned
This might actually happen, and if it does, I’ll be one happy camper. Developer Grasshopper Manufacture has already expressed interest in making this a series, even though it didn’t sell well. The ingredients are there: it’s hilarious, plays well enough (though the controls could benefit from some fine-tuning), and visually, it’s one of the coolest looking games I’ve played this generation. I need more Garcia Hotspur, and preferably sooner rather than later.
Feel free to angrily tell me what games I missed in the comments below!