After the PlayStation 4 arrives on November 15th and the Xbox One the week after that, this generation will officially be considered last-generation. Both Microsoft and Sony have vowed to continue supporting their respective consoles for the next couple years, so they’re far from dead, they’re just being replaced by something shinier and more “all-in-one”.
The future is looking especially bright for the horror genre, with games like Dead Rising 3 just around the corner and The Evil Within and Dying Light both coming next year. Before we get too engulfed in the excitement that a new console generation inspires, I’d like to take a look at some of the horror games that defined this console generation.
Check out my list of the ten greatest horror games of this generation, after the jump!
The house of Half-Life surprised the world when they announced they’d be publishing Left 4 Dead, a cooperative horror title inspired by 28 Days Later. The idea of a multiplayer centric infected — not zombie — survival game where teamwork is key to survival drew many of us in, but it was the addictive multiplayer, clever level design and innovative AI Director, which dynamically alters the game based on how well you’re performing, that kept many of us engaged long after.
Possibly my favorite horror game of this generation (easily in the top three) is Dead Space, a sci-fi horror game set in the bloodied halls of the USG Ishimura. It’s “strategic dismemberment,” my favorite video game term, and innovative UI that placed the HUD (health, ammo counter, etc.) on the player character went on to inspire the interface design in a bevy of games that followed.
I’ll never forget the first time I walked its halls, waiting for some twisted mockery of a human to burst forth from one of the planet cracker’s many vents.
Thanks for the nightmares, Visceral.
Alan Wake has become a bit of a cult hit for many gamers, with its odd story and Twin Peaks vibes. It’s an unnerving game that was essentially built around the mechanic of light and dark. You blast away the darkness with your flashlight — your only friend in this game — to fight your way through possessed monsters that used to be human.
American Nightmare was a worthy follow-up, but we’re all still waiting on that Alan Wake 2, Remedy!