I haven’t quite gotten over just how good Until Dawn is, so in an attempt to help me move past it in time for SOMA, I’d like to hear about the horror game(s) that surprised you the most, either by exceeding your expectations or failing spectacularly to live up to them.
The last eight months left us with slew of titles that may qualify as victories for the genre, and it started with Capcom’s long-awaited course correction for their flagship “horror” series. The Resident Evil HD remake showed us what can happen when Capcom applies itself, the episodic Revelations 2 proved they’re still capable of innovation, and the recent confirmation of a Resident Evil 2 basically said they really are listening to us.
It took a while to get to this point. We should savor it.
Resident Evil is working on getting back to its fighting weight, but it’s hardly the only victory to come out of 2015. Dying Light sold enough copies to scare away its only competition, Killing Floor 2 got some blood in our eyes, and Bloodborne combined the immortal appeal of Nightmare Creatures with an overabundance of top hats and set it in an H.P. Lovecraft fever dream.
They haven’t all been winners, though I wouldn’t go so far as to call any of them bad. The Order: 1886 took itself too seriously, Zombi played fast and loose with the term “remaster”, and Lucius II is definitely a game you can buy right now, if you wanted to.
The surprises you go with don’t have to be recent releases. As far as good surprises go, my list would have room for Shadows of the Damned and Silent Hill: Shattered Memories. I might even include Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs, which drew more ire than it deserved. It made some unusual changes to the core gameplay, but I suspect we’ll eventually remember it more for its unnerving world and brilliant storytelling than the terrible idea that was that electric lantern.
Representing the ugly side of horror games is Aliens: Colonial Marines, Dino Crisis 3, and Atari’s pitiful attempts to make Alone in the Dark and Haunted House relevant again. If there’s room on this hate train for another passenger, Konami’s done more than enough this year to earn that spot.
Now it’s your turn. Tell me, which horror games surprised you the most?