This is going to be a relatively tame month for new releases, especially compared to this same timeframe last year, which left us with a couple of Steam Early Access titles (H1Z1, Monstrum), a pair of remasters (Resident Evil, Indigo Prophecy), and Dying Light. That was an unusually busy month that ultimately led to a disappointing latter half of they year, so let’s not look at this as too much, or too little, but just the right amount of horror.
I usually prefer to ease into the weird stuff, but that’s not possible when we have something like Pony Island coming out in the first week of January. This game injects some suspense into its puzzle-solving, as you use the power of your brain to escape from the malfunctioning arcade cabinet the devil has imprisoned you in.
I love indie games.
Release Date: January 5 (PC)
Fans of Until Dawn should keep an eye on Night School Studio’s indie horror game Oxenfree. This supernatural teen thriller follows the ghostly residents of a long-hidden phantom dimension as their world suddenly collides with our own thanks to a group of blundering teens — our “protagonists” — forcing these gentle specters to desperately protect their home.
Or maybe it’s about some teens who unintentionally expose a tear in space and time during a night-long island soirée that’s more or less ruined when pissed off poltergeists pour forth and start picking them off one by one.
Release Date: January 15 (PC, XBO)
RESIDENT EVIL 0 HD
You probably know by now that there’s a prequel to the original Resident Evil and that it’s getting a remaster later this month. What you might not know about Resident Evil 0 HD is that it’s coming with a new Wesker Mode so players can step into the skin-tight pants of Albert Wesker (circa Resident Evil 5) so we can disintegrate things with our laser vision.
Release Date: January 19 (PC, PS3, PS4, 360, XBO)
RESIDENT EVIL ORIGINS COLLECTION
It will also come with some hilariously awful costumes.
Release Date: January 19 (PS4, XBO)
BABA YAGA: THE TEMPLE OF THE WITCH
We only recently became acquainted with Baba Yaga: The Temple of the Witch, which is also the first story expansion for the ridiculously good Rise of the Tomb Raider. Lara Croft has been known to dip a toe in the horrific, but it’s never gone full horror. Baba Yaga isn’t likely to change that, but it does look delightfully creepy.
This DLC will come with an additional tomb filled with treasures to plunder (for heroic reasons, of course), and a meaty side story that pits Ms. Croft against “an ancient and mythic evil.” I bet I know what it is.
Unfortunately, while Rise of the Tomb Raider is slated to hit PC later this month, it won’t be arriving on the PS4 until the end of the year and there isn’t currently a PC release date for the Baba Yaga DLC.
Release Date: TBA January (360, XBO)
DARQ / SYLVIO 2
These horror games aren’t new releases, but they do have the potential to become that in the future, assuming we’re willing to part with enough of our precious cash monies to help make it happen.
The first crowdfunding campaign to close this month belongs to an open-world horror game by the name of Sylvio 2. After successfully raising over $2,300 a little more than a year ago, Stroboscope is hoping to get $15,289 by January 9. I sincerely hope they’re able to haul ass next week so they can raise the remaining ~$7,000, because I love the idea of “a single-player horror game set in broad daylight, where you record the dead with the help of a video camera and a portable TV.” Don’t you?
Unfold Games is taking the “out-niche the competition” approach with their horror game DARQ. It’s not an easy one to describe, but that’s obviously not going to stop me from trying.
DARQ is a nightmarish 2.5D side-scroller set in the lucid dream of a child protagonist named Lloyd, who quickly realizes he’s been gifted with godlike powers that allow him to manipulate the laws of physics. If that sounds like your idea of a good time, you can support it on Indiegogo.