For those of you who do not keep up with E3 for any number of reasons, its easy to miss out on the fact that each year harbors a bit more than new memes and Todd Howard. This year in particular has offered up a wide array of horror and horror-themed games that look very promising. The issue is that most of these reveals are not long enough to turn into their own article. Instead, I will be counting down the ones I am most excited for, and giving some insight into why. Be aware this list does not reflect any objective quality of the games mentioned, especially because you cannot fairly review a game before it comes out. With that in mind, I hope you enjoy!
As a final note, this will not cover every horror release teased at E3 (Far from it, I picked just a few, in fact.) , and the reason for that is truly simple: I may or may not be turning many of the Indie title teases into full, seperate articles in the near future, so be on the lookout for that. Additionally these are just the titles I had the most to say about.
Most of you are probably surprised to see this towards the bottom of the list. There is a simple reason for that. Death Stranding, simply put, does not look very scary. Yes, it has a few of the key horror elements we have come to expect over the decades as the genre has been carefully polished and refined, but Death Stranding comes off as more of an artsy title than a horror one. With the ludicrous amount of walking featured in the only gameplay we have been shown, the vile yet abstract imagery in the trailers, and the overall feeling given, Death Stranding would not entirely surprise me if upon release it is entirely in black and white and in French only. It feels very art-studentesque, like the shocking moments are thrown in for shock value alone.
I have nothing against walking simulators in horror. Some of my favorite horror experiences, like the original Amnesia: The Dark Descent, feature no combat at all. But the difference is that Death Stranding seems to be going for a third person perspective, which provides a certain level of comfortable distance for the player. Third person games can be scary, take Resident Evil for example, but if it is focused on walking around an expansive environment in un-immersive third person without much interesting gameplay to keep us interested, we will have a problem.
They already killed this series when they made the protagonist unlikeable in the last entry. This seems like nothing more than an attempt by the developers to print more money by tricking fans into thinking they will be receiving a better product than the terrible reboot that ruined an amazing trilogy. There is not a lot for me to say about this one. Truly, if all you care about is the gameplay, go for it. But the charm that made me and so many others fall in love with this series over all was taken out back, shot in the head, and buried years ago, leaving this a husk of what it used to be.
Honestly, you are better off going back and enjoying the original trilogy again rather than giving this one the time of day.
Firstly, I am cheating a bit since this game was revealed LAST E3. However, there is a reason I am bringing it to attention now. Namely that consumers are still falling for Undead Labs and their tricks, including getting the game covered by major Youtubers recently.
This is a title that is plagued by issues unrelated to the content of the game itself. State of Decay 2 might end up being a master piece that belongs on a wall of some posh museum. Despite that, I still do not recommend giving the developers any of your hard earned money.
As I said, State of Decay 2 is troubled by issues related not to the game, but to the developers and their shady practices. For those not in the know, the original State of Decay was pulled from shelves in favor of a new HD release called the Year One Survival Edition, which also featured various fixes. The issue is that this release was not granted for free to owners of the original State of the Decay, meaning they were expected to pay the full price of the game a second time just to get a fixed version (That was STILL riddled with many unresolved issues).
For that reason, Undead Labs, the developer of State of Decay, much like the zombies infesting their game world, are slimy, unwashed, and lack basic table manners. I would avoid this title for at least a year or two after launch and see if they pull an equally scummy move as last time, and then, if you become truly desperate, buy State of Decay 2: Remastered Express We Want Money Editionnite Battle Royale on sale on Steam. Other than that, I would recommend avoiding this like the zombie plague.
Great news everyone! We have escaped the bottom three of the list, meaning that from here on out, I will be talking about games I actually DO think I will want to play! And the first game to break into that esteemed bracket is Shadows Die Twice. Initially, many in the media believed that this game would simply be a Japanese style remix of Dark Souls, and as much as I love Dark Souls, I could not be more glad that they were wrong. Unlike Dark Souls, SDT does not feature any levelup systems or multiplayer. Instead it seems to be a full homage to Japanese culture in a refreshing and blood-soaked setting.
Unlike any Dark Souls game, the majority of enemies in the game seem to be human, a choice that shows the developers are going for a more rooted-in-history approach to the setting of Medieval Japan.
You may then be asking, how SDT qualifies as a horror game. It is simple: Atmosphere. SDT tackles the theme of being overwhelmingly outnumbered and in over your head in a way that, while it may not make you jump and scream like a child, will make every combat experience adrenaline filled and leave you sweaty, checking for any enemies that may come around and surprise you. Be on the lookout for this one, it seems promising.
Now here is one that was refreshing to see. Dying Light desperately needed a sequel, mainly so that I can stop putting so many hours on Steam into it that my friends start to wonder if I need an intervention for my crippling addiction to zombie parkour. Dying Light 2 is exactly what I wanted to see, a fresh take on the concept of the first game by applying it to a new environment, with added features, a new story written by the very same writer who created the story of Fallout: New Vegas, a seemingly ambitious choice-based world, and more of the limb-splitting, rooftop hopping, zombie killing action that brought the first game into the spotlight.
The choices presented in Dying Light 2 tackle something that I might be alone in having desired an expansion on. I was always a bit remorseful that I could not further help the survivors other than giving them the occasional box of supplies found in an airdrop or Quarantine Zone. In the new game, the trailer emphasized that you can choose a path that is beneficial to the residents of this infested city, or one that will make this game into a kind of zombie-themed Mad Max. Honestly that premise sounds incredibly compelling to me, especially considering that historically speaking, most zombie games tend to be about how you can help yourself and your small group of survivors. Seeing a chance to change the overall world of Dying Light 2 in a positive or negative way based on your decisions might just be the breath of fresh air that the zombie genre so desperately needed.
Adding this to the list might almost be cheating, but I do not care. DOOM was a game that got my blood pumping in a way that usually costs about twenty dollars in an alley behind Walmart, without the risk of it burning when I pee. To see that Bethesda went ahead and greenlit a sequel that is purported to feature twice as many enemy types, an even more kickass DOOM guy, and Hell on Earth? That is one deal I will sign my soul away on. The fast paced ultraviolence of the 2016 DOOM showed the world that Hell does not need to move at the speed of the last drop of ketchup you cannot get out of the bottle. It resurrected a genre of shooter that was thought to have gone the way of the dinosaur, and now it is coming back to unapologetically collectively kick all lesser shooters where the sun does not shine once again.
From a reveal that the Hell equivalent of the neighbor who parties late into the night and lets his dog do its business on your lawn, the Archvile, is making a return, to the fact that for some reason the DOOM guy no longer has sleeves, there is a lot to be excited about even from this cinematic trailer. What the cinematic trailer does not address however is the story, which is fine, as DOOM has never been about the story. Though I do hope they at least try to answer the cliffhangar from the first game, it is not a requirement for the experience to be one that will consume my life like a vampire that drinks time instead of blood.
The trailer from E3 does, unfortunately, not show gameplay. However, Quakecon in August has been revealed to be where the first peaks at Gameplay will be shown. You can be sure that will be getting an article all to itself.
Thanks for reading. Oh, and in conclusion - there is one title not on this list that I bet you all thought you would be seeing. The reason it is not here is that it will be getting its own article.