2019 is looking like it will cater to all sides of the horror game spectrum. Whether you prefer your horror to keep you on the edge of your seat as a powerless being trapped in a spooky, scary world, or would rather have a degree of agency in being able to fight back, there’s something here for you.
Resident Evil 2
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC – Release: 25/01/19
Resident Evil 2 is no simple remake or remaster, this is a ground up reimagining and retelling of the classic 90s horror game, and it’s ruddy fantastic! It shifts from fixed cameras to a third person view, ditching the tank controls in the process, adds new branches and moments to a thoroughly revised and much less hokey story, and Capcom have thrown hundreds of developers at the game to make sure it looks absolutely sublime (and the Tyrant is as terrifying as ever).
All of that means that this isn’t just a love letter to the long term fans of the series, but that it’s also welcoming for newcomers. It can stand tall as a game designed for 2019 and everything that modern gamers expect in terms of feel and production values. As I wrote just a couple weeks ago, it’s setting a new standard for 90s remakes.
Man of Medan
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC – Release: 2019
I think it’s safe to say that Supermassive Games haven’t been at their best since the release of Until Dawn, but that’s all the more reason to be excited for the first story in the new The Dark Pictures Anthology series. Man of Medan is very much in the mould of Until Dawn, with a bunch of pretty young people trapped in a scary situation and their fates in your hands.
The big difference from a buyer’s perspective is that the studio are no longer tied to the PlayStation brand, and this game will also come to Xbox One and PC – another bonus here is that there’s won’t be any more ‘hold the controller perfectly still while the murderous clown is stomping around outside the wardrobe’ moments. Still, from our hands on time a few months ago, it’s lost none of the creepy tension and scares that horror fans love to endure.
Dying Light 2
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC – Release: TBC
Dying Light was a huge success for Techland, with the studio finally showing what they can do when given time and space to refine their game. Dying Light 2 looks set to follow in the footsteps of the first, with an open world that you dash around with parkour, weighty melee combat, and scary things that come out to go bump in the night, but it also jumps the story ahead 15 years.
Chris Avellone has joined the team to craft the story and narrative, which will bend around your choices. Set in the ‘Modern Dark Ages’, your actions can shift the balance between factions. Help the Peace Keepers and they’ll do exactly what they say they will, but do so with an iron fist, or you can turn to feed the black market and lawlessness. It’s up to you and (if you like) your co-op buddies.
There’s no word on a release for this game just yet, but we’re hopeful that it might be in 2019. Cross your fingers?
Maid of Sker
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC – Release: Q3 2019
Who better to tell the story of a scary 19th century house in Wales than a bunch of Welsh developers? Wales Interactive are adapting The Maid of Sker novel and ballad Y Ferch o’r Sger into a first person stealth. It follows the story of Elizabeth and Thomas Williams, with the latter trying to save the former in one of the most haunted buildings in Britain, and do so while staying as quiet as a mouse to avoid the aurally sensitive baddies searching for him.
Layers of Fear 2
Platforms: TBC – Release: 2019
Bloober Team’s first horror game painted us a rather horrifying picture, descending into the mad mind of a creatively blocked artist, but for the sequel they’re taking their story to the big screen. “You became and actor so you could never be yourself,” the narrator states as the trailer reveals a cinema. The game itself will delve into the horror of classic cinemas, but will actually be set on a claustrophobic and ever-changing ship. Will this be a new masterpiece?
The Blackout Club
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC – Release: 2019
Horror shared is horror halved, to adapt a popular saying, so it must be quartered in a four player co-op game, right? The Blackout Club is just that, as four teens sneak out of their homes at night to try and track down a monstrous secret in their procedurally generated town – that must be an absolute nightmare for figuring out your route to school or work in the morning.
There’s a rather modern horror vibe to it, as you explore with mobile phone in hand to try and gather evidence of what’s going on. It’s not taking photos that will save you, though; you only see the monsters when you close your eyes. To be honest, that’s about all we know, despite the game currently being out in Early Access, but you can definitely colour us intrigued!