The Best And Most-Promising Horror Games Of 2015

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This year has already been kind to horror fans, in the twisted way where “kind” means scaring them silly. We’ve endured a variety of harrowing and challenging trials, from a blood-soaked Lovecraftian nightmare to manipulating the fates of young partiers on a snowy mountainside. Thankfully, the year has a few more scares left. Here’s a look back at the best horror games of 2015, and a collection of incoming titles that promise to offer some thrills.

The Horrors Already Among Us

Dying Light
Developer: Techland
Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC
Release Date: January 27

Ever wonder how a parkour master would fare in a sprawling city during the zombie apocalypse? Dying Light lets you find out yourself. With an emphasis on first-person melee combat and open-world platforming skills, players are drop-kicking rotten skulls and vaulting over the undead in no time. Surviving the more powerful enemies during the nighttime levels up your abilities faster, encouraging players to face their fear of the dark. If that sounds too scary to handle yourself, you can team up with friends for online co-op. Combine all this with Techland’s incredible post-release support and you’ve got a zombie slayer’s fantasy come true. (Read our Dying Light review)

Resident Evil: Revelations 2
Developer: Capcom
Publisher: Capcom
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Vita, PC
Release Date: March 18

This side series to Capcom’s juggernaut Resident Evil franchise surprised fans when it first launched on 3DS back in 2012. The sequel continues the fan service on current-gen consoles by picking up the forgotten story threads of Claire Redfield and Barry Burton. Players trade off control of Claire and Barry as they explore a mysterious island filled with tortured creatures, complete with improved gunplay and expanded co-op options. Claire’s partner, Moira Burton, can blind enemies with a flashlight, while Barry’s spooky little girl companion can point out invisible foes. When you’re all done with the intense campaign, Raid Mode offers hours of co-op fun while you blast away zombies and level your gear and characters. (Read our Resident Evil: Revelations 2 review)

Bloodborne
Developer: From Software
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Platforms: PlayStation 4
Release Date: March 24

From Software’s latest adventure isn’t what we’d consider the traditional horror game, but it has all the classic literary trappings of the genre. A lone hunter stalks werewolves and other Eldritch abominations throughout an oppressive Victorian Age setting. Speaking of oppressive, From Software’s Dark Souls gameplay chops are on full display here, with punishing boss battles and demanding yet fair combat. Thankfully, Bloodborne benefits from faster gameplay, and is a more accessible entry point into From’s unique style of action. You might be up for the challenge, but you might not be ready to see the unflinching might of the cosmos staring back at you. (Read our Bloodborne review)

Until Dawn
Developer: Supermassive Games
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Platforms: PlayStation 4
Release Date: August 25

Everybody thinks they’d handle an ordeal from a horror film better than the numbskulls they usually star. Supermassive’s Until Dawn finally gives players a break from going blue while yelling “don’t go in there” by handing them control of every bad situation. You can decide whether the meathead jock saves himself or his friend in peril. Hear a weird noise? It’s up to you whether to investigate or head in the opposite direction. The terrific PS4 graphics, legitimate scares, and twisting, choice-driven storylines make this a must-play for fans of the genre.


Darkest Dungeon
Developer: Red Hook Studios
Publisher: Red Hood Studios
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Vita, PC, iOS
Release Date: 2015

Similar to Bloodborne, Red Hook’s Darkest Dungeon qualifies as a horror game thanks to its gross, bloody art style and merciless Lovecraft-inspired dungeon crawling. What it lacks in jump scares, it makes up for with gameplay consequences that will make your knuckles white. The tale takes place in the corrupt catacombs far beneath an old mansion, where a handful of ill-fated heroes battle brutal pig butchers and sword-wielding skeletons in droves. Like Lovecraft’s literature, the universe of Darkest Dungeon has little regard for the wellbeing of its inhabitants, so keeping your spirits up is as important as improving your skills. The game is in Early Access on Steam now if you’re interested in seeing how long you can last.

SOMA
Developer: Frictional Games
Publisher: Frictional Games
Platforms: PlayStation 4, PC
Release Date: September 22

Frictional Games, the horror savants that brought you Amnesia: The Dark Descent, descend even further. This horror adventure dives deep under the sea, taking place in a mysterious underwater research base where the robot help has gone haywire. Enigmatic organic matter fuses with the machinery, creating unexpected and horrifying results. The unease even spills out of the facility, with locations set on the ocean floor itself. Looking out at the infinite blackness of the ocean is not for the faint of heart.

Corpse Party: Blood Drive
Developer: Team GrisGris
Publisher: Marvelous USA
Platforms: Vita
Release Date: October 15

On the surface, the Corpse Party series may look like your average anime-inspired portable game filled with school girls, but inside it’s a blood-drenched nightmare teeming with unsettling abominations. The story-driven adventure tasks players with exploring dark environments for clues that unravel the cast of characters’ intertwining stories. If you’re interested in narrative-heavy games with a major dose of intrigue and horror, keep your Vita charged up come this fall so you can help unravel the mystery of Heavenly Host Academy.

Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water
Developer: Koi Tecmo
Publisher: Nintendo
Platforms: Wii U
Release Date: October 22

Armed with only a camera and whatever courage you can muster, players once again embark into the ghostly world of Fatal Frame. The fifth entry takes place on the haunted mountainside of Mt. Mikami, as a girl named Yuuri attempts to use her extrasensory abilities to find a missing person. Players will explore the lakes and graveyards of the mountainside while holding their Wii U GamePad like a camera. Players deal additional damage to the otherworldly threats by tilting the GamePad before snapping a picture. Hopefully this intriguing novelty pays off as an unnerving use of the Wii U’s hardware.

Hunt: Horrors of the Gilded Age
Developer: Crytek USA
Publisher: Crytek
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC
Release Date: 2015

Lovecraft is popular right now, and Crytek USA is striking while the torture iron is hot. The Hunt’s development team is made up of several of the former Vigil Interactive folks who worked on Darksiders II. For this title, the team is combining Left 4 Dead’s style of frantic, unending enemy waves with a third-person view and co-op RPG mechanics. Players trudge through staple Lovecraft locations like the swampy Louisiana bayou, complete with a fancy bowler hat, a bandolier of shotgun shells, and plenty of murderous cultist hillbillies. The players’ main objectives are mainly to take out big bosses based on real folklore, like the Nightmare Witch who causes paralysis.

the author Tim Turi

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