These survival horror titles will have you wishing it was Fall already
Summer is a great time to be a gamer. Not just because there’s usually more time for gaming but also because it’s when developers and studios announce their biggest projects for the next twelve months. Taking place one after another, we had the Summer Games Fest and Steam’s Next Fest in June, both of which featured an impressive lineup of survival and horror titles to look forward to.
2022 and 2023 are shaping up to be the year of sci-fi horror. With four titles taking place on lunar colonies, the foreseeable future of survival horror games will occur in the cold, dark of space. The influence of Dead Space is clearly seen across the board. But so is the impact of The Forest with games like Nightingale. Overall, the next twelve months should have plenty of scare-you-senseless content to keep you up at night.
Kicking things off with animatronic horror in space, we have Routine. A first-person survival horror game produced by Lunar Software, which focuses on exploration and clever resource crafting. Routine is all about dark corridors, dangling electrical wires, and silence.
You are a cosmonaut exploring a quiet moonbase. Though it takes place in a theoretical future, Routine manages to pull off an 80s found-footage horror feel, and it’s incredible. All the spaceports have an 80s America vibe that’s both dated and haunting. As you explore this time capsule of a moonbase, you will be hunted by its defense systems. Whatever caused this base to fall into disrepair may still be around, and the AI seems to think it’s you. With little more than a handy C.A.T. (Cosmonaut assistance tool) device, you must escape the twisted subroutines of the moonbase while discovering what caused its silence.
Routine’s website has literally no information on it, and the game’s release date is still set to TBA on Steam. Wishlist the game on Steam to keep this exciting title on your radar.
Layers of Fears
Technically the fourth installment in the Layers of Fear franchise, Layers of Fears is a beautifully told story that immerses players in a world where madness is strength. We’ve always looked at the Layers of Fear series as a Silent Hill for a new generation, and we think that’s never been more accurate than in the latest title. Layers of Fears features gorgeous cinematography, A-list acting, and spine-chilling terror.
Labeled as a psychedelic horror game and not a psychological horror game, Layers of Fears is sure to make you trip out on horror alone. The development team behind the Layers of Fear series, Bloober, is well known for crafting top-notch stories that captivate audiences while disturbing them simultaneously. In Layers of Fears, players will plumb the shadows of the mind of an artist. An artist consumed by their addictions and passions and nonsensical obsessions. What exactly does that mean for the player? That you’re in for one hell of a ride.
Layers of Fears is set to drop in early 2023. Wishlist Layers of Fears on Steam.
Nightingale is a gorgeously unique, creative game. Created by Inflexion Games, Nightingale features a Steampunk-esque art style (technically, it’s called Gaslamp Fantasy) that sees all the characters wearing either bowler hats or corsets. Nightingale is a game that will see you stalking the wilderness with a pickaxe, looking for your next meal, centered around resource gathering and crafting.
You are a measly, squishy human stuck in the Faewilds. Nightingale is the only human city that’s been established in the Faewilds as of yet, and the portals that allowed travel between the realms are down. Now, with no means to go home, you must carve out a place for yourself in your new home.
Nightingale looks to take a page from The Forest but features far more options for building, gathering, and crafting. There are plenty of weapons to choose from, many enemies to look out for, and near-infinite worlds to explore. The unique card system of Nightingale allows you to influence the other realms you travel to, giving you a chance to manipulate what resources you’ll find there.
Nightingale is set to enter early access in quarter 4 2022, with a full release in 2023, so wishlist it today.
Fort Solis is a game that’s revealed almost nothing about itself. Even the trailer shows frightfully little of what to expect. What can we expect? Some of the most prominent actors in the video game industry. Troy Baker–Joel from The Last of Us and Roger Clark–Arthur Morgan from Red Dead Redemption II headline this sci-fi horror thriller.
Produced by Fallen Leaf Studios, Fort Solis takes place on the Mars Lunar Colony of Fort Solis. From what we can see in the trailer, Fort Solis feels like a Dead Space that leans more into immersive storytelling and characterization than dismemberment. It has masterful use of lighting–with reds and whites and blacks you can only get in sci-fi–and the way the camera hangs over the character’s shoulder makes us feel like we’re right next to the action at all times.
With so little known about Fort Solis, we’re going to keep a close eye on its development. Will there be more crafting elements or horror elements? Does it feature a heart-wrenching story like these actors are accustomed to pulling off? Will we accidentally piss our pants when the final boss appears?
Only time will tell.
A release date for Fort Solis has not yet been stated, so be sure to wishlist the game on Steam to keep it on your radar.
Aliens: Dark Descent
Ah, yes. A goliath of horror movies continues its expansion to become a goliath of horror games. Aliens: Dark Descent is the latest installment in the Alien video game universe, and it looks great. We reserve our final judgment until the game comes out, as we’ve been let down with the series before. Created by Focus Entertainment, Aliens: Dark Descent follows a group of Colonial Marines as they fight off an invading horde of those pesky xenomorphs. It looks like XCOM but set in the Alien universe, and we are not upset about that.
The game is meant to feature large, semi-open world levels that encourage exploration. There are secret rooms, hidden short-cuts, and other goodies to discover if you take the extra step of exploring. Like in XCOM, players will command a squad of marines and deploy their squad across a map. It will take lots of strategies to ensure your team lives to see the end of each level. Aliens: Dark Descent will feature more than just xenomorphs, as there are rogue operatives, AWOL soldiers, and monsters that make xenomorphs look tame.
Aliens: Dark Descent is set to release in early 2023. Be sure to wishlist the game on Steam.
The Callisto Protocol
When we say this is the game we are most looking forward to in 2022, we mean this is the game we are most looking forward to in 2022. The great Glen Schofield himself, the genius that created Dead Space, is back behind the helm of a great video game studio and doing everything in his power to scare the shit out of us yet again. Set on the dead moon of Callisto, players will attempt to escape from Black Iron Prison during an alien invasion.
The Callisto Protocol sports some serious star power as Josh Duhamel does all the motion capture for the main character. Since Glen Schofield runs the project, it’s essentially the spiritual successor to Dead Space. The weapons, the non-combat areas, and the sheer, unfathomable cosmic horror are all undeniably influenced by Dead Space. But do you see us complaining? I didn’t think so.
If Dead Space is any guide to work from, The Callisto Protocol will feature resource gathering and management, weapon customization, and a chilling story that will haunt players for years. With the unsatisfactory way the Dead Space series concluded, we know that Glen Schofield is looking for another chance to leave a lasting mark on the gaming industry. And judging from what we’ve seen of The Callisto Protocol so far, he’s certainly achieved his goal.
The Callisto Protocol is set to release on December 2nd, 2022. You can prepurchase the game today to be ready for the December release.
June was an excellent month for video gamers, even those who aren’t into survival horror games. With indie and mainstream titles that give the players what they want, the future of gaming should be strong.
For horror and survival fans, the next year will be full of memorable titles. It’s also great to see so many games give a nod to iconic titles, like Dead Space and The Forest. If games keep drawing inspiration from the greats as they have this year, we may be in for some of the greatest survival horror games yet.