Feature

The 13 Most Interesting Horror Games Coming In 2017

by Matt Bertz on Jan 26, 2017 at 09:59 AM

Resident Evil 7 already gave horror fans a suspenseful start to the new year, but that’s not the only game coming down the pike with a high fright factor. Combing through the list of upcoming releases, we found a surprising variety of horror games coming to home consoles, PCs, and virtual reality platforms in 2017. In addition to the normal parade of haunted house simulations, you can look forward to science-fiction tinged horror, a journey to hell, a game based on alleged real-world ghost encounters, and, if you’re deranged enough, even taking the role of an iconic killer to hunt down other players. Here are the most promising concepts we’re most eager to experience. 

P.A.M.E.L.A.
Platform: PC
Release: February

Anyone who has played video games over the last few decades knows utopias are doomed from the moment they get off the ground. The latest to crumble is Eden, a once-vibrant complex built on top of the ocean rather than underneath it. Awaking from a cryosleep under the directive of Eden’s Cortana-like A.I., Pamela, players must scavenge high-tech resources to survive as they uncover the extinction level event that doomed or disfigured most of the city’s inhabitants.

Routine
Platform: Rift, PC
Release: March

Originally announced in 2012, this first-person horror game set on a retro-futuristic moonbase is finally nearing release. Armed with only a utility tech device, players enter a long-abandoned lunar outpost to determine what happened to the scientists. Killer robots, randomized threats, and the threat of permadeath try to make each encounter riveting, forcing players to either stand their ground or flee. With no HUD or health bars cluttering up the screen, the game is dripping with atmosphere undoubtedly influenced by films like 2001: A Space Odyssey and Alien. Lunar Software is also bringing this fright fest to Rift, but we have no information on whether the game will eventually make it to consoles. 

Friday the 13th: The Game
Platform: PS4, Xbox One, PC
Release: Early 2017

Following in the footsteps of last year’s surprise hit Dead by Daylight, this asymmetrical multiplayer game captures the terror and tension of its 1980s namesake. Up to seven players take the role of Camp Crystal Lake counselors, while one stalks the campground as the unrelenting masked killer Jason Voorhees. With supernatural hearing abilities and the ability to teleport around the map in an instant, Jason won’t be easy to escape. The counselors must use misdirection and get a bit of luck to avoid a bloody demise and either escape the camp or stay alive until the timer runs out. The multiplayer mode is coming out soon, but Gun Media and IllFonic plan to add a single-player campaign later in the year as well.

Agony
Platform: PC
Release: Spring

This first-person survival horror game skips the circumstances of your death and drops you straight into the cataclysmic depths of hell. Unlike Doom, you don’t have a BFG to fend off the grotesque demons wandering this ghastly hellscape, which based on the early trailers makes id’s shooter look like Disneyland. MadMind Studio casts players as a tormented soul with no memory if its past. By possessing the tortured and deformed monstrosities in this realm of madness, you must journey through blood, flesh, and flame to find the mythical Red Goddess. Only she knows how to escape. Like many of the games on this list, Agony is also coming to VR. 

Visage
Platform: PS4, Xbox One, PC
Release: Spring

One of two games looking to fill the vacuum when Konami unceremoniously canceled the highly anticipated Hideo Kojima/Guillermo Del Toro collaboration P.T. (seriously, what were they thinking?), Visage transports players to a large, maze-like house where many families died in brutal fashion. Players relive memory fragments of those who perished here while developer SadSquare Studio uses every trick from the modern haunted house film playbook to get you to jump or feel that deep, toe-curling sense of dread. Randomized paranormal encounters should make each playthrough feel different, and the player must avoid going insane to learn why this house is cursed. SadSquare also has plans to bring Visage to VR platforms.

What Remains of Edith Finch
Platform: PS4, PC
Release: Spring

Giant Sparrow’s first release after Unfinished Swan isn’t the type of game to make you jump out of your seat in fright, but fits on this list nonetheless for its morbid theme and haunting atmosphere. This adventure game is constructed like a series of short stories about the cursed Finch family, each of which ends in death. The last remaining member of the family, Edith walks through the drafty, decaying family estate, eager to learn why so many of her kin met such strange demises. 

Read on to see the rest of the year's scheduled horror releases.

Hello Neighbor
Platform: PC
Release: Summer

TinyBuild and Dynamic Pixels turn the tables on the home invasion motif popular in recent films like The Strangers and You’re Next, giving players the tools to harass, befuddle, and scare a dynamic A.I. that’s trying to guard a secret in his basement. The Pixar-esque visuals contrast strongly with rest of this blood-laden list, but the tension created by trying to create diversions or sneak past the homeowner are real. Dynamic Pixels says the A.I. can catch on to your tactics and turn the tables, so you need to be resourceful in your quest to break and enter. Get a glimpse of the game in action by watching our Test Chamber. 

Ghost Theory
Platform: PS4, Xbox One, PC
Release: Winter

Why make up a horror setting when there are hundreds of alleged haunted locations to explore all around us? Like the early interactive CD-ROM Ghosts starring Christopher Lee, Ghost Theory takes an approach to the paranormal grounded in the legends and lore of the real world. This first-person adventure game from Dreadlocks Ltd. casts players as a clairvoyant invited to join a special university project investigating these locales. Visiting actual places like 30 East Drive in Pontefract, England and the Japanese “suicide forest” Aokigahara, you use gadgets and your supernatural gifts to explore these haunted sandboxes and draw out the ghosts for research purposes.  

Outlast 2
Platform: PS4, Xbox One, PC
Release: 2017

The sequel to Red Barrels’ first-person horror cult hit is just around the corner, waiting to make you scream. Outlast 2 trades the cold confines of an insane asylum for the wide open expanse of rural Arizona. While a husband and wife team of journalists investigates the mysterious murder of an as-yet-unidentified pregnant woman in the region, their clues lead them to an off-the-grid cult compound where its inhabitants are preparing for the end of the world. We are excited to see how Red Barrels handles the thematic shift, which features more wide open spaces ripe for scares. 

Scorn
Platform: PC
Release: 2017

The Serbian staff at Ebb Software clearly have an affection for the works of H.R. Giger, because Scorn looks like a world ripped straight from the mind of the surrealist painter. This unsettling land made of flesh and bone is the backdrop for a first-person adventure we know very little about at this point. Ebb Software plans to split Scorn into two parts, with the first being available before the end of the year. Hopefully we’ll learn more about who you play as and what your mission is as we move further into 2017.

Allison Road
Platform: PC
Release: TBA

The on-again, off-again Kickstarter success that cashed in on the ire of the P.T. cancellation is back in production, though without the backing of original publisher Team 17. Fans are still eager to venture into this haunted house, taking the role of an amnesiac who has five nights to piece together what happened to his family and face off with the apparitions threatening his life. The team of six developers still has a way to go on production, but this is one to keep an eye on whether it releases in 2017 or pushes into the future.

The Hum: Abductions
Platform: PS4, PC, Vive
Release: TBA

Totwise Studios is thinking big with The Hum, a transmedia effort that includes a series of novels and video games. The prequel to the planned The Hum: Alien Invasion Simulator, Abductions is a story-centric close-encounters experience from the perspective of a single mother still struggling with the strange disappearance of her husband. The gameplay preview available on YouTube takes place on a rainy, booze and pills fueled night, where she and her son are visited by unexpected guests. Where the game goes from here is still unknown, but we do know the studio will probably bring the game to VR platforms as well. 

Perception
Platform: PS4, PC
Release: TBA

A horror game challenging established conventions from some of the great minds behind BioShock, Perception puts players in the shoes of a young blind woman named Cassie. In this first-person adventure from The Deep End, she visits an abandoned home she keeps seeing in her dreams. Here Cassie encounters a hostile supernatural threat, and must use her extrasensory hearing and cane to survive. Tapping her cane against nearby objects gives the player a momentary visual cue of the surroundings, but these noises can also attract the attention of Cassie’s paranormal pursuer. As the instrument of both your salvation and peril, you must use it judiciously.