In some ways, 2017 was a banner year for the horror game genre. In 2017, the Resident Evil franchise returned to its survival-horror roots with Resident Evil 7, exciting new IP like Darkwood and Little Nightmares was introduced, and there was new entries in popular horror series like Outlast and The Evil Within.
With such strong entries in the horror genre in 2017, it will be a year that's hard to top. However, 2018 is shaping up to be even better, with 10 horror games in particular that are ready to terrify gamers everywhere.
A few games in the past have allowed players to explore the depths of Hell, but none have been as vivid or unnerving as Agony from Madmind Studio. In the game, players have to explore Hell in a first-person perspective, avoiding demons and other dangers along the way.
While the game sounds like it will mostly be stealth-based, players will eventually gain the ability to possess other humans, as well as some of Hell's demons, which should open the door for some gameplay variety. Agony presents a unique concept for the horror genre, and since it was successfully funded on Kickstarter back in 2016, it's clear that horror fans are supportive of Madmind's vision.
Agony is due for release on March 30, 2018 for PC, PS4, and Xbox One.
Call of Cthulhu: The Official Video Game is based both on the H.P. Lovecraft short story The Call of Cthulhu, as well as the 1981 pen and paper RPG of the same name. Similarly to the pen and paper game, Call of Cthulhu: The Official Video Game will be an RPG, with some of the writers from the pen and paper game returning to write the story for the video game.
Blending psychological and Lovecraftian horror elements with RPG gameplay, players will be tasked with solving the mystery behind the death of an entire family. Along the way, it will be revealed how their demise links to the revival of Cthulhu.
Call of Cthulhu: The Official Video Game will release in 2018 for PC, PS4, and Xbox One.
Ever since its E3 2016 reveal, Days Gone has been on the radar for many fans of the horror genre. In the game, players take control of bounty hunter Deacon St. John as he attempts to survive in a post-apocalyptic open world filled with thousands of fast-moving zombies.
Besides the undead, players also have to deal with the threat of other human survivors, and in an interesting twist, are encouraged to use the zombies strategically against human enemies. Not only is Days Gone shaping up to be one of the most ambitious and exciting horror games of 2018, but also it's set to be one of the biggest PS4 exclusives of next year.
Days Gone will launch in 2018, exclusively for PlayStation 4.
The multiplayer open world survival horror game DayZ has been available through early access for years, but the game is finally set to have its proper launch in 2018. In DayZ, players are encouraged to scavenge an open world environment for supplies to help them survive against other players as well as zombies.
The game's concept has proven popular enough that it has already sold millions of copies in early access. Console players will finally get to see what all the fuss is about when DayZ launches next year.
DayZ will launch in 2018 for PC, PS4, and Xbox One.
Overkill Software's take on The Walking Dead has been kept under wraps these past couple of years, with the game delayed from its original 2016 release date to fall of 2018. However, Overkill finally seems to be nearing the end of The Walking Dead's development cycle.
For instance, the studio has started sharing more information about the upcoming 4-player co-op FPS. Of course, there's still a lot fans don't know about the game, but assuming it's still on track to meet its release date next year, more information should come sooner rather than later.
Overkill's The Walking Dead will launch in fall 2018 for PC, PS4, and Xbox One.
The first State of Decay video game earned some praise, but was criticized for its lack of co-op multiplayer support. The followup, State of Decay 2, will allow players to join up to three friends in their zombie-slaying adventures across a variety of large, open world maps, with more planned to be added post-launch.
State of Decay 2 sounds like it will be addressing much of the criticism that was aimed at the original. Hopefully it delivers an even more compelling post-apocalyptic zombie survival experience.
State of Decay 2 will launch in 2018 for PC and Xbox One.
In The Forest, players and their child survive a plane crash on a seemingly deserted island. However, their kid is quickly kidnapped by the island's natives – a group of deadly, mutant cannibals.
From there, players are encouraged to cooperate with others to survive the elements, as well as against the mutant cannibals by crafting weapons and building a base camp. The Forest has been available in early access for a few years now, where it has earned some acclaim, and its full launch is scheduled for next year.
The Forest will launch in 2018 for PC and PS4.
The horror genre and virtual reality seem to be a match made in heaven (or is it hell?), and 2018 is looking to deliver a number of chilling experiences for VR players.
While there are numerous horror games slated for release on various virtual reality platforms next year, one that stands out the most is The Inpatient. Set in the Until Dawn universe, The Inpatient sees players take on the role of an amnesiac patient living in Blackwood Sanatorium as they attempt to regain their memories and survive the horrors of the asylum.
The Inpatient will be available on January 23, exclusively for PlayStation VR.
Dontnod Entertainment has earned itself a strong reputation for telling quality video game stories thanks to titles like Remember Me and Life is Strange. Thanks to Dontnod's recent successes, its upcoming game Vampyr has even more hype behind it than it usually would, with fans expecting yet another engrossing story from the studio.
In Vampyr, players play as doctor Jonathan Reid, who has been turned into a vampire in the midst of the 1918 Spanish flu epidemic. Players can complete the game without killing anyone, but those that give in to Reid's newfound blood lust will develop new vampiric abilities that can be used to kill enemies and unfortunate civilians alike in the game's semi-open world London.
Vampyr will release in Q1 or Q2 2018 for PC, PS4, and Xbox One.
We Happy Few has been on the radar for many horror gamers for quite some time. However, the wait for the game's full release is nearly over, as it finally has a set release date for April of next year.
Drawing comparisons to games like BioShock, the game takes place in a dystopian society where citizens are expected to constantly drug themselves, or experience the deadly consequences. So, put on a smiling face, or else.
We Happy Few is releasing April 13, 2018 for PC, PS4, and Xbox One.
Some may read through our list and wonder why games like The Last of Us: Part 2 and the Resident Evil 2 remake are not included. Unfortunately, those games and a few other exciting upcoming horror titles aren't confirmed to be releasing in 2018 just yet. However, if they do manage to finish development and launch next year, 2018 may very well be the best year for horror video games to date.
Which upcoming horror game are you looking forward to the most? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.