One reason why virtual reality technology is exciting is its potential to provide more immersive gaming experiences than were ever possible before. The horror genre especially seems like it would benefit from this increased level of immersion, and developers have recognized this, with numerous horror games currently in development for VR hardware.
PlayStation VR, Oculus Rift, and HTC Vive all have VR horror games in development for their respective platforms, and we've narrowed those titles down to the six that stand out the most.
Some horror games like the once-cancelled Allison Road haven't had much success on Kickstarter, but indie title Ghost Theory is another story, and after a successful Kickstarter campaign it is on track for release late next year. Ghost Theory Kickstarter backers have funded a first-person adventure game that tasks players with exploring real-world haunted locations as paranormal investigators, solving puzzles in a mix of linear and non-linear levels. If the prospect of ghost hunting isn't scary enough on its own, players can up the ante by strapping on VR headsets.
Ghost Theory will be available in Q4 of 2017 for PC, PS4, and Xbox One.
A team of developers comprised of folks that worked on blockbuster titles like Call of Duty and Tomb Raider have come together to create what will be one of PlayStation VR's first horror gaming experiences. Here They Lie is a game still shrouded in mystery, but its E3 2016 trailer teased atmospheric horror that has plenty of potential to terrify genre enthusiasts later this year.
Here They Lie is in development as a PlayStation VR exclusive on PS4, and will be available sometime this fall.
In The Hum: Abductions, players take control of a distraught mother named Holly Sanders, who is trying to figure out the details behind her husband's recent disappearance, all the while trying to keep her infant son safe. It seems as though extraterrestrials may have played a part in the disappearance of Holly's husband - a departure from the typical cast of zombies and ghosts that populate most horror games - but players will have to solve the mystery for themselves when The Hum: Abductions finishes development.
The Hum: Abductions is in development for PC and PS4.
After the latest film in the Paranormal Activity horror franchise released to universal contempt from critics, the filmmakers abandoned the brand for other opportunities. However, the Paranormal Activity name will live on in the form of Paranormal Activity VR, which promises to translate the franchise's intense scares to video games. Whether or not its successful remains to be seen, but what we've seen of it so far seems promising enough.
Paranormal Activity VR will be compatible with HTC Vive and Oculus Rift on PC, and PlayStation VR on PS4 later this year.
Probably the highest profile VR horror game on the horizon is Resident Evil VII. The Resident Evil franchise has long been an innovator in the horror genre, and all eyes are on its first VR effort to see if it is able to return the series to its horror roots as promised. While some may be skeptical about whether its gameplay will be compelling, few could argue that Resident Evil VII won't deliver the scares, especially when PlayStation VR is added to the mix.
Resident Evil VII will be available on January 24th, 2017 for PC, Xbox One, and PS4 with PlayStation VR support.
In 2015, horror fans were treated to the surprise hit Until Dawn, and in 2016, the second game in the Until Dawn universe will make its debut for PlayStation VR. Entitled Until Dawn: Rush of Blood, the followup will be a first-person on-rails horror experience as opposed to a third-person adventure game, but with Supermassive Games still at the helm, it will hopefully do the original story justice.
Until Dawn: Rush of Blood will be available this fall, exclusively for PS4 and PlayStation VR.
From Ghost Theory to Until Dawn: Rush of Blood, these are the six VR horror games that we think have the most potential. However, there are many other horror games in development for virtual reality hardware that could also terrify gamers, so genre fans should have no shortage of games to play, regardless of their VR platform of choice.
Which upcoming VR horror game are you looking forward to the most? Let us know in the comments below.