Release: 2023 / Platform: pc
Did you miss being abused both physically and psychologically in a remote mental institution by one of the world’s most sadistically twisted organizations? So did we! Like Outlast, Outlast Whistleblower and Outlast 2, in Outlast Trials we are subjected to a gruesome series of atrocities, but with one significant difference from the previous games; you are not the only one. Well, of course you can choose to torture yourself alone as well, but at its core Outlast Trials is designed with collaboration in mind, for up to four players. You and your friends are prisoners of the aforementioned organization and are forced to endure a series of gruesome trials on different levels designed to test your psyche and ability to work together. That we are then joined by other prisoners who can no longer be recognized as functioning human beings is something as chilling as you’d expect from an Outlast game, and we look forward, despite the risks to our mental well-being, to once again being crouched in a pitch-black corner with night vision goggles over our eyes, the battery on our camera perilously close to red, while a twisted maniac searches for us just a few feet away.
Alan Wake 2
Release: 2023 / Platforms: PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S, PC
We at the editors still remember the feeling of hopping nervously through a pitch-black forest, where shadow monsters creep behind every tree, armed only with the flashlight with the world’s weakest battery and a tiny pistol. Alan Wake was a psychological thriller about the award-winning author of the same name, who now makes his comeback in 2023 with another dark and mysterious story. Remedy, of course, is once again in charge of development, and since the studio’s last title, Control, raised the bar considerably for what atmospheric enigmatic action games can look like, while also revealing that Alan Wake is part of the same universe, we can’t help but shudder with anticipation as we imagine what the creepy sequel will look like.
Alone in the Dark
Release: 2023 / Platforms: PlayStation 5, PC, Xbox Series X|S
Thirty years after the original game first saw the light of day, it’s time to bring Edward Carnby back to life and head to the American South, deep in rural Louisiana, to once again set foot in the haunted Derceto Manor. This time, we can experience the nail-biter from two perspectives, both as the series’ iconic protagonist, private investigator Carnby, and Emily Hartwood. Once again, we hope the game will be filled with a heavy dose of monster carnage, a great story, delightful exploration and difficult puzzles. But if you thought this was a straightforward remake, think again, because this is more of a “reinvention” as the developer calls it, a sort of re-creation of the original Alone in the Dark. Of course, those of us who have played the game before will be able to nod in recognition from time to time, but overall, we will be as surprised as everyone else. Either way, we here at the editors are very curious to see what Mikael Hedberg, the man behind the story of SOMA and Amnesia, can mix into the pot to scare us all back to the 1990s and make us wear the famous brown pants of shame again.
Resident Evil 4 Remake
Release: March 24, 2023 / Platforms: PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5 Xbox Series X|S, PC
Close doesn’t cut it, as the saying goes, but now we are really very close to the finish line for the release of one of the most anticipated games in a long time. Eighteen years ago, Capcom gave us a new horror that traded the previous cringe-inducing creepiness for pure heart-pounding stress horror that had us all running screaming like maniacs calling for mummy with a mostly empty pickaxe being chased by a horde of angry Spanish peasants armed with various farm implements in search of blood and slow torture. And now it’s finally almost time to experience the game again with heavily updated graphics and more responsive controls, and we here at the editorial team can’t wait. We’re itching to be chased by Dr. Salvatore and his trusty chainsaw dripping with blood, we want to kick ass at donuts that lack good delicious filling and we can’t wait to meet the merchant again and his grating classic “What do you buy?” Resident Evil 4 was the ultimate horror game when it came out in 2005, and after seeing what Capcom accomplished with the Resident Evil 2 Remake, you know in your spine that this is going to be good. The only question is how good.
Fatal Frame: Mask of the Lunar Eclipse
Release: March 9, 2023/ Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|s Nintendo Switch
Fatal Frame, or Project Zero as the series is confusingly called in Europe, has been around for a while. Taking peculiar inspiration from Japanese horror film aesthetics (such as The Ring), the series is now more than 20 years old, but between its inception in 2001 and the last original game, 2014’s Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water, the games had never sold more than a million copies worldwide. This qualifies the series to be called a bit of a “cult classic” rather than a real contender to Resident Evil or Silent Hill, but to the delight of fans, the aforementioned Maiden of Black Water at least got a remaster a little less than two years ago, and now it’s time for the next Fatal Frame to get a revamp; namely Mask of the Lunar Eclipse. It was originally released in 2008 for the Nintendo Wii, and then only in Japan. So this is the first time we Westerners get the chance to ward off ghosts with flashlights and the game’s patented camera on Rogetsu Island, and find out why Ruka Minazuki, Misaki and Madoka are being held captive on the terrifying island …
Release: April 20, 2023/ Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S
2023 is undeniably filled with – admittedly long-awaited – sequels and remakes/remasters on the horror front, but there’s also a big desire for some new names, not least after last year’s newcomer Callisto Protocol was a bit of a turnaround. One of 2023’s new IPs is spelled Ad Infinitum, which, according to a Google search, appears to mean “without end,” “time after time without end” and “forever.” A chilling-sounding title that seems to refer to the protagonist’s traumatic stress disorder and recurring nightmares of World War I. Last year’s trailer hints at P.T. and Amnesia-like gameplay with a touch of first-person walking simulator, where gruesome dream sequences merge and break into memories of the trenches and sickbeds. The German developers at Hekate also consistently stick to the native language, providing an added form of authenticity.
Release: March 2023 / Platforms: PC, PlayStation, Xbox
Among many older gamers, System Shock, released in 1994, changed the way we look at games. Running around Citadel station trying to survive SHODAN’S evil plans, taking on an AI on the free and showing everyone clearly and proudly what she thinks of people, all made for an unforgettable experience in the original System Shock. Many did not get to experience this game, but this is about to change. A faithful remake with a dream team was supposed to come out in 2022, but it didn’t go that way. Now in March 2023 this will come out, they say. Almost 30 years later, everyone will see if the game lives up to its reputation or if it’s just nostalgia.
Layers of fears
Release: Early 2023/ Platforms: PC, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S
Not to be confused with the game Layers of Fear, despite sharing the name of the 2016 title. Layers of Fears, plural, is a reworked version of Layers of Fear 1 and 2. The idea is that it will weave together the stories of the two games and show new perspectives on what happened from new characters. All this will also provide better graphics thanks to Unreal Engine 5. So this year we can expect horror where people who make art go crazy(er) and their terrible past is going to make their lives difficult.