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Yomawari photo
Yomawari

Creepy NIS Vita horror game is actually kind of cute


Yomawari
Jul 02
// Steven Hansen
NIS (Disgaea) recently teased a spooky game with live-action first-person flashlight footage and a requisite creepy child. It ended up being for Yomawari, which is coming to Vita in Japan on October 29. It's about a young gir...
The Evil Within photo
The Evil Within

The Evil Within's latest title update kills off letterboxing


And makes casual mode even easier
Jun 23
// Brett Makedonski
The Evil Within had a letterboxed aesthetic that didn't fly with everyone. It added to the cinematic presentation, but some people couldn't stand it. Coming up on a year after release, Tango Gameworks is just now making ...
Perception photo
Perception

Perception Kickstarter hits $100K, devs release new 'found footage' teaser


Bluff Witch Project
Jun 12
// Vikki Blake
As the Kickstarter campaign for Perception celebrates hitting $100K, the development team behind the upcoming horror game has released a new "found footage" trailer video. The video -- which will feel familiar in a Blai...

SOMA photo
SOMA

I'm avoiding all SOMA trailers after this


(Yeah, right)
Jun 11
// Jordan Devore
This is the point at which I'm starting to feel like I've seen too much of SOMA, Frictional Games' underwater sci-fi horror title for PC and PlayStation 4. I'd like to avoid any additional footage that comes in between now and launch on, shit, September 22? That's going to be tough. The new video is less straight footage and more of a snappy trailer, but it raises further questions.

Review: Kholat

Jun 09 // Jed Whitaker
Kholat (PC)Developer: IMGN.PRO Publisher: IMGN.PRO MSRP: $19.99Release Date: June 9, 2015 Picture this: You're famous Hollywood actor Sean Bean and you're investigating the deaths of nine hikers while stumbling around Russian mountains and collecting letters and pages from their journals. Now picture that as a game and you have Kholat. It would be easy to write this off as another Slender clone, as part of the formula is the same: you walk around finding pages, while occasionally having a run in with a shadowy figure. What sets Kholat apart is that the ghostly figure isn't constantly chasing you, and every page discovered delivers another piece of the story, be it via text or top-notch voice acting. Kholat plays out in three acts, of which the second is the main meat of the game. Act Two takes place in the snowy mountains where the hikers met their demise. You've got a map with key locations listed in longitude and latitude, a compass, and a flashlight. The goal is to visit each of the nine marked locations to discover key pages to give insight on what exactly happened to the hikers. While finding the nine main locations is the overall goal, many other pages can be found throughout the mountains that provide tidbits of information into what happened there. The game saves each time a new page is found, which gives some incentives to find them other than just experiencing the story, as you may find yourself dying often. Gaseous orange shadows will show up in certain areas of the mountains mostly requiring stealthy movement to avoid, though at times running is the only option. Scripted events occur where orange clouds start to close in around you, and a nearby page must be found before the monsters within can take your life, though these are few and far between. If you're like me, you're going to get lost a lot. Turns out when everything is covered in snow, it looks very similar, but at least Kholat is easy on the eyes. There are some varying locations, from caves, to a charred forest, to a giant spooky tree, to a throne of bones. Each one is a unique and memorable set piece where something important is to be discovered. The scariest part of Kholat isn't the monsters that lurk in the dark, but the feeling of anxiety and urgency brought on by it capturing the feeling of being lost in the wilderness. Each location is coupled with realistic ambiance and weather that when combined with the equally realistic graphics really nails the feeling of being lost on a mountain in solitude. At one point I considered muting the game to give myself a break from the dread coming over me, but I pushed on. The voice-acted pieces of the story are very believable and chilling. While some pages you'll find just read like generic journal entries, others are downright horrifying thanks to a well written and acted script. There are various people writing the pages, providing different perspectives on what happened on the mountain over time. Unlike many games with collectible journals, I find these actually worth seeking out. Little to no directions are given to the player -- you're just dropped into the world and expected to figure things out on your own. It wasn't until my second play session that I realized the locations marked on the map were of importance. After figuring out proper use of the map and compass, it was easy to complete the game in just around four hours, which felt a bit light for the asking price of $20, considering most of your time will be spent looking at snowy rocks. Overall an enjoyable experience that has a fantastic presentation but just lacks much depth in gameplay. [This review is based on a retail build provided by the publisher.]
Kholat Review photo
Sean Bean's Mystery Incorporated
Kholat is based on the Dyatlov Pass incident, which is arguably one of history's greatest mysteries; nine hikers go missing and are subsequently found dead in the snowy Russian mountains. The hikers had cut their wa...

Horror and secrecy need to be better bedfellows

Jun 08 // Zack Furniss
[embed]293479:58861:0[/embed] Don't Do This In this year's Resident Evil: Revelations 2, Capcom felt the need to release videos that focused on the various beasties players would be facing throughout the episodes. Any surprise or confusion that should have been reserved for a first encounter is squandered by any fan wishing to keep up with a product they are excited for and have most likely already decided to purchase. Though some consumers make the decision to go on media blackouts to prevent this exact situation, it shouldn't be on them to decide not to watch. This effectively renders these marketing efforts useless. Another title that gave away too much before anyone played it is last year's The Evil Within. One of the bosses, an amalgam of limbs and hair, was arguably the most unique creature in the game. It could teleport from corpse to corpse by climbing out of their coagulating puddles of blood and your best bet was to flee. This made for a thrilling moment in a mostly monotonous survival horror, but by the time The Evil Within came out, anyone who had been following it knew exactly what to do to survive. So what do we about this? Publishers want to make money, and the best way to do that is by showing the most exciting, gruesome sections of their newest product. But is that the only way? There are a few successful games from the last couple of years that prove there are other viable methods. So What Can Be Done? This is the part where I talk about P.T. (you knew it was coming). On August 12 of last year, P.T. was released alongside a short teaser at Gamescom. The teaser only showed reaction shots of people afraid of whatever they were playing. I immediately downloaded it out of curiosity and found the best horror game of last year. That it ended up being a teaser for the now-cancelled Silent Hills was icing on the bloody cake (I can already hear DashDarwin fuming in the comments). P.T. diffused through gaming media like a drop of blood in a glass of water; even with (and, let's be honest, because of) its utter destruction by Konami it will be remembered for a long time. I'd be foolish to deny that P.T. being free had no bearing on how often it was downloaded. However, I think if a new game came out of nowhere for only a few dollars it would have a chance of replicating this viral success. It's worth a shot at least.  Next up, we have Bloodborne. Sony spared no expense with providing images and videos of From Software's latest, but players had no idea what was lurking in its back half. BLOODBORNE SPOILERS FOLLOW, SKIP THE NEXT PARAGRAPH AND IMAGE TO KEEP YOURSELF SAFE. Though Bloodborne started off with beast-like enemies and Gothic environments, its latter half brought enough Great Ones, cosmic horror, and tentacles to merit numerous comparisons to the works of H.P. Lovecraft. Most players would likely have been content with fighting lycanthropes in their various forms throughout the dark descent, but this unexpected tonal shift provided an identity that separated it from the studio's previous work with Dark Souls.  Providing media only from the first half (quarter, eighth, whatever) could be a way for publishers to keep the horror skulking about in the shadows and allow room for players to be surprised. An example of the downside to this method would be Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty and its Raiden fake out. Though I appreciate that surprise now, Hideo Kojima earned a well of ire for that back in the day. There's definitely a risk here, but Bloodborne is proof that it can pay off beautifully. The last idea I have isn't exactly for releasing new games, but for adding content to them. The wonderful Lone Survivor: Director's Cut added extra endings, a new enemy, and fresh music to the original, yet no one could find them upon release. Creator Jasper Byrne teased this, and mentioned looking forward "to hearing your thoughts about the new edition, and interpretations of the new content… especially the secret endings!" And so began a mad hunt to uncover anything new, and no one could find anything for a few weeks (and if they did, they didn't tell the internet). Byrne created more excitement by doing this than he would have if he had just said "here's how you get the new ending, and here's where you fight the new monster." Though it isn't explicitly a horror game, Batman: Arkham Asylum did something similar. Just around the time the sequel Arkham City was announced, it was discovered that there were hidden blueprints for the Arkham City itself in the original game. How cool is that? Rocksteady Games waited until time had passed to expose this and it made players go back to see it for themselves. I understand that developers want everything they've made to get some time in the sun, but this delayed gratification can be just as, if not more, impressive. I'm not a marketing expert, and I won't claim to be. But in a time where the Internet can be used as a tool to spread information via experimental methods, we may as well try to change things up. P.T. and Bloodborne show that these risks can be well worth taking. Here's hoping some of these ideas are implemented next week at E3. Please don't show us everything!
Horror games photo
We can do better
Horror games, as much as I love them, have a serious problem right now.   In the modern-day media maelstrom, almost every scare, monster, and plot twist is given away or hinted at before a game is released. Of course, us...

Yandere Simulator photo
Yandere Simulator

Yandere Simulator lets you poison Japanese schoolgirls


Hey, I didn't use that much poi...
Jun 05
// Steven Hansen
We should talk more about Yandere Simulator, which we last covered when YouTube had a fit about its upskirt creep shots (an optional mechanic for gaining favors) and pulled development videos for sexual content. The Hitman-l...
E3 2015 photo
E3 2015

XSEED reveals E3 lineup full of hot new projects


Trails, Onechanbra, EDF, Senran Kagura..
Jun 05
// Kyle MacGregor
XSEED just revealed the games it's planning to bring to E3 this month and they're pretty exciting. First things first: There will be a lot of new reveals at the event, including The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel...
SOMA photo
SOMA

SOMA looks like a worthy successor to Amnesia


Releasing this September for PC and PS4
May 29
// Jordan Devore
A series of live-action videos and an alternate-reality game have led to this: 12 minutes of uncut footage from Frictional's next first-person horror title, SOMA. It's coming to PC and PS4 at long last on September 22, 2015....
Allison Road photo
Allison Road

Is Allison Road the spiritual successor to P.T.?


I SAID, LOOK BEHIND YOU
May 29
// Vikki Blake
Though Konami wants to "scorch the earth" and deny that P.T. was possibly the best game reveal in the history of forever (do I still sound bitter?), there are some determined to keep the dream -- or nightmare -- alive. Christ...
Underwater horror photo
Underwater horror

Mighty strange stuff is afoot in this live-action SOMA video


Time to pack up and go home
May 27
// Jordan Devore
"There's something wrong, isn't there?" Yes, Harry. Something is deeply wrong. I'm staying far away from the alternate-reality game for SOMA. Not because I'm not interested in what Frictional Games is cooking up for its unde...
Perception photo
Perception

Ex-Irrational devs announce new horror game Perception


Realising a vision
May 27
// Vikki Blake
Deep End Games -- a new studio consisting of many ex-Irrational developers -- has announced a Kickstarter campaign for a brand new horror game called Perception. The first-person horror adventure places you in the shoes ...
PS4 horror photo
PS4 horror

We won't have to wait until Halloween for Until Dawn


Everyone can die
May 26
// Jordan Devore
Oh, hey, that's digital Peter Stormare! How eerily accurate. He's going to be in Until Dawn, the upcoming choice-driven survival horror game for PlayStation 4 in which pretty young people are stranded at a remote lodge with ...
SOMA photo
SOMA

The SOMA ARG's spilled a new trailer


Those whales are biding their time...
May 26
// Joe Parlock
I've never understood ARGs. Hidden in a bit of code is a link to a server that an art designer for the game’s mother’s dog once owned. Once you’ve cracked that server in all 17 dimensions you’ll final...
Evil Within DLC photo
Evil Within DLC

The Executioner is the last Evil Within DLC, out May 26


First-person
May 20
// Steven Hansen
The last bit of The Evil Within DLC drops this month. "The Executioner" features an unexpected shift to the first-person perspective and "series of battle arenas all from the...perspective of The Keeper," if you were thinkin...
Iron Fish photo
Iron Fish

Unfortunately, Iron Fish isn't about a robot fish


Iron rusts... poorly designed fish
May 20
// Joe Parlock
I’ve mentioned this on Destructoid before, but I’ve had bad experiences with water and for some reason that’s transferred into a fear of eels. Those little fuckers freak me out. So developer BeefJack a...
Horror photo
Horror

This new AR project wants to turn your house into a horror game


Is this the real life? Is it just fantasy?
May 04
// Vikki Blake
If just wandering down the corridor in P.T. was enough to send you screaming from the room, how would you cope if a Lisa-like entity came at you in the hallway of your own house?  Night Terrors -- a "highly immersive, ph...
Phantasmal Early Access photo
Phantasmal Early Access

Lovecraft-influenced roguelike Phantasmal creeps onto Early Access


Sanity-eroding survival horror meets procedural generation
May 01
// Rob Morrow
New Zealand-based indie studio Eyemobi has released its Kickstartered survival horror roguelike Phantasmal: City of Darkness onto Steam Early Access. If you're unfamiliar with the project, Phantasmal is d...
Dementium photo
Dementium

Dementium: The Ward could have been a Silent Hill game


'Konami said they wouldn't let a 'team like us' handle the Silent Hill property'
Apr 28
// Vikki Blake
As the Internet continues to blink with incredulity at Konami's decision to spike one of the most exciting E3 teasers of all time, Silent Hills, here's another head-scratcher of a decision made by the Japanese ...

Review: Lost Within

Apr 23 // Chris Carter
Lost Within (Android FireOS [reviewed on a Kindle Fire HD], iOS)Developer: Amazon Game Studios, Human Head StudiosPublisher: Amazon Game StudiosReleased: April 17, 2015MSRP: $6.99 The setting of this spooky affair is the old Weatherby Asylum -- an abandoned relic of the past, set to be demolished in one day's time. Of course, your stupid idiot police officer avatar winds up "checking it out" one last time to see if there are any stragglers, and you get sucked into a hellish underworld of scary fun. It's a setup you've seen a million times before, but Lost Within has a level of polish rarely seen from the genre, not to mention that it's a mobile-only affair. Using touch-style controls you'll navigate the labyrinthine tunnels of horror, and they are surprisingly responsive. All you have to do is touch an area to get there, double-tap to run, swipe to turn, tap to use defensive items, and you can even use your device to lean around corners with an optional gyro setting. Mobile games have really come a long way, and co-developers Amazon Game Studios and Human Head should be commended. That polish extends to the visual style as well, which is stunning on an Amazon Fire HD tablet. The crazy writing on the wall that you'd expect out of an asylum is clear and concise, and every environment looks like there was a lot of work put into it. Screenshots don't really do it justice, as the framerate and smooth engine are the strongest aspects of Lost Within. [embed]290846:58289:0[/embed] This is a jump-scare game under-the-skin though, and it won't really offer up a lot that you haven't seen or rolled your eyes at before. I really like the literature that narrates the history of the asylum and its inhabitants, as it strays from the typical "diary" setup often with things like newspaper clippings, but once you're done reading up, it's back to a corridor simulator with "scary" monsters. In case you couldn't pick up on that obvious sarcasm, those creatures aren't really all that threatening, or nearly as interesting as the lore bits. Said corridors are often fun to roam through thanks to the mechanics, and freaky flashbacks are a constant source of entertainment beyond running and outwitting the baddies in the "real" world. What Lost Within really thrives on is the ability to tell a compelling story in an easily-digestible way throughout the experience. In-between the jumps and frights I had a burning desire to unravel the game's various mysteries, and press on to the next area. Amazon Game Studios only has a few games under its belt, but it's already making a name for itself in the industry. With a little more creativity Lost Within could be a full-blown retail game, which could be where the publisher is heading with the acquisition of Double Helix and a few other talented developers. [This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]
Lost Within review photo
Warning: it's another asylum game
Jump-scare horror games, or "YouTube Bait" as they're often now called, are a dime-a-dozen. Especially ones based in an asylum. Lost Within is a jump-scare horror game that takes place in an asylum (cue the laugh track). Thankfully, it has a handful of redeeming qualities that elevate it above the competition.

Alan Wake photo
Alan Wake

Remedy plans to Wake up Alan once more


Developer says horror sequel may still return
Apr 21
// Vikki Blake
I loved Alan Wake. Maybe it's because I overdosed on Stephen King as a kid and have always had a particular penchant for that whole fiction-becomes-fact thing (if only to keep alive the dream that one day, McDreamy is go...
Pixel Horror photo
Pixel Horror

This horror movie fighting game would be more dream than nightmare


Oh, the sights they could show us
Apr 19
// Jonathan Holmes
Freddy Krueger and Jason Voorhees are already in Mortal Kombat. The Predator will be joining them soon. It's clear that horror fans like the idea of seeing their favorite death-dealing icons duke it out in a fighting gam...
Five Nights at Freddy’s photo
Five Nights at Freddy’s

Warner Bros. making a Five Nights at Freddy’s movie


Fast Five Nights at Freddy's
Apr 07
// Steven Hansen
The multi-part, Chuck E. Cheese's-inspired horror game Five Nights at Freddy's has been a wildly popular hit and now Warner Bros. wants in on the action. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Warner Bros. has acquired the righ...
P.T. story photo
P.T. story

P.T.'s puzzling story explained in depth


That freaking fridge
Apr 07
// Jordan Devore
The timing on this video could not be better. As a new PlayStation 4 owner, one of the first games I knew I had to download was P.T., a playable teaser lead-in to Silent Hills. It's a weird game -- "experimental," if you lik...
Biofeedback horror photo
Biofeedback horror

Nevermind brings biofeedback horror to Steam Early Access


Fear is the mind killer
Apr 01
// Jordan Devore
Truth be told, I mostly wanted to cover Nevermind, a horror adventure game in which you delve into the subconscious minds of psychological trauma victims, because of this image. Look away! With a premise so strongly rooted in...
Silent Hills photo
Silent Hills

Kojima Productions logo removed from Silent Hills website


Maybe it's nothing, but things are getting concerning
Apr 01
// Laura Kate Dale
In the midst of all the recent rumblings regarding Hideo Kojima potentially leaving the Metal Gear series behind after Metal Gear Solid V is released, today it turns out there's yet another troubling sign on the horizon. Repo...

Contest: Win a code for Slender: The Arrival on Xbox One

Mar 28 // Glowbear
Good luck! And remember, our Huge Members get automatic entry into all contests (and double entry for those who enter manually), exclusive beta code giveaways for upcoming games, newsletters direct from the staff, ad-free browsing, and more! And most of all, your $3 a month helps directly support the site you love. Try us out! *Code is limited to Xbox One.
Slender Xbox One contest photo
Get spooked
The lovely people at Reverb have kindly given some codes to be thrown at the faces of some lucky Destructoid winners. The game is available on PC, Xbox One and PS4. I have Xbox One codes, which can be used anywhere in the world. Except the town of Fecking, Ireland. To be in with a chance, simply comment below and if you so desire, suggest your idea for an amazing or awful horror game.

Sega Genesis horror photo
Sega Genesis horror

New horror visual novel resurrects the Sega Genesis


Sasha Darko's Sacred Line Genesis
Mar 27
// Jordan Devore
Every so often we hear about a new game for old consoles and while I haven't yet splurged on a physical copy of one of these titles yet, I dig the idea. WaterMelon, the group behind the RPG Pier Solar, is publishing a horror...
The Evil Within DLC photo
The Evil Within DLC

Uh, maybe don't walk toward that ominous light in The Evil Within


There will be consequences
Mar 24
// Jordan Devore
The next DLC episode of The Evil Within, The Consequence, picks up on April 21, 2015. Like The Assignment before it, Bethesda is starting us off with an extra brief teaser trailer. Somehow, the delivery of the sorta-out-of-c...
Five Nights at Freddy's photo
Five Nights at Freddy's

Five Nights at Freddy's fan charity stream receives huge donation from developer


Developer donated $250,000 to children's hospital
Mar 17
// Laura Kate Dale
Over this past weekend a Twitch streamer named Dawko, a huge fan of Five Nights at Freddy's, set up a twitch stream to raise money for St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital. His lofty aim was to try and raise $15,000 in do...

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