If you’ve been paying attention to the world of video games lately, you probably noticed that horror based games are making a big comeback. Whether it’s new properties or fresh takes on old favorites, silicon scares are back and they’re here to frighten a whole new generation of gamers.
Zombie games have been popular for some time now, dating back to the release of the first Resident Evil 20 years ago.
But the survival-horror genre has proven to be far more than just a flash in the pan. Two decades later the Resident Evil franchise is still going strong and has become a staple of Capcom’s line-up. The newest game in the series, Resident Evil 7, was actually a highlight of this year’s E3 conference. RE 7 looks like a return to form for the series after the more action-oriented entries, and it’s also the scariest-looking title in some time. The demo for the game has been downloaded more than two million times worldwide and the early responses have been incredibly positive.
One surprise hit that has helped to spearhead the new wave of horror games is the interactive adventure Until Dawn. It has been a serious success for horror fans and with its star-studded cast of voice-actors it’s not hard to see why. The game, which is really more of an interactive movie, boasts the talents of Hayden Panettiere (Heroes, Nashville) and Mr. Robot star Rami Malek. It offers a new and unique spin on traditional horror gameplay through its Butterfly Effect system where each of the player’s actions has serious unforeseen consequences later on down the line. One review called the game a “bloodstained love letter to every horror movie you’ve ever seen” and the title makes for a perfect entry point for casual gamers looking for an interactive horror experience.
And it’s more than just console titles that horror franchises are looking to expand to. Time-tested, paranormal properties are making their own pushes toward the gaming market with horror-tinged takes on classic casual games, featuring staples going back to the days of the beloved Universal monster movies. These games include horror icons like Frankenstein’s monster and even Claude Rains’ legendary portrayal of The Invisible Man. The scary slot-reels help to bring horror classics to a new audience while providing a very different atmosphere from the whimsical fare normally associated with pick-up-and-play gaming.
There are plenty more horror games still slated for release, including yet another Capcom zombie title with the latest entry in the Dead Rising series. The game has proven popular enough to have already warranted its own movie last year with Dead Rising: Watchtower starring Virginia Madsen of Candyman fame along with Dennis Haysbert from the Allstate commercials. The movie proved popular enough that they’ve already made a sequel, Dead Rising: Endgame, which was released at the end of June.
Horror-centric video games have arguably reached a level of popularity that hasn’t been seen since the early 2000s during the heyday of the Resident Evil and Silent Hill franchises. With some of those series’ experiencing resurgences in popularity along with new games like Until Dawn and The Last of Us becoming modern classics, there’s never been a better time to a a gamer if you’re a die-hard horror fanatic.