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Video Games Spotlight: Next Gen Survival Horror

You wipe away the sweat that’s trickling down your face, hear your heart pounding in sync with the thumping of your boots as you run from something, and yet, you’re safe in your living room, with the lights on, playing a game — a survival horror game. The next generation of gaming is here and with the arrival of the Microsoft’s XBox One and Sony’s Playstation 4, a crop of terrifying things await.

With satisfying last gen games like The Last of Us paving the way for next gen survival action games and horror, we look forward to what this year, and beyond, will bring us. In no particular order, here are the most anticipated games that are coming soon to Xbox One, Playstation 4, Xbox 360 and Playstation 3:

The Evil Within
The_Evil_Within_boxartAt the helm of The Evil Within is survival horror veteran Shinji Mikami, best known for early installments of the Resident Evil series, with Japanese studio Tango Gameworks  and publisher Bethesda Softworks.
The game is slated to be played in a third person perspective as gamers take control of protagonist Detective Sebastian Castellanos while he investigates a “powerful force” behind several murders, including those of his colleagues.

Players will have to scavenge, construct traps, and survive hordes of nightmarish creatures and visions.
Originally scheduled for an August release, the game was recently pushed back until October to allow the development team to balance changes and refine the game.

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Platforms: PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One
Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
Developer: Tango Gameworks
Genre: Survival Horror
Release Date: October 14, 2014
ESRB Rating: Mature

Alien: Isolation
amanda ripley
After fans endured countless Alien games that haven’t come close to the beloved science fiction film, creators of Alien: Isolation are promising fans a return to the series roots.
Developed by Creative Assembly and published by Sega, the game is set to take place in 2137, 15 years after the events of Alien and 42 years before the events of Aliens.

Players will assume the role of Amanda Ripley, Ellen Ripley’s daughter, as she investigates her mother’s disappearance.

Tasked with the mission of retrieving the flight recorder of Nostromo, Amanda finds herself on the space station Sevastopol with an Alien.

Creative Assembly describes Alien: Isolation as a survival horror game, a welcome reprieve from action shooters of the past, and chose to style the game more closely to Ridley Scott’s original horror film Alien. Throughout the game you will only encounter one Alien who can not be killed and the only way to survive is by using your wits and a variety of stealth tactics. Alien will seek the player out by using sight, sound and smell. It will investigate any movement and can focus on items that seem out of place in the environment.
Creative Assembly also stylized the game to look and feel like a 1970s version of the future, which means the technology is not as sleek as today’s advancements. Do you think you can survive an Alien? Find out on October 7!

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Platforms: PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One
Publisher: Sega
Developer: The Creative Assembly
Genre: Survival Horror, stealth
Release Date: October 7, 2014
ESRB Rating: Mature

Dying Light
Dying-Light-logo

Another day, another zombie apocalypse.
Dying Light will place players in an open world modeled after slums located in South Africa.
The game  will contain a dynamic day and night cycle, making players strategize as to who to trust and how to survive.

During the day players will traverse the landscape scavenging for supplies and weapons to defend themselves against a growing infected population. You’ll be able to set up traps, save random survivors and acquire items through air drops. Zombies will be slow and allow players to pass by them with relative ease.
When the sun sets, however, the infected become violent as they can sprint, climb, jump and do increased damage to players. You will be advised to focus on the game’s freerunning mechanics which will allow you to fluidly run and jump on top of buildings to survive.

Dying Light will also allow players to tap into an ability called Night Sense that will locate zombies in the dark allowing you to avoid hordes of infected.

The game was scheduled for a release this year but has since been pushed back to February of next year because developers felt the need to further innovate the freerunning movement system.

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Platforms: PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One
Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
Developer: Techland
Genre: Survival Horror, action-adventure
Release Date: February 2015
ESRB Rating: Rating Pending

Dead Island 2

dead island 2

The next sequel in the Dead Island franchise leaves island life behind and moves to California where gamers will again assume a protagonist escaping hordes of the undead.
According to Dead Island 2 lore, the entire state of California was declared a quarantine zone by the US government, leaving just a handful of people around to fight it out amongst hordes of zombies.Though guns will be available to survivors, like its predecessors the focus will remain heavily on melee combat. Dead Island 2 will allow gamers to dual wield weapons for the first time and will modernize the type of weapons players can scavenge for. Once again players will choose between four different characters that are immune to the zombie virus. Gamers will not only try to survive in a world infested with zombies, but will encounter dangerous survivors.

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Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One
Publisher: Deep Silver
Developer: Yager Development
Genre: Survival Horror, action-role playing
Release Date: Spring 2015
ESRB Rating: Rating Pending

Doom

DOOM

Though not strictly survival horror per-say, Doom is one of the grandfathers of the first person shooter genre. A re-imagining of the series was announced at QuakeCon in July.
Bethesda and id Software held a private presentation with fans where they showcased a demo of Doom. The new Doom is set to feature melee combat, finishing moves, and the ability to use items within the game’s environment. Players will also have greater freedom to move including the ability to double jump, perform vaults and mantles.

Doom was originally in development as Doom 4 in 2008. However, the franchise suffered multiple development problems and setbacks. After John Carmack, lead developer at id, left the studio to work at Oculus VR, the game was sent back to the drawing board.
At E3 this year a teaser trailer was released and a full demo was made public shortly after at QuakeCon in July to a very excited audience. Reactions to the demo have been extremely positive. Bethesda hopes to return the series to its roots in 2015/2016.

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Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One
Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
Developer: id Software
Genre: First Person Shooter
Release Date: TBA
ESRB Rating: Rating Pending

 Silent Hills

Norman-Reedus-Silent-Hills

The beloved psychological horror franchise is back and this time two prominent writers/directors are at the helm, Hideo Kojima (Metal Gear Solid franchise) and Guillermo Del Toro (Pans Labyrinth, Pacific Rim). One of the biggest surprises to come out of Gamescom this year was the announcement that Kojima and Del Toro were teaming up to reinvigorate the franchise along with Norman Reedus, who may be our protagonist.
At Gamescom  Kojima presented a demo to the public known as PT (playable trailer) to show off the next installment and demonstrate what direction graphically the series will take by implementing the FOX engine.

While playing PT gamers are thrust into a hallway and forced to traverse the area in a never-ending loop. Solving puzzles along the way, the experience will change depending upon how you play.  The playable trailer is available as a download on the PS4 right now!

Kojima plans to complete the game after working on Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain with a projected 2016 release.

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Platforms: PS4 (as far as we know right now)
Publisher: Konami Digital Entertainment
Developer: Kojima Productions
Genre: Survival Horror
Release Date: TBA-2016
ESRB Rating: Rating Pending

Honorable mentions:

In addition to anticipated games on the consoles, there are several survival horror/thriller indie games in development or arriving soon for the PC. Some of these games will be ported to the PS4 or Xbox One.

Among the Sleep

Among-the-Sleep-Among the Sleep puts players in the shoes of a two year old toddler armed with his teddy bear as he searches for his mother around a house that transforms into his childhood nightmares. Playing from the child’s perspective, everyday items and locations become menacing figures. Your teddy becomes a guide as you solve puzzles and collect objects that serve as memories — unlocking new areas that bring you closer to your mom.

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Platforms: PC, Mac, Linux, PS4
Publisher: Krillbite Studio
Developer: Krillbite Studio
Genre: Survival Horror
Release Date: Available now
ESRB Rating: Rating Pending

The Forest

The-ForestAfter a plane crashes on a remote island players are stranded in an area, infested with cannibalistic humanoid creatures. You must survive by creating shelter, weapons, and other tools during the day. At night the tribe that inhabits the island isn’t always hostile to the player but will always be aggressive in nature — forcing gamers to make fight or flight decisions.
The development team was inspired by cult films such as The Descent and Cannibal Holocaust and video games like Minecraft and Don’t Starve. Disney is also an inspiration behind the game as the development team said they do not want the game to be completely “dark and depressing.”

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Platforms: PC
Publisher: Endnight Games
Developer: Endnight Games
Genre: Survival Horror, open world
Release Date: Alpha version available now
ESRB Rating: Rating Pending

Outlast

OutlastPS4

Players assume the role of Miles Upshur, an investigative journalist, as he receives a tip to investigate a psychiatric hospital after reports of inhumane experiments performed on patients.  As soon as Upshur arrives he’s shocked at what he finds as bodies of the staff are strewn about and patients known as “Variants”, are  freely roaming the grounds — becoming hostile towards him. Players must survive without any traditional weapons as they figure out what’s been going on at Mount Massive Asylum. Enemy encounters will force players to hide and use parkour style of navigating through a discombobulated environment.
Outlast’s presentation is similar to the found footage genre and players are are expected to use a video camera to see, via a night vision option. Use of the equipment consumes batteries, which must be scavenged and replaced as the story progresses.

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Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One
Publisher: Red Barrels
Developer: Red Barrels
Genre: Survival Horror
Release Date: originally available on pc in 2013, available for PC, PS4 and Xbox One now
ESRB Rating: Mature

The Vanishing of Ethan Carter

TVoECInspired by the weird fiction stories and other tales of macabre of the early 20th century, developers behind The Vanishing of Ethan Carter aim to evolve immersive storytelling in gaming.
As a detective with the supernatural ability to visualize scenes of lethal crimes, players investigate the kidnapping of a young boy, hoping to save him before it’s too late. Not much else is known about the mechanics of the game. However, developers will be using a unique technique to create a more realistic atmosphere. By using Photogrammetry, real world locations will be pulled from photographs and molded into the game.

“So much detail, so many intricacies, but most importantly, all of them just make deep sense. Cracks, stains, erosion – Mother Nature has worked a billion years on some of these assets, it’s almost unfair to expect comparable quality from artists who spend no more than few days on similar assets.” – head Astronaut Adrian Chmielarz said.

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Platforms: PC
Publisher: The Astronauts
Developer: The Astronauts
Genre: Horror, Adventure
Release Date: Sometime September 2014
ESRB Rating: Rating Pending

There are rumors of a few other survival horror game releases and reboots on the way including a potential new Alone in the Dark. Have I missed any games? What are you excited the most for? Tell me in the comments section below!

Sources: Wikipedia, Kotaku, IGN, joystiq, gamespot, game informer

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About Stephie

I am a former Marvel Entertainment web-editorial Intern, Writer, strange girl, movie lover, gamer and cat lady. I write reviews for another horror website, macabremansion.com. I'm also a staff writer for a weekly northern NJ newspaper where I cover two municipalities and school districts. Previously I covered events for eventsnetwork.com and freelanced for a weekly NJ newspaper. I am intrigued by international horror, The Twilight Zone, The Doctor, zombies, psychological thrillers, science fiction and fantasy. I am also occasionally a photographer and an art and music enthusiast. I love wookies, the TARDIS, lady GaGa, hello kitty, legos, cartoons & anime, sushi, sleep, halloween, and comics/graphic novels & books... Follow my quirky ramblings @: twitter.com/elusiveillusion

One Response to Video Games Spotlight: Next Gen Survival Horror

  1. url says:

    A noteworthy article, thank-you from a hube games fan!.

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