This year seems to be a good year for all you horror fans out there with plenty of seemingly fantastic horror gems releasing within the upcoming months. For this reason, or maybe to celebrate the fact that horror is staying extraordinarily relevant, we've listed some upcoming games that we're dying to play this year. Get your flashlight out, lock your doors and cover your windows - we're diving deep into the horrors of 2019.
Layers of Fear 2 - PC/PS4/Xbox One - Expected in 2019
Layers of Fear 2 is the sequel of Bloober Team's hit horror game that released back in 2016. In Layers of Fear, the player took on the role of a manic painter trying to finish his masterpiece while finding clues around his mansion abode that gradually explain the painter's disturbed mind. In this sequel, the player will be taking control of an actor who's staying on a massive ocean liner as they get ready for a role. The developer has promised a similar experience to that of the first but with a gripping new reality-bending narrative, so get ready for self-altering surroundings, strange visions and non-stop chilling horror.
The Dark Pictures - Man of Medan - PC/PS4/Xbox One - Expected in 2019
Supermassive Games, the studio behind Until Dawn, announced its anthology idea at Gamescom last year by showing off the first chapter in the to-be series, Man of Medan. Each chapter, which will all be standalone, will focus on different scenarios drawn from folklore and Man of Medan tackles the ghost ship trope. The game tells the story of a group of Americans out at sea, looking for a shipwreck and, of course, things don't go as planned. Much like in Until Dawn, the player controls not one person but a group of characters throughout and if the quality of Until Dawn is anything to go by, Man of Medan will surely blow some minds when it releases this year.
Close to the Sun - PC/PS4/Xbox One - Expected in 2019
Storm in a Teacup's upcoming first-person horror game Close to the Sun has the player, as journalist Rose Archer, step onboard a Nikola Tesla research base called the Helios that's out on international waters, a place which serves as a haven for brilliant scientists. The journalist in question is there to find her sister whom she hasn't heard from, and soon after arriving Rose realises the station, despite being a magnificent construction, isn't the haven it was made out to be. For those who have played the underwater action horror classic Bioshock the setting may feel familiar but with an industrial vibe to it. Close to the Sun looks to be one of the more interesting horror games of the year and we're eager to find out what lurks behind the quarantine sign at the entrance of this enticing new setting.
Unholy - PC - Expected in 2019
This upcoming horror gem by Duality Games isn't your ordinary scary game. Unholy puts a twist on the genre with optional stealth mechanics and societal puzzle solving. In a world divided through caste systems, the player, who fills the shoes of a woman looking for her child, is an outcast who has the opportunity to manipulate the caste system and essentially impersonate members of each caste to get where you want to go. The player chooses his or her playstyle in this otherworldly horror game set on a dying planet, and all of the choices made have consequences for that playthrough. The premise is certainly an intriguing one and we're excited to see what the game will bring once hits store shelves.
The Beast Inside - PC/PS4/Xbox One - Expected in 2019
The Beast Inside (not to be confused with The Evil Within) follows CIA cryptanalyst Adam and his wife Emma who have just moved from a loud Boston to a quiet countryside home where they're supposed to be safe, at least according to Adam's handlers at the agency. However, it quickly turns out that the agency was wrong in this assumption. When exploring their new home, Adam finds a diary belonging to the previous owner, which unleashes the nightmares within it by bringing them from the past into the present. The game has you play as two protagonists from two different periods in time and it's going to be interesting to travel through time and nightmares when this game by Illusion Ray Studio eventually lands.
The Sinking City - PC/PS4/Xbox One - June 27, 2019
If you're a fan of detective thriller games, you've most likely played at least one of Frogware's Sherlock Holmes games. However, this time around we're not watching over a famous private detective, we're diving deep into the works of H.P. Lovecraft and more specifically those on Cthulhu, with The Sinking City. Set in a 1920s version of Massachusetts the player takes control of Charles W. Reed, who's tasked with finding out what's wrong with the people of Oakmont. The gameplay seems similar to that of the Sherlock Holmes games, so get ready to search, investigate and interrogate your way to the truth while battling your own mind to stay sane.
Silver Chains - PC - Quarter 3, 2019
Next up is the Cracked Heads Games-developed title Silver Chains, which takes place in an abandoned mansion - neat start to a spooky game, we'd say. The game starts out with the player assuming control of protagonist Peter who has just crashed his vehicle into a tree outside the aforementioned building and sets out on a mission to get out of there. To do this, he needs to contact the people living in the area and if one would guess, they'd assume the house to be inhabited, especially considering that there are shadows lingering in the windows on the second floor. Of course, the mansion, if disregarding the fact that people seem to be living there, looks otherwise abandoned with the wood deteriorating and the furniture being covered up inside. Soon after entering the house, Peter realises that the residents aren't exactly human, at least not anymore, and so he has to escape. The player has to solve puzzles, uncover secrets as well as run and hide from some ghastly beings that want nothing more than to see Peter dead.
Those Who Remain - PC/PS4/Switch/Xbox One - Expected in 2019
Going from one potential horror gem to a thriller, Camel 101's Those Who Remain tells a story about an unfaithful man trying to make things right with his partner but who will soon find himself stuck in a dark, gloomy small town where strange things seem to be happening. You see, darkness lingers over the town of Dormont, darkness in which a hostile entity resides that is out to kill those who stray too far from the light. Those Who Remain will take the player on a puzzle-solving quest where he or she has to keep the protagonist Edward in the light so as to not get killed by what waits beyond the shadows. For the most part, the puzzles help the player create light-sources so that he or she can proceed, but there's more to some of the game's puzzles than that. The title has a mechanic with which the player can enter an alternate dimension where actions can be prompted, altering the environment in the main dimension. The player will also find enemies one has to hide from or avoid and friendly NPCs who offer advice and let you save your progress.
Stela - PC/Xbox One - Expected in 2019
Stela comes at things from a different angle. Those of you who have experienced the side-scrolling atmospheric adventures Limbo and Inside will understand why the Skybox Labs game is on this list. While not exactly a horror game, Stela offers a sense of unease to its players as they run from different entities and creatures that are out to get them. The world changes its appearance depending on how far into the game the player has managed to get and depending on the surroundings, the creatures will change - but don't get too comfortable, they're all equally as deadly. Stela's design really did floor us when we played it at GDC and while the game certainly took our minds back to Limbo and Inside at first glance, the character design, the differing camera angles and pan/zoom seem to give the game a unique feel.
Dying Light 2 - PC/PS4/Xbox One - Expected in 2019
With World War Z on the immediate horizon, we thought we'd look a little further into the future for the last game on our list, Dying Light 2. Techland's long-in-development zombie-filled sequel looks to build on the popularity of the first game with a more story-driven experience set to complement the parkour traversal and world exploration. As per the original, the undead will be at their strongest at night, but there are also other factions in the city that will have to be dealt with - as is often the way in zombie games, the undead will, at times, be the least of your worries. Dying Light has always leaned into the more action-packed side of the horror genre, but that doesn't mean that it won't have some scares to keep us thrilled and chilled when it lands.
That concludes our list but it definitely doesn't cover all of the promising horror titles coming up this year and beyond. Let us know down below if there's a chilling game on your wishlist.
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