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5 Survival Horror Games Keeping the Genre Alive and Well in 2016

After a stagnant decade that left us with only a handful or so of notable survival horror games, it looked like the genre was returning in a big way in 2014, but immediately spiraled back into near non-existence in 2015. While AAA studios may have lost focus almost entirely on survival horror, indie devs are consistently showing us that it’s back and in a big way.

So while we lost Silent Hills over the last year, it’s time we pull ourselves up, wipe our faces off, and move the f*** on, people.

Routine

SOMA meets Alien in this first person survival horror title from UK-based Lunar Software. Brimming with 80’s neo-futuristic sci-fi nostalgia, Routine takes you to an abandoned moon base as you search for answers of its missing crew and citizens. The game’s full base exploration — pseudo open world, you could say — and permadeath system — one life, no health packs — will surely add to the heart-pounding exhilaration any horror enthusiast is looking for.

Set in an 80’s vision of the future with a story that sounds something like Alien fan fiction, and, seemingly, 8-bit level difficulty, Routine is, as a whole, a love letter to 80’s media — which is exactly the right combination for any nostalgic survival horror fans.

Unfortunately, this is Lunar’s first game and due to wanting to insure a complete product at launch, we’ve now officially been waiting four years for it to release. Hopefully, as we’ve wished over the last couple years, this will be the year we will finally see the finished product.

  • Release Date: 2016
  • Platform(s): PC

Allison Road

Losing Silent Hills was one of 2015’s greatest blows to gamers. Luckily, Allison Road is inching ever closer to its release.

AR thrusts the player into the nightmarish world, a la Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture style of amnesic mystery, as you explore a generic British townhouse, piecing together who you are and what horrors lie beneath. Although the outward similarities seem almost uncanny, Allison Road seems more reliant on atmospheric, under-your-skin horror than Silent Hills’ PTSD-inducing trauma fun house.

For those truly brave souls, Lilith has confirmed native VR support.

  • Release Date: Q3 2016
  • Platform(s): PC

Friday the 13th

Originally unveiled back in 2014 as a Friday the 13th homage titled Summer Camp, fans learned that it would be a full-fledged official Friday the 13th licensed property in October 2015. Thankfully unrelated to the NES’ Friday the 13th, this Friday the 13th is looking like it will be the first worthwhile horror movie license title we’ve ever received* (*some opinions may apply).

Recapturing Jason’s whimsical summer camp days, the game captures that perfect late-70’s / early-80’s vibe, with attention to everything from character’s fashion and style, to the iconic dark and ominous camera direction — even assembling Friday the 13th heavyweights, Tom Savini (horror effects icon, actor, and executive producer), Harry Manfredini (original score composer) and Kane Hodder (professional maniac).

Gun Media is really pulling out all the stops and creating the Friday the 13th game fans have been pleading for since the 1980’s. Now, if only we can get the sequel we’ve been pleading for, too.

  • Release Date: Q4 2016
  • Platform(s): PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC

P.A.M.E.L.A.

Although a bit reminiscent of Bioshock and Deus Ex: Human Revolution, PAMELA is the most unique and creatively imaginative title on our list* (*some opinions may apply). A whopping 6 member team makes up NVYVE Studios, an obscenely small crew for such an ambitious game, and if all goes according to plan, it looks like we’re in for one of the most refreshing survival horror experiences we’ve had in a long time.

A combination of dystopian sci-fi survival horror and RPG, PAMELA promises to deliver an open-world, FPS adventure unlike anything we’ve seen before. Unique, “unpredictable AI” with a “personality-driven system,” alongside a dynamic day and night weather system will all assist in PAMELA‘s challenging, permadeath gameplay.

  • Release Date: 2016
  • Platform(s): PC

Outlast 2

Jump scares, jump scares galore!

Aside from stating that Outlast 2 will feature a new setting, story, and characters, the team at Red Barrels have been pretty tight-lipped about the whole project. However, if it’s anything like the first, we’ll let out at least a couple jumps and maybe even a controller toss while playing. According to Red Barrels’ co-founder, David Chateauneuf, in an interview with IGN, “We have even more surprises and I can’t wait to tell you all the ways we’re going to make Outlast 2 gamers suffer.” Neat!

  • Release Date: Q4 2016
  • Platform(s): PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, Mac

 

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Categories: Lists and Editorials, Video Games

Author:Jen

Founder, Editor-in-Chief at Another Castle | Twitter: @ComradeJen

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2 Comments on “5 Survival Horror Games Keeping the Genre Alive and Well in 2016”

  1. 01/19/2016 at 8:27 PM #

    All of these look excellent. Hopefully Layers of Fear leaves early access this year, since it seems pretty great for it is already. We just got Resident Evil 0 HD (I didn’t care for the original, honestly) and Oxenfree, but there seems to be a much larger supply of horror games coming to PC this year than consoles. That’s to be expected, but hopefully big guns like Outlast 2 and Friday the 13th make up for it.

  2. 01/20/2016 at 11:32 AM #

    I actually dug RE0 back in the day, but I think after the years of disappointing RE games, even the classics can’t pull me back in anymore.

    I’m sad that my PC can’t handle most of these titles and I’ll need to throw another $500 around before I can hope to see even the title screen. With that said, most of the devs and studios made mention that they’d like to put those titles on consoles, but “they’re looking into it” — ie license fees, demand, etc. Most of the survival horror being released over the next couple years is pretty much almost exclusively coming from indie devs, and, unfortunately, that means they’ll only really be able to release on PC due to the cost.

    I feel like a dope for completely missing Layers of Fear.

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