For as much as we talk about movies and TV, from an industry standpoint, the video game business outright dwarfs it in terms of on-screen entertainment. Luckily, horror has always had a place in gaming, and as the industry continues to expand into a global, multi-billion-dollar behemoth, 2023 continues the trend. Plenty of horror games are coming our way this year, from indie titles that may be flying under the radar to big franchises dipping their toes into new waters.
That being the case, we're going to do a little rundown of a handful of games that you, dear reader, should be looking for this year. There is a little something for everyone, whether it be a remake of an all-time classic, a dino-filled adventure, or a cult classic movie coming back in video game form. Let's get into it.
Dead Space Remake - January 27
Dead Space helped to set the standard for modern survival/horror games back in 2008 when EA released the first game. But that was a long time ago, and in the era of the PlayStation 5 and the Xbox Series X, it's time for an upgrade. Luckily, EA is way ahead of us on that one and is set to release a remake of the beloved game in January. This is not a simple reskin job, as they've gone the distance to make this feel like a next-gen game in every way. So, for both fans of the original and for those who never got to experience it on the Xbox 360/PlayStation 4, the time is now.
For those unfamiliar, the game centers on Isaac Clarke, an everyman engineer on a mission to repair a vast mining ship, the USG Ishimura. Unfortunately for him, upon arrival, he discovers that something has gone horribly wrong. The ship's crew has been slaughtered, and his partner Nicole is lost on board. From there, it's a terrifying tale of survival with you in the driver's seat. Buckle the fuck up. Interested parties can pre-order the game for their platform of choice on EA's website.
Resident Evil 4 Remake - March 24
Capcom has been, slowly but surely, going back through the Resident Evil catalog and updating some of the older games to offer up a modern experience. This has gone extremely well, with RE2 and RE3 ranking as excellent updates to their PlayStation-era counterparts. But now, arguably, the most pivotal game in the franchise is getting the remake treatment in the form of Resident Evil 4. Indeed, after rumors circulated for ages, the studio confirmed the news last year, with the remake set to arrive in March.
The original game was viewed as a turning point for the series, with many players loving the new style of gameplay that was a bit more action-friendly. As for the story, it is set six years after the events of Resident Evil 2 and centers on Leon S. Kennedy. He is now working directly with the President of the United States of America. That, in turn, leads him to an important assignment: locate and rescue the President's kidnapped daughter. This takes the action to Europe, and spoilers, the T-virus comes into the equation. Zombie time! With any luck, the update will be worthy of what came before while offering the best modern consoles have to offer. Those interested can pre-order a copy for PlayStation, Xbox, or Steam via Capcom's website.
Killer Klowns From Outer Space: The Game - Early 2023
It has been nearly 35 years since the cult classic Killer Klowns from Outer Space arrived. In the years since, there has been much discussion of a sequel or some sort of continuation of the franchise, but nothing has materialized. Until now, that is! Indeed, Killer Klowns from Outer Space: The Game is due to arrive sometime in early 2023 after being announced to the world last year.
This game will take a familiar shape as an asymmetrical, multiplayer experience. Essentially, it will be Klowns vs. humans, and players can either take on a role as one of the evil invaders or a member of humanity trying to stop them. It is set in the town of Crescent Grove, with "outlandish abilities" and "zany weapons" promised by developer Teravision Games. The game will be widely available on PlayStation, Xbox, and PC. Those interested in signing up for the beta can do so via the game's official website.
Instinction - TBD
For whatever reason, mainstream media divorced from the Jurassic Park franchise seems to ignore dinosaurs as a means of entertainment. Luckily, video game developers have finally started to get wise to the idea that there is much opportunity here. See, Paleophage and The Lost Wild, for example. But we're here to talk about Instinction, an ambitious-looking survival game that has been in development for some time. While this may be a little less on-the-radar, it is absolutely worth paying attention to. At this stage, many details are awaiting release, but we do have a trailer and developer Hashbane Interactive has been sharing semi-regular updates. But the trailer alone is enough to inspire some "shut up and take my money" chants.
Hashbane promises "a cinematic story-based action adventure with combat, exploration, and puzzles, where the environments can be as treacherous and beautiful as the creatures you encounter." The developer also promises a layered narrative, with plenty of dinos, weapons, and wildly cinematic visuals to go around. This one is expected to arrive in late 2023, though a release date has yet to be set. Those interested in keeping up can bookmark Hashbane's website.
Texas Chain Saw Massacre - TBD
With the release of Texas Chainsaw Massacre on Netflix last year, Leatherface is once again back in the public consciousness. That looks to continue in 2023 as well, as the Texas Chain Saw Massacre video game is coming our way this year. The title alone offers some encouragement as it harkens back to Tobe Hooper's seminal genre classic. As for the gameplay? We're once again looking at an asymmetrical game where you're either a member of Leatherface's family or one of their potential victims, seemingly cut from a similar cloth as Evil Dead: The Game or Friday the 13th: The Game.
If you're playing as a victim, you must "use your wits and stealth to stay out of the Family's reach and find the tools you need to lead to your eventual freedom." As for being a member of the so-called Slaughter Family? They must "seek out, track down, and stop their guests from escaping." Simple as that - kill or be killed. There is no word yet on a specific release date, but developer Gun Interactive is expected to unleash the game sometime this year. Those interested in keeping track of updates can do so through the game's official website.