The reason horror movies are so commonplace is because they’re usually cheap to make – so they’re low risk and potentially highly profitable. The same cannot be said about horror video games, which cost just as much to make as any other and yet only appeal to a small audience.
So, you can easily go years without any significant examples, especially in terms of bigger budget games.
Things seem to have changed recently – as the genre is enjoying something of a resurgence, no doubt thanks to the success of Capcom’s Resident Evil remakes. Everyone from major publishers, like EA, to smaller indie studios, are pumping out new horror games at a surprisingly regular pace.
So, with Halloween coming up, we’ve had a look through the release schedules and put together a list of the biggest and most intriguing horror games set to launch in 2023’s final months and beyond in 2024.
Since Capcom seems unwilling to do anything with its Dino Crisis series, Dead Drop Studios is picking up the slack with Dinobreak, which looks to replicate 90s era survival horror right down to the cheesy voice acting. It’s already available for PC and consoles.
Originally made for the Atari 2600 back in the 80s, Haunted House is considered one of the earliest examples of a survival horror game.
It’s getting something of a reimagining available for PC and consoles, that turns it into more of a roguelike, albeit one reliant on stealth and puzzle-solving rather than combat. Its new cartoony art style does kind of dampen the horror side of things, but it depends how nervous a disposition you have.
Slender: The Arrival
Before Five Nights At Freddy’s was a thing, Slender: The Arrival was encouraging jump scare compilations on YouTube, when it launched in 2013.
The game has seen multiple ports since then but has now received a remaster for PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, and PC, with a brand new sequel to follow – although that doesn’t have a release date yet.
Dead By Daylight
Naturally, the most popular asymmetric multiplayer horror game is going to have new content for Halloween month.
Aside from new in-game rewards and lore to unlock, last year’s Haunted By Daylight event has returned and promises to be even scarier, with new Void Zones that can summon beings called Haunts.
There’s no mention of any new bizarre crossovers though, such as the recent Nicholas Cage cameo.
A new psychological horror game about a young teen who inherits a haunted house, Stray Souls promises various randomised elements, from enemy encounters and item placement to weather patterns and other phenomena, to ensure each playthrough is unique.
It also has Silent Hill composer Akira Yamaoka contributing music, who really has become the go-to guy for any modern horror game.
Alan Wake 2
It’s been 13 years and fans of Remedy’s Alan Wake will be able to play the sequel right before Halloween.
While the original wasn’t supposed to be a horror game the sequel is, with a spookier atmosphere and nastier enemies. The story involves the titular horror writer attempting to escape a nightmare realm with the assistance of FBI agent Saga Anderson, who’s investigating a serial killer.
Alan Wake 2 launches for PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, and PC on October 27.
You Will Die Here Tonight
A horror game that’s actually scheduled for Halloween itself, You Will Die Here Tonight is another throwback to 90s survival horror, that combines top-down exploration and first person combat.
It’s even set in a mansion, in case the Resident Evil and The House Of The Dead influences weren’t obvious enough.
Stranger Things VR
A Stranger Things VR game sounds like a no-brainer, although interestingly you get to play as the scary monster rather than any of the show’s protagonists.
As the villainous Vecna, you’ll jump into peoples’ dreams and battle monsters with telekinetic powers as you uncover his never-before-seen backstory.
It launches for the Meta Quest and Meta Quest Pro on November 30.
Despite the similar title, this is completely unrelated to the Cocoon puzzle game from September and is instead a first person horror adventure game set in 1980s Japan.
It’s out on December 6 for PC and promises multiple endings, some bone chilling imagery, a monster that looks like a lankier and more skeletal Sadako from The Ring, and a lot of talk about silkworms.
Five Nights At Freddy’s: Help Wanted 2
With the Five Nights At Freddy’s movie out this month, it makes perfect sense for a new game to coincide with it. Although rather than an adaptation, it’s a sequel to the 2019 game Help Wanted.
It was announced back in May, with a brief teaser trailer but there’s been surprisingly little info about it since, despite it aiming for a December launch.
Inspired by found footage movies, Paranormal Tales is made up of self-contained experiences that you play from the perspective of things like phones and body cams.
It promises hyper realism thanks to being made in Unreal Engine 5 and is slated for Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 5, and PC.
From German studio Pixelsplit, Reveil is set in a 60s themed circus and has you solving puzzles to find your missing wife and daughter, as well as recover your memories.
There’s no sign of any creepy clowns in the trailer, but Reveil looks like a perfect set-up for jump scares and general paranoia when it launches on PC.
Killer Klowns From Outer Space: The Game
We’re still not sure how this got the asymmetrical multiplayer treatment before something like Nightmare On Elm Street but the cult classic horror comedy admittedly fits the format quite well, although it hasn’t seen a proper update in over a year and only has a vague 2024 launch date.
Conceptually, this doesn’t seem that different from the comically ridiculous Surgeon Simulator. Whereas that game was deliberately cartoonish in its presentation, though, Autopsy Simulator features more realistic looking cadavers and psychological horror elements.
It’s so far only scheduled for PC and was meant to launch last November but has since been delayed.
Hollowbody is an example of a throwback to horror games from the early 2000s, with British developer Headware Games naming the likes of Silent Hill 3, Kuon, and Rule Of Rose as its chief inspirations.
There’s no launch date yet, but it promises puzzles, resource management, limited combat, multiple endings, and a tech noir setting when it arrives on PC.
Definitely one of, if not the most intriguing horror game on the list, Slitterhead’s brief teaser trailer promises some genuinely disturbing monster designs and body horror, even if it’s aiming to be more of an action game.
It’s the first project from Bokeh Game Studio and is being helmed by the creator of Silent Hill, Keiichiro Toyama, which makes it seem even more promising.
The Dark Pictures: Directive 8020
In case you missed the memo, The Devil In Me is not the finale of Supermassive Games’s anthology of horror games and teased a second season in its post-credits scene.
Details are slim but it looks like the next entry will be sci-fi flavoured, so maybe expect some Alien influences this time around.
Alone In The Dark
This was meant to be out by the end of the month but THQ Nordic wisely opted to delay it to January, to avoid what’s set to be a very crowded month for games.
The original Alone In The Dark defined the concept of the modern survival horror well before Resident Evil came along and this updated remake looks like a welcome return to form, after the series lost its way.
Little Nightmares 3
Announced just a couple of months ago at Gamescom 2023, Little Nightmares 3 looks set to be another delightfully creepy 2.5D puzzle platformer when it arrives in 2024.
Supermassive Games will be handling development, though, since original developer Tarsier Studios was acquired by Embracer Group.
Still Wakes The Deep
The Chinese Room is going back to its roots with Still Wakes The Deep, a first person horror adventure that sees you trapped on an oil rig with some kind of unknowable horror.
Unlike other horror games, you have no weapons to defend yourself with, making for a far more unnerving experience.
For years, people yearned for a new Silent Hill and now Konami has no less than four projects in the works.
The big one is obviously the Silent Hill 2 remake from The Medium studio Bloober Team, which aims to update one of the most lauded horror games of all time for the modern era. While a safe bet by Konami, it’s also the one most at risk of screwing up and angering long-time fans of the original.
Elsewhere, Annapurna Interactive is handling something called Silent Hill: Townfall, but there’s nothing to go on besides its name.
Meanwhile, the Dead By Daylight team is working on an ‘interactive live event’ called Silent Hill: Ascension but there seems to be little enthusiasm for that amongst fans.
What seems a lot more interesting is Silent Hill f, since its teaser reveal was genuinely scary and it’s the only project being handled by a Japanese studio. It also has the creator of the Higurashi When They Cry visual novel horror series handling the story, which immediately sets an intriguing and potentially terrifying precedent.
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