A new year is meant to symbolize the promise of a new beginning. It’s supposed to bring change and leave us reflecting on our failures and achievements of the year prior. We’re sure all that’s true, but this new year, we’re way too distracted by the terrors in store to care about the aged traditions. 2023 is not playing around and very clearly aims to absolutely horrify the gaming community with a bevy of new horror games.
These biggest new horror games of 2023 show promise of a ruthless year that will leave the weakest of us cowering in a corner. Long-awaited sequels, remakes of horror classics, and familiar IPs getting the multiplayer treatment round out an impressive list of games that could make 2023 the year of survival horror.
2023 Horror Games
Dead Space Remake | January 27th, 2023
Developer: Motive Studio Publisher: Electronic Arts Platform: PC, PS5, Xbox Series X & S
Poor Isaac Clarke. All he wants to do is his job, but pesky necromorphs keep getting in the way. The Dead Space remake is proving to be the engineer’s deadliest outing yet, despite being a recreation of his introduction to the USG Ishimura.
Motive Studio rebuilt the original Dead Space from the ground up, using modern tech and the Frostbite engine to leave players hesitant to press forward. All-new sound design, improved visuals, and even an extended story promise to grip players from the opening credits to the final crawl. Motive has been releasing developer vlogs showcasing the many improvements made to the original concept, and save for similar character design and the same core story, the remake is looking and sounding like an entirely new experience.
Seeing as how well-executed Dead Space was in 2008, we can only suspect that the remake will be one of the biggest new horror games of 2023. Hopefully, it is as good as it sounds so we can pull for a Dead Space 2 remake.
Dead Island 2 | February 3rd, 2023
Developer: Dambuster Studios Publisher: Deep Silver Platform: PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X & S
After nearly becoming a casualty of development hell, Dead Island 2 is finally coming, and it’s looking to be one of the most exciting, biggest new horror games of 2023. All those years stuck in the creative process seems to have bred a game that’s not only visually stunning but one that promises to expand upon the successes of its predecessor.
Set in an overrun California, players will go toe-to-toe with the undead, using whatever weapons and tools are at their disposal to split heads. Literally. With improved gameplay and the return of welcome mechanics like crafting, Dead Island 2 will suck players into the sea of the undead at the height of a new outbreak.
Like its predecessor, Dead Island 2 emphasizes melee combat and provides players with brutal weaponry enhanced to cause maximum damage. If one thing is for certain, it’s that heads will quite literally roll. Whether it’s an undead head or that of the player all depends on one’s aptitude for zombie slaying.
Sons of the Forest | February 23rd, 2023
Developer: Endnight Games Ltd Publisher: Newnight Platform: PC
The first go around, a downed commercial jet left players scrambling to find their son on a peninsula full of mutant cannibals. This time, we return to the island as someone looking for a missing billionaire. If our experience with The Forest has taught us anything, it’s that things probably aren’t looking too good for the billionaire.
For players, though, there’s a little hope as they gather resources, craft supplies, build shelter, and use a variety of crude weapons to survive from one day to the next. This wouldn’t be a horror game without an antagonist, and the mutants have returned to continue torturing players with their masses.
Sons of the Forest is the highly anticipated sequel to The Forest and will feature co-op multiplayer, seasonal changes, a vast selection of blueprints to toy with, and all the expected mechanics of a survival title.
Resident Evil 4 Remake | March 24th, 2023
Developer: Capcom Publisher: Capcom Platform: PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox Series X & S
Leon S. Kennedy stars in his second remake with Resident Evil 4, a complete revamping of the 2005 title that revitalized the Resident Evil series. This RE Engine remake looks to touch on some of the same notes as the original, such as the village attack that introduces the government agent to his varied foe, albeit with an entirely new coat of paint, improved sound design, smoother gameplay, and updated mechanics.
The Resident Evil 4 remake isn’t a 1:1 copy of the original and Capcom allegedly took some liberties to restructure many of the game’s segments. However, as the trailers and gameplay footage have shown, the most memorable moments are still there. From El Gigante to Del Lago, Leon has his work cut out for him in this atmospheric and haunting recreation.
Despite a more serious aesthetic, the series’ signature camp is still present. In one trailer, Leon deflects a chainsaw attack with a knife. If that’s not worth getting excited about, we really don’t know what is.
Ad Infinitum | April 2023
Developer: Hekate Publisher: Nacon Platform: PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X & S
We’ve played through so many iterations of World War II and a few takes on the Great War before it, but Ad Infinitum may be the most unique spin on a global conflict. Taking place during World War I, Ad Infinitum pits players in the combat boots of a German soldier tortured by horrific visions, haunting monsters, and the horrors every soldier witnesses on the battlefield.
The potentially controversial perspective promises to drive a conflicting narrative, forcing players to feel some sense of sympathy for a soldier fighting for the perceived “bad guys” of the conflict. As players navigate a nightmarish world that infests the trenches of the bloodiest battlefields, they become immersed in a psychological horror that blurs the line between reality and fiction.
Ad Infinitum uses the backdrop of warfare to deliver an intense, atmospheric slice of horror gaming of 2023.
Alan Wake 2 | TBC 2023
Developer: Remedy Entertainment Publisher: Epic Games Platform: PC, PS5, Xbox Series X & S
Everyone’s favorite tortured writer is back after a 13-year hiatus. Last we saw the titular author, he was trapped within the Dark Place after his battle with the Dark Presence. We know very little about Wake’s newest exploit, save for the tagline “Monsters wear many faces.” We know Wake had been tortured by his antagonistic and twisted doppelganger, Mr. Scratch, and this suave, serial killer iteration of himself will likely make a return for the sequel.
The initial trailer for Alan Wake 2 is quite ominous, starting with a brutal crime scene with a body strewn out on a rock table. A dual triangle symbol is etched into a nearby tree, a possible reference to duality or a spiritual voyage. We get a look at a dreary metropolis and what appears to be Bright Falls before getting a closeup of a scruffy Wake and a flash of Wake’s face, bloodied and twisted with rage.
Could it be Mr. Scratch? We sure hope so.
Alone In The Dark | TBC 2023
Developer: Pieces Interactive Publisher: THQ Nordic Platform: PC, PS5, Xbox Series X & S
Alone In The Dark is considered to be the elder statesman of the survival horror genre, but the success of games like Resident Evil and Silent Hill, coupled with Alone In The Dark’s inability to maintain relevance after the year 2000, has meant the franchise has fallen by the wayside. 2023 could be the year things change, however.
Borrowing from the formula Capcom established with Resident Evil 2’s remake, Pieces Interactive and THQ Nordic are remaking the original Alone In The Dark for a new audience, changing the game into an over-the-shoulder action horror experience. A lot of familar faces and locations still remain, such as the iconic Derceto Manor, but there’s been quite a few changes to the game’s story.
A fresh coat of paint and a new direction feel like exactly what the Alone In The Dark series needed, making it one of the biggest horror games of 2023 to keep an eye on.
Killer Klowns from Outer Space | TBC 2023
Developer: Teravision Games Publisher: Good Shepherd Entertainment Platform: PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X & S
After a surprising surge in popularity, which came coupled with a maze at Universal Studios’ Halloween Horror Nights, Killer Klowns from Outer Space is finally getting the video game treatment. Following in the footsteps of other devs with rights to movie IPs, Teravision is going the multiplayer route with this neon-infused horror romp.
The titular Klowns have arrived on Earth with one goal: to turn hapless humans into hanging cotton candy smoothies. While the task should be simple considering their array of space weaponry, clown gadgets, and special abilities, the survivors of Crescent Cove aren’t going down without a fight.
Players will either take up arms as a survivor to battle the clowns and save the planet or control one of the galactic jesters and use any number of movie-accurate tools, like the classic dog balloon animal, to hunt down their prey. Teravision promises to evolve online horror with a PvPvE formula that uses hide-and-seek gameplay and dynamic objectives to create multiple ways to win or lose.
Layers of Fears | TBC 2023
Developer: Bloober Team Publisher: Bloober Team SA Platform: PC, PS5, Xbox Series X & S
The Layers of Fear series has taken players to the brink of insanity and back, torturing them with gruesome imagery and twisted visions. Layers of Fears aims to build upon the foundation laid by its predecessors. Built on Unreal Engine 5, the new entry promises a striking journey into madness as players explore a whole new story and get used to new gameplay mechanics.
Become immersed in the third entry of the psychological horror chronicle that explores the psyche of obsessed artists. Find out what it’s like to be truly tortured by your own work as Layers of Fears takes narrative cues from the first two entries to leave players unsettled and disturbed.
How this new story will unfold is yet to be seen, but we can almost guarantee it won’t be an easy journey. Especially with how relentless Layers of Fear and Layers of Fear 2 wound up being.
The Outlast Trials | TBC 2023
Developer: Red Barrels Publisher: Red Barrels Platform: PC
The first two Outlast games crafted twisted single-player narratives that spanned an asylum and a rural hellscape in Northern Arizona. Both games rarely let up on the player, allowing them to catch their breath between deadly encounters. The Outlast Trials aims to be even more merciless with a multiplayer experience that allows you to tackle the trials of the Murkoff Corporation alone or with friends.
Players enter Murkoff’s demented trials, which test different methods of brainwashing and mind control. It’s still primarily a hide-and-seek stealth game, but Murkoff wants real results and will provide players with some necessary tools that will help keep them hidden from their murderous pursuers.
Think Saw, except surviving doesn’t result in a profound message and life lesson. It just means you’ve done Murkoff’s bidding and proven its experiments successful. The Outlast Trials can be played with up to three other players, who will either help one another move from trial to trial and uncover the secrets of Murkoff or leave the weakest in the dust as bait.
Ask any horror fan, and they’ll tell you that Silent Hill 2 is one of the most beloved horror titles ever made, so a remake of such hallowed ground is going to be a daunting prospect for a lot of people. Whether Bloober Team will be able to live up to Silent Hill 2’s incredibly legacy with their remake remains to be seen, but one thing is for sure: they’re going all out.
The Silent Hill 2 remake is a completely remade version of the original game with improved graphics and gameplay, but will retain much of the same story as the regular version. We’ve still got James travelling to Silent Hill, and he’s still going to find himself smacking demons with a baseball bat, but the overall presentation has been massively improved.
Hopefully, this Silent Hill 2 remake will be considered one of the best horror games of 2023 when it finally launches.
Texas Chain Saw Massacre | TBC 2023
Developer: Sumo Digital Publisher: Gun Interactive Platform: PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X & S
Friday the 13th: The Game may not have been a master class in asymmetrical horror, but it drew enough attention and at least garnered praise for its dedication to the source material. Sumo Digital is taking inspiration from Voorhees’ latest video game romp for Texas Chain Saw Massacre, a 4v3 asymmetrical horror game that puts the Slaughter family in the spotlight.
Leatherface rounds out a recognizable roster of the Cook and the Hitchhiker, who hunt their prey alongside new family members Johnny and Sissy. Players that take control of one of the Family will hunt down player-controlled survivors that are using everything at their disposal to find an escape from their hellish nightmare.
True to the movie, the gore is turned up to 10 as survivors can be brutally slain when they fail to find their exit. Surviving won’t be easy as the Family has access to unique abilities like crafting poisons or tracking footsteps. Then, of course, there’s the big guy himself, wielding his chainsaw and dismembering any who cross his path.
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