It’s fair to say that the most recent Inside Xbox didn’t exactly go down a storm with most. With gameplay reveals from third-parties promised beforehand and the rumour mill in full swing, an expectant crowd tuned in to disappointment. The gameplay was mostly reserved to an FPS designed by one dude, and there were no huge sequels to dormant IPs announced.
While there wasn’t much to send the hype machines into overdrive (expected, really, considering “The Event”) for the upcoming console, Xbox Series X is shaping up to be the place to play horror games from the comfort of your couch next-gen.
A game that caught the eye of many, Scorn has actually been in the pipeline for about as long as this website has been in business. We’ve been covering it on annual horror release lists almost as a tradition, so we were concerned when we heard nothing from it for years. To see it pop up out of the blue — as an Xbox Series X (presumably timed) exclusive, no less – and unleash its phallic madness again immediately captured the attention.
It was last seen in a gameplay sense almost three years ago, a decent but not spectacular showing with guns made of nightmares and level design that would make Giger himself shudder. At one time, it and Agony seemed to be having a bit of a gross-off, though Agony released back in 2018 to a not great reception. You have to wonder how far Scorn has come since then — can you imagine what ray tracing on a demon that is also a penis will look like?
Bloober Team, one of the most promising yet inconsistent horror developers working today, also showcased a first look at The Medium, which will boast music from Akira Yamaoka of Silent Hill fame. That’s a huge get, and the game itself looks plenty interesting.
You play as Marianne, a medium in limbo between two different worlds and haunted by visions. Billed as a psychological horror, Bloober claim the game will have no loading screens even when changing between worlds, and judging by its CG trailer, the whole world around you will also be shifting and changing. Considering Marianne also seems to be pregnant and then not, expect The Medium to get plenty weird, as is the Bloober way.
While previously announced, it was good to get another glimpse at Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2, even if we should really be getting a closer look at gameplay by this point. As was the case for a lot of the games show, Bloodlines 2 will support Smart Delivery, meaning that you can upgrade to the Xbox One X version for free if you buy the Xbox One version.
I can’t get over how good that deal is, so much so that I keep thinking there will be a catch. There has to be a catch, right? This is the same industry that topped up its profits at the start of this gen with endless remasters and lazy ports. Who asked for de Blob again?
This may be stretching it, but it also looks like the Hellblade sequel is leaning into its horror elements more. Yes, we may have only seen Senua going all Lamb of God into a camera so far, but with the previous game already being pretty dark, it’s not a franchise that is exactly going to get chirpy and chipper the longer it goes on. I fully expect to see more decapitated lovers next time out.
What makes these horror reveals even better is that, apart from Bloodlines, all of these games will be coming to Game Pass on day one, something else about Xbox that makes no financial sense to me. Horror, while still popular, is a genre that a lot of people don’t want to even touch, so to release a whole bunch of brand new spooks without a big barrier to entry can only be good for horror gaming itself.
The days of Viva Piñata are over. All hail the Edgebox.
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