It’s a big year for horror game releases, with hotly anticipated remakes and new chapters and spin-offs of popular series at the forefront.
There are a lot of horror games bursting onto the scene this year, and some of them have been highly anticipated for several years now. One of the biggest releases of 2023 is the remake of the survival horror game Dead Space, released in January. The first release in the series since 2013’s Dead Space 3, fans have waited patiently since the game’s announcement in July of 2021. Though it came out of the game strong, right behind the juggernaut of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II in sales, another hotly anticipated remake from an iconic series has already surpassed the game in sales by 250% — after only a couple of days on the market.
Read on to find out the games that promise to dominate the horror space this year and what your next obsession should be!
1. Fatal Frame: Mask of the Lunar Eclipse
The wildly popular Japanese survival horror game series Fatal Frame (or Project Zero for those in Europe) has received critical acclaim and is widely considered one of the best in the subgenre, alongside titles like Resident Evil and Silent Hill. Multiple Japanese media adaptations have been made, including manga and a 2014 live-action feature film. This was followed by Crimson Butterfly in 2003/2004, The Tormented in 2005/2006, Mask of the Lunar Eclipse (released for Wii in Japan in 2008 but originally not released overseas), and Maiden of Black Water in 2014/2015.
The series is set in 1980s Japan, with each entry focusing on a location beset by hostile supernatural events. In each scenario, the characters involved in the present investigation use Camera Obscura, objects created by Dr. Kunihiko Asou that can capture and pacify spirits. The series draws on staple elements of Japanese horror and is noted for its frequent use of female protagonists.
Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water was remastered in late 2021, and it reflected tremendous growth from the studio, Koei Tecmo. It’s no surprise that the fourth game in the beloved franchise, Fatal Frame: Mask of the Lunar Eclipse, has received an updated remake and re-release, making its way overseas for the first time. While the gameplay is very similar to the original Wii version, major updates include much more detailed and advanced graphics, as well as updated sound design.
Players will explore several stages, including an abandoned sanitorium-turned-hotel while evading hostile wraiths using the series’ famous Camera Obscura.
Fatal Frame: Mask of the Lunar Eclipse released March 9, 2023, for Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, and PC
2. Horror Hotel Casino Slot
If you’re a fan of slots, Horror Hotel is one of our top recommendations. The main reason why you should give this game a go is that it has so much to offer, and it really is taking the market by storm.
In full transparency, the game is very light on horror. But it has a killer aesthetic and offers exceptional gameplay. Taking place in a late-night graveyard, underneath a glowing full moon and surrounded by creepy trees, it is overlooked by a castle/hotel on a hill. The game is adorned with skulls with an atmospheric soundtrack.
Its popularity is based on its immersive engine and exciting artwork. You’re taken into the reception of the castle for the bonus round. A key feature is the Mystery Symbol, activated on any win. Once active, the winning cluster will convert into mystery symbols, and a re-spin is awarded. Before the re-spin, all nonwinning symbols will be destroyed, and winning symbols will be converted to mystery symbols. Free Spins are triggered by collecting three or more Bonus Symbols. During the free spins, one additional wild is awarded for each spin.
The 20,000x max win means the potential for big payoffs, and it’s one of the most enjoyable horror-themed casino games on the market.
If you want a complete list of new online slots then check out this guide.
3. The Dark Pictures: Switchback VR
If you are a fan of Until Dawn: Rush of Blood, then you should love our next recommendation.
Supermassive Games have now released a great horror rail shooter, and it’s an absolute rollercoaster of a title. A spin-off of the popular The Dark Pictures Anthology series, The Dark Pictures: Switchback VR offers a fresh ride into hell, promising to submerge you into a whole new land of terror.
The Dark Pictures Anthology is an anthology series of interactive drama and survival horror video games developed by Supermassive Games and published by Bandai Namco Entertainment. The anthology is to consist of eight games, with each game inspired by a different horror genre.
Each game features five main characters whose survival depends on the choices made by the player. The games use a third-person perspective and the ability to choose from various dialogue options. The series began with Man of Medan in 2019, followed by Little Hope (2020), House of Ashes (2021), and The Devil in Me (2022). The second season is set to kick off with the upcoming Directive 8020.
The Dark Pictures: Switchback VR was recently released by Supermassive Games for the Playstation VR2 on March 16, 2023. Immerse yourself in this fast-paced rollercoaster action-horror-shooter where every move you make, and everything you see, could mean the difference between life and death.
4. Resident Evil 4 (2023)
Reimagined for 2023, Resident Evil 4 is a remake of the game that was released in 2005, and it brings state-of-the-art survival horror to fans of the franchise.
Released by Capcom for the PS4, the Xbox Series X, and the PC on March 24, 2023, it preserves the essence of the original game while introducing modernized gameplay, a more intense atmosphere, a reimagined storyline, and detailed graphics. We also got new character designs and backgrounds. Players control the US agent Leon S. Kennedy, who must save the daughter of the president from a dangerous cult.
The game features “over-the-shoulder” third-person shooter gameplay similar to the original while drawing from the remakes of Resident Evil 2 and Resident Evil 3. New to the remake, a crafting system enables players to create items and ammunition using resources collected throughout the game.
The focus of combat is shooting enemies and reloading. However, Leon can now move and use weapons at the same time, allowing him to evade attacks while firing. He can also use melee attacks to injure enemies. A new parrying mechanic allows him to block, counterattack, and kill a downed enemy with his knife.
Dredge is one of the newest games to be released by Black Salt Games. In a single-player fishing adventure with a sinister undercurrent, players are invited to sell their catch, upgrade their boat, and dredge the depths for long-buried secrets. Explore a mysterious archipelago and discover why some things are best left forgotten.
If you are a fan of Lovecraft, then you will not want to miss out on this title that combines relaxing fishing and Lovecraftian horror. The game is getting fantastic reviews ahead of its March 30th release date, being hailed as a highly original game that is equally soothing and unnerving.
Here at Morbidly Beautiful, we love projects that balance beauty with elements of the macabre, and this game promises to deliver in spades. It’s designed to give players the choice between sticking to the safety and serenity of the daytime, fishing close to the shore, or venturing out into the unknown depths in the dark. This means the mood can turn on a dime, making it ever intriguing and never boring.
6. Amnesia the Bunker
Amnesia: The Bunker is a first-person horror game set in a desolate WW1 Bunker. It’s the fourth installment of the Amnesia series under development by Frictional Games.
You’ll take on the role of a French soldier as you try to figure out the mystery of the eponymous bunker. Face the oppressing terrors stalking the dark corridors. Search for and use the tools and weapons at your disposal while keeping the lights on at all costs.
Frictional Games describes the game as being a semi-open world, with elements of the game being randomized, allowing for greater levels of replayability. Deviating from past entries in the Amnesia franchise, The Bunker also introduces several new mechanics, such as a crafting system and the ability for the player to defend themselves using a revolver.
There is an ever-present threat in this chilling game. You will have to solve a lot of puzzles, and you will also make decisions that go on to change the course of the game.
Look for this title to release on May 16, 2023.