2010 was a pretty exciting year for video games in the horror genre and with so many promising upcoming releases, 2011 looks like it may be just as good – if not better. Although there are many rumors of release dates and lots of big “IF”s in the gaming world, here’s a good number of the definite and some of the most likely games hitting shelves this year.
Dead Space 2 (PS3/Xbox 360/PC)
Release Date: January 25, 2011 (Today!)
A survival horror third-person shooter developed by Visceral Games and published by Electronic Arts. Unlike the highly acclaimed first game, this sequel also provides a multi-player option.
After waking from a coma on a massive space city known as “The Sprawl”, the lone survivor of a horrific alien infestation finds himself confronting a catastrophic new nightmare. Battling dementia, hunted by the government, and haunted by visions of his dead girlfriend, Isaac will do whatever it takes to save himself and dominate the gruesome onslaught.
Seeker (Nintendo DS)
Release Date: Sometime in February 2011
Standard zombie action shooter for the Nintendo handheld gaming device developed by 7 Raven and published by Zoo games.
Left to Die in Zombhai (PSP)
Release Date: Sometime in February 2011
And Sony’s handheld device gets a side-scrolling zombie-action game too! Developed by Alcomi and published by iSquared Games. Defend Zombhai from hordes of the undead.
Earth Defense Force: Insect Armageddon (PS3/XBox 360)
Release Date: March 1, 2011
Developed by Vicious Cycle and published by D3 Publisher, this is a monstrously large insect problem in the form of an jam-packed action game! Mission? Exterminate the alien hostiles… even if it means complete destruction of the city.
Insect Armageddon continues to follow the rich history of casual fun and addictive gameplay that made the franchise a cult classic. The game also adds a new aspect to the Earth Defense Force series that was born in Japan, with additional elements for all EDF soldiers to experience. The Campaign mode that lets up to three players team up online to battle the insects and aliens across a completely destroyable city. Every EDF soldier is armed with over 150 weapons and four upgradeable armor sets and engages in nonstop arcade action that is the fastest and deadliest in the series. In addition, the game also features a six-player Survival mode that pits a human squad against a nonstop onslaught of the largest enemies the aliens have to offer.
F.3.A.R. (PS3/XBox 360/PC)
Release Date: March 22, 2011
The 3rd game in the popular horror first-person shooter series developed by Day 1 Studios and published by Warner Bros. Interactive, offers single player or co-op modes as Point Man, a genetically enhanced super soldier originally introduced in F.E.A.R., or as his conniving brother Paxton Fettel, whose incredible telekinetic power has given him life beyond the grave.
Alive and Undead (PS3 – PSN Exclusive)
Release Date: Q1 (January-March) 2011
Developed and published by Shortfuse Entertainment. This PSN exclusive hasn’t had too much press recently, so I hope it’s still in the works. But all sources point to an anticipated 2011 release . . .
A dark, gory, combat-focused multiplayer brawler, Alive & Undead is a brutal, uncensored vampire quest. Taking the form of a side-scrolling, 2-player brawler, the game delivers the classic formula of the side-scroller and improves on it by incorporating modern mechanics like the ability to juggle enemies in the air, as well as a variety of explosive and devastating co-op attacks.
I imagine this is something of what Bubba Ho-Tep (2002) would look like if turned as a video game.
Shadows of the Damned (PS3/XBox 360)
Release Date: June 7, 2011
Developed by Grasshopper Manufacture and published by Electronic Arts, creators Suda 51 (No More Heroes) and Shinji Mikami (Resident Evil) present an intense horror adventure in the form of this psychological thriller. Set in hell.
With Shadows of the Damned, gamers will fight for love in the most difficult arena imaginable… hell. Players will find themselves surrounded by demons set on destroying their heart and soul. Only the strong will survive.
- Shinji Mikami, Creative Producer of Shadows of the Damned
Silent Hill: Downpour (PS3/XBox 360)
Release Date: Autumn 2011
The 8th installment of an established horror video game franchise, Silent Hill: Downpour is developed by Vatra and published by Konami. According to an article in the February 2011 Game Informer, the creators of this game are striving to return to the roots of Silent Hill and focus on appealing to fans of the earlier titles along with providing a psychologically horrifying gaming experience.
Plus, Daniel Licht (composer for the hit TV show: Dexter) is providing the eerie soundtrack. Here’s a preview of the chilling chords: Silent Hill: Downpour Soundtrack Clip.
Rage (PS3/XBox 360/PC)
Release Date: October 4, 2011
Marketing itself as a “ground-breaking first-person shooter,” this post-apocalyptic action also has elements of driving and RPG games. It is developed by Id Software and published by Bethesda Software.
You emerge into this vast wasteland to discover humanity working to rebuild itself against such forces as raider gangs, mutants, and the Authority — an oppressive government regime that has a special interest in you in particular.
Bring on the mutants, I say!
American McGee’s Alice: Madness Returns (PS3/XBox 360/PC)
Release Date: June 14, 2011
Developed by Spicy Horse and published by Electronic Arts, I’d say a sequel that’s long over due indeed! This game has made my list of most anticipated games for 2011 and I can’t wait to delve into American McGee’s twisted Wonderland.
Eleven years ago a horrific fire took Alice’s family from her and left her terribly burned—and her mind terribly scarred. Afterwards she was confined to Rutledge Asylum, struggling to come to terms with her demons by slipping into her fantasy world of Wonderland. Now, after ten years, she has finally secured her release–yet she still bears the heavy psychological burden of that tragic event.
- Electronic Arts
Rise of Nightmares (XBox 360 Kinect Exclusive)
Release Date: Spring 2011
Published by SEGA exclusively for the Kinect, this is definitely a step into the direction of truly experiencing the horrors a video game has to offer.
Rise of Nightmares offers a spine-tingling horror experience which uses the innovative new controls of Kinect to give players new encounters filled with fearful anticipation and terror. Using their whole body the player will experience fear and tension as never before in this first person horror adventure.
I’m sure that you have to be in the right frame of mind to get a truly terrifying experience – and play with all lights off – and that’s assuming that the creators focused on a variety of nightmarish elements and not just cheap-scares.
Universal Monsters Planet (PC)
Release Date: Q4 (October-December) 2011
A horror-themed MMO revolving around the classic Universal Monsters. Hmmm… could be interesting or could be an incredible flop.
Slated to launch in late 2011, the new world will combine the classic survival horror genre with the interactive elements of a true virtual world. As monster hunters, players will experience the legacy of the battle between Van Helsing and a variety of the original Universal Monsters including Frankenstein, The Mummy, Dracula, The Wolf Man and more. Gamers will also have the chance to travel to different lands based on the licensed characters including the Vatican, Dracula’s Castle and The Lagoon, to compete in various missions and battles against each nemesis.
- SEE Virtual Worlds Press Release
Haunt (XBox 360 Kinect Exclusive)
Release Date: Sometime in 2011
A family friendly version of Rise of Nightmares, perhaps? This first-person adventure developed by Nana On-Sha and Zoe Mode and published by Microsoft Game Studios is intended as a “cartoony” and “fun” style of horror. Immersed in gameplay via Kinect, players are meant to explore the spooky haunted mansion with a flashlight.
Dead Island (PS3/XBox 360/PC)
Release Date: August 1, 2011
Developed by Techland and published by Deep Silver, this first-person action game caused quite a stir with its trailer after years of dead silence. Let’s hope the game lives up to the quality of it’s trailer!
Cut off from the rest of the world, only four individuals who strangely find themselves immune to zombification have the power to protect the remaining survivors from the horrors of the island, to discover what’s really going on and find a way to escape before their own fatal ends.
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