We had a big year for the horror genre when it comes to film, but horror in video games did not go unnoticed either. New titles like Martha is Dead stood along side longer-running franchises like Dying Light, and even some of our most popular film franchises made the transition to gaming, like Evil Dead.
With games like The Last of Us and Resident Evil frequently releasing and re-releasing, 2022 was the year that these games stood a chance.
Here are the nominees for Best Horror Game 2022:
If you’re looking for an asymmetrical 4v1 multiplayer game that at first glance looks similar to Dead by Daylight but plays more like a melee heavy Left 4 Dead with survival/battle royale-like scavenging, then you’re in luck because that is exactly what Evil Dead: The Game is. 4 survivors must work together to scavenge weapons and upgrades while finding and collecting 3 pieces of a map, which reveals the location of the Kandarian Dagger and lost pages of the Necronomicon.
Evil Dead: The Game is a bloody good time if you can find players or friends that want to communicate and work together. It looks great, it runs great, it’s mostly fun, but quite repetitive, and has some rather annoying bugs. It doesn’t add anything to the series but instead settles for simple fan service, and that’s alright with me.
Martha Is Dead takes players back to the final months of World War II. Set in the Tuscany region of Italy in 1944, the game follows Giulia who is dealing with the trauma of her twin sister Martha’s death. With the world she knew slowly breaking down, and the tragedy of the death coinciding with the slow downfall of fascist dictator Benito Mussolini, things only go downhill for young Giulia as she tries to sort through her feelings, struggles and guilt.
Martha is Dead, like many other games before, it makes you question what is real, pushing the limits on sanity and the physical world. Horror games have the power to make the players question everything they see, thrusting the impossible as real, slowly making the events and perspective as a narrative tool that can be altered to tell a more complex and interesting story. Martha is Dead blurs the concept of reality, and even what is happening to an extent, you will be questioning everything up to the very last scene.
Dolmen inserts the player in the middle of a futuristic setting, where humans have travelled the far reaches of space to expand humanity across the universe. Of course, there are multiple dog-eat-dog based organizations that seek to advance their own interests in pursuit of power, knowledge, and military advantages. This is where the Zoan Corporation comes in, an entity that sends genetically modified superhuman types — called Drillers — to a planet called Revion Prime, where the entirety of Dolmen takes place.
Dolmen Fragments have a unique feature, they allow a rematch on the massive bosses at terminals placed before the gargantuan encounters, gifting the player with much-needed Nanites and crafting materials to outfit the player with their fangs. These terminals also act as BOSS AHEAD signs in warning, which is a huge adrenaline rush on the first encounter, and multiplayer lobby zones. Dolmen’s multiplayer only allows Co-op during boss fights, which works admirably, but my brother and I found it disappointing. Conquering the entire Revion Prime surface with a friend would have been a great experience.
Writer: Ridge Harripersad
Supermassive Games has been redefining the interactive drama and horror genre—with its most recent game, The Quarry. Of course, the developers initially hit their stride with the hit choice-based game, Until Dawn, which began the trend of getting fairly well-known actors and actresses to voice their games’ characters.
The Dark Pictures: The Devil In Me felt more heavy on the movement and interactions—especially since the game emphasized the use of each character’s special item(s). Overall, running around, moving boxes to vault and interacting with certain objects were fluid. Nothing seemed janky or glitchy. It was only the loading times between scenes were a bit laggy.
Players of Until Dawn will be right at home with The Quarry’s premise; a group of teenage camp counsellors who have just wrapped up their summer season working together at a remote sleepaway camp named Hackett’s Quarry wind up stranded at the campground’s main lodge after a mischievous act of sabotage by one of the counsellors severely wrecks their van.
One aspect of The Quarry that I thoroughly enjoyed during my first playthrough was the dual-threat presented by the supernatural monsters (I won’t spoil what kind they are) and the human hunters, and how they complemented each other in ratcheting up the tension. With two vastly different types of apex predators stalking the counsellors throughout the game at the same time, I often felt that I could be attacked whether I was inside or outside and that nowhere, even a locked room, was ever truly safe.
WINNER: Best Horror Game 2022 Dying Light 2: Stay Human
Dying Light 2′s premise definitely gets things off to an excellent start. Clearly, it isn’t a spoiler at this point to say that things haven’t improved for the world since the events of the first game, despite the heroics of its protagonist, Kyle Crane, leading to the successful development of a vaccine for the Harran Virus (a.k.a. THV). Surprising no one, continued THV research by the corrupt “Global Relief Effort” (GRE) for military applications ultimately resulted in a new strain of the virus escaping into the world once more.
Dying Light 2: Stay Human is a bold, doubling-down of all the elements that made the first game great, while also making ambitious strides in its open-world gameplay and branching narrative elements.
I’ve got chills, these are some frightening games, frighteningly interesting that is. 2023’s going to have a blast with these games, and so will you!