Time to clench those cheeks, PC gamers! A contingent of indie devs are committed to bringing fear and terror back into your comfortable lives.
The success and ultimate demise of Hideo Kojima’s Silent Hills has identified a still buzzing market for wily developers to exploit.
Partly because of the advent of virtual reality, but mainly down to our inherent fear of the dark; horror games still spring a wealth of untapped potential. Resident Evil VII‘s white-knuckle ride through a seemingly abandoned homestead sharpened the axe of gaming’s greatest ghoul, and now the indies are following suit.
Through the Woods
In production from Norwegian developer Antagonist, Through the Woods is a labyrinthine adventure game in which a woman must overcome the psychological horrors of an ancient forest to rescue her child.
Inspired by Norse mythology and folklore, the player will explore malevolence incarnate from behind the glare of a flashlight engulfed in darkness and intrigue. Fractured in narrative, the story is retold by the protagonist who acknowledges serious pain and suffering has occurred in this archaic part of the world.
Through the Woods is similar in tone and execution to the old Silent Hill series, but delivers a rustic Scandinavian feel that serves up its own eerie and disconcerting tale.
Shadows of Kurgansk
Shadows of Kurgansk‘s cell-shaded artistry beguiles its true and terrible nature. Players must delve into the depths of their own fragile sanity and survive a post-apocalyptic landscape that is fraught with danger and destruction.
Abandoned research facilities, a renegade populace and mindless husks are but a taste of what entrants of ‘the Zone’ must navigate in order to survive. If it sounds similar to Fallout, that’s because it is. Craft tools, creep around and keep alive are the rules any brave adventurer must abide by.
From Russian developers Yadon Studio, Shadows of Kurgansk has all the potential to be a microcosm of Bethesda’s greatest RPG games.
At the Mountains of Madness
Based on H.P. Lovecraft’s 1930’s novella of the same name, At the Mountains of Madness is an unnerving adventure into the wilderness of Antarctica and the mysteries that remain there.
Leading the expedition, and the tale’s protagonist is Professor Dyer. A geologist whose inquisitiveness will lead him and his crew into the heart of terror.
Developer Team Clockworks have released this on Steam already through Early Access, but I’d suggest waiting until the game’s been polished first. Providing they can rectify the performance issues and overall production values, At the Mountains of Madness will be an interesting exploration into the depths of despair. Think Metro Redux meets Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.