Inner Chains Articles RSS Feed | Inner Chains RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network The State of Horror Games In 2017 Tue, 28 Nov 2017 12:24:09 -0500 Ty Arthur

If you're one of those depraved folks like myself who demand that the scares come hard and fast, then 2017 was likely a very satisfying year for you.

We've had a knockout trip around the sun on the horror front, with indie excursions like The Void proving small-time production companies can release killer movies, and of course, the Stephen King It adaptation taking the world by storm and being a box office smash hit.

We didn't lose out on the video game front, either, and somehow managed to go a whole year without a new Five Nights At Freddy's (did I just hear a collective cheer echoing out from the horror fanbase?).

From the vampire-themed Crimson Court DLC for Darkest Dungeon to some absolutely massive entries in the biggest series, horror fans got absolutely spoiled in recent months. Sadly, it wasn't all gray skies and bloody lollipops, as there were some notable flops in the horror genre this past year as well. Let's take a look back at what was worth playing and what's destined to hit the bargain bin.

Biggest Horror Disappointments Of 2017

You might be tempted to look at this year's roster of games and muse that with Resident Evil returning to proper horror form, and new entries landing in the Outlast and Evil Within series, perhaps there was nothing to complain about. Unfortunately that wasn't quite the case, as a few games failed to bring the fright factor. 

Freddy Krueger... or Freddy Got Fingered?

I was absolutely in love with Dead By Daylight when it first landed way ahead of Friday The 13th or The Last Year, although over time, as changes have been made, the fanbase has become pretty surly about nerfs to the monsters.

Things reached a fever pitch with the Nightmare On Elm Street DLC, which was a clear shot across the bow aimed directly at rival asymmetric slasher title Friday The 13th.

Playing as Freddy Krueger is something many a horror fan has wanted for decades, but now that it's here, the reality is more tepid dream than blistering nightmare. Krueger is probably the weakest and least fun of the all the slashers to play, managing to even land below the Wraith, and that takes some serious effort.

 Maybe it should have been Drop Dead Fred instead?

Swing and a Miss at Blind Horror

Perception was an indie title I was eagerly looking forward to, and I closely watched its development after that Kickstarter success. The little dogs have been bringing some big treats to the table lately thanks to crowd funding, and it seemed that would be the case here.

When a developer doesn't have to deal with publishers who won't risk money on new concepts, you can get some truly amazing games. Perception had the intriguing concept part down, but it just doesn't quite deliver on the execution.

It's a shame, too, because there are some really interesting elements utilized here in playing as a blind character, such as using a smart phone's descriptive text service to see what something looks like. And honestly, what game wouldn't be made better with killer dolls? Although it seemed like it would revolutionize first-person horror gaming, the end result is surprisingly "meh."

 What a shame.

Horror Shooter Mess

The exceedingly atmospheric Inner Chains managed to land on our most anticipated horror and FPS game lists last year based off the strength of its unsettling aesthetics and interesting designs, but it seriously failed to deliver on either the horror or the shooter front.

Although pretty to look at (when it isn't glitching out), the gameplay is quite tepid, and the fact that this isn't a AAA offering really shows. Inner Chains currently sits at an abysmal 40% rating at Metacritic, with Steam reviews decidedly on the "mixed" front.

It may be worth checking out at this point for new players, however, as the game has received some upgrades since release, including key bindings, more environmental sounds, and additional animations.  Hopefully we get a much better overall horror experience with the upcoming Agony, which is set directly in hell and lands next year.

 How did this manage to NOT be awesome?

An Uncertain Development

Whether this one is a "disappointment" or a "cautiously optimistic" scenario is up for any given reader to decided, but I'm landing solidly on the former when it comes to Scorn's very uncertain future.

You might remember that killer first trailer (available below) that strongly evoked feelings of H.R. Giger, Alien, and Cronenberg with its disturbing fleshy technology.

Hype was high, but there was a big crash not long afterward with a Kickstarter failure and an announcement that the game would be split into two segments, which is never a good sign. Things seemed to be back on the upswing with the announcement of a publisher, but then immediately took a dive again when the developers announced another Kickstarter campaign.

To me, it doesn't speak of a stable product on the way to completion when additional money beyond what was provided by the publisher is still needed to make the first half of the game polished enough for release.

Granted, I would love to be proved wrong here -- this is a game that I legitimately want to succeed -- but I just don't envision the full two-part game ever seeing the light of day, or the first half being a finished and polished experience.

Indie Horror Triumphs 2017

If you want to know where horror absolutely thrives, you have to look beyond the big-name releases. That's true of the movie and publishing industries, and it's equally true in the gaming world. Smaller developers with a project they are truly passionate about can often trump big name companies restrained by bureaucracy and skittish publishers.


Featuring the star power of Rutger Hauer, Observer flew under the radar for a lot of gamers, as it wasn't hugely advertised, but if you love psychological head games or disturbing visions of the future, you want to play this game.

Although not without some flaws, the game sees Bloober Team take the concepts from Layers Of Fear and catapult them to the next level, translating that style of game into a very different experience featuring a detective in a dystopian cyberpunk future.

Hacking into the brains of the deceased is a harrowing experience, and there were times when I legitimately wanted to rush as quickly as I could to the end of a segment to get out of someone's mind hellscape.

 Get ready to lose your mind -- or gain a few others.


You can always rely on the little developers to give you a completely new vision of something that's become standard. Distrust is basically The Thing the game, but it's a very different experience than the actual game based on that movie.

The atmosphere of cold and paranoia is on full blast here, and the top-down style brings to mind something like Dead State but in a much more polished rendition with better controls.

  Sadly, there's no Kurt Russel. 

Little Nightmares

After Among The Sleep showed that you can play a harrowing game as a toddler, it was only a matter of time before we saw kids play a more prominent role in creepy games. 

Little Nightmares goes for the platformer style instead of a first-person experience, but it's still incredibly creepy and atmospheric. When you're a little kid, everything bigger than you is scary in the dark -- and the disturbing David Firth-style designs don't make things any better.

The gameplay is incredibly solid, and the sound effects are utterly spot-on. Even if you don't normally dig horror, you should still give this one a shot, as it was probably one of the best games to come out this year in any genre.

 How did this game manage to be adorable and horrifying at the same time?

Home Sweet Home

There have been some killer horror titles from smaller developers based around Korean and Chinese myths, and now we've got a Thai entry to expand your horizons even further.

Although a shorter entry that's only the first episode of a larger experience to come, Home Sweet Home is absolutely drenched in dread, and this is the sort of game that can have you literally screaming while playing alone in the dark.

 Put the headphones on, turn the lights off, and get ready to shriek.

Stories Untold

I think "whoa" might be an appropriate response for this totally unexpected collection of four adventures. Stories Untold very strongly showcases how indie developers can do something really interesting by going off the beaten path.

You wouldn't think a text game colliding with a point-and-click adventure could be this engrossing, but trust me, this is one you want to experience first-hand.

There's strong echoes of series like Black Mirror or even Stranger Things as the game focuses on narrative above all else. The 80s-themed synthwave soundtrack is a nice bonus as well.

 Seriously, just play it.

Early Access Horror 2017

As the Early Access phenomena becomes more commonplace in gaming, it shouldn't be much of a surprise that horror games have gotten on the bandwagon as well. There are three this year that stand out and are nearing full release worth paying attention to.


I'm digging the non-traditional setting on P.A.M.E.L.A. and am glad to see gamer feedback from the early access edition getting filtered to the developers, but there's one nagging question I can't let go of.

Considering the intense similarities in location, mechanics, and tone, can this indie offering have any chance of beating out Arkane's Prey? Hopefully we'll have something along the lines of a new classic System Shock experience, but only time will tell.

 Looks familiar, but maybe it can deliver something new?

We Happy Few

Oh boy, things have gotten ugly between this game and its fan base in recent months. After a very successful Kickstarter and more funds coming in from early access, the developers made a rather controversial decision to team up with publisher Gearbox at the 11th hour.

Backers and Early Access buyers (perhaps rightfully) feel a little betrayed there, and new players aren't happy either, since the price got jacked up after the publisher deal. It's a good bet we can expect game elements to be taken out and delivered piecemeal back to us as DLC.

Despite that whole unfortunate debacle, when it comes to the actual gameplay and visuals, I'm personally still greatly looking forward to We Happy Few's finished version coming in April.

 Have you taken your Joy today?

Hello Neighbor

We're only weeks away now from the retail version of Hello Neighbor, and I'm eagerly awaiting what the final product will look like after several fun alpha tests. 

The game isn't precisely "horror" per se but definitely has an element of mystery and the unknown. In the alpha builds I've played so far, there are hints at odd and unsettling things going on down in that basement -- and some truly weird and ethereal in-between segments when you unlock certain doors -- but overall the early versions were more bubbly and colorful than scary.

The tension is in not getting caught, although that's diffused somewhat by the fact that the bad guy throws jars of glue at you, and nothing really happens when you get caught except for some heavy breathing. Maybe we'll get something really dark next month in the full release?

 Instead of "What's in the box?" now it will be "What's in the basement?"

Biggest Horror Releases Of 2017

We've covered the small fish, so now let's take a look at the gigantic whales that made the biggest splashes this year in franchises that have become household names.

Resident Evil 7

It was very welcome news indeed when the Resident Evil 7 crew realized that the defenseless horror style had vastly overtaken the action-horror genre. RE7 gave us something completely out of the ordinary for the series, and it was exactly what was needed to revitalize this faltering franchise.

My hope is that there's yet another jump in gameplay to something completely different in the next installment so that we don't fall back into stagnant territory again.

 Always decline hillbilly dinner invitations.

The Evil Within 2

Surpassing the original game in nearly every single way, oddly enough The Evil Within 2 basically gave us the classic Resident Evil experience that we didn't get with RE7. If you find yourself longing for that classic third-person survival horror experience, Evil Within 2 delivers it and then some!

Outlast 2

After being blown away by the first entry in the series, this was my most anticipated game of 2017 by a mile. Taking the claustrophobic style of Outlast and putting it out in the backwoods with a group of hillbilly cultists seemed a recipe for some major scares.

While the game was good overall -- even great in parts -- Outlast 2 didn't necessarily get better even though it was made bigger. Some of the fright factor was reduced with the bigger outdoor areas, and the main villain Marta just didn't have the same visceral terror as the bad guy from the first game. 

I wouldn't go so far as to put it in the "biggest disappointments" category, but this sequel did definitely lose something from the first game. Maybe third time will be the charm?

 Still, getting your crotch split open with this axe is pretty terrifying the first time around.

Friday the 13th

This latest entry in the many vs. one style got off to a rocky start with non-functional achievements and server problems galore over that first week. If you didn't have those issues though, Friday the 13th is a ton of fun and a fine example of the asymmetric gaming style.

There are some quibbles about how the maps are very similar and how they really need to get Space Jason in there from Jason X, but otherwise, this one really surprised me and managed to easily match or exceed the Dead By Daylight experience.

 Chee chee chee, ahh ahh ahh!

Forecast for Horror in 2018

If this year was good for horror, it's really 2018 that's shaping up to be phenomenal, especially for you Lovecraft fans out there. With no less than three Mythos-focused games coming, there is a lot to look forward to next year.

Tentacled Madness From The Depths

Getting to a new Call Of Cthulhu game was an appropriately winding and tentacled path, starting off with Sherlock Holmes developer Frogwares announcing the game and then going curiously silent.

Considering the focus on investigation and clues in their previous games, Frogwares seemed like the perfect fit. Development unexpectedly shifted over to Cyanide, however, and the game's style shifted significantly, with a 2018 release date now expected. 

Curiously, Frogwares then announced The Sinking City, revolving around a 1920s private investigator in New England, which sure seems like a Cthulhu mythos game to me. . . . Honestly, I'm perfectly fine with getting two games instead of one. I just wish things had been more transparent and come together more quickly.

Although more of an RPG than a horror game in the traditional sense, easily the game I'm most looking forward to arriving next year is Stygian: Reign Of The Old Ones. Take the Baldur's Gate style of travel and conversation, mix it with the turn-based strategic combat of Heroes Of Might and Magic, and then coat it all in an apocalyptic 1920s Earth where the Old Ones rose and destroyed humanity, and you've got Stygian.

 For the old-school gamer, this is going to be a must-have game.

Zombies Galore!

For those who prefer the walking dead over sanity-blasting madness from the stars, there's no shortage of titles coming soon. Days Gone has got to be the most anticipated at this point, with its outlaw biker protagonist trying to survive in a post-apocalytpic world.

Don't discount State Of Decay 2, however, which also promises a third-person, open-world experience. Supposedly that Walking Dead VR game is also coming, but we hear that every year, so who knows.

     Get ready to face the shambling hordes!


That about wraps up our whirlwind tour of all things that went bump in the night throughout 2017 -- what did you think of this year's lineup of horror titles, and what are you most looking forward to playing in 2018 horror games?

Inner Chains Review: Great Potential Shackled by Poor Gameplay Tue, 06 Jun 2017 17:45:10 -0400 ReverendShmitty

Inner Chains, the latest work from Telepaths Tree, is a sci-fi horror, first-person shooter meant to be revolutionary in its design and function. Boasting "unprecedented ways of interaction between weapons, their users, and the environment," the game was announced on Kickstarter in March 2016, where it accumulated 906 backers who donated a total of $18,708 -- nearly double Telepaths Tree's $10,000 goal.

And it's a fact that makes me all the more confused by the game's lackluster mechanics and boring story.

Inner Chains' Gameplay is Sometimes Frustrating

With first-person shooters, you can typically expect an identical control scheme from the last one you played. Clicking left shoots, WASD moves, and spacebar jumps. Inner Chains is no exception, but it makes a few errors along the way that make things complicated.

Controls cannot be remapped, something I think every game should feature, especially given the number of disabled and handicapped players in the world. This also means players are forced to hold CTRL to crouch instead of being able to reset it to another combination or keystroke. 

The F-key is also the designated melee button, which is fine, but it does feel weird to use in the game's opening half hour when you have no weapons and all fights are with your fists. Spamming the F-key instead of left-clicking just felt wrong when my hands were literally the only weapons I had. This issue is exacerbated by the fact that enemies near the beginning of the game require upwards of 5 to 6 punches to kill. On top of that, sometimes swings don't even register, so it takes even longer. 

And that brings me to my next issue: the lack of a HUD.

Don't get me wrong, I love immersion in my games, particularly with first-person shooters. But it has to be done properly. Inner Chains, unfortunately, does not implement the system in a logical way.

For example, player health is indicated by an illuminated shackle embedded in your right wrist. This is a great way of avoiding an obstructing HUD that takes you out of the experience, but it is also a great way for you to die. You see, the lights will dim on your wrist, but nowhere else will you carry any indicator of low health. No red edges, no heavy breathing, no fading colors. Nothing. The player character reacts exact same way at full health as he does on the precipice of death.

And when you combine this with achingly slow movement speeds and three-pack-a-day-asthmatic sprint duration, the game simply isn't enjoyable to play.

A Shivering Setting Wasted by a Nearly Hidden Story

In a dark, dilapidated world left to ruin after humans vanished, technology and nature evolved and fused until everything became some form of biomechanical monstrosity. Now returned, humans are at the bottom of the food chain in a world where everything wants them dead. How did it become like this? Where did humanity go?

These questions linger and drive you forward as you play. The intrigue and mystery really captivated my imagination and left me genuinely curious where the game would take me.

Unfortunately, Inner Chains tells virtually none of that story. Dialogue is non-existent, with the few speaking characters talking in unintelligible groans and whispers. The written word is in an in-game language that requires players decipher it by finding stone tablets containing individual letters. This means players are forced to not only find every single tablet, many of which are off the beaten path but also replay the game with this knowledge -- just to get the gist of what's going on.

This lack of story left me progressing through the game blind and deaf, just following along without understanding.


No Can Hear You Scream ... or Walk ... or Breath ... or ... 

When I first jumped into Inner Chains, I immediately noticed the world was silent. Ghastly pale and sickly travelers covered in wounds and filth passed by without a sound. I thought it was poignant and eerie at first -- a striking design choice. Then I came across a gathering cheering at a decoratively dressed speaker, their fists punching the sky.

And still, there was no sound.

That's when I realized this wasn't some artistic decision, but a failing on the developer's part. NPCs, aside from very specific scripted events, make absolutely no sound. No speaking. No breathing. No footsteps. Nothing. In fact, a majority of the world is completely devoid of sound.

Ambiance and music are both fleeting. Sometimes you enter a new area and a creepy drone will echo to remind you this place isn't safe. But other times it doesn't. Sometimes music will climb as you come across a group of enemies bent on killing you. But other times it doesn't. This inconsistency is a grave error given the game's traveling, horror-centric theme -- as wall as its lack of conventional storytelling.

Inner Chains is a Gorgeous Game

For all the bad things that make up Inner Chains, this is where the game truly shines. Created in Unreal Engine 4, the game is a sight to behold. Textures are sharp, character models are detailed, and the environments are breathtaking. Multiple times I found myself stopping to look around and take in the amazing backdrops and wonder how they came up with such fantastic designs.

Architecture, in particular, was amazing and expressed the evolution of the world without a single word. Buildings are both ancient and high-tech, many with organic matter clinging to them and drooping from them. Flames leap off the screen against the dreary darkness of the world and particle effects such as firing the lightning gun send sparks scattering and light up the grim tombs you find yourself in.

Now, there are a few areas and objects with muddy textures that look out of place, but these were few and far between. More important were the numerous graphical glitches in the opening level. Several times I watched the distant background flash and distort into an endless plane of stretched polygons. And while I never encountered this past the opening, this is a fatal flaw to have in the oh, so important opening hour of the game when developers really need to grab the player's attention.

Despite this, I'm amazed an indie developer was able to make such a beautiful game without the use of a cartoony, stylized art style. If there was ever a game to faithfully capture the concept art, no matter how intricate and detailed, this is it.


At the end of the day, Inner Chains is a beautiful game with a promising setting. If you want a short 4- to 5-hour experience with amazing graphics, then look no further. But if you want something deeper and more meaningful to take you on a story-filled adventure, look elsewhere. With a lack of both character development and story progression -- despite its vast potential -- Inner Chains is all flash and no substance.

The 12 Most Anticipated Horror Games of 2017 Fri, 25 Nov 2016 07:00:01 -0500 Ty Arthur


While these 12 entries are our most anticipated horror games of 2017, there's bound to be more arriving under the radar, much like this year's indie slasher excursion Camp Sunshine.


While some anticipated games like What Remains Of Edith Finch seem to be dead in the water, others that have been long delayed will finally arrive. Most notable among those is the sci-fi horror mashup Routine, which was long in limbo and on many “most anticipated” lists several years running (including ours) and now finally has a March 2017 release date.


On the franchise front, there will no doubt be another Five Nights At Freddy's or seven released in 2017 (before the fanboys go on a rampage, I actually thought Sister Location was the best one yet).


What 2017 horror game are you most looking forward to playing, and what games did we miss that should have made the list?



The Hum: Abductions


Remember that flick Dark Skies a few years back where a family fights to save their kid from alien abductors? That's the gist of The Hum: Abductions, putting you in the role of a mother trying to save her child.


It's not clear exactly when Abductions will drop, but it's expected out sometime next year, and hopefully with some more in-depth gameplay trailers arriving soon.





An interesting amalgam of styles and settings, P.A.M.E.L.A. looks a bit like a mashup of We Happy Few and SOMA, but with more of a focus on combat. Here, you play as the Sleeper, who wakes up to find what should be a utopia is instead a nightmare. This open world title is slated to land in February of 2017.



The Sinking City


It's been a winding road so far for The Sinking City, and I'd wager there will be more bumps along the way, so it might be optimistic to list this as a potential 2017 game.


The Sinking City was originally the Call Of Cthulhu game from the previous slide and was announced way back in 2014, but the project was shifted away from developer Frogwares, which then began working on a very similar (and obviously still Lovecraft-inspired) game called The Sinking City.


Considering that Frogwares has released several investigative-focused Sherlock Holmes games, it's a good bet this one will probably end up being the better of the two... if it's ever released.


Call Of Cthulhu


It's been a lot of years since Call Of Cthulhu: Dark Corners Of The Earth offered us a faithful (if frustrating) recreation of a Lovecraft story. Originally being made by a different developer several years ago, this updated Call Of Cthulhu entry was shunted over to Cyanide Studio and is now due out in 2017.


Since there hasn't been any actual gameplay revealed yet, it's tough to gauge whether this will be a proper follow-up to Dark Corners Of The Earth or if it will end up being maligned like recent Alone In The Dark entries.


If the stars are right, this one will stay true to the investigative roots of the Cthulhu mythos and not end up with the main character getting into shoot outs with Elder Things.



Outlast 2


How excited am I for Outlast 2? I'm not sure words like "giddy" or "squealing like a schoolgirl" really capture the full extent of it.


The game was originally included in our most anticipated horror list last year, as it was supposed to come out in time for Halloween, but unfortunately was pushed back to Q1 2017.


That stinging blow was mitigated with the release of a demo, which has only increased anticipation further. There's going to be some fantastic tension in this one, as you hide from evil religious extremist hillbillies intent on splitting you from head to toe. With any luck, that weirdly out of place sci-fi ending from the first game won't be making a return...



Darkest Dungeon: Crimson Court DLC


This devastatingly hard RPG is jam packed with horror elements, from the grim death of starving in the wilderness to your companions losing their sanity and turning on you to battling horrible mounds of pig flesh giving unholy life by your vile ancestor.


If you managed to actually rebuild your town to its former glory and eradicate the horrors ravaging the countryside, there's more darkness on its way with the vampiric blood drinking themes of upcoming DLC Crimson Court.


There's no specific release date yet, but Crimson Court has been announced for "early 2017."



Inner Chains


You might recall seeing Inner Chains mentioned on our list of most anticipated 2017 FPS games as well, and that's not an oversight. Both a shooter and a horror title, Inner Chains steps in to fill that void left by extremely gory action-packed horror games like Clive Barker's Jericho.


The mixing of organic life with machinery and stonework has some disturbing implications, and the balance between genres looks to be very satisfying. If you like the idea of Agony but want a game that lets you shoot back, Inner Chains should be on your short list of games to try out next year.



Walking Dead Season 3: A New Frontier


The show and it's pointless spin-off may have gone down the toilet, but there's still hope for the game series as Clementine returns for round three.


That devastating ending to the first season is still among the highlights of heart-string pulling storytelling in video games, and hopefully Telltale can return to former glory here and kick us in the gut yet again.


Some of you might be screeching right now that The Walking Dead: A New Frontier is technically starting in 2016, but much like with early access titles, episodic games that span multiple calendar years are sort of up in the air as to when they are "released." Is it the date of the first episode, or the date of the physical edition with all episodes included?


Seeing as how more of the game will be released in 2017 than in 2016, we're gonna call this one a 2017 release.





A crowd funded psychological horror title, Visage is due out from indie developer SadSquare in Q2 2017.


The imagery revealed so far of course brings to mind the ill-fated P.T. with its haunted hallways in an enclosed home, and with the fate of the P.T. inspired Allison Road in limbo, this may be the closest we'll ever get.





Survival horror... set in hell itself? Sign me up! As someone who was blown away by the recent indie hell-focused flick Baskin and has been missing quality Hellraiser films from decades past, I'm more than a little excited for Agony, which has plowed through its Kickstarter funding goal and is slated for a May 2017 release.





Two words most come to mind when first witnessing the trailer for Scorn: ominous and disturbing! The game clearly has a very alien frame of mind, and the main character doesn't appear to be human at all.


Melding together different ideas from across the sci-fi and horror spectrum, there's clear echoes of Giger's artwork and the Alien universe, but with a more explicitly horror direction. I'm honestly hoping this one's going to break my brain when it finally arrives.



Resident Evil 7


Finally getting out of the action zone and back into horror where it belongs, RE7 is clearly looking to remove the stain of the critically panned previous game and capitalize on the defenseless horror craze that's been made famous by games like Alien: Isolation, Penumbra, and Outlast.


As a comeback of sorts and the first of the main numbered series to be in a first person perspective, Capcom has a lot of room here for a landmark horror release... or a spectacular flop. What do you think of the changes and are you expecting Resident Evil to be terrifying again?



From indie 2D titles to high end AAA gore fests, there's been something of a rebirth lately in the horror genre, with the focus finally pulling away from shooting action and landing where it belongs: on the actual horror.


With 2017 on the horizon, you may have noticed several of our most anticipated horror games from last year never actually arrived! Sadly, some of the most intriguing titles like Perception and Draugen didn't reach the end of their development cycles, and the much-buzzed Outlast 2 got pushed back last minute to Q1 2017. Games like We Happy Few however were arguably released as the early access phenomena royally screws up release dates and what it means for a game to be "finished."


Meanwhile, the asymmetrical Friday The 13th is looking worse each time more is revealed, while Dead By Dawn seems to have already covered the same material with much less wait time and to a better degree. We'll have to just wait and see if the very similar The Last Year can offer something different.


While we wait for those delayed games to hit, there are many new games announced for 2017 that will get genre fans salivating, and here we're going to cover 12 of the most eagerly anticipated horror games coming in the next year!

March Crowd Funding Report Wed, 30 Mar 2016 06:10:33 -0400 Ty Arthur

After a veritable flood of updates and interesting projects last month, we're currently in a much sparser time for crowd-funded video games.

Many of the more exciting or big-name projects have recently ended or are deep in development, although there's a few campaigns that you should definitely be taking note of before we move into the spring release cycle.

Perhaps of even more interest than what IS up for crowd funding this month is what noticeably ISN'T. After experiencing extreme success Kickstarting Pillars Of Eternity, for some reason Obsidian Entertainment hasn't gone that route with upcoming retro RPG, Tyranny.

On the one hand that's a good thing – if a company can make enough money with one campaign to not have to dip into the fan's money again, then clearly crowd funding isn't the handout system many claim it to be. On the other hand, some game fans want the ability to contribute at different tiers and get various perks not offered by just straight up buying a game on its release date. What do you think of the move, and would you contribute to a Tyranny campaign if one were started soon?

What Made The Cut And What Got The Boot

Unlike with our January roundup, where several promising projects were unable to secure funding, I'm pleased to report that all three campaigns we highlighted last month made their goals!

The adorable Knights And Bikes came in with 4,796 backers pledging £126,447, while Batallion 1944 made more than 300% of its goal, clocking in at 10,096 backers and £317,281 pledged. We'll be keeping a close eye on the development of those projects and will be updating you as noteworthy updates are released.

Meanwhile, the unique and intriguing A Place For The Unwilling only barely squeaked by with 918 backers pledging €22,329 – just enough to hit the original goal, but not enough to unlock any stretch goals (which may be good for the world, since the final stretch goal was to summon Cthulhu and annihilate humanity). We're still hoping for a good outcome on this one despite the smaller funding amount, as the concept looks like it could be a game changer.

Early Access Updates

Grim Dawn

Get It Here

Platform: PC

The big early access title to finally reach feature complete status is Grim Dawn, an action RPG with a huge world that meshes together a dark fantasy setting with a Lovecraftian apocalypse.

It's managed to overtake Darkest Dungeon as the black-hearted, unforgiving RPG I can't stop playing lately, and I highly recommend it if you still enjoy anything from Diablo 2 to Titan Quest. We've covered it extensively, so if you are thinking of jumping in, check out our Grim Dawn guides here.

After Reset

Get It Here

Platform: PC

I'll be honest – I thought this project had died, but apparently it's still going, as an update just went live on new features in the latest patch. I absolutely love the direction and art style, with the game taking a more serious approach to the post-apocalyptic formula, although frankly I'm hesitant to recommend anyone get on board at this point.

After Reset was originally Kickstarted way back in the summer of 2014, with the initial projected release date having passed by more than a year ago. It doesn't appear to be anywhere even close to release (based on the progress, I'd bet more than a year), but you can still get in on early access for the (rather absurd) full price of $49.99.

Reading through the latest negative reviews on Steam, this one is turning into a case study in how not to run a crowd funding and early access campaign, and I hope the developer can manage to turn that perception around and release a solid finished product.

New Crowd Funding Campaigns To Check Out

Inner Chains

Contribute to the campaign here

Platform: PC

A strong dichotomy is currently in effect in the horror genre: to make a game actually scary, you have to render the main character weaponless, otherwise you end up with what will essentially be an action FPS that just happens to have horror trappings. Enter Inner Chains, which might be the game to finally bridge the gap between those worlds.

That weapon the main character is shown wielding in the trailer clearly has a Geiger-esque combination of biological and mechanical, so the story could easily go either supernatural or simply science fiction. It looks like there will be a lot of details to learn about the game universe and what led to the current state of the world, and it's a good bet the full puzzle will be extremely dark and potentially sanity-blasting when it all comes together.

With eight days left, Inner Chains has already surpassed its funding goal, but there's stretch goals to unlock, like alternate endings and more creatures to interact with!

The only caveat I can find here is the overly ambitious release date schedule. The developer - Telapaths Tree - is projecting to have the game ready to deliver in June of 2016, a mere two months after the campaign ends. There's no way that's happening, so go into this one realizing there will be delays (of months or even possibly years) in that release date.

Tiny Graveyard

See the campaign here

Platform: PC, if released

This is a first for us, in that the campaign was unfortunately canceled before we got a chance to help promote it! This very-promising adventure/strategy game was set to strike a balance between dark themes that adults would be interested in and a kid-friendly approach. I like the combo on display, giving the feel of something cute like Costume Quest but in a fully 3D world.

Although 75 backers pledged more than $7,000, that sadly was far shy of the perhaps overly ambitious $80,000 goal. Developer 2ndSum Studios decided to cancel the campaign early rather than drag it out, but hopefully this one is able to secure funding some other way and continue on to see release some day.

Updates On Previously Funded Games


Get Updates On The Project Here

Platform: PC

Funded back in September of 2015, work continues steadily on this project as the developer's other game Necropolis is being wrapped up for a summer release.

It's going to be a long wait for fans of this table war game, with this latest PC adaptation not expected out until at some point in 2017. Harebrained Schemes has a track record of putting out quality games though, so its a good bet this one will drop in a stable, playable state within a reasonable time frame.

The developer has been holding Q&A sessions directly with fans, so if you want more info, keep an eye on their social media for upcoming dates. The latest update at Kickstarter was quite extensive, going into great detail about the new Argo class drop ship and how it will be used in the game. Expect this one to be much more in-depth than the recent Shadowrun reboots, with a more open world aspect to the tactical mech battle mayhem.

That's it for this month's look at what's happening in crowd funding and early access games. Let us know what you think of the campaigns we covered, and be sure to fill us in on any exciting projects we missed!

Inner Chains, a Kickstarter game that you might want to keep on your radar Sun, 06 Mar 2016 05:05:26 -0500 shox_reboot

What if someone told you a first-person horror game was being made by a team consisting of developers from companies that created the likes of Witcher 3, Gears of War and Dying Light

Inner Chains is just that; a game that's being worked on by people who've worked on some of the aforementioned games and more!  

The team behind this project, Telepaths Tree, have set up a Kickstarter project in order to get the funds required to the game a reality. It has already passed the halfway mark and is rapidly reaching its goal of $10,000 with the passing of each day. 

It's not difficult to see why this project is gaining so much popularity. The use of the Unreal Engine makes for some gorgeous visuals and the gameplay itself is reminiscent of Doom with some elements of SOMA sprinkled in. 

Additionally, Inner Chains looks to be more than just an average FPS horror/survival game. It seems to have taken inspiration from the Dark Souls series and other games where players are encouraged to seek out and interpret the game's story for themselves by exploring and discovering secrets hidden in the game world. 

As stated on the Kickstarter page:

By tossing you into this dark, mysterious world, we want you to explore its history, discover its secrets one by one, and learn to use your knowledge against your opponents. Keep an eye on the hostile environment and take clues from the surrounding flora. Any information that you manage to gather and use will increase your chances of survival. Ultimately, it depends entirely on your own actions whether you thrive or die in this dangerous, alien place. – Tomasz Strzałkowski, CEO

There's a wealth of information at the Kickstarter page where you can get an idea for the game yourself. The game also seems to be in the middle-final stages of its development as the team has already been working on Inner Chains for a fully year now and the projected release date should goal be reached is June 2016.

VR support is included and is releasing exclusively (unless there are further stretch goals we're unaware about) for the PC.