Moons Of Madness Articles RSS Feed | GameSkinny.com Moons Of Madness RSS Feed on GameSkinny.com https://www.gameskinny.com/ en Launch Media Network Moons of Madness Review: Slow-Burn Walking Simulator Hits the Right Cosmic Horror Notes https://www.gameskinny.com/k45qs/moons-of-madness-review-slow-burn-walking-simulator-hits-the-right-cosmic-horror-notes https://www.gameskinny.com/k45qs/moons-of-madness-review-slow-burn-walking-simulator-hits-the-right-cosmic-horror-notes Fri, 25 Oct 2019 14:50:29 -0400 Ty Arthur

October is prime time to go mad and die while trying to comprehend extra-dimensional horrors. Now you can do it in space thanks to Moons of Madness!

As the resident cosmic horror fan, this is one I've had my eye on for a long time. After finishing a full playthrough, I can confidently say it's worth playing, even though the end result is a bit of a mixed bag.

Make no mistake, Moons of Madness will be exactly what a certain segment of horror fan is looking for, but it does come with some major limitations. I'm looking at you, game mechanics that weren't apparent from early teasers.

Moons of Madness Review: What am I Playing?

  Can't say I expected to have to remember the periodic table while battling horrors on mars.

Let's start off by explaining what Moons of Madness isn't. It isn't an action game  or even really a survival horror title. It doesn't have the RPG elements found in Call Of Cthulhu 2018 or the open-world investigative mechanics from The Sinking City

The gameplay loop is more akin to something like Layers Of Fear but set in space. However, it's even more linear and straightforward. While Layers Of Fear features multiple unlockable endings and has a range of collectibles to discover to increase replay value, there's none of that here.

This is, most emphatically, a walking simulator with some puzzles, and you need to know that before you start playing.

The bulk of the game consists of learning back story through journals and emails, (some) banter between the members of a secret Mars mission, and a variety of puzzles, which act as keys for unlocking "the next area."

While there is some quasi combat (read: glorified quick-time events) involving a crowbar about halfway through the game, this is the type of game where you are either learning terrible secrets or running from the bad guys.

That being said, the setting makes Moons of Madness one of the few instances where defenseless horror actually makes sense. It's not like anyone would have a gun on a near-future Mars research colony to begin with. And even if they did, firing it would be suicide since it would breach the walls and let in the void of space.

There sadly aren't a ton of chase sequences in the game either, making Madness more of a slow burn. Difficulty is solely found in its puzzles, rather than evading the monsters. In fact, you could play the whole game from beginning to end without dying, and there aren't any crazy, gory death animations, such as in games like Outlast.

Remember Matt Damon's iconic "I'm gonna have to science the shit out of this" line from The Martian? Yeah, the harsh nature of living on Mars is the real enemy here.

Like in horror MMO The Secret World, some of the puzzles in Madness rely on real-world knowledge (such as the periodic table of the elements), although in this case, they don't make you alt+tab to look up info. Instead, reference documents can be found in the game environment.

Multiple connections to The Secret World are found within the puzzles and story as well, with some great hidden Easter egg referencing that game since it shares a publisher with Moons of Madness

The puzzles themselves are varied, with some you can breeze through and others that will severely vex your deductive reasoning. From burning holes into your retinas by staring at insane geometrical shapes to rotating solar panels and re-routing water pipes, there's a lot to do on the puzzle front.

A focus on puzzles and space may have you thinking of another game that just launched, but rest assured: Moons of Madness is more clear cut horror than Deliver Us The Moon. Thankfully, it has none of the sickness-inducing zero-G segments found in the latter, either.

What Kind Of Horror are We Dealing With Here?

Moons of Madness jumps right into the tentacled madness from the game's opening moments, reversing the typical build-up often found in other horror games. A good deal of the explicit monster stuff happens first, followed by the psychological elements coming to the forefront toward the middle and end of the story.

While a lot of the horror revolves around jump scares and tentacled beasts, the developers managed to strongly work the other aspects of cosmic horror in as well.

From a trip through the dreamlands to realizing the pointless insanity of humanity's place in the cosmos, all the major beats of the mythos are to be found here. A completely original antagonist outside the usual Cthulhu/Hastur/Nyarlathotep suspects is just the cherry on top.

The game also does a phenomenal job of melding the biological and the esoteric aspects found in the genre to come up with a sci-fi horror mashup that works both sides equally. Following that path, a strong balance is constantly struck between hard science and the insane magical science of the mythos.

As with any cosmic horror story, your poor, doomed space explorer is going up against an all-encompassing enemy that consumes physically and psychologically, and there's not much hope for a happy ending.

Even contacting the concept of the game's antagonist means its too late to defeat it, riffing on that most paramount of cosmic horror tropes: ignorance is the best defense.

Is the Tentacle a Metaphor?

Between the linear nature of the game and its focus on puzzles with light monster stealth segments, Moons of Madness is sort of like a better looking and more polished Lust For Darkness, but with less overt sexuality... some of the time.

Until the very, very end, you aren't actually going up against the Dreaming Ones in the mad twin moons themselves. Rather, you're dealing with the consequences of their bubbling liquid dreams, the ones that screw up reality.

Throughout the game, that gross substance is alternatively referred to as Z-Point Pathogen, the Filth, or The Black Jism (oh, dear). Yep, your enemy is a sizzling, celestial syphilis infecting reality that is very organic and squishy in nature — with polyps and cysts rather than vines and tendrils.

In a way, your enemy here is extremely sexual; it's basically reproduction and growth on a rampant scale. But other than some offhand remarks and slight invasive phallic imagery with tentacles, this isn't even close to the level of sexual content you get with Agony or Lust For Darkness.

In other words, you'll probably never need to hide the little one's eyes, even though the story takes an odd sexual bent partway through.

Moons of Madness Review — The Bottom Line

Pros:
  • Solid storyline and unique antagonist true to mythos
  • Polished graphics
  • Hard but not impossible puzzles
Cons:
  • Extremely linear experience
  • Absolutely no replay value
  • Minimal gameplay elements besides the puzzles
  • Not much tension in the chase sequences

The real question to ask yourself before buying Moons of Madness is how much do you like cosmic horror, and are you cool with playing what amounts to a walking simulator? To be fair, Madness is longer than many other titles in the same genre, as you can expect to play about 6 to 7 hours before reaching the end.

While the game doesn't have the philosophical implications or emotional gut-punch of SOMA, it's still an overall good time for fans of sci-fi horror. It doesn't rely too heavily on any one style trope or scare. 

All the disparate threads finally come together in the end in a satisfying way. Managing to connect a witch plaguing Martian dreams, space experiments going awry, a shadowy corporation with extremely iron clad NDAs, and tentacled monstrosities entwined with twin moons all fit together is no easy task.

While the lack of replay value and ease in escaping the limited monster chase scenes knocks it down a few stars, Moons of Madness is still a well-constructed game worth playing. Its linear nature makes it a shoo-in for a PSVR port some time down the line (hopefully, fingers crossed).

[Note: A copy of Moons of Madness was provided by Funcom for the purpose of this review.]

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Moons Of Madness Solar Panel Puzzle Solution https://www.gameskinny.com/6ylyu/moons-of-madness-solar-panel-puzzle-solution https://www.gameskinny.com/6ylyu/moons-of-madness-solar-panel-puzzle-solution Tue, 22 Oct 2019 20:35:46 -0400 Ty Arthur

Like all first person Lovecraftian games, one of the biggest challenges in Moons Of Madness is not going mad from the infuriating puzzles! An early one already has players stumped as you need to fix three solar panels that are out of alignment, but there's a catch -- one of them can't be reached, and another doesn't have the power to be moved remotely.

Can't quite figure out how to get all the panels into proper alignment? There's a trick, but once you know it this puzzle is simple to complete.

Solving The Solar Panel Puzzle

When exiting the hub where you read the emails about Lukas taking things and saw the chess set, make sure to take the energy cell with you before you leave. This turns off the lights, but you'll need two batteries -- one to operate the lifts, and the other to turn on an inoperative panel. 

Outside, head back up the lift to return to the area with the solar panel arrays. There are three panels you can connect to with your bio-gauge by right clicking to scan then left clicking to connect, or you can open the panel and access it manually by standing in front of the screen.

Note that you can't actually reach the array with the collapsed scaffolding manually and must connect to it by scanning from the ground.

Your goal here is to change the red light "low" icon to the green light "optimal" notification on each panel by rotating it until it receives the most solar energy. Although it isn't immediately apparent, the panels can be moved both left and right as well as up and down.

To hit the optimal setting for each panel, follow this pattern of moving left or right first until you the hit the highest number possible (it will be clear when to stop as the number will go down if you keep moving) then move up or down to get into the optimal 90's range:

  • First Panel (scaffolding broken) - Turn right to 70 then up to 96
  • Second panel (scaffolding intact, battery present) - Turn right to 71 then up 92
  • Third panel (scaffolding intact, battery missing) - Turn right to 54 and then up to 91

Make sure to put the energy cell into the third panel or it won't rotate. After finishing the third panel movement, do not remove the power cell or it won't count as fixing all three panels. It's not clear why the game requires this, since the panel doesn't need power to sit in the correct position. Just leave the cell in and the puzzle will be finished. 

Having trouble completing any other Moons Of Madness puzzles like the orbs or doorways? Let us know which parts you haven't been able to complete and we'll help you out with more guides!

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17 Most Anticipated Upcoming Horror Games of 2018 https://www.gameskinny.com/n3dqo/17-most-anticipated-upcoming-horror-games-of-2018 https://www.gameskinny.com/n3dqo/17-most-anticipated-upcoming-horror-games-of-2018 Tue, 28 Nov 2017 14:35:37 -0500 Ty Arthur

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These 17 entries aren't even all the terrifying games slated to land next year, with other titles such as Hunt: Showdown and Metro Exodus better classified as shooters, so they hit our list of most anticipated FPS games of 2018 instead.

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Plenty of other big-name, anxiously awaited games have the possibility to drop next year, with no specific release date announced yet. Maybe we will actually get Death Stranding in 2018?

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What horror game are you most looking forward to playing next year, and what titles didn't make our list that we should be looking out for? Let us know in the comments!

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/r/e/m/remothered-b043a.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/r/e/m/remothered-b043a.jpg","type":"slide","id":"173935","description":"

Remothered: Tormented Fathers

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Developer: Stormind Games
Platforms: PC, PS4
Release Date: TBA 2018

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There's a major Clock Tower/Silent Hill vibe going on with this one, and it's refreshing to see a different protagonist, as you play as a middle-aged woman in a suit rather than an action hero.

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Remothered: Tormented Fathers sadly just came to my attention, so it didn't make the list of Early Access titles in our State Of Horror 2017 article, but rest assured we'll be covering this one more in the coming months. A portion of the game is out on Early Access at Steam now, with the full version landing on PS4 and PC next year.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/t/g/stg-b1253.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/t/g/stg-b1253.jpg","type":"slide","id":"173934","description":"

Stygian: Reign Of The Old Ones

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Developer: Cultic Games
Platforms: PC
Release Date: TBA

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Stygian: Reign of the Old Ones is a game very solidly aimed at the old-school PC RPG fans. If you couldn't get enough of Baldur's Gate, Planescape: Torment, Icewind Dale, etc., then you need to be closely watching this game's development.

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The setting is very different from those fantasy affairs though, taking place in the Lovecraftian staple of 1920's New England . . . except in this alternate history, Cthulhu already rose, and humanity is on the brink of annihilation.

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Madness and death are around every corner as a scattered humanity lives out its last days. Although it won't have the visceral terror of a first-person game, it's a good bet Stygian will deliver both as a classic RPG and as a horror title.

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Ad Infinitum

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Developer: StrixLab
Platforms: PC, Xbox One, PS4
Release Date: TBA

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Honestly, this atmospheric single-player game probably isn't going to actually come out next year, but it's worth keeping an eye on anyway just in case.

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As if the unrelenting hell of war in the trenches during WWI wasn't horrifying enough, now there's some sort of supernatural or psychological threat to deal with as well in Ad Infinitum.

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The claustrophobia of those tight trench tunnels can already make a person break a sweat, but add in something horrible chasing you that can do a lot worse than a bayonet or grenade, and it's COD meets Hellraiser!

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/l/a/s/lastofus2-d094c.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/l/a/s/lastofus2-d094c.jpg","type":"slide","id":"173931","description":"

The Last of Us 2

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Developer: Naughty Dog
Platforms: PS4 Exclusive
Release Date: TBA 2018

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Before anyone gets all up in arms, I would defy anyone to play the opening scene of The Last of Us or to consider the connotations of the story's ending and tell me that's not a horror game.

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Now that we've got that nonsense out of the way, is there anyone out there who isn't stoked beyond belief for The Last of Us 2 to land next year? Seriously, the PS4 is killing it on exclusives lately, and this just make the hype more real.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/h/a/shattering-100b3.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/h/a/shattering-100b3.jpg","type":"slide","id":"173930","description":"

The Shattering

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Developer: Super Sexy Software / Deck 13 
Platforms: PC
Release Date: Q1 2018

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The Shattering is about as different on the visual front as you can possibly get from any other horror game, with starkly white, austere rooms making up your dreamscape.

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Working on the notion that emptiness is more upsetting to the human mind than darkness, there is a total lack of combat as the game messes with your -- the player's -- mind instead. 

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This is looking to be a very different type of game than Deck13's previous titles like The Surge or Lords of the Fallen. It's a bit up in the air as to whether this will be something experimental but ultimately a one-hit wonder like Super Hot, or if it might really strike a chord with gamers due to its offbeat nature.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/d/e/a/deadmatter-32d3d.png","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/d/e/a/deadmatter-32d3d.png","type":"slide","id":"173929","description":"

Dead Matter

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Developer: Quantum Integrity
Platforms: PC
Release Date: February 2018 (estimated)

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Although definitely an indie affair, this sandbox survival-horror entry looks like it will go incredibly in depth with a variety of subsystems such as water lines, player-made structures, radio stations, and more.

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While there have been plenty of zombie games, a truly immersive open world experience that brings the real world to life in a post-apocalyptic scenario has been elusive, and Dead Matter aims to rectify that situation.

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The Dead Matter release date listed above is the Kickstarter "expected fulfillment" date, and developers have essentially never met that date on a crowdfunded game, well, ever, so expect it to slip back towards the end of the year.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/p/r/o/projectwight-aad87.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/p/r/o/projectwight-aad87.jpg","type":"slide","id":"173928","description":"

Project Wight

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Developer: The Outsiders
Platforms: PC
Release Date: TBA

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Here we've got something very off the beaten path -- an alternate history Viking horror game about transforming into something monstrous and hunting down people who have nearly eradicated your species.

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Project Wight's extremely unique subject matter, coupled with the fact that you start as a relatively weak baby creature fleeing humans and then move forward through time, has officially got my interest piqued.

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It's sort of like playing the opposite side of The Witcher! Aside from asymmetrical titles like Friday the 13th or Dead by Daylight, there aren't many games that let you play as the monster, so it's a welcome change to see that finally happening with Project Wight.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/m/o/o/moons-34f3b.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/m/o/o/moons-34f3b.jpg","type":"slide","id":"173927","description":"

Moons Of Madness

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Developer: Rock Pocket Games,
Platforms: PC, Xbox One, PS4
Release Date: Sometime 2018

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Moons Of Madness is another Lovecraftian entry, but this one looks quite a bit different from either Call Of Cthulhu or The Sinking City. While many of those types of games deal with what comes up out of the sea, fewer cover what's out there among the darkness between the stars.

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Of course there will be liberties taken in the name of game design, but what's interesting about this project is its focus on "hard science," taking a more realistic bent -- so think more The Martian than Star Wars on the sci-fi elements.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/c/o/scorn-a84be.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/c/o/scorn-a84be.jpg","type":"slide","id":"173926","description":"

Scorn Part 1: Dasein

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Developer: Ebb Software
Platforms: PC
Release Date: October 2018

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There have been some amazing highs and devastating lows in Scorn's history, from a jaw-dropping trailer that had the whole horror world abuzz to times where it seemed like the project was dead in the water.

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When I first saw that disturbing, flesh-focused world in the game's original teaser video, I was hooked and knew I'd be on board no matter where development ended up going. 

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While I'm not exactly overjoyed that the game has been split into two, I'm still hopeful we'll get something that messes with our minds on the level of SOMA, while giving us an insane Giger-esque world with major touches of Cronenberg in the flesh-meets-technology style.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/d/a/y/daysgone-a2d9f.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/d/a/y/daysgone-a2d9f.jpg","type":"slide","id":"173925","description":"

Days Gone

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Developer: SIE Bend Studio
Platforms: PS4 Exclusive
Release Date: TBA

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We may be stretching just what qualifies as a "horror" game here, as the emphasis seems clearly more on the action, but since it takes place in a world where zombies (sorry, "freakers" in this case) have destroyed civilization, I'd say Days Gone qualifies.

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The biker protagonist is what will shake up the formula a bit here, putting some serious Sons Of Anarchy action into a game somewhat akin to The Last of Us, but with an absurd number of zombies on the screen at once to rival Dead Rising.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/t/h/e/theinpatient-78ff6.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/t/h/e/theinpatient-78ff6.jpg","type":"slide","id":"173924","description":"

The Inpatient

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Developer: Supermassive Games
Platforms: PS4 Exclusive
Release Date: January 24, 2018

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After the success of the PS4 exclusive slasher title Until Dawn, it shouldn't be much of a surprise that more games in that franchise were in the works. Like its oddly on-rail sequel Rush Of Blood, this prequel, titled The Inpatient, will be a VR-only game.

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The Inpatient dives back 60 years into the past and the events that took place at Blackwood Sanatorium, expanding on the mythology of Until Dawn. We know there will be a branching narrative with different possible outcomes, so based around the setting and what we discovered in Until Dawn, it leaves me wondering if you will eventually become a Wendigo yourself . . . or perhaps if you are responsible for them being unleashed from the sanitarium seen in the first game.

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Either way, the prospect of playing through a nefarious sanitarium where supernatural monsters are sure to be roaming in a VR setting sure sounds like it will get the blood pumping!

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/t/a/stateofdecay-9dd8b.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/t/a/stateofdecay-9dd8b.jpg","type":"slide","id":"173923","description":"

State Of Decay 2

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Developer: Undead Labs
Platforms: PC, Xbox One
Release Date: Spring 2018

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Since Dead Island 2 is probably never going to arrive, and who knows what's happening with the Left 4 Dead franchise, we've got to look now to State Of Decay 2 for our co-op zombie apocalypse fun on consoles. The game is shaping up to be a pretty stellar combination of hard choices, tactical combat, and open-world survival.

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If you haven't gotten into the State Of Decay series yet, think of the RPG elements and large areas in a zombie apocalypse wasteland from Dead State, but with the better visuals and faster pace of something like Left 4 Dead. The mixing of styles offers up something really compelling for console players, and the sequel aims to expand that even further.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/i/n/sinkingcity-da09a.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/i/n/sinkingcity-da09a.jpg","type":"slide","id":"173922","description":"

The Sinking City

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Developer: Frogwares
Platforms: PC, presumably consoles
Release Date: Unannounced

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After Frogwares passed development of the official Call Of Cthulhu game to Cyanide, they immediately got to work on . . . a Lovecraftian Cthulhu-style game. Yeah, I don't get what happened there either, but whatever, I'll take two cosmic horror games instead of one.

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What sets The Sinking City apart is that it's an open-world game, and while the setting clearly calls to mind Innsmouth, it's done quite a bit differently, as the various districts of the game are slowly dropping beneath the waves. The city generator tool, in fact, is going to be released to fans so players can create their own versions of the city directly.

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If the promo art is any indicator, The Sinking City also looks to be a lot more explicit on the monster front than Call Of Cthulhu. We may be overly optimistic in expecting it to land as a full release by the end of 2018, but fingers crossed.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/b/l/o/bloodstained-8b3e0.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/b/l/o/bloodstained-8b3e0.jpg","type":"slide","id":"173921","description":"

Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night

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Developer: ArtPlay
Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Switch
Release Date: March 2018

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It's hard to believe we first saw the Kickstarter for this spiritual successor to Symphony Of The Night all the way back in early 2015! Koji Igarashi's love letter to his Castlevania series is finally almost here, and it's looking to be a bloody good time.

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In true horror fashion, I'm a relentless pessimist, so I've got this nagging feeling we might sadly end up in Mighty No. 9 or NightCry territory with another crowdfunded flop. Pray to all the dark gods out there that I'm very, very wrong.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/a/g/o/agony-a6129.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/a/g/o/agony-a6129.jpg","type":"slide","id":"173920","description":"

Agony

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Developer: Madmind Studio
Platforms: PC, Xbox One, PS4
Release Date: March 30, 2018

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This long-awaited titled was also on our list last year but got pushed back in recent months. But if it means a better game, I've got no problem with that development. The big draw to Agony is in its location -- you start out already in hell!

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The possibilities there for a horrifying gaming experience are endless, and based on the latest trailers, it's clear we are in for some very disturbing material. Calling to mind a bit of H.R. Giger, it's clear there's a serious vaginal motif going on with many of the demonic things to be found in the pits of hell.

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With any luck, this one will end up hitting as hard as Outlast and become a new classic of atmospheric horror.

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Call Of Cthluhu

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Developer: Cyanide
Platforms: PC, Xbox One, PS4
Release Date: TBA 2018

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Due to the mangled path of this elusive game's development shifting between two different companies, Call Of Cthulhu has managed to make our most anticipated lists for the coming year ... a solid three years in a row now! Third time's a charm, am I right?

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This new take on the Cthulhu Mythos features investigator Edward Pierce delving into the mysteries on Darkwater Island, and it looks like it will manage to get the proper pacing and style to match Lovecraft (rather than an action game).

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The way the insanity system is being implemented is also quite a bit different than what we've seen before. Hopefully the controls and difficulty won't be as maddening as Dark Corners Of The Earth!

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Lust for Darkness

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Developer: Movie Games
Platforms: PC
Release Date: Q1 2018

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Ready for something really different? This one features a main character seeking satisfaction on the border of two intertwining worlds -- one in an old Victorian mansion (anyone else thinking of Eyes Wide Shut?) and one in another dimension altogether with some Cthulhu Mythos overtones.

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Erotica has entangled with horror in many different mediums over the ages, but video games tend to shy away from that due to the ESRB, so it's a welcome surprise to see that trend getting bucked here with the psychological horror entry Lust for Darkness.

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While the promo imagery makes it clear that sexuality intertwined with the occult and BDSM will play a key role, it obviously must be toned down or off-screen enough that Steam will still let the game be sold, so it's not quite clear just how far the game will really go.

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There's a lot of room here for unintentional comedy or for the sexual aspects to really fall flat, so hopefully this new developer has all its ducks in a row before release. Consider me "cautiously optimistic" for something worth playing that just might change how we view horror games.

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The horror genre has been absolutely thriving lately, with knockout entries arriving to revitalize the Resident Evil franchise and keep survival horror going strong with The Evil Within 2.

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Don't forget about the indie side either, because small-time developers are consistently coming out with surprising entries that propel horror forward in unexpected and innovative ways.

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With the year nearly done, it's time to start looking ahead to what's slated (or rumored) to drop in the 2018 horror game lineup. Sadly, perennially missing entities like Routine, Draugen, and Dead Island 2 are probably never coming out, but that's OK because there are some killer games set to land next year.

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Here we're rounding up 17 of the most interesting horror games in a variety of gameplay styles, from FPS to RPG and beyond.

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