Callisto Protocol Set to Highlight a Huge Year for Horror in Gaming
Late 2020 and early 2021 certainly helped to put true horror gaming back on the map. Smash-hit indie game Phasmophobia from British developers Kinetic Games became a smash-hit overnight. Launched in September 2020, the Twitch streamers quickly jumped on the ghost-hunting game, making it Steam’s best-selling game for months. It’s still going strong to this day, with a hefty update on the way. In 2021, The Xbox finally landed an exclusive, The Medium, which, although delayed, delivered on its promise of horror thrills.
Still, those two years pale in comparison to what horror gamers have indulged in throughout 2022. Many have become very popular and sold well, but the game that looks to truly make the year one of horror could be The Callisto Protocol. From the creator of the first Dead Space game, the survival horror places you in the boots of Jacob Lee, who must escape his space prison amidst an alien invasion of the colony. It’s being given a tremendous amount of hype, and in a year that horror media as a whole is doing very well.
A colossal year for horror gaming
It all started on February 4, when the long-awaited sequel to 2015’s zombie-parkour sensation Dying Light was released. With an open world, riveting stories, zombies everywhere, unique mechanics, and safe codes to find for additional RPG goodies, Dying Light 2 sets a high bar, which put the fear into going back out at night again. A few well-received indie creations followed, including Martha Is Dead, sci-fi survival horror Chernobylite, and Poppy Playtime. The latter launched on PC in 2021 but became a smash-hit sensation with its 2022 mobile launch, garnering well over 100,000 downloads for Chapter 1 on Android alone.
Then, the more upscale games started to land, with May’s release of Evil Dead: The Game being commended as a homage to the Sam Rami-created flicks. Earlier reviews did comment on the overall lack of content, but the latest updates have added more, including content derived from Army of Darkness. Just one month later, players were invited to join a Hollywood cast that includes Ariel Winter, Ethan Suplee, Justice Smith, Brenda Song, and David Arquette in the interactive horror game The Quarry, making the choices that decide how relationships develop and, ultimately, which campers will meet their demise.
Five Nights at Freddy’s made its return with the inventive turn in Security Breach. Here, the player gets to free roam around a shopping mall, needing to survive until morning rather than make it through five nights. Most reviews only put it down for bugs and technical issues, still praising it for an inventive turn in the much-loved – and feared – series. With a remarkably spooky concept that’s very well executed, Madison sees you use an instant camera to make contact with a serial killer and the realm of the living dead. Finally, while cute in design, Cult of the Lamb is undoubtedly in the horror genre, perfectly blending dungeon crawling with society building.
Horror trending upwards across media
In video gaming, horror has made waves in 2022, with several inventive and truly scary creations coming to the fore. It seems that media consumers have been seeking out the thrills of horror across the board, with even older creations rising in popularity due to their horror influences. The Phantom of the Opera and Immortal Romance – both derived from gothic horror stories and myths, showcase their renewed popularity among slot spinners, even standing among perpetual favorites like Dragon’s Cache and Kings of Crystals, as well as the newly released Amazon Kingdom.
At the cinema and at home, horror movies and, to a lesser extent, series have also found a great deal of success in 2022. The highest-rated flicks from this year already include 94 percent X, 93 percent Prey, 82 percent Nope, and 82 percent The Black Phone, among many others. As for TV shows, From became a surprise hit, even though it committed the cardinal sin of showing the creature far too early, as was the Korean zombie series All of Us Are Dead. Bringing down the platform, though, are the likes of the Walking Dead spin-offs and a very misguided Resident Evil show.
Much more horror to come in a thrilling end to 2022
Showcased as one of the main attractions for early Xbox Series X adopters, Scorn will finally be arriving on October 21. The first-person survival horror impressed with its biomechanical theme and grotesque visuals in its trailers and could become a horror classic if the scares deliver. The Dark Pictures Anthology will also continue on November 18 with The Devil in Me – an interactive survival horror set in a creepy hotel. Then, in quick succession, two very big-name games arrive in December.
On December 2, it’s all about The Callisto Protocol. Gamers have been craving another Dead Space-like adventure since the original series turned into a cash grab for its publisher. Now, with Glen Schofield heading the project as director and the trailers being very impressive so far, hopes are high that The Callisto Protocol will deliver scares and a great story in equal measure. On December 6, indie sensation Hello Neighbour will get its sequel. In this stealth horror, you’ll be tasked with outsmarting the creepy neighbor, whose behavior adapts and changes per the actions of the players.
Fans of horror gaming, and horror as a genre in entertainment are enjoying an incredible 2022, but there’s even more to come.