2023 is set to be an epic year for horror games as 2022 has seen many announcements of remakes and remasters. Moreover, we’ve actually seen the release of several awesome horror gaming titles this year including the nightmarish Scorn and the thalassophobia -inducing Iron Lung . December will also see the launch of the much-anticipated sci-fi horror game The Callisto Protocol . It seems like horror fans just can’t get enough of both old and new experiences alike, and since Halloween is just a couple of days away, I figured we’d take a little trip down memory lane and enjoy a little horror gaming nostalgia while looking at what remakes are coming up in 2023. Let’s get to it!
The Resurgence of Dread
Growing up I played a bunch of different horror games. Some of the scariest ones I remember include Dino Crisis , Resident Evil 3: Nemesis , Thief: The Dark Project and Silent Hill 4: The Room . It’s safe to say that survival horrors were a staple of my gaming experience as a teenager, and while they may have traumatized me and given me nightmares, I have to admit they were thoroughly exhilarating experiences that I honestly couldn’t get enough of.
It’s always been weird to me how we enjoy the prospect of being frightened or scared, but at the end of the day, the dopamine hit you get from fighting off freakish enemies or barely escaping the clutches of Nemesis is really what I think keeps gamers coming back for more. Sadly all of the games I just mentioned are pretty dated with two of them originally being released on the PS1 ! Yikes! The fact of the matter is that as tech has evolved, horror gaming has as well, and with high-fidelity graphics and the wider availability of VR headsets, audiences really do have much higher expectations these days, and rightly so (though I will say the aesthetics of older releases actually make the horror experience frightening and otherworldly in their own way).
But with the exception of The Resident Evil franchise, just about every other popular survival horror franchise has remained dormant for several years now. For example, the last installment in the Silent Hill franchise, Downpour , released well over a decade ago (unless you count P.T. , then it’s 8 years), and don’t even get me started on Dino Crisis (seriously, wen remake!?). To say that horror fans have been a little frustrated these past few years (or basically twenty years for Dino Crisis fans) would be something of an understatement. But thankfully, for a lot of popular franchises, this drought is basically over (not for Dino Crisis, I know I’m going on about it but please let there be an announcement like, tomorrow for it!)
They’re Back Baby!
OK, technically at the time of writing, I’m still waiting on the Silent Hill announcement, but there are a bunch of awesome franchises that are making a comeback in 2023. Let’s take a brief look at each one of these, and I guess we’ll start in order of when they’re actually releasing? That makes sense, right?
Yes indeed, one of my all-time favorite sci-fi horror games, Dead Space , has already been remade, or at least, they’re finishing up the last bits as we speak. That’s right, on January 27th 2023, the fully reimagined Dead Space will be released. While it follows the plot of the original Dead Space, there are a couple of elements that are completely new. For example, the A.L.I.V.E System is a new feature that influences Isaac’s dialogue and behavior within the game. If Isaac is badly wounded, his breathing will be erratic and pained, and when he speaks, it’ll sound like he’s on the verge of death. Similarly, if Isaac starts running low on oxygen, he’ll start gasping and choking and his heart rate will increase. This is an awesome new addition to the game and will almost certainly make the whole experience of exploring the Ishimura that much more horrifying.
Over and above that, Zero-G sections will also be more like Dead Space 2 and 3 where Isaac will fly around and fight enemies in mid-air or space. I admittedly liked the mechanics of the original Dead Space where you had to jump around a room as it made for an interesting combat experience, but I’m sure these updates will be just as cool. From the gameplay and trailers I’ve seen, this remake of Dead Space has been affectionately done and looks incredible to boot. I for one cannot wait to get my hands on the game and will be playing it when it releases at the end of January next year. Check out the official reveal trailer below:
Resident Evil 4
Just about two months after the release of the Dead Space remake, the remake of Resident Evil 4 will come out. Players will once again take on the role of Leon Kennedy as he is sent on a one-man mission to save the President’s daughter, Ashley Graham, who has been kidnapped by a cult. From what it appears, this is pretty much a faithful recreation of the original 2005 Resident Evil 4, but with an updated plot, substantially better graphics and improved gameplay. The GameCube and Playstion 2 versions of the original Resident Evil 4 have near flawless ratings (96/100). Sadly the PC ports were wrought with issues including no mouse support and odd keyboard controls as well as choppy graphics and low quality cut scenes, but even then, the game still never rated less than 76/100 on PC. In summary, Resident Evil 4 is one of the most successful releases in the franchise, so it only makes sense that it’s getting a remake.
The remake of Resident Evil 4 will release on March 24th, 2023. I admittedly haven’t played a Resident Evil game in ages (shame on me), but it’s a great franchise with some amazing characters and IP (just don’t worry too much about the movies or live actions series). I have high hopes for this remake and am sure that fans of the franchise are practically champing at the bit to get their zombie-killing hands on it. In the meantime, check out the reveal trailer:
Alone in the Dark
Now this is one to really get excited about! This remake is more of a total reimagining of the original Alone in the Dark that released all the way back in 1992! So everything is set in the 1920s and takes place within the mysterious Derceto Mansion. Players will be able to choose to take on the role of either private investigator Edward Carnby or Emily Hartwood as they attempt to uncover the truth behind what’s been going on at Derceto and the disappearance of Emily’s uncle.
Naturally the graphics are leagues apart from the original 1992, and you can imagine that the gameplay is far more action-packed and gripping. Not every Alone in the Dark game has been well received, and every Alone in the Dark movie is utterly horrible (and not in the good way), but I think we’re all hoping that this remake will be worthy of the legacy of the original game. There’s no set release date for the Alone in the Dark remake yet, but I’m assuming it will be sometime in 2023 (or possibly early 2024). Either way, this promises to be an awesome survival horror game and one that I’m sure many people can’t wait to try out…
So as I mentioned earlier, we’re all still waiting for the Silent Hill Transmission and any formal announcements at the time of writing, but (and this may be premature), there’s a strong chance that the announcement has something to do with Silent Hill 2 , and the assumption is that it’s a remake of the original game. If this is indeed the case, then I am beyond excited. If it turns out that this assumption was entirely wrong, I apologize vehemently, but from the announcement itself and the description on the YouTube video , the impression is that this has something to do with Silent Hill 2.
I can only speculate at present (and I will probably update this article later on), but it would be truly fantastic to see a reimagining of Silent Hill 2. Anyway, if you happen to read this article before the announcement, you can watch the transmission as it happens via the link below. A remake of Silent Hill 2 would really cap off this year for me, at least in terms of horror, so here’s hoping this doesn’t end in disappointment!
Survival Horror Will Never Die
Even if the Silent Hill announcement turns out to be a disappointment (I really hope it isn’t), there’s still so much to look forward to this year and in 2023. Survival horror is an amazing gaming genre and has stood the test of time. I personally think it’s great that so many classics are getting remasters and remakes and can’t wait to play them myself. And if these remakes aren’t your bag, there are still plenty of awesome horror games in the works in both VR and on traditional platforms.
So what do you think? Which of these remakes are you most looking forward to? Or do you prefer other horror games? Let us know your thoughts!