With 2021 finally here, there is a myriad of new games on the horizon, including some great horror offerings. I’ve hand-picked some of the biggest horror games coming out in 2021 on this list.
Developer: Bloober Team
Publisher: Bloober Team SA
Release Date: January 28th, 2021
Platforms: Xbox Series S/X, PC
Horror fans should get excited whenever Bloober Team is attached to a title. Between both Layers of Fear games, Observer, and Blair Witch, the development studio has proven themselves masters of the genre.
With The Medium, Bloober Team are becoming ambitious. Not only is the game in third-person, but two entire worlds – reality and the spirit realm – also render simultaneously. This mechanic will test the player’s sanity, puzzle-solving skills, and will also most likely deliver some effective scares.
The Medium is also the first true exclusive title for the Xbox Series S/X. As a bonus, The Medium will launch on Xbox Game Pass later this month.
Little Nightmares 2
Developer: Tarsier Studios
Publisher: Bandai Namco Entertainment
Release Date: February 11th, 2021
Platforms: Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, PC, Nintendo Switch
Little Nightmares is a game that left an impression on me long after the credits rolled. You’d be forgiven for calling it a Limbo knockoff, but doing that would be a massive disservice. Little Nightmares is a chilling adventure with spine-tingling environments, memorable villains, and tense gameplay that leaves the player with no room for error.
Little Nightmares 2 is shaping up to be a worthy sequel because of its new cast of villains, including Teacher, Doctor, and Thin Man. Unlike traditional horror games, the Little Nightmares IP doesn’t rely on jump scares. Those looking for creepy and unsettling imagery should definitely seek out Little Nightmares 2 this February.
Back 4 Blood
Developer: Turtle Rock Studios
Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive Studios
Release Date: June 22, 2021
Platforms: PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X, PC
People have wanted a new installment in the Left 4 Dead franchise since 2009. Well, Turtle Rock Studios, the team behind that series, are back with this spiritual successor. Back 4 Blood is basically Left 4 Dead 3 in everything but name.
The new installment is a 4-player co-op shooter, tasking players to battle through zombie ravaged environments looking for an exit. The catch is that in Back 4 Blood players can use cards to enhance their experience. Cards grant players abilities, health, damage output, and so on. On the flipside of this mechanic, there are also cards that will make the group’s journey more challenging. Their effects include more zombies, tougher enemies, and bosses. The card system serves to randomize mission runs, and add replayability.
Those looking for a fun FPS game to play with friends will find a lot to love. Left 4 Dead fans and newcomers to this style of game should definitely check out Back 4 Blood. Whether you want to play with three other friends or take part in the PvP mode, Back 4 Blood looks like the type of game you can sink hours into.
Resident Evil Village
Release Date: TBA 2021
Platforms: PlayStation 5, Xbox Series S/X, PC
Resident Evil Village is easily one of the most anticipated horror games of 2021. Taking place a few years after Resident Evil 7, Village follows protagonist Ethan Winters as he deals with the aftermath of Chris Redfield’s actions.
Not much is known about the narrative, as Capcom has kept details tightly under wraps. That said, it’s clear from looking at the trailer that Resident Evil Village is shaping up to be a wholly unique experience. The environment shares some similarities to the phenomenal Resident Evil 4, but the use of witches, cults, and werewolves paint this as a Resident Evil experience unlike any other.
Despite the stellar remakes of Resident Evil 2 &3, it’s great to see Capcom venturing back to original territory with the newest mainline game in the franchise. Fans will get to experience the latest terrifying story unfold later this year.
The Outlast Trials
Developer: Red Barrels
Publisher: Red Barrels
Release Date: TBA 2021
Outlast is one of the games that hooked me on Let’s Plays. It’s a terrifying experience that brought anxiety levels to the max for many people. While not the first to use the mechanic, Outlast brought hiding, running from enemies, and feeling defenseless to the mainstream. Running through the asylum is absolutely nerve-wracking, and the jump scares are memorable.
The sequel switched locations and the type of horror as well. Instead of an asylum, players were transported to a village overrun by various cults. Red Barrels are experts when it comes to startling players, that’s for sure.
With The Outlast Trials, the development team is going for something completely different. This time, players will need to work together to survive the titular trials. Little is known about this sequel, but Trials is definitely one to keep on your radar.
2021 is shaping up to be an excellent year for horror games. Are you looking forward to any games on this list, or any I forgot? Let me know in the comments.