Say, are you looking to load up on jump scares and thought-provoking narratives this year? Just as well, because 2022 isn't exactly short on either, and it bodes incredibly well with our agendas which, to be fair, are already overflowing with a bunch of other heavy releases from this forthcoming year alone. But with that said, we can always clear a little space when it comes to the world of survival horror.
Whatever it is you're looking for, take comfort in the fact that developers of all walks of life have fought tooth and nail to develop some of the biggest and most ambitious games these past twelve months. Fortunately, it's just the case of playing the waiting game before each or them roll out and let us experience the fruits of their labor. In the meantime, we strongly suggest you scribble down these five absolute essentials. If horror is your go-to genre — then these are guaranteed to check all of your boxes.
5. The Outlast Trials
Red Barrels has been able to maintain its position on the frontline of survival horror ever since Outlast first emerged back in 2013. Thanks to its engrossing storylines and heart-pounding scares, the series itself has become something of a torchbearer for other rising stars to flock to. And now, The Outlast Trials will usher in a new generation of thrills, complete with a virtual reality component to bolster its terrifying world.
Serving as a prequel to the first two entries, The Outlast Trials will pit unwilling volunteers against a series of harsh tests that sink deep into the art of brainwashing and mind control. Working alongside your closest friends, you will have to face your deepest fears as you thrive to survive the horrors that surround the darkest days of the Cold War.
The Outlast Trials launches in 2022 on PC.
4. Sons of the Forest
After the hopes of ever seeing a sequel to The Forest were dashed a few years back, survival horror fans soon started to plant roots elsewhere. Turned out, however, that Endnight Games had been brewing something from between the trees, and simply waited for 2021 to lift the veil on it.
Sons of the Forest puts survival at the front of the experience. Learning how to thrive in a hostile world where mutants roam and pray on the lands requires a determined collective, and one loose link can sever all chances of ever seeing dawn break. Working to counter the looming threats takes courage. Without it, well, you're as good as dead in the water.
Sons of the Forest launches on May 20, 2022 on PC.
3. The Callisto Protocol
The Callisto Protocol shot straight to the forefront of the year's upcoming releases the second Glen Schofield was unveiled as the leading force behind the project. Schofield, of course, was the co-creator behind the Dead Space series, meaning his reputation spoke volumes before the following survival game even came about.
Set in the same galaxy as PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds, The Callisto Protocol takes place at a faraway prison colony called Black Iron. When an alien invasion passes through the warden's impenetrable fortress, its prisoners are the ones who must face the consequences. Prisoners, such as yourself, of course. The rest needs no explanation, to be fair.
The Callisto Protocol launches in 2022 on Xbox Series X/S, PS5, and PC.
2. S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2: Heart of Chernobyl
After well over a decade of yearning for a well-deserved comeback, S.T.A.L.K.E.R. finally made a return to the central plains of survival horror, submitting Heart of Chernobyl as its next-level sequel. Once again, the game will put a notorious S.T.A.L.K.E.R. front and center as a scavenger of a barren wasteland, where deadly and mutated foes scourge its darkest corners.
Heart of Chernobyl puts its scope on an illegal scavenger named Skiff. As one of the inhabitants of the nuclear wasteland, it is up to the few remaining collectors to compile all of the necessary resources to survive. Along the way, however, outlandish creatures threaten the hollow landscape that once homed the remnants of a peaceful civilization. Unfortunately, it's your duty to outlive the impossible and start anew.
S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2: Heart of Chernobyl launches on December 8, 2022 on Xbox Series X/S, and PC.
1. Evil Dead: The Game
Evil Dead is something of a cult classic in the movie realm, and for good reason too. Combined with its iconic one-liners and exaggerated horror style, the franchise has been able to stand tall as one of the most influential links in the genre. But the last we saw of Ash and the legendary Boomstick in video game form, however, was way back in 2005. Since then, both hack and slash fans and gore lovers alike have longed for a reboot.
Evil Dead: The Game hones in on the same style as Dead by Daylight. Using a mixture of survival and team-based gameplay, the upcoming horror will look to develop a fresh vessel with next-level enhancements. By that, you can expect plenty of weapons, a shedload of gore, and a whole lot of replayability.
Evil Dead: The Game launches on May 13, 2022 on Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PS4, PS5, Switch, and PC.
So, what's your take? Will you be picking up any of the above five this year? Let us know over on our socials here or down in the comments below.