2021 wasn’t a huge year for horror – sure, we got the excellent Resident Evil Village, but beyond that, the pickings were a bit slim. Thankfully, there will be no shortage of terror in 2022. No big Resident Evil game has been announced (just yet), but a number of anticipated games, including Dying Light 2, STALKER 2, and The Callisto Protocol are on the way. Meanwhile, indies like Luto and Scorn should also deliver plenty of scares. Here are the nightmares, both big and small, you’ll be tackling in 2022…
Note: Only games with confirmed 2022 release dates are eligible for these lists. Stuff that’s only rumored or speculated to be coming out is relegated to the honorable mentions.
Dying Light 2: Stay Human (PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PS4, PS5 & Switch (cloud), February 4)
After a number of delays and rumors of behind-the-scenes turmoil at developer Techland, Dying Light 2: Stay Human arrives in a little under a month. It feels like the game’s scope has been dialed back from to the impressive demo we saw circa 2019, but the game still looks like another solid open-world romp. One that should serve up some properly intense undead encounters for those looking for a scare. With 80 hours of story missions and side content and 500 hours required to totally explore its branching storyline, Dying Light 2 should keep fans burning the midnight oil for some time.
STALKER 2: Heart of Chernobyl (PC & Xbox Series X/S, December 8)
The game may have been delayed yet again, slipping from April to December, but STALKER 2: Heart of Chernobyl remains one of 2022's most exciting games. We still haven’t seen much of the game in action, but the small amount of Unreal-Engine-5-powered gameplay that has been shared has been impressive. Meanwhile, developer GSC Game World is promising their biggest, most dynamic world yet and deep storyline with a “huge” number of endings. It’s rare to go into a game with so little information these days, but in some ways that makes things even more exciting, and STALKER 2 could be one of the year’s best if it delivers on its promise.
A Plague Tale: Requiem (PC, Xbox Series X/S, PS5 & Switch (cloud), 2022)
A Plague Tale: Innocence was one of the most underrated games of 2019, featuring an emotional, grounded story, unique setting, and tense, engaging gameplay. Three years later, developer Asobo Studio, fresh off the acclaimed Microsoft Flight Simulator, returns with A Plague Tale: Requiem. While Requiem appears to stick to the blueprint laid down by its predecessor (which definitely isn’t a bad thing), Asobo looks to be tapping into their newfound resources and technical knowhow to deliver an even more ambitious and terrifying adventure.
The Callisto Protocol (PC, Xbox Series X/S & PS5, 2022)
Glen Schofield has tackled a lot of different types of game over his career, directing everything from Call of Duty: WWII to Gex 3D (yes, really), but you can tell his heart truly belongs to the horror genre and the Dead Space series he co-created with Michael Condrey. We actually have a Dead Space remake on the way, but we didn’t know that back when The Callisto Protocol was announced back in 2020, and Schofield’s game looks like it could be a true successor rather than just an exercise in nostalgia. The teaser trailers we’ve seen for The Callisto Protocol have certainly been properly disgusting, and hey, there’s really no such thing as too much slimy sci-fi horror. The more space zombies the merrier!
Luto (PC, PS4 & PS5, 2022)
Hideo Kojima’s P.T. sure has inspired a lot of imitators for a simple demo, and Luto looks like it may be the most terrifying PT-alike yet (I dare you to watch this trailer and not jump a time or two). In addition to impressive-looking atmosphere-steeped visuals, the makers of Luto are promising to explore some challenging subject matter, including mourning, depression, various phobias, and more. If you’re looking for a horror game that’s about exploring the dark corners of your brain, rather than splattering them on the walls, Luto might be for you.
Honorable Mentions and Possible Surprises
As mentioned, this is a particularly busy year for horror, with more big titles like the System Shock remake and The Dark Pictures: The Devil in Me on the way, and games like Scorn, Martha is Dead, Once Upon a Time in Roswell, and Hidden Deep promising some indie thrills. Oh, and we’re not categorizing Ghostwire: Tokyo as a horror game, as its own director has said it’s not one, but your mileage on that may vary.
As always, there are also the question marks. The anticipated Dead Space remake doesn’t have an official release date yet, but it’s rumored to arrive this year. So is The Last of Us remake, although that hasn’t even been officially announced yet. Also, we can never forget about those whispers that something might be happening with Silent Hill -- a 2022 release may be too much to hope for, but let’s hope we get some info on that one way or another this year.
Those are the games you’re going to be creeping through in 2022! Any promising horror games I missed? Round up your own list and share it in the comments!