12 Horror Games to Look Forward to in 2021

© 2020 Scorn by Ebb Software

Whatever else may be in store for us this year, at least 2021 is shaping up to be a great year in horror gaming. From tense, tightly-paced indie games to massive, sprawling RPGs, there’s something for everyone. Since delays are so common in this industry, it’s not unusual for developers to keep a lid on a game’s release date until just a few months before it comes out–so, while we only have hard dates for the first half of 2021, barring any major delays (Scorn, State of Decay 3, I’m looking at you), here’s what we have to look forward to this year.


The Medium

Release Date: January 28, 2021
Platforms: Xbox Series X/S, PC

The Medium looks unlike anything I’ve ever seen before. This third-person psychological horror game follows a spirit medium as she tries to solve a child’s murder, and not only will you be able to jump between the physical world and the spirit world during gameplay, but thanks to a unique splitscreen mechanic, you’ll even be able to traverse both realms at the same time. 


Werewolf: The Apocalypse – Earthblood 

Release Date: February 4, 2021
Platforms: Playstation 5, Xbox Series X/S, Playstation 4, Xbox One, PC  

For my fellow werewolf enthusiasts who have been waiting impatiently since The Order: 1886 for something new to sink their teeth into, this third-person RPG may just hit the spot. Based in the same world as the Vampire: The Masquerade games, Earthblood tells the story of a shapeshifting eco-terrorist trying to save the planet from a corrupt corporation. 


Little Nightmares II

Release Date: February 11, 2021
Platforms: Playstation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC

Little Nightmares was an indie darling in 2017, and this sequel to the beloved puzzle-platformer promises to be just as gorgeously haunting. If you’re looking for a horror game you can beat in a single dark and stormy night, this is it.   


Returnal 

Release Date: April 30, 2021
Platforms: Playstation 5

There are a handful of time-loop games coming out in 2021, but Returnal has perhaps built up the most buzz. A third-person shooter and sci-fi psychological horror game, this PS5 exclusive follows a stranded space pilot as she tries to escape from an alien world that gets more hostile with each death and reset of the timeline.  


Resident Evil Village

Release Date: May 7, 2021
Platforms: Playstation 5, Xbox Series X/S, Playstation 4, Xbox One, PC

If your Twitter timeline wasn’t flooded with thirst tweets about “the big vampire woman” in Resident Evil Village, then you’re not following the right people. The eighth entry in the beloved Resident Evil series, this first-person horror title tells the story of Ethan Winters as he searches for his daughter in a castle full of vampires, werewolves, and other creatures of the night. 


State of Decay 3

Release Date: TBA
Platforms: Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One

State of Decay 3 had one of the most impressive trailers from Microsoft’s big Xbox showcase last summer, and this latest installment in the zombie-infested, open-world, third-person horror survival series seems poised to deliver. We don’t know much about it yet other than that there’s an undead deer in the woods–which is enough for me.


The Outlast Trials

Release Date: TBA
Platforms: PC

Outlast has become synonymous with horror in gaming, and Trials, a prequel to the first two games, will be the first in the series to offer a co-op mode. Like its predecessors, you’ll be dropped into a first-person psychological horror survival game with no combat mechanics, only running, hiding, and managing your grainy green night vision devices as you try to escape a facility full of twisted medical experiments.   


Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2

Release Date: TBA
Platforms: Playstation 5, Xbox Series X/S, Playstation 4, Xbox One, PC 

Vampire: The Masquerade fans have been waiting since 2004 for this sequel, a first-person RPG in which you’ll create your own character who must find their way as a fledgling vampire in 21-century Seattle. You’ll manage vampire powers and politics, scrap, stealth or seduce your way past enemies, and prey on the people of the Pacific Northwest, if you’re feeling bloodthirsty.


Hello Neighbor 2

Release Date: TBA
Platforms: Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, PC

Don’t be fooled by the cartoony art style–this trailer gave me more anxiety than anything else on the list. An indie stealth-horror game, you play a journalist trying to track down a missing man while being stalked by a mysterious creature. 


Scorn 

Release Date: TBA
Platforms: Xbox Series X/S

A first-person shooter horror game inspired by the works of Swiss artist H.R. Giger and Polish artist Zdzisław Beksiński, Scorn promises to throw you into a dream-like, nonlinear world that blends biology and technology. Based on the trailer, it looks like it has the potential to be the goriest, grossest game on this list, if that’s your thing.


12 Minutes

Release Date: TBA
Platforms: Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, PC

This is the second time loop game on this list, which makes sense, because time loops are inherently horrifying. This one, an indie interactive thriller/mystery, puts you in the shoes of a man reliving the same twelve minutes of an evening in his apartment right before a police officer comes to the door and murders his wife.


In Sound Mind

Release Date: TBA
Platforms: Playstation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PC

A first-person psychological horror game from the indie developers who brought us Nightmare House 2, we haven’t been told much about In Sound Mind other than to expect plenty of puzzles and boss fights as you make your way through your own troubled memories. The trailer promises plenty of darkened forests and dilapidated buildings, though, and the demo is available on Steam now if you want to learn more.

Which horror games are you most looking forward to this year? Let us know in the comments!



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