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New TFTV Record release and Horror Game Preview

Greetings! Happy 2024! Its been a while since my last post/content and i'm sorry! Anyway, I hope to post a lot more content this year and I would like to start off with a double whammy... First up is the next release in the TFTV Records video game soundtrack tape series.... TFTV0024 is Mick Gordon's score to 2020's Doom Eternal. I feel this is a great title to mark the return of the series from its hibernation as I am a HUGE fan of the franchise and Mick's work. It's a tragedy that Mick Gordon's relationship with Id ended the way it did as we are unlikely to see what Mick could have done with the inevitable third game in the modern Doom series.... [NB: You can read about the situation here]

The version of score contained on this release is a collaborative effort by the global Doom community. YouTube user Dinnernator has compiled remixes and rearrangements from numerous musicians [Vouriot, William Lancaster, The_Kovic, Koma, Hai Dudu Two and Nate Range] in an attempt to finally allow fans to experience something that more closely resembled Mick's vision for the stand alone release of the soundtrack.


Upcoming Horror Game Releases...


2024 also is looking like it will be a hotbed for video game horror titles. Below is a quick overview of some of the upcoming titles that you should definitely keep your eyes on.


Note, you can also click on the game titles to view the applicable trailer...


Later in 2024, UK developer Ninja Theory release the sequel to the award-winning 2018 game, Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice. The first game’s groundbreaking biaural audio design won plaudits and acclaim from across many sectors for its depiction of people living with schizophrenia. Not only was the game’s sound design constructed to fully immerse players in Senua’s only going struggles with mental health but was also used as a clever tips and guide mechanic. The sequel promises to improve the combat, while maintaining the high-fidelity visuals, as Senua travels to Iceland in search of revenge. If the follow up only manages in capturing a small portion of what made the original game so unique, then players are in for an effecting and unforgettable experience.



The creators of the critically acclaimed ‘Dear Esther’ and ‘Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture’ return with a narrative driven horror game set aboard a North Sea oil rig in 1975. The game will see the developer revisit their first-person roots with a game in which the player attempts to escape the isolated rig – whose communications have been cut off –while facing an unknown horror. If the aforementioned previous projects from The Chinese Room, are anything to go by, the game will inevitably weave thought provoking themes and psychological horror with a sumptuous score from Jessica Curry.

  


Bokeh Game Studio’s inaugural game is a blend of action adventure and horror. The game studio was formed in 2020 by Keiichiro Toyama following the dissolution of Project Siren. While you may be forgiven for not recognising his name, you will almost certainly have heard of his most famous work – Silent Hill. Not too much is known about the game at present, but with the remake of the revered Silent Hill 2 rumoured to also drop in 2024, interest in anything Silent Hill related will be higher than any point in the last several gaming generations and will not harm the profile of Slitterhead.

  


The official Steam blurb for the new horror title from Digital Cybercherries states “You experience and play through each tragic tale of those who went missing from the viewpoint of bodycams, phones, and VHS cameras. Do you have what it takes to play through the end of the footage?”. The gameplay contained within the launch trailer suggests a creepy and unsettling blend of The Blair Witch Project and the lauded, failed Kojima/Del Toro Project, ‘PT’… and surely the naming similarity is NOT a simple coincidence.

 


Sony have described it as a ‘run-based driving survival adventure’ where players face a supernatural enemy as you make expedition trips into the ‘Olympic Exclusion Zone’ in your faithful Station Wagon. Roguelike elements, eerie settings, non-racing / non sportscar driving sim (vehicular version of the divisive ‘walking sim’?) and a mysterious story combine to form an intriguing, yet niche, sounding experience which has seemingly more than a few similarities to the criminally underrated ZombiU... and in a gaming world filled with shooters and open world RPGs, this will be a welcome addition.

  


While many developers strive for what they believe to be the zenith of gaming – photorealistic graphics – some decide to take a completely different route and adopt a more stylised art design. Some of the most memorable and beautiful games this millennium have taken this approach - Limbo, Cuphead, Wind Waker, Journey etc - and Bye Sweet Carole definitely has a similar philosophy. With a striking art style that is reminiscent of the animation output of Disney in first half of the 20th century, this game seems like it could be a dark, twisted blend of Snow White and Alice in Wonderland.

  


No annual horror release slate would be complete without a title from Supermassive games. For over a decade now, this prolific UK studio has been releasing high quality, enjoyable ‘interactive movies’. While this sub-genre was properly realised with titles such as ‘Heavy Rain’, it’s the work of Supermassive that has continually improved and fine-tuned the genre with them focusing on horror, and seemingly the slasher films of the 80's. This most recent addition to their portfolio is set in the ‘Dead by Daylight’ universe and is another cinematic style game with a heavy focus on characters, player choice the resulting narrative consequences. 



Silent Breath adopts a 'found footage' approach that sees the player investigate the repeated disappearance of people in a desolate forest. The near photo realistic graphics mixed with the Blair Witch/Evil Dead style setting is going to (hopefully) make for a truly disturbing and nerve shredding experience. In addition to the unsettling environment and visuals, the game has a dynamic scare system where the noise the actual player makes is detected by your microphone and can alert the in game monsters to your whereabouts. Created by Exodiac Studios - that impressively is made up of a single developer - this sounds like a game that a person could seemingly love and hate in equal measure.



Following the recent relative success of games based on legendary horror licenses such as Friday the 13th (also from developer Illfonic), The Evil Dead, and most recently, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, it is now time for ‘cult’ film Killer Clowns from Outer Space to make its transition into modern gaming. Akin to the previously mentioned titles, this is another asymmetrical horror multiplayer game that sees the titular clowns face off against the inhabitants of Crescent Cove. If the game can build on what Illfonic created with Friday the 13th: The Game and capture the camp fun of the ‘88 movie, this could be one to watch.


Along with ‘Resident Evil’ and ‘Silent Hill’, ‘Alone in the Dark’ is one of the pillars on which many modern survival horror games are built. The original game was released in 1992 and is often recognised as being the very first three-dimensional survival horror game. This remake of the initial entry in the series will adopt an ‘over the shoulder’ perspective similar to that of recent remakes of the early entries of Resident Evil – eschewing the fixed camera of the original. Furthermore, this ‘reimagining’ has also tapped up the talents of Jodie Comer and David Harbour to portray the two lead protagonists, Emily Hartwood and Detective Edward Carnby.

 


Dead Letter Dept. is advertised as being a ‘short horror game mystery experience’ – which in itself is a refreshing change from many modern games that demand a commitment of dozens of hours just to enjoy the main story line. The game sees the player work a temp data entry job where you attempt to transcribe lost letters and mail that have seemingly nowhere else to go. However, you soon begin to recognize common irregularities in the documents you are asked to process…. With a simple, yet uncommon premise, this on paper (no pun intended) is reminiscent of other indie oddities 'Papers Please' and 'Bury Me, My Love' where everyday tasks are used to ‘frame’/ tell a compelling and (potentially) moving story.

 


The sequel to the 2021 game… ummm… Tormented Souls, sees the return of Caroline Walker as she explores eerie monasteries and other nightmarish locations. The game series may take huge inspiration from traditional, old school survival horror games such as Resident Evil and Alone in the Dark - with its fixed camera, unsettling monsters, and strict inventory management - but gives this well-established formula a fresh overhaul as to be slightly more palatable for the modern gaming market.


*Please note that several of these previews were originally published in the Starburst THE FUTURE OF FEAR Horror Preview which is available from their webstore or all good newsagents now.

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