Halloween is just hours away, folks! While some of you are out there meticulously preparing a wickedly spooky costume to spill keg beer on, us introverts are lining up a marathon of murder, madness, and the macabre. That’s not some alliterated threat I’m making. I just mean we’re going to burn up the devil’s birthday watching horror flicks in the anti-social solitude of our darkened apartments.
As a habitual gamer, though, I grow restless passively watching blood and guts tossed about. I also like to take part in the blood and guts tossing (this article will be used against me in court someday…). I like to keep in season with a rotating program of horror video games. From Silent Hill to Dead Space to that one about the mid-western cops in a zombie filled mansion (why the hell can’t I remember that game’s name?), I just find interactive scares far more stool loosening than the static frights movies hold.
So, here I am, between a tower of Carpenter and Romero flicks on the one side, a separate stack of survival and action horror games sitting on the other. And, thusly, I had my peanut butter cup moment. We’ve already got ourselves some examples of horror films brilliantly adapted into games (2002’s The Thing hurt in all the right ways) but the industry’s still missing out on some killer properties to mine for inspiration. Here’s my top picks for a few more genre classics that deserve to cross mediums:
Clem is the Star of The Walking Dead: Season Two
Telltale has gone on record to confirm Clementine, your adolescent companion and inarguably the emotional anchor of Season One, is the playable lead in The Walking Dead: Season Two.
We pick up months after the incredibly somber, soul mincing events of Season One. Clem has been travelling by her lonesome, fending against the undead in the ruins of our cities as well as the living left ruined by them.
In her search for safety, Telltale promises “you will be tested by situations and dilemmas” that measure your morality just as much as your will to survive. Just when you thought it was safe to play a video game without having your emotions strung through the ringer.
The choice driven gameplay that brought the first season critical acclaim returns, and the narrative will be affected from the get-go by choices made both in Season One and the short expansion 400 Days. I’m glad Telltale seems to be locking the story into one perspective instead of several like in 400 Days, but given the amount of preamble the DLC’s cast received, count on them to return in Season Two in some sort of meaningful role.
The Walking Dead: Season Two will encompass another run of five episodes to be released across 2014 for PC, Xbox 360, PS3, and iOS. Missed out on TWD up until now? What in the handless Rick is wrong with you? Catch up on all of Season One plus 400 Days once The Walking Dead: Game of the Year Edition drops on November 11th.
From Zombies to Aliens - Call of Duty: Ghosts' Extinction Mode Revealed
Our nation has been invaded by extraterrestrial creatures intent on wiping our collective gene pools off the map of existence. Our only defense? Four-player co-op!
Infinity Ward’s run on the Call of Duty series usually serves as the straight-laced dose of military action while Treyarch pumps out their games with whacky shit like B-List celebrities fighting zombies and an after credits performance by a digitally rendered Avenged Sevenfold (I traded in my copy of Black Ops II without regret or feeling).
Now, IW is joining the genre-bending fun with Extinction Mode; a four-player co-op mode that replaces the undead from Zombies with — get this — aliens. I’ll forever lament a game called Ghosts for not featuring a first-person ghostbusting mode, but the ghoulie wheel was spun and chance said it wanted aliens.
This Invasion: Earth flavored horde mode has you fending through waves of unfriendly E.T.’s while you eviscerate the hives that spawn them. The classic Zombies suite of base fortifying and item hunting return in addition to an upgrade system and character specific classes, each with their own abilities (that just may be the saving grace keeping Extinction from being the tired Zombies clone it’s already teetering towards).
Burial At Sea: Episode One Dated For November
Mark the date, friends. Bioshock Infinite's first story DLC, Burial At Sea, will be made downloadable on November 12th.
I hope it’s not too spoilerish to reveal that the Infinite in Bioshock Infinite refers to a myriad of parallel dimensions; each with an uncanny resemblance to one another, but each uniquely their own. I think it’s safe to assume Burial At Sea is set in one such alternate world, one that brings you back to the underwater utopia of Rapture on the night it became a dystopia.
Before the fall of Rapture, you’ll once again play as Booker DeWitt, tasked by the noir-y Elizabeth above to find a missing girl within the city. After its fall, the script is flipped and you’ll play as Elizabeth for the first time in Episode Two, still in the works.
Both episodes are $14.99 each or, for you Season Pass holders, an in-game button click away.
The notes convinced me to pre-order.
The Order: 1886 - First Screens and Story Details
This game has become my most anticipated next-gen title practically overnight. Game Informer’s feature in their November issue made sure of that.
Revealed at E3, Ready At Dawn’s trailer for their third-person shooter debuted devoid of info. Only two things permeated in the public’s mind: “It looks like Victorian Gears of War" and "Those can’t really be in-game graphics.”
Well, they are in-game graphics; brought to you by the stunning horsepower beneath the PS4’s hood. And, yeah, “Victorian Gears of War" is a tough comparison to shake, but The Order's concept is wickedly cool and fresh on its own merits. While the game's history closely mirrors our own, the key division revolves around the genetic split between us, humanity, and the “half-breeds,” a new sub-species of human beings that have taken on more animal-like traits.
Though we share the same gene family, the difference is enough to put both factions at bloody odds for centuries. Jump to The Order, or more famously, the fabled Knights of the Round Table. Instead of crusading for the Holy Grail, however, the Knights of this alternate history seek to protect humanity from the half-breeds.
Part of their calling requires these holy agents to imbibe a rare substance; “black water.” Drinking black water is just south of gaining immortality, allowing knights to serve for years beyond an average human’s lifespan. The result is highly tested guardians shaped and hardened by centuries of experience. Your character, Grayson, is one such veteran — the third man in history to bear the moniker Sir Galahad.
Galahad and his team’s fight is aided by a pivotal point in human achievement: the industrial revolution. But with the war against half-breeds nearly won yet still in play, technology blossoms in volatile ways, meaning this version of 1886 sees you equipped with gatling guns, thermite tossing launchers, and electric arc guns that can cut an enemy down before they’re afforded a chance to blink.
RaD’s imaginative, gritty, and strangely captivating mix of real world history and grim fantasy are the right ingredients for a head-turning, new IP. An in-house engine capable of astonishing feats of real-time physics — like bending metal and wood that splinters and cracks before breaking — also make for some strong arguments in favor of next-gen tech. I can’t wait to see more. Really, though. I can’t wait. It verges on painful.
The Order is scheduled to hit in 2014, exclusively for the PlayStation 4.
Win a zombie survival kit from our friends at Glitch Gear
The wonderful and creative folks at Glitch Gaming have partnered with us to make your Halloween a little more zombie filled with this deliciously zombie-tastic prize package. Which if you’re looking for a quick Halloween costume will work just dandy along with helping you look fashionable while running from the undead.
Here’s how to win: Reblog this post and a winner will be chosen this Friday Oct 25th. Open to US Residents only. Make sure to have your ask/email options open so we can contact you.
Glitch Gaming Apparel Needs Your Help
Hi, guys, my name’s Kevin. I spend my spare time plaguing the internet with my gaming blog The Red Herb. It’s okay if you haven’t heard of it; I made it and I’m barely familiar with it. The rest of the time, though, I work for an incredibly unique company called Glitch Gaming Apparel. When it was founded six years ago, the philosophy behind Glitch was to create a branding specially tailored for gamers; a name that people would immediately associate with awesome gaming wear.
Glitch began with just four original t-shirts and my boss’s garage. Today, Glitch does officially licensed merchandise for franchises like Assassin’s Creed, Borderlands, Portal, and Bioshock. If you’ve been to a major convention in the past few years — be it SDCC, NYCC, either PAX, AnimeExpo, etc. — you might’ve seen the Glitch booth. You might even already own one of our shirts! Despite partnerships with juggernauts like Valve and 2K Games, and despite a nationwide presence, Glitch is still a relatively small company, kept aloft by a skeleton crew of workers (myself included) that have to wear many hats to fulfill the day-to-day.
Here’s where you can help us dramatically.
Chase, in partnership with Google, is awarding just 12 small businesses a $250k grant. This grant would be an astronomical boost to Glitch, allowing us to expand and strengthen our business. We’d finally be able to pull our website out of the dinosaur age with a redesign, dormant projects would instantly be funded (extending our available product line), and, most importantly, we’d be able to create jobs, opening our doors up to dedicated, creative, and game-crazy individuals that want to help Glitch grow into the gamer’s brand it was envisioned to be.
The whole process above takes no more than thirty seconds. If you can find the time, your support would be monumentally appreciated. We’re already working on several ways we can give back to you guys out in the web-space, so be sure to keep an eye on The Herb and our friends Galaxy Next Door in the very near future.
ALL NEW IQB! “House of S.T.A.A.A.A.R.R.R.R.R.S.S.S.S.” - Based off of House of Secrets #92 by Bernie Wrightson. Artwork and concept by your pal Rusty Shackles.
Please check out all of the existing IQB’s via the archive, ALL of the IQBs shown are available as prints here. Please tell your friends about this project, the more the merrier! Back Issue in 2 weeks! Thanks for playing, true believers!