It’s official: Konami has cancelled the upcoming game Silent Hills. The title was a big deal for survival horror fans, and not only because it would revive a once-great horror franchise. Silent Hills was going to be helmed by Pacific Rim’s Guillermo del Toro and Metal Gear Solid’s Hideo Kojima. The star of the game was The Walking Dead’s Norman Reedus, who would have lent his likeness and voice to the game. Now it’s not happening, and that’s an enormous letdown.
One reason gamers got so excited about the prospect of Silent Hills is because the game was heralded by the release of P.T., a playable teaser that itself pushed the horror genre into exciting new territory. Upon the cancelation of Silent Hills, Konami even pulled P.T. from the PlayStation 4’s online store. If you needed confirmation, there it is — there is no hope left for Silent Hills.
The game’s demise is a major blow for fans of the series, leaving many to wonder what they could possibly play to scratch that same weird, terrifying itch. Never fear, because we’ve unearthed five survival horror games that deliver a similar kind of creepy thrill.
1. Silent Hill: Shattered Memories
If you’re new to the series, you’ll want to check out Silent Hill 2, because that game is hands-down the best in the series. But let’s assume you’ve already played that, and you’re looking for more official Silent Hill goodness that not many people have played. Even many fans of the series slept on Silent Hill: Shattered Memories, a 2009 Wii game that was later ported to PS2 and PSP.
Shattered Memories reimagines the story of series’ first installment, but with many, many changes. You play as Harry Mason, a man who’s trying to find his daughter in Silent Hill, a foggy town full of terrible things. What you encounter is quite different from what you’ll remember if you played the first game. The narrative is different, the people you meet are different, and the way the story is told is all new. In other words, Shattered Memories offers a truly fresh take on a classic. Since you can’t have a new current-gen Silent Hill, this is the next best thing.
2. Dead Space
What environment could be less inviting than outer space? That dark expanse of frigid, gravity-free emptiness goes on forever in all directions. The only thing worse than being trapped in space on an abandoned ship is being trapped in space on an abandoned ship that’s home to horrific creatures that want to tear you limb from limb.
The Dead Space series is dark as they come, and it’s full of horrific creatures and psychological terrors just waiting to sneak up on you. Any of the three excellent games in this series will do, but make sure you play with the lights off to get the full effect.
3. Resident Evil HD Remaster
The lineage of this particular release is a bit of a mind-bender. It’s a 2015 remaster of a 2002 remake of a 1996 PlayStation One game. The thing is, that PS One game basically launched the entire survival horror genre, which means many tropes of the genre made their first appearance here. And in case you fear the game might have lost its appeal after 20 years, don’t worry — it’s still as spooky and brilliant as it ever was.
Like the original, this great-looking remaster has you explore a mansion full of tough-to-kill zombies and undead dogs, eating herbs to regain health and using a typewriter to save your game. As a nod to modern gamers, it even includes a simplified control scheme for anyone who doesn’t want to use the original “tank controls.”
4. Fatal Frame II: Crimson Butterfly
One of the great things about Japanese horror games and movies is that they’re not afraid to make no sense. The story of Fatal Frame II kicks off when two girls are reminiscing in a Japanese forest. One sees a butterfly fluttering through the air and begins following it without a word. The other girl struggles to keep up, and something happens that changes the day to night and puts them on the edge of a mysterious village in the forest.
From there, the sisters are beset by a series of spirits and ghosts, and their only weapon is an enchanted camera that lets them exorcise the phantoms. There’s a lot going on here, and piecing together the strands of plot turns out to be a lot of fun. If you’re in the mood for something similar to Silent Hill, this is a great place to start.
5. Metro 2033
It might not look like a survival horror game at first glance, but when you delve into the tunnel system that’s home to the survivors of a nuclear apocalypse, you’ll quickly see that horrors of many kinds await.
Not only is humanity in a downtrodden state in the metro tunnels, but when you poke your head aboveground, you find yourself at the mercy of the Dark Ones, demon-like creatures that want nothing more than to feast on your blood. Making matters worse, ammunition is scarce in this world, and you can use your bullets as currency — but only if you want to make your next encounter with the Dark Ones even more tense.