ByMarcus O'Shea, writer at
Resident RPG nerd and SoulsBorne fanatic. Can be spotted by their floofy hair.
Marcus O'Shea

Setting is one of the most important facets of a good horror game. No matter whether you're in deep space or the turn of the century, if your setting doesn't have the capacity to unsettle the player, you just won't have a scary game.

Many have tried different approaches to create their settings, some try to create an atmosphere so alien to the player that it's frightening, others rely on taking the mundane and twisting it, while some take inspiration from real life. So far though, no developer has let you visit the real scary places of the world, at least until Ghost Theory.

'Ghost Theory' Takes You Into The Most Terrifying Real-Life Haunted Locations In The World

'Ghost Theory' [Credit: Dreadlocks]
'Ghost Theory' [Credit: Dreadlocks]

In , players take on the role of an as-yet unnamed young woman in possession of unique powers of clairvoyance. Due to your abilities, you're recruited into a secret university research team, who aim to investigate and prove the existence of the paranormal.

With the help of your team, you'll be delving into real-life sites of the most terrifying and prolific hauntings on earth from the island of Poveglia to the suicide woods of Aokigahara, even some of the most notorious haunted mansions in America and beyond! Players will get to explore lovingly recreated versions of these real-life paranormal hotspots, put together with the help of local tour-guides, experts and researchers.

Subtle Horrors, Supernatural Investigations

'Ghost Theory' [Credit: Dreadlocks]
'Ghost Theory' [Credit: Dreadlocks]

Ghost Theory isn't another horror game concerned with making you play hide and seek with some invincible monster, nor will players find themselves blasting down mutants and ghosts with supernatural weaponry. The gameplay of Ghost Theory aims for a subtler, more grounded horror.

For the most part, your goal when entering one of the game's many haunted locations is to return with proof, or at least research material, for the rest of your team to study. To do so, you'll be using tons of different real-life ghost hunting tools, including EMF readers that crackle in the presence of energy, blacklights that reveal ectoplasm (at least, we hope that's ectoplasm) and full-spectrum cameras to capture supernatural entities on film.

'Ghost Theory' [Credit: Dreadlocks]
'Ghost Theory' [Credit: Dreadlocks]

Between each mission, you'll return to your home base at the university, where you and the team can go through your findings and research new tools to track and record spirits when you're on-site.

Unlike many games, the ghosts here aren't mindlessly hostile enemies, intent on hunting you down. Like the real-life stories they're based on, these entities are the sorrowful remnants of human spirits, just as likely to hide from you as to chase you down. Of course, since your goal is to get proof of their existence, you might have to goad them out a bit, just don't overdo it.

The Sights And Sounds Of Real Fear

'Ghost Theory' [Credit: Dreadlocks]
'Ghost Theory' [Credit: Dreadlocks]

One aspect of the game that developer Dreadlocks is paying particular attention to is the use of sound. The team believes that great horror is about what you don't see, just as much, if not more, than what you do see. As a result, they're putting their full effort into crafting an immersive and uncanny soundscape to draw the player into the fear of Ghost Theory, before they send them screaming for the hills.

The team aren't resting on their laurels when it comes to the implementation of their ghosts either. Each paranormal entity is going to be a unique model, motion captured in stereoscopic 3D. There's no such thing as a generic enemy in this game, instead, every haunting is different, with its own personality and appearance.

In a horror genre saturated with gonzo gore and mass orgy scenes, it remains to be seen whether Ghost Theory's more grounded, subtle and 'realistic' approach to the supernatural will take off. But frankly, I always love when someone tries something new in the genre, so I'll be looking forward to it.

Ghost Theory is currently set for release in December 2017, check out the trailer below!

Are you interested in exploring real haunting sites? Ever been on a ghost excursion yourself? Let us know in the comments!


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