Two trailers hit recently for new titles which fully plant their flag in the rotting-offal-soaked ground of something akin to Hell.
I'm going to talk less about Scorn, as it'll probably get its own post soonish, but it tangentially serves to illustrate the point I'm going to make. Agony (confusingly, not the 1992 Psygnosis title) is more relevant as it mines Christian mythology quite unashamedly. It even states off-the-bat that players start their journey as lost souls in Hell, so no metaphors here then.
These games served to reinforce the decline and indeed reversal of the Satanic Panic witnessed in the 80s. In Britain and the US the press got hold of the idea that innumerable children were disappearing or being abused for use in satanic rituals by cults hidden within suburban society. While the finger of blame possibly should probably be pointed at the media's need for apoplectic column inches, churches on both sides of the Atlantic had varying involvement. Let's also not forget that TSR was busy taking references out of its books to evil spirits from Christian lore as pamphlets on the evils of role playing were being printed by church groups. But this pressure from Christian groups and the vilification of anything remotely inverted by the press seems to have receded to the point where games like Agony can be marketed quite freely.
There are, of course, many reasons for this - the rise of secularism, a fear of religious extremism, tolerance as a result of society becoming more multi-faith to name but a few. Nor is Agony even a notable benchmark because it's been preceded by many video games, comics, RPGs and so forth since the 90s. What is interesting is risk appetite on the part of creators and publishers. The climate was so hostile up until the 90s that any project touching on Christian faith was just too risky. Now this seems to be in reversal, but it's still not the polar opposite (due to the spending power of the Christian segment of the market in America). Agony is being made by the Polish studio MadMind but it's interesting to wonder how long it will be before a really big US publisher starts to consider Christian death/apocalyptic mythology 'fair game' for new products. It might even go the way of comic book movies, and perhaps we'll see a whole series of subversive gore-fests set in purgatory with spin-offs, TV shows and so forth?