Our scary tips to celebrate the most loved anniversary of gaming horror lovers. And there is no shortage of surprises …
Why do we like to be scared? Perhaps voluntary exposure to the darkest recesses of life has to do with it, in a controlled environment from which we can escape in an instant at the first sign of suffering. Or maybe it’s that darkness that resides within each of us, that craves the macabre and the depraved. We keep him locked up for 360 days a year, but as soon as the carved pumpkins pop up and we see the zombies, mummies and black cats crossing the street, we can no longer silence our inner beast. Whatever the explanation for your personal desire for fear and violence, these are the 10 scary video games you should play Halloween. E if you prefer the video, here you are served.
10. SOMA (PC, PS4, Xbox One) —
Frictional Games mastered jump scare in Amnesia: The Dark Descent, so for its next franchise it tried to scare you in a totally different way: with philosophy. Soma is, broadly speaking, still a survival horror like Amnesia, but it doesn’t have a haunted house where the scares come from blowing out a bag of polygons from all angles every few minutes. It’s existential horror in a literal sense, the nerve-wracking kind that stays with you long after you leave the underwater research station, and its weeping, pleading robots.
9. Amnesia: A Machine For Pigs (PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One) —
Did someone say Amnesia? A Machine For Pigs is the classic horror title, distilled through the minds of The Chinese Room, the English indie studio behind the seminal “walking simulator” Dear Esther. As such, it discovers dark and fictional nightmare concepts in unusual places. It’s that eccentricity, that nightmare logic, what gets under your skin. And also the pigs.
8. Phasmaphobia (PC) —
Phasmophobia is clearly a procedural detective disguised as a ghost hunt, but it is also a simulator of “kids near a scary house” quite convincing. You may be adults and vaccinated, but once you are all inside an empty suburban house in the middle of the night, you will tend to regress to elementary school children.
7. Oxenfree (PC, PS4, Xbox One, Switch) —
Oxenfree is a very rare game: supernatural that doesn’t scare you. Conversely, during an evening spent with some teenagers exploring an island near their hometown, you will have time to reflect on metaphysical themes and strengthen broken family ties. It might give you the creeps – okay, it will certainly give you the creeps at times – but the beauty of Oxenfree is represented in equal parts by both the mystery and its cast.
6. Layers of Fear (PC, PS4, Xbox One) —
A tip for listening artists: stop working on your masterpiece if you have just had some mental problem. Or, at least, don’t do it in a remote Victorian mansion and, for God’s sake, absolutely forget it if you start to suspect that the mansion is sentient and torturing you with visions of the past. Ok? Promise it.
5. Clive Barker’s Undying (PC) —
This is for video game historians: a forgotten classic from 2001. The studio behind Clive Barker’s Undying was Dreamworks Interactive, part of the manufacturing empire of Mr. Steven Spielberg, which involved Hellraiser creator Clive Barker for a new horror title in his project for an “interactive Hollywood”. Undying hides many innovations, like a spell that reveals the real and grotesque aspect of the environments surrounding the hero Patrick Galloway. Set in rural Ireland in the 1920s, and blending FPS combat with puzzles and magical abilities, the game struggled to emerge in a world filled with clones of Quake and Unreal in its day, but earned cult status in the decades that followed.
4. Dark Pictures Anthology (PC, PS4, Xbox One) —
With the release of House of Ashes, the Dark Pictures Anthology now has three episodes, with each telling a story of its own with lots of dark twists and dark discoveries. The emphasis is on the characters and the actors who play them, and indeed some big names in cinema have been involved so far. You could go minutes without having to press a single button, but the narration of Man of Medan, Little Hope and House of Ashes is so good that it will convince you to treat them as if they were interactive TV series.
3. System Shock 2 (PC, Dreamcast) —
Here you are again, dear videogame historians: now it’s System Shock 2’s turn! The USS Von Braun: A ghost ship, wandering through space, where you will awaken from a cryogenic sleep. It doesn’t take too long to understand that something has gone wrong here: the messages written in blood and the hanging bodies make it abundantly clear that the mission started in response to a request for help on Tau Ceti V went far from well. Rebel AI, free approaches, expert storytelling and unforgettable atmospheres are just some of the elements that make System Shock 2 the masterpiece of immersive sims.
2. Heavy Rain (PC, PS3, PS4) —
The scariest video games, however, are those that have their roots in reality. An interactive drama based on serial killer, Heavy Rain knows it well, and finds moments that are sometimes disturbing, now moving without resorting to the supernatural and deus ex machina. Despite the shaky voice acting and divisive approach to gameplay, it does press a few buttons but also does make so many choices to the player, this tale in which to hunt down the killer and save his victims will remain in your memory for a long time.
1. Alien Isolation (PC, PS4, Xbox One, Switch) —
In Alien Isolation, you will find yourself on a spaceship that appears to have been assembled with analog components from the 70s and, after just a few steps, you will immediately understand that there will be a xenomorph on board with you. The primal and simple setting will do the rest of the work, terrifying you to death. Fascinating and realistic, Isolation contains some storytelling moments and precious little dialogue, and will have you crawling under a table more than you did in your “Ghost” run in Dishonored. Ask whoever you want, they will all agree: Alien Isolation is the ultimate expression of horror in video games.
Written by Phil Iwaniuk for GLHF
© REPRODUCTION RESERVED
We would like to say thanks to the writer of this write-up for this awesome web content
Ten horror video games to play on Halloween – eSports & Gaming