Halloween is upon us again, the only time when donning a costume before proceeding to knock on a complete strangers door in order to beg for candy is acceptable (age permitting of course), for horror fanatics such as myself it’s all about two things, filling up a bowl full of popcorn and watching classic slasher movies like Halloween, Friday The 13th or Nightmare On Elm Street, it’s also a great time to break out the scariest games available before spending the evening torturing myself over and over with cheap deaths and terrifying moments.
This year has been a great year for Horror gaming with Bloodborne, Until Dawn, Dying Light and SOMA leading the way. Although some of the previous titles appear in the list below this does in no way mean they aren’t terrifying in their own right, each are amazing games and I would recommend them to anyone looking for a good scare.
Ahead lies ten terrifying titles to play this October the 31st whether you own a PlayStation, Xbox or PC the list is catered to all major platforms.
Bloodborne – PlayStation 4 (2015)
With so many amazing games released this year (with more to come) it was one PlayStation Exclusive that stood above the rest of the genre, Japanese developer, FromSoftware’s, Bloodborne. Directed by Hidetaka Miyazaki, Bloodborne takes players through the fictional Gothic city of Yharnam, where the inhabitants have been afflicted with an abnormal disease called Blood-Borne. Players take on the role of a Hunter who awakens in the city and for reasons unknown must locate the “Paleblood”
Partly inspired by H.P Lovecraft, Bloodborne is a great alternative to Miyazaki’s previous games such as Dark Souls. As the mysterious Hunter, players must hunt and takedown many of the games terrifying beasts including Mergo’s Wet Nurse and Rom, The Vacuous Spider with an array of different weapons ranging from firearms to swords. Bloodborne combines some great fast paced and energetic boss battles with some disturbing moments.
Although the games difficulty might put some off, Bloodborne is an amazing game and with Yharnam, a beautifully sculpted dark city to explore this Halloween.
Outlast – PC, Xbox One, PlayStation 4 (2013)
Originally released for the PC back in 2013 by developers, Red Barrels, Outlast has all the right ingredients to make your stomach lose all control this Halloween. Players take on the role of the rather unfortunate Journalist Miles Upshur who visits Mount Massive Asylum after receiving a tip from a former employee, what Miles discovers inside the Asylum is truly terrifying, the epitome of madness. Armed with only a handheld camera, Miles must delve deeper into the unknown to escape the carnage and most importantly, the insane inmates that want to use his intestines as a skipping rope.
Now ported to the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, console gamers can experience the insanity first hand, and if Outlast isn’t enough, the game has it’s very own DLC in the form of The Whistleblower.
Yesterday it was confirmed that Outlast 2 will launch in the fall of 2016.
Alien Isolation – Xbox One, Xbox 360, PS4, PS3, PC (2014)
Alien Isolation succeeds where Colonial Marines failed so miserably in so many ways, it not only tells a great enthralling story while at the same time scaring the shit out of gamers, is there anything more truly terrifying then walking around a tight winding corridor in outer space, hearing the tracking device in your hand beep over and over, getting faster all the while, before the Alien drops out of a vent and dispatches of your corpse with unerring power?. Creative Assembly not only created a terrifying take on the series, they finally rid us of the 2013 monstrosity that Gearbox Software conjured up with Marines. Players take on the role of Amanda Ripley, daughter of Lieutenant Ellen Ripley of the Nostromo, while searching for her long lost mother, Amanda ends up in the path of the creature that terrified her mother for so many years.
The great thing about the Alien in Isolation is it’s uncanny ability to drop out in front of you at any time, one wrong move, one sudden sound and you’ll find yourself face to face with the acid dripping jaws of death. “They mostly come at night” fuck off Newt! this thing comes if you break wind in the wrong place, so get used to hiding in lockers like a bitch, because it’ll become a home from home in Alien Isolation, just remember to hold your breath….
Five Nights At Freddy’s Collection – PC (2014-)
I’ll now move onto the game that spawned countless ‘Lets Play’ videos – Five Nights At Freddy’s, If you’re a fan of cuddly toys and cheap jumpscares then Five Nights At Freddy’s will be right up your street. Now, to be honest I could have picked any of the current crop of FNAF games but I’m opting for the original title for this particular list.
Created by Scott Cawthon, Five Nights is set in a fictional restaurant called ‘Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza’, players are tasked with surviving five nights as a security guard in the restaurant from hell!, trust me…even Gordon Ramsey himself couldn’t save this god forsaken tomb of a restaurant.
Most Security work doesn’t entail dodging an array of cute looking mechanical toys, who want nothing more then to stuff players into a dreaded suit while loosening your bowels in the process. To make matters worse, the owners can’t afford to pay for the power of the building, so use of cameras and electronic doors must be done with sparingly. When it comes to utterly frightening moments, try sitting in the dark at 5AM with no power, praying for the clock to change and the night to be over, only to be scared shitless by Foxy, who unnoticed, has left his stage and jump out on me thus ending my night and stripping away another layer of my sanity.
Siren: Blood Curse – PlayStation 3 (2008)
Japanese video game developers have been scaring us senseless for decades now, they understand the genre well, with a host of titles to experience including the excellent Resident Evil series, Silent Hill series and Fatal Frame, you need look no further though then the Siren series, more specifically Blood Curse this October 31st. Siren: Blood Curse is the third instalment in the series, which was released for the Playstation 3 back in 2008. Blood Curse was praised for its excellent atmospheric settings and visuals. Blood Curse follows a group of connected people as they try to survive a cursed town in Japan.
Blood Curse does offer plenty of shit scary moments and is a perfectly paced Survival Horror game. All main characters are playable, which only heightens the drama, the ability to take on the role of a powerful character who can wield weapons one moment before controlling a small helpless child the next, really helps to set Blood Curse apart from other games in the genre. The game has a heavy emphasis on sneaking with a stealth like approach to it not to mention an amazing and unique ability to search levels for enemies before being able to see through their eyes.
Overall Blood Curse received a great response after it’s official release back in 2008 and if you own a Playstation 3, this may very well be the game for you this Halloween.
Penumbra: Black Plague – PC (2008)
This is Frictional Games first entry in the list and the follow up to the 2007 title Penumbra: Overture, which was the Swedish developers debut in the games industry. As far as sequels go, Black Plague was highly praised for having a successful and horrific atmosphere with a very well designed and brilliantly executed plotline, one of the greatest things about Black Plague is how well the script is written, with the games protagonist Philip leaving the abandoned mines of Overture to venture into exploring an underground research facility.
Although there is only a small variety of enemies in Black Plague, the ones that do exists will give most people nightmares. The game has a presence about it that is truly unerring, with dark and grisly visuals and a soundtrack to die for, literally!. Black Plague, unlike it’s predecessor does not have a combat system, which wasn’t the greatest in Overture, it does however have the ability to drive you out of your mind with fright. If you love Horror games then you owe it to yourself to give this game a try, you won’t regret it.
Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth – Xbox/PC (2005)
Based off of a novel by Gothic writer H.P Lovecraft, Call Of Cthulhu: Dark Corners Of The Earth is a fantastic Survival Horror published by Bethesda and released onto the Xbox and PC back in 2005. Although the PC version was slightly glitchy with bugs a plenty, the experience is a terrifying one. Dark Corners Of The Earth combines a lot of elements so well with it’s beautifully haunting soundtrack, spooky atmosphere and dark and disturbing storyline. Developers, Headfirst Productions stayed true to the novel of Lovecraft and fans of Amnesia and Penumbra will definitely get a kick out of this game.
Like Amnesia: The Dark Descent, Dark Corners Of The Earth has a sanity system, which while confusing at first, does effectively emulate the feeling and effects of insanity, the feeling it can leave a player with is quite enthralling. Very few games out there offer such a frightening atmosphere filled with suspense, although the graphics might be a but dated Dark Corners Of The Earth packs one hell of a punch and has it’s fair share of unsettling and terrifying moments.
P.T Silent Hills – Playstation 4 (2014)
Granted this is a Playstation 4 only release and only available for anyone who still has the short demo on their Playstation or had previous downloaded it from the PS Store, if so…congratulations you lucky bastards, however if you know someone or happen to know someone who knows someone that maybe still has it then the Silent Hills P.T would be a great place to start a night of terror this Halloween. The short but utterly terrifying playable teaser was supposed to get us all in the mood for an upcoming Silent Hill game – and it did, sadly it has now become somewhat of a tragic story in itself after being cancelled.
The Silent Hill franchise has been around since 1999 when Japanese Developers, KONAMI looked to follow on from CAPCOM’s huge success with zombie classic Resident Evil. Sixteen years have passed since Harry Mason first navigated the haunted streets and buildings of Silent Hill looking for his lost daughter, Cheryl, the series has been a huge success and seen some amazingly terrifying moments in video games history. P.T was launched as a demo by KONAMI back in August of 2014, the demo proved to be an instant success while scaring people out of their minds as they investigate a looping labyrinths of corridors in what seemingly is the same apartment, while the supernatural looks to terrify with every turn.
Sadly Hideo Kojima’s relationship with developers KONAMI became frayed, leading to the Silent Hills game begin ultimately cancelled, the demo was also swiftly removed from the store, much to the dismay of the gaming community. Silent Hills would have seen a coming together of Kojima’s brilliance and design and Guillermo Del Toro’s unique story telling vision and would have surely elevated the series to new heights, only time will tell if the franchise is ever picked up again although the whole affair has left a rather bittersweet taste in a lot of peoples mouths.
System Shock 2 – PC (1999)
One game guaranteed to have you jumping out of your skin on numerous occasions this Halloween is Irrational Games, System Shock 2. The game which was released in 1999 takes place aboard a starship in a cyberpunk depiction of 2114. Players take on the role of a soldier who is trying to stem the outbreak of a genetic infection that has seriously damaged the ship. Much like the original game, System Shock, the gameplay throughout System Shock 2 consists mainly of combat and exploration but it also incorporates role-playing system elements, where players can develop their skills and traits, such as hacking abilities.
At times System Shock 2 can feel truly terrifying and rather unsettling, which makes it a perfect game to play this Halloween, the game is often considered to be the inspiration behind Bioshock with it’s mechanics. The games audio is brilliantly made with moments that will leave the hair on the back of your neck standing up, I remember playing this game in my late teens and it constantly left me shitting my pants and that is what Horror games should be like, they are meant to take your biggest fears and illuminate them, making them a reality, if albeit only for a few hours.
Amnesia: The Dark Descent – PC (2010)
When it comes to surviving horrific and psychologically scarring games, Frictional Games are the right developers to turn to on Halloween, its quite simple – they just get Horror, they always have. The developers from Sweden know how to build up tension brilliantly, how to set the perfect darkened atmosphere and most importantly, they know the right moments to scare the shit out of us and they deliver each scare with shuddering perfection. With Amnesia they raised the bar for surviving a horror game with one of the best settings the genre has ever seen.
In The Dark Descent, players take on the role of Daniel, a man who has awoken inside a darkened Castle with very little memory of himself or the past, in fact the only thing Daniel knows…is his name. Dark Descent relies heavily on exploration into the depths of the Castle but it also plays out as a journey into Daniel’s past, which he erased himself. While exploring the Lovecraftian styled Castle, Daniel finds himself hunted by very dangerous presence which manifests itself as a form of corruption covering the building in fleshy growths and of course weird monsters. Players will have no form of defence when it comes to these shit scary monsters as they stalk and hunt them throughout the large Castle, the only form of defence for Daniel is to hide and hope the piss trickling down his leg doesn’t alert the vicious monsters waiting outside for him or flee and hope you don’t get lost.
Amnesia: The Dark Descent is the perfect Horror game to play this Halloween because it does so incredibly well at combining all of the elements that make a game of this type work, they know the right place and time to scare the shit out of unfortunate souls and how to set the mood for a game perfectly and that is a true testament to Frictional Games and how well they know human emotions.
Well that’s our 10 terrifying games to play this Halloween, if you think we missed a game out or there is one we didn’t mention that deserves one then leave a comment below.