Halloween is still a month away but horror games are perfect for the cosier vibes of autumn. Here are ten horror video games that will completely immerse you in a supernatural world.
This horror series is quite unlike any other for a number of reasons. It focuses on very different themes; includes locations unlike those in most other horror games and the player isn’t entirely defenceless.
The initial mission objective is to hunt down Paxton Fettel, a former agent of the division that has since gone rogue. As the story unravels it becomes clear that Fettel is involved in the demonic, supernatural world.
As you progress through the game you experience frightening visions that take you completely off-guard. Due to the fact that you play as a special forces operative, you have an array of weapons at your disposal.
A large portion of the game involves combating Fettel’s foot soldiers. During these moments the genre shifts to a first persons shooter. With that being said, the developers play around with genre and use it to keep the player constantly on their toes.
You are almost lured into a false sense of security as you climb down elevator shafts holding a machine gun. In these moments, the developers suddenly remind you that it is a horror game as you turn around to a jump scare in which a ghostly apparition shocks you.
There could be a group of armed mercenaries waiting for you around any corner. There is also a sci-fi aesthetic, as well as demons and soldiers, players have huge robots to contend with. F.E.A.R is just a very unique horror game.
Five Nights at Freddy’s
The indie horror game that found international acclaim is one of the most immersive horror experiences in gaming. Scott Cawthorn’s first person horror franchise is so simple yet so effective.
Cawthorn does not need to have the player walk through various scenarios and unnerving locations, he has the player sat in one place. The fourth game had some movement but again, the action takes place in one building.
Instead, Cawthorn builds tension to the point where the player constantly has this feeling of uncomfortable anticipation. You are stuck in one place, waiting for something to happen.
To further enthrall the user, Cawthorn brings a complex lore and back-story to be discovered. The creepy origin story and open questions to theorise on make it that much more gripping.
The first word that comes to mind when asked to describe Day Z is: atmospheric. You really get the sensation of being dropped in the wilderness with nothing but one goal: survive.
You aren’t given anything in Day Z, you start with nothing and from the very beginning everything is out to get you. There could be a blood-crazed zombie behind any shipping crate or a more experienced player in the next seemingly abandoned house.
You see, the real threat in Day Z is the other players. They can either hinder or help you but most of the time they will hurt you. As you encounter other players you often stare each other down from a distance, waiting to see if they’ll attack you.
Sometimes they share supplies with you or ask to team-up. However, they may pretend to be an ally but end up shooting you in the back and taking your stuff.
Slender: The Arrival
This tense supernatural horror game takes the best elements of it’s predecessor and builds on it. Slender: The Eight Pages was a fairly simplistic and low budget indie game but it proved to be ground breaking.
It’s use of sound and an initially slow build were just a couple of reasons it was so effective. It also conditioned the user to constantly expect The Slenderman to appear which made you even more reluctant to venture into enclosed areas. You were on edge as it was, especially when you were in a corridor of the building in the centre of the forest.
With the sequel, Parsec Productions kept the scares but introduced storytelling, a much bigger map and higher-res graphics. As you trudge through the forest at night and glimpse the menacing silhouette of the Slenderman amongst the trees I guarantee you will be very afraid.
Remedy’s supernatural adventure game borrows heavily from a lot of other products in the genre. Alan Wake is a homage to Twin Peaks and to some extent, the works of Stephen King. It is a plot driven game full of twists and turns that will keep you gripped throughout.
It also has a game mechanic that is involved throughout. In order to kill an enemy you have to weaken them by shining light at them before you shoot. This makes every enemy a problem and they are relentless, you have to take on hoards of these shadowy people.
This game mechanic constantly puts the player in a desperate situation, running out of batteries for your torch is a worst case scenario. Jump into that beautiful and terrifying world, you won’t regret it.
Silent Hill: Homecoming
Although you are not entirely defenceless in this game, you are completely out matched from the very beginning. There are no easy fights. Even the minions that you encounter are formidable, you constantly feel like you are escaping situations by the skin of your teeth.
You are at the mercy of Silent Hill and its freakish residents at all time. Furthermore, Homecoming has all of the eeriness of a Silent Hill game. The location is confusing and unknown but you are desperate to know more.
Bioshock is widely held to be one of the best video game series of all time. It is some of the best writing in gaming but it has a few scares to go with it. The splicers can pop up out of nowhere. You could be adventuring around the environment, listening to audio logs for more backstory, only to turn around and see a maniac in your face.
It can be pretty intimidating even when you can see them, they sprint at you, flailing as they shout insane things. If you haven’t already, grab a copy of Bioshock and get immersed in that cinematic and fascinating world. You may find yourself getting more emotionally invested than you ever have in any media.
The creators of Outlast drop you into a found footage movie, you control an investigative journalist trying to uncover the dark secrets of an asylum. Outlast does not need to conceal it’s enemies and have them jump out at you to be frightening. Instead, they patrol as you sneak around them, if they catch you they will chase you in a genuinely threatening way.
There is also some really uncomfortable scenes and imagery. This game will freak-out even the most hardened horror fan.
Resident Evil 4
The scariest thing about the fourth Resident Evil game is the zombies. They are far more intelligent than that of many other post-apocalyptic games and movies. The AI of the enemies is really well designed. When one of them spots you from afar, it will shout something in a language that you do not understand and point at you, signalling to the others. Before you know it, you are surrounded by a hoard of enemies.
Resident Evil has a way of putting you under pressure for the duration. With that being said there is a lot of fun to be had too. When you start to get the hang of things, there is an array of weapons and hand to hand moves for you to fight evil.
Amnesia: Dark Descent
In my opinion this is one of the greatest horror games of all time. The detail that has gone into building the world makes it impossible not to get absorbed. It does some genius things with sound, music and lighting.
There is a full understanding of primal fears behind Amnesia. The level where that section of the castle is flooded being a prefect example of this. The splashing on the surface getting closer as you struggle to find something to climb onto is genuinely panicking.
Amnesia: Dark Descent has a dream-like quality to it, your disbelief is suspended the whole time. This is accompanied by some horrifying monsters that you are powerless to fight.