As it´s Halloween today, I thought that it would be a good idea to list some of the most scary horror games that I have played so far. Well, done and said. I´ve nailed down ten horror titles which I think that you guys (and girls) should play during Halloween (and the November semester). And before I kick off my list, I just want to point out that the list is not based on review grades or such. Nope, my list is based solely on how scary the games in question are (with number 1 being the least scary out of the 10 titles, and number 10 would be the scariest game on the list, in my opinion). So with that said, let´s get started shall we?
Even though Computer Artworks third-person shooter/psychological horror game “The Thing” is over 13 years old, the game still offers quite a lot of horror and jump scare moments. And if you´re familiar with John Carpenter’s 1982 movie “The Thing”), then I´ll have you know that you will face the very same horrors and monsters in the video game version. And not only that, there are quite a few unpleasant surprises to be found in the game as well (which does not exist in the movie version). I´m not going to spoil anything for you though, but I can tell you this much. Trust no one, and keep your eyes and ears open at all times (paranoia and your guns are your best friends in “The Thing”). A side note, when I played through “The Thing” the first time (It was a couple of years ago) Sweden had one of its worst winters ever. So for me the game got even scarier, as I lived in a very similar environment to the one that takes place in “The Thing”.
Ah yes, one should never forget about Terminal Reality´s good Ol´third-person action/horror game “Nocturne” (the game is set in the late 1920s and early 1930s). I mean, sure, the game was released back in 1999. However, thanks to the fan community (which has released new patches, fixes and mods for the game) “Nocturne” still feels really fresh to this day. Not only that, “Nocturne” is a huge tribute to every classic horror movie (and monster) there is. And I´m talking about everything from zombies, werewolf’s, vampires, demons to undead Frankenstein-like Chicago mobsters. Nevertheless, the big star of “Nocturne” is with no doubt the main protagonist “the stranger” (his very few worded, and he wears sunglasses and a trench coat at all times). As the stranger is just as charming as his stone cold, he simply doesn´t care all that much about anything, unless it involves killing monsters. And yes, trust me on this. There WILL be a lot of monster killing and horrors in “Nocturne”.
Not only is Irrational Games FPS/cyberpunk/RPG/sci-fi game “System Shock 2” one of THE best games ever created, because SS2 also happens to be one of the scariest games that I have ever played. In fact, very few games have scared me as much as SS2 has (and that goes for my two younger brothers as well). And please allow me to tell you why, first of all. SS2 was never really marketed as a “scary” game, so I (and many others) thought that SS2 would offer a very similar gameplay experience to the original game (but with better graphics, sound effects, music and so on of course). Well, I was dead wrong. As Doug Church and Ken Levine´s SS2 was like a combination of “Resident Evil” (the jump scare moments), “Aliens” (the creepy feeling of being alone in a hostile space environment), and “The Thing” (all the crazy and creepy biological monsters).
And you always have this feeling that you´re being constantly watched (observed) as well (which you are, but I can´t tell you more about that. As I would spoil it for those who haven´t yet played “System Shock 2”). Let me put it this way, the horrors (and your worst nightmares) of System Shock 2 will hunt you throughout the whole game. And I´m talking about everything from hybrid monsters, mutant monkeys with super powers, robot servants (who work as suicide bombers when they’re not serving drinks) and zombie-like creatures who like to sneak up from behind and scream scary warcrys in your ear when you least expect it.
Nowadays, I tend to stay away from games that have “Aliens” in the title. As many of the new Aliens games have turned out to be anything but good (Aliens vs. Predator 2010, Aliens: Colonial Marines 2013 to name a few). However, Monolith Productions did a great job with their FPS/Sci-fi horror game “Aliens versus Predator 2”. In the matter of fact, AVP2 is still my number 1 favorite Aliens FPS game (Rebellion´s Aliens versus Predator 1 from 1999 is a really awesome game as well). As AVP2 offers many different kinds of horrors and fears. I mean, you got intense action and jump scare moments, but you also got those moments when fear builds up slowly over time simply because you know that both the predators, and the aliens are out to get you (if you play the marine campaign that is). And in case you wonder what my biggest fear was while playing AVP2, then it was the fear of having my face raped by a facehugger.
One could of course argue and discuss for hours over which Silent Hill game that is the scariest title to date. Well, I find Silent Hill 3 to be the scariest SH title. As the game is a mix of the horrors from the previous two games (which in my opinion beats most of the SH titles after SH3), there is also a hellish and Twin Peaks-like touch to the game as well. So you have both the psychological horror aspect of the game (the fear of the unknown), and the scary and twisted monsters whom Heather (she´s the main character in SH3) will have to face in the game. Not to mention all the creepy writings (letters, books and cryptic messages on walls and such) and people who you bump into in the crazy (and scary) world of “Silent Hill 3”. And you will have to see, hear and experience everything through the eyes of Heather (a teenage girl who tries to find out why the cult of Silent hill is after her). So, are you ready to face your inner fears tonight?
Don´t get me wrong now, F.E.A.R. 2 and 3 are rather scary as well. However, Monolith´s F.E.A.R. (First Encounter Assault Recon) 1 is still the scariest title, in my opinion. As it presented a pretty brand new kind of FPS fear for its players (hardcore action + John Woo bullet time + The ring) when the game launched (and that fear got worn out more and more for each new F.E.A.R. title that hit the market). Anyhow, in the original F.E.A.R. game (which got released back in 2005) you had no idea what you were up against. Sure, you had a clue in the title name of the game (plus the creepy boxs cover). Still, one could never guess what kind of horrors and nightmares that would await you in F.E.A.R.. And I´m talking about supernatural phenomenons, very creepy environments and situations, super soldiers, monsters and…Alma (she´s a demonic and ghost-like child with supernatural powers). So, yeah. F.E.A.R. 1 made me jump out of my chair more than one time when I played through the game as a noob. So if you haven´t played any of the F.E.A.R. titles before, then start with the original game first.
I think it´s safe to say that ID Software´s Doom series has been just as much about action as it´s been about fear (for most part at least). Even so, I have to say that “Doom 3” tops all the previous Doom titles when it comes to fear and horrors. Because I think, ID found a really good formula for nightmares and horrors when they created Doom 3 (equal parts hell, mechanic monsters, sci-fi, fear of the dark and zombie terror). As “Doom 3” has everything from screaming demonic imps (who just love to jump out of nowhere to scare the living shit out of you), Zombies with chainsaws, demon spiders to skeleton-like demons with shoulder-mounted missile launchers (Revenant´s) .
And much of the game takes place in a very dark and scary claustrophobic, haunted and diabolic-like space environment. So as you might imagine, I hyperventilated quite a lot while playing the game the first time. In fact, I even had to take breaks from the game as it was too scary at times (that´s a really good sign of horror quality for sure). So are you bad ass enough to take on the role as the anonymous space marine corporal (Doomguy) in Doom 3? (don´t forget to install the Perfected Doom mod before you do that though).
No matter if you play Resident Evil Remake to the Gamecube (or Wii), or the HD Remestered version of Resident Evil 1 (Windows, PS3, PS4, 360 and Xbox One). You will still get the ultimate survival horror experience (at least, least in my opinion) to date. And that comes from someone who has played pretty much all the RE games there is. As the remake (and HD Remestered version) edition of RE isn´t just a “facelift” kind of remake. No, because even experienced RE players will get quite a lot of pleasant (and unpleasant) surprises as well. Just take the crimsonheads for example (which basically are super strong, fast and blood-thirsty zombies), I “almost” broke my damn bed when I face my very first crimsonhead in RE Remake (in my case, I couldn´t even hear that bastard coming before it was too late).
In short, RE Remake and RE HD Remestered contains everything that was epic in the original game, plus new features, better graphics, and enhanced horrors (in terms of better visuals and sound effects). Nevertheless, I would not recommend anyone who has heart (or nerve) problems to play any of these games. As it would be a rather stupid idea, based on all the jump scare moments that the games have to offers. So, if you don´t fear the dark, and have any health related problems. Knock yourself out!
When I first heard of Shinji Mikami´s and Tango Gameworks third-person psychological survival horror game “The Evil Within”, I was somewhat skeptical. As I feared that the game would just consist of things that I (we) have already seen, heard and experienced a thousand times before. Well, I was both right and wrong. As “The Evil Within” indeed has quite a few familiar horrors and scare effects. However, “The Evil Within” executed those horrors and fears so well (and in its own unique way). That you got really scared as hell. Personally, I felt a lot of “Saw”, “The Ring” and “Resident Evil” vibes while playing the game. A fair warning though, “The Evil Within” is a really brutal and gory game. So it´s not a game for the faint-hearted (or weak-minded).
Least, but not last we got Red Barrels survival horror FPS game “Outlast”, which just happens to be my (our) number one pick for our “the scariest game of Halloween 2015” list. So what is it then that makes “Outlast” beat all the other horror titles which I have listed? Well, for starter. You got Samuel Laflamme´s super scary soundtrack, the creepy psychiatric hospital (which the game takes place in). The “Sanitarium goes FPS” vibes (“Sanitarium” is a really good point-and-click adventure game), and that very up close and personal kind of horror experience (there are literally tons of jump scare moments to be found in “Outlast”). And that´s just the half of it, as you (in this case, the investigative reporter Miles Upshur. Which is the main protagonist of “Outlast) also feel very alone, hunted and exposed for most past of the game. Not only that, there are no traditional weapons to be found in “Outlast” either. So you have to relay on your crawling, running, hiding and sliding skills in order to survive (and your brains of course).
And staying alive is of course easier said than done, as death lurks around every corner in “Outlast”. It´s totally worthy though, if you want to get your horror kicks well served that is. So there you have it, this was our complete list over the scariest horror games to play during this years Halloween and November semester.
As you might imagine, there were quite a few games that didn´t make it into our top 10. However, we did pick out some bonus horror titles. And since there are quite a lot of “Five Nights at Freddy” fans out there, I think you´re going to like our picks. And to make things even better, all of these games are all free-to-play titles as well.
Any ways, as I was saying. The nice folks at Gameshed have an online F2P Remake edition of “Five Nights at Freddy” available on their website. In the matter of fact, Gameshed actually has a handful of other FNaF games as well (the original FnAF 1 and 2 game, plus the online remakes of FnAF 1-3). So if you´re into FnAF (and horror games in general), then check out Gameshed´s online games (you won´t be disappointed!).
Oh, sorry! I almost forgot, I actually got a little Halloween surprise for you guys and girls as well. You see, back in 2012 O.J (my brother) recorded a video for “Slender” (the old FPS/adventure horror game). Anyhow, you will find the video down below. Please enjoy, and happy Halloween everyone =)
Robin “V-Act” Ek
The Gaming Ground
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