Horror games provide a unique, immersive experience that can amplify the Halloween season.
Being only a few days away from Halloween, spooky season is upon us. Scares are in the air, and what better way to spend the scariest time of the year than to reflect on some of my favorite horror games. Horror games vary from being action packed to passive and avoiding any fighting. Each variation of horror games has its own sense of thrills and excitements, along with its own set of jump scares. While the scares within the horror game are excellent, the horror games need to have other key aspects such as being immersive or have excellent game play.
5. Resident Evil 5
Starting off the list of my favorite horror games is Resident Evil 5. While RE5 was midst the transition of the resident evil franchise to a more action-packed, horror filled game, this was my first experience with the series. The game follows Chris Redfield and Sheva Alomar through Kijuju, Africa as they deal with individuals who are affected by a parasite that transforms humans into terrifying creatures. The first time seeing one of the human enemies transform into a centipede like creature forces a sense of fear through you and dealing with the initial encounter of some of the bosses are sure to bring a jump.
Outside of the scares, the ability to play split-screen added an extra excitement to the game. With RE5 being the first in the series to add this capability, I enjoyed the entire game multiple times with friends and family. While the second and third time playing through are not terrifying, seeing friends’ reactions to first time events were always priceless.
4. Left 4 Dead
Being able to take on the horrors of the night is always better when you can do it sitting next to your closest friends, and Left 4 Dead provides a great opportunity for just that. Left 4 Dead allows two friends to control characters and fight the zombie-like infected together in a variety of settings. With an intuitive AI that reacts to how the players work through the game, the AI changes the experience as it learns your habits. Not only does this provide for terrifying experiences but also allows for a high replay value. What better way to spend a spooky October night than to take on the mindless infected with a companion?
Left 4 Dead also provides a wide variety of scary enemies to fight, where running into one can cause imminent death. While broken down into “special” and “boss” infected, running into either group is terrifying. However, when hearing the signature sounds of the bosses, the crying of the witch or explosions caused by the tank, there is a special kind of fear that comes over you. While the witch can be avoided, the rampage of the tank can only be ended killing it or dying. With the AI randomly deciding when to add these infected, you never know when you might be placed in a life or death situation.
Fear is emulated in a variety of forms in games. Some games present fear by making you feel powerless, while others implement jump scares or terrifying creatures. Bloodborne manages to encapsulate all three of these in a relentless fashion. While you are not entirely powerless, you must play this game smart and tactful, not bull headed and aggressive. Not only can bosses obliterate you, but the basic enemies can also hand a beat down with ease. This makes running into just a handful of basic enemies terrifying, let alone the first time you run into a werewolf. The enemies progressively get scarier as you work through the night, and the first time running into a special group of enemies will make you jump from your chair.
Bloodborne provides a multitude of ways to fight as it provides a wide variety of weapons. From guns to swords and spells that can deal exponential damage, you can end the night in whatever playstyle you wish. On top of this all, the replay ability is so high as there are countless of combinations of weapons and attack combos to experience.
While Bloodborne is a beautiful and terrifying game to work through, it is not for the faint of heart. Games made by FromSoftware are known for their incredible difficulty and can be a barrier for entry. However, Bloodborne is a great starting point for anyone looking to get into the soulsborne series. Anyone looking to be scared and have a great challenge for the Halloween season should pick this up and give it a shot.
2. Dead Space
Enjoy outer space? Enjoy fighting terrifying space creatures that want nothing more than to kill you? Then Dead Space is the perfect game to scratch that itch! Playing as Isaac, a space engineer, you navigate a broken-down spaceship that is now infected with alien creatures known as necromorphs. Through this process you learn the dark story of why these necromorphs are aboard the ship and what you must do to end this cascade of frightening events. The number of creatures that are encountered keeps you guessing on what the next alarming creature will look like and how you will dispatch it.
With jump scares and the downright horrifying creatures you fight, there is enough to make a person go mad. Never knowing when a creature is going to jump out to kill you makes turning every corner a fear inducing event. However, not only are you dealing with necromorphs, but you also must deal with the gradual onset of psychosis, where you are unsure if you are talking to a living person or not. The combination of necromorphs and mental illness that is gradually incorporated makes for a scary experience. Dead Space provides a fantastic horror adventure unlike any other and is a must for any person seeking a horror game to play over the Halloween season.
1. Outlast/Outlast: Whistle Blower
Rounding out the list of my favorite horror game is Outlast and its DLC Outlast: Whistle Blower. Outlast is the definition of a horror game and provides a shorter but quality experience. While jump scares are not for everyone, the appropriate use of jump scares and moments of running from mutated humans and other horrifying creatures creates a never-ending, heart racing sense of fear. Playing as a reporter looking into the shady acts of an insane asylum is just the beginning of an elaborate story that is just as thrilling as the horrors that are found within. Navigating and unearthing the secrets of the people running the asylum pulls you deeper into the story and the environment.
The constant balance of using the night vision on your camcorder and battery management forces you to make the decision of when to have full vision or when to deal with the darkness and unknown around you. This balance only increases the stress and horror that already exists. Diving deeper into the asylum and the darkness that ensue only opens more horrifying moments. Outlast is a great option for anyone looking for a quick, spooky game to enjoy this Halloween.
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