It’s October and you know what that means! Pumpkin flavored everything, skeletons, ghosts and other supernatural beings and of course, Halloween! So I thought that I’d introduce you to some great classic horror video games. Whether you like horror games or not, you should definitely try these out at least once! So turn off the lights and read more!
(in no particular order)
Amnesia: The Dark Descent
Amnesia is a first person survival horror game made by Frictional Games, released in 2010 for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux (later also for Playstation 4 and as a part of an Amnesia collection on Xbox One). Set in 1849, the game centers around a british man called Daniel as he explores the mysteries of the Prussian Brennenburg castle. While exploring, he finds notes written to himself and unravels a horrifying tale behind his amnesia.
The true horror of the game isn’t that much about monsters, jumpscares or gore but rather the hyperawareness that you slip into the longer you play the game. Every sound makes you paranoid and the fact that you can’t defend yourself as there are no weapons makes you feel anxious all the time. There are more Amnesia games available (Machine for Pigs and Justine) and it is possible to create custom levels, models and game logic that can be uploaded into the game to create a whole new experience.
The game Alien: Isolation developed by Creative Assembly and published by Sega in 2014 was released for Windows, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Playstation 3 and Playstation 4. Set 15 years after the events of the 1979 movie Alien, you play as the daughter of Ellen Ripley, Amanda, as she tries to figure out what happened to her mother.
She becomes stuck on the Sevastopol space station with a Xenomorph on the loose. While this first person survival horror game has certain similarities with Amnesia (emphasis on stealth), you also have a bit of advantage with having a motion tracker and also a flame thrower but that’s meant as a means to escape rather than a fight weapon. The Xenomorph is not the only enemy in the game; Amanda encounters also hostile humans and androids, which she can defeat with weapons.
The game is wholly immersive with its ambient sounds and the sense of ever-present danger. The original movie’s tagline, “In space, no one can hear you scream.”, comes to mind when playing this game.
This sci-fi survival horror game was released in 2008 by EA Redwood Shores (Visceral Games) for Windows, Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 (now also backwards compatible with Xbox One) as the first installment of a series. The game is played in third person over the shoulder look and you play as an engineer called Isaac Clarke, who fights reanimated corpses (Necromorphs) of the interstellar mining station USG Ishimura.
The fact that the regular headshot doesn’t work in getting rid of the enemy, the atmosphere and chilling soundtrack make Dead Space one of the best horror games.
Outlast was released in 2013 by Red Barrels for Windows and later for Playstation 4, Xbox One, Linux, OS X and in 2018 for Nintendo Switch. This survival horror game is played from the first person view of freelance investigative journalist Miles Upshur as he explores a psychiatric hospital in Colorado that is overrun by homicidal patients. The gameplay focuses on stealth to avoid enemies, alternatively you can try to outrun them. The only way to see in the dark is to use the nightvision on the camcorder.
Outlast has a lot of jumpscares and gory scenes. Its tense atmosphere will definitely keep you on the edge of your seat.
Layers of Fear
This horror game was released in 2016 for Windows, Playstation 4 and Xbox One and later in 2018 for Nintendo Switch. Played from a first person perspective, you are an unnamed painter who is trying to paint his masterpiece while solving puzzles and looking for cues how to paint it in his environment, a Victorian mansion.
There are no enemies to fight or hide from, just the artist’s own tormented mind. As the player tries to complete the painting, his horrific past is being revealed. There are three different endings to this game based on the choices you have made previously.
Resident Evil 7: Biohazard
This first-person survival horror game was developed by Capcom and published in 2017 for Windows, Playstation 4 and Xbox One. You play as Ethan Winters as he searches for his missing wife Mia, who is being held by a psychopatic family deep in rural Louisiana. The game is based largely on stealth, puzzles and exploration but you can also arm yourself with several weapons which can slow down your enemies. If you want to experience the game on another level, you can also play it using VR.
Of course this is not a complete list of great horror games, there are tons more! If none of these have grabbed your attention or you would like to have more recommended horror games, you can check out Until Dawn, Evil Within, Silent Hill 3, The Last of Us, Soma or Penumbra!
Have you played any of the games on this list? If so, which one was it and how did it make you feel? Would you play it again? If not, which one would you like to try the most? Let me know in the comments below!