Top Five Horror Games
It's Halloween time again and what better way to celebrate by playing some games that go bump in the night. Here are my top 5 horror games that are sure to send chills down your spine and give you a fright.
5. Dead Space 2
Dead Space is a sci-fi horror game inspired by the likes of The Thing and Resident Evil. Created by Visceral Games, before their descent into madness working on Battlefield and Star Wars titles, they created the Dead Space series. And arguably the best in the trilogy, not counting the Wii release Extraction, is Dead Space 2. The sequel took the same disturbing claustrophobia as the first with the outbreak spreading not just to a ship, but a massive space station called The Sprawl. Everything from before is ramped up with more twists and turns but the way to kill remains as the first, you must dismember as you take down frightening new and gruesome necromorphs. It’s third person horror at its finest and even gave Resident Evil a run for its money.
Mental Asylums have always been a concept worthy of a horror title and developers Red Barrels took this wholeheartedly in creating Mount Massive Asylum in Outlast. Outlast puts you in the role of an investigative journalist who foolishly enters this asylum in search of the truth behind the overrun asylum full of homicidal patients. The foreboding is presented instantly upon arrival with death all around, caused by god knows what, but you're there to push further and by using your trusted video camera you have to navigate the asylum. But if you're seen by one of the not-so-friendly inhabitants you must run and hide for your dear life as you can’t fight back. It’s not for the faint hearted.
3. Alien Isolation
The Alien franchise has gotten a bad rep over the years even to the point where the original xenomorph became less frightening and almost a joke as seen in Aliens: Colonial Marines. That had to change and the masters behind the Total War franchise, Creative Assembly, knew just how to do it. Inspired by the original 1979 Alien movie, Alien Isolation puts you in the shoes of Ripley’s daughter Amanda trapped on board the Sevastopol Station, the inhabitants have rioted, the Androids have gone insane and top it off an alien is on-board, but not just any alien, the Alien. Along with your iconic motion tracker, you will have to hide, defend and use your wits to survive in one of the most refreshing and revitalising games of the franchise.
2. Eternal Darkness Sanity's Requiem
Eternal Darkness is a truly unique experience and such an underrated titled. Released back in 2002 on the Gamecube, this psychological horror had you play as multiple characters throughout the ages, but altogether revolves around Alexandra Roivas investigating the murder of her grandfather at the family mansion. In the mansion she discovers a book on the Eternal Darkness and from there things take a turn and you’ll be introduced to a story of discovery and sanity. If there is any reason to seek out a Gamecube and play this game, it would be for the sanity effects. These ingenious effects play on the player and character, having you experience bugs crawling on the screen, hearing voices, losing audio and the scariest of them all your save being deleted. Of course, it’s not all real, but effects hit hard and truly plays with your mind and for its time it was mind blowing.
1. Amnesia The Dark Descent
Only seeing a release on PC, Amnesia The Dark Descent is infamous among gamers. Alongside the Slenderman games it paved the way for the popularised let’s play horror seen so frequently on YouTube, but there is more to Amnesia than just cheap scares. Playing as Daniel a man wreaked with amnesia trapped in a Prussian castle. He must seek answers and try to recover his memory all while discovering the dark secrets deep within the castle. The terrifyingly tense situations you're placed in, have you hiding and avoiding enemy encounters. Staring at enemies for too long plays with the sanity causing the walls to crawl and play tricks with your mind. At the heart of Amnesia is the game’s puzzles and solving these brings back your sanity, only to be further drained as delve deeper into the dark descent. Play with headphones on and immerse yourself in this terrifying trip into madness.
Here are some honourable mentions that didn't make the list, but still worthy of your time.
P.T. (Playable Teaser) was released exclusively for PS4. It’s was a taste of what was to be. It was the next Silent Hill. But now left as a remnant of the past, being only available to those who downloaded it to their console, before being callously removed by Konami. Directed by Metal Gear creator Hideo Kojima and visionary film director Guillermo Del Toro. P.T. was nothing less than a technical marvel in horror. Simple in design, walking through what seemed like endless corridors of an abandoned family home, stricken with horrors of a past. The home was shrouded in supernatural mystery as you try and piece everything together and escape, but beware you're not alone. It’s a true disappointment that it was cancelled before anyone could see its full potential.
Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth
The works of H.P. Lovecraft have been an inspiration of many horror stories old and new. And his Cthulhu mythos has been among the best. Dark Corners of the Earth takes place in the early 20th century, you play private investigator Jack Walters in search of a missing person, finding himself in the isolated town of Innsmouth and from the very start nothing is quite what it seems as his journey takes through a path of madness. It’s opening hours are some of the best, along with one the most heart racing tense moments in gaming, escaping from the townspeople. You have to fight, sneak and solve puzzles all while maintaining your mentality, otherwise you’ll suffer a fate worse than Arkham asylum.