It’s the season to be scared out of your mind! Which means it’s my favorite time of year. Mix that with my favorite hobby, and I have a list of games you should play for Halloween! (Yes, this is a re-post. My mind hasn’t changed for these games.)
I thought I’d save this special post for October 13th. Many superstitious people seem to dislike the number 13, and everyone knows about the spooky atmosphere around October. I don’t know if the people reading this really are superstitious or believe in any supernatural things, but I have a decent list of scary games that are perfect for this particular holiday!
The following may seem like an average list, but it’s much more than that. I thought this would be better than separating them over pages. Of course, a lot of it will be my own thoughts and opinions on the game, but you can trust me. 🙂 I have played every single one of these games with the exception of one. Don’t’ worry, I’ll mention which one that is. The games below are not listed from best to worse or worse to best. Each game has its own creepy elements, and many games are incredibly different from each other in terms of gameplay and style.
Lets start off the list with a psychological thriller. If you’re an adult looking for a really scary game, Alan Wake is not the game you’re looking for. You can easily play it alone with all that lights off, but I’m not ready to throw it off the list just yet. Alan Wake still has a few creepy elements. As I said, it’s more of a thriller than a horror, which means there are eerie environments, and your nerves may get a bit shaken. You play as Alan Wake, a writer who takes a vacation with his wife. The place they go has a bit of a dark side when night falls. Alan’s wife is taken during the first evening in their cabin, and his story start coming to life.
The actual gameplay elements are pretty nice. Every enemy you encounter is invincible until you shine some type of light source on them for a period of time. Once their shield is gone, you can kill them using regular weapons like a handgun and shotgun, or using powerful light sources like flashbangs and search lights. Some areas have infinite enemies, so it’s best to dodge attacks and run to safety.
Alan Wake is only available on Xbox 360 and PC, so some of you may not be able to get your hands on it. There was an Xbox Live Arcade sequel that released this year, but I haven’t played it yet.
Twisted Metal Black
I know what you’re thinking, “Twisted Metal being a scary game?!” Maybe most Twisted Metal games are nothing but car carnage, but Twisted Metal Black adds a nice back story to every playable character in the game. These stories give a new meaning to Twisted in Twisted Metal. Each character is locked in some insane asylum. One day, a man named Calypso comes to visit each one. He tells them he’ll give them one wish, any thing they want, if they enter and win the Twisted Metal Tournament. The opening scene will give the base of the story, win a few tournaments to get more back story, and beat all remaining tournaments to find out the ending to the story.
If you’ve ever played a Twisted Metal game, you’ll know what to expect when playing Twisted Metal Black. Each character has their own car with their own special weapon and stats, but all cars can pick up a variety of weapons throughout the map. The last car standing wins.
Twisted Metal Black released on the Playstation 2 many years ago. It may be hard for some people to play without the right console, but it was re-released as a PS3 download for free to those who bought the newest Twisted Metal. If you have no way of obtaining Twisted Metal Black, I’m sure you can find the cut scenes of each player’s story on YouTube. Below is a video of the credits to Twisted Metal Black. The video has a small compilation of each character’s story mixed up in it.
Left 4 Dead
The next game on the list is Left 4 Dead. If you’re wondering if you should get Left 4 Dead or Left 4 Dead 2, just flip a coin. I’d say the games are 99% the same. Unlike the previous games in the list, Left 4 Dead has little to no story. It’s all about surviving against hundred of zombies, or “infected.” However, these aren’t just regular zombies that bite you; there are tons of unique zombies with special abilities.
Choose one of four players and one setting to play in. The setting can be a city, a hospital, even an amusement park! Make it from area to area in each setting until you escape to safety, usually after five areas in the setting. Each of the four players can be real people (Co-Op) or bots (AI players). There are a small number of weapons and equipment in the game, each with their own purpose. If you or your team mates get injured, use medic kits or pills to survive just a bit longer. The game may seem like mindless zombie killing on easy, but it requires a ton of team work when playing on higher difficulties. This game can easily be called a Survival Horror!
F.E.A.R. (First Encounter Assault Recon) is a First Person Shooter with a few horror elements mixed in. This may be a great starter game for average gamers who want to get into the horror genre. I can’t say this is a survival horror, but there are many freaky moments throughout the game. Of course, when you realize you’re a walking death machine, and many of the scares are at the exact same spots, the game gets less and less scary. The third FEAR supposedly mixes up the scares so they’re not in the exact same spots every time, but by the third game, I wasn’t scared at all. In my opinion, the best out of the series is FEAR and FEAR Files. FEAR Files was originally an expansion pack to FEAR, then became its own stand-alone game for the Xbox 360.
The story is about the First Encounter Assault Recon group trying to track down a man named Fennel. Fennel has psychic abilities that he uses to control artificial bodies in combat. These are the soldiers you’ll fight throughout the majority of the game. Along the way, the entire team is killed by some extremely powerful ghost or demon. The only person left to track down Fennel is you.
The actual shooter game play and mechanics isn’t bad at all. You can see gameplay in the video below.
A recent series in the horror genre is Dead Space. So far there have been two Dead Space games, and a third Dead Space is on its way. Well, technically a third was made for the Wii and special edition PS3 copies of Dead Space 2, but that game is a pretty lame rail shooter. Dead Space is a third person shooter set on a space station. The station loses all communication, so an engineer team comes to help. When they arrive, they find a lot of blood and weird creatures that form from dead bodies. No, these aren’t zombies of any sort, and they won’t die from shots to the head or body. The only way to kill the creatures in Dead Space is by cutting off all their limbs. The story goes deeper and connects between all games, which makes it a series worth getting. When it comes to the story, there’s no way you’ll expect what happens.
The gameplay of Dead Space is tight and gory. If I were to compare this game to any other game out there, I’d say the gameplay is a lot like Resident Evil 4 and 5. The over the shoulder shooting and weapons upgrades makes it a near copy. However, unlike Resident Evil 4 and 5, there is a scary atmosphere throughout the entire game. If you want it to feel more like a survival horror instead of just a horror, play the game on higher difficulties. Dead Space 2 even has a Hardcore difficulty that only allows you to save the game once or twice throughout the entire story.
Resident Evil Series
Yup, Resident Evil made the list. Before everyone freaks out, I’m not one of those people who only likes Resident Evil 4 and 5 and calls them horror games. I think it’s very safe to say Resident Evil 4 and 5 are more action than horror games. Although, if that were to really happen to anyone, it definitely would be like a horror. With that being said, lets talk about the old Resident Evil games, back when Survival Horror was big.
Resident Evil 0-3 and Code Veronica used a very old survival horror gameplay system. A lot of it was puzzle heavy, and the combat system was horrible. Yes, there were guns, but there was no real way to aim at an enemy. You could say the horrible combat system made the series more like a survival horror, but there was more to the survival horror than that. Ammo was extremely scarce in the early Resident Evil games, which made boss battles all the more difficult. There was no upgrading weapons or going on a shooting rampage. Everything you did had to be planned out carefully. You couldn’t even save the game unless you were holding an ink ribbon! And when it came to actually holding items, you had very limited space. If you ran out of space, you could store items in a special box which was next to every type writer (used for saving). Again, these games may be for the old school survival horror fans, but they’re definitely worth taking a look at.
Now you may be wondering, where the heck am I going to get all these old Resident Evil games?! Well, Resident Evil Code Veronica is available in the Xbox Marketplace and Playstation Store. Resident Evil 1-3 can also be found in the PS Store. Unfortunately, you may have trouble finding Resident Evil 0, but I felt the story in that prequel was a bit lacking. If you happen to still have a Gamecube, Resident Evil 0-4 and Code Veronica are all available! The Gamecube is where I first played them all back to back. The first Resident Evil was even remade specifically for the Gamecube, and it looks magnificient!
As everyone knows, Resident Evil 6 recently released. I have yet to play it, but I did play the Leon campaign in the demo. It seemed a lot more like a Survival Horror than the other recent games. I bet if you play on high difficulties, like Dead Space, Resident Evil 6 could easily be considered a Survival Horror.
Slender: The Eight Pages
The newest addition to the horror genre is a game many people around the net are familiar with, Slender! Actually, it’s now called Slender: The Eight Pages. Slender is the perfect game for the gamer who wants to play a horror game for Halloween, but doesn’t have much time to sit and play through an entire game. The object of the game is to find eight pages scattered through a dark forest without getting caught by Slenderman. It’s that simple and that fast! Collect all eight pages and the credits will roll after Slenderman catches you. The game can be played multiple times since the pages will spawn in different areas each time you play. It has the perfect scary atmosphere and the quick gameplay all angry birds type fans will love. Download it for free on your PC today!
Condemned: Criminal Origins
In my opinion, I believe Condemned: Criminal Origins was an overlooked horror game. Granted, it’s only available on the Xbox 360 and PC, and it did get a sequel. You play as a detective in search of a serial killer when things go wrong. The serial killer kills another cop, and everyone thinks you did it. I know, it doesn’t sound scary at first, but it quickly takes a huge turn. A number of other mysterious things have been happening around town. Uncover the mystery as you fight your way to Serial Killer X.
The combat system is perfect for Survival Horror Games. There are many melee weapons and a few firearms. If you find a firearm, you can only use the ammo that’s already in the weapon. Once the ammo is used, you can use the firearm as a melee weapon. All melee weapons have basic stats like power, reach, and durability. If you use a melee weapon too much, it will break, and you’ll have to find a new one.
While I recommend Condemned: Criminal Origins to everyone, I don’t really recommend Condemned 2: Blood Shot.
Silent Hill (1-3)
What would a horror game list be without Silent Hill? And by Silent Hill, I mean Silent Hill 1-3. Silent Hill is without a doubt my absolute favorite Survival Horror series. The combat system may be a bit dated, but the atmosphere, puzzles, story, and all around game play holds up even today! Each game allows you to play as a character visiting Silent Hill. Silent Hill was once a regular town, but it’s now a place full of monsters and spirits that will make the average person go insane. Nobody knows for sure what happened to Silent Hill. Some say it’s because Silent Hill was built on a place that was sacred to the natives. What is clear is that it’s no longer a resort town. Each game has its own goal and reason for visiting Silent Hill. Go through town figuring out the reason and get one of many different endings.
The various endings isn’t the only reason for playing Silent Hill 1-3 multiple times. In addition to action difficulty levels, each game has a riddle difficulty level. The puzzles and riddles will change depending on the riddle difficulty level, changing the game a bit each time. There are also many other things you may only notice if you’ve played the game multiple times and read each document you can find. This is more true with Silent Hill 2 than Silent Hill 1 or 3.
The first Silent Hill game was released on Playstation 1, while the others were released on Playstation 2. Silent Hill 2 and 3 were re-released recently as a PS3 and Xbox 360 title called, “Silent Hill HD Collection.” Everything is the same except for the voice overs. Silent Hill 2 has the option to use the original voice cast or the new voice cast; however, Silent Hill 3 only has the new voice cast.
After the third Silent Hill, the developers changed several times, along with the gameplay. I only recommend Silent Hill 1, 2, and 3. Make note, Silent Hill 3 is actually the sequel to Silent Hill 1. Silent Hill 2 is its own game.
Siren: Blood Curse / New Translation
Some may know the name Siren from the PS2 days. It was a small series that was made in part by the same people who made the earlier Silent Hill games. Not long ago, Siren: New Translation was released for the PS3 in select countries. This is another true survival horror game! The game is split up into several episodes using several characters from an American TV crew. They find themselves on an island in Japan, when things go terribly wrong. Unlike many horror games, Siren focuses more on survival (running and hiding) than action (using weapons and attacking). One level has you playing as a little girl, which means there’s no way you can take on the enemies you will see. What kind of enemies are in Siren? It’s hard to say. They’re almost like undead people, but some are like monsters. If you’re into the more action feel of some horror games, Siren is definitely not for your. This game is for the survival horror adrenaline rush junkies.
If you want to buy this game, you can buy it from any country and use it on your PS3; all PS3s are region free, and this game has both English audio at times and English subtitles when Japanese is spoken. If you don’t want to look for the game, you can buy episodes or the full game on the Playstation Store. They will be called Siren: Blood Curse.
Amnesia: The Dark Descent
Lastly, we have another relatively new addition to the horror genre, Amnesia: The Dark Descent! Everyone who surfs the net for horror games knows about Amnesia. Everyone else who searches YouTube for funny videos may also know it. There are a ton of videos of people playing this game and freaking out.
Amnesia is another true survival horror game. I’ve only played the demo so far on steam, but I hear the entire game is absolutely frightening. There seems to be no combat system at all. Solve puzzles and use light to keep your sanity as you venture through a giant mansion, attempting to regain your memory as you encounter demons of some sort.
Honorable Mention: Bioshock. While not exactly a horror game, it definitely has a creepy atmosphere, and is a fantastic game!
I’m sure there are many other scary games out there that you guys may enjoy, but I’ve probably never played them. If I missed some, feel free to tell me so in the comments. Feel free to tell me what you think of the games I’ve listed.