It is that time of the year again, Halloween is on its way, the nights have gotten darker and the weather much colder. Halloween is one of the three celebrations of winter that I really love (the others being Bonfire Night and Christmas!) and while Halloween has never been as big a celebration in the UK as in America and other parts of the world it is still an atmospheric time. It is also the time when all the spooky appear out of the woodwork.
Horror games have never really been my cup of tea. I love engaging stories and taking my time exploring a world. What I don’t like is running at top speed blindly through the dark skipping the narrative and just praying I survive and don’t get a jump scare!
Saying all that there are some amazing Horror games out there and I have found playing them with friends tends to turn moments of intense well tension, and scary moments into a shared experience of terror. Shortly followed by humor. So if you are looking for something to play this haunted season then there are a few games that come to mind:
Outlast, Outlast is almost a classic of modern horror. Personally the first Outlast is the better of the two. If you are looking for genuinely terrifying moments, disturbing characters and a pretty awesome story then its worth giving it a go. Outlast relies on you using your camcorders night vision settings to navigate some horrible places, often with unmentionable monsters right behind you. This coupled with the finite battery life leads to some of the most terrifying moments I’ve experienced in modern games. The DLC for Outlast is also one of the most enjoyable (if that can be applied to horror) DLC’s I have played. Once you have met Gluskin you will understand! Oh and did I mention it is based in a semi abandoned asylum? What else could you want from a horror game?
Alien Isolation, Alien combines all the terrors of being hunted by an unstoppable, unkillable killing machine with the fun of being trapped on a claustrophobic space ship! Alien offers some amazing game play, the use of the tracked to show you where the alien is has some amazing dramatic timing. The Alien itself is attracted to noise including the sound of your tracker and it quickly learns from what you are doing to make things worse! It will learn to not get distracted when you throw something to make noise for example and will instead look around to see where you are hiding. The graphics are beautiful if you manage to take the time between running for your life to view it that is.
Soma, Soma is a survival science fiction horror game set in an underwater research facility where machinery has begun to become sentient. Soma is more of a psychological horror with a strong narrative focus. The most terrifying part is that like Outlast there is no combat. You need to progress and survive through a mix of problem solving and stealth! Slowly you unpick the events that occurred on this underwater facility and the inevitable evils that currently inhabit it. Soma also contains some interesting themes around what is consciousness and to say any more would spoil it so definitely give the game a go!
With Halloween on the way hopefully you will find something spooky to play! If you’re into horror games let us know down in the comments what your favourite horror game is and if you have any recommendations! I certainly can’t wait to sink into Call of Cathulu this month, and if you need another horror game to tide you over then check out my review of Layers of Fear from last year for more!
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