Editorial

Top 5 Horror Games to Play This Halloween

1

October is upon us, so Halloween is rearing it’s grotesque head just around the corner. To prepare yourself for the spookiest night of the year, here are five horror games for the Single Player to play this month.

Alien: Isolation

(PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One)

alien-isolation

What is it?

Regarded by many as one of the best games of 2014, Alien: Isolation is a terrifying crawl through a ravaged space station inhabited by the iconic Xenomorph of the Alien franchise. Playing as Amanda Ripley, daughter of Ellen (Sigourney Weaver’s character from the movies) you are in search of information regarding the whereabouts of your Mother, and receive word that a flight recorder from her Ship, the Nostromo, is aboard a giant station called the Sevastapol. With a limited supply of weapons and gadgets, as well as raiders and disobeying androids to contend with, you must survive (read: hide) from the monstrous Alien and fend for your life in search for answers.

Why should I play it?

Simple: the Alien. The ever-presence of the Xenomorph is truly terrifying, even when it’s not skulking the corridors, you can hear it scrambling among the innards of the station. At any point, even with it nowhere to be seen, making too much noise will attract its attention to you and send you scurrying for the nearest locker to hide in. Amanda is unable to kill the alien, due in part to the limited weapon supply but mainly because it is just too quick and powerful to even consider fighting.

Once it sees you death is a certainty, and this in itself is a horrific experience which will force your hands to cover your eyes as you dare to watch the beast scream in your face before the small mouth-in-the-mouth tears you apart. The atmosphere produced by Creative Assembly is among the best I have experienced in gaming, and the attention to detail for Alien fans is incredible. The game does perhaps overstay its welcome by a few unnecessary chapters, especially as you are forced to literally crawl your way through 90%, but the scares are constant and the tension is borderline unbearable.

 

Until Dawn

(PS4)

Until Dawn

What is it?

The most recent game on the list is also 2015’s ‘sleeper hit’ according to Sony themselves. Having gone through various ideas through production including a PS Move-only adventure for the Playstation 3, Until Dawn was finally released this year with relatively small marketing, but a huge hit with the players. Taking inspiration from games like Heavy Rain, Supermassive Games let you control eight different characters, all of which are friends, where each decision has an effect; be it initially quite small or fatally and catastrophically large.

After the disappearance of two of the friends the year before, the eight are invited back to Blackwood Pines Lodge where the incident took place initially. Like the classic teen horror movies the game takes inspiration from, things quickly start to go wrong. Story-lines can vary wildly depending on your choices, with all characters actually having the chance to survive the game until dawn (when help is supposed to arrive), or all eight can suffer a variety of horrific and shocking deaths.

Why should I play it?

Like all good horror stories the atmosphere is key. The setting is perfect and the characters are lovable or downright annoying. The actions by the player are limited to movement and interactions, with the emphasis relying on the 50/50 decisions, so you will feel more like the director of a film as opposed to the player of someone else’s game. However, especially for the first play-through, you have no real idea what effect the decisions will have. For example at one point you are given the decision to run or hide from something that is chasing you in a split-second decision, with one choice leading to death of the character.

At this point the action is obviously intense and your hands are shaking with desperation for the right answer, and what you think is the right choice can be disastrous for someone else, so your choices thereafter have an extra weight behind them. On top of this the action takes place at night in a spooky forest, with monsters, killers and who-knows-what lurking in the shadows. There are jump-scares, pseudo-fatalities and a narrative that bends to how the player reacts, so every consequence is down to you.

Resident Evil 4

(Gamecube, Playstation 2. Re-released on Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, PC)

resident-evil-4-ultimate-hd-60fps-steam-pc-edition-gameplay-screenshots-7

What is it?

The fourth instalment of the popular Resident Evil series and arguably the best. In control of Leon Kennedy, returning from Resident Evil 2, you are tasked to bring back the daughter of the President of the United States from a mysterious and unnerving cult called Los Illuminados. The game pioneered gameplay techniques taken for granted today, namely the ‘over-the-shoulder’ camera angle as well as the now infamous quick-time events (QTEs).

Why should I play it?

Resident Evil 4 cuts back (slightly) on the terror to make room for terrific action sequences and imaginative and innovative gameplay. Still considered to be one of the greatest games of all time by many, the reason it is on this list is because of its impact on the gaming scene. With a new generation of gamers coming to the front, it may have been missed by plenty of readers yet its influence has paved the way for games like Gears of War and Uncharted.

It stands up so well today, especially playing the re-releases, and is still classed as survival-horror despite not being quite as terrifying as the other entries here. If you love a good adventure with great action, story-telling and nail-biting tension, but don’t quite have the nerve for the scariest of games, this is the one for you.

The Evil Within

(Windows, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One)

1375383254-the-evil-within-1

What is it?

Playing as police detective Sebastian Castellanos, you are knocked unconscious during a murder scene only to awake in a distorted world where the scenery in front of him can transform and teleportation is apparent. After his fellow police officers have been brutally murdered in front of him, Sebastian must fight his way through the crazy world he finds himself in to survive and uncover what has actually happened. Hallucinations, wacky enemies and an incredibly limited supply of ammo all hinder the player’s progress, yet create a bizaare and terrifyingly monstrous world to experience.

Why should I play it?

Created by Shinji Mikami, the mind behind the Resident Evil series, The Evil Within is the current-gen horror game fans had been crying out for. It takes what made Resident Evil 4 (as well as the others beforehand, not so much the ones after) so good and brings it to a new world of terror and ramps up the scares. It can be at times brutally hard, which makes the scares all the more intense, and the implementation of traps around the disturbed setting only makes things worse, and the transformation of the world in front of Sebastian without warning adds to the frights. The Evil Within manages to become the psychological terror that Mikami has become the master of over the years.

Outlast

(PC, PS4, Xbox One)

outlsat

What is it?

Playing as Miles Upshur, a reporter looking for a scoop, you happen upon a psychiatric hospital called Mount Massive Asylum. Upon arrival it’s clear that something horrendous is going on, yet with only his camcorder and notepad, Miles decides to investigate anyway.

Miles has no way of defending himself, therefore hiding or running away are the only options, and as most of the hallways are in almost complete darkness, the night-vision mode on the camera becomes your best friend (and worst enemy!). It isn’t as expansive and fleshed out as the other games on the list, due to the budget and the fact that it’s download-only upon release, but the time you have with it will stick with you until Halloween next year.

Why should I play it?

Probably the flat-out scariest game on the list. In terms of true, unadulterated scares there’s not many games out there more pant-wettingly terrifying as this one. However, as an experience it is still a fine game that has an intriguing story around science, religion and the supernatural. The game doesn’t rely on jump-scares alone, which was the worry pre-release, and it has been compared to classics such as Amnesia for its use of the darkness. The AI and the controversial ending have given the game some unnecessary critics, yet if you are looking to be scared senseless this Halloween, this is certainly the game of choice.


These are our top picks for Horror Games enthusiasts this Halloween, but as always we like to hear your opinions too. What games did we miss out that you can only play from behind the sofa? Which of our picks hardly get your heart racing? Let us know below, and keep up to date with all the Single Player news by following OnlySP on facebook and twitter.

Rhys Cooper

Cyberpunk RPG ‘Dex’ is Heading to Consoles with Enhancements

Previous article

Ubisoft May Be About to Announce A New Game…Or Something Else?

Next article

1 Comment

  1. I didn’t think Resident Evil 4 was scary, I’m surprised Dead Space is on the list.

Comments are closed.

You may also like