Halloween is one of the most beloved seasonal events of the year and with a vast library of horror fuelled video games there’s an endless amount of games perfect to indulge in for scares. Here’s a list of some of my favourite video games in no particular order which are perfect for Halloween.
Dying Light (PS4, Xbox One)
Dying Light isn’t just another zombie game. In most Z-games there comes a time when the undead are no longer a threat and dispatching them is no longer an issue, thus weakening the terror that normally accompanies this genre of gaming. With Dying Light there is no moment where zombies stop being a threat. Along with a day and night cycle the behaviour of the dead changes when the sun drops into the horizon. Fast zombies with brutal strength and extreme levels of aggression prowl the streets of Harran but, luckily, you’re equipped with thrilling parkour skills which help in evading the undead.
Though not a classic horror game Bloodborne’s dark themes, gothic scenery and Lovecraftian influence shines through to create an atmosphere that radiates horror. Alongside this many of the bosses and enemies in the game are horrifying skeletal mutations, locations are split by rivers of blood and madness exudes from the residents who are left in post-hunt Yharnam. Bloodborne is a great game to play all year around but for newbies wanting an eerie Halloween experience, look no further than FromSoftware’s Bloodborne.
Dead Space (PS3, Xbox 360, Xbox One)
Though it may be ten years old Dead Space has remained a timeless classic. Set aboard an abandoned space ship plagued by reanimated monstrosities known as necromorph’s Isaac Clarke’s mission is to find the source of the necromorph’s, restore power to the ship and fight like hell to stay alive. Tension is strong through the duration of the game and with jump-scares-a-plenty it’s the perfect horror experience.
Until Dawn (PS4)
Until Dawn is a masterclass when it comes to an authentic horror experience. Initially playing on teenage drama and clichés the story quickly unravels into despair and fear as the night becomes darker. Until Dawn works as a chose your own adventure narrative meaning that you must carefully consider all outcomes and even then, there’s a high chance you’ll lose some if not most of the cast. It’s a thrilling horror game with plenty of action, terror and a narrative which pulls you in and keeps you engaged. Plus, with an endless number of choices replayabilty is one of the best parts of the game. Whether you’ve already played Until Dawn or not, Halloween is a perfect time to pick up a copy.
Alien Isolation (PS4, Xbox One)
Almost everyone is familiar with the Alien films even if they haven’t seen them personally, so when Creative Assembly announced the development of Alien Isolation most people were intrigued to see how the horror of the films would transfer to an interactive medium, and the answer to that is very well. The setting alone is enough to send chills down your spine and when you add in the unsettling clunks from vents and walls the atmosphere is dense enough to cut with a knife. Add an AI Alien into this mix and the game becomes truly terrifying, with no set path to patrol the alien moves through the ship as it pleases meaning that you always must be on your toes in this out of this world stealth game.
Resident Evil 7: Biohazard (PS4, Xbox One)
Whilst the Resident Evil franchise has created a mass of successful and beloved horror games the latest instalment, Resident Evil 7: Biohazard takes these games back to their survival horror roots all while delivering one of the best narratives in the series. Protagonist Ethan Winter travels to an abandoned house in the swamps of Louisiana to find his missing wife Mia, instead he comes face to face with the hostile Baker family. Biohazard has all the same tricks as other Resident Evil games but with heighten graphics and a brilliantly eerie location it’s one of the scariest games in the entire franchise.
The Evil Within 2 (PS4, Xbox One)
While the Evil Within games are not the most recognisable horror games they can be credited for their subtle and ingenious horror tropes which are deployed through the power of the human mind. If the first game was applauded for its approach to physiological horror the second game was acclaimed for it. Along with fighting off reanimated zombies who are freakishly emaciated Sebastian Castellanos must battle with the horrors in his own mind. It’s a fantastic concept and with such clever execution it’s almost the perfect, mind-blowing Halloween experience.
Bioshock (PS3, Xbox 360, PS4, Xbox One)
Bioshock never stood out to me as a horror experience until I was well immersed in the narrative. As Jack explores the elitist underwater city of Rapture he is endlessly harassed by the many villains left under the sea. Big Daddies, Splicers and maniacs are the sole survivors here and almost all of them are intent on preventing Jack from reaching his goal of escaping the Rapture. Sound design is highly effective and the unsettling noises which bounce off the walls in the city add to the atmosphere and in turn the horror genre. Other small touches such as lighting and visuals play an important role but it’s the story that creates the award winning experience that its Bioshock.
Outlast Trinity (PS4, Xbox One)
What really makes the Outlast games so scary is that most of the foes you’ll face cannot be killed, therefore running and hiding is the only way you can ensure your safety. Video games have so frequently bestowed unlimited ammunition, power and health to characters so having it all that security brutally ripped away leaves you feeling more than vulnerable than ever. Each instalment to the Outlast franchise plays on primal human fears and narratives are fuelled with stories of mad man who have become twisted by lives filled with murder and hate. Though the formula running through this trilogy is the same, each is cleverly unique, gripping and hauntingly scary.
Did we miss anything? Make sure to comment the games that you will be playing this Halloween in the comments.