Another day, another entry into our 31 Days of Horror series, this time round the horror games that’ll shake you to your core. Just like with horror films, there seems to be a fascination with scaring ourselves, and there’s no better medium for that than the interactive medium of gaming.
There’s a fine art to making a genuinely scary horror game, and unfortunately there’s been plenty of misses, perhaps more so than actual decent horror games in fact, but these five are arguably five of the best.
Want a game where you’ll feel a constant state of dread, not knowing if you’re being watched, stalked or ever actually alone? That pretty much describes most of the games in the list, but none more so than Alien: Isolation. Playing as the daughter of Sigourney Weaver’s Ellen Ripley, you play her daughter Amanda as she works her way through the atmospheric and daunting space station Sevastopol, trying to piece together the finer specifics of her mother’s disappearance.
A constant balancing act of pushing forward through the space station and hiding from the deadly xenomorph hunting you, you’ll find yourself in more than your fair share of lockers and under desks with your heart in your throat. With every time you’re found and killed comes a particularly brutal death animation though, so it isn’t all bad.
A horror trope all of its own, the game is set in a long abandoned asylum only inhabited by the crazy and tortured patients forgotten and left to the doctor’s whims. Playing a reporter who is on the trail of a story, things quickly go awry and you end up trapped with the inmates, attempting to survive and escape.
One of the smarter gaming mechanics in the game is the need to ration your night vision and find as many batteries littered throughout the hospital as possible, or face the possibility of traversing and fighting without actually being able to see. Anxiety-inducing doesn’t really cover it, and even the most telegraphed scares still somehow manage to get a reaction from all but the most hardy of gamers.
Resident Evil 7
Bringing the series back from the action-heavy games to the first person, full on horror scares the games became famous for, Resident Evil 7 and its sequel Village firmly gave gamers the scares they’d been crying out for for years.
Resident Evil 7 made the smart decision to bring the game onto a smaller scale, less traversing and exploring entire cities and instead brought us closer to the action, with the majority of the game taking place in an admittedly huge house, owned and lived in by an unpleasant cannibalistic family with some seriously messed up secrets. If you haven’t played it yet, there aren’t many horror games you could play this Halloween.
Going back a few years to a PS1 classic, the original Silent Hill is still highly regarded, to the point that the lack of a recent entry into the franchise is a bug bear for many fans. The beasts in the fog, the eerie town, the now infamous nurses and more, the game used many of its limitations to give many fans nightmares. However, it was so good that no matter the scares we’d always go back to it, even now, twenty plus years after its initial release.
Plus using the hardware limiting draw distance as an idea for the fog was a master stroke, one that left many of us sometimes standing stock still rather than moving, in a vain attempt to provide some sort of security and safety.
Amnesia: The Dark Descent
Set in 1839 in Brennenburg Castle, you play as Daniel, who as well as having to explore the darkest, most terrifying parts of the castle, has to try and piece together his memory as he remembers next to nothing about himself or who he is.
With a genuinely surprising and intriguing story alongside the gameplay, you’ll find yourself willingly continuing on in an attempt to get to the bottom of the dark and twisted storyline. If you need any persuading to play, go and watch a few videos on YouTube to get a feeling of whether you could put yourself through it. If not, you’re missing out.
There are countless horror games that could be named here, but these are five that need to be mentioned. What other horror games have scared you to the point of throwing a controller across the room? Have you played all five of these of horror games with no issues?