Horror is an interesting genre. Unlike other genres such as action or romance, horror doesn’t play to the fun emotions we feel that give us genuinely good feelings. Quite the opposite, horror plays to our fears and anxieties, giving us a different kind of adrenaline rush. Horror games are probably the best thrill. While a movie can show you a lot of scary images that might frighten you, games involve you directly in it. They can manipulate you, get in your head and really keep you on edge. While it might be scary to watch the unaware hero creep through the abandoned house with the killer on his tail, it’s ten times scarier when you’re in direct control of that unaware hero. So if you found yourself without plans this Halloween, and were in the mood for a good scare, here are five games you should have played:
5. Slender: The Eight Pages
An oldie but a goodie, Slender came out in 2012 after the internet challenge to create a new urban legend. Slender is simple, atmospheric, and tense as hell. The game begins with you in a forest, searching for 8 pages of a mysterious journal. As soon as you find the first one, the hunt begins and Slenderman begins to stalk you in the darkness. The game is first-person, which adds tons to the immersive feature of the game, and with all the tall trees it’s easy to confuse foliage for the creature himself. As you collect more pages, Slenderman becomes more aggressive, and panic begins to rise as you run through the woods frantically looking back to catch just a glimpse of him in the distance. A free download online, it’s definitely a good choice for playing alone or with friends.
4.Among the Sleep
Available on Steam, Among the Sleep is a very interesting horror game which puts you in the perspective of a two year-old boy. The game does very well in playing with the first-person perspective, since we all probably remember being kids, and things being scarier than they were then. This makes certain things like crash lightning seem louder and scarier than they actually are. The horror really amps up when strange shadow figures begin to show up. The slow pace of the game controlled by your little baby legs, along with the creepy whispers and soft tones of your teddy bear companion, make Among the Sleep an interestingly creepy game.
Outlast is a fantastically scary game. Casting you as a journalist out to uncover the horrible truth behind a mysterious asylum, you are chased by all kinds of horrifying figures, from sickly lunatics to hulking behemoths. Being in first-person and armed only with a video camera and your wits, the game does well to make the environment creepy, but totally against you as your only means of defense is hiding in closets or under beds or tables. The notable feature of this game is the camera’s night-vision, which acts as your only means to see in the dark. Unfortunately, like true night vision, it covers a small distance, making seeing creepy green figures all the more unnerving. Available on Steam and the Playstation network, it’s definitely a must have for Halloween.
2.Nights at Freddy’s
Nights at Freddy’s is one of the scariest games I’ve played, and it’s deceptively simple. You play as the newest night watchman at a pizzeria not unlike Chuck-e-Cheese, called Freddy Fazbear’s. Unlike Chuck-e-Cheese, animatronic robots come to life and try to murder you at night.You are confined to the security room, and your only means of defense are two doors on either side of you to keep the robots out. You are given a tablet to monitor security cameras to see where the badies are, but since you only see still images, it creates an intense atmosphere of tension. You also only have a limited supply of power to survive the night, and you have to balance keeping your doors wide open and not looking at the cameras too much, which preys on your paranoia and tension. Available on mobile devices and Steam for only five dollars, it’s an affordable must have for Halloween.
This game is the definitive horror experience available to anyone who owns a PS4 (and even if you don’t, you should really look this up on Youtube, it’s horrifying). Created by Hideo Kojima, creator of the Metal Gear Solid franchise, partnered with Guillermo del Toro, P.T is the official demo for an undated Silent Hill game for the next gen. The demo is nothing simpler than walking to the end of a hallway, opening a door only to come out at the start of the same hallway. Every time you go through it’s just a little different, building a horribly slow tension on what’s going to be around the corner. The game uses the PS4 graphics to it’s fullest, creating a game world that almost looks real. Being in first-person, P.T uses perspective perfectly too, as all the walls are a believable height, which adds a layer of claustrophobia to the mix. Add in a couple curve balls, and an ending that has you scrambling in the dark never knowing where the ghost comes after you is, it is slow, tense, incredibly disturbed, and better than any horror movie that has come out this year.