Top 10 best Halloween games
October 22, 2018
Much like film, video games are a medium incredibly skilled at giving consumers a good scare. The horror genre of gaming has been around since the Atari 2600, with titles based on films such as “Halloween” and “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre”. With anticipated titles for next year such as “DOOM Eternal” and the remake of “Resident Evil 2,” it doesn’t seem like these types of games are going away anytime soon. Since Halloween is coming up very quickly, now is the perfect time to try out some creepy games in preparation for the holiday. Whether it’s to be scared out of your mind or to just have a rip-roaring good time, here are the top 10 best horror games to play this month.
10. Until Dawn
Released as a Playstation 4 exclusive title in 2015, “Until Dawn” is a story-driven survival horror game. In an abandoned ski lodge deep in the mountains, two young women among a group of friends are killed in a prank gone horribly wrong. One year later, the group travels back to the lodge to commemorate their friends’ deaths, only to be stalked and hunted by mysterious beings that may have something to do with the incident one year ago. The game relies heavily on the Butterfly Effect, where very small choices could cause drastic changes to the plot later on, such as character deaths, different pathways, and so on. As such, every movement and dialogue option must be thought through carefully, which makes the whole game incredibly tense. Featuring immersive visuals, great voice acting, and plenty of homages to classic horror films, “Until Dawn” will make the player shiver thinking about the future.
9. Alien: Isolation
Essentially the first “Alien” film in video game form, “Alien: Isolation” was released in 2014 for the PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One. Set right after the events of “Alien”, the story follows Ellen Ripley’s daughter Amanda, who has found a possible lead to her mother’s whereabouts aboard the space station Sevastopol. However, she finds that the station has been infiltrated by a Xenomorph, a killer organism that has massacred a majority of the crew and is now after Amanda. The gameplay revolves around the player trying to find ways to hide from and sneak around the Xenomorph, lest they be devoured by the creature. It’s impossible to defeat the alien, and it starts to learn the player’s tactics very quickly, requiring numerous strategies to be thought up so it can be avoided safely. “Alien: Isolation” lifts many set pieces and other elements from the original film, including a motion detector and android enemies. The game is challenging, tense, and will give an experience not unlike its source material.
8. Castlevania Franchise
Starting all the way back in 1986 for the Nintendo Entertainment System, the “Castlevania” franchise is one that popularized the horror genre of video games. This series involves the Belmont family and their centuries-long duel with the legendary vampire king himself: Count Dracula. Most games in the series are 2D action platformers, having the player use their whip, holy water, and other tools to vanquish various dark creatures that infest the levels and make it to the end. Some titles (“Castlevania” and “Castlevania 3: Dracula’s Curse”) have the player go from level to level, while others (such as “Symphony of the Night” and “Order of Ecclesia”) allow more exploration and employ Role-Playing-Game elements. Fun, frantic, and an all around classic, the “Castlevania” series is one with countless titles full of vampire-slaying fun. Some highlights include “Dracula’s Curse”, “Rondo of Blood”, and “Symphony of the Night”.
7. Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem
In 2002, Silicon Knights (of “Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes” fame) released this hidden gem for the Nintendo GameCube. When Alexandra Roivas is informed of her grandfather’s murder, she goes up to his mansion to identify the body. While there, she finds a mysterious book that details the struggles of many people across history fighting against horrific, otherworldly forces. Imparted with this knowledge and arcane magic, it is her job to end the machinations of these dark forces once and for all. The game mostly centers around psychological horror and survival, and features a gameplay mechanic known as the Sanity Meter. The meter drops every time a monster sees the player, and disorienting effects start to happen as it gets lower, such as the volume going down, strange sound effects, and the game might even pretend to delete save data. Trying to keep the Sanity Meter up through defeating monsters is the most stressful part of “Eternal Darkness”, and many players might keep playing just to see how the game will try to trick them next. A revolutionary and overlooked title, “Eternal Darkness” is a horrific experience that may make the player question their own sanity. (Credit to Wikipedia for the image.)
6. Dead Space
Spawning two sequels and dozens of spin-off games and materials, the original “Dead Space” was released in 2008 for the PS3 and Xbox 360. When a distress call is sent out from the mining spaceship Ishimura, engineer Isaac Clarke is sent as part of a team to investigate the situation. There, they find that a mutated alien race known as the Necromorphs have infected the entire crew. Now the team must find a way off of the ship safely, while Isaac searches for his girlfriend Nicole, who is somewhere aboard the ship. The main objective of the game is survival, as ammo and health are very sparse, and Necromorphs of all shapes and sizes are very hard to take down without proper planning. Isaac can also get his hands on time-based abilities and telekinesis to solve puzzles an help his chances of survival. “Dead Space” has a tension-filled sci-fi environment and horrifying monster designs that will leave the player constantly thinking what will come around the corner next.
5. Telltale Games’ The Walking Dead
Inspired by the popular comic book series and borrowing a few elements from the television show, Telltale Games’ “The Walking Dead” is an ongoing series split up into multiple “seasons”. The series mostly focuses on a young woman named Clementine, who has lost her parents in the zombie apocalypse. Now she must struggle to survive and do her best to sort out her friends from her enemies among the survivors left in the world. The first season shows her as a young girl, and the most recently released final season shows her as a young adult. The games are heavily reliant on story and character interactions, and the player’s choices throughout the plot will affect how circumstances play out later on. Who survives the decaying walkers is all dependent on the player, and the games tell a very gripping story with incredible acting, writing, and heartbreaking moments. All four seasons, along with all of their episodes, can be found on consoles such as the PS4 and Xbox One.
4. Luigi’s Mansion
A launch title for the GameCube back in 2001, “Luigi’s Mansion” gives the famous plumber brother Luigi his time to shine in this spooky Mario spin-off. Receiving a letter informing him he’s won a mansion in a contest he never entered, Luigi arrives at a decrepit old house that is definitely not what the letter described. The mansion is full of mischievous spirits (including the classic Mario series’ ghosts: Boos), who have captured Mario. With the help of Professor E. Gadd and the Poltergust 3000, it’s up to Luigi to clear the house of the ghosts and save his brother. The game’s eponymous mansion is filled with things to find, such as treasures, Boos, and various boss ghosts to defeat. The main gameplay involves sucking up ghosts with the Poltergust, and there are numerous types of ghosts that get more plentiful and stronger as Luigi gets deeper into the mansion. With a unique gameplay style and a surprisingly creepy atmosphere for a Mario title, “Luigi’s Mansion” is a cult classic that will get the player in the mood for the haunted holidays.
3. Resident Evil Franchise
One of the most iconic horror franchises of all time, “Resident Evil” is the game series that defined survival horror and made the genre what it is today. The series’ plot details the sinister plots of the Umbrella Corporation, who conduct various experiments that produce horrific monsters. In each game, it’s up to the player to solve puzzles, upgrade their arsenal of weaponry, and maneuver through creatures to find the source of the evil. “Resident Evil” is a game series that requires much thinking, as the player is not always told where to go, save points and ammo are limited, and enemies can pop up in the most unlikely of places. The creatures are the most nerve racking part of the franchise, as they have plenty of tricks up their sleeves. One of the scariest enemies is the Crimson Head, who will come back as a much stronger foe if the body is not properly dealt with. As evidenced by the upcoming remake of “Resident Evil 2”, this franchise is not even close to running out of scares to bring audiences. Series highlights include “Resident Evil 3: Nemesis”, “Resident Evil 4”, and “Resident Evil 7: Biohazard”
2. Silent Hill Franchise
Often regarded as one of the most terrifying series of games ever made, “Silent Hill” has been one of Konami’s most revered and remembered franchises. Every game involves the eponymous town of Silent Hill, which has been cursed by a demon-worshipping cult years ago. The town is now the source of various disappearances, murders, and other oddities. Anyone who enters will often be taken on a horrifying journey into their inner psyche taken form through eldritch abominations and different illusions. The gameplay of “Silent Hill” mostly involves puzzles and exploration, all with a very limited inventory, even more so than other survival horror games. Puzzles will often be very taxing on the brain, one particular puzzle in the third installment requiring extensive knowledge of the works of William Shakespeare. All while the player is solving these intriguing problems, they are exploring some of the most bone chilling environments in any video game, all filled with dozens of traps, both physical and psychological. “Silent Hill” is a celebrated franchise for a very good reason, as it has so many terrifying twists and turns that it might leave the player wanting a light on as they sleep. Highlights from the series include “Silent Hill 2”, “Silent Hill 3”
Released in 2016 for the PS4, Xbox One, and for the Nintendo Switch in 2017, “DOOM” is one of the biggest thrill rides to be had with a horror themed first-person shooter. While the “DOOM” franchise has been around since 1993, the 2016 title perfects the series’ classic style of play. The player controls a lone space marine, nicknamed “The Doom Slayer” who wakes up from a stone coffin and receives a powered suit of armor from a nearby sarcophagus. The Doom Slayer soon discovers he is in the middle of a demonic invasion on the Union Aerospace Corporation located on Mars. As UAC representative Samuel Hayden failingly tries to get The Doom Slayer to cooperate with him against the threat, the marine simply wants to kill as many demons as he possibly can. The objective of the game is simple: destroy any demon that gets in the way, by any means necessary. The player has a vast amount of weapons at their disposal, including a shotgun, a gatling gun, and a chainsaw, all of which can used to finish off demons in various fashions. The game also features “Glory Kills” which are stunning finishers that can defeat enemies in increasingly violent ways. The environments and enemies are very horrifically designed, some levels even taking place in Hell itself, and they all set an exciting and nail-biting mood that persists through the whole adventure. With frantic gameplay, a bombastic soundtrack, and a sense of dread around every corner, “DOOM” is a constant source of fun, and is guaranteed to get someone in the mood for a nightmarish Halloween.
All 10 of these games are must-picks for the Halloween season, and are filled with countless thrills and scares. So sit back, pick up a controller, turn out the lights, and enjoy the nightmares that these thriller titles may inflict.