As people get older, it becomes harder to get into the holiday spirit, but real horror fans do many things to inject themselves into the spirit of Halloween. Many fans flock to decorating their house, watching horror films, and entering spooky settings like haunted houses for the sake of getting into the Halloween spirit. Video games are also a very good way to scare fans into late October, with feelings of tension and suspense.
Immersion doesn’t happen as easily in other mediums as it does in gaming, and in the words of the legendary Hideo Kojima “We are Homo Ludens. We are those who play.” With all of that in mind, here are the top titles to get any fan that is struggling to feel the Halloween spirit, right into the middle of it.
The best horror games to get into the Halloween spirit are:
In Sound Mind
Not many games have received the hype that In Sound Mind has, and around All Hallows Eve, its psychological horror atmosphere fits right in with the rest of the bunch. This love child of Alan Wake and Psychonauts has just enough suspense and eeriness that it will leave any player’s skin crawling. This title, created by Modus games and developer We Create Stuff, tasks the player with navigating a creepy setting from a first-person perspective. There are some really neat and unique elements to this title, and it will leave the player on the edge of their seat.
At one point, the player must utilize a piece of a fractured mirror to ward off a creepy adversary. It seems even the enemies scare themselves in this spooky title.
Doki Doki Literature Club Plus
This game can seriously unnerve even the bravest of souls. Judging a book by its cover will seriously be the beginning of nightmares for this title. Our Review states “As an indie game that is designed to shock and terrorize the player, few games can stand with Doki Doki Literature Club + on the same ground. The anxiety-inducing scenes where you know a harrowing event is about to take place are done with expert flourish, and the emotional toll it takes on the player doesn’t let up even when the credits roll.” This title is terribly hard to explain without spoiling the narrative.
If any readers have the strength to overcome this horrific title, equip strong armour, because the subject matter is very graphic. The music of this title sends shivers down the players spines and still, to this day, merely thinking about it, makes my skin crawl. With its console release this year for every platform, getting to see what the hype is about has never been easier. This game warns the player well… and who doesn’t like a good psychological horror?
Alan Wake Remastered
This truly redefined and reupholstered port of a dynamite narrative throws players down an elevator of emotion in the shoes of Alan Wake, a writer who has massive writer’s block in the eerie atmosphere of fictional-town Bright Falls, Washington. His most recent work happens upon a supernatural phenomenon, and Alan must overcome his own novel that has come to life in this psychological horror title. The stakes are high, as Alan’s wife gets entrapped by this phenomenon and drives Alan through the plot.
In our review, by Hayes Madsen, he writes “Alan Wake has always been an absurdly atmospheric horror game, but the remaster helps crank all of that up even more. The way mist creeps over the hills and light filters through the trees is as breathtaking as it is eerie. There’s an unsettling atmosphere that permeates the entire game and combining that with quality audio design creates an experience that can easily get under your skin.”
This is not a title to be missed by any fans who love good narrative, and love to be unnerved by atmospheric manipulation.
Little Nightmares II
With a name like Little Nightmares, the title is an oxymoron of sorts. As we at CGMagazine have reviewed its predecessor, the series returned this year with a horrifying sequel. The game constantly leaves the player with a sense of uncertainty, and that classic LN feel returns. Huge monstrosities threaten the small protagonist, Mono, and even a familiar face in the original title’s Six, leads you on as your very own Vergil through this Inferno of a hellscape.
The imagery in this game has the player demanding ‘that’s not real’ at every turn. Getting too comfortable in the beautifully designed backdrops will become the players undoing, as huge threats lurk around every corner. Constant static and propagandist messaging from TVs scattered through the landscape add a more harrowing effect, reminding the player to stay alert, although surely the feeling of clammy hands will be more effective.
In a very warranted sequel, Little Nightmares II does a lot to frighten the player to the point of stopping, but it’s satisfying enough to have the player see it through to the bitter end. For those who haven’t played the original, it is a good place as any to start, but remember that the horrific adversaries are only inside your television.
Resident Evil: Village
As if anyone would be surprised about Resident Evil: Village being on this list, especially now that the Winters Expansion is now live. This game has overcome its own title to become an entity on the internet, where praise has been given to the titular vampiric villain, Lady Alcina Dimitrescu. The plot takes place 3 years after the events of the equally horrific Resident Evil 7: Biohazard and continues the first-person perspective of the hit Capcom survival horror series.
The game continues from the point of view of Ethan Winters, the hero from the preceding game, and sees the iconic hero from Raccoon City, Chris Redfield, return. In typical Resident Evil fashion, the player is tasked with confronting some of the vilest creations in gaming. Director Morimasa Sato wanted this game to be reminiscent of “a horror movie that you can play,” and it is definitely that.
The village is filled with horrors, and the never-safe unnerving feeling Resident Evil is iconic for, returns in full force. This title is survival horror at its finest. While not as terrifying as Biohazard, fans who have not confronted this horror and deign to explore the village, should bring their brown pants. Braver players who want more scares can roll with Resident Evil 7: Biohazard, as some moments really entrench in the players mind hauntingly and is a masterclass in horror.
Game companies are upping the ante when it comes to horror titles. For gamers who are having trouble getting into the Halloween spirit, look no farther than these titles. The scares that befall gamers who dare to play these titles will likely sleep with the lights on after. What a horrible night to have a curse indeed.
Evil Dead: The Game
Anyone who has watched the films and appreciated them for 39 years shouldn’t miss Evil Dead: The Game if you can really understand the care and attention to detail that was put into developing it.
The game is an asymmetrical 4v1 multiplayer experience that at first glance resembles Dead by Daylight but actually plays more like a melee-focused scavenging that resembles a battle royale. As the devil player grows stronger each time, players will need to work together to complete goals while grabbing whatever upgrades and weaponry they can, and getting into some visually grotesque fights along the way.
The atmosphere, however, is what makes the game so enjoyable: rain and lightning add to the dark tone as the evil deadites cackle in the distance, tear off your limbs and try to maim you with it. Trees wobble, items fall all around you, and fans get to witness recreations of the iconic Sam Raimi camera angles from the movie while you’re driving cars or casually controlling a demon. The two maps in the game right now both feature familiar spots for fans of the franchise, but regrettably neither of them features the iconic cottage in the woods. Instead, the majority of the sites are from the series or brand-new rural landscapes that are less recognizable.
Walking through such intricate scenery that seems to have been plucked from a movie is an experience in and of itself, and hearing Bruce reprise his legendary part is the icing on the cake. I’m sure the game would be enjoyable if you didn’t know anything about the movies, but it’s a real treat for longtime fans of the franchise, bringing back the old school horror we all adore.
What makes it even more exciting is the new Hail to the King is now here, bringing the Blacksmith from Army of Darkness and a new single-player mission to Evil Dead: The Game to make for an even more fun and frightful experience.
What would you do if you woke up locked in a dark room, with your hands covered in blood? The PT-inspired steam game MADiSON promises to give you some gritty audio and visual thrills that will make your heart race and a deranged psychological journey into a chilling and compelling narrative.
Playing as Luca, players will experience the horrific abuse of MADiSON, a demon that has made him carry out a bloody ritual that was initiated decades ago, forcing him to execute some pretty heinous actions. Players will find themselves in a run-down house surrounded by surreal and frequently grisly sights with the game’s main mechanic being an outdated Polaroid camera that may just indicate the transition into a more sinister setting than you could have thought imaginable.
Very similar to Visage, you will have to go through a series of intricate puzzles to uncover the truth behind your connection with the supernatural and murderous entity that hangs over your shoulder. If you can brave through the complexity of the gameplay, players definitely won’t be turning off the light anytime soon.