Horror video games to last you until Christmas

Graphic by Alan Li

Video games can be a harrowing experience, whether it’s limited ammo, puzzles you need a PhD to decipher, or even having the companions that make you want to walk straight into the firefight – looking at you Ashley Graham.  

However, there is the game genre that likes to kick it up a notch. It’s my dreadful delight to offer a list of the most riveting horror games – in no particular order – for the most frightening month of the year. 

 

 Killing Floor 2: Halloween Horrors and the “Summer Sideshow” 

For those of you who love PC gaming, Halloween is a fantastic time for Steam sales! Until Nov. 1, Killing Floor 2 has released special DLC content for Halloween.  

If you’re looking for some mindless slaughter and carnage to distract you from the anxiety and stress of essays, then I highly encourage the excessive brutality you will experience with this game. 

 

 The Last of Us 

The Last of Us is a uniquely heartfelt example from the horror game franchise. Considered to be an action-adventure survival horror game, there are so many beautiful things to love about it. 

It draws you in with incredible graphics, weaves in the charm of highly-likeable characters, fantastic gameplay elements – such as stealth, crafting, third-person gunplay – and a haunting soundtrack that perfectly envelops you into this virtual world.  

When you’re not being bombarded with emotional cut-scenes that reduce you to a sobbing mess, you’re holding your breath praying not to be heard as you’re on your last round of ammo and an army of antagonists lurk around you. 

If this game doesn’t give you anxiety whenever you hear clicking sounds, then you may just have to replay it on one of its many harder difficulty settings. 

 

The Evil Within 2 

Would you like to associate Debussy’s Clair de Lune with something other than Twilight? Or drawn out piano lessons?  

If so, I would highly recommend The Evil Within 2. 

The recently released game – a fantastic sequel to the previous title – is a visually breathtaking work of survival horror.  

If you enjoy horror games with stealth options, smooth gunplay, crafting and customization – think a spookier, more claustrophobic version of The Last of Us – with a wonderfully entrancing storyline and frightening sequences that aren’t just jump-scares, The Evil Within 2 will be a worthy buy. 

 

Bioshock 

I would be amiss to exclude one of my all-time favourite games, Bioshock, from this list.  

For many of us, the concept of being trapped in a city under the sea seems scary enough to begin with. Or maybe it’s the influence of Ayn Rand that has fans spooked. 

Either way, a dark atmosphere, spine-tingling music, jump scares and repulsive villains, contribute to a gameplay that truly unsettles you when you go through the city of Rapture alone.  

Unlike many games, Bioshock has customizability that allows you to re-play it many times over. When all is not right in the city of Rapture, do not trust those who sound most like your friends…  

 

SOMA 

Sci-fi horror fans will appreciate a game like SOMA, which is set – like Bioshock – under the sea.  

Much like a nightmare come true, you will discover that it’s a game that doesn’t allow you to fight back – meaning all you can do is run away.  

This adds to the psychological horror of the atmosphere, because you are tasked with finding a way to outsmart the frightening creatures that lurk within the game.  

If you appreciated Amnesia: The Dark Descent and its ambient horror, then you will likely find yourself thoroughly enjoying SOMA 

 

Resident Evil 7 

Despite the most recent adaptations of the franchise – which have been below audience expectations – the latest installment of Resident Evil has been dramatically different from the others. 

It focusses on more of the survival elements of horror than it did in past years – as opposed to the usual hack-and-slash gameplay from previous titles. It has great visuals and is the first of the series that has a first-person perspective, which makes the experience of playing this installment more immersive. 

Add on the unpredictable twists and endless jump scares, this game is high on the list. Plus, really, what’s more terrifying than hillbillies? Which are a-plenty here. 

 

Dead Space  

This is a classic for those of you who are interested in space horror and sci-fi games. Dead Space magnificently combines gunplay, exploration and customization, with thrilling elements like dark, confined spaces and truly terrifying undead abominations.

It does an excellent job of both confronting you with some of your worst – and most claustrophobic – nightmares, while giving you the satisfaction of shooting their heads off for scaring the crap out of you every five minutes. 

 

Amnesia: The Dark Descent 

It would be impossible to finish a horror video game list without Amnesia. It has everything that makes up a perfect horror game. Exactly why I recommend that, when you play through it for the first time, you do it alone, lights out, with headphones on.  

With a gameplay focus that is obtrusively dark, isolated and tense, it creates an atmosphere built on tension with almost no effort at all. 

If you’re not a jumpy, panicked mess after playing Amnesia, then you must really have nerves of steel. 

There you have it, the top spookiest games for the spookiest season. Hopefully now you’ve got some ideas on how to keep the spirit of Halloween going all the way through to November.  

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