BANG TO FRIGHTS
These games are guaranteed to give you a scare this Halloween
IT’S that magical time of year when we can embrace our darker sides... With Halloween just days away, I’ve been exploring the more macabre side of gaming. Horror movies are all very well and good, but nothing gets the blood pumping quite like being immersed in a terrifying game. The tension, anxiousness, fear, and adrenaline – it’s thrilling.
So if you’re after a truly unforgettable Halloween this year, these are the games you should be playing ...
THIS may not be the scariest game on the list, but it’s certainly one of the more unnerving.
There’s something strange happening in underwater research facility PATHOS-2.
The radio has fallen silent, and the mechanical issues plaguing the machines have become almost murderous. You have no weapons, and the only hope of escape means a horrible death in the deep and freezing, dark waters that surround you.
Beautifully realised environments rich in colour and texture add to a real sense of claustrophobia, as the metal hull groans and creaks under the constant pressure of the deep ocean. While not as truly terrifying as Amnesia, with SOMA, developers Frictional Games created a more thoughtful horror game that explores the delusions of human consciousness.
PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PC DEVELOPERS have tried time and again to make a genuinely scary Alien game – and so far the only one which has come close is Alien Isolation.
I don’t think I’ve been as scared as I was when I was hiding in a locker, the sound of panicked breathing in my ear as I prayed the xenomorph wouldn’t find me.
Dripping with tension and terror, you find yourself cowering in dark corners and hugging bulkheads in the hope that the alien which is stalking the corridors doesn’t hear you.
And if the fear factor isn’t enough for you, there’s a VR mod for the Oculus Rift which means you can enjoy the terrifying experience in virtual reality.
But beware if someone comes knocking at your door while you are playing, the xenomorph can ‘hear’ noise in the real world, and will come to finish you off.
RESIDENT EVIL 7: BIOHAZARD
PS4, Xbox One, PC
SET in an eerie plantation in the depths of Louisiana, Ethan Winters is desperately searching for his wife. Unfortunately for Ethan, the plantation is home to the Baker family – who are more Sweeney Todd than Paul Hollywood... Biohazard boasts a complex map, with twists and turns, hidden areas and horrors around ever corner. The sparse soundtrack heightens the fear, with you questioning the origin of every creak and bang.
The action is incredibly tense, playing in the dark adds to the oppressive atmosphere with jump scares and some truly gory encounters. Pressure is added by the fact useful items are hard to come by, forcing you into subsistence gaming.
For those lucky enough to have a VR machine capable of running Res 7, you have the added option of being able to totally immerse yourself in the situation. Although I don’t know if that would do my blood pressure any favours..
THE EVIL WITHIN 2
PS4, Xbox One, PC
I LIKE to think it takes a lot to unsettle me. But long after I’d completed The Evil Within 2 I still had a nagging sense of unease ... and that’s a very good thing.
This game pulls no punches, starting with a horrifying sequence which sees protagonist Sebastian Castellanos relive the nightmare of his daughter’s supposed death.
It’s a brutal beginning, one which sets the policeman on a journey which will see you come face to face with equally visceral horrors within STEM – basically a version of the Matrix.
The atmosphere is genuinely tense, a sense of foreboding waiting around every corner. Enemies are belligerent and numerous, and there are many, many disgusting and inventive ways to die in STEM. With jumps, shocks and some genuinely disquieting segments, this is perfect to get your frights on.
CONDEMNED: CRIMINAL ORIGINS
Xbox 360, PC
A TWISTED killer is on the loose, but for FBI agent Ethan Thomas the hunt for the serial killer will take him on a journey through his greatest fears. Dark set-pieces see you moving through a shopping mall, mannequins silently watch your progress, a building sense of tension that actually has you imagine they’re moving. Combat is intense and visceral, brutal beatings served swiftly and without notice.
There’s a real heightened level of psychological tension throughout this game, especially if you play with the lights off and the surround sound on...
PS4, Xbox One, PC
WE ALL had illogical fears as children – and that’s exactly what Little Nightmares taps into.
As a rain-coated, barefoot child with nothing but a lighter for protection, you set out from your prison cell in a bid for freedom from ‘The Maw’.
This unsettling facility is deep underwater and filled with sickeningly monstrous inhabitants – all of whom want to catch the tiny child. The game’s hauntingly beautiful graphic style only fans the flames of fear – and, to be fair, the villains are not to be sniffed at. There’s the hideous butcher brothers, twisted chubby chefs who will put the child on the menu if they catch her; there’s the Janitor, with incredibly long arms who lurks in the darkness to grab at you, and then there’s The Maw’s guests, who come to the facility to eat. Nothing will stand in their way.
Ripley, I’m scared: Alien Isolation Condemned: Criminal Origins (above) and Little Nightmares (below)
Tense: The Evil Within 2