What scares you? Haunted mansions? Derelict spacecraft? Rotting, diseased monsters? Giant spiders? Escaped mental patients? Whatever your pleasure, video games are a great way to scare yourself silly and as they say, ‘Tis the Season!
With it being Halloween and all, we here at LevelSave thought we’d share with you what games have terrified us or just plain creeped us out. So join us for the most horrifying tales in all of gaming! (Insert Maniacal Laugh)
Dead Space (PS3/Xbox 360)
Oh Dead Space, you evil, evil game. Dead Space currently holds the record for the game that took me the longest to complete. This game scared me more than any game before it, so much so that it was well over a year before I’d conquered the USG Ishimura. Most horror games are great to play at night, but Dead Space, oh hell no! I could only play this one during the day for fear that a Necromorph would drag me under my bed and transform me into one of its own. I still think it’s the most disturbing game of this generation with its melding of some great Sci-Fi Horror films like Event Horizon and Alien. If you haven’t played this masterpiece yet and are in the mood for a righteous scare, give it a go.
Condemned 2: Bloodshot (PS3/Xbox 360)
It’s a little difficult to fully express what my first experience with a true “horror” game was like. I had played the Resident Evil games before, but to have a game truly keep me awake at night when the sun had long set was something entirely different. That experience was first realized with Condemned 2: Bloodshot. Wandering the very desolate suburban alleys and decrepit apartments of Metro City in an effort to hunt down SKX, going from one jump scare to the next. That was only part of it though, the other part was the sheer brutality in which you would dispose of the crazed denizens that would attack you with anything and everything that was on hand to bludgeon you with. Plus, who could forget about that f’ng bear. No baby in the world has the lung capacity to scream as loud as I did when that damn beast showed up. Condemnned 2 had introduced me to the beginnings of a genre of games in which I had not given credence to in years past. It scared the hell out of me, and I enjoyed every damn minute of it. Especially taking out that damn ballerina clown lady in the toy factory. That slowed and warped children’s music still gives me chills…
– Kenny Rioux
Before playing Outlast, the thought of a found footage survival horror game was a ridiculous notion, and yet, developer Red Barrels proved it could be done. Playing this game with an Oculus Rift literally made me fall out of my chair, Outlast is that damn scary. Proving that a game’s setting is ever important, Mount Massive Asylum becomes a character unto itself, becoming more and more menacing as the story progresses. Raving lunatics are one thing, but an oppressive environment right out of Hellraiser II makes them all the more difficult to deal with.
– Matt Curione
Limbo (Xbox Live Arcade, PlayStation Network (Vita, PS3), iOS, PC)
Limbo isn’t so much scary as it is creepy. Limbo puts you in control of a boy who you’re given no backstory on. Thegame starts with him awaking in a forest and just starting to walk. Everything is in black and white, and there are never any words spoken. People will try to kill him, spiders will try to eat him, he’ll get impaled on spikes, he’ll be shot with blowdarts, and all of it in frighteningly and creepily realistic ways. Limbo is the type of game that immerses you deeply and quickly, and leaves you glowingly shocked when your young protagonist is brutally ripped apart. The game is quick enough to be ran through in a few hours in a dark room and leave you creeped out and fearing that a giant spider will be behind you trying to eat you any moment.
Oh, it was also my game of the year at one point.
– Austin Griffith
Alan Wake (XBox 360/PC)
Playing through Alan Wake, the delightfully twisted creation of Remedy Entertainment, is like exploring a virtual Twin Peaks, only with a lot more monsters and murder. Imagine if David Lynch and Stephen King had a demonic love child and you’d have the creepy adventure of author Alan Wake as he tries to survive the eccentric town of Bright Falls. Running through the woods with only a flashlight and handgun to protect yourself was truly harrowing and I was honestly out of breath at the end of a bunch of chapters. Atmosphere, ridiculously brutal enemies and a sharp script are the highlights of this unique adventure.
– Matt Curione
Resident Evil (PlayStation)
The one that started it all. You can argue with me till you’re blue in the face, Resident Evil started the survival-horror genre of video games. Resident Evil’s fear comes mainly from an aspect that may be left unnoticed on some, the camera angles. Resident Evil masterfully instilled a fear of the unknown. You may of had plenty firepower to take out Tyrant, but walking into a new room, not knowing what that sound was around the corner would give you chills. The utter loneliness and almost helplessness the mansion’s atmosphere lent to the me would be crippling at times (hey, I was 12). Take the brilliant camera angles, the atmosphere and the inability to move like a normal human being due to tank controls and you have yourself one hell of a scary good time. P.S. the dogs weren’t that scary….
– Barry Villatoro
Dead Space 2 (PS3/PC/Xbox 360)
The much anticipated sequel from Visceral Games left many gamers huddled in the corner and crying for their mommy. Taking the winning formula from Dead Space it successfully iterated what worked and fixed much of what didn’t. In Dead Space 2 Isaac is a fully realized character with actual lines. Taking place on a space station known as the Sprawl, Dead Space 2 combines the familiar tight and claustrophobic corridors from the original with brand new settings that include space walks that require the use of maneuvering jets.
The visual fidelity was also heavily tweaked with improved lighting effects that significantly added to the creep factor. I forced myself to only play it at night and there were plenty of moments that left me with my heart racing and my skin crawling. The addition of new weapons further added variety to the game-play, my favorite being the Javelin gun which launches spears pneumatically, pinning limbs and full necromorphs to the wall. Nevertheless, Isaac’s bumped up lethality never leaves you feeling safe, especially as he suffers from bouts of hallucinations due to the effects of the marker. Dead Space 2 also features a very special section which, in my opinion, is perhaps the most terrifying section of any game in the past 10 years. The return to the Ishimura.
– Taryn Beach
Dark Souls (PS3/Xbox 360/PC)
There are two directions you can go once you touch down in the wretched world of Lodran; head one way to the Undead Burg and face enemies you can actually defeat, or head straight into the Catacombs and be promptly decapitated by a giant skeleton. Dark Souls is one of the few games that gives you the option to be horrified. Play with skill and you’ll rarely be overcome by the various demons, play like a fool and you will die, usually in gruesome ways.
Speaking of terror, let’s talk about Gravelord Nito for a second. The dude is literally an undead pile of skeletons that uses a giant bone blade to attack you! If that doesn’t scare you, you might already be dead.
– Matt Curione
Silent Hill (Playstation)
So if you’re bored this Halloween with nothing to do, how about you give one of these scare-fests a try, just don’t say we didn’t warn you!