In case you haven’t noticed all the spooky decorations in the storefronts and copious amounts of sweets on offer, it’s that time of year to ask yourself “How should I spend my Halloween?“. Do you go to a costume party? Take the kids Trick or Treating? Maybe sit down with your mates/significant other to watch a horror movie?
Well as I’m sure you are aware, all those answers are wrong. You should, of course, scare yourself silly by playing a frightful videogame. It’s a very popular genre, with way too many to list here, so I present just a few recommendations on how to make your Halloween go bump in the night.
1. Resident Evil VII
It was a terrifying way to start the gaming year so what better title to start off our list. Initially creating concern when shown, their changing the perspective to a first person view gave the flagging series the jolt it needed. This, combined with the introduction of the sadistic Baker family, makes RE7 an unsettling return to form. While still keeping the series tropes of fiendish puzzles and grizzly bosses, the new point of view makes for a much more immersive journey. Though for a truly “Brown Trousers” experience, give it a run through on PSVR.
Also try: the rest of the Resident Evil series (except for 2 & 3, which are still unavailable on current gen annoyingly)
2. Friday 13th The Game
While this Kickstarted title had a bit of a rocky launch with connection issues, crashes and practically non-existent match making, it is now a pretty solid game. With ridiculous attention to detail, you will really feel like your part of the iconic slasher series. As a counsellor you may start all bold and full of bravado but once the screen crackles and the music kicks in you’ll be running for your life or cowering under the bed like the clichéd movie victims you used to mock.
Also try: Dead by Daylight, similar premise but has Micheal Myers, Leatherface and (recently announced) Freddy Krueger DLC.
3. The Evil Within 2
Freshly released only a few weeks ago, this ghoulish sequel continues the story of Sebastian Castellanos and his investigation into the Mobius organization and it’s mind melding STEM project. Playing like the Resident Evil games of old (not surprising as this sequel was produced and supervised over by RE creator Shinji Mikami), you can expect another bout of disfigured freaks, jump scares, warped puzzles and an insane narrative.
Also try: The Evil Within, the start of Sebastian’s horrific investigation.
4. Layers of Fear
Art. What could be more peaceful and calming than the act of putting paint to canvas? Well, when your paint is blood and your canvas is human skin I think things have taken a very sinister turn. Layer of Fear is a creepy walk though the story of an artist’s rapid descent into madness. The imagery and atmospheric audio keep you unsettled as you get lost in a house that is as much a living labyrinth as it is a place of residence.
Also try: Observer, the same developer presents a cyberpunk murder investigation with a heavy dose of psychedelic mindhacking.
5. Alien Isolation
The first person consternation of RE7 mixed with the slavish attention to detail of Friday the 13th The Game, makes Alien Isolation not only one of the most terrifying games but possibly the most authentic movie tie-in ever made. What separates this from previous Alien titles is that it leans more to the drawn out, survival of the original Alien than the guns blazing extremes of the Aliens sequel. You are not a kick ass colonial marine shooting everything that moves. Here you are Amanda Riply, daughter of Ellen, playing cat & mouse with the dreaded xenomorph. A game of tense hide & seek where the punishment for making too much noise is a pointed tail puncturing through your chest.
Also try: Aliens Colonial Marines. This game is truly a horror show but in all the wrong ways.
And there you go, just a few games to get you in the Halloween spirit. Fangs for reading, take scare of yourselves.