It’s the month of October, where the spirit of the Pumpkin King finally rises from the depths of terrifying high-pitched screams and froth of your Venti-sized pumpkin spice latte. But do you find yourself getting tired of the usual well-decorated haunted houses, or not attracted by the lustre of dressing up and subjecting yourself to the scare zones in Sentosa simply because the purple line is too far away? Revive your spirit for Halloween by playing these 6 horror games that will guarantee you praying for daylight to break once you are done with any one of them.
This is not even a full game per say. Created to exist as a game teaser for players to have a fleeting glimpse of how the now cancelled ‘Silent Hills’ game will be like, it had unseasoned players of horror jumping out of their skins as they try to find a way to break the seemingly endless loop within an empty house. Use proper headsets and a big PC screen to get the epic 10/10 horrifying experience, and feel broken afterwards when you start to register what a great horror piece ‘Silent Hills’ could’ve been if there were no complications.
In moments of danger, all of us are always presented with the instinctive option to either engage in Fight or Flight. But ‘Outlast’ forces all hot heads out there to calm down and take the route of running (and hiding) for dear life. A pragmatic camcorder is all you have to ‘arm’ yourself with limited night vision and the ability to record the onslaught of bloody and grotesque events happening in an asylum. The rest calls for you be the ‘mouse’, while the ‘cats’ relish in hunting you down and possibly, ripping you to pieces.
On the bright side, this at least offers you the option to fight off the Xenomorph Drone. But that’s just a losing game right from the start (literally). Wreck your nerves to the very core as your character is required to evade the presence of the Alien and play the occasional ‘game of tag’ from other enemies as well. Do not underestimate the Alien, as the creature is programmed to adapt accordingly to the various, but repetitive methods you will resort to in order to escape it. The key thing to reaching the end of this game is to never rush - there are limited save points implemented in the game. So take it easy, clean out your ears and pick up on the slightest noise that indicates the strange form is nearby to survive.
Dead Space (Series)
Never let the young ones near the soundtracks of this game or they will never hear the song ‘Twinkle Twinkle Little Star’ the same way ever again. ‘Dead Space’ is definitely one of the best survival horror games that have players overthinking about the scattered corpses poised silently in the background. Not to mention the unavoidable cringe you might have when you are forced to mutilate corpses just in case (There's no fun in spoiling the surprise, so play it to know for yourself!). Prepare for the occasional jumpscare but trust me when I say that’s the least scariest part. Maybe you can soften the blow by inviting one of your other friends to play this with you, because co-op is thankfully available on the last two installments of the series.
Amnesia: The Dark Descent
You can’t fight this, like literally you can’t. Before ‘Outlast’, the ‘Amnesia’ series has been one of the more prominent survival horror series that forces the player to use stealth. Throughout the game you’d only be prompted by creepy sound cues that your antagonist is nearby. The final catch is that unlike ‘Outlast’, staring at your enemies long enough or being in the dark for too long can result in your character to suffer from a bout psychosis and eventually, death. The only hope you have to retain your character’s life is through the use of light sources like candles.
Condemned: Criminal Origins
Old is gold, so don’t put this horror game piece away simply because the graphics aren’t as refined as its other horror game predecessors. We all have to start somewhere - and start it did as ‘Condemned: Criminal Origins’ was praised for having a ‘fresh approach’ to the horror genre in games at the time. I was spooked by a jumpscare just ten minutes into the game. Players can wince at the savage gameplay as they attack their enemies whilst fulfilling childhood daydreams of being a crime investigator all at the same time.
The last thing to remember is to always play these games with a pair of good headsets. To do otherwise would be to do the amazing sound design for each of the games injustice. Plus the soundtracks and noise effects add a whole layer of fear across the entire experience!