Halloween is almost upon us, which can only mean one thing: the once peaceful streets of the UK will soon be overrun by ghosts, demons and people dressed as cats.
Needless to say if you’re too terrified to leave the house, but still fancy joining in with the celebration, you could always power up your trusty console. There are dozens of brilliant horror games available to play this Halloween, and we’ve rounded up the best of them.
These horror classics are sure to get your pulse racing, not to mention get your Halloween off to a smashing start…
With its creepy locale and chilling premise, Alan Wake was the talk of the town when it was first announced in 2005. Unfortunately, horror fans had to wait another five years to play it, as the game underwent a series of major design changes. The resulting game, released in 2010, follows bestselling author Alan Wake, who, upon taking a vacation to Bright Falls, witnesses his novel spring to life before his very eyes. With its intriguing plot, superb soundtrack (The Old Gods of Asgard, anyone?), and some of the most tense action in video game history, this one’s a real treat.
Resident Evil 6
Whatever you think of Resident Evil’s new direction, you can’t deny the series is synonymous with horror. The latest installment, Resident Evil 6, attempts to appease fans of the original games and newcomers alike, offering three distinct campaigns to blast through. With stunning visuals, fantastic sound design and improved combat (including the ability to unleash powerful melee attacks), this is a vast improvement on the somewhat lacking Resident Evil 5.
As horror-buffs will undoubtedly know, few things are scarier than demonic children. Especially those with a fondness for hiding in dark corners, waiting for the perfect moment to strike. That’s precisely what happens in F.E.A.R, though. While the story is unlikely to make sense to those who haven’t played the previous games (and if you haven’t, they can be snapped up for a mere pennies these days), F.E.A.R 3 remains a fantastic example of a horror shooter.
Dead Space 2
Modern cosmology tells us that 99 percent of the universe is made of stuff we can’t actually see. Indeed, that’s certainly the feeling you get while playing Dead Space 2. Set three years after the original game, on the mysterious city of Titan, Dead Space 2′s greatest asset – at least in terms of scares – lies in what you don’t see. And with bloodthirsty Necromorphs on the loose, series protagonist Isaac Clarke is in for one heck of a bumpy ride. A modern horror classic.
Silent Hill: HD Collection
Silent Hill is arguably the most iconic horror series in gaming history, and with good reason. You see, while Resident Evil trades on simple yet effective scares, Silent Hill takes a more psychological approach to the genre, with images and events that have been specifically designed to shake players up emotionally. This collection takes the two most celebrated games in the series, Silent Hill 2 and 3, and remasters them in high definition. Absolutely essential.
Siren: Blood Curse
Originally released in episodic installments, Siren: Blood Curse takes all 12 blood-curdling episodes and slaps them onto a single disc. Technically the third game in the long-running series, which began on PS2 with the criminally overlooked Siren, the latest game adopts many of the same mechanics. The most notable of which is the ability to ‘sightjack’, which not only allows players too see through the eyes of shuffling cadavers, but also discover clues about their environment. What ensures is a tense, stealth-based romp that never fails to worm its way into your psyche. Utterly terrifying.
Condemned: Criminal Origins
Released during the early days of the Xbox 360, Condemned: Criminal Origins still holds up pretty well in the horror stakes. Following the adventures of Ethan Thomas, an investigative agent on the trail of the the Match Maker – a serial killer wreaking havoc on the fictional streets of Metro – Condemned is arguably one of the most terrifying games on console. With excellent lighting effects, innovative weapons (many of which can be ripped from the city walls, including wooden planks and drainage pipes) this deserves to be in everybody’s game library.
Left 4 Dead 2
Nothing screams “horror classic” quite like a zombie apocalypse. Indeed, it’s the premise of countless books, television shows and movies, but rarely has the imminent uprising been so believable. Much like its predecessor, Left 4 Dead 2 keeps the story relatively simple, but it’s the execution that impresses here. Environments drip with detail, gunplay is refined, and the the AI director – which governs precisely how scary the game will be – has been massively improved for sequel. Terrifying stuff.
BioShock is possibly the most disturbing game ever made. Needless today, much of its inherent creepiness is down to the city of Rapture itself – an underwater dystopia, frozen in time, and inhabited by genetically modified freaks known only as Splicers. What’s more, the 1950s soundtrack, Art Deco hallways and leaking pipes only exacerbate the horror. Definitely one to play with the lights on, then.
Back in early twenty eleven, the gaming world went nuts for a single trailer advertising a video game. The game in question was Dead Island. With its mournful piano and family-centric drama, many hoped the game would break new ground in terms of cinematic spectacle. While the game, it transpired, didn’t have much to do with the trailer, Dead Island remains an thoroughly enjoyable, open-world zombie slasher. The game also features one of the best co-op modes on console, making this the perfect game to play with friends.
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