Every October we like to get into the spirit of the Halloween season by turning the lights off and playing some spooky or scary games. Here are 5 that get our pulses racing…
Resident Evil 7
Having started out over two decades ago as a tension filled survival horror series, the Resident Evil games evolved almost unrecognisably to become the sort of action-packed extravaganzas that Michael Bay would be proud of.
Much to the relief of many long-term fans, Resident Evil 7 was therefore a triumphant return to its roots as the explosions and high tempo QTE sequences were replaced with slow pacing, creepy environments and cryptic puzzles as Ethan Winters searches the Louisana home of the Baker family in search of his missing girlfriend, Mia.
And, in a first for the series, players find themselves confronting the horror from a first person perspective, making the jumps and scares feel even more viceral as Ethan is stalked and terrorise by the corrutped forms of the Bakers and other creatures that have taken up residence in their home.
Five Nights at Freddy’s
Working the nightshift as a security guard at Freddy Fazbear’s Pizzeria should be a cakewalk. After all, who would want to break in to a pizzeria? But you should really be more concerned about what wants to break out. Namely the animatronic characters that entertain children during the day but come to life and roam around at night.
In later games in the series, the action moves to other locations, such as a child’s bedroom and a maintenance facility owned by a sister company of Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza. But the premise always remains the same – survive each night using the tools at your disposal to keep the marauding animatronic horrors at bay because if they manage to reach your location… Well, get ready for a jump scare.
When engineer Isaac Clarke and the crew of the USG Kelion are dispatched as part of a repair crew answering an SOS from mining ship, they have no idea what terrors have been unleashed within the gigantic USG Ishimura.
Necromorphs, the horrfically mutated corpses of the former crew, now stalk the decks of the ship, hunting for prey to rip limb from limb. The few survivors who have evaded their clutches have been driven completely insane by the horrors they have witnessed. An ancient artifact unearthed by the illegal mining operation seems to be responsible for this outbreak of madness.
With the Kelion destroyed upon arrival and armed only with his trusty plasma cutter, Isaac desparately tries to find a way off the Ishimura to escape this hellish nightmare.
Miles, an investigative journlist, arrives at the Mount Massive Asylum on a cold and wet night. The abandoned military vehicles parked outside the delapidated psychiatric hospital should be a warning not to go any further but he presses ahead regardless. Once inside he is confronted with corpse-littered halls as he soon discovers the building has become overrun by homicidal patients.
A common theme amongst the games on this list is the sense of helpless players experience. And for none of the games on this list is this more true than Outlast. While the others offer at least some way to defend yourself, Outlast gives Miles no such luxury. Instead, he has just two options as he tries to survive – run and hide.
Set 15 years after the events of Alien, Amanda Ripley travels to the remote Sevastopol station seeking information on the fate of her mother. However, the station appears damaged and unresponsive as Amanda’s ship approaches to dock.
During a spacewalk to investigate, Amanda is separated from the rest of the crew and must enter the station alone. Once aboard, she must survive confronatations with homicidal synthetics, crazy humans and, of course, the titular alien, which relentlessly tracks Amanda throughout the station, invariably emerging from a duct at the most inopportune of times.
Although Amanda can arm herself with an impressive arsenal of weapons to deal with the android and human aggressors, the best she can hope for against the alien is to get some temporarily respite by driving it away. But sooner or later, the familar beep while appear on Amanda’s motion tracker again. And then the inevitable choice – to make a stand and try to drive it off again, or find the nearest locker to hide in or table to cower under and hope she can avoid detection until it loses interest and seeks other prey instead.