It’s that time of year already, the one night a year even the biggest wimps feel the twinge to get something shocking in their system. The ABG team have been discussing which horror games are their favourite and we figured that maybe it would be good to put it out there and hopefully give some ideas for scary games to play on Halloween. We hope you enjoy, not too much obviously.
Website Manager – Darren: Obscure (2004 – PS2/Xbox/PC)
Obscure is a game so far ahead of its time that there was no real rival up until the release of Supermassive Games, Until Dawn. multiple playable characters with intertwining stories, unique abilities and permadeath. Set in a high school fighting an unknown horror, it screams with inspiration of 1998’s The Faculty. One of the seminal horror movies of my teenage years. You can still play Obscure on Steam and it still plays very well considering its age. Go on, give it a go, you won’t be sorry.
Contributor – Rudy Manchego: Everybody’s Gone To The Rapture (2015 – PS4/PC)
Is Everybody’s Gone To The Rapture a horror game? This ‘walking sim’ from British devs The Chinese Room first launched on PS4 in 2015 before a PC port in 2016 and is honestly one of my favourite games. You play, or at least wander around, as an unspecified person across a deserted British village in the 1980’s. As you meander across a gorgeously realised landscape you see flashes of light that show you glimpses of time and experiences of the people who once lived in the village. Some of this is dedicated to the apocalyptic happenings that start to occur but more importantly it is about the various personalities of this village. Their hopes, their dreams and what the end of all things means to them. It is this glimpse into these people’s lives that cements this as a horror game in my mind. In some cases you are seeing their last moments as they confront their impending death and what this makes them confront about themselves. With fantastic writing and possibly one of the most memorable gaming scores of all time by Jessica Curry, this is a game that stays with you long after the credits roll.
Editor – Jason: Dead Space 2 (2011 – Xbox 360/PS3)
Dead Space came out to a lot of acclaim, and so the sequel had a lot to live up to. Thankfully, it met and even exceeded these expectations in many ways. You had eerie corridors, and gory dismemberment in the original. But it introduced a number of new mechanics and shook up the gameplay by making the unexpected happen. Not to mention that ever constant atmosphere. But crucially, Isaac now had a voice, which allowed the introduction of psychological horror. Although you’d been stomping Necromorphs for hours in the original. Dead Space 2 reveals some of the psychological costs, and really plays up this aspect, as well as enabling some character growth. If you feel like having a mix of physical AND psychological thrills, Dead Space 2 is your game. And this comes from someone who doesn’t play many horror games.
Senior Editor/Reviews Manager – Mike: Resident Evil 4 (2005 – PS2/Gamecube/PC)
Back when times were simpler, and innovations were made in leaps rather than steps Resident Evil 4 (developed and published by Capcom) shook the foundations of the Horror genre. Seeing as Resident Evil 4 hasn’t been around for 20 years, it hasn’t quite earned the title of classic – well, all but in technicality. And yet, I remember it in vivid detail as if it were yesterday (with all the re-releases maybe it was?). I still have nightmares about the immortal regenerative spikey-boi ceaselessly hunting me in cutting edge over-the-shoulder gameplay. I reminisce about hating the lack of crosshair – only to have the laser-dots immersive aiming grow on me. Bluntly stated Resi-4 is a must play masterpiece, perfect for the Halloween Horror and a personal favorite.
Editor – Rickard: Alien Isolation (2014 – PC/PS4/Xbox One)
Alien Isolation stands out to me when I think about horror games. In fact, Alien Isolation sits in my mind as THE horror game. The Creative Assembly’s homage to the cult-classic films is one of the greatest “movie-games” ever created. Crawling through the vents of the space station Sevastapol, still makes me as anxious as a millennial trying to make a dentist appointment. And not only do you have to face the alien, which is unkillable I might add, but you also have to fight off disgusting androids and human survivors alike. The first time you encounter the Alien and the way its tail slithers past you will forever haunt my dreams. Amanda Ripley earns her place among the great game heroines in this creep-fest of a game.
Editor – Olly: Zombies Ate My Neighbours (1993 /SNES/SEGA Mega Drive)
I’m gonna be upfront about this. Horror games are bullshit. Why, oh why would I want to experience terror in a medium that relentlessly pushes the boundaries of immersion. Watching teenagers get murderated is bad enough. But being that dappy, flappy idiot running up the stairs when they should be running out the door? Jesus. Isn’t life short enough? Slap a VR “hell”met on that and you can suck my nope till next Tuesday. I’m not young, I’ve tried a lot of drugs. I’m about three and a half jump scares away from my own, very personal experience of the great beyond.
So it’s no surprise that my favourite horror game isn’t really very scary. Not that I ever played Zombies Ate My Neighbours alone, mind you. This is 90s couch co-op at its very finest, in what is in my opinion the most wondrously whacky homage to the classic B-movie ever made. Kitted out with water-pistols soaked in holy water, you’ll battle creatures from the black lagoon, giant babies, shape-shifting werewolves, axe-wielding dolls, chainsaw chopping masked mad-men and of course, hordes and hordes of the titular zombie fodder. Well I say “you’ll” be killing them, in my case I wandered limply after my marginally older cousin who dispensed with these ghoulish garrisons with a finesse I have been trying to emulate most of my gaming life.
And emulate is exactly what you’ll need to do, if you want to try your hands at this classic, not so scary horror masterpiece. Released in 1993 for the Mega Drive and Super Nintendo, it belongs to a simpler time. A time when mindless violence was whacky, and fun. A time when “being scared on camera” wasn’t a career (I’m looking at you 5 Nights at Freddy’s). But most importantly, a time some idiot decided to take your monitor, stick it inside of a visor and couple it with resident fucking evil.
Take me back, please god, take me back.
Senior Editor/News Manager – James Wright: Bendy and the Ink Machine (2017 PC/XboxOne/PS4
As fans of the ABG Podcast will know, indie titles make up the main diet of my video game consumption. So much so, that I’m a bit of a hipster. True story. Way ahead of your mainstream, AAA curve. Anyways, my horror title of choice is also an indie game. Though, admittedly, it’s a bit more of a cult favourite than some others.
Bendy and the Ink Machine is my choice. It’s not the scariest of games, nor is it the most original. However, the aesthetic, for me, is what grabs my attention. Think 1940s Steamboat Willy-era Disney animation and you’re in the ballpark. Then add an unhealthy dose of Amnesia and you’ve got Bendy.
The game takes part in the abandoned Joey Drew Studios… At least, it’s supposed to be abandoned. The sinister machinations of the eponymous Ink Machine has lead to twisted creations running amok through the studio. None as twisted as the titular Bendy.
You need to escape Joey Drew Studios and solve the mystery of what happened. Of course, the wandering monsters don’t make it an easy task.
Bendy has become a fairly successfully cult favourite. A couple of mobile spin-offs, plenty of merchandise, a popular YouTube channel, dozens of fan’s UGC online, and a sequel in the works points to one thing; there’s plenty of life left in the machine.
Unless, of course, the Creator lied to us…
Hopefully we’ve given you some ideas for games to play this Halloween, let us know in the comments and please let us know any games you would recommend we give a play.
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Gamer, dad and supporter of @SpecialEffect Charity. Dark Souls fan and gooner!