The darker aspects of the human mind have produced masterpieces in the novel, shorter fiction and film. The genre of horror has even produced social movements of which the goth subculture is a prime example. The latest form of entertainment to explore the nature of terror is the gaming industry. Video games add a whole new element to the mix, allowing us to interact more directly with agents of mayhem and terror. In a movie the viewer is static, able only to observe the approaching danger with dread, to mourn the ill-made decision of a buxom young blonde girl pursued by deranged killer. In a video game, you are the blonde girl and you make the decisions. It’s a whole new level of fear.
With this in mind, I have selected five of the best horror video games for you to play… alone… on Halloween… at night… Wait! What was that sound? Hello? Is anyone there?
This 2015 release encapsulated the definitive horror scenario: seven friends holiday in an isolated mountain cabin and are pursued by deranged murderers. Until Dawn made all the right moves and invigorated a somewhat stale gaming genre. Players take control of all characters in the story and are responsible for the fate of each. It is possible for all to survive and for all to die. The game utilizes a Butterfly Effect system in which any choice may lead to an unforeseen outcome at a later time.
Oh, and don’t even think of trying to reload this game to retake your earlier decisions. The auto save system is absolutely brutal and forces players to face the outcomes of their actions.
The Origami Killer, a serial killer with a terrible modus operandi: During the periods of extended rainfall the killer kidnaps young boys and locks them in a place that will become flooded by the deluge, causing his victim to die by drowning. The victim’s body will always be found with an orchid on their chest and an animal origami figure in their cusped hands.
The game itself concerns four protagonists whose fates are bound to that of the Origami Killer. They are a diverse bunch: a private investigator and former marine investigating the crimes of the murderer; an FBI officer tasked with aiding the official police investigation; a young photojournalist who is drawn into documenting the crimes; and a young man whose son has been kidnapped by the villain, and who must pass five trials set by the killer to keep his son alive…
Any Silent Hill game
The definitive horror series in gaming, The Silent Hill franchise premiered in 1999 with Silent Hill and shifted the focus from the more action-horror oriented games of the past (such as Resident Evil) to target a more intense brand of fear. In doing so, Silent Hill single handedly created the survival horror subgenre of gaming.
The majority of these games take place in the eponymous American town of Silent Hill, a strange place dominated by nightmarish monsters and psychological tensions. For a maximized scare factor, consider exploring the first four titles of the series, which specifically focused on less action and more scares. Good luck.
The hit film series finally got a hit 8th gen game. Modeled on the more horror themed original Alien movie, this game follows the protagonist Amanda Ripley as she investigates the disappearance of her mother Ellen Ripley. A crucial piece of evidence in Amanda’s search has been discovered and is being held on a remote space station. However, upon her arrival to the said station, she finds that a monster has been hunting the crew and the cyborgs on board the ship have gone rogue.
The game excellently creates both tension and fear as the player must avoid the Alien hunter, a creature which is faster and stronger than the player and which cannot be directly killed.
The Evil Within
This last entry bridges the gap between the action horror gameplay of the Resident Evil series and the stark terror of Silent Hill. It concerns the police officer Sebastian Castellanos as he battles against a terrible entity called Ruvik and the beings that Ruvik commands…