Best Horror Games To Play This Halloween


Posted October 31, 2011 - By Brittany Vincent

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Dead Space 2

Looking for something a little frightening to save yourself from having to sit on the couch waiting to hand out candy this Halloween? Something a little more devious than your standard gaming fare? Never fear! We've gone over unintentionally terrifying games and even the underrated ones that somehow fell through the cracks over the years, but now it's time to look at the dazzling display of recent games that should send a few shivers down your spine. Some may not rely on chill-a-minute scares to disconcert you, but each is available now and should lend a delicious Halloween twist to your gaming session.


Deadly Premonition Review »


Deadly Premonition

Think Twin Peaks meets Silent Hill in this bizarre cult classic. Step into the shoes of FBI agent Francis York Morgan to investigate the murder of the young Anna Palmer, er, Anna Graham, in the little town of Greenvale. It's every bit as colorful and quirky as Twin Peaks, but when things start to deteriorate, a touch of the disturbing shines through. Enemies' stilted speech patterns and disconcerting appearances, as well as the fact that they can often appear out of nowhere, and your meager means of defense make this detective story a lot more unsettling than it appears. Even the methods with which you must investigate the murder of Graham are unorthodox: you'll collect images of evidence that allow York to piece together the details of what exactly went down at each crime scene. You also need to ensure that York eats well, rests, and keeps himself looking presentable, or suffer the consequences. Cars require gas and maintenance, York cannot run and fire weapons or execute attacks, and the open world operates with or without you. It all gives you an overwhelming sense of isolation, making this veritable trainwreck of a game terrifying on its own merits. It's worth a try, especially at its budget price.


Dead Space 2 Video Review »


Dead Space 2

If you couldn't get enough of curbstomping Necromorphs at every turn in the first Dead Space, you can do it twice as much in the sequel. Maybe not twice as much, but there's a good amount of Necromorph abuse in the explosive sequel. Isaac's a little crazier this time around, but he's also rocking a voice so he can sound like the bland buzz-cut everyman in every other video game, but that's beside the point. The point is that Dead Space 2 is riddled with some of the best jump-scares, gore, and body horror this side of video games. It's also a darn good third-person survival horror romp that should definitely find a place in your collection. The decapitations are bloodier, the Necromorphs are nastier, and the music is even more chilling. It may not be conventionally "scary," but it's quality in that Alien/Event Horizon sort of way.


Amnesia: The Dark Descent Getting Cozy Gameplay Clip »


Amnesia: The Dark Descent

This is a very special beast, and quite possibly one of the scariest games currently available, if you're into the type of scares it boasts. Protagonist Daniel is actually, like the title implies, an amnesiac, so as you work through the game you're just as clueless as he is. As you piece together the puzzle, of course you're going to face baddies. The catch? You're really just going to need to run and hide from the monsters like a crying little girl. All this while struggling to remain sane and dealing with hallucinations. Shadows play a large role in keeping you in the realm of the sane. Think Thief if you were trying not to lose your mind rather than using moss arrows to dampen the sound of your taffer's feet. It's a much slower-paced adventure than the previous two games on the list, but give it a fair shake. You may well find a new favorite, especially if you're fond of Penumbra.


FEAR 3 Review »


F.E.A.R. 3

The spine-tingling tale of Alma continues in the third installment to the F.E.A.R. series, creepy first-person shooters with delicious gunplay and some genuinely disturbing imagery. Alma's about to give birth to another hellspawn and many of the visuals of F.E.A.R. 3 twist around this idea like a demonic child's birthday party, complete with bloody dolls and mad scribblings all over the walls. This sequel packs co-op action and pulse-pounding multiplayer in addition to an entertaining campaign that despite its mundane sewer level and typical FPS mechanics delivers some great jump scares. Plus, Paxton Fettel is scary enough that you need only look into the eyes of that depraved creepster to stimulate some deep-seated terror.


Dead Island Video Review »


Dead Island

I can't think of too many more terrifying things than being stranded on an island full of the ravenous undead who want nothing more than your brains on a silver platter. Dead Island makes this nightmare a reality, and while it may be riddled with mundane fetch quests and some decidedly forgettable characters, it's one of the finest when it comes to zombie apocalypse simulators. Pick up an oar paddle, a baseball bat, a board...whatever you can get your hands on, and start bashing some heads in. It may not seem scary at first, but wait until you're cornered by a six-pack of flesh-eaters on a midnight snack run with a damaged weapon and have to resort to fisticuffs. Who's scoffing at the idea of Dead Island being scary now? Who's a scared little crybaby now? You? That's right.

There we have it. Don't sit at home crying alone hiding from trick-or-treaters and avoiding parties. Pick up one of these terrifying treats and get some game time in. Just don't come crying to us when you can't handle it.

Brittany Vincent is a freelance writer who routinely eviscerates virtual opponents and tempts fate by approaching wayward Zoloms. A connoisseur of all things bloody and bizarre, she's available to chat via Twitter @MolotovCupcake, and is always ready to take on new projects. You can peruse her archived work at PfhortheWin.com

Best Horror Games To Play This Halloween


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