These three unnerving and atmospheric video games for PC and consoles are sure to get you in the mood for the season of chills and thrills.
The spooky season is upon us. Halloween approaches softly and unnervingly á la Max Schreck’s Nosferatu, and horror fans are getting ready for the event in creative ways. Watching horror films is still the most popular way to celebrate — whether it’s a classic like the aforementioned 1922 masterpiece or a modern gem from among the best indie horrors of 2021.
But one great way to get into the Halloween spirit is video games since many can induce genuine terror.
Mobile devices have the lowest barrier to entry. However, an even fuller experience can be attained using add-ons. For example, the jump scares in House of Terror: Valerie’s Revenge are much more immersive using a VR headset, Bluetooth remote, and headphones.
The evolution and popularity of the genre have resulted in horror seeping into even casual titles. The online slots from Coral include the sinister visuals of Devil’s Nightmare and the warbly music of Mars Attacks! — the latter a perfect recreation of the menacing Martians from Tim Burton’s kitsch comedy.
Even mobile genre staples like endless runners have had the horror treatment. Take Rest in Pieces, for instance, where you play porcelain figurines trying to escape a series of nightmare creatures.
Mobile games are getting better regarding the ghastly and the grisly. But if you’re really looking to scare your own pants off, you’ll want to look at console titles like three of my personal favorites below that take advantage of more power.
Resident Evil 7: Biohazard
Capcom is known for its mainstream horror series, and Resident Evil (or Biohazard in Japan) is arguably the cream of the crop. The best of the survival series, which includes 1 through 4 and Code: Veronica, have all seen ports, remakes, and spin-offs at some point. And Fan Byte explains how the popularity of the main character Lady Dimitresu in the eighth mainline game caught even the developers off guard. For true pant-soiling terror, though, you won’t want to miss the claustrophobic unease of the southern plantation, shipwreck, and salt mine found in Resident Evil 7. The game is available on all modern platforms, including Nintendo Switch. Though, for an optimally distressing experience, you’ll want to try it in VR either on Playstation or PC.
By the time this game was released in 2015, developer From Software already had a reputation for awesome monsters and punishing gameplay. This title shifted the setting to a highly stylized fictional Victorian-style diseased gothic town where you play as a hunter. Packed with environmental storytelling and gorgeously-realized original monsters worthy of inspiration like Shelley, Stoker, and Lovecraft, the game also rewards a more aggressive play style than the Dark Souls series. This one can only be played on Playstation 4 and 5.
If you’ve ever wondered what you’d do when pitted against a xenomorph from the classic film franchise, here’s your chance to find out. Since most Alien games have been pretty underwhelming, Isolation came as a bit of a surprise upon release. The fear factor is largely owed to its atmospheric graphics, which were impressive for the time, and unscripted xenomorph AI, so you don’t know when and where they’ll appear. You can catch this on Xbox, PlayStation, PC, and Nintendo Switch.
Thanks to the immersive nature and the ease of making uncanny valley creations in games, even a lot of budget titles can be pretty scary. But when the efforts of dedicated teams come together to bring you creative gameplay, amazing soundtracks, and stunning visuals, some of them really shine.