With Halloween just around the corner, we’re already decorating our rooms, houses and dorms with appropriate motifs… but what about our screens? Well, the best option for us gamers are (obviously) videogames. And if you feel like getting into some spooky, gore-y and scary themes to go along with Halloween, well, we have some suggestions for you. This is Walyou’s Best 8 Video Games For Halloween
Resident Evil 2 (PSOne, PC, GameCube, Others)
The Resident Evil series is a classic, and pretty much any of the games could fit the Halloween theme, but we are gonna go with 2, regarded by fans and critics as the best one in the series, despite being over 10 years old. In this title, two newcomers get to Racoon City right after the events of Resident Evil 1: Leon Kennedy, a young recently transfered cop, and Claire Redfield, who is looking for his brother Chris, of the S.T.A.R.S. unit. Shortly after arriving they realize there’s been a zombie outbreak, and that they’ll pretty much have to shoot their way out of the city. The game can be played from both characters perspective, but whoever you control in your second game is gonna get chased by a huge, ugly zombie in a coat throughout the whole game, as if the hordes plaguing the streets weren’t enough.
Super Castlevania IV (Super Nintendo)
Don’t underestimate this 16 bit bad boy. Often named as one of the best platforming games of all time, Super Castlevania IV puts players in control of Simon Belmont of the Belmont clan, who undertakes the task to infiltrate Dracula’s castle and vanquish the fiend. And while the story might seem simple (hell, it’s pretty much the same for every Castlevania game), the platforming is solid, the mechanics fantastic and the game, damn stylish. Simon can jump and use his whip in 8 different directions while he combats Dracula, mummies, Frankenstein, dragons, zombies and many other fiends.
Amnesia: The Dark Descent (PC)
The PC exclusive game Amnesia: The Dark Descent is a title that is meant to come up in any conversation about “scary games”. The game was developed by the indie studio Frictional Games (some of you might know them for the “penumbra” series) who made it big (huge!) thanks to this game here. Amnesia combines the survival horror genre with first person perspective, and delivers an adventure where the player can’t fight back the enemy, and instead has to be smart and avoid it/them for as long as he can. The setting is London, around 200 years ago. The main character wakes up in a castle with no memory whatsoever but his name, and that something is after him. He soon finds a note, apparently written by himself, where he finds that his condition was self-inflicted, and that he has to do something to escape the nightmare he finds himself in.
Alone In The Dark (PC)
This game shouldn’t be confused with the 2008 videogame, largely regarded as an extremely mediocre game. Alone in the Dark was the first entry in this series, and is often credited for being the game that started the survival horror genre as we know it. The game, a pioneer on sex equality, could be played from Edward Carnby or Emily Hartwood’s perspective. No matter which the player chose, the story was the same, they end up investigating at the Derceto mansion after the previous owner hanged himself, and they will do whatever it takes to escape this lovecraftian nightmare they found themselves into. The graphics look dated by today’s standards, but we’re talking of a game that was pretty much 3d in 1992. We definitely could use a remake of this game so we can wash the bitter taste of the sequels, each one worse than the previous game.
Left 4 Dead 2 (PC, Xbox 360)
There’s nothing subtle about the Left 4 Dead approach to horror: in fact, this is the ultimate over-the-top zombie game. The setting is simple: 4 guys trying to survive a zombie infestation, and will have to shoot many, many zombies to get from point a to point b. The fun part, though, is playing this game with other players, and use teamwork (because the AI sucks) to overcome the hordes of zombies. This game developed by Valve Software (you know, the guys behind the Half-life and Portal series who can’t count ’till 3) was met with a lukewarm reaction from fans because they felt that releasing a sequel just one year after the original was rushing it, but eventually won them over with its frantic play style and fast-paced action.
Silent Hill 2 (Playstation 2, PS3, Xbox, Xbox 360, PC)
Konami, and more specifically, “Team Silent” had a great run with the first 4 Silent Hill titles. Silent Hill 2, which oddly, is a great stand-alone title, is a fan favorite and is now receiving the HD treatment for the PS3 and Xbox 360, although not in time for Halloween. Despite this, the game is worth playing on PlayStation 2 and Xbox for it has aged great. The game is a subtle play on James Sunderland fears which get manifested into horrible monsters, and undead hot nurses that plague the foggy Silent Hill we know and love. In the game, James decides to go and try to find his dead wife, who has apparently written a letter from Silent Hill. He decides that there’s a chance she might still be alive (weird), and decides to go check the place out for himself. Surprisingly, this ends up being a terrible idea.
Fatal Frame 2: Crimson Butterfly (PS2, Xbox, Wii)
The Fatal Frame series is another franchise that did the deemphasized combat aspect of Survival Horror right: instead of carrying shotguns, pistols or melée weapons, the only way to defend oneself from ghosts is to take their picture with a special camera that exorcises them. In this entry of the series, the player follows the story of two Japanese sisters who, while visiting a place they used to play at their childhood, end up getting lost and at a cursed village, where the souls of its former inhabitants roam. One of the sisters falls under the spell, and becomes a ghost herself, so the other will have to find a way to help her and eventually leave the place. By the way, there was a Wii remake of this game announced not long ago, and we can’t help but wonder if it got moved to the upcoming Wii U.
F.E.A.R. 2 (PS3, Xbox 360, PC)
This one is for players who like action oriented games instead of traditional survival horror. The second entry of the F.E.A.R. series by Monolith Software comes back with its martial arts attacks, slo-mo combat, and exploitation of the environments and mech-piloting. In the story, we’re introduced to Alma, a supernatural being who’s causing havoc to those who wronged it/her. F.E.A.R. 2 is all about paranormal things going on around the player, and the player being quick enough to notice them and act accordingly. This is a very good example of the evolution of survival horror with action, and skill being privileged over the scary rooms and unfit characters of the past.
Manhunt (PC, PS2, Xbox)
Manhunt is a stealth game by Rockstar Studios, but as opposed to franchises like Tom Clancy or Metal Gear Solid, it’s all about killing: players control a murderer who had been supposedly executed for his crimes but is actually on the loose, and performing murders for an underground movie director. How’s that for a change? Instead of trying to survive, you get to play the killer and get your hands dirty. The game rewards players for gruesome, and over-the-top deaths awarding higher scores. 6 years after this first entry came out, Rockstar released a sequel as controverted as this first entry, which is also very recommendable.