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Eight great horror-based video games for the Halloween season

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(Official Alien: Isolation Facebook Page)

Halloween is the time of year where scares and spookiness await around every corner, and video games are no exception.

Whether gamers are looking for a game that delivers on spookiness, or simply something that an entire group of friends can enjoy at once, here are eight different horror games that satisfy all the Halloween needs.

“Alien Isolation”: Fans of Ridley Scott’s 1979 sci-fi horror film need look no further than one of the best horror games from last year. The first-person stealth survival game takes the player through a derelict space station full of malfunctioning androids and psychotic looters.

“Isolation” blends tight stealth mechanics and tense exploration, from cramped vents to pitch-black hallways, and a sound score that builds tension with every footstep heard, to create an experience that arguably surpasses its namesake.

“The Flock”: The online first-person game is set in a surreal alien world. “The Flock” is essentially a competitive game of flashlight-freeze-tag. The goal of the game is to take the light in the center of the map and then survive as long as possible with only a flashlight as a weapon.

Attacking players can move with lightning speed, create stone decoys of themselves and are impervious to light when they stand still. This lends itself to a truly unique horror, as players try to outwit their prey or run helplessly from what is hunting them, delivering more tension and jump-scares than most single-player horror games.

“Until Dawn”: Exclusively on the PS4, this horror game is full of clever puzzles, suspenseful chase sequences and game-changing choices. “Until Dawn” plays a lot like a choose-your-own-adventure B-Movie, containing tropes from a cabin in the woods to a cast of eight stereotypical college students.

A player’s choices will usually get most of the cast killed, although it is possible for every character to survive this nightmare. This game is therefore perfect for a group of friends to either pass around the controller or simply watch as one player fumbles through a unique path in the story.

“Silent Hill 4”: As the fourth and most commonly overlooked game in the franchise, Silent Hill 4 opens with the player being trapped in their apartment with strange ghostly apparitions and only mysterious tunnels in the walls to guide them out. The game features a creepy, nearly-believable serial killer antagonist, grotesque monsters and genuinely creepy imagery that colors the apartment.

“Costume Quest”: Want to get into the Halloween spirit, but aren’t a fan of horror? The developers of the game “Psychonauts” created the quirky role-playing game, “Costume Quest.” The game stars a band of children who must save the town from an evil curse using the various powers they can attain from their costumes. The game blends witty humor, simple puzzles and a satisfying turn-based combat system that makes for a great experience.

“Cry of Fear”: This free PC first-person shooter masters the art of jump-scares in a horror-stricken, yet realistic, urban environment. The game is challenging, almost to a fault, with ammo conservation and quick thinking being key to survival. Everything from monsters hiding in trash bags to eerie texts builds players up to the next scare, which rarely offers any kind of relief.

“Resident Evil”: Resident Evil is a third-person survival game that stars a group of special forces trying to escape a zombie infested mansion, and solve the mystery behind all these strange happenings. The game became a touchstone for survival horror games, and is still worth a play today.

The game engineers stress this through its eerie audio and unreliable weapons that drive players mad as they try to navigate the labyrinthine mansion. The Capcom classic from 1996 recently got a re-release with updated HD graphics and audio, and captures everything that was great about the original.

“Deadly Premonition”: A young woman has died in a string of murders in a secluded town in the United States and it’s up to an FBI agent to catch the killer. The plot of this third-person shooter borrows heavily from “Twin Peaks,” as well as other horror franchises from “Silent Hill” to “Friday the 13th.”

Part horror, part satire, part noire detective game, “Deadly Premonition” is quirky and deeply engaging. The game features an open world to explore through countless hours of joyriding, shooting monsters and being confused about what exactly is going on.

Alessandro Arena-DeRosa can be reached at [email protected]

1 Comment

One Response to “Eight great horror-based video games for the Halloween season”

  1. Dean on November 19th, 2015 2:38 pm

    Silent Hill and Resident Evil are always a favorite for me when it comes to scares and gore. Both do a fantastic job with these areas.

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