It’s the spooky season, and what better medium to explore that season, than games?! Here are some of my biggest recommendations for getting into the good old-fashioned Halloween spirit!
Did you know? I love Halloween, it’s one of my favorite holidays throughout the year. The decorations, the candy, the costumes, and of course – the pumpkin spice lattes. But for me, the best part about October is getting into the mood for Halloween – similarly to how you spend December preparing for the holidays, I love just going crazy watching movies and playing games themed after the holiday.
Here are some of my strongest recommendations for Halloween week, no matter if you’re playing alone, or with friends.
One of my favorite horror experiences of all time is Outlast. As someone who gets scared quite easily, I couldn’t play it alone. I actually got so scared by the very first jump scared that I jumped up and hit the roof in the ceiling (Very low ceiling, lol) and hurt my neck. Afterward, I decided that I needed to play it together with others.
And let me tell you; It was a blast to play it in a group with others. We were collectively so scared, and there are few games – if any – that nails the feeling of being hunted as much as Outlast does.
A memory I and my friends always go back to is that I had my feet up on the table which was filled with soda cans, and candy. I got so scared at one part, that I twitched so hard with my leg that I almost toppled over the entire table which resulted in a disaster with all of the cans and candy.
But at the core of it, the game actually has a pretty great narrative to go along with the game. The basic premise is, the journalist goes to an abandoned mental hospital to do some study. While that in itself might sound scary, there are some truly messed-up things that you find throughout your journey.
A personal favorite segment to play is when you’re found by “The Doctor”, no spoilers but that segment had me on the edge of my seats throughout.
I truly recommend that you play this with friends, and take turns holding the controller. Some of my favorite memories with friends are generated from my playthrough of Outlast with them.
This might come as a surprise to some; Is Returnal really a horror game? Well, maybe not. But I think the game has some of the best monster designs, as well as having some of the best environmental storytelling of recent memories.
The game gets a lot of credit for its difficulty, and immaculate design. But I think few people talk about the amazing horror vibes throughout. There are story segments in the game in which you walk through your old house, and let me tell you it’s freaky as hell. The best thing I could compare it to is P.T, the old Silent Hills demo by Hideo Kojima.
But the game really does a great job of making you feel like a survivor, maybe more so than most games as you basically get punished for dying (No checkpoints, you start from the beginning more or less). It also doesn’t help that the map that you play on gets randomized every time you die, which means you can’t learn where to run, and what to do, as you can in other games.
The game might not seem like something that is up to your alley, but I implore everyone to at least try it out – as the game currently is my Game of the Year for 2021. It should give you some amazing horror vibes, while also giving you an amazing experience from a Narrative as well as gameplay viewpoint.
Resident Evil 2
I know, I know. A lot of people will say that VII or VIllage are better choices for this spot – but the truth is… I haven’t played them yet. As a new fan of the franchise, Resident Evil 2 blew me away.
It truly is a mix of so many great things in horror. While it nails the scary aspect, with its terrifying areas and zombie designs. It also nails multiple other aspects as well. Mr. X is such a good way to make you feel hunted, and it’s up there with Outlast in terms of how absolutely terrifying it is to be hunted by him. It also has the action/survivor angle, which gives it kind of an Aliens vibe. It also has an amazing story, with some amazing characters – Leon and Claire will go down as two of my favorite characters of the year 2019 when I first played the game.
I was mindblown at the quality of the game. And no matter why you might enjoy Halloween, I frankly think this game might be the best game to play during Halloween. It has the vibes, it has the designs. It’s just THAT good.
The franchise also has more entries to explore. From the first-person survival games VII and Village to 3 which is in a similar style to 2, there are a lot of options for this franchise. (Just don’t pick 5 & 6 if you want horror)
Do you love horror stereotypes?
Do you adore teens going to a cabin in the woods?
Do you love a murder going after these teens, along with a deeper mystery?
If this is you, this game will be everything you could ever dream of. With an all-star cast consisting of actors like Rami Malek, Hayden Panettiere, Jordan Fisher, and Peter Stormare – who all are bringing great performances to the table, the characters in the game are amazing.
I think the best thing the game does is give a strong narrative that consists of the regular tropes of a slasher movie – but they subvert them in fun ways.
The game also features choice-based mechanics, similar to the Telltale games, or the Black Mirror Bandersnatch movie on Netflix. This lends itself great to the game, in the fact that a bad choice could lead to the death of your favorite character, or love between two characters.
This also makes the game the perfect game to play with friends. A classic moment of proof of how fun this is with a group, is actually during one of its unveilings at PlayStation Experience a few years back, in which the crowd got to pick what they would pick in the demo. It got large reactions and was so fun to see.
If you own a PlayStation 5, the game is also free on PS+.
As a big fan of the Alien movie franchise, and as someone terrified by being hunted in games – this game is both amazing, as well as batshit terrifying.
The feeling of being stuck in space, and being hunted by Xeno’s is terrifying. The game is like a constant “Mr.X” / Outlast situation, and it’s masterfully done. If you’re a fan of the movies, I think that you’ll enjoy the story of Isolation a lot.
The game feels more like Alien than its sequel Aliens, in the fact that it’s a small-scale, tense, horror game – and not as much of survival, action horror. It also really nails the vibe, the emptiness of space, the story, and the characters.
I really love this game and think it’s something that you should really try out. I would recommend this over Outlast, and maybe even RE2 if you’re a fan of the Alien franchise, however, if you don’t like it – go for the other 2 games.
The first “Jolly” game on the list, the lovely and charming game MediEvil HAS to be on it. From the main character, Sir Daniel Fortesque literally being a skeleton raised from the dead to save the day, to the overall vibe of the entire game literally being horror Esque (Zombies, monsters, graveyards, etc) it’s the perfect Halloween game.
The villain is also great, essentially it’s an evil wizard on top of a mountain that casts his evil spells to cause chaos in the town of Gallowmere. It’s great!
And the fun part is, it can be played by everyone! Children, grown-ups – it’s extremely fun.
If you didn’t know, the game is originally a PS1 title, remade from the ground to PS4. The remake controls and feels extremely well to play – and aside from that it also visually looks great.
The comedy in the game is on point, and Sir Daniel is an amazing protagonist to follow. If horror isn’t your category, but you still want to get into the Halloween spirit, PLAY MEDIEVIL!!!
Dead By Daylight
I’ll admit, I’m personally not a massive fan of the Multiplayer Horror genre that DBD and Friday the 13th has kinda started. But I can’t deny that the games are really well made and works well. I know people that have literally put in 100s of hours into Dead By Daylight.
Essentially, it features a killer, that faces 4 regular humans. It pretty much takes the movie concept of survivors vs killer, into a multiplayer game.
Why I recommend Dead By Daylight, is that it has turned into the Smash Bros of horror.
You can play characters from a massive amount of franchises, ranging from Texas Chainsaw, Left 4 Dead, Saw, Evil Dead, Silent Hill, and Stranger Things. (There’s way more!)
I think the concept is really cool, and while the game might not be for me, I know that A LOT of people love this game and thus I implore you to try it out if you like horror + multiplayer! (Or maybe want to spend Halloween playing games together with others!)
I think that does it! If you have any other games you’d recommend, please let me know in either the comments or on social media!
Until next time…