Between watching the Masters of Horror series and being fascinated over the recent film V/H/S, I still love to game during the Halloween season. Personally, I find a good horror game to be one of the scariest things you can do, especially when they are immersive and plenty of fun. You could play Amnesia: The Dark Descent and Silent Hill 2 yet again, but you’d be looking past the plethora of totally cool horror themed games that came out this year. While they might not be as scary, they will definitely get you in the mood for the season. Here are five games from this year to play this Halloween:
5) Lollipop Chainsaw
Suda’s sensational slaughterfest, Lollipop Chainsaw, dropped this year. While not as horrifying as his 2011 release, Shadows of the Damned, Lollipop Chainsaw offers a light-hearted zombie-filled tongue-in-cheek adventure filled with as many laughs as decapitated zombies. While gameplay can sometimes stretch a bit repetitive, the charming writing of Super director James Gunn is enough to keep it fresh. Zombies are a mainstay of Halloween culture. Keep this one handy for a night of gaming mixed with your favorite horror-comedies.
4) Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City
ORC was generally despised by critics, but this attempt by Slant Six to create a fun co-op shooter isn’t without it’s few merits. Playing with friends can make even some of the most annoying games bearable, and ORC is one of those games. Playing as a group of super-trained umbrella assassins, you are on the path to eliminate Resident Evil legend Leon Kennedy in the midst of the T-Virus outbreak. Hook up some headsets, call up your friends, and set this one down with a marathon of those atrocious Resident Evil films. Make fun of them all for bonus points. It’ll make for a fun night.
3) Silent Hill: Downpour
Silent Hill is often regarded as the greatest survival-horror series of all time. Lately, it has fell into a slump of mediocrity, with the attempts of it’s now Western development teams. However, Silent Hill: Downpour remains one of the most surprising games of the year. Regarded by critics as a sign that the series is getting back to the right direction, Downpour is far from the perfect rebirth of Silent Hill 2 many were hoping for, but it has a lot of the same demonic charm. Even if the more modernized (but functional) approach isn’t your cup of tea, you can still pick up Silent Hill HD Collection, which contains Silent Hill 2 and Silent Hill 3. Play these games alongside the most terrifying films in your collection, the goal of this night is to cause nightmares without fail.
This year Slenderman exploded from that internet thing that only a few friends and I even knew about, to one of the biggest topics of the year. As Halloween is only a week away, you can hear the echo of the millions of clicks ordering Slenderman themed costumes to wear this year. Slenderman is everywhere, and it was all started by an indie-game called Slender, but I’m sure you know all about that. Not the studio’s first Slenderman game, but by far it’s most successful. This short excursion through the dark forests of who-knows-where, collecting notes as your heartbeat slowly increases. The fear is almost paralyzing as you spot Slenderman inbetween the threes – at least you think. While void of much actual substance, Slender manages to make itself a now classic horror game, using the best of the formulas perfected by Frictional’s Amnesia: The Dark Descent. Combine this game with a night of found footage horror films (V/H/S, the original Paranormal Activity, Cloverfield, Blair Witch Project) , or even check out Marble Hornets, the web series that brought light to this internet mythos.
1) The Walking Dead
Easily my favorite horror game of 2012. The Walking Dead isn’t as scary as it is unrelentingly engaging. I’ll leave that discussion for another day. However, The Walking Dead is a must play this Halloween season. Telltale’s first game to receive across the board critical acclaim, The Walking Dead is one of the best downloadable games and adventure games to come around in recent history. It’s episodic nature adds to it’s suspenseful nature, as fans such as myself patiently await the final episode. Dedicate an entire day to playing through this series, interspliced with classic zombie films, such as the amazing Night of the Living Dead and Dawn of the Dead. Or just marathon the great TV show.
Halloween is a fun time for gamers. So much of our hobby is dedicated to evoking emotion, in addition, a lot of us tend to love being made afraid. When you are making plans for get togethers with friends to watch plenty of terrifying movies, don’t forget to consider these fun, Halloween themed games to add to your mix. Unless you are scared, in which case I recommend Costume Quest.
Any 2012 games you are going to play this Halloween? Leave a comment below!