Halloween is that time of the year for us to revel in costumes of spooky myths and ghouls from various cultures around the world. And as such, we would normally have a special Steam Halloween Sale for horror games. And boy oh boy do we have a list for you. These horror games are probably something that might slip your radar with all the bigger game marketing stuff flooding the newsfeeds.
Horror is defined in many ways. Some in a more cosmic way, or perhaps something more realistic. But generally, it is defined by unholy beings from the dead or those with dark powers that are on the hunt for the living. So, here’s a couple of horror games that we think you could get this Halloween and have a game session with friends and family!
A Plague Tale: Innocence
Up first is a heart-wrenching story, coupled with great graphics, and a nightmare for probably everyone. A Plague Tale: Innocence is the story about a teenage girl and a young boy who is forced to fend for themselves after their whole family dispatched due to certain political circumstances. Here comes the horror part. Most of the gameplay takes place involving...rats. Not like a couple of rats. A black sea of rats, darkening the ground with its pitch-black fur and a thousand ear-piercing shrieks. You’ll be avoiding these as well as using them to remove obstacles along the way. Seeing someone get devoured alive by rats is usually horrifying, but sometimes you get a twisted sense of satisfaction when it happens in the game. This game isn’t the traditional definition of horror, but it keeps you on your toes because one slip and you’ll witness a horrifying death.
If you’re a movie buff, you’re probably familiar with the name. For you younglings out there, Blair Witch is a game based on the Blair Witch Project movie, which popularized the whole found footage genre. Blair Witch takes place 2 years after the events in the movie. You play a man and his dog going into the woods looking for a missing kid. And along the way, you’ll use your dog to help you look for clues to the whereabouts of the missing boy. Along the way, you’ll notice a disturbing presence that seems to be stalking you. Blair Witch focuses on story and puzzle-solving gameplay. And trust me, the graphics do justice as you can feel the eerie feeling of being watched in the forest at night. I hope this one will on the Steam Halloween Sale.
Dead Space 2
Dead Space is one of those games that you’ve either played it or heard of but never played it. It’s a classic game that derived its gameplay from a constant feeling of panic where at any moment, deformed creatures from hell will try to break you into pieces. Dead Space 2 takes place a couple of years after the first game, and you awake from your slumber in an insane asylum. And then all hell breaks loose when swarms of Necromorphs started infecting people and turning them into creatures made to kill. And you’re still strapped on the table. I would argue that Dead Space 2 has one of the best prologues to a game that I’ve experienced in a while. The constant fear and the panic, as well as desperation, is well translated into the gameplay, which requires players to not make rash decisions such as wasting your ammunition. Once you’re out, then you’re really on your own. Is this one also on the Steam Halloween Sale?
I am huge fan of the Alien franchise, and it's hard to not notice the lackluster performance it brings to the silver screen as well as to the gaming community. However, Alien: Isolation does justice to the franchise. Staying true to its root of overwhelming odds against the xenomorphs, the game follows the adventures of Ripley, who's trapped in the spaceship she was in with a bunch of xenomorphs murdering everyone. And the ship is also filled with murderous cyborgs that are basically out to get anyone who's breathing. You don't get to charge head-on and pumping the aliens with hot lead. Instead, you use stealth and sneak around the ship in order to survive. And this allows the game to stay true to the horrifying experience of the franchise. There's nothing more terrifying than seeing a strand of saliva dropping from the vents above. You know what's coming.
Most of the time, what makes a horror game is an ambiance that is set in the game. And Visage excels in creating an atmospheric presence of horror. And well, the presence of the terrifying apparitions that are apparently in the house. The game also lets players experience history as players are forced to relive every fragment of twisted and dark history in the house, in order to understand what the hell happened in the house. Players are also expected to keep their sanity meter in check, drawing similarities to Amnesia's gameplay. Although most of the gameplay takes place in a relatively big house, Visage effectively uses the house to create horrifying moments in the game. This is one of those games that is still scary when played with the lights on.
Call of Cthulhu
The Lovecraftian brand of horror have seen a revival in recent years, as well in gaming. Call of Cthulhu is heavily inspired by Lovecraftian literature and you can bet that the themes in the game will be heavily relying on cosmic horror to make a lasting impact on your mind. Call of Cthulhu follows a private investigator that is called into a mysterious town that is filled with people who are relatively suspicious of you. The game slowly builds up as you go around and try building up a relationship with key local NPCs and solving mysteries along the way using your detective skills. The game is okay, and it isn't something of a masterpiece. However, the execution of the story is done perfectly. If you're into cosmic horror or anything to with Lovecraftian and would like to be part of the story, then this game is a must-try.
So there you have it. These are some of the titles that we think you should give a go if you're having a gaming night on Halloween. Frankly, I think horror can be done pretty well in video gaming format and we've seen horror game titles being released every year. So look out for these titles on the upcoming Steam Halloween Sale, and who knows, you might be lucky.