What are the Top 5 Games for Halloween scares?

Stephen Carter

AVF Games Reviewer
AVForums games reviewer Stephen Carter suggests five of the top games for you to enjoy this Halloween.

It’s almost the time of year where sweet sales rocket and 'grown ups' get to re-live their childhood by dressing up as their favourite villain or monster. Of course, I’m talking about Halloween and what better time than now to discuss some of the most thrilling and chilling games out there?

We live in a society where we are bombarded with films and TV shows that aim to scare. Sadly though, these trends have not transferred over so well to the gaming industry and we are left with but a few select few titles which are noteworthy.

Why is this? There are a few of suggestions, such as games being played in over-lit environments, TV sets not providing an ‘immersive’ audio experience and other distractions keeping us from losing ourselves in games. If played in the correct environment, however, there are some titles that truly stand out from the crowd and scare the hell out of you, even if you may have played them before.

So with this in mind we’re going to look at five of the best games to fill your boots with fright this year. Get your fake blood and plastic fangs at the ready because we’re going in.

Bioshock
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Developer - 2K Boston
Publisher - 2K Games
Release RRP: £39.99

Whilst Bioshock wasn’t intended to be horror title, its dark and sometimes depressing setting and story present you with some creepy moments throughout. The fact that you’re several thousand feet underwater is a scary enough thought, let alone being left to fend for yourself against a plethora of maniacs.
<img src="http://www.avforums.com/news/images/20121024182423.jpg" align="right">
What’s more, the fact that the chilling backing music and sections of Rapture prove to be haunting, with lights flickering on and off and screams echoing through confined corridors, leaves you wondering what lies ahead. What proves to be even more creepy are the characters you encounter throughout your journey as they are crazy enough to warrant being straight-jacketed 24/7 for the rest of their days.

Unfortunately these ‘hairy’ moments aren’t a regular feature throughout the game, making it a sort of half-baked horror title, but it is still one to play alone in a dark room because it will send some rare but exciting chills down your spine.

Condemned: Criminal Origins
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Developer - Monolith Productions
Publisher - SEGA
Release RRP - £39.99​

The first Condemned title launched early in the Xbox 360’s life cycle but it still stands up today as one of the better thriller games of this generation. It offered gamers the chance to step into the shoes of Ethan Thomas, a forensic investigator who suffered from serious mental troubles.

<img src="http://www.avforums.com/news/images/20121024182516.jpg" align="left">Whilst not sounding overly frightening in description,the game provides some truly scary moments when psychotic criminals come flying at you from nowhere or that suspect quiet area proves to be nothing more than a trap.

With most of the game focussing on melee combat and fighting off incoming threats, you genuinely feel value as you are often left fighting for your life with nothing more than your bare hands, as your weapon falls into disrepair.

Sadly, many criticised the game on release and focussed more on what it didn’t do rather than what it did. If gamers played and appreciated what it was trying to do (scare rather than wow) and play it in the correct environment then it would have fared a lot better with the critics and at retail.

Resident Evil
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Developer - Capcom
Publisher - Capcom
PSN Price - £7.99

The first Resident Evil game is a classic title and still stands up to this day as a game which can provide many hours of entertainment and thrills despite it being quite old, in gaming terms.

<img src="http://www.avforums.com/news/images/20121024182729.jpg" align="right">As one of the first survival horror games to hit home consoles; Resident Evil set the benchmark for what future games should do in order to survive and produced plenty of genuinely chilling moments. Resi forced people to manage their inventories and prioritise the items they thought they needed in order to make it through to the next stage, which made you think twice before throwing away any surplus ammunition.

With Resident Evil being one of the first games to use zombies and demonic creatures as enemies, gamers didn’t know what to expect in upcoming areas as they had not seen this type of enemy before. Adding this to the uncertainty of your inventory you could never be certain that you would come out the other end alive.

Since its birth on PS1, the series has lost its way somewhat by focussing more on action rather than horror so for true chills, at this time of year, it’s best to choose the original.

Silent Hill
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Developer - Konami
Publisher - Konami
PSN Price - £5.49

Silent Hill is to Konami what Resident Evil is to Capcom, the company’s biggest and best horror title across all formats. Following a similar vein as Resident Evil, Silent Hill focussed on gripping story telling, hand-in-hand with chilling enemies and environments.

<img src="http://www.avforums.com/news/images/20121024182934.jpg" align="left">In many ways though Konami’s series surpassed Resi in terms of scares as it had some more gruesome enemies and its more open environments offered up more variety, where an enemy could spring from anywhere.

Features such as the crackling radio when enemies were near, provided moments where you questioned the direction you were heading, and whether or not you were amply prepared for whatever would greet you further down the road.

Silent Hill did, however, follow Resident Evil in one sense that it lost its way a little over time and focussed more on action than horror, but it still had its moments where creeping through dark corridors proved to be thoroughly entertaining.

Dead Space 2
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Developer - Visceral Games
Publisher - EA
Release RRP - £39.99
Reviewed

Finally we come to what could arguably be the greatest horror game available at present; Dead Space 2. Brought to us by Electronic Arts this new series quickly gathered a mass following after the first game launched back in 2008. For this EA went with the Alien Movie tagline - 'nobody can hear you scream in space', which might well have proved not to be the case, as your neighbours could probably hear your screams as you played.

Set on a mining ship overrun by once-human creatures (Necromorhps), it was your job as Isaac Clarke to combat the contagion - find out what happened to all the crew, and how to stop the monsters. Where some other titles were lacking, Dead Space offered up spine-tingling moments along with brutal combat and gruesome sequences where enemies leaked blood all over the floor and you could lop their heads off with your selection of guns!

Where Dead Space 2 truly excelled was its creation of atmosphere, as it really does make you feel lonely on an expansive ship where one wrong move will see you lying in a pool of your own blood. Furthermore you had the environment to deal with too, as your adventures took you outside where gravity worked against you and traversing the ship’s hull and one wrong move could result in a long trip into deep space.

The enemies the production team created also make the game feel fresh, whereas the previously mentioned games relied on maniacal humans or zombies. Here, though, the Necromorphs came in different shapes and sizes (controversially in child form in some instances), and their shrieks and cries could make you dread booting up the game late at night for fear of not getting off to sleep.

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So there you have it; five games you must play this Halloween that will make your blood run cold and send countless shivers down your spine. That is, of course, if you can handle it and play them in the right conditions; turn the TV up loud, dim the lights and play by yourself. Trust me you won’t regret it. Well maybe you will… A little.
 

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stumpy1

Active Member
Five great games, and i agree they all have their "hold your breath" moments, i always found the Fear games gave me the creeps too.
 

Stephen Carter

AVF Games Reviewer
stumpy1 said:
Five great games, and i agree they all have their "hold your breath" moments, i always found the Fear games gave me the creeps too.

I thought about adding this but, personally, i thought Bioshock just pipped it to the post.

I agree it does provide some hairy moments but when i reviewed the last one it didnt scare enough for me :)
 

Wiione

Novice Member
The fact that you missed out 'Amnesia: The Dark Descent' pretty much renders your post null and void. :)
 
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Stephen Carter

AVF Games Reviewer
Wiione said:
The fact that you missed out 'Amnesia: The Dark Descent' pretty much renders your post null and void. :)

Im not a PC gamer unfortunately but I have been well informed by one of my colleagues that I MUST play it and hopefully my laptop will be able to run it if i do play it.

Once i play it, I will likely to be agreeing with you in the near future.
 

Wiione

Novice Member
That's no excuse. ;)

Anyhow, in that case you should put in a proviso that your listed games are only those that are also available for consoles. :)

Your laptop should be capable of handling it as it's not a power hungry game (assuming that your laptop isn't 10 years old!).
 

Stephen Carter

AVF Games Reviewer
Wiione said:
That's no excuse. ;)

Anyhow, in that case you should put in a proviso that your listed games are only those that are also available for consoles. :)

Your laptop should be capable of handling it as it's not a power hungry game (assuming that your laptop isn't 10 years old!).

Its a new one (Sony Vaio) so it should hold up hopefully. Just a case of downloading the bugger as my internet is notoriously **** as we mention every month on the podcast :)
 

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