Halloween! A time for candy, costumes, and camaraderie. The one day of the year where people can dress up as their wildest fantasies and walk the streets without too many odd looks… a festival where alcohol and fear fuse together to result in questionable decisions that are hopefully forgotten by the morning dawn.
Unfortunately – or thankfully depending on your preference – I will not be participating in such revelry this upcoming Samhain-ian celebration. Instead, like many of my other compatriots, I will be at home entertained by some of my beloved electronic devices, playing games that are in keeping with the holiday theme.
If you find yourself in a similar boat, here are a few video games to keep away the boredom this Halloween. Grab a beer, boot up your system of choice, and survive as long as possible.
7. Silent Hill 2
An oldie but a goodie! I recommend playing the original PS2 version instead of the remastered because it took advantage of the limitations of the system and really made the horror palpable. If the phrase “Pyramid Head” sends a shiver down your spine, you already know why this game is a perfect Halloween experience.
A horror story born of the Internet… of course someone was going to make a game about the urban legend. Yes, there has been some recent controversy about this fictional figure, but at its core Slender is an easy game to pick up and provides just the right amount of tension and suspense to be a worthwhile endeavor.
5. Costume Quest 1 & 2
While not a horror game, Costume Quest is still one of the best Halloween games you could play. You are a child saving the world by collecting as much candy as possible and acquiring special powers based on the costumes you wear. How is that not every kid’s Halloween fantasy?! Now, you can actually experience it…through a controller, but still…
4. Five Nights at Freddy’s
Very few horror games can do the whole jump scare effectively to begin with, much less still make it interesting in their fiftieth iterations. ‘Freddy’s’ somehow pulls it off exceptionally well. It’s a relatively short experience, but the game wrings out every possible scare.
3. The Evil Within
The Evil Within is the latest title from Shinji Mikami. To most of you that factoid was essentially meaningless, but he is the godfather of video game horror. This is the man who gave ‘Resident Evil’ to the world and ‘The Evil Within’ is Mikami back to proper form. Hell, just rewatch the trailer if you are still in doubt. Play this game, preferably in the dark. You will not be disappointed.
2. Alien: Isolation
Are you a fan of the Alien franchise? Do you like badass females saving the day? Do you enjoy that slight chill of terror when you catch something moving in the corner of your eye? Do barely audible sounds in a darkened room make you perk up and stand at alert? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you’ll like this game. If you answered no, you should still play this game and give yourself a good fright.
You are not supposed to be the hero in horror. You are not in a power fantasy where you manage to beat down the monster that has been terrorizing you. You don’t get to overpower the demon. You don’t outsmart the mad scientist. Horror puts you at your weakest level against stronger, malevolent forces and challenges you to survive. Not to win, not to be victorious, simply to live. This is ‘Outlast’ in a nutshell. It is a game worthy of your time and efforts. Go. Play. Now.