After a night of horror games, movies of the same genre don’t offer quite the same thrill. In a video game one cannot simply close their eyes and wait for the terrors to move on, players have to forge ahead to see what happens in the end. Gamers who play them are masochists, and Twitch and YouTube users love to watch them suffer.
While horror games come out during all parts of the year, October holds the most promise. It’s the time of year when everyone wants to set the mood with some creepy entertainment. People who aren’t enthusiasts for the genre may buy in just because it’s the season for scares. Plenty of video games are releasing in that month for you to get your rush and even more are coming after the new year. Check out what horror games you should watch out for.
Release date: October 7, 2014
The Creative Assembly should be applauded for its efforts recreating the Alien movie universe. The game is set between Alien and Aliens. Ellen Ripley’s daughter, Amanda Ripley, is on a mission to retrieve the flight recorder of the Nostromo at the Sevastopol space station, but she’s not alone. One alien lurks behind every corner — even the surviving humans on board pose a potential threat. Alone, players must forge ahead, making necessary decisions in order to survive just as Ellen Ripley did.
Any movement or noise will attract the alien, which you can use to your advantage if you encounter less than savory folks. Your mission requires you to be quiet and resourceful, and you may have to make choices that aren’t particularly sound, but they are necessary. Passing the alien will get increasingly more difficult as the game does on. The same tricks you use to get past the alien before may not work as well the second time around — it learns.
Release date: October 21, 2014
While investigating a mass murder, Detective Sebastian Castellanos and his team fall victim to a supernatural ambush. Left as the only survivor of the slaughter, Sebastian is knocked unconscious, waking to an otherworldly, deranged place where his years of police service have left him unprepared for the monstrosities that lurk in the shadows.
Shinji Mikami, the creative director, brings the classic horror style that he brought to the original Resident Evil and stand-out to the franchise Resident Evil 4. He reels players in with the comfort of the third-person perspective, but adds slowed character movement, increasing the tension and anxiety in close-quarter combat. Mikami wants to make games scary again, and he’s not alone. Between independent developers and industry vets, there’s a call for more scary and less “torture porn” — the recent playable trailer for the new Silent Hills is proof of that.
Release date: September 26, 2014
This psychological horror comes from an independent developer that has battled mental illness and his own demons, now he’s plucking you out from your own safe mind and putting you into a damaged one. Players will delve into the dreams of Thomas who continues to awake from a terrible nightmare into another nightmare, diving deeper and deeper into his own mind trying to outrun his demons. Thomas will have to confront the manifestations of his psychological state, but what may be more horrifying is what he will find when he truly wakes. There will be branching narratives that will result in one of three different endings.
Its hand-drawn design gives the game a deranged look, which is all the more creepy when the only colors represented are black and white, with hints of red.
Its black and white artistic style is reminiscent of the 2009 game Mad World. Its design has a similar cartoon style, but lacks battle arena violence. White Night concentrates its efforts on finding out the puzzle behind the abandoned house your character stumbles into one rainy night.
Light means survival in this house, and it’s the only way to carve out a path as the black closes in. Players will constantly be searching for another source to fight against the crowding darkness, because pitch black means death in this house.
White Night concentrates on psychological thrills over jump scares. The team has said the game pays “homage to the first Alone in the Dark while developing its own identity.”
Release date: January 27, February 2015
The zombie apocalypse is still a hot sub-genre of horror and survival, though, developers continue to add something fresh with each entrant. Dying Light puts players in an up-close first-person perspective and adds a parkour gameplay aspect into the mix. Think Mirror’s Edge with zombies. Players will be fighting and leaping across harmless hordes during daytime runs for your colony of survivors, but during night the undead get more restless. The sun’s absence makes them more sensitive to your movements and far more aggressive than they were during daylight hours.
Traps you’ve set earlier will help plan your route back to safety.
Release date: 2014
Space is horrifying. You’re out there on an island among an infinite number of stars, and if someone doesn’t happen to be listening, you’ll die out there. Routine plays off this terror and throws in some malfunctioning automatons to boot. If it weren’t bad enough, the developers aren’t giving players second chances—no respawns or auto-saves—once you die it’s back to start.
The design takes similar cues from Alien’s retro style vision of the future. The game is all digital signs and fat-back computer monitors. From the trailers, the graphics seem stunning when considering it came from an independent developer. The developer has even teased spacewalk segments of the game, which may add a new dynamic to terror only seen in the movie Gravity.
Release date: 2014
It wouldn’t be a list about horror games without a mental hospital. Cliche as it may be, Outlast and its companion DLC Whistleblower have proven the environment has opportunities to be more terrifying. The game takes advantage of players’ “fear of the unknown” and puts them in a first-person perspective, tasked to explore the abandoned building.
The game will play like a point and click style adventure game, exploring the environment around them. The developer has said nothing about the story and has been tight-lipped when questioned in the community forums.
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