Halloween is approaching, which means it’s time to share a list of horror projects that can really tickle your nerves. I’ll say right away that I’m not the biggest horror fan, but sometimes I just can’t pass up some games for one reason or another. And it’s precisely these “gamedev pearls” that I want to share with you.
WORLD OF HORROR
I’ll start, perhaps, with something fresh and very unusual. WORLD OF HORROR is a roguelike with a unique style, inspired by the works of Junji Ito and Masaaki Nakayama.
The old gods awaken, returning to a world falling into madness. In hospitals, abandoned classrooms, quiet apartments and dark forests, strange occurrences and unexplained phenomena test the sanity of the residents of the Japanese city of Shiokawa.
The game, although not difficult, quite often makes you, if not scared, then at least feel extremely uncomfortable. For example, you see a door that you absolutely don’t need to open, because the game warns you that “there’s something strange here.” But you, unable to overcome your curiosity, slowly open it, face the creepy creature and close the door with a sharp movement of the mouse. It seemed like nothing had happened, but my heart was pounding.
If you have nothing to do in the middle of the night, WORLD OF HORROR will be an excellent investment of a few hundred rubles into your Steam account.
Silent Hill 4: The Room
You can’t do without the classic horror games in the Silent Hill series. Why is it the fourth part here, and not the second or third? Yes, simply because I can. But seriously, Silent Hill 4: The Room, in my opinion, turned out to be the most uncomfortable game in the series, plus it is quite well perceived by beginners who are not familiar with the previous parts.
The game takes place in the suburbs of Silent Hill, where the protagonist Henry tries to escape from his apartment, but constantly finds himself in other worlds. Well, where else can you get by diving into a strange hole in the wall?
There are mysteries, creepy monsters (particularly my favorite Gemini), a crazy plot, an amazing soundtrack from Akira Yamaoka and Melissa Williamson, and, of course, Eileen – the best girl in the franchise.
Spirit Hunter: NG
Let’s continue the parade of Japaneseness with the visual novel Spirit Hunter: NG, in which the main character is forced to hunt Japanese spirits and test the veracity of various urban legends.
Spirit Hunter: NG boasts well-written characters, beautiful visuals (by the standards of novels, of course), not always logical riddles and an eerie atmosphere of Japanese urban mysticism. There are jump scares and gore content, so be careful.
I won’t say anything about the plot, except to note that one of the endings can give you a good kick in the face and leave you frustrated for 10-15 minutes.
Fatal Frame II: Crimson Butterfly
It’s also impossible to do without the Fatal Frame series. The second part is my favorite, and all thanks to the main characters.
The twins Miyu and Mayu were walking through the forest and “unexpectedly” got lost. More precisely, the younger Miyu got lost, running away after a strange butterfly, and the eldest Mayu went in search of the lost thing, which led her to the abandoned village of Minakami, which became a real purgatory due to an incorrectly performed ritual.
Before us is a classic Japanese survival-horror, in which the player will have to shoot ghosts with a camera (thereby destroying them), look for his sister and find out the whole truth about how completely beaten off the villagers were.
Fatal Frame II: Crimson Butterfly is a rather dark, I would even say depressing game, in which all the events are closely intertwined with the events of other parts, but the second part is great for “rolling” into the series. I can only recommend playing the version for the original Xbox, as it is the most complete in terms of content.
Dead Space (2023)
Perhaps, stop covering yourself with turkey meat and junk. It’s time for something fresh and with a big budget. Electronic Arts managed not to lose all the polymers and pleased fans of the Dead Space series with an excellent remake of the first part.
At the center of the story is the same story of Isaac Clarke and the ship Ishimura, which was overrun by terrible monsters. The player will have to survive battles with creatures and save his soulmate, in search of whom we, in fact, came.
Screamers, juicy dismemberment and the atmosphere of cool space horror will bring a ton of emotions while playing. Nowadays, when large publishers screw up with their releases with enviable regularity, missing out on such a high-quality and expensive project would be a crime against the industry.
The Evil Within
You can criticize the game for a long time for its secondary nature, the lack of something new and story-based DLC, but to argue with the fact that The Evil Within is an excellent horror game is the height of madness. And madness is exactly the word that perfectly describes the creation of Tango Gameworks.
Detective Sebastian Castellanos, on duty, ends up in a psychiatric hospital where a mass murder took place, and suddenly finds himself in a situation where creepy monsters really want to get to the carcass of a hero with not the best intentions.
It is for the atmosphere of madness that I love the first part of The Evil Within. Yes, sometimes the game can heat up the pain with the high complexity of some encounters, but the plot more than pays for all the nerve cells killed during the passage.
Resident Evil 7: Biohazard
The seventh part of the great Resident Evil series became a real discovery for me at the time. To be honest, at that time I had already buried Capcom, but they managed to restart the series and return to the roots in a new form.
The main character of the game, Ethan Winters, in search of his wife Mia, finds himself on the threshold of an eerie abandoned mansion in the American outback. The wife, oddly enough, is there right away, but flatly refuses to leave the house of the strange family of cannibals.
The return to a slow-paced, atmospheric horror adventure sold the game to me. After the pathos and action of the previous parts, Resident Evil 7 perfectly conveys the atmosphere of fear and claustrophobia, creating horror with enviable regularity.
If you have the opportunity to play Resident Evil 7 in VR, be sure to take advantage of it. And yes, the crazy grandfather is the best character in the game
Kinzo from Supermassive Games
I won’t single out any individual projects and will simply say that games from Supermassive Games are ideal for late-night sessions with friends and hot drinks.
Both Until Dawn and the anthology Dark Pictures can give a huge amount of pleasant emotions, if you don’t go into details and ignore some plot holes. As a project for a fun company that decided to tickle their nerves a little, these games would be the ideal solution.