I’ll admit to being somewhat absorbed in the spirit of the upcoming holiday. It seems with every passing year, the shadow of Halloween stretches further and further ahead to encompass evermore of the month of October. If you’re stuck in the same horror mindset then you might be interested in checking out these five games to help satisfy that October horror itch.
Five great horror games to play in 2020
5. Resident Evil 2/3: Remake.
For those of you like me who get scared rather easily, you might still want to look into the Resident Evil 2 and 3 Remakes. These updated versions of classic survival horror games bring back that mix of bizarre puzzles, tense combat, and resource management all iconic to the original games to the modern era of gaming.
The Resident Evil 2: Remake is easily the scarier of the two, in addition to being the better game, but the Resident Evil 3: Remake holds its own while being a bit more frantic and combat oriented than its predecessor. Whether you’re fans of the originals or new to the series, these both are great ways to experience a classic zombie survival horror experience.
This won’t come as a surprise to anyone who has kept up with horror games over the last few years. Frictional Games was largely responsible for the revival of the genre with the release of Amnesia: The Dark Descent a decade ago, and Soma continues Frictional’s brand of high-immersion horror.
Soma differs from Amnesia by replacing the occult horror with a futuristic and existential horror, and is much more philosophical than its predecessor. The game also has a “safe mode” which allows players to experience the story without having to worry about haywire robots ripping them apart.
Phasmophobia has become a bit of a niche party game, especially over on Twitch. The game’s simple design and ideas make it an attractive game to try out with friends, and its variety gives it enough of a life span to last quite a while before getting bored of it.
Perhaps the only real downside to Phasmophobia is that, as a party game, you’re much more likely to play it to the point it losing its scariness. While the game starts as a horror game, it can very quickly become merely a somewhat grisly puzzle game with friends. Nevertheless, the game is still being developed and new content is always coming out, and if you haven’t tried it yet then it’s worth a shot.
2. Amnesia: Rebirth
Oh look, a new horror game from Frictional Games is coming out in just a few days. October really does keep giving. While this game isn’t yet released, judging from the promotional materials and the pedigree of the developers, it looks like it will at the very least be an enjoyable horror experience.
Unfortunately, it’s hard to say for sure where to place this game, but at the same time it wouldn’t be responsible to ignore it either. If you don’t mind waiting a few days, be sure to check out Amnesia: Rebirth when it releases to see if it’s as scary as it looks.
1. Alien: Isolation
Did I write this whole list just to talk about how a six year old game still holds up? Maybe, but if you haven’t gotten around to it yet then you really should. By now many of us already know some of the reasons why Alien: Isolation is so good. The AI controlling the titular Alien was revolutionary at the time it came out, and still holds up to this day, even if some of the magic has been dispelled.
If you don’t know, the Alien in this game uses a split AI, one half which watches you at all times, and one half which controls the Alien. The Director AI keeps track of your position and history and gives the Alien AI hints about where to find you, and helps teach it how to adapt to your gameplay. Crucially, the Alien AI is never allowed to cheat on these things, so it really is trying to hunt you down in game.
Another thing that struck me was how Alien: Isolation manages to be scary without relying on a lot of the typical horror tools. For example, darkness in Alien: Isolation isn’t something forced on the player, and many places are surprisingly well lit.
Regardless, if you haven’t given this a shot yet then you’ll be pleased to know that the price has gone down in the years since and you can pick it up for relatively cheap.