Horror’s Greatest Video Games

Horror’s Greatest Video Games

Horror’s Greatest Video Games

0 comments 📅06 January 2020, 12:43

 

We are in the midst of another golden age of horror. Filmmakers such as Ari Aster,
Jordan Peele, Jennifer Kent and Robert Eggers are now routinely producing
masterpieces that push the genre in intriguing directions. Peele is bringing back the
Candyman in 2020 and Guillermo del Toro returns with his signature style, so
there is plenty more excitement on the horizon for horror fans.

The burgeoning video gaming sector has mirrored this trends and it is also awash
with exciting horror-inspired games right now, while the old classics continue to
enjoy enduring popularity. These are the greatest video games for horror fans to
sink their teeth into:

Resident Evil 7
The Resident Evil series sets the benchmark for horror games and it has enjoyed
tremendous success over the years. Many fans would argue that it peaked with
Resident Evil 2 – the nerve-shredding journey that saw Leon and Claire bid to
escape a zombie-infested Raccoon City – and the recent remake was superb, but
Resident Evil 7 is even more terrifying thanks to the decision to switch to first-
person action. It makes the terror feel nauseatingly close and tinges the creaking
Louisiana plantation with an existential dread.

The first half is a masterclass in tension as the player bids to escape the evil
clutches of the Baker family, a brilliantly subversive set of torturers. This is a tight,
intelligent horror game that pays homage to the previous titles in the series – which
are always a big deal and featured in blogs such as the gaming news from Unikrn –
but also represents a rebirth for Resident Evil, paving the way for a glorious,
terrifying future.

Layers of Fear
This is one of the scariest indie games in recent memory and a must for any horror
fan. Layers of Fear is aptly named, as it stacks up the chills like the rickety tiers of
a haunted Gothic building. It tells the story of a psychologically disturbed painter
who has become fixated on a portrait of his wife. His memories are wracked with
pain and his hallucinations become real as the madness overtakes the painter,
leaving the player questioning everything.

The chills keep on coming as you explore the painter’s labyrinthine house and
learn more about his descent into schizophrenia. This is a really cinematic
experience, and the result is one of the greatest horror games ever made. It was
released in February 2016, but it still feels as fresh as a daisy.

Silent Hill 2

The Silent Hill series offered a masterful take on the horror genre. The first game
was sensational, but many gamers agree that Silent Hill 2 represents the most
disturbing in the franchise. This PlayStation 2 classic takes players back to a drab
American town shrouded in fog, punctuated with mysterious air sirens and
populated by all manner of abominations. The town shifts to fit the damaged
psyches of its inhabitants, making Silent Hill 2 the first game to champion the
concept of a horror narrative as subjective and untrustworthy.

Yet the narrative – based on Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky –
remains tight and focused, the gameplay is exciting and Akira Yamaoka’s
discordant score is a thing of wonder. The progression he achieves from Silent Hill
is astonishing, and it really ramps up the sense of dread that pervades this game.
Then there is the gut-wrenching final revelation.

Alien: Isolation
This is the crowning glory among the many games inspired by Ridley Scott’s
classic horror series set in outer space. It pulls off a masterstroke by taking the
terrifying Xenomorph from the original film and basing an entire game around it.
The result is an exhilarating survival battle.

The player takes on the role of Ellen Ripley’s daughter as she searches for her
mother on the ship, only to encounter the same terrifying stalker. The AI alien is
dogged, intelligent and utterly relentless, resulting in a truly oppressive mood and a
really intense game that leaves your nerves in shreds. You are always at risk of that
hideous alien tail plunging through your chest, which leads to a visceral sense of
fear.

Friday the 13 th
IllFonic and Gun Media enjoyed considerable success with this third-person take
on the horror classic. It is an asymmetrical multiplayer game with a semi-open
world that allows up to seven players to take on another player that assumes
control of the legendary Jason Voorhees. Fans of the films will love the
opportunity to explore the locations around Camp Crystal Lake, while the
gameplay is also fun.

Players can take control of any one of 14 camp counselors, who all come with their
own strengths and weaknesses. You can also play as Tommy Jarvis, the
protagonist of the fourth, fifth and sixth films, who is the only one capable of
killing Jason, as the others can only stun him. Many actors from the series were
brought in for motion capture, including Kane Hodder and Thom Matthews,
resulting in an authentic experience. Some felt the game missed the spirit of the
films, and it received mixed reviews, but it went on to win Best Indie Game at the
Golden Joystick Awards in 2017 and featured in many lists of the best games of
the year.

P.T.
This is an absolute masterpiece of horror. It served primarily as an interactive
teaser for the game Silent Hills, which was later cancelled, and P.T. stands for
playable teaser. It brought together horror icons Hideo Kojima and Guillermo del
Toro, with Ludvig Forssell providing the score, and the results were predictably
spectacular.

P.T. brings the third-person menace of Silent Hill into the third-person, just like
Resident Evil 7, and it is simply horrifying. You never know what awaits around
each corner, and that creates a nightmarish experience. The revelations veer from
haunting to gruesome. The skinless goblin baby mewling in the sink is particularly
grim, and the dread of that endless hallway caught in a perpetual loop. This is a
short, sharp and brutally effective masterwork within the horror gaming genre.
Play it if you dare.

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