The Halloween Season is just around the corner. With the pandemic still ongoing, celebrating out and about in public isn’t really an option in most places. Instead of getting hung over with the utter washout that is 2020, celebrate the festivities digitally from the safety of one’s home by delving into horror adventures perfect for this season.
Here are the top five games (and five upcoming) Halloween addicts shouldn’t miss this year!
10 Chambers Collective KB’s GTFO’s premise is rather simple.
A team of four players is tasked with exploring a vast underground complex and finding valuable artifacts. Once objectives are completed, they must GTFO, like the game’s title suggests. However, that’s easier said than done.
The underground labyrinth is home to a hideous host of vile monsters and all of them are eager to tear the poor players into pieces.
Players aren’t completely helpless. Each has access to weapons and gear that will aid them on their quest, not to mention the various supplies scattered throughout the complex. Still, the most important tools players have are their wits and teamwork.
Going in guns blazing is tantamount to suicide. Gamers will have to exercise the utmost caution and communication to not just survive but GTFO. Accompanied by the game’s chilling atmosphere and tension-raising stakes, this is a perfect spooky adventure to tackle with a group of friends.
GTFO is available on PC via Steam.
4. Outlast 1/Whistleblower
The original Outlast and its expansion DLC delivered a horror experience that few other games of the genre could rival. From its haunting atmosphere to heart-stopping tension, Red Barrels’s Outlast is a game that will keep players on the edge of their seat, holding their breath from start to finish.
Players take on the role of Miles Upshur, an investigative journalist who ventures onto Mount Massive Asylum after receiving an anonymous email describing the sort of inhumane experiments being conducted there. The investigation degenerates into something far more gruesome and sinister, and Miles must find a way to escape with his life intact.
The Whistleblower DLC is a midquel that kickstarts the events of the original game. It is just as gut-churning and heartstopping as the original and stops at nothing to make the player feel vulnerable at all times.
Like the Amnesia series, the player isn’t a soldier or mercenary. They’re an average Joe thrust into the worst place at the worst time possible. The only tools players will have at their disposal are a camera and their wits.
With a prequel to Outlast 1 and 2 on its way in 2021, now’s the best time to refresh and catch up on the story and scares.
Outlast is available on Nintendo Switch, PC via Steam, PS4, and Xbox One.
Fans of paranormal investigations and the occult will love Phasmophobia from Kinetic Games.
Phasmophobia is the video game equivalent to ghost hunting television shows. Players assemble a motley crew of paranormal investigators and explore haunted locations to prove the existence of malevolent spiritual entities, which the game hosts in abundance.
Wraiths, revenants, onis, they’re all here to make players’ lives a pain. Each has unique behavior patterns and strategies necessary in dealing with them. Anger a spirit too much and it will attack. Death is permanent until a case is solved or failed.
Correctly guessing a spirit throughout an investigation is integral to Phasmophobia’s player progression system. Progression is gained through successive completions of paranormal cases, along with bonus objectives that accompany each case. Leveling up unlocks new locations to visit as well as more gear to aid players on their quests.
Phasmophobia also has an in-game communication system that simulates distance and depth, giving a surreal, grounded experience akin to what yelling across a haunted house might feel and sound like.
It creates an atmosphere that few other current horror games can deliver, and when coupled with the game’s multiplayer, it is an experience and adventure that is best ventured with a group of buddies.
More heads are better than one. Unless someone dies.
Phasmophobia is available on PC via Steam.
2. Amnesia: Rebirth
Frictional Games’s king of video game horror has returned.
Amnesia is one of those series that any horror video game fan worth their salt should have at least heard of or played. The original Dark Descent was a classic that kickstarted a new wave of horror games that became an institution.
After the mild disappointment that was A Machine for Pigs, the original team has returned with Rebirth, a game that is a return to fine form.
Though it cannot rival the intensity that came along with Dark Descent, Amnesia: Rebirth is a worthy successor that hits just the right amount of punches in the horror department. From the immersive atmosphere, signature of the series, unpredictable story, and nerve-freezing tension, the game is a solid horror experience with an otherworldly twist that fans do not want to miss.
Amnesia: Rebirth is available on Mac, PC via Steam, PS4, and Xbox One.
1. Left 4 Dead 2
Gamers who are on a budget will have a blast with this Valve classic.
Though the series was dormant for some time, Left 4 Dead 2’s been given a new lease on life with a recent community-based update, adding new animations, a wealth of unheard voice lines, and even a new campaign that was originally cut from the game.
Even for players who have experienced all the content the base game has to offer, L4D2’s modding community is very active and expands upon the stellar foundation of the game’s original iteration. With custom character and enemy skins, hilarious meme items, and entirely new campaigns built from the ground up, the sheer mountain of content provided by L4D2’s community makes the game worth revisiting.
No other game on the list lets players explore the zombie-rampant building of Raccoon City or defend Helm’s Deep against legions of infected in a singular, convenient package. The sheer replayability of Left 4 Dead 2 will keep players coming back time and time again.
As with all the other multiplayer games on this list, face off against the undead with a group of friends for maximum enjoyment. The Halloween Season is always better with friends after all.
Left 4 Dead 2 is available on Mac, PC via Steam, Xbox 360, and Xbox One via backwards compatibility.
5. Little Nightmares 2
Few things are scarier than being utterly helpless in a terrifying situation. Couple that feeling with being ridiculously small and that’s a recipe for a primitive fear few games can deliver.
Tarsier Studios’s Little Nightmares 2 is the follow-up to the original from 2017, returning to its terrifyingly gigantic world and its full host of nightmarish denizens. Taking place after previous protagonist Six escapes from the Maw, Little Nightmares 2 introduces a new playable character named Mono, a boy wearing a paper bag for a face. Six and Mono venture forth through the hells that await to reach the Black Tower, their destination.
As a 2D platforming horror game, Little Nightmares 2 will deliver a much different experience than other traditional horror titles. It’s full of devious puzzles and platforming segments that will force players to keep their wits about them and on the edge of their seat.
Little Nightmares 2 is scheduled to release across all platforms on February 11, 2021.
4. The Outlast Trials
Announced in 2017 and finally getting a teaser trailer midway in 2020, Red Barrels’s The Outlast Trials is a prequel to the first two games taking place during the Cold War era. Like many urban legends and creepypastas that take place during the same time period, The Outlast Trials revolves around captive individuals who are subjected to mysterious, life-threatening experiments.
The short teaser showed an unlucky fellow getting night-vision goggles drilled onto his head before a scene cut showed him running down a decrepit hallway, chased by a sledgehammer wielding giant of a man, who was oddly wearing the same pair of goggles.
There also seem to be multiple test subjects the player will try to survive with, but to the degree this affects gameplay is not yet known.
Not many details of the story beyond the trailer have been revealed, but The Outlast Trials teaser hits all the right notes for an Outlast game.
It’s unrelenting. It’s horrific. It’s not for the faint of heart.
The Outlast Trials is slated for release on PC in 2021.
3. The Medium
The occult is a sub-genre of horror ripe with innovation and invention. The supernatural and mystical have always held a monopoly over human imagination and literature for hundreds of years. The existence of a spiritual world beyond the physical has been an integral aspect of occult storytelling.
Bloober Team’s The Medium tackles such themes in its unique approach to gameplay, having protagonist Marianne act as a medium that explores the physical and spiritual realms simultaneously. Whatever she does in either world is reflected by its counterpart, making finding a balance between the physical and spiritual necessary to solve the many puzzles that lie in wait.
Treading both worlds is a dangerous task. Made clear through the teaser trailer and the impeccable sound design, Marianne is not alone in both worlds. Her medium powers will be put to the test when The Medium releases December 10, 2020 worldwide for PC and Xbox.
Ebb Software’s Scorn is a game that was first announced in 2014 before being unveiled as a next-gen horror game. It’s a title that treads a very different path from other horror games on the list.
Many horror games revolve around the fear and vulnerability of being a normal human thrust into the unforgiving world of the supernatural and macabre. Scorn does away with half of that trope.
Instead, players take control of a skinless humanoid in a techno-organic world, held together by flesh, steel, and bone. It’s a nightmarish hellscape straight out of the mind of HR Giger. It gives a very clear indication that the player is NOT welcome here.
The game plays in a non-linear fashion, having players explore vast interconnected regions to uncover mysteries of the macabre world. Luckily for the player, they have access to an equally foreboding arsenal of weapons to aid them on their journey.
For players who have the itch for things that make them squirm in their seats, this is a game to anticipate.
Scorn is planned for a 2021 release for the PC and Xbox Series X/S.
1. Resident Evil Village
Capcom’s Resident Evil Village stole the show at Sony’s digital event this past summer. Showing the full power of the RE engine on next-gen hardware captivated audiences with what the next Resident Evil could do.
RE: Village increases the scope from the previous game immensely. No longer are players bound to the single nightmare mansion that was the Baker’s estate. Now, there’s an entire village of suspicious, occultic scenery into which players can sink their teeth.
With the insane attention to detail, courtesy of the RE engine, chilling ambience, intriguing story, and werewolves, Resident Evil Village is a game fans of the prequel and gorn do not want to miss.
Resident Evil Village arrives sometime in 2021 for PC, PS5, and Xbox Series X/S.
With the Halloween Season in full swing, players can get their hands on the titles listed above to make the spooky season this year one to remember, or wait until the upcoming releases become available.