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In a week when we’re celebrating the 20th anniversary of the daddy of survival-horror, it seems apt take a look at some of the finest chillers and shockers currently available for modern-day gamers.
Without further ado (and with a blog on Xbox One titles to follow soon), here are ten of the very best horror experiences out now on PlayStation 4.
If you downloaded and installed it before Konami scrapped Silent Hills and pulled this playable teaser from the PlayStation store, congratulations – you can still savour one of the finest horror gaming experiences ever made.
A surreal, outlandish first-person nightmare unfolding in a deceptively simple loop of hallways and rooms (in a seemingly ordinary suburban home), its oppressive atmosphere and disturbing imagery are rendered even more effective through Hideo Kojima’s trademark fourth wall breaking touches.
Frictional’s follow-up to their hugely successful Amnesia: The Dark Descent is less explicitly terrifying than their previous slow-burning psychological outing, but SOMA is arguably more disturbing in other, subtle, ways.
As an exercise in existential dread, the mind-bending sci-fi tale is quite the benchmark; leaving you with troubling philosophical thoughts long after the credits have rolled. But if you’re after more obvious scares, what you’ll find in a certain lab area, or in the depths of an Ocean abyss, will certainly do the trick.
Lone Survivor: The Director’s Cut
The definitive version of Jasper Byrne’s 2D, side-scrolling riff on everything from Silent Hill to Twin Peaks remains an absolute joy – challenging your grey matter and survival skills in equal measure.
After a devastating viral outbreak has struck, your must guide your protagonist through his grim apartment building, murky city streets and feverish dream sequences alike. Darkly funny, and surprisingly creepy.
Packed full of intense chase sequences, nail-biting games of hide and seek, and some of the most bowel-shaking jump scares ever to grace a games console, Red Barrels’ debut outing is an indie thriller of gleeful gore and nerve-wracking surprises.
Trapped in a decaying insane asylum where bloodthirsty maniacs abound, you must rely on your wits – and the night-vision function on your video camera – to survive. Gleefully schlocky, and oodles of fun.
As an authentic successor to the classic Alien movie, both aesthetically, thematically, and in the returning of the Xenomorph creature to its terrifying extreme, Creative Assembly’s gripping nail-biter is a triumph.
Tentatively exploring a space station gone to hell, with barely a weapon to hand, vulnerability in the face of homicidal androids and of course THAT relentless, stalking monster will fry your nerves to dust. Trust us: you’ll be spending hours at a time cowering in lockers.
The Last Of Us Remastered
As a narrative experience and post-apocalyptic adventure, Naughty Dog’s grim but beautiful story of two unlikely comrades-in-arms is as close to perfection as it’s possible to get.
But it excels in the survival-horror stakes too; with tense forays into ruined buildings and sewers infested with grotesque mutations throwing up some genuine fear factor. One extended sequence in a flooded basement is a particular hair-raising example.
On the surface, it’s simply a brutally difficult action RPG. But quite aside from the fact that it’s dripping in explicit horror imagery – from its werewolf beasties to its emphasis on the red stuff – From Software’s frantic masterpiece offers a masterclass in Lovecraftian creepiness.
So strap on your finest top hat, pick up that saw cleaver and wade your way through as much life-threatening nightmares and cosmic weirdness as you can stomach. “Awoooooo!”
The Vanishing Of Ethan Carter
The kind of story-based exploration saga that indie games do so very well these days, The Astronauts’ atmospheric open world slice of intrigue also packs a powerfully eerie touch at times.
Occult-like puzzles, foreboding environments and themes of death and the supernatural permeate its often captivating and occasionally awe-inspiring experience; while a dread-inducing mine section feels like a literal descent into Hell.
Enduring both the moody, claustrophobic tunnels of Moscow’s subway system, and the toxic air and shattered city ruins above, the experience of both Metro 2033 and Metro: Last Light is one of profound tension and suspense.
These two games are superlative shooters, stealth titles and horror games rolled into one, with an awesome dollop of compelling world-building for good measure. The remastered Redux package on PS4 is a must-buy if you haven’t already had the pleasure.
One of the surprise gaming highlights of 2015, exemplary voice-acting, scripting and attention to detail helped make this interactive, choose-your-own-adventure slasher movie an absolute blast for fans of the genre.
Tasked with guiding a bunch of teenagers through one very long night of terror in a spooky mountain retreat, characters both lovable and otherwise live or die according to your actions. Knowingly campy and playing on cliches to winning effect, it’s both genuinely scary and an utter hoot.
Honourable mentions: White Night, The Evil Within and Resident Evil HD are all well worth a look too!