Recently we celebrated the 20th anniversary of Resident Evil, the original survival horror game, and although its LEGO-like graphics are a thing of the past, the influence of the game remains today.
Horror video games really push the boundaries when it comes to scary entertainment, as the immersion and interactivity make for a completely terrifying experience.
Horror video games are pretty much the epitome of fearsome fun, and if you’ve got an Xbox One, you’ll want to keep your eye out for a few of these titles.
For a slightly alternative virtual nightmare, try Oxenfree, an intriguing adventure/horror hybrid that emulates the whole ‘teenagers on a holiday gone wrong’ fad, but in video game form.
There’s a slightly supernatural undertone to the game, but for the most part, you’ll just be trying to pick the right dialogue option, which open up a multitude of various story possibilities. Beware of triangles.
State of Decay
Survival is the name of the game in State of Decay, as you struggle to keep a group of desperate survivors alive, fed and secure in a world gone to zombie hell.
The game plays like the Dead Rising series, but not confined to a single-setting – instead sprawling over various towns, fields and national park territory. There’s a bunch of RPG elements incorporated though to keep it fresh, including the building of bases, which is always fun. State of Decay can be terrifying though; especially when you’re trapped and surrounded.
Dead Rising 3
Dead Rising 3 doesn’t quite manage to replicate the feeling of hopelessness and desperation that the first game did.
Having said that, it has its own gimmicks. Weapon fusion combinations are endless, collectibles and upgrades are actually a concern, and the sheer number of undead prowling the streets window shopping for flesh makes the game scary enough, and elevates it to ‘good’, whereas the first sequel failed.
It’s like all your Halloweens have come at once in Outlast, as you play as an intrigued journalist determined to discover the truth about the mysterious insane asylum on the outskirts of town. Lurking within, as you might expect, is far more than you bargained for.
Honestly, if you’re a fan of horror games, then you’ll love Outlast, because, with its night-vision mechanics and foreboding tone, it’s quintessentially horrifying, and full of shocks and surprises.
Remember how scary Alien was? Well, face your fears, because rather than watching the crew of the Nostromo duck and weave through the ship to avoid a flesh-hungry alien, you’re going to experience it first hand. And you’re going to need a spare pair of underwear handy.
This game embodies everything that we loved about Ridley Scott’s sci-fi chiller, and you can’t ask for anything more than that.
Resident Evil HD
We’re yet to meet a gamer who isn’t fond of the Resident Evil series, or at least fondly remembers the original, mansion-set game. And the HD Remaster of that first iconic experience is as fine a remake as you could have hoped for, adding in heaps of new touches, locations and puzzles, and genuinely spooky to boot.
If you’ve never played this game, we strongly suggest you do. It takes everything that was great about the original Resi, makes it look all shiny and modern, and elevates it to another level.
Slender: The Arrival
For the most part, console players were excluded from the whole indie survival-horror explosion, but that time is officially over.
Slender: The Arrival replicates the awesome atmospheric feel of The Eight Pages, while still serving as an honest sequel. Twitch-horror, is a phrase we’d use to describe this game, because nerves run higher than ever when you’re in the middle of a forest, with a blank-faced dude edging closer and closer.
The Walking Dead
Choose-your-own-adventure with cel-shading might seem an unusual direction to take The Walking Dead, but this series of games from Telltale brings something new to the franchise, combining the horror aspect with emotional stories to create an extremely evocative experience.
Although it doesn’t follow the same plot as the series, the feeling of average joe’s battling to survive in an world ruled by undead remains, so if you’re a fan of the show, we have no doubt you’ll enjoy this game to its full extent. Powerful stuff.
The Evil Within
Resi creator Shinji Mikami developed a melting pot of survival horror’s greatest hits with The Evil Within, pairing stealth and action gameplay with supernatural elements and terrifying bosses. The game doubles as a mystery-thriller, as protagonist Sebastian Castellanos strives to discover what forces are at play in his world.
It’s also ghoulish, twisted fun.
Metro: Last Light
Although largely a shooter, your make-shift arsenal does nothing to dampen the terror of the post-apocalyptic wasteland (and underground) that you’ll roam in Metro: Last Light.
You’ll play as Artyom, again, in the desolate world that follows the canonical ending of Metro 2033, which we wont spoil for anyone who missed out on playing the first game. Needless to say, times are dire in Russia – with mutants to fight, toxic air to endure, and creepy church catacombs to explore.