The Evil Within 2
The easiest recommendation for a Halloween game this year is The Evil Within 2. It’s a popular new horror game and really delivers in terms of creating a world that sends chills up your spine. Crafting an eerie atmosphere is arguably one of the most important factors of a horror game and The Evil Within 2 definitely seems to have this at the forefront of the game’s design. Before you even approach your first enemy or get your hands on your first weapon, the game’s environment and tone will have you second guessing if you want to play the game alone. The Evil Within 2 makes great use of small eerie moments that creates the build up for the real scares. So be prepared for the small chills you’ll get from a mannequin head suddenly rolling down the stairs to the full on jump scares that catch you off guard as you make your way through the game.
Resident Evil 7
If you haven’t played Resident Evil 7 yet, or if you have and just want to revisit the game, Halloween is the perfect time to do it. Resident Evil 7 provides a wonderful return to the series survival horror roots by messing with your head instead of just hurling creepy enemies your way. While previous games in the series made you feel like a zombie-killing machine, Resident Evil 7 makes you want to keep a closer eye on resources and brace for the unexpected. The game does drag a bit in certain spots but that’s actually not a bad thing. The constant mix between a break in the action and sudden danger appearing make the game feel all the more frightening since you really aren’t sure when you should brace for a fight. The best part, however, is the fact that the world is crafted in a way that makes exploring such a fun and scary experience.
Doki Doki Literature Club
Note that in order to discuss the very nature of this game, minor spoilers are included in this section.
On the surface Doki Doki Literature Club looks like the furthest thing from a horror game imaginable. With its adorable cast of characters and relatively typical school romance plot, Doki Doki Literature Club lures you deep into a false sense of safety. When you start playing through this graphic novel, you’ll be convinced that you aren’t doing more than writing poems and starting a literature club. You will wonder why you even received a long list of warnings about the game’s content. That’s when you’ll run into the end of the game — or what seems to be the end of the game. Doki Doki Literature Club takes scares to the next level by demolishing the fourth wall of gameplay and creating a faux ending that really marks the beginning of this chilling adventure. The initial ending of the game is marred by a character’s death and when you prepare to play through the game again you’ll see that nothing is quite the same and the entire game is nothing like what it seems. While it may seem hard to believe, if you’re looking for one of the most innovative horror games of the year, this seemingly happy-go-lucky graphic novel will catch you by surprise.
Until Dawn will only cost you about 20 bucks but it won’t fall short in its offerings of twists, turns and fascinating lore. Like your usual horror game, Until Dawn is filled with dark, eerie environments that create a general feeling of uneasiness. You won’t go through this game feeling comfortable even in the moments when you aren’t necessarily scared. While the story itself feels a bit unfocused at times, Until Dawn still has a cast of characters that serve as interesting guides through a world that is successfully creepy. In many ways, Until Dawn pays homage to b-horror films in a way that is entertaining while also keeping you on edge throughout the entire adventure.
Friday the 13th
I know, in terms of the game’s execution overall Friday the 13th is a bit of a disappointment. It definitely gets repetitive over time and clunky mechanics and frequent bugs certainly don’t help the experience. But if you’re looking for a horror game to play only on Halloween that provides some fun scares that can be enjoyed with a beer in your hand, Friday the 13th is the perfect fit. You won’t have to commit to a long campaign mode or story that might take hours of gameplay to really get into and it’s probably one of the most fun Halloween gaming experiences that you can have with friends. Whether you get together online or just have a room full of friends who are screaming at you and telling you where to run and what to do, Friday the 13th just makes for a great centerpiece of entertainment a Halloween get together.
Layers of Fear
There are some horror games that provide little more than jump scares that come and go in a matter of seconds. Layers of Fear, however, provides just that — layers upon layers of fear inducing visuals and psychologically thrilling mind games. Layers of Fear doesn’t just highlight the importance of world building in a horror game, it makes it the very core of the entire game. It’s a fresh take on a horror game that plays on the concept of insanity and does so in a way that is both mentally stimulating and terrifying. You’ll spend the entirety of the game inside a decrepit home that in and of itself preys on your worst nightmares. For only 20 bucks, it’s a great one-time purchase for Halloween that doesn’t take up a ton of your time but still allows you to get in the creepy spirit of the holiday.
Sometimes less really is more and Little Nightmares is a spooky reminder of that fact. It’s hard to make this sort of puzzle platformer a truly scary game but Tarsier Studios found a way to make it happen. Little Nightmares is a great alternative for someone who doesn’t want the kind of scares that will have you ready to pee on yourself but still wants an eerie game to get into the Halloween spirit. The game is a pretty short one but it is packed with a powerful story and layers of a dark, sinister world that’s thrilling to explore.
Perhaps you’re feeling particularly bold this Halloween or maybe you’re planning on having enough people over that you don’t mind diving into the deep end of the creepy pool. Whatever the reason may be, if you’re looking for a game that will have you taking a second look over your shoulder every now and then Outlast 2 is the way to go. This game might not be going home with any awards for gameplay, but in terms of just making a final product that’s scary and bone chilling, Red Barrels Studio released one heck of a successful sequel to the original. This is another game that brings the best out of jump scares and more psychologically driven moments that don’t just rely on something random and unexpected happening. Let’s be honest, nothing has to happen in the cornfield for it to still be absolutely terrifying for you to be tasked with exploring said cornfield in the dead of night.
This is a clear go-to game if you like your scares to be thoughtful and intelligent. SOMA pulls at your emotions, wraps you up in its intriguing themes, and is then heartless enough to scare the living daylight out of you all while you’re trying to cope with the many other layers present in the game. The way it explores the nightmarish possibilities of artificial intelligence gone awry is actually rather captivating despite the fact that the trope in and of itself is nothing new. There isn’t necessarily a ton of enthralling gameplay involved but the amount of suspense SOMA delivers still makes it worth your time, especially on Halloween.
If you still have Bloodborne sitting around in your collection, Halloween is exactly the time that you need to dust it off and dive back in. Bloodborne was released back in 2015 and it’s still a game that’s worthy of your time if you haven’t played it yet. Technically speaking, Bloodborne is classified as an action RPG but most players who have explored its world will tell you that it’s often more chilling than some of today’s best horror titles. Sure you’re filling the shoes of a skilled Hunter but when you’re facing off against monsters these difficult and terrifying that can strip you of your resources, it’s hard to not to look at this as a survival horror game. Bloodborne offers every level of fright that you’ll be looking for this Halloween from creatures with chilling designs to small moments like a frightened voice calling out to you on the other side of a locked door. If you’re looking for a game that brings the scares right from the start but will also provide plenty of enjoyable content after the Halloween festivities have come to a closer, there’s hardly a better choice than Bloodborne.