Ready for a scare? Halloween is right around the corner, and it’s never too early to start playing spooky games. Below are the top 5 survival-horror games to play for Halloween and the month of October. Note that many of the games listed below are a few years old and released on older systems, meaning they may be difficult to find.
Silent Hill: Shattered Memories – Wii, PS2, PSP
Even though it may not release until early November, Silent Hill: Shattered Memories looks to be more than just a remake of the survival-horror classic Silent Hill.
Silent Hill: Shattered Memories promises to create unique gameplay experiences by adding deep psychology and character-based aspects into the gameplay. Depending on how the gamer plays, characters will react differently and it can change how the game progresses.
Just in case Silent Hill: Shattered Memories doesn’t release until after Halloween, gamers will find the original Silent Hill (Playstation) and the sequel Silent Hill 2 (Playstation 2 and Xbox) to make for excellent survival-horror games fit for any Halloween themed video game party.
Resident Evil 4 Wii Edition – Wii (GC and PS2 versions as well)
While Resident Evil 4 began as a timed-exclusive for the Nintendo Gamecube and later ported to Playstation 2, the Wii version of RE4 is considered, by many, to be the best of the three. As other shooters on Wii struggled with controls, RE4’s “Stop and Shoot” mechanic works perfectly with the Wii pointer, allowing for pin-point accuracy for headshots, knee shots and more to set up melee strikes.
For those unfamiliar with the series, Resident Evil involves elaborate plot lines with bioweapons and viruses, which cause normal people to turn into zombies, mutants, and other horrific creatures. In Resident Evil 4, players assume the role of Leon Kennedy to save the President’s kidnapped daughter in Spain.
Unlike previous games, Resident Evil 4 creates an excellent combination of action and horror. Much of the fetch-quests and backtracking in previous titles has made way for more action-packed segments. And even though the game features more action, the horror is still in tact. Players no longer have to spend nearly as much time contemplating elaborate puzzles or wandering aimlessly without a clue as to where to go; RE4 features a far more player-friendly design, with a more straightforward puzzles and environments.
The dark, moody atmosphere, combined with some truly horrifying moments and monsters makes Resident Evil 4 one of the best games to play for Halloween, or when simply in the mood for a good scare.
Dead Space – Xbox 360, Playstation 3, PC
Good survival-horror games made within the last few years are difficult to find – most of the survival-horror gems were released around the Playstation and Playstation 2 eras. Dead Space, however, is a welcome exception.
The player takes the role of an engineer on a mining ship, who must fight off human corpses that have been reanimated and mutated by some form of alien organism. Using makeshift weapons from mining tools, the player must survive against the “Necromorph” by dismembering specific limbs and body ports of the enemies.
Dead Space is a unique sci-fi survival-horror game. And even though Halloween is more Ghouls and Ghosts than aliens and mutations, Dead Space still makes for an excellent survival-horror game for Halloween.
Fatal Frame I or II – PS2, Xbox
Inspired by ghost stories, exorcisms, and Shinto rituals, Fatal Frame 1 and 2 are excellent survival-horror games originally released for Playstation 2 and then later ported to the Xbox console.
The player takes the role of a little girl who gets trapped in various haunted locations, with her only form of defense as an old camera, which helps fend off evil spirits and can even “capture” ghosts. Ghosts fade in and out of the real world, so players need good timing to catch the ghost at the perfect moment (usually when they attack, adding to the game’s suspense).
The Fatal Frame series features dark, creepy atmospheres with some truly disturbing ghost moments. It’s a truly rare game series that manages to create suspense and fright, along with retaining a creepy tension even after the game is turned off.
The Fatal Frame games have achieved an underground, cult-like status, which means they may be difficult to purchase. Cruising the used game section of stores like Gamestop may result in a lucky find, but most are better off searching online.
Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem – Gamecube
Eternal Darkness is a third-person survival-horror game with a similar style to Resident Evil and Silent Hill. However, what makes Eternal Darkness stand out is the unique “Insanity Meter.”
The Insanity Meter can significantly alter various aspects of the game. Alterations include skewed camera perspectives, creepy noises, walls and ceilings bleeding, illusions, and many more. The game even goes so far as to create a fake volume bar on the TV and other such effects, resulting in a truly perplexing and frightening game experience. Eternal Darkness is one of those rare games that is truly unpredictable.
This wholly unique survival-horror experience must be played to be believed, and even when it’s played, it’s difficult to tell what to believe.
Top 5 Survival Horror Games for Halloween Conclusion
Turn off the lights, turn up the volume, and turn on a game console. While scary movies offer their own unique frights and horrors, there’s nothing better than the direct interaction in a horror story offered by these five survival-horror video games.