The real ghost was inside us all along
What’s the game you go to when you want to be freaked out? When fear is your goal, around the spoooooookiest time of the year, what are your favourite horror games?
CultureJam’s writers got together to discuss their favourite scareathons, and why they’re perfect for Halloween.
The survival horror hit from Supermassive Games is my pick for best horror game. You’ve got 8 teenagers in a cabin on Blackwood Mountain to commemorate the disappearance of the twin sisters of one of the members of the group.
What could possibly go wrong?
Featuring a stellar cast including Rami Malek and Hayden Panetierre, the whole production of Until Dawn oozes quality. It has plenty of scary moments that will have you on the edge of your seat (or peering out from under a blanket). Where Until Dawn really shines though is the that this adventure requires you, the gamer to make all of the core choices in the game. What you decide to do has a direct impact on the story and whether your teenagers make it out alive. Depending on your choices, all of them (well almost) can make it out alive, or they could all be killed, or any combination in between.
The combination of scares and player decisions having a direct impact on outcomes makes Until Dawn highly replayable and a masterclass in engaging gaming horror. The only downside? It’s a PS4 exclusive so if you’re on Xbox then the scariest thing for you is that you can’t play this quality horror game.
If I could pick my next scariest game? Super Seducer on PC. This isn’t a horror game but it’s misogynistic, highly sexist, extraordinarily offensive attitude towards women, and the fact that it thinks that this sort of thing should be a game makes it one of the most horrifying games I’ve ever played.
Here’s the thing about horror. It shouldn’t jump out at you as something spooky scary, relying on jolts and jumps to elicit basic instinct responses. True horror, real fear, comes from the slow and steady buildup of tension. I’m not scared when someone jumps out of a closet at me. I’m scared when I see something damn near inconceivable, looming in plain view, and not knowing how the hell I’m going to deal with it.
You’re damn right I’m talking about Bloodborne.
The scariest part of Bloodborne is that, by and large, monsters don’t hide in shadows and jump out around corners. Except that one dude in the house at the start, screw that guy. You can see werewolf monsters, hideous giants, and even some bosses from a mile away, and the fear comes from knowing you’ll have to face that, but damned if you know how.
So yeah, enjoy your jump scares, I’m going to be over here, sobbing and laughing in cosmic horror. Like a real goddam professional.
The premise of Klei Entertainment’s Don’t Starve Together isn’t overly complicated – you (and any online friends) appear in a Burton-esque wilderness, where you must, uh, not starve. There’s no real end goal here – success is measured by how many days you can survive. Coincidentally, the same premise as the original Don’t Starve (2013), but with friends.
This is one of those happy games with a very active developer and an equally active community. Each time I return to it, I’m inevitably overwhelmed by new content, items, events, and characters. This makes it the perfect game to come back to once every few months or so. Or, say, once a year at Halloween? *winks*
Don’t Starve Together ‘s spooky art style lends itself to Halloween and knows it – this year is the third year they host their seasonal event Hallowed Nights, where you can prance in spooky-themed skins, get special spooky items, and enjoy spooky events. At time of writing the event running time is unspecified, but based on last year could last for an entire month. Not satisfied with one month to fulfil your very specific Halloween-Don’t-Starve related needs? You can get your Halloween on at any time via Events in the world creation menu.
So while y’all are out there spending your Halloween getting jump-scares, I’ll be here eating berries, lighting forest fires and going insane in the dark when the torch burns out. Just another Wednesday.
Want to get spooked some more? Read on…