It's the spookiest time of year, where people hang cobwebs on their walls, stab holes into pumpkins, and try to turn any fictional character into an inappropriate costume. Be prepared for a lot of NSFW Jokers this year.
However, it's also the perfect opportunity to curl up by the fire and play a game that'll scare the hell out of you. So far, 2019 has been a good year for horrific experiences, so here are our top picks for games to give you some solid night terrors.
Resident Evil 2
It's hard to go back to Leon Kennedy's debut in the Resident Evil franchise. Human beings aren't meant to control like tanks, and it's a little difficult to get scared by blocky, blurry PS1 graphics. Well, thankfully Capcom has brought this classic back to life with a fresh coat of paint, and it's quite possibly the goriest game you can find.
Resident Evil 2 isn't going for psychological torment. It's a good old fashioned survival horror in which you need to manage your bullets and healing herbs while trying to not get eaten by undead police officers and skinless dogs that jump through the windows. These zombies take a lot of ammo to put down, and the hardest to kill of all is the iconic Mr. X, who has become a bit of an internet meme legend thanks to various mods.
It's bloody, violent, and strangely beautiful in a messed-up kind of way. If big-budget horror is your thing, you really should be playing this right now.
When Microsoft announced that Bloober Team, the developer behind Layers Of Fear, was going to make a game based on the '90s movie that popularized the found-footage genre, it almost felt like some kind of prank. The Blair Witch franchise hasn't set the world on fire since its original heyday, and the lackluster sequels seemed to have buried this property for good.
Yet, Bloober Team found a way to use the Blair Witch mythos to tell a personal and gripping story about a man struggling with his own inner demons. Ellis' traumatic life is filled with PTSD and grief, and what should have been a stroll through the woods becomes a harrowing journey into a damaged mind.
In addition, you have a loyal and lovable German Shepard named Bullet following you throughout the game, so you have something to worry about in addition to saving your own hide. We here at TheGamer liked it so much we gave it the full 5 stars, making this the perfect game if you're looking to have the worst hiking experience ever.
The Dark Pictures Anthology: Man Of Medan
Leave it to the people who made Until Dawn to create another game where you'll regret every decision you make. The Dark Pictures Anthology is the beginning of an ongoing series of horror games from Supermassive Games, and Man Of Medan kicks it off with the most familiar of haunted settings: a ghost ship.
It's basically a goofy horror movie where you control five attractive, stupid young adults who get swept up in an adventure that sees them board an abandoned military freighter in search of lost treasure. Of course, because this scenario never goes well, madness and bloodshed soon follow, and it's up to you to pass the QTEs and choose the correct dialogue options in order to keep these dummies alive.
There's a variety of diverging paths for the plot to go down, and how you play determines how the story ends and who makes it out alive. It's not high art, but it's perfect if you're looking for a silly, scary romp. Plus you can play it with up to five friends, making it one of the few games that will let you all share the same nightmare.
A Plague Tale: Innocence
If you've got intense musophobia, you might want to steer clear of A Plague Tale: Innocence. It's got more rats than a New York subway tunnel, and they're incredibly well-organized. In fact, they seem less like a collection of animals and more like an oozing ocean of fur.
A Plague Tale: Innocence is about a sister and brother who must navigate the streets and countryside of 14th Century France during the outbreak of the plague. The developers at Asobo Studios take a few historical liberties, though, as their depictions of the masses of rats are a little on the outlandish side.
Still, seeing these diseased rodents swarming around and consuming everything should be gruesome enough to induce an acute sense of anxiety in anyone with even a passing fear of these little critters. It's not a game for the faint of heart, but if you can handle a whole lot of rats, it's a tale worth seeing to the bitter end.
Faith: Chapter II
Earlier, we said it was tough to get scared by the original Resident Evil 2 due to its outdated graphics. It's ironic then that we list Faith: Chapter II as one of this year's best horror games considering it looks like it just leaped off the Atari 2600.
Developed by the one man team over at Airdorf Games, this sequel to the original Faith continues the disturbing religious mission of Father John Ward, who may or may not actually be a priest. Armed with only a crucifix and wavering faith, he sets out to exorcise demons and save tortured souls in some vain attempt at redemption or obscure sense of duty.
You wouldn't think pixelated figures walking along a black screen could create a strong sense of tension and foreboding, but the Faith series manages to keep you at the edge of your seat and sanity with only minimal visuals and sound effects. It's only a dollar on itch.io, so turn off your lights, and pray you'll be able to sleep after you've finished.
There are a lot of great games to sink your teeth into this Halloween season, and we might be getting more soon.