I'm not particularly good with scary things, me. Scary games in particular. Horror movies I can handle, to an extent, because I've learnt their beats over time. "Oh the camera has dwindled on that window, something's gonna jump in." Or, "ah the score's changed, something's gonna jump out." And other such larks.
But horror games chill me up something silly and it's mainly down to emotional distance and being an active (if unwilling) participant in the narrative. Look at me trying to rationalize my fear, I'm jumpy enough already.
As I've slowly come to terms with being freaked out by pixels and the fact that nothing is going to leap out of my TV like Ring's Sadako and throttle me, I've began to appreciate just how much being afraid brings to the gaming experience.
So in honor of the spooky season that is upon us, I've thrown together a list of-
7 Horror Games That Even Wimps Can Enjoy
Because why should we be left out? Okay, let's start with a game that's not too creepy...
I didn't know what to expect going into Playdead's follow-up to Limbo, and I'm still lost on the other side of it! But one thing for sure is this game is as upsetting as it is inspiring.
From the moment it begins, with the dash away from those armed guards leading people to trucks, Inside is a psychological mindf**k up there with the best of them. And yes I mean Silent Hill, Silence of the Lambs and This War of Mine.
Dragging that little boy through his escape is truly harrowing. And how about that creature who stalks you? Man, what a game.
I was 15, spot-addled and awkward when I first played Rockstar's hyper-violent masterpiece which is the only game that's forced me to question myself for playing, due to its subject matter.
Whilst not outright terrifying, the game's art of death, its general ethos and CCTV snuff-fantasy aesthetic are immensely off-putting and disturbing.
Okay, Dead Space may not be the scariest of games, but where it may lack in Manhunt's psychological breakdown, it makes up for in effective jump scares and some of the friggin' creepiest creatures I've come up against in games. Necromorphs are a regular bunch of swear words.
or Fatal Frame
I remember picking this one up on an off-chance from a second-hand game store due to its simple and effective mechanic of trapping benevolent souls in a camera in order to banish them. What resulted is a truly spooky walk around Himuro Mansion in search of a girl's brother who we all know is already dead. Come on, no one ever survives the creepy mansion.
Being such an avid fan of the Alien franchise (the first two movies at least) you can imagine how excited I was when its series of video games finally returned to form.
Creative Assembly's pitch perfect homage to the retro-futuristic glories of Alien is scarily faithful, leaving the player to fend against the xenomorph, haunted by the game's chilly atmosphere. And when you first come across that gangly, extraterrestrial bastard, man. There are few better moments in horror games.
Whilst not a reason to instantly run out and spend your life savings on an Oculus Rift or HTC Vive, creepy VR experience The Visitor is a great indicator of things to come when developers start to really toy with horror in the virtual space.
Taking place in a bedroom on a stormy night, The Visitor chronicles the visit of unexpected company, with a deft touch. Using flickering lights as points of interest and terrifyingly attune atmosphere, The Visitor will have you smashing that shiny new headset in terror.
'Amnesia: The Dark Descent'
And if you've managed to make it through the games on this list, there's no better way to end it than with a game that has been smothered in unanimous praise. Amnesia is a dark, dank and frigid game that has an English city boy by the name of Daniel lingering in the bowels of the mysterious Brennenburg Castle, with no recollection of who he is or how he got there.
But one thing he is sure of is that he's being hunted by something, and naturally that thing is f**king terrifying. The whole game is f**king terrifying! Why I am wandering this castle when I could be outside in daylight, frolicking in the fallen leaves?
There's my list of creepy games, ranked in order of creepiness, that should take you through Halloween and beyond. The only question is...
What horror games can you just about handle?
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