Horror games (and media in general) has a reputation of being less deserving of our attention and not as artistic for a set of standards and milestones set by some of the tittles that in fact are not truly horror but more of a slasher or a jump scare fest. True horror is what is happening in between those moments when the player realizes that there’s something not quite right and that there is a possibility of something going terribly wrong but we can’t just explain why. That feeling of tension and fear of the unknown are what separates the cliché slasher from a good horror game or other media playing with our fears.
There are a couple of games that manage to nail that experience and feeling rather well and we believe that these are very deserving of your attention whether you’re a horror junkie or a casual player simply looking for well presented experience in any game genre. If you can picture yourself as any of the above types of gamer, then by all means, give a chance to:
Among the Sleep
The idea of the game is enough to realize that this is not your everyday “horror” game. You play as baby boy who can barely walk on his feet and is already being chased around by a dark, tall shadowy figure. Every one of us have been babies and we all know how confusing and more often than not, how scary every simple everyday thing can appear in a dark room illuminated only by the moonlight when viewed through the eyes of a child. It starts on “your” second birthday when you go to sleep just to wake up soon and realize that your house is changed and that your mother is nowhere to be found. So you embark on a quest to find where she is by navigating through creepy looking and sounding areas, viewing the world from a ground perspective. It is strange how a low placed camera perspective and a world that seems much bigger that you contribute to the creepiness of the Among the Sleep. Game pairs you with a sidekick of a kind, a talking teddy bear (I’m sure that this alone is creepy enough for some people) who is consulting and guiding you along your way. While not very challenging and more creepy than scary, this game is something you should check out if you like innovative experiences.
Similar to the previous game but with much more mature and lucid approach to horror, this terrifying experience puts you in a role of a journalist who, contacted by a whistleblower, is set to uncover some dark and illegal secrets practices taking place at the mental institution. Upon arrival you find the front door to be locked but quickly manage to sneak inside like a good scoop hunter and before you know it, you’re knee deep in horror. Player is constantly being chased by inmates with psychopathic and sadistic tendencies and therefore, since you have no way of defending yourself, forced to hide and sneak past them while navigating dark corridors deprived of any light source with the help of your camcorder equipped with a night vision. This sets an amazing and at the same time terrifying “found footage” movie atmosphere and paired up with amazing visuals that this game has, allows for great immersion should you dare play this one in a completely dark room with your headphones on.
Very different from the other games mentioned here yet similar for it manages to set the right scary atmosphere and makes the hair on our body rise from goosebumps. Set in a zombie infested world, Dying Light, unlike the previously mentioned games gives you a fighting chance and in fact encourages you to fight back. You are able to carry around a couple of weapons, melee or firearms and use them as you see fit. You can progress and develop your character any way you want and make him an even better fighter and, being a parkour instructor provides you with an unfair advantage compared to infected… until nigh falls and Volatiles come out to play and by play I mean hunt you down and eat your brains. The unfair advantage I mentioned just now when comparing player to infected still applies but this time Volatiles have it. They are able to run faster than you and also perform parkour and their sight is something that you should try to evade at any cost for, once spotted, your best option is to run. These night-time infected chases are what puts the player on edge, sprinting through pitch black alleyways of a derelict city while hearing a stampede of footsteps, growling and heavy breathing behind you is a terrifying experience. Sure, you can cut infected down, but how long will you last before you make a slip; before your weapon degrades and it’s rendered useless; how many medkits have you managed to scavenge? The infected hordes are seemingly infinite and there’s a big chance that being caught by one enemy for a second will result in you being surrounded and eaten alive in the next couple of them.
For now, let’s put a stop and give you the time to check out and try the game out for yourself before going over more of them, and being a fan of the genre, I’ve got plenty more to offer, you can bet on that. Make sure to leave a comment and tell me if you like our picks for this article, did we judge and presented these games fairly and if not, what was our mistake. Until next time, stay horrified.