The criteria for this list was very basic. What games provide a spooky atmosphere, or scare, without basing the entire game on the horror genre? The one rule is the game simply can’t be a horror title (example Resident Evil), but provide a sense of fear that you could enjoy on this great holiday. So here are our top 5 “scares” that you should play this Halloween.
Batman Arkham Asylum – Scarecrow
This one seems all too perfect considering the remaster versions of the last generation games just released, and we loved them. Batman is normally a dark character with a spooky atmosphere surrounding him as a hero, but Arkham Asylum took this to new levels with the horror of Scarecrow in the first Rocksteady game.
During special missions in the game scarecrow injects Batman with his serum which makes Batman start hallucinating. It leads to some of the most iconic moments in the game including a long hallway where Batman (young Bruce Wayne) walks over his dead parents. These sequences then lead to levels where Scarecrow himself spins in the middle of the map while you play a side scrolling adventure trying to not get spotted. Some skeletons and jump scares are spread throughout the levels, but overall it’s an easy way to get into the Halloween spirit. Then perhaps you could also handle the underground levels as you run from Killer Croc!
Metal Gear Solid – Psycho Mantis (Honorable, Sorrow)
Metal Gear Solid, much like Batman, has a way of making seemingly normal situation seem much darker than they are. You could be enjoying an action-packed story of infiltrating a base, and come across a hallway littered with dead bodies and endless questions. The entire series is brilliant at throwing these dark twists at you occasionally, which mess with your head. As many people say, playing Metal Gear Solid is an “experience” worth having.
Nothing has haunted the series better than Psycho Mantis in the first Metal Gear Solid. He starts toying with your head before you even encounter him, and once you finally do get to battle him you might think he has some fourth wall powers. That’s because he does. The game utilizes saves from other titles, controller ports, and other tricks to trip you out. As the series goes on Psycho Mantis inspired characters become creepier in new iterations of the villain. One of my favorite moments is entering the room to battle Psycho Mantis in the first MGS only to find out my comrade has her mind controller by him, which leads to one of the most iconic fights in the series. With objects flying in the room, creepy things happening to your, and your buddy trying to take swings at you things get nuts fast!
An honorable mention in the Metal Gear universe is the meeting with Sorrow. During this meeting, you would have to walk along a river and see ghosts of all the people you have killed in the game up to that point. It could be a long walk, or hardly a meeting at all.
Bioshock – Little Sisters
Technically the first Bioshock game is scary title a lot of people, but it is overall a science fiction title. Bioshock Infinite kind of proves that point, but if you are trying to play a game with some soft frights this one might be for you. It isn’t going to haunt you for nights, but you will get a few scary feelings while you play it. The entire game is based way under the ocean and it utilizes this claustrophobic idea to the max with tight spaces, low ammo, and big bad guys.
One of those scary moments is when you come across the “Little Sisters” in the game. Nothing is scarier than creepy genetically altered little girls trying to kill you. Oh wait, yeah there is when you add in the fact they are best friends with Big Daddy enemies that want to rip you to shreds. Seeing them is never a good sign and combat is about to go down if you are not careful. Watching the Big Daddy walking around and trying to come up with a plan is always a thrilling experience. Every sighting is spooky and the games atmosphere does wonder to bring up the intensity. Again if you are looking for a fright, but not a haunt, Bioshock might be your answer.
Mass Effect – The Thorian
Mass Effect is a true science fiction video game which has gone on to become one of the best games ever made for any type of fan. The action sequences blend nicely with the RPG style elements, and we discover a world of new creatures at every turn.
One of those creatures is The Thorian and it is rather hard to explain exactly what it is, or why we fear it. What we do know is that when we encounter the creature we enter a dark world where the beast has taken control of minds of entire towns. The encounter is a rather lengthy experience consisting of things going dark slowly over time. At first it seems to just be odd nature of the ship losing grips with the landing dock, then soldiers are kneeling in awkward fashion, then after a few standard battles we learn of the true creepy capacity of Mass Effect. It is truly an experience worth having. With a few more missions and some back story, we learn that our enemy is shared with the guys we have been fighting the whole time. Why? We still don’t know.
God Of War 3 – Hades
Lastly we end our journey on an action oriented game to bring you into the world of Hades, well, Hell. Every time we go to Hell in video games it can be a spooky adventure, but this adventure involves Kratos so it isn’t too spooky. Instead the battle with Hades brings out the Halloween spirit in all of us.
The level consists of a giant angry Hades trying to take down Kratos, the biggest badass in video games. Between all the roaring and angry grunts from two gods trying to kill each other is a badass level design, with an extremely scary looking Hades. This level probably won’t scare you or give you nightmares at all, but it will get you in the Halloween spirit quickly.
Overall we have missed a few notable experiences such as the beginning of Alice: Madness Returns, one of my favorite titles, which returns to the dark times Alice is supposed to have in the original books and brings it to life. Or the creepy tunnels in Singularity. We could also say Heavy Rain has it’s creepy “realistic” moments of horror, something fans of film would probably prefer. So we want to know, what are some moments you would like to share on this Halloween?