October, the month of DEATH. Everything dies in October. Leaves fall to the ground as trees reveal their true gnarled forms, the night starts earlier as the sky is grey during the day more often. Barbecues and laughing children no longer fill the night air, instead being replaced by nothing other than the eerie, shrill wind.
So! Basically October is a crappy time to enjoy the outdoors, so it’s probably best to just hole yourself up indoors and play some games that fit the mood of October. I am talking about some good old fashioned spooky games!
Here is a list of games that I think are “must plays” for the month of October. This isn’t necessarily a list of games that will make you wet yourself, but more of a compilation of games that are just fun for October, and Halloween. Enjoy!
#15 Castlevania: Symphony of the Night
My time with this Castlevania was short, and I did not get the opportunity to play it nearly as much as I would have liked to. I’m a big fan of the series however, so it’s impossible for me not to recommend Symphony of the Night since it is regarded by most as the best game in the series. Hunting Dracula in a sprawling platformer RPG seems like a very appropriate game for October.
Sometimes loneliness can be your worst enemy. I found Penumbra to be one of the most unnerving games that I have ever played, simply because there is such an intense feeling of loneliness. There’s a bit of action to be had in this game, but if you want to hopelessly and utterly alone, then this is the game to play.
#13 Half-Life 2
While the overall experience of Half-Life 2 isn’t terribly creepy, there is one portion of the game that puts even most survival horror games to shame. I am speaking of Ravenholm. Zombies practically own the city of Ravenholm, and Gordon Freeman’s stay in the city, while brief, is particularly suspenseful.
You can’t go wrong with a game that is full of a quickly spreading zombie plague! Of course, the scariness is remedied by the character you play as, a genetic superman who can pretty much kill anything he wants in the blink of an eye. While the tone of the game can be eerie, the gameplay is the furthest thing from scary and is fast and action packed, as well as very bloody!
#11 Left 4 Dead 2
I’m not a Left 4 Dead player, but I’ve witnessed my fair share of it and even endured watching a friend play the original for a few hours. If frantically trying to flee from a zombie horde that drastically outnumbers your team of four is up your alley, then this is without a doubt the game for you.
#10 Clock Tower
The Clock Tower series is regarded as being fairly creepy, but there is only one that I would really care to recommend, and that is the very first on the Super Nintendo. I never would have imagined that an SNES game could be suspenseful or even mildly scary, but Clock Tower was. It was a great game, and you never knew when the killer was going to come for you. The unpredictable nature of the killer alone makes this game worth playing.
Not a frightening game at all, but the depressing and mysterious gothic-like comic book presentation is very captivating and cool. Folklore feels a lot like a Halloween-ish comic book come to life. If you have a PS3 and enjoy action RPG games, then check out Folklore!
I reviewed Eversion and gave it a bit of a lousy score, but the game has a wonderful mood for this time of the year. Eversion starts nice and happy and cute, but quickly degenerates into a dark and brooding nightmare. It’s a neat game to try once or twice, so hunt it down. It’s on Steam for a few bucks.
#7 Manhunt 2
In Manhunt 2, you play as a psychotic freak who kills people in really horrible ways. The gameplay itself is a little dark, and it’s hard not to feel a little turned off by the actions of your character. If you want to play as a dark and disturbed killer, then this is probably the game for you.
#6 Resident Evil 5
While not terribly scary, Resident Evil 5 has lots of very cool creatures and a few dungeon crawling moments. A few supernatural plot twists make this game all the more cooler. While not living up to the Resident Evil name in terms of scary gameplay, it’s still an awesome game with quite a few suspenseful moments.
#5 Alan Wake
I do not have a 360, so I’ve never tried this game. However, everybody who plays it seems to think that it’s absolutely incredible. The game sounds like it relies heavily on dark shadows and a flashlight that you carry around with you. Afraid of the dark and want a few chills? This might be the game for you.
#4 Dead Space
EA’s break into survival horror sure was a doozy. In fact, it was a doozy that made me jump. A lot. I was even apprehensive to venture down several corridors in this game. Dead Space is cool because it relies on a gimmick that carnival owners abuse, and that is cheap scares. Dead Space likes to make horribly mutated human “creatures” pop out of nowhere, or sneak up on you from behind. Definitely a good way to creep somebody out! Play Dead Space, and you may find yourself looking over your shoulder quite frequently.
#3 Resident Evil
The grandfather of survival horror still has it! Despite the laughably bad voice acting, the original Resident Evil still has a few spooky bits if you don’t know what’s coming. I recall feeling very on edge several times throughout this game. Definitely worth playing even today, at least just to say that you played the original Resident Evil.
#2 Amnesia: The Dark Descent
I’ve only played a little bit of this game so I don’t know a great deal about it beyond the fact that it has amazing atmosphere, but I’ve watched YouTube videos of it and am aware that the makers of Penumbra made it. I can definitely say that Amnesia is probably far more creepy than Penumbra could ever hope to be. The fact that a few parts of the game even gave Yahtzee (of Zero Punctuation fame) a few moments of creeped out apprehension is a HUGE achievement!
#1 S.T.A.L.K.E.R: Shadow of Chernobyl
Not the scariest game by far, but deserves a high spot on this list. Imagine traversing the Ukrainian wilderness near Chernobyl and fighting off invisible ghouls that stalk you, zombies, and some pretty mean guys who don’t care who or what you are and only want to put a bullet through your head. S.T.A.L.K.E.R takes the players through underground sewers, irradiated fields, zombie infested swamps, and even the deserted town of Prypiat, which I have a bit of an obsession with. S.T.A.L.K.E.R will make you feel dreadfully alone, and the landscape is particularly depressing. A very fitting game to play on the eve of Halloween.