Halloween is finally upon us and what better way to get into the festivities by playing a number of terrifying PC classics? The horror genre is awash with tense, atmospheric titles designed to evoke a sense of panic and offer adrenaline-fueled gameplay. From Resident Evil to System Shock II, there’s something to suit everyone’s tastes and fear factor.
We’ve compiled a list of our favorite horror games on PC and would love to hear your recommendations! Personally, I prefer the eerie, subtle horror games instead of being action-packed from the offset.
Alien Isolation managed to redeem SEGA’s reputation after handing Gearbox the license for Alien: Colonial Marines and dashing the expectations of science fiction fans. Thankfully, Alien Isolation is absolutely breathtaking and involves carefully scurrying around in a stealth manner to avoid contact with a single alien creature. This one-on-one dynamic makes the game enthralling and incredibly tense as you try to survive.
Amnesia: The Dark Descent
Amnesia: The Dark Descent is possibly the most terrifying game ever devised and continues to haunt me to this day. Throughout the story, you play as Daniel, an individual suffering from amnesia who slowly descending into insanity. Trying to work out the situation and survive while being in a confused state makes for a special experience which has to be played with a headset in complete darkness. Although, be warned, it isn’t recommend for anyone of a nervous disposition.
Condemned: Criminal Origins
Condemned: Criminal Origins originally received a fairly mixed response by the press who criticized the game’s haphazard narrative. However, this level of criticism is unwarranted when you factor in the fantastic array of melee weapons and dark, desolate environment. Much of the experience revolves around exploration and trying to investigate the course of events. This investigatory element makes Condemned: Criminal Origins unique and well worth a try.
First Encounter Assault Recon is a first-person shooter heavily inspired by Japanese horror and adopts a supernatural tone. The leading antagonist is called Paxton Fettel who takes control of a deadly bunch of super-soldiers. During the game, you have to fend off these deadly enemies and lead the highly trained F.E.A.R squad. The single player aspect is synonymous for its absolutely fantastic AI which still holds up brilliantly today. Enemies will work in teams, flank you, and hide behind cover.
The combination of smart foes and the scary theme makes it one of the best first-person-shooters ever created.
Silent Hill 2
Silent Hill 2 contains one of the most haunting and inspirational soundtracks I’ve heard. Arika Yamaoka’s recorded a main theme which employs a melodic tempo. On another note, the game is built around sound effects cues to add tension. For example, slow footsteps or sudden pieces of smashed glass ramp up the fear factor in such a dramatic way.
Technically, Silent Hill 2 is a third-person game which includes puzzle solving and trying to discover certain items. It’s hard to pick a favorite survival horror, but Silent Hill 2 probably just comes in first place. However, please remember that the PC version isn’t very good and requires a controller. Furthermore, it can only be purchased through second hand stores like eBay.