Halloween’s only a few days away, and boy am I excited. To me, Halloween isn’t just a holiday, it’s a way of life. It’s also not limited to October 31st, as I’m doing all sorts of Halloween-related shenanigans all month long. This is the time of year when I can be strange and creepy and not only is it justified, but it’s encouraged. One of the things I like to do is watch nothing but horror movies, and play exclusively horror video games. Check out my “playlist” for this year, after the break.
8. Shadows of the Damned
I love Shadows of the Damned. It’s quirky, bizarre, and often hilarious. It’s also gory, gruesome, and occasionally terrifying. For the unfamiliar, it plays like Resident Evil 4, has a bit of a punk-rock flavor, and an incredible soundtrack. This is all thanks to the dream team behind it, which includes Shinji Mikami (Resident Evil), Suda 51 (No More Heroes, Lollipop Chainsaw), and Akira Yamaoka, who composed all the haunting soundtracks for the Silent Hill franchise, with the exception of Downpour. Shadows of the Damned is a fantastic game, and it’s guaranteed to get you in the mood for whatever it is you like to do this time of year.
7. Infamous 2: Festival of Blood
Last year we had a lot of great horror-themed DLC. There was Undead Nightmare for Red Dead Redemption, The Zombie Island of Dr. Ned for Borderlands, and Festival of Blood for Infamous 2. There are a few things that make this the best of the bunch — the first is it’s a standalone expansion, so you don’t need to own Infamous 2 to play it. The second is its unique take on Halloween and the way it infuses the spirit of the holiday into the Infamous universe. In Festival of Blood, the holiday is known as Pyre Night, and every citizen of New Marais is in on the celebration. With a new setting, a brand new suite of vampiric powers for Cole, and a genuinely interesting story revolving around the Bloody Mary legend, this is an expansion you really shouldn’t miss.
6. Siren: Blood Curse
Looking for something to play with the lights off and the sound up? If you are, I’d suggest Siren: Blood Curse. This is an intensely creepy survival horror game that will stick with you long after you’ve played it. It’s more streamlined than its predecessor, looks great, and manages the impressive feat of being scarier than ever. Considered a reimagining of the original Siren, Blood Curse follows a television crew that arrives in Japan to investigate the legend of Hanuda, a “vanished village” where human sacrifices are said to have taken place thirty years ago.
5. Silent Hill: Downpour
Silent Hill: Downpour is not a perfect game, but looking at the state of the series over the last four games, it’s arguably the strongest, and definitely the one that sticks the closest to the series’ roots. The foggy town is back, but now it’s also plagued by thunderstorms that can make its twisted denizens pretty hostile. Murphy Pendelton is a character that’s easier to sympathize with than what we’ve seen in the last handful of games, and while the enemies are sadly lacking in originality, everything else is decidedly Silent Hill in flavor.
4. Borderlands: The Zombie Island of Dr. Ned
Now, you might think I’m crazy for recommending a game like Borderlands when its sequel just released last month, but for those of you who haven’t been able to jump into the bigger and more badass world of Borderlands 2, The Zombie Island of Dr. Ned is a damn fine expansion on the original game. Tons of new enemies, including zombies, wereskags, and massive lumbering Frankenstein abominations, new weapons, and a huge creepy world to explore makes this worth your time. It’s also a great game to play on Halloween night, between answering the door to hand out sweets to trick-or-treaters.
3. Dead Space
Dead Space 2 is an incredible game, and come February, we’ll finally get our dismemberment fix with Dead Space 3, but until then, I plan on returning to the USG Ishimura in the original game. I don’t care what the naysayers say, the first Dead Space was absolutely terrifying. I’ll never forget my firt encounter with the Necromorphs, trying my best to haul ass toward to elevator, knowing one (or more) of them was right behind me. Visually, it was, and still is, a stunning game to look at. It also has some of the best sound design I’ve heard in a game, and that includes its hauntingly beautiful score.
2. Amnesia: The Dark Descent
Ah, yes, the scariest game of all time. Whether or not you agree with that, it’s tough to argue Amnesia’s effect on the horror genre. Few games have managed to be so consistently terrifying. This is an emotionally draining experience, because being on-edge for so long can take a lot out of a person. If you can handle it, jump in.
1. Costume Quest
I was considering tossing Shadows of the Damned between this and Amnesia as a sort of cushion, but then I decided that was crazy, so here you go. Costume Quest might not offer the same scares the other games on this list do, but it’s still brimming with Halloween spirit, and it’s ridiculously cute. If you want a game to play with a non-gamer or a kid (or alone, that’s perfectly fine too) you can’t go wrong here.
Missed a day? Check out the rest of the 13 Days of Horror:
Day 1: The 12 Best Weapons In Horror Games, Part 1
Day 2: The 12 Best Weapons In Horror Games, Part 2
Day 3: Our Premature Evaluation Of Black Ops II Zombies
Day 4: Why 2012 Has Been The Best (And Worst) Year For Horror
Day 5: 12 Horror Games To Look Forward To Next Year, Part 1
Day 6: 12 Horror Games To Look Forward To Next Year, Part 2
Day 8: Dear Capcom, This Is What I Want In Resident Evil 7
Day 9: 12 Upcoming Zombie Games To Be Excited About, Part 1
Day 10: 12 Upcoming Zombie Games To Be Excited About, Part 2
Day 11: Why We Love Zombie Games
Day 11: Why We Love Zombie Games
Day 12: Comment To Win A Copy Of Resident Evil 6 And Other Awesome Swag
Day 13: Don’t Be Scared, It’s Just A Dead Pixels Halloween Podcast