It’s the last week of October, and everyone knows what that means – bring on the scares.
Being gamers, rather than roaming the dark, dank streets, we really prefer to slap on a pair of headphones, turn off the lights and play a frightening game or two. Unless you know of a better way to spend a Saturday night? We thought so.
Obviously, it’s all about location, location, location, and the perfect setting is the first step in making the most out of Halloween.
You will need:
The Dark Room
Whichever room you choose to host your evening of gaming scares and screams should ideally have as little light as possible.
Try a bedroom with dark curtains, and if you have a passage light, turn it off; you don’t want it to interfering with the atmosphere you’re trying to establish.
I always recommend keeping a pellet gun on hand as my neighbours have bigger spotlights than is necessary to light up a small skyscraper, and at times I need these spotlights to be off.
If you’re setting up a room for friends to play in too, then try and get a camera going, hidden somewhere out of sight, ready to capture all those embarrassing freak outs that are about to occur during your night of terror.
Even if they’re aware of the camera, it’s pretty easy to goad a scare or two out of them with the list of games we’re recommending.
Need an example, check out this recent and locally produced preview teaser for Until Dawn involving local journalists getting the scare treatment.
While we’re not ones to actively promote drinking, all of the time, a beer or two does loosen the mind, making it much easier to scare.
For those underage, this is absolutely not a license to drink! There are a number of fantastic non-alcoholic beverages, and besides, the games we’re recommending will have no problem scaring you senseless.
As far as snacks are concerned, it’s sort of mandatory to have at least one Halloween themed consumable, like vampire teeth etc. And remember, it’s Halloween so we except you to OD on candy and junk food.
You could always just use your home theatre system; after all, it packs quite the wallop, but what is the fun of that?
What we recommend is a good quality headset. There’s nothing quite like playing a horror game with its atmosphere being shovelled in through as many senses as possible, unmitigated by the real world, particularly background noise.
When it sounds like the thing about to eat you is actually right behind you, it’s all the more terrifying. So how about a few recommendations for those uncertain about what headset to purchase, should you not have one already.
We highly recommend the PlayStation Gold 2.0 Wireless Headset. It has 7.1 Surround Sound, sound pre-sets for PS4, works perfectly well on PC and Xbox One (with the Xbox One Adapter), and is the most affordable headset for its feature list.
It goes for around R1, 299 and is available in black and blue, or white and blue. If you’re not ready to splurge on a absurdly expensive headset, then this is the one for you.
It’s slightly pricier than the average headset, but it’s a heck of a lot better for it.
Alternatively, you can also go all out and grab the SteelSeries Siberia Elite Prism Headset. Sure, it’s R2, 799, but you’re not going to find a better audio experience, and it glows all purdy like.
It’s important to understand that horror games come in a number of packages and variations.
You get the “gory” game, the “jump scare” game, and the “run for your life there’s a mass-murderer and really rather freakish creature from my nightmares after me” game.
Different people will have different reactions to these types of horror titles, and it’s important to know what type of person suits a particular type of game.
Until Dawn is easy to play, but no less terrifying for it.
It’s about as close to a theatrical experience as you are going to get with a video game, without taking away from it being a game, and is ideal for anyone and everyone who enjoys a good jump scare.
It’s also ideal for anyone who has trouble aiming down a gun barrel. And it’s got a great story to boot.
We loved it; you should too.
Five Nights at Freddy’s
No, that’s not a cute bear looking for a hug; it’s a homicidal creature that wants to eat your soul.
A typical night at Freddy’s involves playing as a security guard that needs to defend him (or herself) from a number of animatronic, nightmarish animal-like creatures by tracking their movement through the building using security cameras and audio cues.
In a nutshell, all you need to really know is that you use the mouse to flip through security cameras, and every now and then a cute, fuzzy wuzzy will try and murder you.
An average round of the game lasts around 8 minutes, so it’s perfect for a few friends to give it a go in quick procession. It’s also perfect for scaring the pants off of said friends.
Slender: The Arrival
Slender is a fairly simple game to play. That is to say, it’s ideal for fooling your parents into playing it, unaware that something terrifying is just around the corner, quite literally.
All that’s required of you is to roam the environment you’re presented with and interact with a few oddities here and there.
Sure, it’s freaky and not for the weak-hearted, but its concept is rather simple and makes it the perfect scare for anyone and everyone.
The Evil Within
Now for the gore.
The Evil Within is for anyone who hides their head when the zombies start chewing on people in The Walking Dead, or anyone who hates even thinking about blood and guts.
The game is extremely intense and gorier than many expected.
You’re going to swim through a pool of blood; you’re going to be chased, a lot; and more than one thing will go bump in the night.
And while that may sound like everything on this list. The things that go bump in The Evil Within are usually “bumping” your head in with an axe.
If there’s one category that terrifies us all, it’s atmospheric horrors. These are the games that terrify your mind into doing most of the work, and few things are able to conjure up scares like our own minds.
Alien: Isolation is one of the most intense horror titles to release over the past few years. And you can thank the game’s mechanics and intense atmosphere for a good portion of the scares.
There’s more to it than avoiding an unstoppable, perfect killing machine too. There are also pretty freaky red-eyed robots who will want to “show” you around the space station, and when I say “show” you, I mean bash your head in with their iron fists.
Keeping that in mind, there is always a cabinet to hide away in. Basically, you spend your life hiding in these, as even the thought of climbing out of one into the open makes you sweat a small storm.
What would your perfect Halloween gaming evening consist of? Let us know in the comments and forum.