Screenshot for "Amnesia: The Dark Descent." Amnesia Official Website

The Halloween season is upon us and what better way for gamers to spend it than by playing some of the scariest titles for spooks and scares. Horror games tackle a lot of genres, including first-person, team-based shooters and survival, but what these games have in common is that they all scare gamers in their own way.

Early horror games are simple shooters that see players take down large number of monsters while being surprised with a few jump scares here and there. However, some new horror games deprive the player of the ability to fight back, thus making them feel that they are weak and frail.

Amnesia: The Dark Descent

Made popular by Youtuber Pewdiepie, “Amnesia: The Dark Descent” is probably one of the pioneers of the true survival-horror genre. The gameplay was deeply inspired by the “Penumbra” series by the same developer but “Amnesia: The Dark Descent” capitalised on the mechanics of the latter and made it even better.

The game puts players in the role of a Daniel who wakes up in a castle, without any idea of the events leading up to his awakening. Unlike other horror-games, the player is not given any gun, knife or any weapon to fight of enemies. Instead, the players need only to hide and be careful to survive against the game’s monsters. They could close doors, hide behind corners and walk very slowly to avoid being detected.

To make matters worse, players will have to be wary of two status bars for Daniel. One is the usual health bar which deteriorates if Daniel takes damage, the other is the Sanity bar. The Sanity Bar is depleted whenever something odd happens; this could include doors suddenly opening, a monster passing by or something as simple as complete darkness. If the Sanity bar depletes to zero, then the game is over.

The game is popular as it really provided players with a true survival-horror experience. It is still popular up to date. It has even spawned several games of the same genre including “Outlast,” “Alien: Isolation” and a sequel called “Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs.” Recently, Frictional Games released “Soma,” another title which played similarly to “Amnesia,” but the new game takes on a more modern setting.

Until Dawn

Perhaps one of the more recent horror game “Until Dawn” is a PlayStation 4 exclusive, which capitalises on quick time events and decision making for core gameplay. One of its main features is a Butterfly Effect system in which every choice made by the player is taken into consideration as the story progresses. Basically, the game can end in many different ways. The players could opt to end the game with all characters dead but if they plan well enough, every character could be saved at the end.

The game plays out like a movie. In fact, “Until Dawn” tackles a slew of Horror-movie clichés in its story. The game itself is a tribute to classic horror genres such as slasher films and it even takes on the usual setting of teens terrorised by a killer while they are on vacation.

Left 4 Dead

This cooperative shooter by Valve is probably one of the most popular zombie shooters to date. “Left 4 Dead” is especially more fun when played with friends or even with just some random players online.

The gameplay of “Left 4 Dead” is pretty simple. It requires players to fight through hordes of zombies using guns and melee weapons. Team work and cooperation is a major part of the gameplay especially when zombie archetypes like the Smoker and Tank appear. Although more fun than scary, the game does hold some thrilling moments. Some of the scariest parts of the game is when an alarm is set off, ensuing hordes to attack and even something as simple as a player being taken away by a Jockey or Smoker is enough to frighten some.

Resident Evil Remake

When it comes to zombie games, one of the franchises that would come to mind is the “Resident Evil” series by Capcom. Originally released in 2002, “Resident Evil” was re-released for current gen console last January. The original game spawned several other titles, a film franchise and many more, is a classic that horror enthusiasts should not overlook.

When it comes to gameplay, “Resident Evil Remake” is pretty much the same as the original title. The only major difference in terms of gameplay is that the game physics is much smoother and achievements have also been added to it. Aside from that, the only difference is the major overhaul in graphics.

“Resident Evil Remake” is the game which all zombie enthusiasts have come to know and love. It stays true to the original title and it could appeal to fans both new and old to the series.

There are a ton of horror games throughout the different consoles. And of course, each gamer is frightened by different things, so the scare factor of each game will always vary from gamer to gamer.

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