Yes, there is an ocean of slapped together amateur horror games out there, and some of them are pretty good. But in terms of big budget productions, horror games tend to swing in and out of popularity pretty drastically. When big budget horror games are making the charts, however, some incredible productions are released, with extremely talented developers working their magic.
Take a look at some of the best horror games ever.
Dark Corners Of The Earth
Call Of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth is often overlooked when it comes to horror games. Released in 2005, it didn’t exactly break any sales records, probably because it was more than a little janky. But in terms of horror, it really did go places that games of today probably wouldn’t dare.
The plot is a mashup of a few H.P Lovecraft stories, with an added subplot involving the protagonist indirectly causing the butchering of a little girl. Between the paranoid delusions the character is forced to endure, including visions of the little girl covered in flies, as well as a few trulychilling flashes of a mental asylum, where the protagonist may or may not really be, Dark Corners of the Earth is genuine nightmare fuel. A little Apostasesportivas no Brasil before bed might be called for, just to keep the demons at bay.
F.E.A.R is most often remembered for its impressive shooting mechanics, and ground-breaking enemy AI. But lest we forget, it was also a pretty damn effective horror game. Sure, the action packed shooting may not have blended very well with horror, but when the horror was there, you sure knew about it.
From tooth rattling jump scares, courtesy of little girl ghost Alma, to the hallucinations of blood filled corridors, F.E.A.R happens to be one of the more effective horror games ever made.
Amnesia: The Dark Descent
It’s almost a cliché to put Amnesia on a list of horror games these days, but the fact of the matter is; it’s a damn good horror game. Full stop.
True, it does take an hour before it even becomes a horror game, but that only makes the first time you see a droopy lipped, nail headed monster all the more horrifying. Let’s not forget, before Amnesia came along, horror had fallen out of favour. It was this game that made it trendy all over again.
All that, and during one of the scariest moments you can’t even see the monster that is attacking you, just the creature’s splashing footsteps in water. That, ladies and gentleman, is true horror.
Lastly; big budget horror games of this scale rarely come along. So when they do, and an extremely talented studio of veterans is working on it, you know it will be something special.
Few will argue that the game, like Amnesia, takes some time to actually get scary. But, also in the same vein as Amnesia, that makes the moment when the Xenomorph does finally show up all the more jarring. Spoiler; it’s really scary.