Don't let the spookiest month of the year pass you by without a jumpscare or two.
Halloween is just around the corner, a time when gamers hunker down with their best spine-chilling titles to truly drive the spirit home. It's all about immersing yourself in settings that are deceptively quiet but filled with the unknown, enough to inspire a nervous look over the shoulder.
Whether you're into psychological horror or a good old survival thriller, we've compiled the creepiest titles for video gamers to revisit. If it's your first (brave) venture, we spoke to UAE-based players to help decide the best horror game for you, this Halloween.
"A good way to find out if you like horror games is to see if you generally enjoy horror movies and jumpscares," said Arshiya Faraghat, also known as xArshyy in the gaming community, where she hosts professional e-sports tournaments in the UAE, streams on Twitch and is a content and community manager at Four04 Esports in Dubai.
"There's a huge spectrum of horror titles, those that are meant to scare you, like Outlast (2013), a first-person survival game where you can only run and hide, so it's not for the faint-hearted. Then, there are those that are just horror-themed, like Dead by Daylight (2016), which is multiplayer and has a competitive feel to it," she added.
You may be someone who relishes in the chase and is thoroughly delighted by the paradox of a horror game. Martin Elias Dib, a 28-year-old avid PC gamer based in Sharjah, tells us that the thrill lies in wanting to avoid confrontation with sinister creatures but being forced to face them head-on regardless.
All in all, horror games are likely the most interesting bunch in the pile. Elias Dib said: "You don't know what will come next or how the game will surprise you with whatever's lurking around the corner - that's what makes them so much fun."
For those who want a complete spooky experience, always look for typical horror elements and complex puzzles in any game. Surprisingly enough, graphics matter less here, our experts share. There's more excitement to be had when the absence of details leaves the monsters to the player's imagination, says Elias Dib.
"People who don't want to be scared on their own will usually opt for multiplayer gaming, like The Outlast Trials (2023)," added Faraghat.
From zombies to family-friendly terrifying robots, these expert-recommended video games (many of which are up to 20 per cent off), along with the internet's favourites, will rattle your bones. Get ready for Halloween on time with an Amazon Prime membership for fast, free delivery, and check out the Halloween Store for decor items, costumes and more.
1. Best Overall: Outlast Trinity (Xbox One)
Sit down for 20 playable hours of intense survival horror in a three-disc bundle. The critically acclaimed Outlast franchise is one not to be missed. Each edition in the trinity - Outlast 1, Outlast: Whistleblower (prequel), and Outlast 2 (sequel) - follows an independent plot featuring fresh characters, so you're always invested. First, you play a journalist thrust into an asylum with rogue inmates, then, as a software engineer and a cameraman, all limited by restricted movements. In fact, Outlast 2 is notorious for being difficult with a stamina meter, allowing monsters to catch up to you. Reviewers talk of the lack of defense available to you, resulting in a scary loop of run and hide.
Warranty: Amazon offers a one-year extended warranty for Dh23 and two years for Dh33.
2. Best Classic: Silent Hill HD Collection (PS3)
A classic worth shelling out for is the bone-chilling Silent Hill series. Most of us had our first encounter with the franchise in the theatres. Expect the same fog-shrouded town of Silent Hill and gruesome monsters that wander the locale. The bundle features Silent Hill 2 and 3, both editions unrelated to the other, with classic elements of survival horror and lots of puzzles. This compilation is a remastered copy for PlayStation 3, which is why the graphics might not be on par with today's AAA titles. Still, it's many a reviewer's prized possession for their collection.
Warranty: Amazon offers a one-year extended warranty for Dh12 and two years for Dh17.
3. Best Multiplayer: Dead by Daylight (PS4)
As Faraghat mentions, Dead by Daylight dials down on the horror by adding more playable characters. It's a cross between action and survival, where the player is caught in a chase or be chased situation. If you're looking for long playable hours, the capacity for exploration here is vast. You can choose to don the role of the Killer in first-person, or join a group of four Survivors in third-person to escape the killing ground - two perspectives offered in a single game. The twist? The game environment warps into something unfamiliar every time you play, so there's always the threat of an unexpected scenario. Reviewers highly recommend the title to those who prefer teamwork. Note that this is an online game, which means you'll need a PlayStation Plus account to get it up and running. It's also available on Xbox One.
4. Best Remake: Resident Evil 4 Remake Standard Edition (PS5)
One of the most anticipated releases of 2023, the Resident Evil 4 Remake will always claim a spot in the list of the best horror plays. Originally released in 2005, the new edition delivers a reimagined storyline and updated graphics. It's set in a secluded European village, where the protagonist, Agent Leon, is on a mission to rescue the president's missing daughter from a cult. This is a solo survival game played from a third-person perspective, giving you the advantage of a better vantage point. Once you're done, check out the downloadable content (DLC) for more playable content, says Faraghat, who finds this shorter gameplay perfect for a Halloween night.
5. Best Family Horror Game: Five Nights at Freddy's Security Breach (PS5)
Horror games can be fun for the whole family, too! Consider firing up the free-roam survival title Five Nights at Freddy's Security Breach on the living room television. "You're basically a kid stuck in a mall closed for the night, and you have to avoid robot security. It has very creepy underground scenes," said Elias Dib. The story follows a young boy, Gregory, and his attempts to dodge hostile animatronics in the shopping mall by solving missions. Your enemies get stronger as the night goes on, while your stamina gets weaker the more you run. The mall is a huge complex, so there's no end to your exploration, either.
6. Best Sci-Fi Horror Game: Alien: Isolation (PS4)
This one's for sci-fi horror fans. Alien: Isolation bases its premise on the Alien film series (1979), marrying stealth and survivor horror gameplay in one. You play Amanda Ripley, an engineer who travels to the space station Sevastopol for answers after her mother's disappearance. There's little direct combat - you're limited to avoiding and outsmarting enemies, mainly the game's main invincible antagonist, the Alien. Reviewers say that they're positively spooked at all times since situational awareness is crucial to survival, always having to keep an eye and ear out for cues. Some add that it offers an even better gameplay than Dead Space.
7. Best Indie Horror: Signalis (Nintendo Switch)
Last year's surprising release was Signalis, a dystopian survival horror game uniquely drawn in 2.5-dimensional grainy graphics. In a retro-tech world, you're a humanoid named Elster in search of your partner, all the while encountering terrifying creatures. There's a palpable conflict of identity, memory and the terror of the unknown - many reviewers liken it to Resident Evil and Silent Hill. For instance, the dead come back even after they're defeated, perpetuating a constant feeling of dread as you progress in the game. Unsurprisingly, it receives stellar ratings.
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