Horror gaming has always been a popular way in which to immerse yourself into a terrifying world of fright and sheer terror. It can be a particularly difficult thing for developers to be able to create virtual environments and in-play moments that can unexpectedly scare gamers but it’s something that has been done many times in the history of gaming and something that continues to keep gamers on the edge of their seats. Over the years most major consoles have managed to feature some form of flagship horror-themed gaming experience and with such innovative tech such as virtual and augmented reality coming to market it’s a genre that will fully benefit from such immersive devices in the future. Here’s a look at just some of the best and more memorable horror games ever to hit the market.
Silent Hill 2
The world of ‘Silent Hill’ is a particularly disturbing one and for the past 17 years it’s a franchise that has managed to frequently come up with the good both in terms of story and scares. Whilst the ‘Resident Evil’ series was busy reinventing the horror survival genre it was ‘Silent Hill’ that was taking things even further by injecting some truly unsettling imagery and gaming action that lives long after you switched it off. But it was ‘Silent Hill 2’, that first appeared on the PS2, which really managed to help players lose a hell of a lot of sleep. It’s a game that featured many of the franchises most popular and iconic characters and is absolutely teaming with daunting atmospherics and unbearable tension throughout as you venture around the apparently empty town.
Speaking of intense and heart-pounding survival horror games just a couple of years ago we were treated to ‘Alien: Isolation’. The game was set 15 years after the events of the original ‘Alien’ movie and revolved around Ellen Ripley’s daughter, Amanda. The game arrived on the PS3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One and it managed to use everything that made director Ridley Scott’s original sci-fi thriller so beautifully taut with tension. Whilst on the hunt for her missing mother Amanda comes across a derelict space station that houses the vicious Xenomorph. The gameplay itself involves a lot of running around and hiding from the said creature as well as moments where you need to quite literally hold your breath to avoid detection from the acid-blooded beast. Quite frankly you’ll need a stiff drink after you end each gaming session playing this horror gem.
Resident Evil 2
Whilst in the world of horror movies sequels are more often than not met with disapproval from many fans as filmmakers attempt to retread the same old themes and styles that we were introduced to in the first instalment. But in regards to horror gaming it’s almost as if the first chapter is simply a teasing precursor to a more horrifying follow-up. Developers and game storytellers actually appear to learn from previous efforts and evolve their mindset accordingly in order to build on the fear factor created in the original. Of course with each new release the graphics and gameplay improve significantly which obviously adds to the realism of the experience. However the stories are still richly conceived and the jump-scares are aplenty. We saw it happen with ‘Silent Hill 2’ and it was the same story with Capcom’s 1998 horror sequel ‘Resident Evil 2’. This PlayStation classic really upped the scares and increased the darkly ominous atmosphere tenfold and it really helped shape the franchise as it ran through its Raccoon City backdrop and further revealed the secrets of the rather menacing Umbrella Corporation. It was a city infested with the undead around every corner which made sure player’s eyes were firmly fixed to the screen at all times and ensuring that every gamer involved would be kept in a permanent state of apprehension.
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