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The eight scariest video games ever 

For those who like an extra level of interactivity in their Halloween scares, here’s a list of terror and fun.

Alan Wake will keep you a-wake at night.
  • Alan Wake will keep you a-wake at night.

Resident Evil: Probably the most well-known horror video game franchise, the series has been scaring players since the PlayStation One days. Zombified dogs jumping through windows without warning and too little ammo to feel safe, this series keeps the heart pumping while throwing in some B-movie cheese. Resident Evil 4 is the best for gameplay and scaring the crap out of you. (1996, PlayStation, latest release Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D, 2011, 3DS.)

Alone in the Dark: An old PC game based on work from famous horror writer H.P. Lovecraft. You play as a private detective investigating haunted houses and creepy towns. It looks silly today, but in the day this game was high-tech featuring some of the first 3D graphics. (1992, PC, latest release Alone in the Dark remake, 2008, multiplatform)

Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem: This messed with your mind in such unique ways it's hard to believe more people didn't play it. Your character's insanity metre rises, when it reaches the top unpredictable and frightening things can happen. (2002, GameCube)

Alan Wake: If you could take all of the motifs from a Stephen King novel and compile them into a single video game, Alan Wake would be it. Set in a small town (naturally), you are an author (yep) who eventually finds out things aren't quite right with the townsfolk (of course). The story and pace of the game keep things fresh. (2010, Xbox 360)

Doom: A pinnacle in the first-person shooter genre is also a frightening one. As a space marine you are hunted by aliens, demons and the undead. It has had several sequels and an awful film adaptation. Keep your finger on the trigger and try not to scream when the lights go out. (1993, PC, latest release Doom II RPG, 2009, mobile platforms)

Condemned: Criminal Origins: Be prepared for those awful "jump" feelings in your chest when playing this game. This is hard and fast terror as psychotic nuts chase after you. Use that lead pipe to slow them down. Also try not to lose your own mind as creepy mannequins start following you around but stop moving when you look back at them. AHHH! (2005, Xbox 360 and PC, latest release Condemned 2: Bloodshot, 2008, Xbox 360 and PS3)

Silent Hill: One of the most critically acclaimed survival horror sagas, the Silent Hill series is both terrifying and philosophical. The demons that haunt the main characters are usually representations of their inner torments. The town, Silent Hill, is constantly draped in fog meaning you will never know when a disfigured creature will jump out in front of you. (1999, PlayStation One, latest release Silent Hill: Shattered Memories, 2009, Wii)

Dead Space: The Dead Space series is the absolute cream of the crop when it comes to survival horror games. An unusual beacon causes people to kill others and themselves as they transform into hideous necromorphs. What makes these enemies so much worse than your typical ghoul is that simply shooting them in the chest isn't enough---you need to take out limbs, too. This game absolutely nails the horrifying atmosphere with creepy sounds and effects. As you're walking, you might hear something fall in the next room, anticipating trouble you raise your weapon and prepare for the worst---when you enter there's nothing at all. It's almost worse than the alternative. (2008, PC, Xbox 360, PS3 and iOS, latest release Dead Space 2, 2011, PC, Xbox 360 and PS3.)

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Vol 28, No 2
October 15, 2020

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