Happy Hallowe’en! Over the past few weeks, Hallowe’en has taken priority over my usual gaming normalities since spooky season is my favourite time of the year. Horror games aren’t even close to being my go to genre, but I do enjoy mixing things up a bit so what better time than Hallowe’en to dive under a duvet in a dark room with a selection of horror games.
Myself and spooky gaming buddy, WesleyWhale, have teamed up again to share our opinions on a selection of 8 games with a horror / Hallowe’en vibe. We did a post very similar to this last year which you can check out here, or you can read on for this year’s cut. This year, we have selected another handful of varied games to try to cover as much ground as possible for any type of gamer, whether you’re into scary, cute, action or adventure – we’ve got you covered!
We’ve been waiting for this remaster to come out for ages and it’s been timed perfectly for Hallowe’en – I’m sure that was intentional! The setting is ideal for this season with spooky graveyard environments, evil scarecrows, zombies everywhere and pumpkins galore! It’s actually more difficult than we were expecting so we haven’t made much progress yet, but this game reaches out to a wide audience – whether you’re here for the nostalgia, or for the first time!
It was a little frustrating to reach areas that needed certain criteria to fully complete so early on; similarly, the learn-to-play instructions were pretty poor, mainly when a new ability was learned a few levels in. The game seemed to assume the player already knew the controls so figuring this out was slightly off-putting. However, the levels so far each have their unique qualities and they’re so stunning to look at *enables DanCam*.
WesleyWails: MediEvil for the PS4 is a pretty strong remaster in my opinion. The devs have stayed true to the source material, which I very much appreciate; the sights and sounds of Gallowmere are wonderful. However, if I were to remove the rose-tinted nostalgia goggles (which I don’t whenever I play a beloved childhood game), I would have to say it really does show its age. If you’re a fan of the OG then you’ll like this, but it’s hard to recommend for newcomers of the series.
Skylar-Mayhem: I’m loving these PS1 remasters! As a total newbie to this series, I’m having a great time seeing what MediEvil has to offer as well as finally getting to experience what Wesley has been raving on about all these years! We’ve not really played this remaster enough yet to form a well rounded opinion, but so far the visuals are stunning and I’m excited to progress.
I wouldn’t really say this was a game for Hallowe’en but nevertheless it certainly makes the cut with its eerie atmosphere and supernatural themes. Unlike many horror games we’ve experienced before, there’s definitely a lot more action involved here. Due to the first person shooter gameplay, it’s much more engaging than you’re average walking sim filled with cheap jump scares and this surprisingly creates much greater tension. The transition between action and horror was extremely well executed with a superbly maintained linguring atmosphere throughout and provided fantastic pacing.
The environment was definitely our favourite aspect of F.E.A.R. with an eerie setting of office blocks brought to a standstill at night. This felt far more realistic than your stereotypical abandoned building and provided much more of a connection to the real world. Visually, the game was incredible for that of a 14 year old game with great animations and perfect ragdoll effects.
Skylar-Mayhem: As I’m not into playing FPS games myself, I watched WesleyWails play it. Despite not having the interactions first hand, I was often on the edge of my seat in anticipation.
WesleyWails: Not many games can give you a big-ass gun and still be scary. F.E.A.R combines special weapons and tactics with supernatural terror, cuts fast paced action with a tense horror atmosphere and is easily one the best FPS games out there. I highly recommend playing this game.
I’ve heard alot of talk about Corpse Party over the past few years. I’ve just started chapter 4 and so far I’ve been impressed with the storytelling and the way the chapters intertwine – I can feel it becoming more complex as it progresses. However, I felt slightly disappointed with the Steam version of this game as the PSP version had a much stronger visual atmosphere with detailed textures and I’ve even heard talk of CGs. I think if I’d have played this PSP version, it would’ve felt a lot creepier and really heightened the experience overall.
Skylar-Mayhem: As of yet, I’m not really sure what’s around the corner as there have been a few surprises along the way, but this has been a decent pick so far although I wouldn’t say it’s had me hooked.
Amnesia The Dark Descent
Considering this game is credited as one of the highest rated horror games, seemingly wherever you look, we both failed to see the appeal. Reaching around the 2 hour mark, we realised the game was incredibly slow and uneventful without anything remotely grabbing our attention. There wasn’t even anything scary about it.
As far as gameplay goes, the sanity metre was a unique idea with an interesting concept, but since this mechanic punished you for looking at the scary stuff along the way, it pretty much defeated the point of playing a horror game. Why would you pass though an area without absorbing the environment?
Skylar-Mayhem: I’m in no rush to continue with Amnesia: The Dark Descent. I found the whole thing so far to be nothing but dull and even if it was to improve, I still can’t see myself enjoying it enough to justify my time.
The Shrouded Isle
As decision making / management games go, this is a solid choice. Although not particularly branded as a horror title, the player must eliminate the sinners to awaken Lord Chernobog. Despite receiving mixed reviews on Steam, we’ve both enjoyed it thoroughly so far and developed a new found determination to take on the challenge that is the updated version of The Shrouded Isle, Sunken Sins. Although we haven’t managed to finish a playthrough yet due to the difficulty of managing so many aspects at once with the addition of an extra 8 seasons, we’re both excited to progress further (maybe even succeed eventually).
The art style was really effective with a selection of colour schemes to choose from, adding an extra personal touch. The music was equally fitting and suited the style of the game well. Dark themes are reflected throughout, represented effectively with the style of playing detective. The Shrouded Isle is ideal for short runs in one sitting but can still be enjoyed with new runs in succession.
WesleyWails: Every element of this game just blends together so well. The eerie music and gothic horror visuals have been excellently tailored to build a sinister atmosphere and the divine occult theme really suits the ‘balance the meters’ management genres. And by that I mean; It’s a nightmare trying to make tough decisions with Lord Chernobog breathing down your neck!
Skylar-Mayhem: It took a while to get into the swing of things but ultimately each run relies quite heavily on RNG. That’s not necessarily a bad thing as I think we’ve been trying too hard to get a perfect run each time which isn’t mandatory – hence our consecutive failures. It didn’t help that Wesley here managed to delete our best playthrough…
WesleyWails: DELETING OUR PLAYTHROUGH WAS CHERNOBOG’S WILL
H E R E T I C
Think of this as Stardew Valley but you’re maintaining a Graveyard instead of a farm. Kind of ironic really, but I’ve probably spend the least amount of time actually in the graveyard during my current playthrough. Even though I’ve played Graveyard Keeper for a fair few hours, I feel like I haven’t even scratched the surface of the content this game has to offer. Mainly consisting of a lot of fetch quests and plenty of missions that span into more and more quests, I feel like getting anywhere is going to be extremely time consuming.
Skylar-Mayhem: Unfortunately, I just don’t have enough time to invest fully into Graveyard Keeper at the moment. The concept is an excellent idea and I’d love to see more from this game in the future, including the Stranger Sins DLC that was released a few days ago.
At first glance, Sweet Witches reminded me of Jetpack (1993) with the style of platforming this game features. It’s definitely a great Hallowe’en pick for those that aren’t into horror titles, but the platforming can sure get your heart racing. The art style was cute and the first two settings were really fitting to the Hallowe’en theme the game promotes. I’m not so sure how the Egyptian level fits into it though…
It was much more difficult than I expected it to be, often dying for ridiculous reasons such as getting stuck up a ladder or casually walking into enemy projectiles, but it was fun for a while. I can’t imagine enjoying the game alone, but as a local multiplayer game suitable for Hallowe’en, Sweet Witches is certainly worth some consideration. The only major issue we came across was during the local co op campaign where players shared the same health pool. This resulted in Skylar-Mei using up 4 lives and then blaming WesleyWhale when he died, using up the last remaining life.
WesleyWails: Cute game. It was fun for maybe an hour. If I have to listen to one more piece of music by Kevin MacCleod, I’m going to scream.
Skylar-Mayhem: Considering how frustrating I found some of the levels to be, I actually enjoyed this game more than I let on. I think it would be more fun the more people on board (even though I completely sucked) but I’m not sure if it’ll hold my interest for very long.
Instead of running away from monsters, why not be the monster instead? Carrion is set to release in 2020 but has recently had a demo available. Although this preview only lasted around 15 minutes, it gave a pretty good impression on what the game will be like. It does look a bit hectic, but the concept is fresh and I can see this being a fun horror themed game.
Skylar-Mayhem: It’ll be interesting to see how Carrion progresses, but judging by the demo I think this concept has great potential.
WesleyWails: I personally really like the art-style, I feel like it lent a lot to my enjoyment of the demo. The games strongest point however, has to be the gameplay and controls. It was a lot of fun to haphazardly throw around this huge thriving mess of tentacles at (mostly) helpless scientists. I am concerned that the gameplay could get repetitive and become tiresome after a few hours, but if the devs can introduce new mechanics through the game to keep it fun and interesting, this could be promising.
Let us know what games you’ve been playing for Hallowe’en or if you have any suggestions for other horror games we should try in the future!
Thanks for reading, and Happy Hallowe’en!