View Full Version : Horror Games

2007-01-15, 12:12 PM
Inspired by references in the Creating Horror thread on the main gaming board:

What are your favourite horror games?
Stores of gaming moments that were creepy as hell will also be well accepted :smallbiggrin:

My favourite so far would be Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of The Earth. Penumbra had great atmosphere but I couldn't go far in it since my gfx card is too weak.

Any more?

2007-01-15, 12:48 PM
System Shock 2 without a shadow of a doubt.

2007-01-15, 12:52 PM
System Shock and System Shock 2.

Most games try to "scare" you by putting disgusting stuff on the screen or by startling you. Not these two. With these, I was really, truly, honestly terrified of what might be lurking around the next corner, stalking me, somehow knowing how little ammo I had left...*shiver*

2007-01-15, 03:14 PM
I really want to mention some random educational game I played when I was a kid but I can't think of any. They were all pretty scary now that I look back on them.

I played a few of the "not really scary" horror first person shooters (Doom 3, Aliens vs Predator and F.E.A.R. specifically) and while they weren't scary, the stuff that was supposed to be scary did actually add to the combat. Even though I kept thinking "jumping out monsters and whispering voices get lame after a while" I did end up feeling like I was stuck in a hopeless situation and had to fight for my life. Except of course when I died and had to load the game, thus ruining any sense of personal involvement.

There's something about the last levels of F.E.A.R. that screwed up my pulse rate the first time I did it. Not sure what though and it isn't the same on replay. It's surprising what looking at a giant metal frozen sphere in the center of an endless dark exspanse can do to you.

2007-01-15, 03:18 PM
I can't touch horror games. Really can't.
I played a quick part of a Silent Hill 2 demo and had nightmares for weeks.
However, I know a great game you can play while playing horror games. I'll go find it.

2007-01-15, 06:14 PM
What are the System Shock games like? I've heard of them but never really anything beyond 'really scary'

2007-01-16, 12:10 AM
FEAR and DOOM. There's more but I like the four letter theme.

2007-01-16, 12:33 AM
Doom wasnt that scary. all you need is great reflexes with switching back to the shotgun.

2007-01-16, 12:33 AM
I've played a few horror games. I really enjoyed Resident Evil, Silent Hill (still haven't played "The Room"). Was thinking of getting that CoC computer game but...my computer sucks, and wouldn't handle it.

I'd say I wish there were more in the genre, but seeing as how there are many, many horror movies and just about all of them suck...I'd imagine more horror games would do just as much good.

2007-01-16, 12:57 AM
What are the System Shock games like? I've heard of them but never really anything beyond 'really scary'
They're FPS games set in a mildly cyberpunk future, where you play a hacker (in SS1) or a soldier (in SS2). Each game starts out with you waking up alone in a space station (SS1) or a ship (SS2) and missing some of your memory, and things go downhill for you from there as you find out that not only is the entire place infested with once-human mutants, but that the AI in control of everything has gone completely insane and is sending an army of killer cyborgs and heavily-armed security robots after you.

Along the way, you occasionally find comm logs and memos lying around that let you slowly piece together how things got to where they are now, and how to get the hell out of there in one piece. On top of the storyline doing a good job of convincing the player that he up against one hell of a villain, the enemies have a nasty habit of respawning just as you become convinced that a nice, safe, long-since cleared area is going to stay that way...leading to you becoming paranoid that every little sound is an enemy coming after you.

2007-01-16, 06:56 AM
For Horror I favoured Silent Hill over Resident Evil, but I haven't played either of them's renditions for the last couple of releases.

The game I was most scared playing that surprsied me was Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines. There's a level set in a haunted house and though everything that happens is pretty stereotypical - strange noises, whispered fragments of conversation, light bulbs exploding as you walk past, it's incredibly well implemented and atmospheric. The fact that you're playing a blood-sucking terror of the night doesn't prevent it from being scary, which was a fantastic mark in my book.

2007-01-16, 11:24 AM
They Hunger and Dark Corners

Much of the other stuff is just twitch & gore but those two work, for completely different reasons that are the same reason. They both manage to capture the atmosphere and timing of events to make people jump. It's not all the time, quite imperfect, but both will do it.

I think it's in the anticipation mostly. In They Hunger the best bit of horror (for me) was the cave right after the police car. First time I went down there I think I had about six rounds of shotgun ammo and ten of pistol ammo. Managed to come to a corner and was trying to sneak around it when the zombie I barely couldn't see said "Come to mommy." It was just the normal random talk spew from female zombies, but the RNG picked the perfect moment and phrase. In Dark Corners it's two of Ramona's appearances that threw me for loops the first time through. Although the third time I played through I saw something through a basement window, just for a second, and had to stop myself from trying to draw a weapon and spray the area. It's before you even get a weapon in the game, a safe area, and I never did see it again or even see enough to be able to describe it. But it managed to kick that fight/flight response near perfectly.

2007-01-16, 01:41 PM
What are the System Shock games like? I've heard of them but never really anything beyond 'really scary'

For good description see ARtanis's post to which I'd like to add there are puzzles and all sorts of stuff to make it harder (eg jamming guns that need maintaining, slowly evolving enemies, that kind of thing) and atmosphere, lots of it. Considering the game was old when I played it 5 years ago, it's done really well and there (IMO) is nothing better, even with all the slick graphics there are these days.

2007-01-16, 02:09 PM
System Shock - ditto

Silent Hill - ditto (Especially 2 when you are walking around the foggy city streets and the DTS kicks in over the headphones and you hear the things behind you . . . lotsa fun when you are playing alone, at night, with big external noise reducing headphones on.)

Alone in the Dark (the very first one)

Eternal Darkness for a bit (gorram bathroom)

2007-01-16, 04:12 PM
CoC: Dark Corners did make me not want to go any further, especially the appearances of Ramona (the sewer!). I was pretty amazed how scary the game was, until I started facing the fish monsters on the boat. Plus the disk was scratched beyond repair, so it would always freeze when I tried to get the key to the dead guy's room.

Doom 3 did scare me a small amount in one or two scenes, but I soon got used to the whole voices and weird creatures thing.

Silent Hill: The Room didn't scare me as much as it annoyed me, mainly because of all the creatures who I would beat with a bat so many times and didn't die.

Forbidden Siren was very frightening for me, me not used to not having much resources or ways to defeat the baddies. It was also interesting how the zombie things would come out of nowhere constantly.

Silent Hill 2 would be another scary game for me, it definitely had a creepier atmosphere (in my opinion) than 1 or 3.

2007-01-24, 06:43 PM
I'll second the Hotel level in Bloodlines. A friend of mine got through that with no problem, but it creeped the hell out of me. :smalleek: ...She makes fun of me. Curse of having an active imagination, I suppose. :smallsmile:

And the marine levels in AvP and AvP2 spooked me a bit, too--or at least made me jump. I'm reasonably well-attuned to sounds, and the fact that they got the sounds in the game perfectly matching what's in the movies upped the immersion factor for me. There's a bit in AvP2 where you haven't even run into anything yet and are exploring some hangar basement, expecting an alien to spring out any moment...creeping along...checking dark corners with your light...lighting flares...finger poised on the trigger...and then suddenly a @%!!# steam pipe bursts right in front of me and nearly startled me right out of my chair. Bastard game developers.

I should start a website with a live cam: "Muz Playing Horror-Survival Games." I'm sure it'd be entertaining. Come, laugh at the moron afraid of his computer screen! :smallbiggrin:

...I bought CoC a couple of months ago. ...Eventually I'll get the nerve to play it beyond the first few minutes. :smallbiggrin:

2007-01-25, 10:05 AM
Well, call me a wuss, but Doom 3 scared the bejeezus out of me. Seriously. I really, really want to play System Shock, too, but I can't find it!

And, of course, when I was a kid, the original Doom...

"Dad. Dad! I can hear them breathing on the other side of the door... and I'm almost out of health and ammo! Can you beat this section for me, please?"

2007-01-25, 05:22 PM
Undying, by Clive Barker. That was some seriously creepy atmosphere, for my money. It left the rails a couple times, but for every time it got wacky, it scared the crap outta me four or five times...

2007-01-25, 06:54 PM
System Shock II, most certainly.

But System Shock 2 is not scary in the same way that, say, Alone in the Dark or Resident Evil is. Many horror games simply adopt a strategy of going "BOO!" at you at various pre-scripted moments. System Shock II does not rely on that, but instead on simply creating the sense that you are trapped in a spaceship filled with mutants and featuring an insane AI that's out to get you. Coupled with permanent shortage of ammo, some of the best enemy noises/voice I've ever heard in a game, as well as the various disturbing audiologs you uncover. And the ghosts...oh yes, the ghosts... The scary moments in SS2 create themselves.

The Ocean Drive Hotel area from Vampire: Bloodlines gets an honorable mention. Damn that place is creepy. To this day I still have to play it with the sound either off or heavily turned down. And even then it creeps me out.

2007-01-25, 11:01 PM
Doom 3, scary it is. A wuss, I am. The Imps, everywhere they are. Out of shells, the shotgun is. Crappy, the machine gun is. Too little ammo, the chaingun has. A decent beating stick, the flashlight is.

Count Chumleigh
2007-01-26, 12:01 AM
Hands-down, my favorite horror game is Arkham Horror, the Call of Cthulhu boardgame. It's expensive, takes forever to set up, and takes just over forever to play, but it is the most amazing game of its kind I have yet to see. Hell, it's more in-depth than a lot of RPGs I've seen in my time!

--Count Chumleigh

Atreyu the Masked LLama
2007-01-27, 09:55 AM
For me, a good scary video game series is Fatal Frame. It has a lot of atmosphere, the different ghosts all have unique appearances about them, and best of all, they have very good plots on top of that.

Over Christmas break, I was house sitting a friend's place and feeding his cats. I was playing Fatal Frame around 11 at night and I was getting frustrated, so I decided to take a break and head up play on the forums for about 10 minutes and relax. I paused the game and went upstairs to the computer. When I was calm, I proceeded back downstairs and a chill ran down my spine.

I could hear the tormented wail of the ghost I was fighting, coupled with the creepy music, but since the PS was in another room down the hall, I couldn't see it. I was alone, in a huge strange house, at night and could hear this ghostly wail. It was genuinely creepy. So I had my hand on the wall, trying to find a light switch. Suddenly, a horrible growling noise comes from one of the bedrooms that does NOT have the playstation in it. I literally jumped in the air and yelped. Turns out two of the cats who didn't like eat other had crossed paths and one was warning the other off, but, SHOCK, that was scary.

2007-01-27, 10:03 AM
Im a wuss when it comes to scary stuff. I watched a bit of the movie They, still works my imagination up >.>...

Doom 3 has the jumping up type of scares. Heck, I was scared by being attacked from behind in Elder scrolls 3 (wasnt expecting it :P)

2007-01-27, 10:08 AM
Seriously. I really, really want to play System Shock, too, but I can't find it!

Good on you. Good luck with finding it. Try ebay or it pops up on amazon every now and again. You may need to patch it to work with XP, I had Windows ME when I played it.

Edit. It's 15 on the UK Amazon

and it's on US Amazon too

2007-01-27, 03:58 PM
CoC: Dark corners of the earth had some frustrating moments *cough*refinery*cough* but for the most time, that game freaked me out like few things before.

I played Doom 3 after that. It seemed almost harmless.

2007-01-27, 06:48 PM
The only horror game i have ever played is RE4 and it didnt feel that scary with the exeption of the places with those invisable acid-spitting bugs that spawn out of nowwhere and climb on the walls. I was creeped out by everything about them. Other than that the only times i was scared was, i suppose, the times a dude leapt out at me and i jumped. I dont really count that though.

The scariest game i ever played in terms of being creeped out like those bugs did to me is Morrowind. Something about the whole of the Sixth House and Dagoth Ur cults smacked of cosmic horror. The first time i got attack by one of those ascendant sleepers inside of a creepy dim red cave with those little ash statues all around and a faint harsh whispering muttering incoherently out of my surround sound speakers i flipped out. Morrowind should count as a horror game.

I apologize for this tangent.

2007-01-28, 12:38 PM
Morrowind can be scary at times. Nothing like having a skeleton sneak up behind you in a haunted cave.

2007-01-28, 04:22 PM
The 'sleepers' from morrowind where some creepy folks and the ones that have mutated or ascended look like something from one of H.P. Lovecrafts nightmares.

2007-01-30, 11:28 AM
yeah, CoC was great for the fact you didn't start with a weapon. You had to wait ages just to get a crowbar. So when you see a glimpse of a fishman tear past your window and wonder 'wtf was that' or just trying to dodge an angry armed mob.

I never got scared by System Shock, though I haven't played the sequel.

2007-01-30, 11:44 AM
All of the Silent Hill games, 1 through 4, are excellent. Not only are they scary, they have great stories that (especially with SH2) get very cerebral and can have you thinking about them long after you finish.

Half-Life 2 is pretty friggin' scary sometimes. You'll be in a train station fighting armored soldiers and taking them out with some crazy futuristic machine gun, feeling all badass, and then you accidentally fall in a manhole full of zombies and you cry like a scared child. The best part of it is that the zombies aren't even that much of a challenge compared to the other enemies, they're just so well done that it's scary regardless.

2007-01-30, 11:49 AM
Half life isnt funny. Its hard to be scared when crow barring the zombies to the head while singing "Cant touch this" XD

2007-01-30, 02:20 PM
Half-Life 2 is pretty friggin' scary sometimes. You'll be in a train station fighting armored soldiers and taking them out with some crazy futuristic machine gun, feeling all badass, and then you accidentally fall in a manhole full of zombies and you cry like a scared child. The best part of it is that the zombies aren't even that much of a challenge compared to the other enemies, they're just so well done that it's scary regardless.

No kidding. Very well done--at least for immersable wimps like myself. I can't tell you how relieved I was to see the light at the end of the tunnel (literally and figuratively) at the end of Ravenholm. It's cool when a game makes you think, "Aww, :smallfrown: I don't wanna go in THERE..."

2007-02-01, 09:56 PM
Talyn, take a look at System Shock Portable. The game is basically abandonware, and so somebody on the Looking Glass forums decided to convert it so that it would not only run on modern computers, but be small enough to fit on a flashdrive (the game was originally on a floppy disk, its really old). Its a nice game.

Also, check out this guide/parody, which really seems to love bombs, drugs, and suicide with both of the above:

You will pee yourself laughing, and it really puts you in a good mood...
...until you start playing the game again, the humor dies, and you get scared sh!tless.

2007-02-07, 10:57 AM
I can't actually play horror games. My courage seems to have dwindled significantly over the years to boot. The last horror game I played was some flash game, but I stopped pretty quick because the suspense was killing me. I actually thought my heart might give out.

Damn you, active imagination! I really get into the moment, and my adrenaline gets going, but you can only use so much of that when you're moving a mouse and tapping a keyboard. I'll stick with free-climbing sheer surfaces for my fix, I think.

2007-02-07, 12:59 PM
CoC: Dark Corners of the Earth is probably the best horror game i've played in ages.

2007-02-08, 08:23 PM
*WARNING* my post may contain spoilers for some of you peeps who have not played the games.

Hmmm... lots of games in this genre that gave me the heebie-jeebies (Wow that phrase is not used nearly enough these days!).

Silent Hill 1 & 2 were pieces of atmospheric art in terms of fear. The Resident Evil games never made me jump, to be honest.

Sweet Home (an NES game that was the precursor to Resident Evil, and technically the first Survival Horror Game {and it's an RPG to boot!} having come out in 1989, only released in Japan though, so you gotta find a translation for it if you're of the ROM persuasion) scared the pants off of me for it's age.

Alone in the Dark though is the series I would crown as my favourite of the scaries. I mean, in The New Nightmare I jumped so many times my friends thought I was sitting on a trampoline. (See: Projection Room/Library).

I too loved CoC:DCotE as well though. Man, the Hotel chase really messed with me something fierce!

And as for Vampire: Bloodlines? Ocean House Hotel > Bates Motel. I mean, the part in the boiler room when you look through the pipes and see the guy coming towards you, only to run around them, shotgun at the ready and... noone's there? I must have wasted 4, maybe 5 rounds of my hand gun trying to fire at it through the pipes. LOVED IT.

F.E.A.R. caused some serious nightmares due to little miss Alma backwards crab-walking in the freaking vents!

As for System Shocks 1 & 2? I have unfortunately never played them, but always hoped to.

I don't really have any new games to add though, unfortuantely.

2007-02-08, 11:38 PM
And as for Vampire: Bloodlines? Ocean House Hotel > Bates Motel. I mean, the part in the boiler room when you look through the pipes and see the guy coming towards you, only to run around them, shotgun at the ready and... noone's there? I must have wasted 4, maybe 5 rounds of my hand gun trying to fire at it through the pipes. LOVED IT.

Glad to know I wasn't the only one. :smallbiggrin: (It's even more creepy when you're able to sense auras through walls and see him.)

2007-02-09, 01:17 AM
I found all three of the Thief games to have solid horror elements in them, some levels more than others. Nothing like hearing the clicks of a giant spider or the rasping breath of a zombie without actually knowing where they are. Even when you're not dealing with bizarre creatures, there's always some suspense about "will that guard see me?" The effect is particularly potent since you know that most creatures are better at head to head combat than you are- things are scarier when you know they pose a real threat to you, rather than just being cannon fodder.

2007-02-09, 06:12 AM
I HATED those d*mn zombies... Unkillable unless you have holy water.

2007-02-09, 07:03 AM
FEAR has really been the only game that has stopped me playing out, since it can unnerve so much at parts. That bit when you turn on the ladder right near the start fraked me out even though I knew it was coming!

Resi4 is a great game for me even though it's only scary at points, such as the invisible insects, obviously it's only when they're invisible...

Parts I've played from Project Zero and Silent Hill have been creepy, same for Forbidden Siren, but I rarely buy survival horror anyway.

I tend to prefer FPSs with horror elements, such as Ravenholme, great atmosphere and the howls of those "skinny" zombies can be so terrifying. Loved that bit at the start of Sandtraps too, stuck in the tunnel as the zombies scamper over to get at you. Far Cry could have some scary moments too, such as a forest full of Trigens and no guns...

2007-02-09, 11:28 AM
System Shock, as mentioned, is a thing of horrible beauty.

CoC as well. The fishmen chase sequence, just...wow.

There is a game, I can't recall the title (I THINK it's Eternal Darkness) where the game starts doing weird things to you as your sanity goes down. I don't mean your character, BTW. I mean the player. Seeing your PC die for no reason, then warp back to perfect health was a trick. As was the screen very, very slowly rotating to one side, until 10 minutes later you suddenly realize that you're playing the game at a 45-degree angle. My favorite bit, though, is when you have low SAN and try to save the game. Every once in a while, it'll hang in a black screen for several seconds, then say "save file corrupted, game data lost. Press A to restart level.". Your game is just fine, but it screws with one's head badly. Or the infamous "controller disconnected" mindfark while critters advance upon you as you frantically try to reconnect the controller. Then Bang! the game's working fine again, and there's no sign of the enemy...

EDIT Yeah, it's Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem.

2007-02-09, 11:44 AM
Chalk up another vote for Silent Hill 2 from me. More than anything else I think it was the ending(s) that really gave me chills with that one. Not all-out scary, but certainly unsettling, which is a good thing for me as standard horror fare doesn't really interest me much these days.

System Shock 2 deserves to be played by anyone and everyone, especially since I'm pretty sure they're giving it away for free somewhere online now.

Oddly enough, one of the few games to really get my pulse racing and paranoia kicked into overdrive is Thief, the original one. Stalking your way through some massive mansion, never quite sure of whether or not some guard you missed is gonna jump out in front of you - its not 'horror', but the effect is very much the same.

Cyborg Pirate
2007-02-11, 04:38 PM
Ahhhh, horror games. My absolute favourites. Some games I've played that have creeped me out or spooked me:

Doom 3: Did spook me a few times when I started playing, and the first time I got jumped by a half-baby half-bee, goosebumps broke out all over my arms. The game lost it's creepyness quickly for me tho. I have a habit of playing very aggressive during games and with D3's method of jump-out-of-dark-corners scaryness it quickly meant that everything that jumped out of anywhere met a shotgun shell head on.

Clive Barkers Undying: The atmophere of the game was nicely creepy. Not extremely so, but with the horrific elements of the story and the great setting, it always managed to keep me slightly creeped out during the whole game.

Aliens vs Predator 1&2: Ahhhh, loved these two games. Not particularly sophisticated creepyness, but damn, any time spent playing as a marine vs the aliens always became an excersize of nerves overload. The damn things just keep coming out of everywhere, and the sounds just made it all so much better.

CoC Dark Corners Of The Earth: Not especially scary, but the great atmosphere and your vulnerability really kept you on edge all the time. It was a great experience. The sheer terror of being hunted and unable to defend yourself many a time is Really good in this game. The game actually managed to get me so riled up and angry at my persuers that when I finally got my first weapons, all I could think of was "PAYBACK TIME *******S!!!!". Loved it!

Alone in the Dark series: Hated the last one, it was pathetic. But the first two games were really creepy for me. I don't know whether it was because I was young then or because they really were that good, but I will always remember the sheer terror of stalking through a haunted house where you just knew the monsters were out to get you.

F.E.A.R: Ooooo I really enjoyed this game. Alma was extremely creepy, the atmosphere was nice, and the wierd and strange details about the plot you unraveled as you traveled through the game made it really great. Always seeing things from your own first person perspective was a great touch too. The last legs of the game managed to really produce goosebumps on me on the first time through, but on the second run it strangely failed to do so again.

VtM, Bloodlines: The haunted house gets a honorable mention from me too. It is brilliantly designed! Even on my 10th run through that house, I still occasionally get goosebumps and chills from seeing the ghost girl looking at me and such. Very well done.

But the greatest scary game for me of all times was, and still is:

System Shock 2: Seriously, for sheer creepyness, no other game has ever creeped me out more then SS2. The game had Everything! Wierd and creepy plot, slowly being divulged through the recorded voices of dead people... Wierd, sickening enemies... and the sounds... oh wow. I'll never forget the creeps I got when a human-creature hybrid first attacked my while screaming "....I'm soooorrry!". Or the computer, heckling you, making fun of you as you walk through it's corridors...

System Shock 2 is great. The atmosphere is incredible and fantastically consistent throughout the entire game. The plot is good, and the way you uncover it is extremely well done. No game has freaked me out more then SS2. I would love to see a remake.

PS: Would anyone by any chance know of a way to get SS2 now in a format that's compatible with WinXP?

2007-02-11, 09:40 PM
Oh god yes Dark Corners of the Earth. Besides the hotel chase scene being striaght from the story and me excpecting ti having read "Shadow Over Innsmouth" I was completly blown away and freaked out. SOme of my favorite moments have to be the sanity wrenching "sight-jacking" parts when you realize (like right before you actualy get a gun) you're now in the area "something" was looking at earlier and you stupidly, yet almost automaticlay, look up at where it should be looking from only to actually see something dart into the shadow of the rooftops.......something with eyes......BRILLIANT!!! Oh and the basement too......god.....after a few of those i almost didnt want to touch anything else in game in fear of triggering a something else utterly disturbing (which of course, made the game kinda difficult to advance in...)

2007-02-12, 02:26 AM
No game has freaked me out more then SS2. I would love to see a remake.
Check out BioShock :smallcool: