By Roberto Campos
Are scary movies, haunted houses and many of the usual Halloween activities not as frightening anymore?
Video games have come a long way from their arcade days and have developed into a media that spans a multitude of genres. The horror genre has been something that has been revamped recently and has started to bring a lot to the table.
So if you’re looking to get in the Halloween mood, or just looking for a scare, check out these games.
This is easily the scariest game I have ever played. I remember when I first started began playing this monster-fest, I didn't know if I was going to be able to make it to the end.
Dead Space is a game that lets you play as protagonist Isaac Clarke, an engineer, as he searches for his love named Nicole. On his mission he boards USG Ishimura, a space ship that mines planets for resources, and once abroad everything goes wrong (bet you couldn't see that one coming). You get separated from your team and you’re left to fend for yourself on a desolate space ship filled with zombie-like creatures called Necromorphs.
Dead Space mixes the fear of claustrophobia, and places you in complete darkness, in the midst of a shadowed evil. Every corner you turn leaves you in suspense as you wonder what is going to happen next. Intense gameplay, and the tension building atmosphere, work perfect in harmony to create an experience like none other.
In Dead Space there is only one gun at your disposal, the rest of the weapons are engineering tools you use in order to dismember the waves of Necromorphs. Simply shooting an enemy in the head won’t do - you literally have to cut them down limb by limb to render them lifeless. Some weapons at your side will be "The Ripper," a buzz saw that helps to cut down enemies and "The Line Gun," a weapon that shoots out a large plasma blade to rip apart enemies.
One thing often over looked while playing games is sound design, and Dead Space has the best. The sound design to Dead Space is the scariest part to the game. Often times you find yourself in a dark room hearing all sorts of noises coming from all over the ship that will have you question moving forward. It creates an ambience that lets gameplay take advantage of the mood it created. You'll be in a room and then out of nowhere a loud scream will be behind you, startling you and making you have to catch up with what the game is throwing at you.
Dead Space is one of the best games the horror genre has to offer. If you don't own the game it's a cheap $17.99 at GameStop for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, pre-owned.
If you've beaten Dead Space, Dead Space 2 offers polished gameplay and a great story and is worth your attention. It is $26.99 pre-owned and is also offered on the 360 and PS3. Both games are also available on PC.
Resident Evil 4
Resident Evil 4 revived the plateaued horror genre that video games had become. It is easily one of the most influential games of this generation; Gears of War and Dead Space owe their gameplay style to this game.
Most of us don't want to go back to the PlayStation 2 or the GameCube to experience this game, and honestly who wants to relive this game on the Wii? This past September, the 360 and PS3 re-launched this classic on their marketplaces in a high definition format for $20. If you've never played this game here's your chance to check out what you've been missing.
What makes this game so great is its innovative third-person over-the-shoulder gameplay. You looked over Leon S. Kennedy's, the stories protagonist, shoulder and had to aim with the laser sight of your gun to kill enemies. It slowed the speed of the game down and made for more claustrophobic gameplay. You'll be fighting off enemies and, before you know it, you’re backed into a corner. With blind spots this sort of thing is a common occurrence and will have you scrambling to survive. While scrambling, various types of enemies will be looking to kill you such as: enemies with chainsaws, giant ogres and men with their eyes sown shut with giant blades attached to their arms.
The story drives the game, which makes it addicting and will make you trudge forward while trying and figure out how to escape this zombie-parasite hell.
Leon S. Kennedy has been recruited by the U.S. Secret Service to find the president’s daughter, Ashley Graham, who has been abducted by a cult from Europe. Upon arrival you find yourself heading into the forest searching for clues. The residents of this forest are not too friendly and attack you on sight. This forces you deeper in the forest and still have no idea where Ashley is. Resident Evil is known for zombies, but in this game the enemies have a parasite in them that makes them zombie-like creatures.
There is no need to play the previous games to play this game because Resident Evil 4 will catch you up on what you need to know.
Left 4 Dead 2
Left 4 Dead 2 may not be as scary as other horror games, but what it lacks in fear, it makes up with in fun.
Designed to be played with a group of friends, Left 4 Dead 2 lets you choose a zombie apocalypse scenario to be placed in. Players, up to four can play together; make their way through the scenario in hopes of getting saved at the end.
Gameplay is insanely addicting. Not only do you get to live your zombie killing dreams, but it is very competitive, pitting you against your teammates to see who can kill the most zombies in a round. Similar challenges are displayed at the end of rounds which allow you to brag to your friends about how much better of a zombie killer you are. The game is fast paced, which makes it so fun, and allows the game to never get old no matter how many times you play a scenario over.
Left 4 Dead 2 randomly generates enemies in different places each time you play a level and never gives you the same experience twice. You'll face typical zombies, but there are also special zombies that possess unique abilities that can tear your zombie killing team a part. "The Boomer" is one such zombie that explodes once killed and releases bile that attracts waves of zombies to whoever was hit by it.
If you get bored of the campaign experience there is also a verses mode that allows a team of four to be humans while another four are zombies. The humans play through the same campaign scenarios while the people who are zombies try and kill the humans. It's a fun twist that is just as addicting as the campaign mode.
Left 4 Dead 2 is available for the 360 and PC. It can be picked up pre-owned at GameStop for $29.99 on the 360.
These games are assured to scare you into the Halloween mood and will have you playing with the lights on.