Saying this out loud probably makes me sound like a lunatic, but I find comfort in horror games. The past few months have been very troublesome for me and some of those closest to me. So running down dingy hallways, walking through piles of corpses, and genuinely enjoying a terrifying story all seem to bring me an odd sense of peace. It also centers me to sprint headlong into a hoard of the undead and slaughter as many as I can before I have to retreat to heal. Look I’m slightly damaged, here are some horror games worth your money.

The Walking Dead: A New Frontier (PS4, PC, Xbox One)

The Walking Dead: A New Frontier is one of the best story-driven experiences I have played this year. The team over at Telltale Games put together a really solid story arch centered around Javier and his group. Javier and his group get ambushed by a group known as the New Frontier and things get bloody fast. A death of an innocent person sets off a whole cavalcade of events that only get more and more dramatic as the season progresses. Clementine also appears throughout the season and has a very important role in Javier’s story. She has very clearly grown up a lot from the Clementine we left in season two. At one point she is arguing with a man for giving her a bad case of bullets that almost got her killed, turns out not all of the bullets are duds and Clementine kills a man. It is one of the many moments I recommend playing the season for. You can check out my full review here. You can also grab the full season now for thirty dollars.

State of Decay: Year One Survival Edition (Xbox One, PC)

When State of Decay launched on the Xbox 360 back in 2013 I couldn’t help but fall in love with the game. It had its quirks, but the base game itself was one of the best to come out that year. It opened up with a duo of friends coming back from a camping trip to find out most of the town’s inhabitants had turned into flesh eating zombies. They soon band together with some other survivors and that’s when the game really takes off. It’s really nice how weapons can break, cars break down, survivors level up and excessive noise can draw zombies to your location. The need to scavenge is also a huge draw in for the game, I spent many hours running around Trumbul County trying to be as quiet as possible and gather as many resources as I could without getting my character killed in the process. Which brings me to perhaps the scariest and one of my favorite mechanics of the game, permanent character death. Once a character dies, that’s it they’re gone. Which makes the prospect of sending people out on missions all the more worrisome. The zombies are also wonderfully diverse and can cause a huge problem for the player if hordes are left unchecked. You can grab the game now in both digital and physical forms for only thirty bucks on consoles and sixteen on PC. The Year One Survival Edition comes with all the DLC for the game.

Contemp (PC)

As far as free horror games go you can do a lot worse than Contemp. The game has some really well-done graphics and a really encompassing atmosphere. From what I remember the story boiled down to a person going to an abandoned house, I can’t remember for what exact reasons. From the get go the game gives off a very PT and Resident Evil 7 vibe, with the claustrophobic hallways and the visibly decaying walls. For being created by a college student that’s a pretty amazing visual feat. It is a little on the short side, I spent about half an hour wandering around soaking in the surroundings before found the ending. It is still worth giving a shot despite that.

The Evil Within (PC, PS4, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PS3)

I recently heard this game get referred to as a cut-rate reskinned Resident Evil 4. While I can definitely see the similarities, considering they were designed by the same freaking guy. I think the game manages to stand out on its own as a solid title. It does not have nearly the staying power of the classic that is Resident Evil 4, and it definitely will not get the number of ports and rereleases Resident Evil 4 did but it is still worth a play-through. The story is a little convoluted but provides some pretty tense moments and some actual decent scares. Case in point I was walking down a hallway and saw a morgue ahead. I kind of felt like something was going to happen but I really wanted the supplies in the room. Unfortunately, I never got them because as soon as I crossed the threshold to the room a six armed nightmare burst out of a dead body and chased me out of the room. Legitimately one of the most terrifying moments in gaming, she looks like every abomination that haunted my nightmares as a child. There was also a fantastic moment after that where the group is frantically trying to free a member from a chamber that is filling up with liquid and monsters are just pouring in from every angle. I highly recommend grabbing this game for the console of your choice for as low as ten dollars.

Pick of the Month: Perception (PC, Xbox One, PS4)

Perception by The Deep End Games brings the same stellar level of unique storytelling to gaming that Hush brought to movies. Perception is a game set through the eyes of a blind woman named Cassie. Cassie has arrived at a house she sees frequently in her nightmares and she has decided to find out why it has been plaguing her dreams for so long. Cassie has an interesting way of navigating the mansion in Perception. She smacks her cane on the floor and using echolocation she gets brief ‘glimpses’ of her surroundings. Which is really helpful if you get stuck trying to figure out how to navigate to the objective. Be wary though! Using Cassie’s cane too much or making too much noise, in general, can give away Cassie’s position to the monsters. Speaking of the monster, Perception manages to implement the monster very well. Most games bombard you with the monster and have it as this constant looming threat over the player. Perception manages to keep you guessing as to when the monster will actually come after the player giving an extra layer to the game’s top notch atmosphere. It could literally be around any corner, every little creak and moan from the house feels like the monster slowly creeping up on the player. If you want a more in-depth look at the game I recommend reading my full review and grabbing a copy of the game for just below twenty-five dollars.

Nothing quite beats the feel of a good horror game. The crushing loneliness, the fear of what could be around the next corner, the blood and gore covering the walls. It’s quite blissful actually. I really hope you check out State of Decay: Year One Survival Edition and Perception specifically those two will always hold special places in my cold heart.

  • These scary games… As a gamer, war games http://tk.oasgames.com/ are my favourite, walking dead content is ok. But games about zombie and raise a ghost are fearful.