Eurogamer’s favourite scary games |

Eurogamer's favourite scary games |

Good morning! With Halloween on the way, we thought it would be cool to round up a few of our favorite terrifying gaming experiences and share them all in one place.

Please treat this as a scary game and share your own memories in the comments! And have a lovely, spooky and safe Halloween.

Tomb Raider 2

Tomb Raider 2

I think I have to accept the fact that Tomb Raider 2 is secretly my favorite game. I keep coming back to it for pieces like this, or when I’m asked to think about the best individual elements in games.

Anyway, I have to add that my reading of Tomb Raider 2 was very memorable. It was the year after college and I was living in this strange boarding house in the attic. The house was huge and practically empty most of the time. I had a bed and a desk and an old Pentium and I had Tomb Raider 2. I feel like I played it over the course of a summer – just a massive, challenging game with huge levels. Finishing each of them felt like finishing something big, and I used to look forward to the gorgeous CG cutscenes because they were like little rewards for those marathon levels. .

Either way, towards the final third of the game, or at least, you find yourself under the ocean exploring that sunken ship. There’s air inside, so you’re running around this rusty thing, and there’s a lot of it upside down, so there’ll be tables on the ceiling and so on. There’s a shark outside, and it makes you feel oddly safe inside. I was bombarding, juggling dead ends like you always are in Tomb Raider, looking for tiny keycards or whatever I missed.

And then I walk into this bridge area, and this massive human enemy just pops out of nowhere. I had no idea I wasn’t alone in the level – the shark somehow tricked me. And at the same time, I remember suddenly feeling very alone in this house I was renting, way upstairs, with all these empty rooms below me.

I’ve always thought the magic of Tomb Raider is that it changes the way you see the world, more than any other game: you look for wall holds while you race to school , or the memory of a level just creeps in as you walk down a hallway or whatever. It was a time when a scary moment in the game totally seeped into the world I was actually living in. I think I was reading House of Leaves at the time, which probably didn’t help.

Chris Donlan

Lone Survivor Lone Survivor trailer.

I thought I was a big girl entering Lone Survivor – what’s so scary about 2D pixel art, isn’t it? Turns out, with Lone Survivor’s ominous sound design and tense side-scrolling exploration, you never know what you’ll find next, it’s seriously scary. A type of scary to turn off and never play again.

I didn’t get very far before I put my PlayStation Vita in a drawer and vowed to come back sometime after my heartbeat returned to normal, but its excellent survival horror and puzzle mechanics got me allowed to continue when the mutants chasing me would have been a bit too much to handle. Which in itself doesn’t sound too awful, but with a blast of white noise accompanying each enemy, they were sure to send me into panic mode.

Your objective in Lone Survivor is to search for supplies and return to your apartment and drop them off. With a torch that always runs out of batteries, a gun with limited ammo, and a sanity meter, Lone Survivor is a true survival horror experience expertly brought to life in 2D by one-off developer Jasper Byrne.

Super Lone Survivor, a sequel/remake is due out soon, and I’m both excited and terrified to begin another journey through its misty streets. Maybe I’ll get to one of the endings this time.

Jessica Orr

The mortuary assistant Mortuary assistant.

I’m a newbie to scary games, which means I’m a total wimp. But I absolutely loved The Mortuary Assistant. I think what usually deters me from scary games is the expectation that at any moment something is going to jump up and chase me and try to kill me, which means I’m constantly on edge as I prepare myself for this to happen. I thought that was an integral part of any scary game, because you need such threat to make it tense.

But The Mortuary Assistant doesn’t handle it that way. In fact, it’s more like a point-and-click adventure game, so there’s no jittery gameplay – like running or fighting – when something scary pops up. Instead, all you’re really doing here, mechanically, is observing, which makes all the difference to me. This emboldens me and, oddly enough, allows me to surrender more willingly to the ambiance of the game in order to be afraid of it. I think it’s because I’m not in a protected state of flight or combat readiness all the time. It’s a class game.


Everything in VR Ghostwire Tokyo in VR.

As a VR fanatic, the answer “anything in VR” is such an answer from me, but honestly, it’s true! The thing is, after years and years of playing horror games on a flat screen, I’ve basically seen, done, and been scared of it all. For example, this year’s “scariest game” Madison didn’t do anything for me. I think I sighed more than I screamed, her scares felt forced and they were so predictable and I could see them coming from a mile away. The last flat game that really terrified me was Dead Space and that was only because I was playing it in my bedroom late at night and my then girlfriend woke up screaming in night terrors as I was going through a particularly tense section (she was fine by the way. Me on the other hand, I’m pretty sure my heart almost burst).

VR horror games, however, scare the bucket, thrusting you not only into the center of the action, but directly into the shoes of the protagonist. You are no longer looking at the game through a window, now you are surrounded by it, you are part of it and that makes all the dangers in front of you real and, more importantly, dangerous.

A shadow in a flat game turns into an inky void where faceless horrors live in VR. A monster on a 24-inch gaming monitor becomes a seven-foot beast with a physical presence you can literally feel thanks to the way VR plays tricks on your brain.

Even the games I’ve previously played in an apartment that weren’t affected were turned into thrilling and terrifying battles for survival that left me screaming my socks off. Being harassed by Mr X from the remake of Resident Evil 2? It’s scary flat out, sure, but have it chase you in VR and you’d better believe it’s a whole different level of extremely realistic horror. Looking for evil Egyptian gods in Forwarned? It’ll send shivers down your spine if you play it normally, but put on a VR headset and these tombs suddenly get a lot more claustrophobic and those dark corners get a lot harder to look at. Rummage through the Baker family mansion from the comfort of a TV screen? Sure, it’ll make you jump, but watching Jack Baker smash his way through a wall in front of you in VR like an unwashed T-800 will literally make your life flash before your eyes.

I don’t know, maybe VR horror games have ruined flat horror games for me now. I suspect they probably did, but I wouldn’t have it any other way now that I’ve experienced it. In my opinion, VR is the next step and a logical step forward for the scary genre and for horror fans, I couldn’t recommend it more. Maybe bring a spare pair of pants with you for the first time.

Ian Hington

Alien Trilogy

Alien Resurrection came a few years later and helped invent the modern console FPS. It would be quite a long wait for a truly scary Alien game though, with 2014’s excellent Alien Isolation.

I’m a total coward when it comes to scary stuff – I watch horror movies with the lights full and the sound low, and I have pretty much the same approach to horror games too. Despite this conservative approach, and despite the fact that I was playing it on a 14-inch Matsui TV, PlayStation’s original Alien trilogy pissed me off when it came out in 1996. It’s arguably the most terrifying thing ever. to come out of Croydon, where developer Probe was based, since Peter Cushing. Or Tiger Tiger. Make your choice.

And it’s really not that scary at all, to be honest. Much of the fear factor at the time was about the anticipation of what was to come, something that was so much more pronounced in an era before the big video preview blowouts. Before I jumped into Alien Trilogy, all I had to do was a few obscure screenshots in the official PlayStation Magazine, your gun pointing at a great pool of darkness where who knows what lurks.

So those early hours with Alien Trilogy, where you break through that darkness and hear awful rumbles of machinery, fire up the imagination. I say early hours – Probe’s primitive first-person shooter has its own take on each of the films in the original Alien trilogy, with each loose adaptation taking around an hour each. I spent this long time cowering in the tutorial level, carefully approaching each closed door and shaded hallway, shuddering at the prospect of the horror that might be upon us.

Turns out all that was really waiting was a run-of-the-mill licensed game – though it had a fair amount of wit and was clearly relishing being able to play with the toys and soundbox of the Alien universe. That’s not the point, however. Alien Trilogy provided enough empty space for my imagination to fill with all sorts of creepy horrors, making it one of the scariest games I’ve played – even though most of it was in my head.


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