The only thing that stops the dust is the rain. It’s a sweet reprieve, but there is no middle ground. The land is either as dry as the Betty Ford clinic, or as wet as the ocean floor. Everything can be seen from the ridge overlooking Armadillo as John Marston gently bounces along atop...
With Halloween nearly upon us, you'll definitely need to get ready with some seasonal games. If you're looking at your sissy-ass game collection and thinking, "Man, my game collection is so sissy and so ass," then here are some solutions to your problem.
Amnesia: Dark Descent (PC, Mac)
If you want to wake up screaming, play this in the dark, right before you go to bed. I mean, talk about a game with an immersive and horrifying atmosphere, this is it. I can't do it enough justice with words, so here, check this out if you've never heard of this game:
If you like it, backtrack and play Penumbra, an earlier series by the same company.
I Have No Mouth, And I Must Scream (PC)
I love survival horror titles, because I love the discussion of ethics and zany sorts of "what would you do if..." situations. Based on the sci-fi book by Harlan Ellison, the player is one of only five humans left alive, and the mad computer that wiped out humanity is bent on torturing them all forever. Its visuals are dated but don't take away from the experience, because the true horror of this game is the nature of the decisions the players has to make. It gets crazy.
Fatal Frame series (on PS2)
These ones are more atmospherically creepy than "scary" per se; still a perfect fit, just in a different way. What they do, they do extremely well.
The first game in the series (featured in the above trailer) stars a young girl in search of her missing brother. As you guessed by the fact that it's a survival horror game, she encounters ghosts and paranormal activity along the way and must fight them with a camera. This is not to be confused with fighting against a camera, as must sadly be done in many modern games. It's just sad that the fourth Fatal Frame, exclusively for Wii, never left Japan.
Clock Tower series (SNES, PC, PSX, PS2)
What makes the Clock Tower games so great is the fact that they're definitely in the horror genre, but can't be bested by shooting anything in head. Even the SNES games still pack the ability to tingle your spine, so hit up the ol' used game shop or eBay to try and track down the whole library. If you like the main series, try the spinoff Haunting Ground for PS2.
Clive Barker's Undying (PC)
If you don't mind some dated visuals and are looking for a first-person shooter this Halloween, try Clive Barker's Clive Barker's Undying by Clive Barker.
Silent Hill 2 (PS2)
I remember the intensity of the intro video and then starting up the game and realizing that it was like nothing I'd ever experienced before. Early on, I was led into a blocked off underpass where some... thing... jumped out and attacked me, and my only choice was to board-with-a-nail-in-it him to death. Yes, this game made "board with a nail in it" into a verb. That's how scary it was. I wasn't right after I played this game.
Costume Quest (PC, XBLA, PSN)
For a cute Halloween, rather than the scary variety, there's trick-or-treat adventure/RPG Costume Quest. Take your typical suburban neighborhood as the root town and add an RPG's growth system and you've got your setup. Since these are children we're talking about, you'll need to get home before bed time too, so chop-chop on that whole "saving your sister from being eaten" thing, OK?
Dark Souls (PS3, 360) & Demon's Souls (PS3)
Their dark environments and stories are nice, sure, but the real horror of Dark Souls and Demon's Souls comes from the masochistic nature of the gameplay. The sheer will to stay alive, the instinct to protect your souls at all costs, the genuine uncertainty of what lies in store for you a mere five seconds into the future... these games are on another level.
MediEvil (PSOne, PSP)
A classic PlayStation title that's not scary at all, but a fun hack-'n'-slash adventure game with a little bit of platforming here and there. It's a goofy take on the story of an undead knight coming back to fight the same demon army he already fought, if I recall correctly. OK, I don't remember the exact details, but I remember it being fun. There's a Halloween factoid for ya, kids: Information scares the shit out of me. Seriously though, this is an enjoyable game, even if not the deepest thing in the world, and it's child-friendly so you don't have to wait till the little ones are asleep to turn it on.
Resident Evil (Let's say "GameCube" for fun)
You knew this would be on here. Perhaps the most commercially successful horror series out there, Resident Evil is a go-to name for feelin' scared. Picks from the series will vary from person to person, but for my money, the GameCube remake of the original might just take top honors when it comes purely to the fear factor.
And there you go, friends and fiends. Have fun scarfing Reese's Cups and scaring yourselves senseless this Halloween.