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A look at the different ways in which games give us nightmares.

Horror. Horror never changes. Wait a minute, yes it does! If it's to stay effective, it needs to tap into our deepest fears, while finding fresh ways to expose us to them. This week, Outlast 2 and Little Nightmares, two diametrically different horror games, came to stalk, offering us the perfect reminder that there are plenty of ways to be scary.

Where is my mind?

All horror games worth their salt will mess with your head to some degree. Some of them even make it their mission to upset you without actually putting you into any dangerous situations. It's the promise of something sinister lurking in the shadows that gets to you rather than any monsters physically threatening to drag you away with them. Layers of Fear, The Park, Stories Untold, Fear Equation, the Dark Fall series, and Dracula 3: Path of the Dragon are all examples of games that pull this off with gusto.

A heart attack waiting to happen

Raw, gory, occasionally violent, and very very effective.

They're the games that combine the horror of getting killed with having to face the nasty face of whatever delivers the blow (if it even has one). Plenty of jump scares are waiting for you around each corner but if the game does its job right, some of the most intense moments come from the buildup leading to them, not because of your pursuer's ugliness. Outlast 1+2, Amnesia, F.E.A.R. 1+2, Dead Space, SOMA, and Clive Barker's Undying are all great examples of such scary deadly games.

Beautifully unsettling

Every once in awhile a game comes along that doesn't aim to make you jump in terror but slowly creeps under your skin, making itself cozy next to your nightmare-inducing glands. The grotesque imagery, the haunting sound design, or the disturbing setting are enough to create this lingering sense of unease that makes your skin crawl and your bed feel unsafe. Little Nightmares, Sanitarium, Pathologic Classic HD, The Last Door, Sunless Sea, Fran Bow, and Oxenfree among others, have pretty much mastered this art.

So what's your favorite type of horror? Did any of your scary gaming experiences cause you to keep checking your closet for glowing eyes? Do tell!
Post edited May 01, 2017 by maladr0Id
This 'article' is really just a dry general advertisement as presented by an accountant, and it captures the spirit of these games about as expertly as Elmer Fudd captures Bugs Bunny. If you really want to know the appeal of some horror classics, check out Spoony's small set of enthusiastic videos. - System Shock - Call of Cthulhu: DCotE - I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream
Post edited April 30, 2017 by markrichardb
Picchia: I have no idea why people play horror games.

I still have nightmares from Command and Conquer 4.
For the adrenaline it gives. Very strong emotions, or fear is charging our blood system with it.
Thanks for the promo!
I got the Last Door games, The Black Mirror, Stasis, and Fran Bow.
Saved ˜30 dollars with the discounts, not bad.
One important game is missing. Thief: deadly shadows.

Most part of the game is just regular dodging guards and hiding in shadows. Not really scary or particulary suspensefull. That atmosphere turns dark when you get to the Shalebridge cradle asylum. The environment is realistic. The ambience is there. The noises. You really don't want to be a patient in there. The items you discover teach you something is terriby wrong. Then that slight electric hum and clicking noise lets you know. You're not alone.
Article? Oh well...

Scariest game ever?

The Sims.
whystler2012: I know this is essentially a spotlight for GoG games, but you can't really talk about jumpscares without at least mentioning FNAF.
Fairfox: Imma guessin' taht's short for somethang, otherwise most non-scariest name evah.
Five nights at Freddy's. The game that put jump scares on the map. Not on GoG, but definitely a game worth mentioning.
i liked the article, unfortunatly, i think alot of horror games seem to forget that horror isn't just to scare you but to make you feel as if something like that could potentially happend like a craze person murdering peoples, and beside many ideas could be taken to do said horror game, *having it in a hell of a year after ww1 or any major war and try to find your friend with the unfortunate thing of been hunted down by every side as you don't look like them

just one example of that would be nice, something outside the box would be even better
Picchia: I have no idea why people play horror games.
Why people play any game?

They play horror games because it's fun.
At least that's the case for most games.

There's that blue whale game, which you can guess why someone is playing it. It doesn't end well, from what I've read.
whystler2012: Five nights at Freddy's. The game that put jump scares on the map. Not on GoG, but definitely a game worth mentioning.
Fairfox: O I C.

Not for me, obvs, but okies. No idea who Freddy is buuut I'd like to think s/he's deeply misunderstood.
Very misunderstood for a spiritually possessed rogue animatronic.
I would say Bendy and the ink machine is another good horrer game
The only game to make me physically ill for a couple of days because of the horrific atmosphere, suspense and dread was Alien Trilogy on the PSX when I played it about 15-20 years ago. I know it looks like ass but wow did it have a strong impact, it was unforeseeable when and if something was going to appear, dark corridors, the creepy sounds and fuck those aliens are terrifying.
Post edited May 06, 2017 by X-com
I will have to say Call of Cthulu - DCOE, Dead Space, Jericho and Outlast.... The soundtracks with messed up visuals is always a guarantee of messing with your psyche.
System Shock 2 just got under my skin and refused to leave from the get go.

The same goes for Bloodborne, just the sense of pure dread at every turn along, a materpeice of Lovecraftian and Gothic horror.

Close your eyes too is something kind of special, it might look like something drawn in crayon (I suspect it was) but the atmosphere of sorrow and regret is extremely powerful.

Pony island has one boss fight that messes with the 4th wall fantastically.

Batman:Arkham Asylum Scarecrow levels. That is all

The last few levels of Spec Ops the Line as one last mention