By GYG Lounge Staff
October. The only time of year where everyone goes out of their way to scare the crap out of themselves.
At GYG Lounge, we’d be remiss if we didn’t aid you in your quest to soil yourself with some good old jump scares. Here are some games we recommend you play if you want to get into the Spooktober mood.
We recommended one game per writer. Some are for extreme horror junkies. Some are for people who eat at Weenie Hut Jr. What games do you recommend we play this season?
Picked by Brian
This is one of my all-time favorite horror games. Alan Wake, a writer who’s been dealing with writer’s block for the last two years, books a vacation with his wife to a remote cabin in the small town of Bright Falls. They have an argument, and he goes outside to get some space. He hears her screaming from inside the cabin, and when he returns, he sees her dragged into the water outside. He jumps in to save her, but wakes up in the mangled heap of their car, which he’s just crashed.
His search for answers turns up pages to a manuscript he never wrote as he uncovers the secrets behind the dark presence that plagues the town. The game is presented as a TV series, with episodes and chapters and narratives and cutscenes.
There are so many things I love about this game. The story is interesting, and Alan’s inner-monologue helps to push the action and the story forward. A subtle and eerie soundtrack helps to draw you into the atmospheric world. It’s creepy and scary and unsettling without copious amounts of gore and predictable jump-scares. But, I’d be lying if I said the graphics and gameplay don’t show the game’s age.
Picked by Joe
For someone who’s always loved horror movies, haunted houses, and spooky stuff in general, I surprisingly don’t play many horror video games. This isn’t because I’m a big old baby, but because most horror games fall under the “survival horror” genre, where the focus is on sneaking around and puzzle solving. I don’t wanna hide from the terrors that haunt me. I want to shoot them with a blunderbuss and then rip their hearts out with my bare hands.
Bloodborne is one of the only (maybe the only?) horror-action-RPGs around, so for the last five years it has become my go-to Halloween game. FromSoft took the Souls formula, and gave it a gothic horror twist, and created what is arguably their masterpiece. It’s a horror game without the stealth, an RPG without the grinding, and Lovecraftian nightmare without the racism. Best of all, it’s genuinely scary, from its disgustingly horrific enemy designs, to its sadistic difficulty, and the most terrifying thing about it… (puts flashlight under chin) the frame rate.
All I want for Halloween this year is a 60 FPS version of Bloodborne. Please Mr Miyazaki, I’ve been a good boy all year.
Picked by Alex
Disclaimer: I am too much of a pussy to play any true horror game (aside from Until Dawn). But Darkest Dungeon is the perfect game for a gloomy Spooktober day.
This game is absolutely dreadful. And I mean that in the best way possible. Darkest Dungeon is a roguelike, turn-based RPG that focuses on the psychological impact that questing has on your heroes mental stability.
Your goal is to purge the eldritch terrors that inhabit your ancestral estate. You’ll lead a team of four adventurers through different dungeons and bring back treasures to level up your heroes and town amenities. The challenge gets harder every run. Each time you send a hero on an adventure, their stress level goes up from combat and exploration. Eventually, they will hit a stress limit and can gain an affliction or virtue, which negatively or positively impact their stats.
During one run, my plague doctor became paranoid. Every few turns, he would yell something about the impending doom the party faced, stressing out everyone else on the team. When it was his turn to fight, he would flee to the back of the party or refuse to take a turn. He stressed out my priestess character so much that she thankfully gained a virtue. She became focused which boosted her critical hit ability. And she single handedly saved the party on what was shaping up to be a failed run. Not every run gets that lucky. Many heroes have succumbed to heart attacks and died from stress.
That’s when you pick a new hero off the wagon and throw them into the mix. It’s a system that keeps you coming back for more. If that’s not enough, the hand-drawn, gothic art style of the game is captivating in itself. And one of the best parts of the game is the narrator, Wayne June, who describes your successes and follies at every turn. Just listen.
Picked by Spencer
There aren’t many games out there that can say they serve their source material better than any of the sequels did, but Alien Isolation is exactly that. In some ways, Alien Isolation is more of a true sequel to Alien than Aliens was. Alien was a groundbreaking movie in both horror and science fiction where Aliens was more of an action sci-fi movie. Alien became a lasting success due to the feeling of helplessness and claustrophobia it caused the viewer and Alien Isolation capitalizes on that.
I’ve been told this game takes about 12 to 18 hours to complete. I wouldn’t know if that’s accurate or not as every time I play this game, I end up being overly cautious and hiding for more than half of my playthrough. That isn’t a complaint but a testament to how scary this game is from beginning to finish. With a xenomorph that adapts to your behaviors and will change plans accordingly, you will need to keep your senses and motion tracker at the ready at all times. There were more than a few times where I ended up pausing the game out of pure terror because the xenomorph got the drop on me when I thought I was in the clear.
Word to the wise, don’t walk under any dank, dripping vents this Halloween and spend some time with Alien Isolation.