Favorite horror game (and why)?

TheMadDoctorsCat

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The Madman said:
System Shock 2

It's challenging, has a great story, well written dialogue, and while the voice acting doesn't always nail it, when it does it's spectacular. It also does an amazing job of creating an oppressive atmosphere, which is something I find most modern horror games lack. Horror isn't about jump scares, being startled isn't the same as being afraid, horror is about creating a sense of unease and challenging the audience's feeling of safety either through effective atmosphere or through a chilling narrative. Then just to top it all off System Shock 2 also got two of the best villains in the entire gaming genre, SHODAN and The Many.

There have been entire articles written about how damned well done SHODAN is, that's how good she is. Heck, I'll link my favourite: The Girl Who Wanted To Be God by Kieron Gillen, who retired from game journalism and now works as a writer for Marvel.
I have to go with the original "System Shock", although #2 is great as well. Fantastic article by the way. Thanks for the link.
 

Silvanus

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ShinyCharizard said:
Probably Silent Hill 2. Of the few horror games I've played it was the only one that did horror properly well.
My favourite, too. Playing SH2 was the only time Horror has genuinely made me short of breath in fear, panicking and desperate to escape (specifically, in the underground "prison" section). No other game, or for that matter film or book, has elicited that great a response.
 

Fox12

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The_Echo said:
When it comes to actually being scary, Amnesia: The Dark Descent. Really, the only actually-scary horror game I know of.

In terms of just being a great game, the Team Silent Silent Hill games. That whole world was just so great.
Fox12 said:
The only thing I don't understand is how the same people that made that could make Silent Hill 3. It's like making Lord of the Rings, only to turn around and make Disaster Movie.
What's wrong with SH3?
Well, in SH2 it felt like every stage helped tell the story, and there was a ton of symbolism. There was also a reason for why James went into every building. He was looking for his wife, or else chasing after someone. Even retrieving items haelped tell the story, such as when you get the light and it's illuminating his wifes clothes.

In SH3 the story doesn't start until your almost halfway through it. Most of the game is spent trying to get home through the most convoluted path ever. It gets worse when you realize the detective could have driven you home in five minutes, but they needed to pad out the play time. The Morning Star and Katana also killed the survival horror feel of the game.

The cardinal sin, for me, was when you get to Silent Hill and the detective says you should both split up. Whut? Then, of all things, he tells you to go to the hospital while he searches for someone. The whole time I'm sitting there all I can think is WHY? James was chasing after a child in SH2, but why would Heather ever set foot in there? That's when I turned the game off.

The first two were great, but I felt like the third game was what killed it for me.
 

mohit9206

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Haunting Ground.That was one creepy little game.The adorable dog as your companion helping you out against enemies and solving puzzles and a great atmosphere and story.
 

Sarah Kerrigan

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For me it's obviously System Shock 2. After we first saw the Bioshock infinite trailer a long while ago, I looked up Ken Levine loving his work on the original Bioshock game. I found System Shock and looking at the gameplay and having it scare the hell out of me. Especially because of the story to it. I also find creepy with the sound design. Hearing the monsters yell "I'M SORRY." When they smack you with a jammed shotgun. I'm playing it now, and frankly, it scares me a little bit more then when I was just watching it.

But my first horror game was Resident Evil 2. Didn't scare me, but it was pretty unsettling when I was, say, twelve.
 

Hero of Lime

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Even if I wouldn't call it horror without attaching action to it, Resident Evil 4 for sure. I would call its "horror" tenseness, it puts you in bad situations, yet you are pretty capable to handle any thing the game tosses your way.
 

TheCaptain

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I'll go with The Dark Descent, too. The one thing they did oh so very right - not letting you get a good look at the gatherers - is something I really love about the game is how they never let you get a good look at the enemy. Because however good the design of a game, the things we don't see is always more frightening.

With that in mind, I also liked Slender: The Arrival a lot. It got a little frustrating for me in That One Level and was over pretty quickly after that, but it's a really good game and you all should play it.
 

b.w.irenicus

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Headdrivehardscrew said:
Apart from the well-known ones, which I all pretty much equally love (Biohazard/Resident Evil, Resident Evil 4, Silent Hill, Condemned, etc.), but generally just the first title in the series... if I can only pick one, I'd probably go for Midway's The Suffering.

Yeah, I know. It's old as ass, eventually falls apart, looks and sounds and feels quite horribly out-of-date these days, but... it was just one of the first truly horrific rides in the new millenium. It got Stan Winston monster designs that just worked, no matter how battle-hardened you considered yourself to be. It had effects and bits no other game offered. It gripped me and didn't let me go for quite some time, invading my dreams, inspiring me to draw and write and ponder on things I haven't given much thought on in a while. Simple things we tend to take for granted, such as living a normal life, not killing people and not having to deal with things invading our world that made certain elements of Half-Life or Cthulhu seem laughably benevolent in comparison. For me, it just took action-y survival horror to a whole new level, and the next 'original' title that reminded me of this one particular ride was Condemned.

Most horror series in games consist of one exceptional title, just as with movies. Usually, it's the first one.

Just look at Amnesia.
+1 Its more of a actio-horror-game, but a great one. I actually think it holds up pretty well even today.
 

Lugi

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Outlast is quite scary. I always thought these videos showing players screaming while playing the game were a bit exaggerated, until I played it :D
 

Janosuk

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My favorite horror game for actual terror would have to be Amnesia: The Dark Decent, hands down. But If i'm going to be honest here (and it appears no one has said it yet) I'll have to say the most enjoyable horror game that I played has to be Clive Barkers Undying, I loved that game from the moment I saw the trailer. I still load it up once a year for a play-through, it's a gem of a game.

Obviously there's the classics, such as Silent Hill 1+2, I found the third in the series to lack something and the forth was just not remotely scary, which seems to be a trend these days with so called 'horror' titles, they appear to be light on the atmosphere and heavy on boo-scares, although there are a few titles coming out soon that seem promising.
 

Blue Musician

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The Madman said:
System Shock 2

It's challenging, has a great story, well written dialogue, and while the voice acting doesn't always nail it, when it does it's spectacular. It also does an amazing job of creating an oppressive atmosphere, which is something I find most modern horror games lack. Horror isn't about jump scares, being startled isn't the same as being afraid, horror is about creating a sense of unease and challenging the audience's feeling of safety either through effective atmosphere or through a chilling narrative. Then just to top it all off System Shock 2 also got two of the best villains in the entire gaming genre, SHODAN and The Many.

There have been entire articles written about how damned well done SHODAN is, that's how good she is. Heck, I'll link my favourite: The Girl Who Wanted To Be God by Kieron Gillen, who retired from game journalism and now works as a writer for Marvel.
I actually never managed to finish System Shock 2. It was one of those games that I tried to play when I was far too young, and couldn't cope with the very oppressing atmosphere. I should take another look at it when I have the chance. The Thief series also had some very scary moments, such as the Catacomb level and the Shalebridge Cradle. Anyway, back to topic:

Amnesia: The Dark Descent: This is one of the few games I wouldn't change a thing, and I honestly can't pinpoint a flaw in it. Good story, threatening enemies, great world, great control scheme and an art style that, while a bit primitive at times, is quite good. Maybe it wasn't as scary as people make it out to be, but still quite creepy and very enjoyable. Unfortunately Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs failed dreadfully to match the original: the graphics, while improved from the original, somehow seems worse. Not scary, the lack of an inventory and proper enemies that you couldn't look at make it one of the most disappointing games of the year for me. I still haven't played the Penumbra games yet, but seeing how marvellous the original Amnesia was, I feel very inclined to try them out.

Silent Hill 2: This game has a special place in my heart, for it was the the first horror game I completed, and more importantly it was the last game I played before leaving my country as a refugee. Excellent story, one of the most excellent characters and soundtracks and honestly one of the most compelling games I had the pleasure to play. Took a long time to beat too. Took me over a month to finish it! I wanted to play Silent Hill 3 but I didn't find it as interesting as SH2, at least in the first hour. Most likely I'll give it another chance in the future. I also wanted to play Silent Hill 4, as it seems to contain some very interesting ideas, but I cannot stand the gameplay, more specifically the controls. The 15 FPS limit on the cutscenes in the PC version also make it very tedious to play. No fix has been made, so unless I purchase a PS2 - which is very unlikely to happen - I will not play it.

F.E.A.R: Okay, it isn't really a horror game, but I love the very creepy atmosphere that kept me intrigued quite a bit.

Possible honourable mention goes to Outlast, which seems to be a closer sequel to Amnesia than the actual sequel is. However, I only have played the first hour, but that hour left me very impressed. I look forward to completing it.
 

MetalDooley

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Not a huge fan of horror games but I did quite enjoy Eternal Darkness:Sanity's Requiem on Gamecube.As somone who's read a bit of Lovecraft the story was pretty good in a clearly borrowing heavily from Lovecraft kind of way.I liked how you played as various characters in different time periods in several different locations.Plus the sanity effect were great fun the first time playing the game

Honourable mention to Silent Hill:Shattered Memories on Wii.I liked how there was no combat in the game.Your only defense against the creatures was to run and hide.Nice change from most other games of it's type