Today is Halloween, but 2014 has been the year of survival horror. We round up the games that will test your wits, get your blood pumping, and prove that you have what it takes to survive.
The most prominent survival horror game of the year features an extremely aggressive, fast, and smart alien that hunts players through the darkened corridors of a broken down space station. But the alien isn't the only threat aboard the station. Players have to rely on stealth, gadgets built from limited resources, and a lot of smarts if they want to see another day. If you're to push your stress levels to the limit, this is the game to play. Check out our review for more info.
Joining the ranks of extremely difficult horror survival games is Whistleblower, the DLC expansion to last year's Outlast. Equipped only with a flashlight and the will to live, players have to make their way up from the depths of an Asylum that houses both deadly inmates and a terrible secret. The expansion helps tie up some of the loose ends left by the original game, while bringing players on a unique journey of their own.
Resident Evil 4 Ultimate HD Edition
Regarded by many as the peak of the Resident Evil series, Resident Evil 4 HD made its way onto the Xbox 360 and PS3 in 2011. It took a few years, but the game finally released for the PC in February, featuring even more graphical improvements, native keyboard and mouse support, and the Seperate Ways epilogue as bonus content. If you're looking for the definitive edition of one of the best games in the series, then look no further than the PC release.
The Evil Within
Opinions are divided over Shinji Mikami (creator of the Resident Evil series) and Tango Gameworks' attempt to bring "pure survival horror" back, but it may be an experience worth checking out. With a combination of gruesome characters, blood and mind bending settings, and very limited ammunition, The Evil Within challenges players to face the darkness without being consumed by it.
Daylight is probably one of the more understated releases of the year. Players wake up in an abandoned asylum, and must find a way to freedom while being pursued by malevolent spirits. Surviving means navigating through mazes equipped with little more than a flashlight and some flares. Maps are procedurally generated, so players will never see the same escape route twice.
Don't Starve: Reign of Giants
In Don't Starve, the player is dropped onto a dangerous wilderness world by a demon and expected to survive using the power of magic and science. Although the game is geared more toward survival than raising scares, there are plenty of monsters that are ready to eat you before you have a chance to starve to death. The Reign of Giants DLC expansion released in April, adding more seasons, playable characters, creatures and, of course... giants.
State of Decay: Lifeline
Released last year on the for Xbox 360 and PC, State of Decay drops you in the middle of the zombie apocalypse and challenges you to survive. It's up to you to bring together survivors and design a fortified base to stand against the undead. The Lifeline DLC, released in May, features a all-new way to play. Using a group of ex-military characters, players must venture into a infested city to rescue scientists and hopefully bring an end to the zombie menace.
Among the Sleep
While most other games maintain some sense of strength in the face of impossible odds. The sense of helplessness and vulnerability is magnified in Among the Sleep, which puts you in the pajamas of a two year old child. True, it's a little short on blood and guts, but this game makes little differentiation between wandering ghosts and figments of a child's imagination. Among the Sleep also deals with real life horrors, like abusive families and parental neglect, making it a surprisingly mature game given the age of its protagonist.
The Last of Us Remastered
One of the best games of 2013 got an encore run this year. The Last of Us Remastered released for the PS4 in July, bringing with it improved graphics, all multiplayer add-ons, and the Left Behind expansion. Fight for survival in a tense game that not only tests your survival skills, but also your sense of loyalty, in a world that is torn apart.
Although it's only a conceptual demo, and it doesn't fit into the traditional sense of what a survival horror game should be, P.T. lit things up when it hit the PlayStation Store in August. The concept is pretty straightforward, even if the puzzle solutions aren't. Make your way through an infinitely looping hallway, facing ghosts, creatures, and other creepy things hidden in the shadows. Those that manage to escape the purgatorious house not only have the satisfaction of beating some of the most brain twisting puzzles around, and the teaser trailer for Silent Hills.
Similar to Don't Starve, Nether puts most of its emphasis on plain survival, which includes scavenging in a post apocalyptic world. But all this is done in an online multiplayer environment, where you can be killed or betrayed by your fellow survivors at any time. But the main thing you need to be worried about are the Nethers, which are mutated souls that hunger for human flesh... and they can teleport. It's going to take stealth, smarts, and cooperation if you want to live to see another day.
Similar to the upcoming Evolve, Damned is a 4v1 online action game that pits survivors up against a supernatural monster. But there's a twist: survivors can't directly affect the monster in any way. The only thing they can do is run and hide. Maps and winning conditions are randomly generated, so players never know where to run or what to do when starting the game. There are even random events that can be triggered to shake things up further.
Five Nights at Freddy's
If you're in the mood for something unusual, then Five Nights at Freddy's might be the answer. Your new job at as nighttime security at Freddy Fazbear's Pizza isn't everything it's cracked up to be. It turns out the owner decided it was way cheaper to hire a security guard than a repairman to deal with the malfunctioning animatronic robots. Stuck in a cramped little office, you have to manage over a limited amount of electricity to check monitors and close security doors. Can you make it through five nights, or are you going to become the killer teddy bear's next victim?
Doorways: The Underworld
As the third chapter of the Doorways series, Doorways: Underworld is a psychological thriller where you play as special agent Thomas Foster, who is on the trail of a serial killer. His journey takes him to strange and twisted places where he'll have to question reality and overcome his fears to find the truth.