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I'm looking for horror games that are not too reliant on jump scares, aren't a bunch of convoluted BS, and really mess with your mind or manage to scare the piss out of you. All I've played so far are Dead Space, which is horrifying, The Evil Within, which is spooky, and Dead Rising, which is not scary at all. So what video games are actually scary?

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I'm glad to hear you say Dead Space, despite the jump scare caveat. Dead Space 1 definitely has its share of jump scares, but I always feel like people are incredibly unfair by saying that's ALL it is. Dead Space 1 has incredible sound design, and the things it does to toy with you (i.e. the shadows and noises and enemies playing cat-and-mouse, etc) and create a feeling of dread / imminent doom are so great. It kinda sheds its magic in exchange for more shooty bang as it nears the end, but most of it is very good. Was not a huge fan of the sequels, which left out the doom/dread and pretty much just beefed up the gross out / shooty bang angles. Oh, and the sequels were MUCH worse about the jump scares (did them more often and made them painfully obvious). DS1 is magical, though. Definitely set the bar for horror games as far as I'm concerned.

Have you ever played Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines? It's not a horror game really, though it is a gritty 90s vampire game. But there is one mission in the game involving a hotel that is AMAZEBALLS. (But also it's a really damn good game.... if you can get it running.)

I wish I had actual games to suggest, but I don't really like a lot of horror games... they're either not actually horror (e.g. resident evil) or else they are just merely spooky--e.g. Amnesia, which is mostly an explorable mansion that goes WoOoOoOoOoOo, but feels pretty non-threatening otherwise.

What about Outlast? I never tried it, but the trailers looked interesting...?

http://store.steampowered.com/app/238320/

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The scariest part of Dead Space was when you come across a man who's had all the skin on his body removed and he's bashing his head against a pipe to kill himself. I couldn't sleep.

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My main problem with The Evil Within is that it got less scary as it went along and focussed too much on combat. That could be expected when you decide to give us an arsenal of weapons and ammo all over when the game is supposed to be survival horror. I'll repeat that: SURVIVAL. HORROR.

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The scariest part of Dead Space was when you come across a man who's had all the skin on his body removed and he's bashing his head against a pipe to kill himself. I couldn't sleep.

I liked that part, but for me the scariest parts were the mind games. The sound design was very good at making you question which sounds you should pay attention to and which sounds were just background noise. Or like the part where you're about to walk through a door and you see the shadow of a necromorph pass over the wall as if it's behind you, but when you turn around there's nothing there. CLASSIC. Or like that part where you walk into a room and that crawling necromorph comes crawling at you through the overhead vents, but then just leaves. Or that part where the lights suddenly go out, and you're standing in complete darkness, and you hear the sounds of things crawling, and you don't know if you're in danger or not. Or how you keep seeing those huge punctures in the walls where obviously something huge busted through, and you know you're going to find out about it later, but all you can do is wonder what it is for like three or four hours. Then the first time one of those things grabs you it's like HOLY CRAP WHAT AAAAAH.

But nothing beats that opening chase sequence. That part where the elevator doors slam closed, but then the necromorph pries them back open, and there's that strobe light. OMG. When the elevator got down to the next floor I just stood there in the elevator for a long time like NOPE NOPE NOPE.

That whole first chapter is pretty much amazing, IMO.

A lot of horror games go for jump scares, or they just go for gross-out gore, or they try to depict INSANITY (these are the worst, IMO). What I like best about Dead Space 1 is all the trouble it goes through to try and make the player PARANOID. I can't think of very many games where I have felt that quite like I did in my first DS1 playthrough.

Lots of games have now copied a lot of the dead space tricks, but I think Dead Space did a lot of that stuff first (in particular the trick where enemies lay on the ground pretending to be dead, but they're not. I can't think of any games that did that mind game before Dead Space.)

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And a main problem with a lot of horror games today is that jump scares are just for cheap gags. In Dead Space, the jump scares resulted in actual confrontations, and that seems pretty scarce nowadays in these types of games where scares are meant mainly for a sudden "BOO".

EDIT: And for the record, Five Nights at Freddy's isn't that scary.

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Yeah, that's what really took all the power out of the Amnesia games for me. They create this ominous atmosphere, and there are jump scares, and moments where it's like BOO! AH! SCARY THINGS ARE HAPPENING! MADNESS!

But in most cases, if you just call the game's bluff and ignore the ALERT! ALERT! ALERT! DANGER! DANGER! then nothing ever happens.

Here is me playing Amnesia:

http://www.american-buddha.com/ablab78h.jpg

Speaking of which, another bonus of Dead Space is that even though you CAN ACTUALLY BE ATTACKED, another important thing is that you can put up a defense. That struggle is part of the horror. A lot of horror games do that whole "the monster looked at you so you're dead" thing.

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One game that is absolutely horrific (and I recommend it to you, Anemone) is Neverending Nightmares (you can get it on Steam). It's a disturbing little psychological horror done in black and white with the only actual color being red.

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One game that is absolutely horrific (and I recommend it to you, Anemone) is Neverending Nightmares (you can get it on Steam). It's a disturbing little psychological horror done in black and white with the only actual color being red.

Oh, I have that game wishlisted. I'm not a huge fan of the art/animation, and I waggle my finger at its committing the messages-written-on-the-wall-in-blood cliche, but the trailer did catch my attention.

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Trust me, the game is unnerving to say the least. There aren't a whole lot of games that open with you stabbing a little girl to death.

Also, Left 4 Dead isn't really a horror game despite the subject matter because it isn't meant to be scary. However, it is intense and sometimes nerve wracking.

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Trust me, the game is unnerving to say the least. There aren't a whole lot of games that open with you stabbing a little girl to death.

That's how my mornings generally start.

Also, Left 4 Dead isn't really a horror game despite the subject matter because it isn't meant to be scary. However, it is intense and sometimes nerve wracking.

Yeah, I don't really consider games like Resident Evil or Left For Dead to be horror games. Has zombies =/= horror.

Left 4 Dead's strongest asset is that it has a wide variety of panic-inducing situations, but the thing that makes them awesome instead of stupid is that you can still struggle and win in those moments. Like if a witch is coming after you, or if a smoker grabs you or one of your friends. Or if a tank comes barreling out. When that stuff happens it's panic time, but it's not just a thing the game is doing to you. You can also struggle against it.

I think one excuse I'm tired of hearing is "we don't give you any control or power because defenselessness and vulnerability are scary". On one hand, yes, but I think that also kinda gets used as a crutch.

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Yeah, when they take away your ability to defend yourself, then it's repetitive.

However, one good horror game that did that is Clock Tower, and that was a damn creepy game.

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I don't consider Resident Evil to be horror. It used to be a lot closer to horror, but over time it's just become increasingly more of a campy, generic zombie shooter.

Silent Hill is horror, though I hate fixed cameras.

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I've only played Silent Hill: Homecoming and a bit of PT. Both managed to creep me hell out, so they get points.

By the way, what do you make of the Konami/Kojima snafu?

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Not much to say. I've read a little bit about it, in addition to various people's speculations about what's going on, but I honestly don't have any idea what that's all about. Interesting, though. But it's a shame about Silent Hills. Looked cool.

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What had gotten me the most excited for Silent Hills was the Guillermo del Toro side of the collaboration. I never got around to playing PT all the way through, but from watching people play it, Konami's killed a work of art by burying it.

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What had gotten me the most excited for Silent Hills was the Guillermo del Toro side of the collaboration. I never got around to playing PT, but from watching people play it, Konami's killed a work of art by burying it.

I think I read earlier this morning that Konami announced that they are essentially doing mobile games only now.

*eye roll*

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What had gotten me the most excited for Silent Hills was the Guillermo del Toro side of the collaboration. I never got around to playing PT, but from watching people play it, Konami's killed a work of art by burying it.

I think I read earlier this morning that Konami announced that they are essentially doing mobile games only now.

*eye roll*

What?! THIS IS BULLSHIT!

Okay, back to horror games. There's this indie game company called Pig Farmer Games that does survival horror games like they were in the 90s. They even have graphics like such. One of their games that got a lot of attention was Halloween: The Game, which got its name changed to Babysitter Bloodbath due to copyright issues. I was able to play it when it was still Halloween: The Game, and it is terrifying. And you are actually able to defend yourself, if only for a short time. I'd check it out if you're looking for a good scare.

Right now they're working on a game called Splatter Camp, which is inspired by the Friday the 13th franchise, and The Power Tool Massacre, inspired by The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. I'd like to see these guys tackle Nightmare on Elm Street or Child's Play next.

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What had gotten me the most excited for Silent Hills was the Guillermo del Toro side of the collaboration. I never got around to playing PT, but from watching people play it, Konami's killed a work of art by burying it.

I think I read earlier this morning that Konami announced that they are essentially doing mobile games only now.

*eye roll*

What?! THIS IS BULLSHIT!

This was the article: http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/243614/The_future_of_Konami_is_mobile_first_says_company_chief.php

Sounds like he specifies that he DOES NOT mean "only mobile games", but what he DOES mean is "only mobile games, or games which are not mobile, but which push some kind of mobile-based micro-transaction gizmo".

So basically everything the core hates. If the rumors/speculations are true that Kojima gave them the finger, maybe this has something to do with it. Maybe he didn't want to create Silent Hills with a UI reminding you about microtransactions you can buy on your iPad.

Okay, back to horror games. There's this indie game company called Pig Farmer Games that does survival horror games like they were in the 90s. They even have graphics like such. One of their games that got a lot of attention was Halloween: The Game, which got its name changed to Babysitter Bloodbath due to copyright issues. I was able to play it when it was still Halloween: The Game, and it is terrifying. And you are actually able to defend yourself, if only for a short time. I'd check it out if you're looking for a good scare.

Right now they're working on a game called Splatter Camp, which is inspired by the Friday the 13th franchise, and The Power Tool Massacre, inspired by The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. I'd like to see these guys tackle Nightmare on Elm Street or Child's Play next.

Now there's something I don't know about. I'll have a look.

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How about Lakeview Cabin? Although just mentioning it hear spoils the twist, I think it's still a great horror game.

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Something I've noticed is that horror games seem to be scarier then most horror movies.

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Oh, and the game I mentioned earlier, Power Drill Massacre, I watched a few video playthroughs today when I found out about it. It is so freaking terrifying just watching it that I don't think I'd ever be man enough to play the actual game myself.

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What do you guys think of games like Slender, Amnesia and Five Nights at Freddys?

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