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Happy Halloween: the 3 must play horror games of 2015

It’s that time of the year again when fear and terror is not something you avoid but actively seek out. Halloween is just around the corner and will soon bear its nasty face, ready to fill your day with unimaginable horrors.

In the spirit of this auspicious day of twisted terror, we here at Gearburn have decided to round up some of the best horror games of 2015 to ensure that you have a Halloween filled with all the fear you can handle.

If you think there are other tiles worthy of a mention, feel free to add your two cents in the comments section below.

Happy Halloween…

Kholat

Read more: ‘Kholat’ and ‘Her Story’ dual review: prepare to sit up all night

What makes Kholat especially bone chilling is the fact that it is based on a true story, an eerie and unsolved mystery known as the Dyatlov Pass Incident.

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On 27 January, 1959 a group of nine students started their hike up Kholat Syakhl (translated as “Dead Mountain”), deep in the Russian Ural mountains. They were supposed to arrive at their final destination, Otorten, on 12 February. But when several days had passed after the intended arrival date with no sign of the hikers, a search party was sent to find the group.

When the search party eventually found the hikers they were nothing but corpses. But the horrifying part was the baffling circumstances they were found in. According to investigators, the hikers’ tents were torn from the inside, probably in an attempt to escape an unknown threat.

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It was also determined that that they has fled the campsite in a hurry as many were found with no shoes and proper clothing. What was even more disconcerting was that the bodies showed no signs of struggle (such as bruises and abrasions). Only two of the bodies were found with cracked ribs and skulls but with no apparent signs of impact that could have caused them.

To this day, this mystery remains unsolved and there have been numerous speculations ranging from an avalanche to a hostile extraterrestrial encounter.

In Kholat, the player’s given the opportunity to explore this strange mystery and follow in the footsteps of the nine students. The game boasts a hauntingly sinister yet beautiful atmosphere, which is enhanced even further by the captivating narration of actor Sean Bean (Game of Thrones, The Lord of the Rings).

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The game has more of a supernatural take on the events that occurred in Dyatlov Pass, which makes it perfect for a Halloween play through.

If you are looking for something with a captivating narrative that will send multiple chills down your spine then look no further than Kholat.

Dying Light

Read more: ‘Dying Light’ review: errands, Harran and the Zombie Apocalypse

When it comes to the world of horror, zombies have always gnawed at the strings of our hearts. If you’re a fan of the flesh hungry Undead then Dying Light will definitely be your cup of bloody tea.

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Enter the city of Harran, a zombie infested Turkish city where hope is all but a fading dream. You play as Kyle Crane, a member of the GRE (Global Relief Effort). You have been sent to infiltrate the city of Harran to locate a mysterious document that your employers are very insistent on recovering.

But beware, the streets of Harran are brimming with endless zombie hordes and you will have to rely on a healthy dose of free-running across a sea of interconnected rooftops to navigate through the infested city.

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This won’t always be possible, though, and you will regularly need to take things to the ground level. Fortunately, you will have an array of craftable weapons at your disposal, such as electrified sledgehammers or flame breathing katana, for some serious zombie extermination.

During the day you will mostly come across the standard ambling zombie, but when night falls the real terrors come out to play. Probably the most terrifying of them all are the tenacious bastards known as “Volatiles”. These bloodthirsty creatures can sprint and scale walls better than any man and have no other interest but to have you for dinner. Their bloodcurdling screams still haunt my dreams to this very day.

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If you were a fan of the cat-like antics of Mirror’s Edge and you’re looking for something packed with suspense, action and many moments of pure terror then Dying Light will satisfy your unsavoury needs tenfold.

Layers of Fear

Read more: ‘Layers of Fear’ Early Access preview: trust nothing, fear everything

Even though Layers of Fear is still in its Early Access phase, I could not complete this list without it. In my opinion, it’s by far the most mind-bending and twisted title to come from 2015 and one of the most memorable horror game experiences I’ve had in my life.

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In Layers of Fear you delve into the mind of a mentally insane painter who is on a quest to create his magnum opus, the greatest work he will ever produce. But in the pursuit to create his masterpiece, he makes use of some rather unorthodox and chilling methods that will take you on a horrific journey of blood, anger and pure psychological terror.

The game boasts a breathtaking realism that truly engrosses you in the experience and shows a remarkable sense of pace. I would classify it more as interactive cinema than a game, but I can assure you that you haven’t experienced something like this yet.

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The game start out slowly and quite ordinary, giving you time to wander the house, soak up the beautifully crafted environment and truly immersive yourself in the experience. Form the nineteenth century décor and the endless range of ominous paintings to the faint shimmers of light reflecting of crystal glasses, the game showcases a stunning depth of immersive realism.

But then you hear a glass break in the room next door. You are ripped from your wandering stupor and an uncomfortable alertness starts settling in your bones.

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Slowly, the game starts living up to its name by gradually painting on layers upon layers of fear. Doors start disappearing and sometimes even disappear completely. The sense of fear and madness rapidly starts escalating and soon you find yourself in an inescapable and perpetual orgy of fear.

If you are looking to by immobilized by pure terror then Layers of Fear will more than adequately satisfy your needs. Just make sure to keep an extra pair of undies nearby. You’re going to need it.

Honourable Mentions

2015 has been a tremendous year for the horror fan. If these games still haven’t given you your fix of terror then these titles might do the job. Happy Halloween…

SOMA – From the creators of Amnesia and Penembra, a terrifying survival horror title that places you in an abandoned underwater facility. Outsmart your enemies or get ready to haul some ass.

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Monstrum – A procedurally generated horror experience that takes place on an abandoned container ship and will keep making you come back for more. Has multiplayer support, perfect for that communal fright fest.

Until Dawn – A superb horror titles that pays tribute to old-school horror movies and where every choice you make will change the course of events. A cinematically strong title that will delight any horror fan.

STASIS – A terrifying point and click sci-fi horror adventure that takes place on in abandoned spacecraft. This one is not for the faint-hearted.

Author Bio

Wiehahn Diederichs: Columnist
Capetonian freelance writer and photographer. Wiehahn is a lover of stories in all their forms, and has been an avid gamer since he took his first breath. If he is not working or gaming, he either pours his creative energy into his passion for music or plays foosball in some... More