Perhaps we’ve been a bit harsh on video games based on horror films! I mean, far be it for me to admit any sort of fault, as I am functionally infallible, BUT, let it not be said that there hasn’t been some gems along the way in this specific little niche. Here are five of the best games based on horror films.
Part of the entire allure of the Alien franchise was the pure, pants-soiling terror that came from, well, the isolation of it all. Waiting in the dark of a ship, anticipating your messy, messy demise was the stuff of nightmares. 2014’s Isolation perfectly encapsulated that. My Kickstarted follow-up, Alien: Party People, may have missed the mark a bit.
The Thing was a classic film in nearly all its iterations, and as far as early 2000s action/horror video games go, it was pretty damned good. Especially cool was its “Trust/Fear” system, which not only fits the Thing universe, it perfectly matches my distrust of horror games in general. No, I don’t distrust them because they might be horrific blights on entertainment, I just distrust discs as a general media. THEY’RE TOO THIN, HOW DOES THAT EVEN WORK.
As a series, Evil Dead has produced some of the most genuinely fun yet terrifying films in the horror genre, so it makes sense that they would generate some pretty rad gaming action. Specifically, early 2000s entries like Hail to the King and A Fistful of Boomstick turned in some great hack-and-slash action, and pairing it with Bruce Campbell’s quips is a recipe for a groovy game. Let’s maybe make an adaptation of the 2013 Evil Dead film, but make it a little less grim? That movie was nightmare city, but some wacky faces might do it some good!
Its sequel may not have been too hot, but the original Saw game was surprisingly intense, with rusty, tetanus-laden traps the likes of which we hadn’t even seen in the 26 feature film versions. Throw in the gravelly voice talents of Jigsaw himself, Tobin Bell, and you’ve got a game that doubles as my entry into the world of therapy!
The Walking Dead
Jeepers, the feels here. Games like the Telltale The Walking Dead, as well as The Last of Us, ushered in a new era of absolutely horrific tear-jerkers. Like, you could legitimately lose weight from both sweat and tears by playing games like this. You know we’ve come a long way since Pong when I’m reacting more viscerally to point-and-click adventures than I did to Requiem for a Dream, the previous champion for “Most Depressing Thing Created in the History of Ever, Forever”.
How long until we get a super dope Candyman game? Let me know on Twitter!