In the build-up to Halloween, we are taking a look at the year's best horror releases.
Is there really a better way to spend the Halloween season than scaring yourself senseless with some of the latest and greatest horror releases? Of course, the answer is a resounding no. This is especially true, as this year we have been blessed with some truly terrifying releases, even if some of our most anticipated picks like Dying Light 2 and The Outlast Trails have been delayed until 2022. Here are some of our personal favourite horror releases from the last ten months:
Could we really throw together a horror list like this and not include a Resident Evil entry? Picking right off the back of what was considered as a return to form for the series, Resident Evil Village sees you once again step into the shoes of Ethan Winters. Here his six-month-old daughter has been taken, and he must venture into a mysterious village steeped in danger to save her. Village created quite a splash when it launched this May with many players being infatuated with its overly tall antagonist Lady Dimitrescu and others praising its shift to a more action-orientated style.
The yellow raincoat-wearing Sixx was another horror icon that made a return earlier on in the year. Little Nightmares II builds upon the already solid foundation of its predecessor by adding a more varied selection of locales and more complex puzzles that revolved around Sixx's newfound ally, Mono. The chase sequences in particular here are just downright disturbing and we are still having nightmares after being stalked by The Teacher and her bendy spaghetti-like neck. It certainly gets our recommendation, but don't say we didn't warn you.
Okay, so this one isn't strictly a horror, but its influence from the genre is undefinable (I mean, it does have Dread in the title after all). During Samus' journey to the surface, she is pursued by several terrifying robots known as E.M.M.I that are desperate to extract her Metroid DNA. These robots stalk you relentlessly when you're in their zones, and its pretty chilling when you get captured, as they brutally impale you in the chest with a metal spike. What's unsettling too is that each of these robots stalk you in different ways with some zapping you and leaving you paralyzed and others moving at crazy high speeds. Really though Nintendo, we thought this was a child-friendly game?
This Left 4 Dead successor has made for some of the most fun we've had in co-op all year, and you should certainly check it out, especially if you're a Game Pass subscriber. Far from just a typical shooter, Back 4 Blood features a card-based system that enables for each of your zombie slaying runs to feel unique. There are cards here that you'll select before a run that give you active and passive buffs, and there are also what are known as Corruption Cards that amp up the challenge, but can lead to some handsome rewards. Sure, its not a particularly scary game, but what else says Halloween like blasting a bunch of zombies in the face?
Resident Evil 4 VR
Although the eighth installment is this year's big release (or the seventh, if you do not know it), VR users of Facebook Meta should very much take into account the recent launch of RE4VR. Yes, it is the umpteenth version of the Capcom classic that defined third-person action on the GameCube and the future of Resident Evil, but now it is not in third-person, but in the first, from the eyes of Leon S. Kennedy. Their control is great and their infected Spanish killers are not so scary with the original dated graphics but, yes, this time they are "detrás de ti, cabrón," for real.
What else can we say about this Xbox 360 classic that hasn't been praised already? This author's desperate search for his missing wife had us glued to our screens when it first launched more than a decade ago due to its chilling atmosphere and unique method of storytelling. A true sequel may have sadly never materialised, but Alan Wake still holds up all these years later, and it's well worth checking out if you haven't already. The recently released remastered version looks better than ever before with it running at 4K/60fps and it has also arrived on PlayStation consoles for the very first time.
Whilst it wasn't initially on our radar, Inscryption proved to be a real surprise for us when it launched earlier this month and it delivered the scares in ample supply. Coming from the creative force behind Pony Island and The Hex, this eerie card-based title blends together escape room puzzles, roguelike elements and psychological horror to make for a combo like we haven't experienced before. The only complaint we have with this one is that we wish it was on other platforms outside of PC, so a broader audience of players can enjoy its magic.
Yes, just like Alan Wake, it is technically an older release, but the amount of additional content here on top of the core game is plentiful and well worth checking out. This package is perfect for whetting your appetite ahead of the upcoming sequel, as it contains all four major DLC packs and 17 skin bundles. Dying Light might almost be seven-years-old, but its enjoyment hasn't deteriorated over the years just like its many undead creatures. Parkouring your way up buildings feels as smooth as butter and its melee-focused combat always feels intense, as you're never far from danger and your weapon can snap at any point.
These are just a few of our favourite horror picks from the year. Do let us know in the comments if we have missed any of your favourites.