Many of us find ourselves with a bevy of free time. The summer heat can be suffocating for some, and conventional methods of cooling off like crowded public beaches and pools remain a risk factor for contracting COVID-19. Consider killing two birds with one stone by staying home when possible and sending shivers down your spine with these horror games instead. Be sure to follow medical advice, ensure adequate hydration, and know the signs of heat-related illness. Electronics such as consoles and computers can put off a lot of heat, so keep that in mind if marathoning some of these titles.
Games in the Siren series blend Japanese mysticism with pulse-pounding, stealth-based gameplay. Take control of a wide cast of characters ranging from teachers to fading media stars as they attempt to escape an otherworldly threat. The most prominent gameplay feature is the ability to "Sightjack" enemies. With Sightjacking, you can see through the eyes of the undead Shibito. But beware! Nothing makes the stomach drop quite like seeing yourself through your enemy's eyes, their weapon raised to strike. Siren and Siren 2 are available for the Sony Playstation 2. Siren: Blood Curse is a reimagining of the first game, and can be found on the PlayStation 3.
Fiona Belli is an 18-year-old college student on break from university. She's traveling with her parents when they suddenly crash their car into something on the road. Her parents are killed, and Fiona wakes up in a butcher's room clad in only a bedsheet. The denizens of the castle are not what they seem and want something from Fiona. With the help of her canine companion, Hewie, Fiona must brave perils she could never have even imagined while keeping her panic under control. Haunting Ground presents a distinctly feminine horror of gains and losses of agency and power. Fiona's sexualization as "eye candy" is off-putting rather than titillating, and unhealthy sexuality is a recurring core theme. Entitlement takes different forms in her pursuers, with each antagonist having their own reasons for attacking Fiona. Haunting Ground is a collector's item available on the PlayStation 2, as well as the Japanese PSN Store under its Japanese title Demento for the PS3. Spiritual predecessor Clock Tower 3 features much more camp and is also available for the PS2.
Also consider the Remothered series. Its second entry, Broken Porcelain, was expected to release in August but has been delayed to October, 2020. Remothered: Tormented Fathers is available on PC via Steam, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch. TechRaptor reviewed Tormented Fathers in late 2018, and the sequel so far looks more polished than the first entry.
The Evil Within Series
Featuring a more combat-capable protagonist, The Evil Within and its sequel star Sebastian Castellanos, a police officer investigating Beacon Medical Hospital. What follows is a psychological trip, and Sebastian carries the weight of the incident into The Evil Within 2. The player will juggle sneaking around enemies and taking them on with a variety of weapons, often weighing the benefits of putting the horrors down versus conserving supplies. The second game features a recurring antagonist in the ethereal, onryō-like Anima to up the tension. She can be "activated" in one of several optional events, where she will roam the virtual small town of Union stalking Sebastian. Players can even track her when she appears using the DualShock 4 controller. The built-in speaker indicates her general direction and distance, her humming growing louder as she approaches. The Evil Within 2 takes the first game and improves upon it, especially when it comes to stealth combat. It's available on the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Windows systems. The first game is also on the aforementioned systems, as well as the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.
Picture the following scenario: you're collecting supplies for your group, having a grand old time leaping from building to building and avoiding the monsters below. But then night falls, and you spot glowing eyes in the distance. Your gazes meet, and a scream rips through the darkness. Suddenly, you're a discount TV on Black Friday and a dozen parkour-leaping rabid monsters are after you. Nighttime in Dying Light is a tense risk-versus-reward scenario. Zombies are stronger, smarter, and faster. Sometimes you take a leap of faith in the darkness to escape three or four Volatiles, only to crunch onto the pavement. You mash the button to heal while they tear at your throat. While the daylight portions of Dying Light aren't particularly horrific or frightening, the sensation of being chased down by horrors at night while hauling a valuable cargo drop is exhilarating. You can also climb to some dizzying heights to fulfill various objectives. If you enjoyed the emphasis on melee combat seen in the Techland's previous IP Dead Island, Dying Light is a considerable improvement. All of the DLC has been free, and you can play the game on a variety of platforms, including Windows, macOS X, Linux, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.
Song of Horror
Episodic horror game Song of Horror changes to challenge the player in each new playthrough. Song of Horror gives the player an ensemble cast of 13 fully playable characters spread across its five episodes. Each character comes with their own strengths and weaknesses, and players will need to utilize their skills and wits to solve puzzles and stay alive. Song of Horror tells the story of writer Sebastian P. Husher and his family. The Husher family mysteriously vanishes one day, and Husher's editor sends assistant Daniel Noyer to investigate. The Presence stalks any person who would try to unravel the mystery, and any who fall prey to its machinations dies for good. Another character must then pick up the torch (or candle, or flashlight), making use of what their unlucky predecessors left behind. Many episodes borrow themes from other horror series, such as Fatal Frame, ObsCure, and Silent Hill. Pick it up for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, or Microsoft Windows via Steam.
Do you have any games or series that chill you to the core that we didn't mention? Tell us in the comments below or on social media, and be sure to check back with us on the regular for all games new, all games horrible, and even the stuff that's pretty good. But we at TechRaptor urge you to please scream inside your heart and be safe.