Humans are a funny bunch. We're probably the only species out there that enjoy getting scared. Writers like Clive Barker and Stephen King have become rich thanks to their twisted imaginations that has the ability to give us sleepless nights for days on end.
But as awesome as books and movies tend to be, they're no match for video games that thoroughly immerse you into horrific situations. Today we'll take a look at five such games.
Alan Wake (Xbox360)
You're a writer suffering from a terrible bout of writer's block so your wife suggests the two of embark on a holiday to refill those creative juices. All seems fine and dandy in the idyllic town of Bright Falls till she gets kidnapped by a dark, sinister force that forces you to play detective while fighting off creatures of the night. What stood out for me in this game besides the strong yet cheesy narrative was its gameplay that felt intense without feeling cheap.
Dead Space (Xbox360 PS3 PC)
Isaac Clarke is a mild mannered, quiet engineer in the near future who's life is turned upside down as his girlfriend goes missing on a deep space mining exploration. Forced to play the reluctant hero, Isaac must battle his imaginary demons along with some very real ones aboard the USG Ishimura, a ghost ship that felt like it stepped out of Event Horizon (the movie). An engaging narrative coupled with copious gore and intense gameplay makes Dead Space an ideal choice for those dark and lonely nights.
Condemned 2: Bloodshot (Xbox360 PS3)
Horror games always feel scarier from a first person perspective which is why Condemned 2 delivers the goods in spades. It's USP, besides a highly creepy plot is its melee based combat that forces players to get up, close and personal with the game's nasty inhabitants. Cracking open a hobo's skull with a 4×4 never felt this cathartic.
Left 4 Dead 2 (Xbox360 PC)
Most horror games do not offer co-operative gameplay as they want players to feel isolated which in turn dials up the dread factor to 11. But the Left 4 Dead series shunned those conventions offering players co-operative gameplay with four of their buddies as they survived a zombie apocalypse. Left 4 Dead 2 upped the ante with even more diverse enemies, more awesome weapons and a pretty intense multiplayer mode that allowed you to puke on your enemies among other nasty things.
BioShock (Xbox360 PS3 PC)
A spiritual successor to System Shock, BioShock immersed players in the underwater city of Rapture. Once hailed as a Utopian society of the future, greed and evil soon began ravaging this underwater paradise transforming its peaceful citizens into mutated maniacs called Splicers. Undead little girls roamed the hallways of Rapture accompanied by their guardians, sucking the life force out of these Splicers and in the middle of all this chaos was the player, an unknowing pawn in the greater scheme of things who’s trying to survive. BioShock is without a doubt one of the best survival horrors out there that's capable of shocking, surprising and scaring the player at the same time.