With Fall in full swing and October already here, that means Halloween is right around the corner. And with Halloween we get the wonderful world of horror to decorate and scare ourselves with. Something about being frightened can make you scream in fear and then a moment later laugh because of the sheer panic and adrenaline spike. Horror games have been a staple of the industry for a long time and with the added element of interaction they can often times cause you to fear more. Who doesn’t remember the panic of the dreaded siren in Silent Hill? Or the first time you ran into the zombie in Resident Evil? These horror moments often hit home more due to the connection with the player controlling these characters.
Unfortunately, like those B-movie horror flicks that are more comedy than anything, there are games that do the same. This article isn’t going to be about our opinion on the greatest horror moments or games in general. Instead, we are going to take a look at the horror games that fell flat or were suppose to scare us, but weren’t up to the task. So grab your Pumpkin Spiced Lattes and let’s get going!
Jordan – Outlast
There was a lot of hype surrounding Outlast and just how scary it was. I remember all the preview Let’s Plays that were claiming it was the scariest game ever and making these Youtuber’s fall out of their chairs from the jump scares. Now, there are a good handful of things that make scary games not scary for me and one is knowing I never have to stand my ground and fight. Already knowing that means all I have to do is turn, run, and hide while I wait for my pursuer to lose interest. Which was obviously Outlast’s bread and butter horror element. After the first 10 times of running and hiding in a locker or under a bed, it just becomes tiresome.
There was also the false sense of urgency with depleting batteries and the excessive amount of jump scares that got tiring after a while. I had some hopes for Outlast 2, but according to Leo, it was even worse.
Leo – Agony
Oh boy, Agony. If there’s one big candidate for most disappointing game of the entire year, that amazing piece of anti-Christian garbage is right there at the top, which is ironic considering it’s set in the depths of hell. It isn’t scary at all. Whenever I’m looking at the mentally deranged imagery that game has to offer, I’m not feeling scared. You can’t feel the tension the game wants you to feel due to its terrible graphics, gameplay, and sound design. It is more of an avantgarde comedic experience than anything else.
As I’ve mentioned in my review, even though Agony was supposed to be extremely offensive, that game didn’t offend me as it intended. In fact, I’d actually say that Agony only severely offended me because it didn’t offend me enough. I was expecting more controversy from the developers and all they gave me in return was a golden apple with a vagina. That wasn’t horrifying, that was actually hilarious as I started to think someone had to design an apple with a vagina and put that into his/her resume.
Kyle – Amy
Amy is not just one of the worst horror games out there, it’s one of the worst games of all time. Releasing back in 2012 I bought it thinking “It surely can’t be that bad.” It was. Beyond the horrible graphics and terrible voice acting is a fundamentally broken game in almost every conceivable way.
The controls were beyond terrible, the scares were pathetic, and the immense difficulty spikes just make the game frustrating to play. Amy even fails to do even the most basic of scares. Not once did I feel any real tension, just boredom.
Heidi – Until Dawn
Until Dawn definitely had an interesting concept. Essentially acting as an interactive horror movie, it featured realistic graphics and gave the player the ability to choose different dialogue options and courses of action that affect the final outcome of the game. The main drawback was the story just wasn’t that scary. Nearly every time the game would start to ramp up to something sinister, a QTE would kill the tension or a lame explanation would present itself. Not to say that the experience wasn’t fairly enjoyable, it simply wasn’t that nerve wracking. It seemed like there was a lot of suspenseful and creepy things they wanted to do in Until Dawn and either didn’t get around to it or presented it in a way where it fell flat.
Thomas – Night Trap
Oh boy Night Trap, a prime example of why FMV games are dead. The only thing scary about this game is the very real chance you might drill a hole through your own neck out of boredom. Unless of course you’re Congress or a jealous Nintendo, in which this game represents the spawn of Satan. You play as a special forces member watching through security cameras and hitting a button trying to trap vampire creatures before they kill any of the teenage girls who are staying over with their friend. The dialogue is the worst kind of cheesy, the gameplay is barely present, the prop quality leaves much to be desired, and overall there’s little to no redeeming qualities here.
So of course it was remastered.
Jason – Alone in the Dark
Despite the history of the survival horror franchise, Alone in the Dark, the 2008 soft reboot was an absolute flop. Loaded with overused genre tropes and ideas that miss the mark, Alone in the Dark fumbles in all aspects. From manually swinging melee weapons, poor driving mechanics, and the horrible inventory system that only lets you keep items in specific pockets, this game never really knew what it wanted to be. It’s a good thing the developers built in the option to skip huge sections of the game at any time. If you don’t like what you’re experiencing, just skip to the next section and continue the story without any context. If you wanted to, you could jump straight to the last chapter, but at that point, isn’t it better to have not played at all?
Baylen – Resident Evil 6
Frankly, as good as a game could be, I’m not the type of person that scares in any sense. Technically I could list off a lot of games, but they are all great and I would regret diminishing a worthy product just because I’m an iron wall of emotions. That being said, Resident Evil 6 is a joke. I’ve never given up on a game so quickly. Muddled with quick-time events and a less than incoherent menu (which I thought was non-existent for a while), I was too busy laughing at how terrible every aspect of this game was, until I took it back to the game store and convinced the clerk to give me back my full refund. This was the game that got me to say “no more” to preordering.
Steve – House of the Dead
Arcades were once the staple of the gaming community. It was a place where you could make new friends, make new enemies, and have face to face experiences with your gaming peers, unlike the antisocial nature of online multiplayer. These were not at all the places where you expected to feel fear. House of the Dead was an on the rails 3D shooter that placed a plastic light gun in your hand and threw hordes of axe-chucking zombies, flying mutant dogs, monster slugs, and giant frogs with rows of sharp teeth in your face. I played this game so many times, I got to the point where I used to drop a quarter in each side and dual wield the light pistols to increase the intensity. That was always good for attracting a curious and well entertained audience. The action was fast and consistent and incredibly fun but, the only thing there was to fear was running out of quarters.
Todd – Dead Space 3
How do you ignore a game that went so against the grain of what it was, that it killed the franchise? Not being happy with being a big fish in a small horror pond, EA gambled with the Dead Space brand and tried to make into a more profitable FPS action game. EA also tried to increase the titles profitability by adding micro transactions to the weapon crafting system. All this caused Dead Space 3 to sell the fewest copies in the series. I get what EA was saying: it wasn’t worth spending a dime to make three nickels. Dead Space 3 was its last chance to be a tent pole title, but because of publisher greed and/or involvement, it destroyed the franchise altogether. Luckily, even ten years later, Dead Space still defines Sci-Fi horror to this day.
Do you agree with our list or have a horror game that didn’t scare you that we missed? Let us know below in the comment section!