Are you looking to get up close and personal with things straight out of a nightmare? Then playing a horror game in VR this Halloween is something you should try – here are our top picks.
Virtual reality has changed the way we experience video games. The medium allows us to not only watch a screen but enter the game itself and move around in that world – yet from the safety of our living room. The horror genre has arguably benefitted the most from the advent of VR. Throwing players directly into the action makes the experience even scarier and more immersive than before. As a result, we’re living in a new golden age of horror games.
The below list gathers some of the most frightening VR experiences you can play. Each title was elevated by the inclusion of VR functionality or was designed with it in mind. Some of these games were scary enough on their own – but as soon as you put that headset on, they invoke new levels of dread.
- Until Dawn: Rush of Blood
- Five Nights at Freddy’s: Help Wanted
- The Brookhaven Experiment
- Half-Life Alyx
- Resident Evil 7 Biohazard
While Until Dawn is a narrative-driven interactive horror movie where teens get picked off one by one depending on the player’s actions, Rush of Blood is something else entirely. You’d not think the two games were related, and in many ways, they’re not. They are two very different horror experiences.
Rush of Blood takes place on a roller-coaster ride from hell rather than a cabin in the woods. It’s one of the best and most celebrated VR experiences available and comes highly recommended. This rollercoaster will make you scream, but not for the reasons they usually do.
Those who enjoyed the PT or the playable teaser from the canceled Silent Hills will love Phasmophobia. It’s a similar experience. The player creeps around an abandoned house with nothing but their flashlight in search of something important – while the game slowly toys with their senses.
In VR this is absolutely bone-chilling, as you know something horrible will eventually be coming for you. And you’d be right, there is something terrifying lurking in the house with you – and it’s going to find you eventually.
Perhaps one of the best things about Phasmophobia, though, is it supports multiplayer – so you can go investigating the paranormal with your friends.
Five Nights at Freddy’s sees the player trapped in a dark spooky restaurant while animatronic animals hunt you down. It’s as ridiculous and frightening as it sounds. The concept is incredibly original, which is why it’s become such a celebrated cult classic.
The game excels as a VR title. The headset brings a new layer of fun and immersion to the game and will make you wonder how you ever played it without one. Five Nights at Freddy’s in VR is essentially a series of fiendish mini-games and jump scares that will cause you to scream eventually.
This VR game is a heart-racing first-person shoot and slash ‘em up that sometimes feels more like a fitness workout than a game. At first glance, this title can appear quite basic compared to some VR experiences from a gameplay point of view. This is due to the lack of movement, but this soon becomes the game’s main advantage. The Brookhaven Experiment sees the player stood in one place while they fend off a zombie horde that can attack from all sides.
Armed with a gun and a katana, the player will have to make sure they watch their own back as the difficulty increases and more zombies begin to swarm nearby. While shooting zombies from a distance feels weighty and satisfying. It’s the close-quarters combat that really delivers. The hacking and slashing feels incredibly realistic and responsive.
After a few levels, we felt like our katana was an extension of our arm. We had developed an excellent sense of its range and where to strike enemies with surgical precision. In time we were pivoting gracefully and delivering sword strokes to any undead that got too close with lethal accuracy. Just make sure your fitness is up to the challenge, this game really puts players through their paces!
After waiting over ten years for more Half-Life, a VR spin-off was the last thing fans had in mind for the return of the franchise. Alyx was met with a mixed reception when it was first announced, but much of this melted away once people got to play it. Alyx is classic Half-Life and a valued chapter in the franchise’s lore.
The game isn’t a typical horror experience, but it manages to invoke feelings of dread with its atmospheric and pulse-racing gameplay. The concept of Half-Life can be pretty scary at the best of times, and Half-Life: Alyx not only reminds us of that – but lets us live it in a new way, complete with jumping headcrabs.
Resident Evil 7 is the daddy of VR horror games and lets the player experience the entire game up close. Be warned, there have been instances of motion sickness, so make sure to take regular breaks. In VR, Ethan Winter’s horrific night in the Baker family’s house takes the game’s scares to an entirely new level.
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Not even his most recent outing to an infected Village can top it. The game was designed with VR in mind, and this was one of the reasons why the Resident Evil series switched from third-person to first-person. Even the VR Resident Evil 4 will be in first-person.
Every floorboard creak, leaky pipe, or gust of wind ramps up the tension. And hearing the Baker family member’s footsteps as they get closer to your location is utterly terrifying. They can be slamming doors and shouting after you while they search for you with murderous intent. It’s truly masterful and this experience alone is arguably worth the price tag of PSVR.