Horror in games, namely the survival-horror subgenre, was paved out by the Resident Evil series (Biohazard in Japan), where guile and wit is encouraged rather than outright combat - Yes, guns and other weapons are available, but ammunition for them are often scarce, forcing you to micromanage and in turn introducing another level of fear. "When will I get my next box of 9mm rounds? I best try and conserve in-order to survive" Is something you will probably wonder when playing these games. Some games, *cough* Amnesia: The Dark Descent *cough* feature no weapons in-game and really up the ante when you're backed off into a room with a single door, no other way out but said door that is currently getting knocked in by the crazy denizens of these games.
My list is comprised of games that I have played that I feel, really regret you playing them at stupid o'clock in the morning, in the dark, duvet thrown over your head.
F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin
Short for "First Encounter Assault Recon", F.E.A.R: Project Origin, is the 2nd game in the franchise created by Monolith Productions, a Washington-based developer also known for creating such titles as, No One Lives Forever, Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor and the Condemned games.
Available on the PC, XBox 360 and the Playstation 3, F.E.A.R puts you in the shoes of a man known as Michael becket, who is a member of a secret, covert branch of the US Military codenamed Dark Signal. Becket, along with his comrades are sent to arrest Genevieve Aristide, the director of Armacham Technology Corporation, a shady company responsible for a great number of bad things.
Assuming you haven't played the first, the game feels like any other Shooter game where you will be fighting black ops soldiers who have been deployed by Genevieve, but very quickly you'll notice that something isn't right. Lights start to flicker, the accompanying ambience track starts to change, glimpses of shadow people are caught in your peripheral view and did I mention the creepy little red-dressed girl? Her name is Alma, by the way, and you will be seeing a whole lot of her. The soldiers are exceptionally well done, and their AI is a testament to it. Often you will hear them shouting out to their comrades alerting them to your location and using crazy tactics like flanking manoeuvres to try and outwit you.
What makes this game scary? Well, there are two things that stand out. The first thing has to be the overall atmosphere and the ambience of the game. In my opinion, it's frightening when the music drops and you know something bad is coming your way. Secondly, Alma, there's something creepy about children when they are used in horror, everyone has a notion that children are harmless but in this genre, that is a foolish one; they are deceptive. Alma has two forms, the child and the naked adult version - both of them are creepy as hell and both of them are out to get you. Alma is a powerful Psionic, meaning she can use an array of abilities to manipulate her surroundings and can summon ghostly apparitions to further hinder your progress. No matter what you do, when you play this game you will get a fright!
See the trailer here:
You can buy F.E.A.R here for the Xbox 360, PC and PS3. Just to let you know, it's only £1.72 on the PC!