It’s the spooky season, and that means it’s time to celebrate with some haunted festivities. Whether it be watching a scary movie with the family, going trick or treating with your kids, or simply enjoying the moment for what it is, there’s plenty to do to get into the Halloween spirit. If you’re the type of person to enjoy spooky games around this time of year though, then you may gravitate towards the scare-fest that is virtual reality games. With so many VR games to choose from though, you may have trouble picking which are the best ones. No need to worry though, as I’ve done that for you! Here are five horror VR games that you need to play this Halloween (in no particular order)!
Anyone who’s played this game knows exactly why its VR mode is a horror nightmare in all the right ways. In Phasmophobia, you and up to three other friends are ghost hunters, heading to various locations and using all the tools at your disposal to identify the ghost and complete challenges. With limited information, you have to think carefully and use your resources with caution. One wrong step can send you straight to the spirit realm, so teamwork is vital to success.
The reason Phasmophobia made this list though is not for its premise, but for how well it translates into VR. The game is spooky on its own, but from a first-person perspective along with hands, a ghost hunt goes from an inconvenience to an incredibly tense nightmare. Seeing the ghost chase you while you run or watching it claw in front of you is ripe with jumpscares and horror, and with friends is all the better. This is a must-play game in VR whether it’s Halloween or not.
Resident Evil 7: Biohazard
I mean, come on. You didn’t expect me to make a VR horror list and not mention a Resident Evil game, did you? Resident Evil is the prime series for scares, and with 7 being scary enough, its VR mode is even better. Resident Evil 7 puts you in the shoes of Ethan Winters, a man who lost his wife a good while ago. When a mysterious video comes straight from her though, Ethan thinks of nothing more than to immediately act and head to the Louisiana ranch she’s found herself in. When he gets there though, he quickly learns that there’s something much more sinister hiding in this simple family home.
If you’ve ever wondered how a Resident Evil game would be if you were in the eyes of its protagonist, wonder no longer! This title is filled with endless scares already, and it only feels heightened in VR. Frantically pulling out your pistol and shooting a mold monster as it slowly creeps toward you, taking every bullet you throw at it is incredibly intense. Or even just walking through its halls, in fear that one of the Baker family will jump out and attempt to slaughter you. There’s so much that could be said of this title, making it a legend in the VR horror game space, perfect for Halloween. Plus, it should gear you up nicely for Resident Evil 4’s imminent VR port.
Until Dawn: Rush of Blood
With two of the more well-known VR games out of the way, let’s move on to a horror game that’s a little more out there. Until Dawn: Rush of Blood is a PlayStation VR exclusive that may not have much to do with the title it’s related to, but makes for a perfect on-the-rails shooter filled with all sorts of horrors. As you move along a consistently moving track through seven different levels, you’ll take on all matter of horrors from witches, demon birds, and other oddities. Without much story to worry about either, you can truly put your shooting skills to the test.
See, Until Dawn: Rush of Blood is the type of game that really shouldn’t be as good as it is. It’s a licensed spin-off that’s exclusive to the PlayStation VR that seems on the surface to be made exclusively to show off VR’s capabilities. But in the end, it makes for a fairly capable shooter that, while imperfect, can be a great time for those who’ve had enough of fearing their grotesque foes and just want to shoot some damn guns.
A game with a name like Dark Days doesn’t immediately instill confidence that you’re getting your money’s worth, but like Until Dawn: Rush of Blood, this VR horror game can somehow make for a perfect Halloween game. Dark Days sees you step into the shoes of a young woman named Jade, locked in a motel with no escape. Why she’s running and how she’s going to escape though is unclear, with all secrets needing to be revealed. With this psychological thriller giving plenty to think about, Dark Days can make for something a bit more grounded and grim for those who like a good horror mystery.
In the time since its release, Dark Days has been heralded as a great VR title with “satisfying scares and a creepy atmosphere”, and after seeing the trailer posted above, it’s hard to disagree. Sure, it has graphics that could rival New Blood’s DUSK (trust me, that couldn’t be further from an insult and is well worth your time), but it proves well that even with low-quality graphics, these sorts of games can be surprising with their scares.
Hold on just a minute, put down your pitchforks people. I know what you’re thinking “What the hell is a first-person shooter from Valve doing on a horror list?” and you’re right, it’s a strange choice, but hear me out at least. This shooter sees Alyx Vance, the daughter of Eli Vance and companion to Gordon in the Half-Life 2 saga, attempt to save her father and discover the mysteries behind the structure located in the center of her home, City 17. The secrets she finds though will change her world forever.
The thing about Half-Life: Alyx is that it isn’t a traditional horror VR game. When seeing it, you wouldn’t think so. But it’s rather here due to how its fights are. Think about it, you’re fighting with your pistol as several headcrab-wearing zombies come slowly crawling towards you. All of them want nothing more than to kill you and make you part of their undead army. There’s even an enemy who’s incredibly strong and nigh-unkillable but can only hear you. It may be filled with regular fight moments against the hostile Combine, but for its sections fighting headcrab zombies, the intensity alone is what makes it part of this list.
I’d love to hear your thoughts though. What VR horror games do you plan to play this Halloween season? Anything from this list? Is my unorthodox pick of Half-Life: Alyx still way too out there? Let me know in the comments!