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Scary PC Games For Halloween

2015 - Until Dawn

Until Dawn is only available on the PlayStation 4, but it's worth noting due to its take on traditional horror tropes. It is set around a group of eight teenagers who stay at an isolated cabin in the middle of the woods. As the storyline progress, you'll have to control each character, and the choices you make for each person might have an effect in a later event in the game.

The ultimate goal is to keep as many people in the group alive until dawn (hence the title). As each characters live or dies in each playthrough, chances are the ending for each session will be different: If you want all eight characters to die, you can make that happen, but with some effort you can keep everyone alive as well.

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2016 - Layers of Fear

Layers of Fear places you in the mind of a painter who is slowly inching towards insanity. You want to finish a painting, and you navigate through the mansion for anything that can help provide inspiration (or motivation) to complete the artistic masterpiece. The mansion feels much like a haunted house, and you'll have to endure jump scares and creepy psychological effects, but the highest level of involvement needed from the player is walking around and solving puzzles. Although that may deter some from playing because of its walking simulator-like gameplay, it does drag you into the story and character-building, making Layers of Fear more an interactive horror movie than a game.

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2011 - F.3.A.R.

F.E.A.R. 3 is a first-person survival horror shooter that places you in the shoes of the Point Man or Paxton Fettel. Both characters have unique abilities—Point Man can slow down time, and Fettel has psychic powers you can use. Regardless of which character you choose, you'll have to fight a new terror called The Creep.

You can choose to play the campaign by yourself, or enlist the help of a friend in co-op mode. After, you can test your skills in one of the four multiplayer modes available.

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2007 - Bioshock

The inclusion of Bioshock on this list is obviously up for debate. Nevertheless, we found that the immense level of detail in the atmosphere, together with the Little Sisters and Big Daddies, made for a rather spooky experience. In addition, Rapture's many Splicers put up a tough fight, and some of them are a frightening sight to see. The city's dependence on the ADAM genetic material turned the supposed utopia into underwater nightmare, and after all, aren't nightmares an integral part of the Halloween festivities?

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2014 - The Evil Within

Sebastian Castellanos is the protagonist in The Evil Within, whom you first meet at a mass murder scene at the Beatcon Mental Hospital. You quickly find yourself in a nightmare world, with tons of enemies and weapons. Your goal is to figure out what happened.

Playing through it, you’ll find tons of gore, along with collectibles, minigames, and a player upgrade mechanism fueled by ‘Green Gel.’ The game also teaches you all the different ways that you can die, and will give you a total death count upon completion. Good luck trying to keep that number below 100 even on the normal 'Survivor' difficulty level.

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2017 - The Evil Within 2

The Evil Within 2 follows the same protagonist as its predecessor, Sebastian Castellanos, as he travels through a nightmare-filled STEM world called Union that was created by the Mobius corporation. Castellanos’ daughter serves as the “Core” of Union, which means she’s at least partly responsible for all the monstrosities you’ll confront as you attempt to rescue her. It’s your job to find Castellanos’ daughter, return her to the real world, and hope this family can finally catch a break. (Seriously, how many nightmares must one man be forced to live through?)

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2014 - Outlast

You have no defenses, need to conserve your resources, and make your way through a psychiatric hospital where all the patients try to kill you: welcome to Outlast. Throughout the game, you’ll stealthily travel through the environment, make use of the platformer-style elements when you are pursued, and solve numerous puzzles. Some portions of the building are pitch dark. Thankfully, you have a camera with night-vision capabilities for these dark areas. But beware, there are times when you need it more than others, and it does run out of batteries.

If you’ve never felt vulnerable before, Outlast will certainly teach you the feeling.

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2017 - Outlast 2

We included Outlast on last year’s version of this list because it too stripped away the action sequences and melodrama in favor of classic horror. The protagonist, photojournalist Blake Langermann, heads out with his wife to rural Arizona to investigate the murder of a pregnant woman. Langermann doesn’t travel with a sawed-off shotgun, endless pistol ammo, or enough knives to make QVC blink. He has a camera—like any photojournalist would—and that’s it.

Things quickly get out of hand (this is a horror game, after all), and Langermann has to fight to survive. But he’ll be doing so with nothing more than his wits and the camera, which allows him to see in the dark… as long as he keeps swapping out its batteries. Outlast 2 is a tense experience that makes you feel like a normal person in an abnormal situation instead of a superhero just waiting to shed his disguise and go on a zombie-killin’ adventure.

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2014 - DreadOut

When you first start this game you may think it’s a game from the original PlayStation 2 days, but DreadOut is actually a low-cost indie game from Indonesia. You take the role of Linda in the third-person, and you navigate through a deserted town and high school after losing your classmates. Its Indonesian roots also mean that the enemies you face are inspired by Indonesian folklore, so chances are that they're new to you.

Unsurprisingly, there isn’t much combat in the game, but when you’re faced with enemies Linda uses her phone camera to scare them off and add them to her ghostpedia.

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2013 - Don’t Starve

Don’t Starve presents you not with a 3D-based game, but rather a very artsy cartoon-like survival game. During the daytime you’re safe. You can use the time to construct buildings, tools, and equipment, and also to scavenge for supplies. The real challenge begins at night, because that's when the monsters come out. In order to stay alive, you'll need to stay near a lit source. In addition to handling your mental health, you'll need to make sure that your health and hunger points don't dip to a point where you become desperate for supplies. The game has a highly elaborate crafting mechanism, and your goal is mainly to just survive. It's not a horror game in the traditional sense, but it most certainly fits the spooky and paranoia bill we need for Halloween.

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Niels Broekhuijsen

Niels Broekhuijsen is a Contributing Writer for Tom's Hardware US. He reviews cases, water cooling and pc builds.