Fall is upon us, and with that comes spooky szn. All the best horror video games release this time of year, and all the mainstays get major updates. If you don’t like to face terror alone, we got you covered – we’ll check out the best horror video games to squad up and play with friends for Halloween 2021. Yes, you can play them solo too.
Dead by Daylight
Dead by Daylight owns the horror co-op genre. It’s the perfect Halloween video game that blends horror, competition, survival, sacrificing your friends, and pure chaos. The roster of killers pulls from all decades with classics like Freddy Kreuger and Michael Myers, or draws from recent monstrosities like Pyramid Head and Nemesis. The Killer kits bring a new game mechanic with every chapter, and the variety of Survivor perks keep the game balanced.
Dead by Daylight stays fresh among horror video games, maintaining momentum five years after its release and heading into Halloween 2021. Fingers crossed Pennywise makes an appearance as a killer sooner rather than later.
Back 4 Blood
Back 4 Blood looks to make a major splash on its release date, Oct. 12, as a spiritual successor to Left 4 Dead. While Back 4 Blood is made by the developers that released the first Left 4 Dead, it takes a strong established episodic formula and adds RPG elements of customization through player cards.
Unlike in Left 4 Dead, in Back 4 Blood players can now modify stats like health, damage, and stamina. The AI can also use Corruption cards to modify the behavior and frequency of hordes and special enemies (yes, it’s just an AI director system, but with a cool name). It wouldn’t be a surprise if Back 4 Blood remains a mainstay on Steam’s Best Seller list for years to come.
The Dark Picture Anthology: House of Ashes
The Dark Picture Anthology owns its niche as a narrative-driven game that uses quick-time events to push the story forward for better or worse. One poor click or mistimed action can alter the course of your entire playthrough. The Dark Picture Anthology: House of Ashes is next in the series with a release date set for Oct. 22, delivering the horror game just in time for Halloween. Fly solo or grab 1-4 other friends to shape your own story as a group of five soldiers exploring a Sumerian temple looking for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. This is easily the scariest setting developers Supermassive Games have gone for to date.
Fans of High School Musical should be thrilled to hear that Ashley Tisdale is billed for the lead role in The Dark Picture Anthology: House of Ashes. It’s probably worth buying just to see CIA Field Officer Rachel King evolving from former high school horror Sharpay Evans. Here’s to hoping she Bops to the Top.
Phasmophobia in 2021 is faster, spookier, and a whole lot smoother than when it first came out. The August update took a huge step to refresh the look and feel of Phasmophobia, taking away from the janky actions. The intensity’s dialed up now that walking is paced at the old sprint speed, and the new faster sprint speed is now limited to a stamina meter.
The ghost’s Hunt is now a quicker death, rather than the slow blinking glide of the ghost clumsily chasing you around a sofa. Phasmophobia has also updated its journal interface and added new ghosts into the rotation. This one is definitely up in the top tier of best horror video games to pick back up for Halloween 2021, whether you’re a new or old player.
Don’t be a hero, and bring some friends because Devour is a 1-4 player co-op horror game. Each chapter starts with a summoning ritual gone wrong, and you play as a group of cultists investigating the summoning ritual. The aim of the game is to stop the summoned demon from killing your group through a series of counter-sacrificial rituals. The catch is that you have to do the sacrifices all while being hunted by the demon. The difficulty and aggression of the demon scales with the progress you and your cult squad make through the game.
Devour is cheap, scary, and a lot of fun. The jump scare animations are horrifying, and the dynamic environment and audio changes are far from subtle. You’re also never safe in Devour. Every corner is a hazard as Anna, Zara, or Molly can pop out to hunt you down. If you decide to play this game, you should soundproof your room, because Devour can force some screams out of even the most hardened horror games aficionados among us. This game is a neighbor’s worst nightmare. Playing it aside, Devour is worth paying attention to for the funny Steam reviews alone.
Make sure to stay tuned for more spooky content throughout the month of October!