It’s Another Scary Game Feature, Charlie Brown! Yes, the Season of Samhain is upon us once again, All Hallows Eve, the only day when cosplay is legal in public. We’ve already had a glimpse at some of the Best Totally Free Scary Games you can get on PC, but what if you want to spend some Bloody Money? Yes we could just point out the Resident Evils, the Silent Hills, the Five Nights At Freddys’s, or, god help you, Minecraft, but we thought it’d be more interesting to check out the scary titles you can actually play with some pals – because horror is best experienced with others. Particularly if you’re a virgin and they all want to go skinny-dipping.
So pick a grave and make yourself comfortable while you wait for your friends to join you for The Best Multiplayer Horror Games on PC!
Why It’s Better To Be Scared With Others: The best of the best, Valve shows all others how its done. Left 4 Dead is a masterclass in design and perfect horror. The sounds, the sudden appearance of a Smoker when you’re on your own, the entrance of the Tank and the mad panic he brings about, it’s all glorious, and the AI is the icing on the cake. The first game is a little purer in my opinion, with no melee weapons and more of a straight B-movie theme, but L4D2 has so much excellence going for it it’s hard not to love it. The only downside with the series is that it’s been 7 years since the last game. Play Vermintide if you want a modern version.
Why It’s Better To Be Scared With Others: The type of game that makes you wonder why it hadn’t been done sooner, Dead By Daylight is a 4v1 asymmetrical multiplayer game where four people play the innocent victims and one player controls a hideous Michael Myers/Jason Voorhees-style murderer. The victims have to escape by activating generators to power an exit while avoid the killer. The killer has to take down and shove his victims on to horrible hooks as offerings to Dark Spider God Entity looming above. Matches are real heart-in-your-mouth moments as just spotting the killer can make you into a nervous wreck, let alone trying to escape it. I’ve never not had fun with Dead By Daylight, no matter how many times my heart stopped.
As an additional point, there are obvious similarities between Dead By Daylight and the upcoming Friday the 13th game, with the major exception that Friday the 13th is a bit more compelling for having an identifiable popular slasher killer like Jason in it. Unfortunately for that game though Dead By Daylight has just added the Halloween DLC that introduces Michael Myers to the game, complete with a new ‘Haddonfield’ map, Jamie Lee Curtis’ Laurie Strode, and the awesome soundtrack by John Carpenter. The Friday the 13th team really have to step up their game now.
Why It’s Better To Be Scared With Others: The joint newest game on this list, but unlike the other horror games on this list being 1v1 Hide & Shriek is more akin to Chess… if you could suddenly upend the table and shout “BLEUGH” in your opponent’s face at any moment, which would liven it up immensely. Both players take the role of an (mostly) invisible ghost and compete to get the most points. You get points two main ways: collect your own coloured Orbs and scare the bejeezus out of your opponent. You scour the interactive map, flinging open doors and cupboards searching for Orbs and power runes, setting traps, and all the while watching for some sign of your invisible foe. When you spot them you SHRIEK in their face, scare the life out of them, and get lots of lovely points. This could well become a YouTube favourite, provided everyone survives long enough to stream it.
Why It’s Better To Be Scared With Others: Imagine Slender as an asymmetrical multiplayer game, with up to 4 people versus 1 monster trying to stop them from collecting 8 tapes scattered around a level. That’s the premise of White Noise 2. Monsters can be stunned with light but otherwise your only defence is to stay the ** away from them, especially when they start experimenting with powers like invisibility or switching your damn flashlight off. Suddenly turning a dark corner to have one scream in your face is a terrifying experience, and often having to work together is key – if you can even find each other. You can cry out for help, if you’re happy to let the monster know immediately where you are.
It’s still a bit clunky especially in terms of controls, could do with a few more maps and monsters, and I wasn’t sure how to set up a match with an AI monster, but it’s good scary fun.
Why It’s Better To Be Scared With Others:Killing Floor was the first big competitor to Left 4 Dead and while KF2 is only in Early Access right now it’s looking plenty good – and scary. A series of minor objectives and waves of enemies take the place of L4D’s full exploration, and it’s debatable which one’s the more tense. L4D may be more unexpected, but getting trapped in a confined area with waves of ever-more-tough zombies is nerve-wracking. And the sequel is looking even better.
Why It’s Better To Be Scared With Others: A similar idea to Dead By Daylight except less slasher killers and more creepy ghosts, werewolves and dolls. The humans have to find objects around the map and then get to a portal, and hide from the ghost player. The ghost player has to murder them all. It’s all made far scarier by the fact that the humans can’t properly see the ghost until it’s up in their face tearing it apart. It’s hide-and-seek essentially, except with 20% more murder. Dead Realm is still in Early Access but it’s already come a long way, with the latest update even bringing in weapons for the first time in new mode ‘The Hunted’. Somehow I don’t think that’ll make things less scary.
Why It’s Better To Be Scared With Others: Adjusting for inflation, what’s the most successful scary movie of all time? Nudging out The Exorcist by two places it’s actually Jaws, Steven Spielberg’s simple tale of a man with metal teeth who tries to kill James Bond. Or possibly a big shark that tries to murder people. Well, this is Jaws: The Multiplayer Game. As a person with a supposedly “irrational” fear of being eaten by sea monsters Depth pushes just the right button for me, with a team of underwater treasure hunters being picked off by sharks who can bust through walls. I couldn’t be more scared by this game, and Richard Kiel isn’t even in it.
Why It’s Better To Be Scared With Others: I was going to make this entry Call of Duty: Zombies, but didn’t as a) that’s not its own game, and b) F.E.A.R.3 is exactly the same but better and with more modes. ‘Contractions’ is basically the same as COD Zombies, as in you and your group must barricade your defenses and fend off waves of increasing powerful zombies, except with the added terrifying bonus of spooky ghost Alma wandering the halls and attacking anyone who looks at her for too long. Other modes turn players into ghosts and have them hunt down other players, or the amazingly titled ‘F**king Run’ which is like Left 4 Dead except for the wall of death forcing you to keep moving as quickly as possible. And there’s campaign co-op too, which is a whole new level of scary. Why isn’t this more popular?! It’s like every game on this list combined into one with the girl from The Grudge thrown in!
So that’s it! Those are the best proper multiplayer games on PC with an exclusive horror bent. Most of these are even on sale right now, so you might as well pick them up. I hope you and the rest of your college buddies (including that cute cheerleader who likes getting her norks out) enjoy venturing down to the woods today, or going into that abandoned mansion, or diving into the water to hunt down treasure, or whatever you kids enjoy today. And your pals at GameWatcher will be there too. Watching you. Because that’s our hidden alternate name, you know… YouWatcher.
Happy Halloween, everybody. And please, do have nightmares.