Perception

Perception

Perception is a unique horror title with a charming protagonist who just happens to be blind. This puts a whole new spin on exploring a haunted location as you have to make use of echolocation to find your way around. Although creepy, some of the horror elements, such as being chased by an evil presence if you make too much noise, doesn’t quite live up to expectations. However, the story is very interesting, despite a couple of cliches and discovering what happened in the house throughout the years is fascinating. While the game won’t win any awards for its monochromatic visuals, it does feature some stellar voice acting. Players in search of an atmospheric ghost story that isn’t too demanding should definitely try out Perception.

Gameplay: A little short and easy, but very interesting while it lasts.

Graphics: The visuals are purposely kept simple, which means it doesn’t look as good as some other horror titles.

Sound: Great ambient sound effects and brilliant voice acting, especially for the protagonist

Conarium

Conarium

Even if you don’t know your shoggoths from your Mi-go there is a lot to like about this Lovecraftian horror title by Zoetrope Interactive. They are no strangers to the genre and are clearly huge fans of H. P. Lovecraft, which is very evident in this game. The slower place and lack of combat might scare away some horror fans, but the attention to detail and the way that the game perfectly captures the atmosphere of Lovecraft’s work makes it a must play for fans. It might lack a little polish in some areas and it is over all too soon, but it is still a remarkable effort by a small indie team and one that deserves to be played.

Gameplay: Plenty of exploration and puzzle solving in environments that perfectly capture the style of H. P Lovecraft.

Graphics: Your surroundings are detailed and quite atmospheric.

Sound: The voice acting could have been better, but the rest of the audio is very good

BloodRayne

BloodRayne

If all you want is some mindless action along with plenty of blood, then BloodRayne has got you covered. The B-movie plot isn’t exactly gripping, but provides a good excuse to tear apart plenty of foes. The game is quite dated at this point, but action junkies might still have fun with it.

Gameplay: Action packed but very repetitive.

Graphics: Not bad, but rather dated.

Sound: Average at best

Syndrome (Camel 101)

Syndrome (Camel 101)

Looking at the previous releases of developer Camel 101 reveals two things. Firstly, they are definitely not lacking in ambition when it comes to their titles and secondly, they are getting better at what they do with each release. This is very evident in their upcoming release, Syndrome. The game opens with your character waking from cryosleep aboard the exploration and science ship, the Valkenburg. In true survival horror fashion, the shift is drifting through pace with the rest of the crew all dead or insane. You are required to get your bearings, find out what happened and figure out who you can trust

Layers of Fear

Layers of Fear

With its surreal setting and constantly shifting rooms Layers of Fear is a game that is both immersive and captivating. It loves messing with your perception, but also features enough jump scares to keep you on edge all the time. Unless you take the time to explore your surroundings and uncover the clues you’ll miss out on most of the story elements, so it is not a game to rush through. Thanks to its beautiful visuals and excellent audio it is definitely a cut above similar titles in the genre.

Gameplay: Minimal puzzles, but simply exploring the surreal setting of the game is a nerve wracking experience.

Graphics: Very polished and highly detailed.

Sound: Quiet when it needs to be, but also very effective at using audio to unnerve players

F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin

F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin

As a first person shooter this game is great but as a follow up to the excellent F.E.A.R its hard not to be slightly disappointed. The emphasis is on all out action with only a few spooky bits thrown in here and there. As long as you don’t expect the same experience as the original game you will have fun, but there are definitely less thrills and chills.

Gameplay: The scares have been replaced by action which is somewhat disappointing.

Graphics: Nice but maybe a bit too cartoony for its own good at times.

Sound: Very good but could have benefited from a bit more oomph from the weapons

Penumbra: Black Plague

Penumbra: Black Plague

Black Plague focusses on the best parts of the original game (the creepy atmosphere and physics based puzzles) while trimming the worst parts (the combat) making it a better experience overall. Playing the original is still required to make the most out of it and it is a little on the short side but it made me jump quite a few times which is commendable.

Gameplay: Removing combat ramps up the atmosphere considerably.

Graphics: Better looking and featuring more detail than the original.

Sound: Solid voice acting and lots of creepy ambience

Silent Hill: Shattered Memories

Silent Hill: Shattered Memories

Shattered Memories is sure to upset a few diehard fans but it is an interesting direction for the series. There are some very good ideas contained in this game but unfortunately just as much things that drag it down from being a really must-have title. The gripping storyline is enough to draw in fans of the series so if you have enjoyed the twisted tales of Silent Hill this far you might like this one.

Gameplay: A departure from the usual Silent Hill gameplay mechanics but with a gripping story..

Graphics: Some of the best on PSP.

Sound: Eerie tunes and good solid voice acting

Sound of Drop – fall into poison –

Sound of Drop – fall into poison –

Sound of Drop offers a captivating, horror-themed experience that is worlds away from the typical romance visual novels found on Steam. Although it contains some blood and gore most of the really gruesome scenes are left to the imagination instead of depicted visually. The multitude of endings adds to the replay value and there are even some great new additions compared to the original Japanese version of the game.

Gamplay: The story is absorbing and features plenty of choices.

Graphics: Nice character designs and beautiful backgrounds.

Sound: No speech, but the music and sound effects are great

Alan Wake’s American Nightmare

Alan Wake’s American Nightmare

American Nightmare offers more action and less atmosphere than the original game, but it is still a compelling addition to the series. With only three locations to explore it lacks the depth of the first game, but the story is still very interesting. It is important to remember that this is not a sequel, but a bite sized addition to the Alan Wake saga.

Gameplay: A more action oriented approach than the original game.

Graphics: Good but the wide open areas makes it less creepy.

Sound: Overall good, but some of the voice acting could have been better