5 dirt-cheap games to get for Halloween
Let’s make Halloween 2014 a special time, guys. I don’t know how badly your past few Halloweenses went, but this year it’s going to be different. This year it’s going to be great and spooky and thrilling and very exciting. Thank goodness Father Gabe is here to help us out with Steam’s Halloween sale!
This year, I’ve compiled five games -- all very cheap -- to crank up the Halloween spirit to the dimension that lies beyond maximum. These are games that are not just about walking and shooting -- we’re gonna soak in the weird and vaguely spice-hued atmosphere of every year’s most offbeat holiday.
Here we go!
Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines
VtM:B is Deus Ex with vampires. For most of you old school pc gamers, that’s all you need to know. For the rest of you, it’s a first-person role-playing game where you play as a vampire and you suck blood and have all the superhuman abilities they had in Twilight with none of the-- well, you know. You’ll get to be a member of one of seven different vampire clans, all very different, and some of which will greatly change the way you play the game. Expect great atmosphere, excellent voice acting, a wicked sense of humor, and some genuinely terrifying moments. Just think: what could possibly terrify a vampire? Think about it.
I haven’t actually had the chance to play this yet, but I know it belongs in this list. Eldritch is a first-person action adventure game with roguelike elements, meaning a lot of the game is procedurally generated, and it’s meant to be played over and over again. The best part: the game is set in H.P. Lovecraft’s ever-popular Cthulhu Mythos universe, and that means going up against things that Man Was Not Meant to Know. It’s weird and alien, just like Halloween!
Penumbra Collector Pack
I’m gonna be all hipster here and recommend the games that Frictional did before they released Amnesia, which of course went on to achieve critical acclaim and the adoration of Youtube scream queens the world over. If you liked Amnesia, you’ll most likely enjoy Penumbra just as much. It still features the same first-person adventure-stealth hybrid, where you’ll mostly be solving sensible puzzles (no cat-hair moustaches here) while trying to hide from zombie dogs and other terrifying creatures. The second game in particular has some hair-raising bits that in my opinion top even Amnesia’s most intense moments. If you’ve played it and feel the need to nod knowingly, I’ll just say: Clarence. Wow.
System Shock 2
Okay, we all know space and sci-fi can be freaky and scary too. Alien: Isolation just came out, and you’ve seen those Dead Space games, right? And what’s more frightening than a murderous AI with zero ethical constraints and a god complex? Not much, I would say -- at least not until you actually hear SHODAN’s sexy, spine-tingling voice. I love System Shock 2 so much that I use SHODAN herself as my Steam avatar. SS2 is survival horror combined with RPG elements and first-person gameplay, and all of it is excellent. Play it now.
Halloween! Trick or treating! Candy! Spoooooky costumes! We never really did any trick or treating in the Philippines the way it’s glamorized in American media, but I have a soft spot for the idea itself. Few games fill me with the warm, fuzzy feeling of playing let’s pretend as a child like Costume Quest can. It’s a confident, adventurous romp through such classic Halloween locations like your local neighborhood at night, a carnival, and The Mall. Oh, yes. The gameplay itself is JRPG-style combat combined with environmental puzzles that need to be solved with the special abilities of the various costumes you’ll be finding and building. Imaginative, cleverly written, and breathlessly nostalgic. Check out the sequel, too!
Not-so-cheap runner-up: Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth
Okay, so I lied: I have another game I want to recommend. The only reason this didn’t make the main list is because it’s cheap, but it’s technically not on sale on Steam. This is another first-person game, and it’s something you have to play when you’re all alone at home with the lights off. Dark Corners of the Earth plays like a shooter, but with all the conventions of a good Lovecraft story: lots of investigation, a fragile main character, and the fact that you can actually see and experience enough freaky stuff to make you go insane and blow your own brains out. Seriously. You can go insane and shoot yourself in the head while you're still playing. This game is that hardcore. Features what I believe is the greatest chase sequence ever designed in any game ever.
SRSLY? runner-up: Call of Duty Complete Zombies Experience
This package is the reverse of the previous one: it’s technically on sale on Steam, but it’s not cheap at all. Just go. Look. It’s insane. It makes me laugh and shiver, just like Halloween does. Also, I’ve always talked to James and Mike about how Activision should just publish a standalone Zombies game alongside the Call of Duty titles. They did this instead. It’s-- I’m-- Fuck. I want it anyway. Not now. Soon.
And that’s all seven games for my five-game list. Coz that’s just the way tonight rolls. Feel free to share any spooky favorites you yourself might have, whether or not they’re currently on sale!
Happy Halloween, everyone!