Sometimes I go into a gaming hole where I’ll generally play the same type of games until I’ve satisfied my rotten brain. I’ll need those specific scratches to satisfy those specific itches and right now those scratches and itches consist of indie shooters and horror games.
It’s pretty hard to run away from shooters cause they seem to be part of every game you encounter today and horror isn’t something I’ve really stopped playing. So neither of these are something I haven’t run into for some time, they’re still pretty much a good part of what I play today. So why the sudden itch? Honestly, no idea. I feel that it must have started when I started playing through the Dread X Collections or when I played HROT again. Since the specific games I’ve wanted to play have to have a particular style and that style is games that try to replicate the games from the late 90s/ early 2000s and modernise that philosophy. I love the visuals from that era, the limitations of graphics at the time and using those limitations to imagine a world beyond without those limitations. It makes the experience of playing them so much more engaging, to me worlds are at their best when they let you explore inside and outside of them. Games like HROT and the games found the Dread X Collections let me do that imagining.
Looking back at the games I have actually played from that era, such as the original DOOMs (including 3, it’s good), Quake, Blood or Half: Life (I played Black Mesa but I’m gonna say it counts.) Is that whilst those are heavily action focused they still have those moments of horror, they can have oppressive atmospheres and whilst they were limited visually at the time, they were still able to create that feeling of unease. Using sound effects, lighting and of course, music. They might be more remembered for action, but they were able to blend that action with horror to create a unique experience. The best part of horror to me is that, like many other genres, it isn’t linear. Horror can mean anything to anyone and that’s what makes it unique. Games that are part of the Dread X Collection reinforce that when you play through all the titles created by multiple developers. Horror appears in many ways.
I haven’t written in a bit, mainly because I have full-time work now and I get tired easily and also because I don’t really know what to write about when I get the chance. So this moreso acts as a recommendation list or just what I’m playing right now. Since I find that more enjoyable for me right now.
I’ve already mentioned HROT and I don’t aim to go into all that much detail about each game, so I’ll try to keep them brief. HROT is a game about shooting creatures inside a small socialist country after an unknown event. There’s so much atmosphere in the first episode (still in early access at the time of writing), so much to be looked at outside of the combat encounters. Getting to walk around shopping squares and seeing the life before it all adds that worldbuilding and idea of a bigger world outside of what you’re currently playing. It makes it engaging in so many ways, it can already feel quite oppressive in its tone and atmosphere, but HROT will go to that well known version of horror in its levels. It’s a beautiful game and I can’t wait to see it evolve through EA.
Buy it here: https://store.steampowered.com/app/824600/HROT/
Dread X Collection
As I’ve mentioned already with these collections, it ties into how open horror can be. Almost every game has something to show that isn’t the same as the others. They are all little bites of games, since they were all made within ten (10) days for the collections, but they are so damn good at capturing the vibe they are striving for. These are very much worthwhile collections if you’re interested in the horror genre.
Definitely look out for the Dread X Collection: The Hunt that comes out on the 13th of April, since this collection is focused on fps horror games.
A violent retro shooter that resembles the likes of the original DOOM games. Prodeus is such an enjoyable and visceral experience from all its weapons that’ll have blood dripping from the ceilings. It’s cathartic when you want that release to fight against creatures that cause pain, tear them apart and leave their remains scattered across any surface close enough. With an already built in level editor and so many levels already created by the community, there’s already so much to be played in this early access title.
Buy it here: https://store.steampowered.com/app/964800/Prodeus/
This game is fucking nuts.
I never found out Mundaun existed until the day it came out and wow, what an amazing piece of art. It’s a game that is best experienced as to not reveal too much about its beautiful world. It is one of the best games I’ve played this year. So much about it is entrancing and pulls you in.
Buy it here: https://store.steampowered.com/app/720350/Mundaun/
It’d be hard to miss where Murder House takes its inspiration from with its presentation and over the top gore. A game that can be completed in a single session and all the stronger for it. It’s a game that knew what it was the entire time I played and all I want to do now is play the rest of the developers work.
This is yet another that is best experienced than to have it spoiled. It is truly terrifying and the entire time you can predict everything. It makes the inanimate scary.
Buy it here: https://kittyhorrorshow.itch.io/anatomy
Soak in the blood. This game rules so much, it’s quickly become one (1) of my favourite shooters ever and it’s still in early access. It is so exciting to play, to pull off moves you’ve been practicing. There’s so many layers to it, just DMC (Devil May Cry) that it takes inspiration from. Each weapon will cause enemies to explore into a bloody firework and all feel so unique and that they have their own place. The screams of enemies as you launch them into the air and as they fall back to the ground. It all comes together to create such a damn good game.
These are basically the games that I’ve been playing recently and still have on my mind. They’ve been scratching those itches and giving me that serotonin.