My transition… into horror games. Ft. Twitch Clips

by stubat
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I have absolutely nothing against those of you out there who are really into your horror games. Genuinely, I don’t. Though I do think if you enjoy them you’re a little psychotic. I’ve never been really big into horror games and outside of the more ACTION based Resident Evil games (4, 5, 6) I haven’t really played a horror game since the original Silent Hill, sitting on the end of the bed in the dark with my cousin absolutely shitting my pants. Yeah, I’m talking about you black cat in a locker, you got me good.

But, I’m that person that everybody knows, you know the one that everybody jumps out on because they’re incredibly jumpy? The one everybody screams bang at when they walk around the corner? Yeah, that’s me. I can be playing Minecraft and a skeleton that I didn’t know was there could shoot me and I’ll jump that badly the mouse spazzes across the screen and I end up resembling a pound land take on an old school FaZe no-scoping montage. Yikes.

I’ve never been a really big scary movie fan either, but that’s because I feel like horrors these days never truly scare you, you know? They rely on cheap jumpscares 90% of the time and while some movies do that well, usually it just turns out kind of crappy.

However, scary games are a different kettle of fish altogether. When you’re the one piloting the ship through a haunted house and you KNOW that something is waiting for you up ahead. And you KNOW that you can’t progress until you move past that point, but you KNOW it’s going to get you and you can’t quite bring yourself to do it?

Honestly, it’s a nightmare. The thing is too, horror games are getting better and better every year, in more ways than one. You may be wondering what I mean by that given I said I don’t like horror games, but bear with me. Firstly, with each new horror game, developers are having to push the boundaries, so the theming and content, in general, gets worse continuously, but because we’re here to torture ourselves anyway, that’s better, right?

Then you have got the rise of VR. Even when you consider playing some classic horrors in VR it sounds like an awful time. But with some of the new school horrors we’ve had come out recently like Visage and Resident Evil 7, more on them later, I couldn’t even fathom the set of stones you would need to strap yourself in for that wild ride. People really are mental, aren’t they?

ANYWAY, back in January 2021, I started streaming, I usually play games like The Binding of Isaac, Pokémon, Dead Cells, Minecraft etc. you know, roguelikes, RPGs and survival games. However, in November 2021 one of my streamer friends, RebeI420, was playing Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water and while she was getting the pants scared off of her…

She said she’d had enough and wanted to change games. Me, being the funny guy, said twitch chat would fight her if she changed to something more chill. It was at that point I knew, I’d fucked up. She proceeded to call me out, saying maybe I should back it up and play a horror game on stream myself.

So you know what? I did. I presented her with a few options and after much deliberation, it was decided. We played, for our first horror game on stream, Alien: Isolation. After talking with Maddox, he told me it was probably in his top 3 horror games of all time, though knowing I don’t play many horror games, suggested I should start with something a little tamer.

Alien Isolation

Alien Isolation horror gameplay

For those who don’t know, Alien: Isolation is a game set in the Alien movie universe where you play as Amanda Ripley who travels to the Sevastopol Station looking for answers regarding an incident with your Mother Ellen. Upon arrival, the space station is absolutely buggered, chock full of Xenomorphs, rogue cyborgs and people trying to survive.

Many, many swear words and spooks later, we actually did it. We beat our first-ever horror game on stream and I actually loved it, spooks and all. I was genuinely proud of myself, but then the genre sunk its teeth in. I decided to make Saturday, or Sunday work depending, into an official horror night for the channel, Spooky Saturday. So cringe.

But, I felt like I wanted to step it up a little bit after that, have a change of pace, something a little creepier than being in space. So, I trudged through Steam, Gamepass and the Epic Store to see if we could find some cheap games that looked terrifying. Up next was an indie horror called The Beast Inside.

The Beast Inside

Oh, look, another plot summary! In The Beast Inside you play as Adam Stevenson, a CIA Codebreaker in the 1970s and Nicholas Hyde in the 1860s. The game starts with Adam and his wife moving to a quiet country house isolated pretty much in the middle of nowhere so you can work in peace, but instead of peace your mental state massively deteriorates as you find Adam and Nicholas’ lives becoming interconnected as they seemingly team up across generations to unravel an unsolved murder mystery.

So anyway this game was absolutely terrifying, but not in the same way Alien: Isolation was terrifying. In Alien: Isolation you KNEW there was something there, but in this, it used jump scares a LOT. 

But we eventually beat yet another horror game and by this point, I may as well be a seasoned veteran, so where else is there for me to go than the Outlast series right? 

Outlast 1 & Whistleblower

Outlast Whistleblower gameplay

Outlast needs no introduction but here we are. In Outlast you play as a freelance investigative journalist called Miles Upshur who receives an anonymous email in regards to some inhumane experiments being held at Mount Massive Asylum, so armed with nothing but a camera you decide to infiltrate the asylum and get to the bottom of it, which I’m sure is a fantastic idea.

I mean, Mental Asylums are the CLASSIC horror locations aren’t they, let’s be real? So not only is it the perfect location for a horror game, it’s the perfect location for a story like this. I’m going to be completely honest, this game almost finished me off.

But, we persevered, we managed to get through it AND we even did the Whistleblower DLC! The story for this game and its DLC were bloody fantastic, it was terrifying in all the right ways and can I just say the music? The sound design? Samuel Laflamme, you did an absolutely incredible job and you fully put the shits up me. While the game was absolutely terrifying on its own merit, I guarantee it wouldn’t have been half as bad without your music. Fantastic work. But where do we go from here?

Visage

So anyway it turns out I hate myself now as we moved onto a psychological horror that goes by the name of Visage. Now, the story for this seems straightforward on the surface, you play as a guy called Dwayne Anderson who lives in a pretty nice suburban American home. But after losing his mind he kills his wife and children before committing suicide himself. Dwayne ends up trapped in the house, tormented by the supernatural, being forced to live out the events of others, Dolores, Lucy and Rakan.

This game made me feel a genuine sense of dread, it put me in so many uncomfortable situations, it made me feel claustrophobic many times and there were a few truly disturbing moments too.

If you want to play this game, I do fully recommend it. It is FANTASTIC, but it does have a warning before you even start which tells you it features images that some people may struggle with, not only that it features a LOT of flashing, specifically in Lucy’s chapter, so those with photosensitive epilepsy should probably give this one a miss. This has, by far, been my favourite horror game so far. But where do we go from here? Only time will tell.

One more for good measure.

What can I say? It’s official. I’m a convert. If you’d have told me 6 months ago, I’d be playing horror games and truly enjoying them, I’d have laughed in your face and told you that you were being a fool. “You must be thinking of another stubat!” I’d have said. Yet here we are, January 2022. We’ve completed multiple horror games on stream and GENUINELY looking forward to doing more. Wait, does that mean I’m psychotic? Oh no. 

As I said, the horror genre is a genre I hadn’t really spent a lot of time with, I was always too much of a fanny to play them, in fact, I attempted to play Outlast when it was given away as a free game on Playstation Plus, I climbed up the scaffolding into the asylum and decided that was enough for me and turned it off. Apparently, all I needed was an audience to hold my hand while I wept and shit my pants, who knew?

How many of you folks out there are big horror buffs? Let’s get some discussion going, give us a list of some of your favourite horrors, who knows maybe your favourite will be the next one I torment myself with on stream! I’ve been on the lookout for more games to add to my list that I like to call “Games to shit myself to.” so help me build up a catalogue to play!

If you enjoyed the clips of me insulting the things that scare me, I don’t know why that’s my go-to, feel free to give me a follow on Twitch and while you’re over there be sure to follow the FullSync account and my friend Rebel too! Until next time people, I’ve been Stubat, stay spooky!


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