2020 has been a rough one. But not for horror games. 2020 has seen some of the most innovative, intricate, and wholly terrifying and frightening games on the market.
Although not all the games listed below will keep you awake at night, they were some of the best games to reunite with friends on and make the year feel a little less lonely.
Phasmophobia is a 4-player co-op game where you and your friends play as paranormal investigators. Your goal is to gather evidence and survive the haunting of the ghost. If you haven’t, go check out our guide on How To Play.
Although it’s not terrifying throughout, taunting a ghost into attacking and killing your friends never gets old. Plus, with proximity chat, you can hear the fear in your friends’ voices as they are being hunted and chased around the map.
The game is currently available for Early Access. According to the developers, the full version with added content should be released in 2021.
This multiplayer horror game is a truly terrifying experience. Similar to Dead By Daylight, you and a team of players must escape or hunt a hypersensitive hearing monster, the Rake. At the start of each round, you can play either as the Rake or as Survivors.
As a Survivor, you must search the map to find the missing car parts to successfully escape. But everything you do is a threat to your safety. The game’s proximity chat can be useful to communicate with fellow survivors, but it triggers an audio warning for the Rake. If you happen to be killed by the Rake, you respawn as a rat. As the rat, you can run around the map and squeak to throw off the Rake’s senses or trap your friends by leading the Rake straight to them.
As the Rake, your sense of sight is severely impaired, leaving you only with audio warnings given off by the survivors or by traps in the environment. Unlike most games, when you play as the monster, you can taunt your survivor friends through proximity chat.
Every move you make could become your last. Your only saving grace is by using traps from the environment (bear traps, flashbangs, radios) to impair the Rake. The sound design and production are what takes this to a new level of utter terror.
If you are a fan of Resident Evil and Outlast, you will love Maid of Sker. Maid of Sker is based on Welsh and British folklore tales about a high-class woman who is locked in an attic by her father to starve after she falls in love with a poor harpist.
You assume the position of Thomas Evans, who has been asked to come to the Sker Hotel by your lover Elisabeth Williams. Upon arrival, you encounter ‘The Quiet Ones’ – blinded cult followers who use sound to locate and attack you. As you navigate the hotel, you are tasked with finding keys, music sheets, and cylinders to save Elisabeth.
When navigating the hotel, you must stay as silent as possible to avoid being found, including controlling your breathing – hold your breath too long and you gasp for air, alerting The Quiet Ones. You’ll find yourself holding your own breath too.
Maid of Sker’s gothic horror and intricate production and sound design provides an environment that is unparalleled. The maze-like surroundings of the hotel, full of bleak corridors and Quiet Ones looming around every corner make this slow-burn horror game a must-play.
The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners is one of the most immersive VR games on the market. If you’ve ever wondered how you would do in a zombie apocalypse, this will be the answer to your questions.
In the game, you play as The Tourist – an immune legend who travels through New Orleans on the rumor of a jackpot of supplies hidden in the Reserve. The physics and mechanics of this game are truly astonishing and causes you to think out every action you take.
Saints & Sinners is insanely interactive and intricate. As you progress through NOLA, you can pick up weapons, medicines, supplies for crafts, and food to restore your health. But you have to be cautious of what you use – old food can take away health and energy drinks may give you extra stamina, but reduce your health as well.
You also have limited stamina. Every swing you take to stab walkers reduces your stamina – which proves a problem when facing small hordes of walkers. But each diseased walker emits a deadly gas that lowers your health. Even the NPC’s you encounter have their own agendas – they can attract hordes to your location
Between the interactivity of the environments, hyper-realistic fighting modes, and no morally straight pathways to follow, this is of one the most intense and brutal horror survival games coming out of 2020.
Saints & Sinners is everything you hope from a VR game, and boy does it deliver.
Check out The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinnershere on Steam.
From its start on Kickstarter, Visage is an indie horror survival game filled to the brim with dark secrets, trauma, and unsettling experiences.
The first scene of the game sets the tone for your slow descent into insanity – you watch a man brutally murder his family before turning the gun on himself. You then assume the role of Dwayne, a man who has to escape a terror-filled, spine-chilling, haunted house.
As you navigate the house, you uncover its secrets as reality begins to slip from your grasp. Each unimaginable horror – murder, demonic possession, suicide, paranormal hauntings – keeps adding to the rising level of discomfort and apprehension as you solve the puzzles and connect each of the stories to each other.
This is not said lightly, but Visage is one of the most absolutely, genuinely terrifying games of 2020.