Looking for a scare this Halloween? Then check out Bit Cultures’ Top 10 games with truly terrifying environments.
10. Until Dawn- Sanatorium
Until Dawn was one of last year’s best PlayStation exclusives. It humorously embraced classic horror tropes, had amazing graphics and character animations, and an interesting “butterfly effect” gameplay mechanic. While most of its scares came from its monsters and (neverending) jumpscares, some of its environments were quite creepy as well. The sanatorium was by far the creepiest level in Until Dawn. From it’s dimly lit hallways, bizarre cages, and terrifying short films showing its “patients,” I couldn’t play through that area fast enough. Not only do you have to visit this area twice, but you’ll probably have to cut off a few of your fingers…
9. Gears of War- Imulsion Factory
While it’s not exactly a horror game, the Gears of War franchise has always presented a grim and nightmarish world, and the original Gears of War had some really effective, creepy atmospheres. From tip-toeing around the Berserker to having to stick to the lights to avoid the Kryll, the first Gears had plenty of unnerving moments. None more so, in my opinion, than the Imulsion factory of Act III. Once their vehicle dies, Fenix and team are forced to walk down a dark, winding forest path to their destination, drenched in torrential downpour from the night’s storm. As they approach the factory, lightning lights up the area; the dark rain makes this imposing factory feel ominous and uncertain. Once on the premises, movement darts quickly between the shadows… something is watching. It’s not long before lambent wretches attack, their guttural screams mixing with the cracks of lightning to create an orchestra of fear. A quick trigger finger is all you’ll need to get past these extremely volatile monsters out in the open, but once inside the claustrophobic factory, everything becomes a little more complicated…
8. Fallout 3- Metro Station
Sure, you may be thinking that the metro system of Fallout 3 is no big deal, probably more of a nuisance than anything else. But try to think back to the very first time you were forced to go into those tunnels. Low level, scarce supplies, little more than a 9mm pistol for defense. The Capital Wasteland is hard enough to survive in already, but then you get to the subways. The tunnels are dark, full of trash and debris from years of post-apocalyptic rot. Your Pip-Boy light barely illuminates the heavy darkness, making navigation through this dank labyrinth all but impossible. And then… you hear it. The sounds and screams of ghouls. As if the tunnels weren’t bad enough already, it’s not long before you learn that the game’s irradiated, decaying zombies have infested the tunnels, eager to snack on your vault-kept freshness. Hope you have an extra pair of pants in your inventory.
7. Layers of Fear- Mansion
6. Bloodborne- Upper Cathedral Ward
Bloodborne is my absolute favorite PS4 game. It took Dark Souls and ran it through a beautifully terrifying Lovecraftian filter. With the addition of horrific new enemies and bosses, jumpscares, no shield, and nightmarish landscapes, From Software created a truly unforgettable experience. While most of its environments are creepy, the Upper Cathedral Ward is in a class of its own. The entire area is pitch black, leaving you reliant on only your torch as a light source. There are only two enemies essentially, but they blend in with the environment and ambush you at a moments notice. Black werewolves stalk the hallways, but that’s not the worst of it. Brain suckers whose telltale slurping sound will give you goosepumps, prowl the corners and wait for unsuspecting players. Not to mention the music! Like all Souls games, you eventually memorize the area and it’s no longer scary, but my first few attempts at the Upper Cathedral Ward were easily my most tense and frightening experiences.