Take your horror gaming to a whole new level by placing yourself inside the experience with virtual reality. VR is a fascinating technology with the potential to change the horror genre by forcing players to literally face their greatest fears. For Halloween 2019, why not test your limits by immersing yourself in truly horrifying virtual reality experiences?
Whether you’re playing on a high-performance PC or your PS4, VR can change the way you look at games, especially those in the horror genre. If you thought the titles of yesteryear were terrifying, just wait until you’re face-to-face with the impossibly dark hallways, dancing shadows, and haunting monstrosities of these best VR horror games.
Alien: Isolation (PC)
The Creative Assembly
There’s a little trickery involved if you want to experience Alien: Isolation in a virtual reality environment, but the added steps are worth it. Though there were whispers the game would release with VR compatibility, and it was demoed on Oculus Rift, that feature never came to pass. However, a fan-made virtual reality mod finally lets us come face-to-face with the most horrifying creature in the universe.
The cleverly titled MotherVR mod is a full playthrough of Alien: Isolation that implements VR hardware to amplify the horror of The Creative Assembly’s successful title. If you thought being stalked by the xenomorph was scary before, imagine feeling like the galactic killer is literally on top of you. Through the wonders of virtual reality, you’ll watch in terrifying clarity as that second jaw prepares to punch through your skull or a facehugger lunges at you from the shadows.
All the scares that normally came with Alien: Isolation are amplified tenfold thanks to MotherVR. Some minor technical glitches can arise with the mod, but it’s not enough to ruin your playthrough.
Paranormal Activity: The Lost Soul (PC, PS4)
For a film series that very quickly grew old and tired, it does surprisingly make for an entertaining video game. Tack on virtual reality capabilities and you have one of the most effective horror titles played on a headset.
The Lost Soul takes place in the same universe as the movies, but unlike the movies, you don’t spend half the game waiting for something to happen. As you explore the otherwise harmless suburban abode, you awaken something genuinely terrifying. There’s no telling when the next specter will jump out at you as VRWERX used a proprietary Scare Randomizer to keep things fresh and unknown. No matter how many times you play Paranormal Activity, it will feel like your first time.
The Lost Soul is a fairly unique experience as it doesn’t direct players in any way, instead allowing them to explore the home at their pace. You’ll seek out clues to unravel the home’s past, but the more you find, the more active the spirits become. If you can survive to the end, you’ll uncover the home’s deadly secret.
Here They Lie (PS4)
When you think of horror, you likely picture jump scares and big bad monsters. With the dreary world of Here They Lie, Tangentlemn reminds you that there are many layers to horror.
There is something so very unsettling about this virtual reality game. Maybe it’s that the denizens of this digital world all sport animal masks or that, at any moment, reality can bend around you. Whatever it is, it’s effective and will draw horror fans in immediately.
Here They Lie doesn’t utilize the typical tropes of horror to frighten you. Thanks to virtual reality, it really puts you in the shoes of the protagonist, even as he has to make some dreadful choices. Some of the situations you find yourself in will leave you nauseated.
While the gameplay is very one dimensional, the game itself is complex and keeps players engaged through demented imagery and a deeply twisted story. Here They Lie is an atmospheric game that’s going to make you wish all you could go back to landing headshots on zombies.
White Door Games
Part of what causes a player to feel fear in a horror game is the unknown. When we’ve learned the position of every monster and every jump scare, the horror is far less effective. To combat the qualms of familiarity, White Door Games created Dreadhalls, a procedurally generated virtual reality experience that keeps your heart pounding no matter how many times you’ve played it.
You have no weapons as you traverse the dim dungeons of Dreadhalls. You’ll navigate with only the light of your lantern leading the way. Unfortunately, that lantern comes with limited oil and the claustrophobic halls are teeming with monsters. The further you go inside the labyrinthian maze, the more horrors that await.
To survive, you’ll have to move slowly and use the positional audio cues to your advantage. Pay close attention, and you’ll be able to tell whether your fiendish stalker is coming up from behind or is stomping through the halls ahead. Even with this information, though, expect to get beaten down by jump scares and heart-pounding moments.
Resident Evil 2 (PC)
It was a difficult toss-up between Resident Evil 7 and Resident Evil 2, but the more recent remake was more effective in making players quiver in their VR headsets. Of course, you’ll have to install a mod as the original release of Resident Evil 2 doesn’t come with VR support, but the added work needed to make it play through your virtual reality headset is definitely worth it.
As it turns out, the in-your-face horrors of Resident Evil 2 are made for a virtual reality experience. Mr. X, Lickers, the undead – they’re everything you never want to have that close to you. Making matters worse are the cramped halls of the Raccoon City Police Department, which don’t offer you much room to navigate when you’re caught off guard by a certain hulking foe.
Despite not being developed as a first-person game, Resident Evil 2 plays surprisingly well. The world created by Capcom is beyond horrifying as you try to distinguish whether the dance of a shadow was something waiting to eat you or a trick fo the light.
The added benefit of playing with your VR headset is being able to appreciate the environments, which were designed in great and sometimes terrifying detail.