Halloween night is an awesome time to turn on a horror movie and get yourself all freaked out. If you’ve already seen many of the Halloween night classics, don’t worry. Let’s Plays of scary games are just as good of a way to spend this evening. Here are some suggestions.
As a Let’s Player, Christopher Odd wants you to be as freaked out as he is. As with his Let’s Play of Resident Evil 7, he encourages you to turn the lights down, put your headphones on, and get into the vibe. Alien Isolation does a good job of recreating the environment that made the movie Alien so frightening, so watching Odd play through is like watching a really long, actually good Alien sequel. It takes a little while to get to the lurking xenomorphs, but if you take Odd’s advice and get into the mood, the paranoia and fear will find you much sooner.
Voidburger is a longtime fan of the Silent Hill franchise and has some of the most thorough Let’s Plays of games in the series. Her playthrough of Shattered Memories is a delight not because the game is scary, or even because she likes it, but because she absolutely hates it. She and her on-stream guests tear into everything they don’t like about this game in a way that’s really funny. As she meticulously goes through every menu item in the in-game cell phone, for example, she stops on the page that lets you change your ringtone and lets each one ring until her guests groan with frustration. She spares no expense in showing you every single way this game changes based on your choices—and ultimately how they don’t matter. Like the absurd camp horror movie Return of the Living Dead, this is a spooky LP that’s great for a laugh.
Staff writer Heather Alexandra describes Deadly Premonition as a game in which “none of it truly works and yet, every moment of it intrigues and delights.” It’s a tribute to Twin Peaks and the surreality of small American towns from Hidetaka “Swery” Suehiro. In the opening narration to his LP, Supergreatfriend asks, “Have you ever felt like a game was made just for you? Like, was pandering to your own sensibilities and sense of humor?” Deadly Premonition is less scary than unsettling and bizarre, and Supergreatfriend wants to take you on a journey through an experience he loves. Try to love it along with him.
Most Let’s Plays are hours upon hours long. This Geek Remix LP of PT is nice if you’ve got less than an hour but want to get your scare on. If you haven’t played PT, this is a good chance to take a look at what makes it so frightening—Mari and Stacy are freaked out by the oppressive atmosphere of this looping hallway from the jump. The way these two play off each other makes me nostalgic for renting horror movies with my friends in high school, where we’d stay up all night, making fun of each other for being scared while also screaming our lungs out. After only a couple minutes, Mari says, “I’m scared, Stacy.” Stacy replies, exasperated, “Why did you want to play this?!”
Markiplier does a lot of horror Let’s Plays. He has his facecam on, he screams, and the views rack up. His LP of Soma is a little different. While he does have a facecam on and is prone to yelling, as he plays through the game it starts raising some difficult moral choices regarding the nature of mortality and consciousness. This Let’s Play is also the first one he did after the death of a close friend. It seems personal, and watching Markiplier grapple with what it means to be alive or dead at times feels voyeuristic. Horror as a genre finds its strength in disrupting what we think of as common knowledge, and here we are able to watch a person have their worldview aggressively questioned. Although Soma is a terrifying game, watching what it does to Mark is just as unnerving.