Terrifying experiences you need to check out this summer!

A fun summer tradition is to gather ‘round the campfire at night and share spooky stories that provide bone-chilling fun for everyone. Instead of getting your goosebumps around a fire this summer, why not power-up your game console instead and experience the thrills firsthand?

We thought The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild sequel delivered on giving us the creeps, but these gaming horror experiences are available now and they’re dying (hehe) to meet you. Dive into these 2019 summer chills and perhaps next time you’re around the campfire you’ll have a few new scary stories of your own to tell.

Days Gone

Open World

If you are looking for a post-apocalyptic great outdoors experience this summer, Days Gone is the game for you. Set in the expansive greenery of Oregon, you step into the boots of Deacon St. John, a bounty hunter and undead exterminator. You’ll be thrown into plenty of tense situations with both Freaker and human threats that will get your adrenaline pumping. I remember clenching my teeth as I hid behind a train to avoid a pack of mutants because one wrong move meant I would be torn to shreds. Not only is the storytelling great, but you also get to cruise the countryside in style with your upgradeable motorcycle.

From our early review of it, if you can survive the nightmare we guarantee you’ll have many great stories to tell.

Screenshot of Deacon standing in a mountainous forest from Days Gone video game

Layers of Fear 2

Thriller

Bloober Team has made its return with the follow-up to Layers of Fear with an eerie, unsettling experience that is sure to thrill. In the same vein as the first game, you assume the role of a disturbed artist, but acting as a film director in this iteration. The game forces you to walk the fine line between insanity and genius as you navigate a mysterious abandoned ship and experience each characters’ multiple story arcs.

The game isn’t packed with jump scares, but rather more nuanced elements that will have you questioning your own sanity. I remember entering a room and turning around only to have the door disappear, as well as being transported to other settings while still aboard the ship. Punch your ticket for this cruise of the damned because it’s an experience you don’t want to miss.

Screenshot of robots from the Layers of Fear 2 video game

Resident Evil 2

Classic Horror

One of my personal all-time favourite games has been remade for a modern, zombie lovin’ audience. This isn’t your old-school Resident Evil 2, but an entirely new experience built from the ground up that will feel eerily familiar, much like a reoccurring nightmare (but in a good way). If you’re looking for big jump scares and environments that will fill you with dread, Capcom’s Resident Evil 2 remake has them in spades. Even if you are a return visitor to Raccoon City from 1998, plenty of new thrills await in the graphics, atmosphere, level design and even enemy AI.

A key example is my own terrifying experiences with the Tyrant, a.k.a. Mr. X. If you thought he was a soulless monster the first time around, he looms even larger in this remake. Mr. X will follow you room-to-room and across multiple sections of the game, having you second guess every turn. His thunderous footsteps echo around each area, and even the sanctity of the safe room is diminished as you hear him thudding around and relentlessly hunting you. Pound for pound, this is the best horror game you can play this summer and a GOTY contender in my books.

Screenshot of character aiming a gun in Resident Evil 2 video game

Metro Exodus

Sandbox

If you want some horror mixed into your FPS experiences, your comrades at 4A Games have you covered! They’ve been delivering Metro games since 2010 that put you in the boots of Artyom, a soldier fighting for survival in a post-apocalyptic Russia ravaged by nuclear war. In Metro Exodus, you’ll be pitted against mutated creatures and human foes as you venture out and search for survivors beyond Moscow’s Metro. The series has an excellent story arc based on popular novels by Dmitry Glukhovsky. I loved how the world and its characters are well-developed with some great plot twists along the way.

Metro Exodus really gives you a Bear Grylls-like survival experience because you need to be resourceful in order to make it out alive. Your weapons, equipment and armour are all crafted from supplies you scavenge in your surroundings. All of this, paired with stunning graphics and incredibly detailed environments, make it a blockbuster horror experience through and through.

Screenshot of character on train rails inside a tunnel in Metro Exodus video game

The Sinking City

Haunted Residents

If you love unravelling a good mystery, developer Frogwares delivers with the psychological thriller The Sinking City. You play as Charles Winfield Reed, a retired Navy vet turned private eye, who arrives in Oakmont to investigate the cause of nightmarish visions that haunt him. The town has also begun to flood, cutting off the already secluded area from the mainland, and the terrified residents are pushing Oakmont to the brink of collapse.

The open-world detective game gets you to comb through every detail, as the more observant you are, the more favourable are the outcome of your cases. It’s up to you to piece together why this is all happening, while still keeping a grip on your own fleeting sanity.

Screenshot of man with cowboy hat staring at building in Sinking City video game

World War Z

Multiplayer

The Left 4 Dead-inspired zombie multiplayer experience will have you battling back hordes of the undead in a fight for survival. World War Z is more of a white-knuckle action game than the others on this list, but still manages to offer plenty of creepy thrills.

The game is based on parts of the novel and film and takes you to familiar locations like zombie-infested Moscow, New York, Jerusalem and Tokyo. The “zed” threat can also climb and stack on top of one another in order to reach you and your party at higher levels on each map. The co-operative survival multiplayer experience is a great contender if you are looking for chilling fun with friends.

Screenshot of zombies make a pile to scale a building in World War Z video game

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Matthew's Take

Author

There’s nothing like a great horror game experience to get your blood pumping! The start of 2019 has been great for the horror genre, especially considering the slow year that was 2018. I recommend kicking off your experience with a classic like Resident Evil 2, then moving into more modern takes like Days Gone and Layers of Fear 2. This summer is the perfect time to catch up on some of these macabre experiences, giving you great stories to share around the campfire.

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Matthew “Dapper Tux” Rondina has been involved in all things gaming since the 8-bit era. He is a veteran of the video game and tech industry who has been passionate about technology and gaming for over 20 years. His gaming legacy began with the NES and he’s been playing on every platform he can get his hands on ever since. He has rubbed elbows with industry titans such as Shigeru Miyamoto, Shuhei Yoshida and Phil Spencer giving him an in-depth perspective on the industry. Whether adventuring with Mario, The Master Chief or Nathan Drake he’s always looking for great gaming experiences across a multitude of platforms. He has been covering interactive entertainment and esports on the web, in video series, podcasts and on international television. Follow Matthew’s gaming adventures on twitter and instagram @dapper_tux and join in on the fun!