Supermassive Games are a Bafta Award winning studio which have released some of the best story driven horror games. These games will draw you in with likeable characters and then scare you silly with their tense atmosphere, suspenseful action sequences and jump scare moments. They focus on story and all your choices have a butterfly effect; one character’s actions might seal the fate of another. With plenty of titles to choose from, you can’t go wrong having a Supermassive Halloween.
Not sure what to play first? We’ve got you covered, as we run through the best Supermassive titles!
Until Dawn may be an old game, releasing in 2015, but it really put Supermassive on the map. Player's control eight friends who are invited to an isolated cabin. Unlike most games, this focuses on the choices you make and how you interact with those around you. Along the way, players can also find objects which reveal possible fates. These make you reconsider your actions and choose different options. Instead of controlling every movement of your character, players will instead explore areas and face adversaries through a series of quick time events.
Although quick time events haven’t always had the best reputation, they work brilliantly in this game. They work so well that they’ve become a staple across most Supermassive titles. To add extra pressure, they make use of the controllers’ sensors in their famous don’t move sections. During these you have to keep the controller still to avoid detection. Make one twitch and your character might die!
Although an oldie, it is a goodie! With accurate motion capture and performances from famous actors, you can’t go wrong with this game for a spooky Halloween.
With the success of Until Dawn. Supermassive came up with an interesting concept. Instead of releasing another standard game, they announced The Dark Pictures Anthology. This would begin their first season of horror driven short stories. These games are roughly around 4-5 hours offering punchy, multiplayer experiences. Players can play any of The Dark Picture games, solo, couch co-op or multiplayer.
The first game in the series is, Man of Medan. This story follows a group of friends who get boarded by pirates. Soon they find themselves aboard a haunted ghost ship. I played this game couch co-op. We each took control of a character. The game was then broken up into parts and we passed the controller when our character’s turn was up. This added to the tension as we never knew when our turn was happening or how our actions would affect each other.
If you want to play something scary, and with a group, The Dark Pictures are a great series to binge. They have different horror themes which you can choose from. Though, Man of Medan has to be the best by far.
The second game released in The Dark Pictures Anthology was Little Hope. This story takes place in the sleepy town of Little Hope. Abandoned and desolate, it is an eerie backdrop. As the game progresses you soon realise the town has a rich history. A history steeped in Witch Trials and lots of untimely deaths. The story takes many twists and turns and will have your head in a spin.
I played this one solo and multiplayer. Both played out so differently. When playing solo, I found the adventure went quite quickly as I made decisions on my own. Meanwhile, whilst playing online, players controlled their characters simultaneously. This led to interesting conversations as we went back and forth. The narrative went on a lot longer and I found I was more invested in the experience. However, it was harder to keep the cast alive as we weren’t all on the same page. I love seeing how the Anthology games play out differently depending on how you decide to play.
The Curator also made a reappearance in this game. To break up the tension, the game includes breaks where a narrator takes you through the story thus far and drops hints about what's to come. It’s a great way to draw you in. These games really feel like you are around the campfire, with torches, telling creepy ghost stories. Another one to add to your Halloween celebrations.
House of Ashes reminds me of a spookier version of the Brendan Fraiser classic, The Mummy. We open with a flashback to 2231 BC, where two ancient armies are at war. An eclipse oversees the revival of something deep underground, and a bloody massacre ensues. In the present day, a US military unit searching for chemical weapons stumble upon something much deadlier in the dark, awakening a monster long asleep.
The setting is certainly very different to some other entries in the Anthology. Instead of quirky, curious young people, these military marines are disciplined, very used to trying times and working under pressure. The endless labyrinth of caves also serves for a less interesting setting. Whilst this to some extent means more forgettable characters, scenes that run into one another, and less action tension, there’s interpersonal drama under the surface that saves the game’s sentiment. Whilst these characters struggle to survive, you must also contend with their desperate instincts to turn on each other.
This is why House of Ashes is such a great horror game. The racist undertones of the US marines against the Iraqi soldier in their party, as well as the tense relationships between the players, create uncertainty and paranoia. This makes you, like the characters, feel scared enough to make rash decisions. The Curator also fans the flames of this paranoia by providing vague, often unhelpful hints, making you second guess every decision that could be your last.
Even though this isn’t my favourite in the series—I was a little disappointed in the reveal at the end—House of Ashes is a clever, intimate dive into the minds of experienced veterans whose training can only take them so far.
A group of filmmakers are invited to the recreation of H.H. Holmes’ Murder Castle to shoot footage for their murder documentary. It’s on an isolated lake island—and when the owner leaves, the team are disturbed to learn they are on their own…
It’s a classic trope in horror tales: take your unsuspecting characters to an unfamiliar location, isolate them from the outside world, and let their minds run rampant. A hotel is a fantastic setting for a horror game due to its endless maze of changing corridors and foreboding rooms hidden behind closed doors.
But it’s not just fans of The Shining that’ll like this setting. The murderer has taken not just one class but a whole degree in Jigsaw-core. They’ve set up Saw-esque traps around the hotel, from walls that close in, to characters having to choose which of their colleagues to save. Whilst it’s not the most innovative concept, it’s a fun, creative break from the other Dark Pictures games.
These traps make it frustratingly harder to make decisions to keep your characters alive. Take the trap where a glass wall’s closing in on Jamie and away from Kate. The only way to save both is for one of them to have a screwdriver. The voice acting is phenomenal in this scene, but making the seemingly “right” choice results in at least one dying if you didn’t happen to pick up the key item. It seems a bit cheap, as you’re relying on luck rather than your intellect to survive. This game seems to have more of these coincidental moments that effectively take away your agency than the others.
I also found the characters to be less engaging. Compared to other games in this season, this one focused more on gore and slasher horror. It wasn’t as subtle and left me wanting a bit more.
With the Anthology complete, Supermassive released another full-length feature. The Quarry follows young camp counsellors coming to the end of the summer—and who wouldn’t want to go out with a bang? With the van mysteriously not working, the gang decide to have a final blowout to wrap up the summer. They’re told not to go outside that night, and when they soon start being attacked by ferocious creatures in the dark, they soon learn why. The QTEs seem much harder than in some of Supermassive Games’ other interactive horror entries.
I played this one via Couch Co-Op, and when we had finished our first run through, we realised we had missed a lot of story due to gunshot fumbles. We ended up replaying the last third of the game. It was frustrating but so fun and full of tension, really emphasising the stress and death toll you would feel at a camp straight out of a horror movie.
The Curator is replaced by a fortune teller who reads the tarot cards you pick up throughout your journey. She’s a creepy but a welcome change of pace, made even better when you realise she is an integral part to the tale herself. Soon, you start to wonder if she’s trying to help you at all, or leading you astray…
The shining highlight of The Quarry for me is how realistic—and funny—the characters are. There are so many moments, particularly with best boy Dylan, that diffuse the tension of this very jumpy horror game in the most delicious way. Unlike a lot of games, The Quarry succeeds spectacularly in writing relatable teenage characters. In what other game would you laugh at the over-mention of the Hag of Haggarts Quarry whilst being utterly terrified of her during the action sequences? It makes the whole journey more than just another romp through horror tropes and jump scares, and The Quarry even more special than the other games on this list.
If Supermassive Games can pull out another game like this, it will truly cement itself as a legendary horror game developer. If you want a longer experience, this Halloween, The Quarry has all the multiplayer fun of the Anthology with double the runtime.
Halloween is fast approaching once again this year, and what better way to spend it than by hopping into an amusement park ride and shooting at some crazies in VR! Welcome to Until Dawn: Rush of Blood, a spinoff from the PlayStation horror game Until Dawn. If you’ve ever been on a scare-coaster before, you’ll know what to expect from this spooky title, as it bears a striking similarity to an actual horror rollercoaster – except on this ride, you’re packing some extra heat.
Rush of Blood is a fantastic on-rail shooter that, in my opinion, does a stellar job of creating an atmosphere that is genuinely creepy and unsettling. You’ll quickly learn that while you have weapons to defend yourself, you’ll still be at the mercy of a dozen bloodthirsty creatures and apparitions that will attack your cart from all sides. The PlayStation move controllers act as your separate guns, one in each hand. Each has a flashlight, which can illuminate wherever you aim it. Problem is, it’s only a cone, which means wherever you are focusing on is the only place that will have decent lighting. The sound design and visuals do a great job of putting you on edge as you turn away from one spot and hope that you won’t end up being jumped in the next second.
I think my favourite feature of this experience has to be the overall design and setting of the game itself. Supermassive clearly put a lot of time and effort into making sure that the environments for the game were designed in a way that extracts discomfort and uncertainty from the player – I certainly feel it.
‘Little Nightmares’ are a series of beautifully morbid puzzle platformers with a horrifyingly creepy theme. Although created by Tarsier Studios, Supermassive have taken control to bring these horror gems into the future with the enhanced editions.
The first game puts the player in control of ‘Six’, a young girl in a yellow raincoat, who finds herself aboard ‘The Maw’; a metal vessel where ‘all the worst things in the world could be left to rot’. By solving logic puzzles and performing some light platforming, Six is able to make her way through the sprawling bowels of the Maw, avoiding the horrific denizens that reside therein.
While the environment is suitably depressing, the real horror comes from the nightmarish freaks that hunt her down. The blind Janitor with his ridiculously long arms, The Twin Chefs who love nothing more than to hack at Six with a cleaver, the Guests who will try everything they can to devour Six as she tries to flee…they are all positively grotesque and every encounter is designed to make the players skin crawl.
Little Nightmares 2 sees the player take control of Mono, a new protagonist who seems to be trapped in his own dream world. Aided by Six, Mono has a much more direct approach when it comes to taking on the warped inhabitants. Unfortunately, the presence of Six means that the player rarely experiences the loneliness that made the first so uncomfortable. However, the new monsters are more than worthy of a reason to give it a play through, even if it doesn’t quite match the excellence of its predecessor.
While Little Nightmares was Initially developed by Tarsier Studios, the third game is now in the capable hands of Supermassive Games and is scheduled for release in 2024.
There you have it! If you want to play a creepy game this Halloween then look no further than this talented developer, Supermassive Games. They have a game for everyone and a theme for every horror taste!