We continue our coverage of the 2022 Steam Summer Sale with a look at the best deals for horror games! There’s a lot of classic titles on sale, and this list is by no means exhaustive, but we’ve picked what we think are absolute must-plays.
As usual, we’ll have links to the games’ pages as well as current prices at the bottom of the post. Without further ado, let’s get into it!
With a remaster in development, what better time to give Alan Wake a shot than when it’s on sale? The game takes place in Bright Falls and you take control of the titular character, a best-selling writer whose wife disappeared on their vacation. Things take a turn when he finds pages from a thriller novel he doesn’t remember writing? Spooky, eh?
The game excels at building an eerie atmosphere and the story is very well presented (this game comes from the studio that made Control, so you know what to expect if you’ve played that game). Compared to other iconic titles such as Amnesia: The Dark Descent, there is combat in Alan Wake, so if you prefer your horror games to let you fight back, this game’s got you covered.
On the other end of the spectrum we have a game where you have no way of fighting your fears, but you don’t even need to! Phasmophobia is a co-op multiplayer horror game that took the gaming world by storm when it released in Early Access back in 2020 and became a ‘pandemic lockdown staple’.
The game pits you and your friends against a mysterious haunting. You’re paranormal investigators tasked with figuring out what kind of ghost is haunting a location. Each round, you are sent to a map and have to use all sorts of gadgets to figure out if the place is haunted by a Banshee, Demon, Jinn, Moroi or any of the 24 ghosts that can spawn. Each ghost has certain strengths and weaknesses and react differently to your equipment. A Wraith, for example, will become more active if it steps in salt? What’s that mean?
Well, you need to figure out what kind of ghost you’re dealing with before the ghost kills everyone. When a ghost becomes active, the doors to the building close and it’s every man for himself – find a place to hide, turn off your flashlight and hope you don’t get teleported to the afterlife.
Phasmophobia also employs a realistic voice chat system. Other players can only hear you speak when you’re near each other. For long-distance communication, you can use your walkie-talkie, but the voice quality is pretty bad. When an active ghost situation is taking place, refrain from making any sounds – even if there’s no players near you – because the ghost can still hear you speak!
Resident Evil Village
Everyone’s heard of Resident Evil Village at one point or another. It generated a lot of buzz, winning several awards including the 2021 Steam Game of the Year Award, so you know there’s something good about it!
The game puts you in Ethan Winters’ skin, who first appeared in Resident Evil 7: Biohazard and got promoted to main character for this installment. The game takes place somewhere in the Carpathian mountains in Eastern Europe, though I’d say we can safely assume it’s in Transylvania, a region of Romania.
The main villain you’ll be up against is an almost 3 meter tall lady who is basically a vampire in everything but name. You’ve probably heard her name uttered everywhere on the internet back in 2021. I’ll keep the rest of the story under wraps for you to discover on your playthrough.
Resident Evil Village is, as all Evil Residents, a survival horror shooter. You’ll be fighting all sorts of messed-up creatures that, contrary to their appearance, are great runners, but do make sure to just pause every now and then to take in the view. The game is gorgeous. If it wasn’t for all the horror, this village would make for a pretty cool vacation spot, if you’re into crumbling buildings and a diet high in pork.
You ever wonder what it’s like to be stuck with an alien on a spaceship? If you’ve watched Alien, you probably asked your self that very question. Alien: Isolation puts you in Amanda’s (Ellen Ripley’s daughter) shoes as she tries to find the truth behind her mother’s disappearance while dealing with a very hungry Alien.
While the game includes all the heart-racing components of hiding in a locker or hiding under a table to avoid the Alien, in contrast to the aforementioned Amnesia, Isolation’s got weapons too! This is in addition to systems such as crafting and hacking which work together to create a more interactive experience on the badly-lit spaceship.
Did I mention the bad people? I’ll leave that one to you to discover.
Dead Space (Entire Franchise)
The first Dead Space is being remade. What better time to immerse yourself into that world than right now, when the entire franchise is on sale? Let’s go through these one by one
Dead Space 1
This first installment dropped in 2008 and revitalized the entire survival horror genre. Its finely-crafted atmosphere, paired with its engaging gameplay and uniquely-designed puzzles cemented its legacy as one of the best Horror games of the 2000s.
I remember picking this game up when I was 13 and it was so immersive that I got too spooked to go on. I left Isaac in a dark hallway somewhere in Chapter 2 for three months before I picked it up again, and boy am I glad I did. It was such a great experience that I ended up playing it four times.
In terms of moment-to-moment gameplay (and this applies for subsequent entries) the game is basically a shooter – but you’re playing an Engineer, so you’re not innately prepared to dismember hordes upon hordes of monsters. You move slowly, the aiming takes a while to get used to and you can go from being in control of a situation to being overwhelmed in no time.
It’s fair to say this first installment is probably as horror as it gets for the franchise, in no small part due to it being your first foray into the world. As the game progresses you’ll start to fear things such as vents (which produce monsters) and upon entering a new room, look around and see where all the possible monster entry points are. Knowledge such as this serves to better prepare you for future encounters (thus reducing your general fear factor), but rest assured that Dead Space still has quite a few aces up its sleeve to both surprise you and terrify you.
Dead Space 2
Dead Space 2 continues the story set by its predecessor and without getting into spoilers, the two games are fairly similar. The second installment builds upon the aspects that made the first one great, even if the moment-to-moment gameplay is largely the same. There’s some more weapons, nastier monsters, maintenance tunnels for you to walk through (am I the monster?) and more zero-G set pieces, but this time your air control is much better!
Dead Space 3
It’s no secret Dead Space 3 kind of flopped, selling so little that is basically killed the franchise (which is now being revived with a safe remaster to gauge interest for more installments) and part of that is due to the change in tone.
Dead Space 3 is not really scary. The story is more of a romance action blockbuster, trading the previous games’ isolation for an ensemble cast of characters written like they’re part of a CW show. The ‘forced co-op’ aspect (some side-content only being doable in co-op) and the terrible weapon crafting system (forced upon the game as a way to monetize it post-launch) didn’t do it any favors either.
The game is still good and can be an enjoyable experience, but it’s more of a mystery-solving adventure than a horror game. If you’re unsure about buying the entire franchise, I’d suggest at least trying out the first game, and then deciding if you want to buy the rest. The sale lasts until July 7th, which gives you plenty of time to finish the first game and form your own opinion.
Prices & Discounts
Prices may vary based on your region.
- Alan Wake ($4.37, 65% off)
- Phasmophobia ($9.27, 20% off)
- Resident Evil Village ($29.99, 50% off)
- Alien: Isolation ($4.99, 75% off)
- Dead Space ($4.99, 75% off)
- Dead Space 2 ($4.99, 75% off)
- Dead Space 3 ($4.99, 75% off)
- Dead Space Pack ($17.96, 74% off, includes Dead Space 3 DLC)
Are you excited to play any of these games? Have you already sampled some of them? Let us know in the comments below!
The Steam Summer Sale is in bloom! Check out our other highlights to find the best deals for you: