Top 5 horror game developers
It's a dark and rainy evening, there are a handful of people on the couch, a pizza on the table, and a great horror game on the big screen - that recipe spells one heck of a good night for anyone fond of scary games.
But what are the best horror games, and who are their makers? It can be difficult make your way through the minefield that is the market of modern horrors and find the true gems. But I'm here to help by putting forward my favorite developers and their best franchises.
These will not be games that operate solely on cheap jump scares. This list contains games that use more elaborate terror and deliver an intriguing and satisfying storyline.
5. Grasshopper Manufacture
This Japanese icon shows the Western players what they're missing. They're responsible for a series that has made top horror lists around the globe - Fatal Frame. This game takes you to some really dark and unsettling places, then makes you watch the approaching monstrosities as it snaps your anxious nerves - one frame at a time.
Grasshopper started with the PS2 game Killer7, but later ventured to make various games, including a game inspired by Franz Kafka - Shadows of The Damned. While they never made any games for the PC platform, they certainly make our list of top horror game developers, due to unique storyline ideas and level designs that make your skin crawl.
4. Visceral Games
I can't make a list of horror game developers if I don't mention the makers of Dead Space. Dead Space is a sci-fi shooter that will challenge your senses with a butt-load of dark atmosphere, intense in-game scenes, and goring monsters.
3. Red Barrels
Red Barrels is responsible for Outlast. This game takes you through the dark hallways of a mental care facility, where horrifying experiments have taken place. The terrifying level designs and stealth/run-for-your-life scenes make this game a prime choice for anyone looking to enjoy their weekend hiding under a bed.
2. Monolith Productions
If you have played F.E.A.R. already, you don't need an explanation for this entry. But Monolith Productions has worked on many more excellent games. They started out with a classic, for crying out loud. In 1997, they made Blood - Doom's creepy and disturbing cousin, if you can imagine such a thing. It was a hit - a bloody marvelous game.
They went on to make many other games, including an Aliens vs. Predators sequel. However, to me, the next piece of gold they struck was the F.E.A.R. series.
F.E.A.R. combines a fast-paced shooter with a horrifying exploration and puzzle game experience. However, the real reason people soil their living room leather while playing this game is a terrifying little girl named Alma. She is the protagonist of the series - a possessed child with supernatural powers and an ingenious evil character that will make you lose your breath a couple of times throughout the game.
The essence of F.E.A.R.'s excellence is this - it manages to be puzzling without being boring, and on top of that it manages to instantaneously switch the player from being the ultimate gun blasting hero to a trouser-soiling toddler, desperately looking for ESCape.
1. Frictional Games
This development team has been striking horror gold ever since they launched the Penumbra series. Their second brilliant idea was Amnesia: The Dark Descent. Its excellence was eye-watering and spawned a whole new series of games that Frictional Games is still working on today. All of their newest games are certainly well worth your time and will provide you with outstanding horror sensations.
But now let's briefly look back on our personal favorite, one of Frictional Games' originals - the Penumbra series. The first Penumbra was a knee-shaking puzzle game, where you get tormented by a crazy guy named Red. On top of that, some mutated rottweilers chase you through the dark tunnels of a secret underground base.
The second game enhanced your struggle by adding some disease-riddled scientists that haunt you with flashlight beams, while your character develops schizophrenia. It had fantastic level design, in-game scenes, and a thought-provoking and mysterious ending.
The third Penumbra game went away from the horror genre and focused primarily on physics puzzles and atmospheric level design. It was a kind of a letdown, but Frictional Games more than made up for it by putting you in the shoes of Daniel and setting you loose in the bewilderingly beautiful and horrendous chambers of Amnesia: The Dark Decent.
Frictional Games finishes off our list of five favorite developers. If you are looking for awesome horror games, this is where a majority of the magic happens.
Of course, there are other great developers not mentioned here, comment below with your suggestions and they will be sure to receive future praise. We hope you enjoy these games!