For a long time I have been enchanted and quizzed by the strangeness and enigmatic presence of paranormal elements around us.
Can you feel it (in the air tonight), can you see it?
Can you live next door to a spirit? Can a ghost slip into your blanket and spend the night cuddled up with you?
Movies, they showed what little we know about spiritual presence on earth. And later came video games that walked in unaware, gave our bones the chills and left us jaw dropped and shivering. Can the best of movies marry the best of video gaming moments to give us a roller coaster ride through the unknown world? What are the Top Horror Movies that can haunt us on our consoles? On this chilly Halloween Night, we speculate.
The worst thing that Twilight did was that it put a deep resentment in my heart against the epic rivalry between werewolves and vampires. You know where I’m heading? Yes, to Transylvania. Imagine a game called Underworld: The Birth of Evil. Imagine the whole of Transylvania and the Eurasia region to be an open world, reeking of sordid elements and blooming with a satanic environment. The old and decayed castles, the deep and unknown woods, the ridges and vacant valleys, and the nightmares that reside in them.
You, are a Vampire turned Vampire/Lycan (Werewolf) slayer who is on an errand to hunt her past. You are the sexy Kate Beckinsale on a revengeful rampage. Finding the source of the historic turmoil, unfolding the worst manifestations of it in the present day and engaging in epic battle scenes or intercepting some that are already taking place. You discover the map like you would in Skyrim, but instead of trolls and wolves, all you will encounter are the undead and the werewolves. You can upgrade yourself by encountering more and more of these strange kinds. You can keep a diary wherein you get to pen down and later reflect on, and drawing conclusions, about any strangeness you met in the recent past. Your single player story may still circulate around slaying the Undead Lord, the Count of Transylvania himself. But in order to do so, you need to pass through the lesser counts, vamps, werewolves and spirits of the land. In the morning you can explore the town (Daywalker), the woods, the castles and unlock clues or upgrades, but by night time you need to get your boots on, as towns will be repeatedly attacked by the undead (inspired by Red Dead Redemption: Undead Nightmare). You can buy a stagecoach or a dog driven sledge to fast travel to posts/towns. Watch out for the moon shifting shapes, a full moon night would probably indicate a Lycan ambush. Anytime of the game you can switch your allegiance from Lycans to Vampires to Humans. Upgrades await as per your allegiance.
House on Haunted Hill
The biggest and most gruesome reunion doesn’t even have a video game made after it, how sad is that? House on Haunted Hill is the ideal dope that can keep your hunger for ghosts and spirits alive, if you want to merely chill and let go of all logical reasoning. That sudden revelation that you’re trapped inside a horrible maze, waiting to be hunted by the ones you can’t kill, all because of your greed for a 50 Million booty, can initiate a great game on any platform.
With 505 Games showing how it is like to set up a Heist scene with four players co-oping with their own tactical ways, it is not difficult to imagine a game on House on Haunted Hill, wherein you and your teammates work day in, night out, deploying techniques, staying off the shadows, and surviving for each other. Each of you spawn at different points within the house, and you work your way through the maze, to meet each other up at a certain point of time. The horrors are unknown, as in each different gameplay, you are pitted in a new and dangerous corner of the house and casted with evil forces you haven’t met before. And if you’re lucky, you can go one on one with the surgeon. Choose your loadout, Shotguns, Revolvers, Assault Rifles, Swords, or Chainsaws, to name a few. Just like in Dark Souls, if you die, you die. You cannot respawn as a human if you’re dead. However, the twist in the tale would be, if you do die, you get to respawn as a dead version of yourself. And you can go and hunt your ex-team mates. Are we ready to party in the House on Haunted Hill?
With so many versions trying to live up to the original beauty of the first Paranormal Activity, it seems like yet another effort in vain. But it won’t be. Paranormal Activity had the strength to hype you up for a moment, until that flash of a minute (at 3’O Clock in the night) nearly kills you with fright. With indie games like Slender and Amnesia showing what surviving your worst nightmare is like, I won’t be surprised if the makers of Paranormal turn their eyes into a 3-4 hour long indie game.
You have recently got married to your childhood love, moved into a new house and hoped that this will be a dream come true. Until, books go falling, chairs go tumbling, the television screen flickers. The only way to figure out what’s happening is by co-ordinating and interacting with your house. Only a first person perspective that switches back to a CCTV perspective can make the horrible payback of Paranormal Activity possible on consoles. If you give this idea to Quantic Dream, they would probably come back with 9 different endings to the game; won’t it be simply mindblowing to know that this shit is for real?
So far so good, but none can compel you to throw away your console in a fit as much as this next title can, if it ever comes for the gaming fraternity. The Fog had one of the most original horror stories till date, and sadly, the movie didn’t go that well in theatres. Well then, it’s time to turn the fate of this legend and prove why The Fog is the ideal nightmare that can hit your town.
Borrowing ideas from Far Cry 3 and the latest Batman: Arkham Origins, The Fog can be a game about clearing your way through the nightmare phases. The Fog has taken control of your town, and you and your friends will have to batter your way through the notorious past of the townsmen and isolate the fog from nearly the entire given open map. You will have to open the map by clearing out the fog, just like you would do by pinning radio towers in FC3. In doing so, you will resurrect the town’s legendary men who brought this fog in the first place. The ancestors will lend a hand to ward off the cursed fog and its spirits that have come to haunt the town, sounds similar to the sequence from Beyond: Two Souls, doesn’t it? You can drive cars; you can stack up your ammo to fight against both goons and spirits running rampant in the fog, and go on side missions to loot stores and recover supplies for the survivors. The map can feature some of the most chilling locations from the movie, like the Lighthouse and the Dock. The ultimate quest to fight the mortal and the immortal can make the Fog a standalone experience for horror game lovers. Rest assured, the foggy environment will blow one away into millions of pieces.
William Peter Blatty put a chill right through my heart as a kid when I read The Exorcist. My parents were strong believers of novels before movies, so I had to make an effort to persuade a tenth grader to borrow the book from the school library for me, well I was still in my seventh. It took me seven nights to survive The Exorcist besides the horrible aftermath ever after. Even though the movie version looks as neat as the novel (or the real story) tale, I’m stunned as to why people, especially game developers like Bethesda, haven’t taken Exorcism as the route to their new iconic creation!
If I were to recreate a video game based on The Exorcist, I’d do what BBC does with Sherlock. Considering that the novel was conceived around the 1970s, things were different back then, and with technology, we are certainly in a trendier age. You choose to be the Exorcist or his Paranormal Hunter friend who is going to this town that is infested with paranormal activities, especially of the Satanic order. Fill the game up with paranormal hunting gadgets, like EMF reader, Thermal Camera, CCTV cameras and let the gamer choose which gadget to accompany for what mission. Each mission will be briefed to him, and he will be taken to a strange looking house with a strange looking recent history. His job will be to uncover the myth of the demonic possession, cleanse the house and unlock rewards that can be used in the next round. Marrying the best of Bethesda and Quantic Dream, this game can totally change your perspective depending on the gadget you took. For example, maybe your CCTV captured a sharp movement at 2’O Clock in the night but failed to dig up any shape. Perhaps, if you had the thermal camera maybe you would have spotted something more clear. After each night you spent cleansing or analyzing a house, you will report back to the family with evidences. The more evidences you show, the more reputed you become in the neighbourhood, and the more cases you unlock. Pretty cool huh, spook-lover?
Hope you loved some of the rendition ideas that I sort of had for my favourite horror movies that can turn into bestselling video games any day. And if you ever come across a game with similar instances/mechanism applied, make sure to hit me back (haha!) Here’s spooking you for an amazing Halloween ahead. Make sure to watch your back or the shadows on the wall while you’re gaming late night tonight!