The Horror of 2009

Running out of that Christmas cash and looking for a some frightful games to play? Not sure which title to pick up?  Read on to find out if the game is worth your buck.

While some of these games you may not have heard of, they have pretty much all have been generally favoured by review sites, magazines or were praised on Metacritic.  I may have missed some, but that’s where you come in.  Read through the article to find out how.

Batman: Arkham Asylum

While not considered to be a traditional survival horror game, BAA had a lot of horror elements.  The Scarecrow worked his magic on Bruce Wayne to produce some of the most memorable sequences of recent memory.  The dark tones and moody atmosphere make BAA one of 2009’s best overall game.  It was picked by as the best action/adventure game of the year.  Released for the Xbox 360, Playstation 3 and the PC, it was given a 92, 91 and 91 on Metacritic, respectively, and scored well through most major review sites.  Worth a play, even if it isn’t a traditional horror title.

Cursed Mountain

A game that may have been doomed to be overlooked due to the nature of the console it was released on. Released for the Nintendo Wii, Cursed Mountain is not dripping with gore or loaded with zombies.  It takes the alternative approach of having to fight off dark spirits with a pick-axe imbued with magical abilities.  With a dark and spooky atmosphere, Cursed Mountain was a refreshing trek up a…nevermind.  Given a 7.5 on IGN and generally favoured in the press, yet given only a 67 on Metacritic.  Something for Wii-owners who are looking for a game that’s a little-more grown up.

Dead Rising: Chop Til You Drop

Released back in February, Chop Til You Drop is a remake of the Xbox 360’s Dead Rising.  The visuals have been scaled back, but the core element is still the same.  You’re trapped in a mall with a bunch of zombies.  While not looked too highly upon by the press, players seemed to take quite well to the game.  Metacritic suddenly went down while writing this, but IGN’s readers gave it an 8.2.  If you missed out on the original Dead Rising due to…well, not owning a 360, and are looking for a similar experience, Chop Til you Drop is set to deliver.

Dead Space: Extraction

The prequel to the critically acclaimed Dead Space released last year, this Wii exclusive offers players the visceral experience of Dead Space while being an on-rails shooter.  With plenty of narrative and light-gun action and loads of narrative to fill in the gaps, it’s sadly one of 2009’s most overlooked titles.  Given an 85 by Metacritic and an 8.5 on IGN, Dead Space: Extraction is a must play for fans of the series and survival horror fans alike.

Left 4 Dead 2

The highly anticipated sequel to 2008’s Left 4 Dead, this game was for a while considered nothing more than an expansion pack.  When released, it proved the naysayers dead wrong.  With more campaigns, more diverse enemies, more everything, you can see why this game is one of the best of 2009 by reading the ROH review.  Given an 89 on Metacritic, this game is one of the pinnacles of online multiplayer survival action.  For those that can stomach it (I unfortunately cannot) a play-through of this game is a must.

Fear 2: Project Origin

This sequel picks up shortly before the original ended, offering a different point of view.  While a FPS in every sense, there aren’t too many people who can claim that they weren’t just a teensy bit afraid of a little girl,  This game continues in the original’s footsteps of getting under the players’ skin.   While maybe slow at the start, this game picks up halfway through to give it an 8.1 from IGN and a 79 from Metacritic.  Project Origin is available on the Xbox 360, Playstation 3 and PC.

Killing Floor

While it may have not been given a spectacular release like many of the other titles here, Killing Floor is a game worthy of attention.  The other multiplayer survival horror game, Killing Floor allows up to six players in its online co-op mode, or you can play alone in its single player campaign.  Advertised as a Co-Op Survival Horror game, it should be played as just that–the single-player campaign is short, so multiplayer is where it really shines.  An under rated game that’s definitely worth your consideration.

Resident Evil 5

This highly-anticipated sequel may have let down in some areas in the story and control department, but there’s no denying it’s place as one of 2009’s greats.  ROH has done a lot of coverage on RE: 5, so I won’t go too far into detail.  With a new “Alternate Edition” due out sometime in the next few months, it will be interesting what the final product turns out to be.  Given a 9 on IGN and an 85 on Metacritic, RE: 5 is available for the Playstation 3, Xbox 360 and the PC.

Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles

The Wii has seen a lot of horror titles released for it in 2009.  The Darkside Chronicles is the sequel to the Umbrella Chronicles, in which it retells the story (with a few liberties, mind you) of the original games in a light-gun atmosphere.  Heavy in narrative and story but highly-addictive, The Darkside Chronicles is definitely a game for Wii owners to pick up—mind you, not for your younger siblings or kids. You can read ROH’s review on this site, and the game was given an 8.1 by IGN and a 75 by Metacritic.

Saw: The Video Game

Released by Konami on Halloween, the video game rendition of the popular movie series, Saw has been described as a “greatest hits” of the movies.  All of the violence, gore and other disturbing imagery that you’ve grown to love from the movies (or maybe you haven’t?) is here in full form.  The game was generally favoured by both the press and gamers alike, scoring a 7.5 on IGN an 8.5 from its readers.  While it may fail to deliver the suspenseful twists and turns of the movies, it is full of imaginative traps.  Worth a rental or purchase if you’re a fan of the series.  Saw is available for both the Playstation 3, the Xbox 360 and the PC.

Silent Hill: Shattered Memories

A “reimagining” of the original Silent Hill tale, Shattered Memories is yet another release on the Wii.  Controversial in its absence of combat while focusing more on puzzles and exploration, Shattered Memories keeps it’s Silent Hill reputation in being atmospheric and spooky.  The graphics on this title as well are some of the best that the Wii has to offer.  With its unique use of the Wii-Mote give this title a well-earned place on our best-of list.  Given an 8.1 by IGN and a 77 by Metacritic, you can read our own review of it as well.

Comments?  Anything missed that you feel should be here?  Feel free to comment and list your list for the best survival horror games of 2009.

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