What’s Your Favourite Sci-Fi Horror Game?

What’s Your Favourite Sci-Fi Horror Game?
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I’ve been thinking a bit about System Shock this week, with all of the chatter around Prey and its treatment of the Looking Glass legacy. And that got me wondering: what is people’s favourite sci-fi take on the horror genre?

Something that I didn’t fully appreciate at first, but came to late in life thanks to LANs, was the F.E.A.R series. I was introduced to F.E.A.R. through the multiplayer first, and didn’t engage with the campaign until many, many years later. I’m not typically a horror fan, although whenever sci-fi gets involved I tend to perk up a bit.

It’d be remiss to mention sci-fi horror and not give a nod to Vampire: The Masquerades as well, something I really should replay sometime. Another little horror game that deserves more love than it got was the point-and-click adventure I Have No Mouth, And I Must Scream, which was based on the original Harlan Ellison novel. (He even did the voice-over for HAL, and got heavily involved in the project from memory).

Dead Space is an obvious mention, although I was never the biggest fan of it – it always felt like an inferior System Shock to me. And this might be stretching it a little, but the 90’s Aliens vs Predator shooter has some fantastic moments, especially when you were hiding in the shadows in multiplayer.

So tell us: what’s your favourite sci-fi horror game?


  • My fave horror being Amnesia, but that doesn’t really count.

    I can’t say Resident Evil ReMake can I?

    Metroid Prime 3: Corruption had a proper horror-esque side-quest, that was very cool.

    Big thanks to all who helped with my OG System Shock queries the other day, I want to get SS2 working at least.

  • Prob Dead Space.
    My fav sci-fi horror film is Event Horizon. Would have loved to play a game based on that.

  • Dude – it has to be the Alien games on PS1. Resurrection and Trilogy were some scary shit.

    • There was a side-scrolling Alien 3 (?) game that was on console, but I don’t recall what gen. It was awesome though.

  • Dead Space.

    System Shock 2 was great as well, but Dead Space really creeped me out like nothing else ever has.

    Too bad it’s so long in the tooth now and the series went down the action route. I really loved it’s uniqueness at the beginning.

      • Yeah. Suuuuch a creepy game. Never in my life have I been so relieved to come to a save point.

        Which sometimes have a necro pretending to be dead right in front of them.

        It’s the most stressed I’ve ever been. Did you play Dead Space 2? It was really solid as well. Better in some ways. When I went back to the Ishimura I was just thinking “No. No. No. No. This is bad!”

  • yeah, I’d rate F.E.A.R. pretty highly on my list. lotsa creepy bits, competent story & some of the best AI of its time. FEAR 2 was also pretty ok. FEAR3…. not so much.

  • The System Shock series for sure. Would love to see a modern game like this. Bioshock was good but lacked a lot of the choices and replay ability.

    F.E.A.R. is also high up on my list, not just for the story but also the AI. So much respect for the devs.

    While not so much ‘horror’, I’d love a new take on Neuromancer too.

  • Alien Isolation is probably my favourite.

    Stalker is probably my second?

    Or, continuing with the Geiger vibe, I used to like Dark Seed back in the day.

    I probs got excited to Phantasmagoria when I was a kid but that game was trash.

  • Does Doom count? It has some spooky traps.
    If not, then Alien: Isolation I guess.

  • Dead Space 2 tied with Soma.
    I probably would have liked System Shock if I had played it back in the day

  • The first Dead Space. So damn good. Then…EA turned it into a bloody action game.

    F.E.A.R. – yes!

    Soma was pretty cool.

      • Yep, I’ll give it to you – Dead Space 2 was solid as well. They did start to hint at the more action-oriented direction in that one, however. Still…great game.

        • The finale of Dead Space 2 was very “actiony”, but I kinda liked it. To me, it gives a sorta “F*** it” notion to Isaac, as he makes his last desperate attempt to do what he needs to do.

  • Ah man, finally a list where I’ve played pretty much all of it.

    System shock 2 was like a huge watershed moment for me when it released. I still have the original disk floating around somewhere, and a GoG copy. the choices, atmosphere, limitations and the powers, and that story. Ah memories.

    Fear was awesome. I downloaded the original demo. So many clever uses of sound and light and perspective to creep you the hell out. Shadows and ghosts most of the time. Very cool.

    Even Vampire: masquerade is on the top of my list too. While that game has not aged well (damn sewers…), it’s such a deeply ambient game. For me, the haunting sound when you boot up the main menu, to the choice of Angel by Massive Attack as the song that plays through it – just genius to set the tone.

    Sci-fi horror is one of those weird genre subtypes that, because of how System Shock 2 set the bar so high, everything else gets compared to that for better or worse. I think it’s great that we’re starting to see more games that fall into this type, but I hope that they don’t become rote and predictable – maybe already too late, as I thought dead space just took so many of the same beats at System Shock 2. While the combat was thrilling and tense, i could never shake that feeling like it was just trying too hard to stay in the shadow of the older game.

  • One that not many may have played was Dark Sector, a cool little scfi esque romp by Digital Extremes.

    Otherwise System Shock 2 & FEAR are the benchmarks.

  • I really liked Alien VS Predator 2 back on PC, when playing as the marine. That was such an awesome, first person horror experience.

    Especially that one level where you’re the marine, armed only with a pistol, and the “Pred-Alien” is stalking you, ambushing you in a really narrow corridor where the door you’re trying to get through doesn’t unlock until its dead. The only way to kill it is to pretty much empty your pistol’s magazine into the damn thing.

    It’s a predictable set piece but on the first time, it’s bloody horrifying.

  • I always found the protagonist to be too powerful in both FEAR and Dead Space for them to be effective horror games. My vote goes out to SOMA, with a special shout out to Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth.

  • Two years ago I would’ve said system shock 2. A year ago it would’ve been alien isolation, but today it’s probably soma. All three have sublime atmosphere, interesting stories, and good gameplay for the genre.

  • I’m inclined to say Half-Life although it arguably only took heavy inspiration from both horror and Sci-Fi.

    I don’t really like most horror games (Amnesia just frustrated me with the dumb insanity mechanic for example), but Alien: Isolation was pretty great as a fan of the film, even if the second half dragged a bit.

    My favourite horror game on the other hand doesn’t quite fit into the Sci-Fi genre, but the Music Machine does have a few themes that could push it in that direction (and I’ll take any chance I get to spruik that game)

    • I was wondering if anyone would mention HL.

      Also the Ravenholme segment of HL2…. that was a better horror experience than the entirety of Doom 3, which was released the same year.

  • By far my favourite gaming category.

    My top 5:

    1. SOMA
    2. Dead Space
    3. Resident Evil 2
    4. FEAR (especially the Extraction Point DLC)
    5. Dead Space 2

  • SOMA or the original Dead Space, they nailed the atmosphere in the original DS. DS 2 was cool too, and by DS 3 I was like “What have they done?? Ain’t touching this turd”

  • Alien vs predator scared the shit out of me on the Atari Jaguar. Really the first time I ever screamed out loud during a game.
    Captain blood on the ST was pretty great too.

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