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Thursday, July 27, 2023

Fighting Together, Dying Together: Six Underrated Co-Op Horror Games

From Resident Evil 6 to Dead Space 3, multiplayer-focused horror games used to get a bad rap. This makes quite a bit of sense, as it’s hard to sustain interactive scares when players are distracted by their silly friends as they explore a spooky three-dimensional space. That being said, “hard” isn’t the same thing as “impossible,” and in recent years we’ve actually seen quite a few multiplayer horror games that manage to balance cooperative fun with legitimate digital scares.

And while there are plenty of well-known examples of cooperative horror out there (from the Dark Pictures Anthology titles to the recent Evil Dead game), today we’d like to highlight six of the most underrated Co-op horror games for players who have already experienced most of the famous ones. After all, there’s nothing quite like sharing interactive scares with your buddies – be it online or on the couch.

For the purposes of this list, we’ll be considering any game where players have to work together to survive as a cooperative title, though we’ll be shying away from more popular releases in favor of the less appreciated ones.

With that out of the way, don’t forget to comment below with your own co-op horror favorites if you think we missed a particularly fun or scary one.

Now, onto the list…


6. Forewarned (2021)

While it’s often overshadowed by its more popular cousin Phasmophobia, Dreambyte Games’ Forewarned stands out among its peers due to its unique setting and several throwbacks to classic archeological adventures. Putting players in the shoes of archeologists tasked with exploring ancient Egyptian ruins, the game even lets players continue to aid their friends after dying and becoming a mummy yourself!

While it’s technically still in early access, there’s nothing half-baked about the game’s puzzles or mechanics, and I especially appreciate the fact that the developers support offline play. It may not be the most polished horror experience out there, but I’d still recommend it for players who enjoy good old-fashioned Mummy-based frights.


5. Alien Swarm: Reactive Drop (2017)

co-op horror aliens

An updated version of what was originally an Unreal Engine Mod, Alien Swarm is a free-to-play top-down shooter that clearly pays homage to James Cameron’s Aliens. Allowing up to four players to band together as they hunt down xenomorph-inspired extraterrestrials, this title doesn’t just rely on the titular swarm to scare you, but a grueling difficulty curve that requires complete cooperation between the squad in order to be overcome.

And don’t let Alien Swarm’s $0 price tag scare you, as this is a fully-fledged survival horror experience with more than enough content to justify even a hefty price tag. Just be sure to bring your most trusted friends along for the ride, as communication is key here.


4. Space Beast Terror Fright (2022)

Don’t you just love it when a game contains exactly what’s labeled on the tin? Nornware AB’s Space Beast Terror Fright is precisely one of these cases, with the rogue-like shooter featuring plenty of sci-fi scares as it challenges players with exploring procedurally generated spacecraft while dealing with hostile lifeforms and the spookiest game mechanic of all – permadeath!

While this is basically another homage to Aliens, the addicting gameplay and clever use of visual limitations make it a great time for friends on the look-out for claustrophobic sci-fi thrills. Just be aware that you’ll die often due to the sheer volume of one-hit-kill enemies, so good luck.


3. SCP: Secret Laboratory (2017)

co-op horror SCP

It’s a shame that the SCP stories have yet to be properly adapted into film and television, but at least there are developers like Northwood Studios who take advantage of the narrative (and mechanical) potential hidden in the Foundation’s horrific anomalies. This is precisely what makes the multiplayer shooter SCP: Secret Laboratory such a fun time, with the title featuring oddities like quantum-locked monsters and unkillable predators as it tasks players with either restoring order to the facility or escaping it.

Originally inspired by Undertow Games’ infamous SCP: Containment Breach, Secret Laboratory has since seen a myriad of revisions and updates that have turned it into its own multiplayer experience. Sure, it’s still a little janky and the visuals aren’t anything to write home about, but it’s an incredibly fun time with friends that also happens to be surprisingly faithful to the SCP lore.

And the best part? It’s completely free!


2. Eronoctosis: Put Yourself Together (2021)

An experimental title that takes a couple of players and challenges them with going on a psychosexual journey into the darkness of the subconscious mind, Dream Toaster Games’ Eronoctosis definitely isn’t for the faint of heart. On the surface, it’s a low-poly survival-horror romp with combat that mixes Alan Wake with Fatal Frame, but the deeper you dive into this strange experience the more unnerving it gets.

It’s certainly not for everyone, featuring some disturbing sexual imagery and obtuse narrative design, but there’s no other game that quite takes advantage of the cooperative experience like this one. Plus, the mix of two-dimensional sprites with 3D assets looks absolutely gorgeous.


1. Obscure II: The Aftermath (2008)

co-op horror games

The first Obscure is often remembered as one of the better Resident Evil clones, featuring difficult puzzles and chilling combat lifted straight from Capcom’s iconic franchise. However, the multiplayer aspect of the game certainly could have used some improvement, with the survival horror mechanics working better in a single-player context (especially when permadeath is a factor).

Fortunately, Hydravision Entertainment would address these concerns in the sequel, with Obscure 2 being completely rehauled in order to cater to cooperating players. While this action-packed sequel isn’t quite as fulfilling in solo play, lacking many of the survival horror idiosyncrasies that made the first game (and classic survival horror in general) so interesting, the smooth combat and better camera system make this the true pinnacle of horrific co-op.

The post Fighting Together, Dying Together: Six Underrated Co-Op Horror Games appeared first on Bloody Disgusting!.



source https://bloody-disgusting.com/editorials/3770938/co-op-horror-games-dying-together-six-underrated/

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