Spooky Multiplayer Games that are scary enough to send a shiver down your spine… and those of your friends too!
Giggling with mischievous glee, the HPP team crafted a curious concoction for this Halloween season: a selection of grisly games that’ll not only make you tremble, but also let you hear the sweet screams of terror from your friends over voice chat as well!
Dead by Daylight
You’ve seen all the classic video nasties – Friday the 13th, Halloween, Hellraiser, Texas Chainsaw Massacre. You’ve seen many nubile teenagers brutally murdered by the vicious antagonists. When yelling at them not to foolishly run up those stairs or hide in that closet, you can’t help but think of how you’d handle the situation better. In Dead by Daylight you finally get to find out for yourself. As one of four youthful “survivors”, you have to escape the clutches of a horror movie killer. You’ll need to use your terrain well to vault through windows or push over obstacles behind you as you flee from your foe. You have to work together with your friends to avoid the killer and open the exit to whatever locale you’re trapped in and escape.
This game definitely taught me to empathize with the plight of hapless horror movie heroes as I’d panic from seeing a monster and run from my hiding place early or dash foolishly into a deviously placed beartrap laid by the killer earlier.
What’s really a wicked thrill though is when you get to play the monster yourself. There’s nothing quite as satisfying as taunting your friends with singsong lullabies over voice chat as you draw them into Freddy’s nightmare world or hack them into pieces as Jason. Then, of course, it’s the turn of one of your buddies to play as the monster, and I guarantee it’ll being out the cackling dark side of even the most quiet and unassuming of your friends as they get their revenge!
In a stunning crossover feat, it even brings the feuding survival horror giants Silent Hill and Resident Evil together as you’re able to play as Resi 3’s groaning Nemesis or the creepy cleaver-wielding pyramid head. If you’ve long wanted to see the dark side of your mates, or chase them around with an axe, get your talons on Dead by Daylight!
– Jonathan Trussler
I’ll be honest, GTFO isn’t really that spooky. Sure, it’s got a collection of horrible undead/virus-laden nasties about the place. Yes, they aren’t that pleasant to look at;
yes, they do jump out at you; and yes, they’ll tear you limb from limb without prejudice.
But it’s the tension developer 10 Chambers has been careful to progressively ratchet up that’ll get you and your teammates. On lower levels, you can meme your way through with minimal fuss – but after the first level of a rundown – GTFO demands you utilise stealth and planning; both of which require a patient and well-drilled team to progress.
For my group, this means slowly progressing through a level, carefully avoiding moving when enemies are glowing, to having a ten-minute strategy meeting before a security checkpoint (which when unlocked trip an alarm alerting baddies across the level to your position).
GTFO isn’t afraid to throw curveballs your way. In the first run down, this took the form of the reactor level, which dispensed with the conventional level formula, where you went from point A to point B, and instead, throws waves of increasingly difficult enemies at you while you wait for a reactor to power up. Later, they introduce shadows at you – baddies you simply can’t see until it’s too late.
Couple this with a gadget system that adds tangible value to your engagements. From sticky C-Foam, to shotgun turrets to bioscanners, you’ll find yourself well-equipped with a range of tools for whatever situation you find yourself in.
GTFO is in the latter stages of early access on Steam. You’d do very well to grab yourself a few mates and a copy of the game now, while it’s still priced competitively.
– Jon Davis
Friday 13th: The Game
Released in 2017 and developed by Gun Media, Friday the 13th: The Game is sure to delight both fans of the movies and asymmetrical multiplayer titles. The premise is similar to Behaviour Interactive’s Dead By Daylight. Up to seven camp counselors must find a way to escape Crystal Lake while being hunted by the hockey mask-clad killing machine Jason Vorhees. Featuring a wealth of maps lifted straight from the long-running slasher movie series and more gruesome kills than you can shake a bloodied teenager stuffed into a sleeping bag at, it’s a gory good time that’s perfect for Halloween.
Unfortunately, Gun Media pulled the plug on Friday the 13th: The Game’s servers last year. But that doesn’t mean you won’t be able to murder your friends. The game still supports private matches as well as quick play through player-hosted servers. So if you’ve got the itch to slip into the purple jumpsuit of NES-era Jason and punch someone’s head off à la Jason Takes Manhattan, there’s no better time to do it.
– Francis DiPersio
Developed by Hydravision Entertainment (now known as Mighty Rocket Studio), Obscure first shambled onto the PlayStation 2 and Xbox in 2004. After one of their classmates goes missing, five Leafmore High students find themselves trapped in the school at night. And unfortunately for them, they’re not alone. As you make your way through the school and uncover its darkest secrets, you and a friend will encounter ghoulish experiments and other creatures hell-bent on keeping you after school for indefinite detention.
While this decidedly B movie-tier survival horror title probably won’t be replacing your favorite Resident Evil entry anytime soon, its co-op gameplay was novel for the time it was released. And to this day, it’s still fun to revisit with friends, so long as you can overlook its rough edges.
Have no fear if you don’t happen to have a PS2 or Xbox copy of the game. Obscure is also available on Steam. You can even make a matinee out of it if you’re brave enough by picking up the collection that bundles together Obscure and its 2007 sequel for $15.
– Francis DiPersio
If you’ve ever grown up watching ghost hunting shows, you’ve probably been inspired to pick up a camcorder and voice recorder to go try to find some hauntings. Well, now you can do that without spending all the money on equipment and running around in strange locations you probably shouldn’t be in! Enter Phasmophobia, a four-player ghost hunting game with voice recognition, several ghost types, and a simple but effective gameplay loop, all developed and published by Kinetic games in September 2020. All the tools of the trade are at your disposal, from spirit boxes to smudge sticks. You’ll really get the feeling of doing legitimate ghost hunting tracking down a list of different evidence that there’s a ghoul around. If you really want a good scare, you can even hop into your favorite VR headset. With the game getting more and more updates from maps to ghost types, you’ll be hard-pressed not to try this at least once.
– Cory Clark
Trivia Murder Party (The Jackbox Party Pack 3)
When me and my family get together more often than not a Jackbox game gets broken out. They’re quick and easy to pick up and play and anyone with a phone can jump in without much explanation. Ideal party games where not everyone plays games. We tend to mix up which entry we jump into but we have a few favorites. Mad Verse City is always fun as you get to drop rhymes with giant robots. Fibbage brings out the best and the worst in a group. The one we most consistently return to though is Trivia Murder Party.
Up to eight players get to experience what it’s like to be kidnapped by a mass murderer and trapped in a house intent on killing you. You know, if the murderer also wanted to make you answer a bunch of random trivia questions to try and survive. Getting answers right helps you escape. Getting them wrong send you to the killing floor, where you’ll take on a challenge for survival where the odds are firmly against you.
The final round finds everyone, even the dead, racing to be the first one out of the house. Only one player can escape, and those who are ahead have a head start. If a ghost catches a living player though, they can steal their body and have a chance at getting out, so all isn’t lost. I mean, death isn’t everything.
What really makes Trivia Murder Party is its hilarious announcer, the murderer holding court and being deeply funny. He gives the game so much personality and keeps me coming back. Any time I don’t make it out alive, I know I need just one more run.
– Andrew Thornton
Back 4 Blood
Back 4 Blood really wants to be Left 4 Dead 3. Anyone familiar with that series will feel immediately at home, ready to take on zombie hordes and fight for survival. While the nature of giant mutated monsters and zombies coming for your team is inherently spooky, it doesn’t manage to capture the atmosphere of that earlier game. The scares are too familiar, the threats too frequently reused. There are exceptions but nothing came close to the dread I felt every time I came upon a witch in L4D. Even playing Back 4 Blood has its issues, particularly if you’re working with the game’s AI teammates who simply don’t pull their weight.
Most of that is fixed when you play with a group of three friends. At that point the game’s stronger mission variety and fantastic gunplay are able to shine, allowing players to truly work together and build characters and play styles which complement each other. If you don’t have a crew to play this with, you’re probably better off staying away. If you and your friends are looking for your next multiplayer fix though, you should spend some time with Back 4 Blood, especially if you all happen to have Game Pass.
– Andrew Thornton
Sniper Elite: Nazi Zombie Army Series
In countless shooter games both Nazis and Zombies have both been guilt-free fodder for players to blast away at without feeling too bad about it. So how better to provide wholesale slaughter without the moral quandaries than to have the players fight against whole waves of vicious fascist undead. The great Sniper Elite series was a real pioneer in the field of shooting at people from afar and watching the satisfying slow-motion journey of the bullet on the way to perforating their internal organs (with a disgustingly detailed x-ray vision of the impact). The Nazi Zombie army series started as a fun spin-off game from the main series where the hero Karl Fairbourne (and some new friends) has to stop a reborn Nazi horde, because not even death can stop that rascally Hitler from his devious ambitions.
Sniper Elite’s gameplay translates perfectly to a four player co-op experience as you and your friends grab your Karabiners, Springfields and Mosin-Nagants to shoot incoming World War 2 era zombles from afar. Whether you’re smugly watching a perfectly lined up sniper shot play out from the viewing pleasure of you and your (surely very impressed) friends or accidentally blowing up your allies by a hilariously misplaced steel-handled grenade or tripwire, any game from this series is brilliant fun. This particular spin-off series is so great it has spawned an impressive four iterations – almost eclipsing Sniper Elite itself. It’s a bit like Frasier in that sense, but with legions of ghoulish undead stormtroopers instead of awkward social situations and a mischievous Jack Russell terrier. If you want some spine-tingling shootery with your buddies, pick this series up on Steam today!
– Jonathan Trussler
What other grisly games are there that you like to play with your friends? Sound off in the comments below!