Rahul is a video game addict. Some of his favorite games are "Red Dead Redemption 2" and "The Witcher 3."
While mainstream gaming is all about Shooters and Action RPGs, there are still some hardcore gamers who like the old school horror games. Unfortunately, though, with recent games like Resident Evil 6 where the focus is on making the horror genre appeal to Call Of Duty players (Capcom has admitted that they wanted to appeal to CoD players), the future is not looking bright for old-school horror games. All is not lost though, as recent games like Amnesia: The Dark Descent, Outlast and a couple of other indie entries have put our faith back in the horror genre.
10 Video Games Like Amnesia: The Dark Descent
Developed by Frictional Games, Amnesia: The Dark Descent was applauded by critics as well as gamers for its fresh take on the horror genre. It was refreshing to see an indie game venturing into an uncharted territory where they could always fail. Thankfully, they didn't. Amnesia has become a benchmark for other horror games to come. If you are here, you already know a lot about this game, so I will get right to the chase and introduce you to some of the games like Amnesia that will make it hard for you to sleep at night.
- Condemned: Criminal Origins
- Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth
- Condemned 2: Bloodshot
- Alien: Isolation
- The Walking Dead
- Silent Hill 3
- Penumbra Overture
- Slender: The Arrival
- Fatal Frame
This is one of the best games like amnesia that takes place in an asylum setting. You play as a reporter who is willing to risk his life to find out what‘s going on in Mount Massive Asylum. He finds out that things are worse than it seems. So he decides to leave, but he is trapped inside. Now he must find another way to escape. It’s not your usual horror game. I felt uneasy throughout the journey.
The scariest thing about this game isn't the monsters that lurk around in dark corners waiting to butcher you, it’s the "Hide" button which takes the tension to a new level. With proper timing, the button works most of the time. But when you are in a desperate situation, hiding under the bed, hoping that the monster in the room doesn't see you, you may find yourself being dragged out and stabbed to death before you know it. So hiding works, but it doesn't make you invisible. In fact, it’s just an illusion. The tension works best when you know that the monster has seen you entering a particular room and he is coming to get you for sure. There is only a slight chance that he won’t see you. Your stealth skills are certainly going to be tested here.
All is not lost if your position is compromised. You can always run if they find you, provided you are not within their grasp. With no ability to fight back whatsoever, the death scenes can be very gruesome. Believe me, it’s going to happen a lot. But you will get used to it.
2. Condemned: Criminal Origins
You play as an F.B.I. police officer with expertise in tracking down serial killers. Presuming it’s going to be just going to be like other cases, he heads on over the location to investigate. But he soon finds out that he has been framed for the murder of two fellow police officers. Now he must track down the real killer and clear his name.
The game starts slowly, but it starts to pick up pace pretty quickly after a few minutes in. With its dark tone, spooky setting, and an engaging melee combat system, Condemned: Criminal Origins is definitely a contender for one of the best games like Amnesia.
Unlike Amnesia, though, you can definitely give it back to your enemies. You have guns, baseball bats, and rifles to kick some ass. But the main focus here is melee combat. You will find yourself smashing people to death more often than shooting their heads off. If they don't budge, just kick the hell out of them. I found myself kicking more often than using weapons.
Can you handle some brutal and gory brawls? If you love them, you are going to love the melee-focused gameplay that Condemned: Criminal Origins has to offer.
3. Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth
Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth is a narrative-driven, action-adventure game based on the work of one of the best horror writers of all time—H.P. Lovecraft. It successfully mixes the best parts of the horror and action-adventure genres to produce one of the creepiest exploration games of all time.
You play as a troubled private investigator who can’t remember a particular six-year phase of his life. Forgetting his own plight for a moment, he decides to take on a missing person’s case, which leads him to a strange and quiet town called Innsmouth. Adamant on finding some clues, he soon realizes that there is something really fishy going on. That’s when things start to go awry for him pretty fast. Asking too many questions from too many people never bodes well for anyone anyway. Will he come out unscathed or will he become another missing person?
It might look like a first-person shooter at first glance, but you won’t carry any weapon for most of this game. And to be honest, the shooting sequences aren’t that great. Call of Cthulhu is at its best when there are no shooting sequences involved at all. Chasing sequences, on the other hand, are really amazing! It’s one of the only few games that make you run like your own life is in danger. These harrowing chasing sequences are somewhat similar to Amnesia.
4. Condemned 2: Bloodshot
Condemned 2: Bloodshot is a sequel of the very first game in this series. It’s basically more of the same thing with really well-designed melee combat and some truly shuddering horror elements. Unlike the first one, though, it’s not available on PC. It’s a pretty amazing game nonetheless!
While Condemned 2: Bloodshot is not a perfect sequel by any means, it will still make you tremble in fear. Isn't that all we want from a horror game? Besides that, they have done a really good job taking care of some annoyances that bugged us in the first game. Overall, the sequel is an improved version of the original game with a different story, more gore and violence, and slightly better graphics. One thing is for sure, though; it’s definitely not for the faint of heart. There are addicts and maniacs out for blood everywhere you go.
5. Alien: Isolation
Alien Isolation is very different from the countless survival horror games you have played before. If you go into this game thinking you have seen all, you are in for some genuinely spooky surprises. Any previous survival horror experience won't help you here.
We are accustomed to finding a predictable patrolling pattern and exploiting it, but the enemies in this game don't follow a pattern, so you are going to have to adapt to their strategy pretty quickly. You don’t have much except for a device that gives you a rough idea of your enemies’ location and the direction from which they are approaching from. Improvisation and anticipation are key to survival. Without some sort of strategy, though, you won’t make it through the whole game.
It might be a little overwhelming for you initially, but you will soon learn to improvise and stay undetected for longer periods. Aliens are not the only thing you should be worried about, though. There are looters and other survivors on this ship just like you who will react to you dynamically. Their reaction totally depends on what they have faced before. They may or may not be a threat to you, but you can never be sure. The unpredictability and continuous struggle for survival make for a really tense game, which is why I consider Alien: Isolation to be one of the best games like Amnesia.
On another note, I am really happy that we finally have a good Alien game on our hands. They have been trying to make it happen for years, but all those games have turned out to be mediocre. Who can forget Aliens: Colonial Marines? That was a disaster. They have definitely redeemed themselves with this game!
6. The Walking Dead
I am not talking about the first-person shooter game that was published by Activision. It turned out to be a complete disaster.
I am talking about the brilliant episodic adventure series developed and published by Telltale studios. While the gameplay might not be much like Amnesia by any measure, once you start playing, you will realize that these games have a few things in common.
Unlike in Amnesia, you control the outcome of the game to a certain extent. Your choices matter here! No matter what you choose, though, things are almost certainly going to go awry. You can’t do anything but sit through the whole sequence of seeing your favorite characters being eaten by the zombies. Some of these scenes are tear-inducing. The Walking Dead remains my personal favorite due to the sheer number of choices you can make to take the story into a slightly different direction.
7. Silent Hill 3
I have always preferred the Silent Hill franchise over the Resident Evil franchise. Over the last couple of years, I have found myself liking the former more than ever, as the latter is looking to lure some COD players in. The Silent Hill series, and especially Silent Hill 3, puts you in precarious situations with no help in sight. That’s when you start to feel uneasy and start cursing and swearing.
Silent Hill 3 is basically Silent Hill 2 with better graphics, a different story, and some more guns. Not much has changed in this sequel. But despite having the same formula, it’s still going to scare you shi*less. Unless you are happy to sleep with the lights on for the next couple of days, you are going to loathe Silent Hill.
8. Penumbra Overture
Penumbra Overture is one of the first games developed by Frictional Games, the same studio that developed Amnesia later in 2010. Launched in 2006 as a free demo, (due to a very low budget), Penumbra Overture became a cult hit soon thereafter. Although they released some more entries, the first one is still the best of the series. Its spooky settings and dark tone get under your skin only a few minutes in the game.
You play as a man named James who decides to head off to Greenland after getting a letter from his father who was presumed dead years ago. The game does very little to explain the backstory and the reason behind his decision to travel to Greenland, but it doesn't matter as we are talking about the scare factor here. You are definitely going to love the slow-burning experience of James’ journey.
Among other things, the sense of being isolated is really haunting. It's accompanied by a strangely pleasant feeling that you can only get to experience if you give Penumbra Overture a go. The possibility of being hacked to death at any time by creatures lurking slinking in the dark is quite similar to the dangers you encounter in Amnesia.
9. Slender: The Arrival
Slender: The Arrival is an Indie game similar to Amnesia. It's one of the most terrifying games. Nothing can be more disturbing than constantly being stalked and chased around by a tall, ghostly creature.
You play as a woman named Lauren who is going to see her friend Kate, who lives in a small house in the woods. The only road to her house is blocked by a fallen tree, so she continues the rest of the way on foot. Upon reaching Kate's house, it doesn't take her long to realize that something is not right. She finds the house in disarray. On top of that, Kate is nowhere to be found. determined to find her friend's whereabouts, she decides to head deeper into the woods. Little does she know, her decision is going to cost her dearly as she spends the next few hours exploring, running, and hiding in the pitch-dark woods.
Though this game doesn't throw a lot of scares at you, you are going to spend most of your time ensuring that there is no one quietly chasing you. We are talking about the tall, ghostly figure who appears quite frequently as you spend more time exploring the woods.
Slender: The Arrival takes place in five different areas. The first few areas are quite open with plenty of options to improvise and fool the Slender Man. Things become pretty tense later on as you make your ways through the tight passageways of the mines. He is not the only one you should be wary of, though. There are a few surprises waiting for you later on. You never get to see your stalker’s face for more than a couple of seconds, as staring at him makes him more violent and agile, and the chance of him catching up to you increases more.
The only way to know if you are being chased or not is the distorting screen. The closer he is, the more distorted and blurry your screen will be. You know it’s time to run like you have stolen something when this happens. Don't be too curious and make the mistake of taking a peek behind!
10. Fatal Frame
If you like series such as Resident Evil and Silent Hill, you are going to love this game. It offers the same creepy atmosphere and tense scenarios. Unlike those series, you are not dealing with zombies and monsters here. There are ghosts all over Himuro Mansion, the mysterious place where the game takes place. That's where your camera comes to the rescue. Take photos of them with your camera and they will evaporate. Just don’t take too long trying to snap a perfect screenshot, otherwise, you'd be dead before you know it.
The upgrade system surprised me as well! We don't see RPG elements in horror games too often, but the Fatal Frame series has a fascinating upgrade system. You will gain "Spirit power" for every ghost you evaporate, which can be used to buy various upgrades for your camera. With the help of these upgrades, you will be able to do a lot more with each snap.
The Fatal Frame series is also highly replayable. All the options will not be unlocked, even if you complete the game. So it’s recommended that you to play Fatal Frame at least twice to unlock everything. Trust me, you'll have even more fun on the second go!
Scott Towers on June 16, 2019:
I think the writer of this article might be a little broken. In a list of games 'simular to Amnesia' you include the walking dead from telltale which couldn't be a more different even if it tried, you do this whilst not including Soma, are you feeling OK?
Also you made the statement of condemned 2 being better than 1, genuinely baffling! You also chose silent hill 3 which is widely regarded as the worst in the franchise.
Do you even game?
patriciadegroot on February 27, 2019:
Thanks! It helps :)
Poppy from Enoshima, Japan on October 31, 2018:
There are some excellent choices here! Silent Hill is horrifying, especially 2 and 4 (haven't played 3 yet). The Condemned games are also super scary; I still remember almost having a heart attack when the bear with rabies attacks you in Bloodshot. I love horror games but I can only play them about twenty minutes at a time before getting too spooked to play more.
Ivan Sokolski on February 05, 2017:
Interesting article, but what about Soma?