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PC Gift Buyers Guide Part 2: Horror Games

Yesterday we gave you some advice on what First Person Shooters you should buy (Or ask for) this holiday season.  Today we’ll give you tips on what games to buy for your friends who love to be scared.  We’ll also give you a warning about what horror games you should stay away from.

Games To Buy

1:  Amnesia The Dark Descent Frictional Games $19.99

When this came out back in August it just plain scared the crap out of me.  Amnesia steps out of the traditional survival horror genre by doing away with most of the standard features of action games, and mixing in elements of stealth and adventure games.  It leaves the player unarmed and helpless, running and hiding from enemies instead of fighting them.  It’s a true horror game, and has a focus on story-telling and atmosphere, rather than shooting monsters.  It is hands-down the scariest game of the year, and the low price makes it a good choice for a gift as well.

2: Dead Rising II Capcom $39.99

The big blockbuster zombie slashaton this year was Dead Rising II.  Sure, your XBox pals will complain that it’s a lot like the first Dead Rising (Which was overrated to begin with), but the first one never came out for PC.  This sequel basically surrounds you with an endless army of zombies, and lets you use anything you see as a weapon to kill your way through a series of objectives which are themselves just excuses to kill more zombies.  PC shooter fans might whine that this is more of a console game than a PC game, but that won’t be a problem for gamers looking for something different to do on their rigs.

3:  Dead Space 2 (Pre-Order) Electronic Arts $59.95

Okay, this is actually a 2011 game, but it comes out exactly one month after Christmas, and you can get it as a “Pre-Order” for your friends.  They won’t have to see an empty box under the tree, though, because most pre-orders also include a digital copy of Dead Space Ignition, a downloadable interactive comic with minigames, set in the Dead Space storyline.  The first Dead Space was terrific, a space zombie shooter with a clever storyline poking fun of Scientology, and the sequel looks to be just as good.  You can grab the first game for a pittance now, and that’s highly recommended as a stocking stuffer.

4:Bioshock 2  2K Games $19.99

The scariest thing about this game is the fact that you have to use Games For Windows to play it.  However, if you can overlook the Digital Rights Management that comes along with it, this game is just fantastic.

I was extremely wary about this sequel to one of my favorite games, but the developers did a great job both in terms of expanding the gameplay, and finding a story that deserves to be told.  The controls are tighter this time around (No clumsy switching between Guns and plasmids), you fight a greater variety of enemies, and the story is something Bioshock fans will appreciate.  It also gets darn spooky at times.


5:  Left 4 Dead 2 Valve $19.99

Technically, this is a 2009 game, but the developer Valve has been releasing new content for it all year long.  This is a cooperative online shooter where you and three friends fight your way through an endless swarm of zombies.  It is the perfect gift to give out to several friends, so that you can all play together online.  Its retail price is twenty dollars, but Valve will almost certainly have a sale next week.  Buying digital copies for your friends on Steam is a great last-minute gift idea.
Don’t Buy

Fort Zombie Paradox Interactive $9.99

This budget title came out last Halloween, but it keeps popping up in seasonal game sales this year.  While it isn’t bad for a ten dollar budget game, it’s no where near as good as many other zombie shooter games on the market.  In fact, instead of buying this, your ten dollars could be better spent on Bioshock 2, which on sale for ten dollars on Amazon at the time of this writing.

Next up:  Indie Game Gift Buyers Guide.


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