Getting psyched for Halloween? House decorated, costume prepared, and candy stocked for the kids? Or perhaps the plan is more relaxed. Maybe a movie marathon with some friends is in the works. Or maybe a video game marathon is the new thing. There are plenty of spooky experiences out there for the latter like Resident Evil, Dead Space, or the recent indie hit, Slender. Yet some of the most amazing Halloween games are actually DLC for non-scary games. They may not be as frightening as others, but these three definitely nail the holiday spirit.
inFAMOUS 2: Festival of Blood
Vampires, as if late, haven’t been represented in video games. Considering the literal zombie infestation the media has retained from books, games, TV, and movies, it’s about time these dark lords get their power back. Enter Festival of Blood, an alternate story within Infamous 2, which asks, what if Cole became a vampire with super powers?
In the equivalent of Mardi Gras, the city celebrates the dead. What starts off as a celebration turns into a night of terror as a queen vampire awakens, wreaking havoc on the party. Bitten, Cole becomes a vampire and gets the whole nine yards: blood lust, immortality, and vampire powers. Some of the powers include regenerating from blood and turning into a flock of bats for quick travel. The pack is only about 2 hours long even with the extras. Still, the new abilities are cool and the campy tone of the narrative is enjoyable.
Infamous 2 was released on June 7, 2011 for the PS3.
Red Dead Redemption: Undead Nightmare
Red Dead Redemption is probably the best Rockstar game released this generation. Not only was it an excellent open world game, but it also breathed new life into westerns, another dying genre for games. Not only that but the story was both gripping and touching and had one of the craziest endings in a video game. So how does a company top an already stellar game? Two words: Undead Nightmare.
In Undead Nightmare, John Marston must tangle with hordes of the undead and other mystical creatures, fulfilling random quests for survivors he meets along the way. This wasn’t a simple patch that added zombie either. No, it also incorporated survival horror aspects to the game like making ammo scarce, which was more plentiful in the proper Red Dead game. Festival of Blood was a great example, but Undead Nightmare is the benchmark on how to make a meaty piece of DLC and on how to expand a universe in new, bizarre directions.
Red Dead Redemption was released on May 18, 2010 for the PS3 and Xbox 360.
Sleeping Dogs: Nightmare in North Point
This is the latest in the bizarre treatment of Halloween themed DLC. Like the other two, this add-on for Sleeping Dogs is set in an alternate timeline. Demons descend upon Hong Kong, threatening all who inhabit it. Wei Shen is back to kick butt and stop the evil within.
It’s fun, but it’s also the weakest of the three packs. Like Infamous, it’s also about two hours, but those two hours lack the depth of Festival of Blood. Hong Kong barely changes and while there are cool implementations of classic Chinese demons and ghosts, Wei Shen will spend a lot of time fighting random thugs. Plus there’s nothing really new to the gameplay. Its more of the same awesome Sleeping Dogs action, but as a Halloween themed DLC pack, it kind of fails. More developers should take the plunge like these guys tried to. They deserve kudos for trying at least.
Sleeping Dogs was released on August 13, 2012 for the PS3, PC, and Xbox 360.