What's ROG playing this Halloween?

Articles: Gaming
Oct 31, 2020 Written by:Chris_Barr

The Republic of Gamers doesn't just build the best hardware to play on—we spend a lot of time playing games, too. We’re back for a look at what spooky games our team has selected to get in the mood for Halloween. Keep checking back in every month as we discuss games that pique our interest, new and old alike.


Olivia Wray - Social Team

oliviaAs I waited for other survivors to join me in my latest session of Dead by Daylight, I already felt my heart pounding. I was surrounded by the sounds of crows and creaks in the woods through my headphones. The match began, and the whisper of quiet bushes rustling in the wind reached my ears. I looked around, nervous about what was lurking in the dark, and helplessly started searching for my tasks. 

Playing Dead By Daylight, headphones are absolutely necessary, as they are for most horror games. If you choose to play as one of the four survivors, you'll hear distant screams, howls, and creepy echoes while you start up generators and try to escape. When I said survivors, you might be wondering what we’re running from. Yep, a vicious killer. As you wander around the map, the game leaves no doubt that a murderer is lurking nearby. When they get closer and have a survivor in their sights, a rapid heartbeat pumps through the headphones. It's like being in a thrasher-style horror film.

Dead By Daylight allows players to connect to the internet and match up with friends or strangers. Once four survivors are bound together, their goal is to escape. You also have the option to play as the vicious killer. Choosing this option, you can play the part of famous movie monsters ranging from Michael Myers of Halloween to the Demogorgon of Stranger Things

Working together with the other survivors, starting up the generators, and tricking the killer can be a more adrenaline-pumping way to play Dead By Daylight. Still, I’ll tell you exactly what it’s like in the eyes of a haunting, deeply sad killer. Playing as the manhunter is the real challenge, and winning as the killer is the biggest accomplishment.

My first Dead By Daylight feat was played through the eyes of Max Thompson Jr. or “The Hillbilly,” one of the three original killers the game created. Never has a game made me feel more bloodthirsty than this. My vision was more narrow—I couldn’t see every angle like I could in the survivor’s third-person view. Once I found a helpless survivor, I slashed them and picked them up, carrying them to their final resting place. The survivors were working against me, but I was quick to find them and repeat this pattern, following their figurative trails of blood.

This all sounds very eerie and evil, but it’s really all fun and games—a truly spooky Halloween fantasy. If you’re a horror film-lover, you can appreciate the way Dead By Daylight shows you what it’s like to be the one holding the chainsaw. 

Dan Esparza - Video Team

oliviaPhasmophobia is a battle between the rational and irrational on two levels. The game tasks you with confronting a supernatural force and classifying it using scientific tools and methods. As the player, you must balance the rational thinking of “this is a video game, it can’t hurt you” with the irrational thoughts like "OMG IT’S COMING, I’M TRAPPED, SOMEONE HALP." It’s rare when a game fills you with mortal fear at the prospect of entering a room.

Phasmophobia has an outstanding balance between jump scares and tension. You get your fair share of surprises, but the tension is what sticks with you: the rising dread of being inside a building with a supernatural timebomb. The longer you remain inside, the angrier the ghost will become. This aggression culminates in a hunt. The ghost manifests itself and sets out to kill the first person it sees, and since it’s a ghost, there’s nothing you can do but try to hide.

The fact that you can’t fight back, the powerless of the situation. is what makes Phasmophobia scary for me. Though you cannot harm the ghost, you can talk to it. Using your mic, you can ask the ghost questions or demand that it show itself. The gameplay integration of the microphone is a cool way to immerse the player, and it makes me glad I got the ROG Delta headset. The Delta has an excellent microphone for communicating, and they also help my resolve to face the ghost. You really have to play Phasmophobia with the lights out, so the RGB lighting from the Delta's earcups gives me a little bit of light and comfort from the darkness.
The characteristics of each entity make for a challenging experience if you're trying to win. You really have to gather concrete evidence if you are going to classify each ghost correctly. My friends and I often guessed the final piece of evidence based on the ghost’s activity, only to get the classification wrong. Each ghost you face has a random personality, so it’s easy to confuse its classification for another. It really is a scientific process. You need evidence to establish facts, not hunches. 

Just when I feel like I’m getting used to the fear in the game, some novel horror happens, and I’m back to cowering like a child. During a recent hunt, the ghost tried to open the door to my hiding place. I had thought the closets were safe and that nothing could penetrate the linen fortress, but I was forced to confront the fact that truly, nowhere is safe.
The game is VR-compatible if you’re brave enough, but I’m too scared to play it on anything but a traditional monitor. Either way, if you want a truly scary experience this Halloween, try Phasmophobia. 

Eric Born - Content Marketing

ericMy parents were adamantly opposed to letting me have a game console, so all of my childhood gaming experiences happened courtesy of the family PC. When my first college roommate showed up to our dorm room with a Nintendo 64, Playstation, and Super Nintendo, my eyes were opened to a whole new world. Two of the titles that we played over and over that year have now become legendary: Super Metroid and Castlevania: Symphony of the Night.

These days, you can find a whole catalog of “Metroidvanias” that try to bottle the magic of those classic platformers and deliver it to gamers on modern systems. I could fill this entire article with my favorites, but since it’s Halloween, I’ll focus on just one: Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night

The game was developed by Artplay, a company co-founded by Koji Igarashi, the programmer, writer, and assistant director of Symphony of the Night. That game’s legacy resounds throughout Bloodstained. The main playable character is Miriam, a young woman who awakens from a coma into an Industrial Revolution-era England invaded by demons. She is a Shardbinder, a human empowered by the Alchemy Guild with demonic energies through contact with mysterious crystals. She finds that the only other remaining Shardbinder, a tormented young man named Gebel, has summoned demons to avenge his creators.

Bloodstained’s world has an interesting backstory, and Miriam is a compelling character, but these elements take a back seat to the excellent gameplay. After some brief exposition and a boss fight against a horrid sea creature, Miriam follows Gebel into a hellish castle swarming with demons. Inside, the action is non-stop. There’s a wide variety of melee and ranged weapons to be found and crafted throughout the game, each with their own attack style. Occasionally, killing a demon will unleash a shard that will strike your character and give you access to a new demonic power or upgrade a current one. It’s a blast to mix and match weapons and shard powers to find the right one for the moment.

Like the labyrinthine castle in Symphony of the Night, the Hellhold in Bloodstained is sprawling, lavishly illustrated, and completely untethered from the constraints of actual architecture. Enemies range from menacing ghosts, ghouls, and demons to bizarre floating pigs and giant demon-horned cats. It gets laugh-out-loud ridiculous at times, but it’s also a loving tribute to an era when games didn’t take themselves so seriously.

The boss fights are where the game really shines. Miriam can charge through most rooms like an angel of death, but button-mashing won’t cut it against more powerful opponents. Bloodstained gives you quick movement abilities, like backward dash and double jump, and it expects you to use them with precision. The game’s easiest difficulty is very accessible for casual gamers. Still, to survive the higher difficulty levels, you’ll need to study how bosses telegraph their moves, keep out of harm’s way as you wait for an opening, and inflict massive damage before dancing back out of reach.

You can find Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night on just about any gaming platform you prefer, but we just learned that the game will soon launch for smartphones, as well. Guess I’ve got a new reason to pick up the ROG Phone III.