Creeps, Curses and Cosmic Critters Haunt October 2021’s Game Lineup

Turtle Rock Studio’s Back 4 Blood leads the ghoulish pack of frightening new games this month.

Ghouls and ghosts have been with video games from the very start. Nothing gets the blood pumping, or the run button held down, like a good fright.

The last year has given us a frightening range of scary games: from the action-packed monster mash Resident Evil Village to the more reserved folk tale Mundaun. Appropriately, October 2021 has some of the most anticipated horror games of the year, filled with space freak-outs, ancient evils and zombies by the droves.

A still from the video game Back 4 Blood of a four-armed creature.

Back 4 Blood

There’s a joke that Half-Life, Portal and Team Fortress creator Valve never gets around to making a third in its franchises. Some games don’t die so easily. The creator of the Left 4 Dead series, Turtle Rock Studios, has returned with Back 4 Blood, bringing along an army of undead.

Released in 2008, Left 4 Dead saw up to four players make their way across a zombie-riddled America, safe house to safe house, collecting supplies and keeping corpses at bay. Back 4 Blood reanimates the beloved formula with some twists.

Multiplayer games have shifted seismically since 2008, a challenge Turtle Rock is taking on. Back 4 Blood features new ways to play, including a more intricate versus mode in which four players fortify their surroundings while four others attack as supercharged ghoulies known as the Ridden.

The main campaign features eight cantankerous survivors and even added deck-building elements. Between safe houses, players can collect and manage cards that can boost their own skills or benefit the entire team. But beware: hands are dealt against squads too, subjecting additional challenges like time limits and larger hordes — making sure those navigating the apocalypse aren’t too comfortable.

Back 4 Blood had an extensive open beta over the summer but releases in full on Oct. 12 for PlayStation, Xbox and PC.

Watch the Back 4 Blood trailer

A still from the video game Metroid Dread

Metroid Dread

Nintendo’s most diligent hunter returns this October with Metroid Dread. Last we saw Samus Aran, she barely escaped a research station in 2002’s Metroid Fusion, battling a vicious parasite called X that could imitate the most dangerous beings in the universe. Including herself.


This long-awaited next chapter sees Samus investigating an outpost where Federation robots have been vanishing en masse, raising concern that X, or even the vampiric Metroid, has survived.


Samus will have to evade haywire EMMI drones, space pirates and a mysterious adversary using Chozo weaponry — the elusive race of Samus’s adopted family whose training and tech gives Samus an edge against fearsome monsters. Samus’s new nightmare begins Oct. 8 on the Nintendo Switch.

A still from the video game House of Ashes.

House of Ashes

Supermassive Games, creator of the hit choose-your-own-adventure PlayStation horror Until Dawn, continues its Dark Pictures Anthology this Halloween with House of Ashes.


Previous chapters Man of Medan and Little Hope have subjected their motion-captured TV actors to ghost ships and witch covens, respectably. House of Ashes offers a spin on another familiar monster.


Set during the Iraq war, a group of American soldiers are hit with an ambush before both groups are surprised by a sinkhole. Suddenly, all involved find themselves in a bizarre subterranean and labyrinthian crypt, awakening an unknown evil.


The player’s choices can radically change the course of this ghost story and the ultimate fate of these survivors. See how you fare against the House of Ashes on Oct. 22 when the game launches on PlayStation, Xbox and PC.

A still from the video game Spookware


Lastly, if you’re looking for something a little more lighthearted but still packed with little ghoulies, you can treat yourself to SPOOKWARE. An homage to the manic WarioWare series, SPOOKWARE follows three skelebros who decide to make up for lost time in the afterlife after waning their existence on horror movies.


Split into four chapters, the game will feature over 200 lightning-quick and quirky mini-games — from hatchet attacks to skeleton synth solos — all inspired by all manner of creepy crawlies. The first chapter is available on PC.

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